Travels from: New South Wales
The ABC's 7pm news anchor in Sydney
Categories: Celebrities, MCs & Hosts
Full Presenter Profile & Bio
Juanita Phillips is one of Australia's most experienced television news anchors.
For five years, from 1997 to 2002, she was a news anchor for the world's two largest news organisations - the BBC and CNN - in London. Since returning to Australia, she has presented the ABC's prime time 7pm news bulletin in Sydney.
Juanita began her career as a cadet journalist on The Courier-Mail newspaper in Brisbane in 1982, straight from high school. After completing her cadetship, she backpacked around the world for three years, financing her travels with jobs as a magazine journalist in London, a cocktail waitress in San Francisco, a kibbutznik in Israel and a cleaner in Greece. On her return to Australia, she became a senior feature writer and columnist for The Courier-mail, covering social issues, writing personal profiles and analysing the political fall-out of the Fitzgerald Inquiry in Queensland.
In 1990, while conducting a successful campaign to change sexist laws at Brisbane City Council through her daily newspaper column, she was offered a job as current affairs journalist at Channel Ten. She stayed with Ten for six years, eventually moving to Sydney to become co-anchor of the Five O'clock News.
In 1996, Juanita moved to Australia's first 24-hour news channel, Sky News Australia, as its first prime-time evening anchor. After 18 months experience of presenting rolling live news coverage, she headed to London hoping to break into international television news. Her lucky break came when she was offered an audition with the BBC. She became the anchor of BBC World's flagship morning program The World Today, broadcasting to millions of viewers worldwide. On her second day on the job, Diana Princess of Wales was killed in a car accident, and Juanita was part of the BBC's international coverage, packaging news reports for world-wide syndication. A week later, she co-anchored BBC World's coverage of Diana's funeral.
After eight months, she joined the American cable news network CNN, anchoring their flagship breakfast program CNN This Morning in London. She stayed with CNN for four years. During that time she became their senior London anchor, presenting a wide variety of news and magazine programs, and writing and presenting a one-hour documentary on population trends in Europe. In 1999, she was chosen as one of only two non-American anchors on the team presenting CNN's Millennium coverage, the largest live news event ever attempted by a television network - one hundred hours non-stop live rolling coverage, crossing to reporters on videophones and satellite phones in the furthest corners of the earth.
Following the September 11 attacks on the United States, Juanita decided to return to Australia, where she now works as the ABC's 7pm news anchor in Sydney.
Juanita is the author of a series of children's books, The Newspaper Kids, aimed at ages 7 to 12, published by Harper Collins in Australia and the UK as well as A Pressure Cooker Saved My Life.