Meet the International Living Australia Team

Jackie Flynn – Publisher

Jackie Flynn is the Publisher of International Living and International Living Australia. She started her career in publishing in New York City in 1989, where she worked for well-known publishing houses such as The New York Times and Forbes Inc. Then Jackie returned to her native Ireland, where she worked for International Living for seven years before joining the American Writers and Artists Inc, as Director of Marketing for their Travel Division. In 2009, she came back to International Living to take the reins at Agora Publishing’s flagship magazine.

 

Eoin Bassett – Editorial Director

Eoin Bassett has scouted across three continents, driven 1,287 kilometres across Spain, clung to a speedboat on a Guatemalan lake, swung in a cable car above Medellin, Colombia, ridden long-distance Asian trains, taken a horse into Panama’s Veraguas mountains and ridden a motorcycle across Bali, Indonesia—all in the name of research.

Eoin is as comfortable handling antique shotguns in Purdey’s of London and chatting Thames-side with houseboat owners as he is dancing hip-to-hip with ladyboys on a Bangkok dancefloor or sharing a drink with Panamanian cowboys.

He’s haggled with hawkers in the bazaars of Turkey and the pungent markets of Singaraja, reluctantly eaten grasshoppers in Mexico and politely stomached unidentifiable bone stew in Vietnam. From a cutthroat shave in a gentlemen’s barber to paying police “donations” in Southeast Asia, he’s done his best to experience an international life.

A stint living in Switzerland’s Jura Mountains introduced him to the joys of good cheese and fine white wine, living in Panama saw him 32 kilometres offshore in a small boat in search of big fish, and his favourite place to eat steak is a smoke-filled writers’ club in Lisbon, Portugal.

 

Barbara Ross – Managing Editor International Living Australia Magazine

Barbara joined the IL team in September 2013 and is the Managing Editor of International Living Australia magazine. Six months living and studying in Stockholm, Sweden began her love affair with all things Swedish, and it was here that she well and truly caught the travel bug. She has travelled throughout Europe and hasn’t finished her travel adventures just yet.

In her spare time, she indulges her eclectic passions for writing, travel, vintage and fashion.

 

Barbara Diggs – France Correspondent

Barbara Diggs is a freelance writer who has been living in Paris since 2001. A former corporate lawyer in the U.S., Barbara later moved to Paris to work for a leading law firm where she handled international arbitration disputes.

In the end, Barbara decided that it would be much more fun to be a writer than a lawyer in Paris, so she quit her job. After travelling around Europe, overseeing the restoration of a ramshackle 19th-century country house in Burgundy, and simply enjoying life for a while, she began freelancing for various magazines and websites, including International Living Australia, Forbes.com, Bankrate.com and many others.

She is International Living Australia’s France Correspondent and also runs a thriving business, writing online legal content for lawyers and law firms.

She lives in central Paris with her German husband and two young sons.

 

Valerie Fortney-Schneider – Italy Correspondent

Valerie Fortney-Schneider lived in New Mexico for 20 years before deciding to ditch it all and return to her roots in southern Italy, where she is a writer and genealogy researcher. She and her husband live in Basilicata, where they love the mountains, food, culture and simpler lifestyle.

Valerie enjoys exploring and writing about historical sights, hill towns and cuisine and puts her on-the-ground expat experience to work as International Living Australia’s Italy correspondent.

 

Keith Hockton – Malaysia Correspondent

Keith worked in the investment banking arena for most of his life and retired in Hong Kong in 1998. He then went on a three-year journey of discovery around Australia and wrote Atlas of Australian Dive Sites-Traveller’s Edition, a book about scuba diving your way around Australia. It was published by Harper Collins in 2003 and its now in its third printing.

He worked for various think tanks in Australia and the U.K. between 2003 and 2009, concentrating on Asian and European country risk, and finally returned to live in Malaysia in 2009. He had last lived there with his parents in 1970. He started writing for International Living in 2011 and, in the same year, authored Penang—An inside guide to its historic homes, buildings, monuments and parks and wrote and co-directed a documentary, 1941—The Fall of Penang.

Keith is a fellow of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, and continues to travel and explore Asia at every opportunity. He also mountain bikes (badly), and consequently knows the Malaysian medical system and its hospitals well. Keith is International Living Australia‘s Asia correspondent.

 

Wendy Justice – Vietnam Correspondent

In 2005 Wendy Justice left her job as a registered nurse, sold most of her worldly possessions and set off for Hong Kong. Her original plan was to travel around the world, but she fell in love with Southeast Asia and has been living there ever since. After spending a few years living in Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur and the Vietnamese beach city of Nha Trang, she eventually settled down in Hanoi, Vietnam, where she and her husband David have lived since 2012.

She has travelled extensively throughout the region and continues to enjoy exploring new and exciting places in her role as International Living Australia’s Vietnam Correspondent.

 

Kirsten Raccuia – Southeast Asia Correspondent

Kirsten Raccuia started travelling as a young girl and vowed to make it an important part of her life. After spells in England, Brazil and South Africa, Kirsten spent several years living in the U.S and establishing a successful fashion business there. But the time came when she felt ready for a new challenge. And, when herself and her husband Mark heard about Penang, Malaysia, at an International Living conference, they knew they were in for an exciting adventure.

They now live happily in Penang but travel continues to be central to their lives. Together, they have travelled to 38 countries and, as International Living Australia’s Southeast Asia Correspondent, Kirsten brings you the inside track on the amazing retirement hotspots and hidden gems they discover along the way.