Staff and contributor bios


Editorial

<strong>Editor-in-chief</strong>
Editor-in-chief

Peter Hackney
A Queenslander by birth but Sydneysider by choice, Peter loves Sydney for its beauty, energy and diversity. He especially loves the many colourful characters of the Emerald City. The founding editor of the Sydney Sentinel, Peter was previously editor of City News, City Hub and SX in Sydney, as well as QNews and Queensland Pride in Brisbane. His writing has appeared in a wide range of publications including titles by Fairfax, APN News & Media, Pacific Magazines, Australian Community Media and the Alternative Media Group of Australia. Currently, his favourite part of Sydney is Chinatown – although that’s liable to change with little notice, much like the dynamic city we live in.
Photo by Ann-Marie Calilhanna.

<strong>Deputy editor</strong>
Deputy editor

Richie Black
Richie is a Sydney-based writer, part-time muse and strolling purveyor of magical beans. As a journalist, he has contributed to publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney Star Observer and The Brag. His fiction has been performed at venues such as the Old 505 and New Theatre, published in anthologies (most recently in Monash University’s Verge) and won him the 2016 AWGIE (Australian Writers’ Guild Award) for Best Radio Play. He also co-wrote and performed in the web series Toxic Kiss presents: Achtung, Mein Kunst. He is fully house-trained. 

<strong>News editor and sub-editor</strong>
News editor and sub-editor

Tileah Dobson
Born in Penrith and raised in the quaint town of Warragamba, Tileah is currently a student at Western Sydney University, where she is studying for a Bachelor of Creative Industries. New to journalism, she’s keen to make her mark and deliver stories in her unique outlook on life. When she’s not spending her time writing and chasing stories, you can usually find her gaming or cooking up something delicious to eat. A member of the LGBTQ community, she’s also a self-proclaimed cat lady and enjoys a good meme or two. A Ravenclaw with Hufflepuff tendencies.

<strong>Editor-at-large</strong>
Editor-at-large

Gary Nunn
Gary Nunn moved to Sydney from London in 2012 craving sunshine, but he discovered much more: impressive theatre, colourful characters and surprising, hidden communities embedded within a shimmering city. Gary specialises in writing human interest features, but also writes news, interviews, long form features and op-eds for newspapers and magazines
in Australia, the UK and the US. In the UK, he was a regular columnist for The Guardian and he was previously the features journalist for BBC Australia. Now, as a freelance journalist, Gary writes for the ABC, The Sydney Morning Herald, Guardian Australia, The Australian Women’s Weekly – and the Sydney Sentinel. He was shortlisted for the Journalist of the Year Award at the 2019 LGBTI Awards and the Media Award at the 2019 ACON Honour Awards. Gary is a Walkleys Our Watch Fellow – in 2019, he completed a scholarship devised for “13 outstanding journalists to promote better media coverage of violence against women in Australia”.

<strong>Creative advisor, podcast producer and journalist</strong>
Creative advisor, podcast producer and journalist

Travis de Jonk
Editor, journalist, photographer and digital content producer, Travis de Jonk is a communications professional with 15 years’ experience working across online, broadcast and print media sectors. A voracious culture vulture with extensive knowledge of – and passion for – the arts, entertainment, politics and pop culture, his notable roles include state editor for SameSame.com.au, co-producer and presenter on JOY 94.9’s Hide & Seek, executive producer of industry recognised film show 25 Frames for Channel 31 Melbourne and producer of the Sentinel Speakeasy, the official podcast of the Sydney Sentinel. Born in Dubai with a worldly cultural mix of Portuguese, Sri Lankan, Dutch and English heritage, Travis is a well travelled Sydneysider who enjoys a passionate love affair with Sydney and its inspiring beauty, energy and people. He falls deeper in love with the city every day. 

<strong>Associate editor and special writer</strong>
Associate editor and special writer

John Moyle
A Kings Cross resident for more than 40 years, John Moyle has his finger on the pulse of Sydney in a way other journos can only dream of. A longstanding journalist, sub-editor, activist and former record label bigwig, John is well established and well respected. Formerly a sub at Australian Associated Press (AAP), John’s previous experience includes stints as editor of City Hub and a long association with Regular Records – the dearly departed record label which was home to iconic acts such as Icehouse, Mental As Anything, The Cockroaches, The Reels and Kate Ceberano. An enormously well-connected journalist, John knows Sydney and its movers and shakers like the back of his hand.

<strong>Arts & entertainment editor</strong>
Arts & entertainment editor

Tahli Blackman
Born and raised in Western Sydney, Tahli is currently in her third and final year at WSU studying for a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism). Breaking into the world of journalism, she is excited to deliver creative and engaging stories that young people can connect with. Tahli enjoys writing about the music industry and would someday like to make it in radio. When she’s not typing away at an article, Tahli is usually attending live indie gigs, making ceramics or getting outdoors and hiking with friends. She is passionate about her work and loves to include as much personality as she can into her pieces. She is keen to see where her new position at the Sentinel goes. 

<strong>Features editor</strong>
Features editor

Makayla Muscat
Raised in the Blue Mountains, Makayla has always appreciated Sydney’s beauty. Makayla is a third-year Bachelor of Communication student at Western Sydney University. She writes news, interviews and feature articles, and in 2021, was nominated for the Student Journalist of the Year Award at the Walkley Foundation’s Mid-Year Celebration of Journalism. Apart from writing, Makayla loves photography, music, travelling and attending events. Previously, she studied Travel and Tourism Management and decided to combine her passions of writing and travel to pursue a career in journalism. Her work has appeared in various titles in and around the Blue Mountains and Western Sydney, including The Blue Mountains Gazette, Blue Mountains Australia and W’SUP News. Now, as a features editor at the Sydney Sentinel, she writes about a range of topics including arts and entertainment, human interest stories, politics and social issues.

<strong>Music editor</strong>
Music editor

Danny Waterson
Sydney born and bred, Danny began his foray into entertainment at a young age, meeting celebrities and appearing live on television with Kylie Minogue on Channel 7’s Saturday Morning Live. While he should have been in school, he was instead harassing pop stars at Channel 7 Sydney for the next few years. Danny completed a Diploma in Television and Diploma in Journalism while also having a career in management and administration with 20th Century Fox, ABC Radio, the Seven Network and 2SER. From 2003, he was the entertainment editor for SX National – and continues to harass and interrogate pop stars to this day. Danny’s specialises in pop culture from the 1980s to the present day but his music industry knowledge and experience is vast, covering artists and eras of all kinds.

<strong>Opinion editor</strong>
Opinion editor

Sunny Grace
Born in Adelaide and raised in the wilds of Bellingen by a tribe of hippies, Sunny fell in love with Sydney at the age of fifteen and never wanted to leave. Ten years later she achieved that dream and apart from a stray few years in Byron Bay, she has called it home.  Sunny completed a Masters in Performance Writing at the NIDA in 2016. She directed, produced and wrote the award-winning short film Trigger Happy. Her screenplay, The Bower Girl, was long listed for AWG Insite award.  Her play, The Angelica Complex, premiered at The Kings Cross Theatre in Sydney in 2016.  She was awarded The Rex Cramphorn Artist in Residency at Sydney University.  Her passion is working with like-minded collaborators telling original and compelling stories about our shared humanity, equality and the environment.  
Photo by Travis Grace.

<strong>Queer editor</strong>
Queer editor

Brandon Bear
Brandon has lived and breathed the Sydney queer community for over fifteen years, always impressed by its complexity, creativity and resilience. Brandon has worked in roles at a number of community organisations, including managing policy, research and advocacy at ACON and delivering equity programs for sexuality and gender diverse communities at St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney. He has been a long-term volunteer in the queer and HIV spaces including a five-year stint on the board of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. A devout Inner Westie, between work, study and volunteering Brandon can be found eating at any new restaurant he can find between Broadway and Stanmore.

<strong>Vegan editor</strong>
Vegan editor

Elizabeth Usher
Sydney born and raised, Elizabeth has lived in the harbour city all her life except for a brief stint in the UK studying Natural Sciences in the late nineties – during which time she became vegetarian and then vegan. Elizabeth ultimately returned to her beloved home city in 1999 wanting to be an animal rights activist instead of a physicist. After close to twenty years working for non-profits and a vegan business, she is now focused full time on songwriting, having won multiple awards for her songs and music videos on both her Veganthused and UKEnTHUSED projects. Elizabeth’s other writings have been seen in publications such as The ScavengerPlant Powered Women and Release, as well as her book of poetry from 2004: The VOCAL Project: a Vision Of Compassion for All Life. She’s excited to be part of the Sentinel team to shine a light on the thriving local vegan scene. 
Photo by Nadine Saacks.

<strong>Youth editor</strong>
Youth editor

Corin Shearston
As the only child of an author father and visual artist mother, Corin was immersed in the arts from an early age while growing up in his rugged Blue Mountains hometown of Katoomba. Corin began his creative career as a drummer in 2007, at the age of ten. Now in his fifteenth year as a drummer, with many gigs, recordings and music videos under his belt, Corin currently performs in the rock bands Trash Baby and earprojector, and the metal band Magma One. After seeing his first album review published in 2016 in Loud Online, Corin forged a path from AFTRS-qualified community radio broadcasting to professional journalism, and became a regular contributor to Loud Online, as well as The HAZE Mag – a title he became sub-editor of in 2018. In 2019, Corin founded his own entertainment promotion business with Aidan Jaros-Grilli, before going on to study communications at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst and Western Sydney University (WSU). Corin is currently in his third year of a communications degree at WSU, majoring in journalism. He also enjoys discovering music, bike riding and exploring life as a free-spirited young man. 


Publisher

Publisher

Sentinel Media
The Sydney Sentinel is published by:
Sentinel Media Pty Ltd
2/23 Foster Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
ACN 644 210 122