DESK JOCKEY

JUSTIN WALKER LOVES THE OUTDOORS SO MUCH HE EDITED TWO RECREATIONAL MAGS AT THE SAME TIME.

JUSTIN WALKER 4X4 EDITOR 2010 - 2011

IT’S HARD to forget my time on 4X4 Australia. It was my first full-time journalism gig and I snuck in to 4X4 HQ in 2005 initially as sub-editor, with Deano as the boss back in those days. I loved (and still love) working on the mag. The combo of a great editorial team, regular contributors, loyal advertisers and an off-road touring community that was seriously passionate about everything four-wheel driving saw me stay until 2011 (and now I’m a freelancer). I spent the last 18 months of my tenure as editor.

My time in the big chair at 4X4 was fantastic, if a bit tumultuous. At the same time I was also tackling the same role at Australian Geographic Outdoor mag, which I still edit to this day, so it was pretty frantic (not helped by a staff issue and ‘title review meetings’ with publishers) but enjoyable at the same time.

Funnily enough – or rather, sadly – being the editor meant I spent more time than ever behind the desk, as opposed to being out in the bush exploring in a 4x4 – my main passion that remains to this day. I always used to grit my teeth a bit when I sent some lucky contributor on an epic adventure, with the biggest teeth-grinding decision sending now-editor Matt Raudonikis on what looked to be an amazing two weeks driving the Canning Stock Route in a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen. Really, though, those decisions weren’t that hard, as I was just stoked to be producing what I reckon is still the best off-road touring mag in the country, with a top team of contributors to keep it all running smoothly.

A highlight as editor includes a frantic (and crazy) three-day visit to the USA for the launch of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, a vehicle that boosted the US off-road icon’s stature. The crazy part? The entire 72 hours encompassed both the flight over, the one-day/one-night drive experience, and then the flight back.

UNCLE SAM

Travelling the world seems like a perk to outsiders, until you have to report on a Jeep launch in less than 72 hours.

TIMELINE ATRIMBELINE ARB

2015

REVOLUTIONARY BP-51 BYPASS HIGH-PERFORMANCE SHOCK ABSORBERS ARE BORN.

shocked

Developed and tested in-house by ARB’s Old Man Emu engineers, these shocks are designed to offer ultimate comfort and control.

2016

THE FRONTIER LONGRANGE POLYMER FUEL TANK IS LAUNCHED.

going the distance

Increased strength, weight reduction and a longer life – what’s not to like?

March 2011, Issue 326 fb0311NissanPatrol.indd 36 13/01/2011 3:32:18 PM fb0311NissanPatrol.indd 37

ANOTHER highlight was having the chance to be one of the first Aussie journos to drive the then all-new Nissan Patrol.

It was a left-hand drive jobbie that was delivered under darkness to Robbie Emmins’ 4X4 Training & Proving Ground at Werribee, Victoria. Photographer Mark Watson and I flew down for a day of testing the big bopper on the tough tracks.

It was a great exclusive at the time.

Great memories

AMAZING trips, good people and awesome vehicles to test each week aside, my favourite memory as editor of 4X4 Australia was being a part of a hugely passionate community – one that I am still a part of today, and that the magazine still appreciates.