Deborah Thomas


Deborah Thomas
CEW Member

Ardent Leisure Group

Deborah Thomas is CEO of Ardent Leisure Group (AAD), a publicly-listed company which owns and operates multi-site leisure and entertainment assets across Australia, New Zealand and the United States. With five operating business units, the company operates theme parks, family entertainment centres, health clubs and marinas.

Deborah is one of Australia’s most successful and respected publishing executives, with over 27 years’ experience in the media, across print, television, radio, online and social. She is a former Editor-in-Chief of one of Australia's biggest selling magazines, The Australian Women's Weekly, a position she held for almost a decade.

During the course of her career, Deborah edited and managed some of Australia’s most popular women's magazine brands before moving to a corporate role within ACP Magazines (now Bauer Media Group). In the Group role, Deborah held the positions of Editorial Director of Women’s, Lifestyle and Custom Publishing and Director of Media, Public Affairs and Brand Development across Bauer Media's portfolio of 60-plus magazine titles and websites.

Deborah is a strong advocate for women with a robust track record of supporting and mentoring younger women. She has been involved in many charitable organisations that support women and families, including former directorships of the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation and Father Chris Riley’s ‘Youth Off The Streets’. Deborah has often used her influence to speak out in support of women through her professional connections, speaking engagements and personally through her work with community organisations. She is currently an ambassador for the YWCA NSW.

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