Sink or Swim? An American family in Australia

New York Times Australian Bureau Chief Damien Cave on learning to live like an Australian.

Damien Cave has been the New York Times Australian Bureau chief in Australia since 2017. In that time he has thrown himself into life here, embracing (and being embraced by) the Surf Life Saving community and all the vulnerability and humility required to do that. He says he has learnt extremely important life lessons he didn’t know he needed and has come to love and appreciate his adopted home.

With a journalist’s sharp eye, Cave analyses Australia’s attitude to risk, community and identity and finds some insights that he says have made his life immeasurably better. This is not the voice of an idealistic tourist, but someone who, by immersing himself in the Australian way of life, has come to recognise its strengths and shortcomings and ultimately, what makes it special.

Here Cave speaks to Life & Faith about risk, community, vulnerability and humility.


Book: Into the Rip: How the Australian way of risk made my family stronger, happier … and less American