Afew weeks ago, a cou­ple of friends in­vited me to a dance party. Now, let me be clear: I am not the dance party type. They knew this. But they were con­vinced I needed to ex­pand my mu­si­cal hori­zons. For some rea­son, hav­ing the one and only Mr John Farn­ham on high ro­ta­tion no longer cuts it in the hot new Aussie mu­sic stakes. But as much as I love Whis­per­ing Jack, I could see where they were com­ing from, so I agreed to head along. Al­most as soon as I stepped foot in­side the party, it was clear I was out of my el­e­ment. Be­sides the fact it looked as though most of the crowd was barely out of high school, the mu­sic was not ex­actly my thing. There was no Farnsy, for starters. But rather than re­coil in hor­ror, I was ac­tu­ally im­pressed. Once my eyes ad­justed to the strobe lights, it was ob­vi­ous just what a stylish bunch of young women and par­tic­u­larly men this coun­try has pro­duced. Sure, there was a bit of a uni­form of skinny jeans, high-top sneak­ers and denim shirts, but for the most part, what struck me was the sheer sense of in­di­vid­u­al­ity in the crowd. When it came to fash­ion, ev­ery­one had their own point of view. You see, when I first started at GQ a bit more than a decade ago (hence the Farnsy), it was dif­fi­cult to get Aussie guys to care about fash­ion. Con­vinc­ing them to in­vest in any­thing be­yond a graphic T-shirt and jeans was a strug­gle. Even ex­plain­ing the ben­e­fits of a qual­ity tai­lor was a los­ing game. How things have changed. While we would like to think we’ve played no small part in our coun­try’s great style evo­lu­tion, it’s clear that these days, men are draw­ing their fash­ion cues from prac­ti­cally ev­ery­where. From so­cial me­dia to mu­sic and movie stars – there’s such a di­verse range of peo­ple and places from which we can all find in­spi­ra­tion. And that’s a very good thing. It’s some­thing we hope to con­vey with our list of modern icons (p102). Rather than fo­cus on the usual sus­pects – and don’t worry, Ryan Gosling and Becks are still in there – we wanted to show the many dif­fer­ent ways there are to be a man in 2017, and what we can all learn from them. It could be the ded­i­ca­tion of cover star Kit Har­ing­ton, or the self-ex­pres­sion of Jared Leto; the in­de­pen­dence of vi­sion­ar­ies such as film­maker David Lynch, or the rein­ven­tion of a newly solo Harry Styles. The point is, there’s no sin­gle route to­wards be­ing your best self. In fact, it’s what our magazine is all about. Our tagline, ‘Sharper. Smarter. Bet­ter’, goes be­yond fash­ion – it’s about ex­pand­ing your mind, learn­ing new things, new skills, a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion for ev­ery­thing life has to of­fer. And, yes, know­ing your way around a good suit and a nice pair of brogues, too. In ad­di­tion to our modern icons, we also sit down with deputy prime min­is­ter Barnaby Joyce for a can­did dis­cus­sion of Aus­tralian pol­i­tics (p48); we ex­plore the lat­est med­i­cal so­lu­tions of­fer­ing hope for those with de­bil­i­tat­ing spinal in­juries (p136); and we hit the high seas on the largest cruise ship ever to visit Aus­tralian waters (p130). There’s a lot to get through. “We have the chance,” a great man once sang, “to turn the pages over.” Best get started, then. En­joy the is­sue.

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