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IPEd presents inaugural Janet Mackenzie Medal winner

IPEd has presented its most prestigious award, the Janet Mackenzie Medal, to Elizabeth Manning Murphy DE.

Canberra-based Elizabeth is Principal of Elizabeth M Murphy & Associates and an author, editor, trainer, mentor and business consultant.

She is an Honorary Life Member of IPEd and the Canberra Society of Editors (CSE), a CSE past president and a CSE committee member.

The Mackenzie is IPEd’s highest award. It is given to an outstanding professional editor who has lifted the standard of the editing profession or given exemplary service to IPEd.

She was a member of the Standards Working Group, from 1998 to 2001, that developed the Australian standards for editing practice, which codified for the first time the knowledge an editor brings to the job and set standards against which to measure editorial competence.

Janet was also a member of the Style Manual 7th Edition Steering Group, an IPEd working party, and she resigned from that group only weeks before her death in September 2018.

Elizabeth and Janet knew each other well and worked together as members of another IPEd group that developed the accreditation exam in 2007. Both are entitled to use the postnominals DE (Distinguished Editor) to acknowledge their roles in developing the exam. Successful candidates in the exam can use the postnominals AE (Accredited Editor).

‘Janet was an inspiration to me and many other editors,’ Elizabeth said.

Elizabeth did not specifically pursue a career as a writer and editor. She said she ‘just fell into it’ after many years as a part-time teacher, predominantly in the TAFE system. She later graduated with a BA (Hons) in Linguistics from the Australian National University.

She has written more than 15 books, including Effective writing: plain English at work and Working words.

Elizabeth has taught English and professional writing at universities and developed and presented workshops in English grammar and effective writing in plain English style.

She is an editorial adviser to the 7th edition of Style Manual and joint coordinator of IPEd’s Mentoring Program.

Elizabeth said she was honoured to be the inaugural winner of the Mackenzie Medal. ‘Janet was a great editor and a writer of distinction. I miss her; we all do,’ she said.

Elizabeth’s acceptance speech [4mins 56sec] was delivered via video because of physical distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also see a shorter version of her speech [2mins 55 sec].

Read a profile of Elizabeth published in the April issue of Gatherings

Elizabeth Manning Murphy DE

Elizabeth Murphy DE

Janet Mackenzie

Janet Mackenzie