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Welcome to new members

A warm welcome to our new members:

Professional members: Lisa Toole and Gillian Anderson
Associate members: Antoinette Jones, Elsie Cassar and Todd Dearing
Student member: Cameron Rutherford

We hope you enjoy being part of EdSA and take advantage of IPEd’s networks. We look forward to seeing you at our workshops and other events throughout the year. 

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and keep an eye on our web page  for updates. The IPEd newsletter will keep you informed of EdSA and IPEd-wide news and events. These are all good forums for socialising and networking and, of course, provide opportunities to build your knowledge and expertise.

Get involved and don’t be shy. We are thrilled to have you on board.

Join the EdSA committee

The EdSA Annual Branch Meeting (ABM) is coming up soon, a time when we invite our state voting members to join the EdSA committee in an office-bearing role or a supporting capacity. (Roles are determined by the new committee at its first meeting after the ABM.) 

Committee responsibilities cover a range of areas including professional development, communications, budgeting and membership liaison. The committee meets monthly (over Zoom for the past year, but face-to-face meetings will be scheduled from time to time in the future). 

Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about what committee involvement entails. 

We’d love to hear from you.

Jo Vabolis AE
EdSA Vice-President and Secretary,

Melanie Dankel AE
EdSA President,

Committee members’ comments

‘Being on the committee was a good way to do new things, talk to new people and to organise events. It was also good to see how things work behind the scenes.’
Kirsty Smeaton

‘My involvement with the Editors SA branch committee has brought so many benefits. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to put my hand up for a range of roles and have found this is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of all that IPEd has to offer. It’s also a great way to make friends and contacts. Members across Australia and New Zealand enjoy IPEd’s professional development and social events, and by being on branch and IPEd committees I’ve been able to contribute to the strength of the program as well as build my own skills and network.’
Jo Vabolis AE

‘Being part of the EdSA committee has been a wonderful and rewarding experience. I have made great professional contacts, amazing friends, and learnt loads related and unrelated to my profession. I also love that I get to give back to a community who all share career and passion.’
Sumudu Narayana

Findings from the EdSA member survey

One of our goals over the past year has been to look at our high-level strategy and plan the future directions of EdSA. 

As part of our planning, we surveyed EdSA members in May to get a better idea of what members want from us. Over the space of two weeks, 20 per cent of our members answered our questions. Thank you to those who responded. Your answers have given us a greater insight into what interests you and what we can do to help you.

Summarised below are some key points from the survey, but many other ideas, suggestions and feedback were offered. We are considering all your responses as we make plans and choose topics for upcoming events. We will also share key findings and suggestions with colleagues in IPEd and other branches.

  • You identified professional development and networking opportunities, as well as having a sense of community, as the main benefits of being a member of EdSA. 
  • Most members work in academic, government and/or educational editing, with copyediting and proofreading services being the most common specialisations.
  • Challenges that prevented members from participating in events were not surprising, with time identified as the main barrier. Cost and confidence also played a significant role.
  • Topics such as fiction editing, in particular developmental editing, freelance business management, copyright law and hearing more about industry news were identified as areas that you would like to learn more about.
  • There was interest in having more in-person event options, while Zoom meetings remained a practicable option. 

Sumudu Narayana is an EdSA branch committee member and can be contacted at

Post-conference drinks event

by Jo Vabolis AE

It was a dark and stormy night, but that didn’t stop us venturing out to North Adelaide’s Kentish Hotel to raise a glass to the 2021 IPEd Conference and compare notes on the sessions we’d attended or watched online afterwards.

The general consensus was that the presentations were well researched and very helpful, with lots of ideas to explore further — seems like we all now have a list of things to follow up.

Photo credit: Melanie Dankel

The conversation, as expected, covered way more than conference chat (think favourite editing specialisations, school grammar lessons, latest recipe sites for time-poor cooks, and tips for juggling challenging personal lives with work commitments).

It wasn’t all talk, though. We dined at our own table reserved in the wine shed — a spacious, comfortable area at the back of the historic pub — and a couple of us were tempted by the custom cocktails the bar staff created for us.

After spending so much time online, it was great to get together in person with long-term and new EdSA members, and we’re looking forward to more social events in 2021.

Jo Vabolis AE is the EdSA Vice-President and Secretary and can be contacted at

Profile: Elsie Cassar

Photo credit: Elsie Cassar

How long have you been an editor, and how did your career begin? What attracted you to editing? 

I’ve been working as a freelance editor for a couple months now since starting up my own business: Edit with Elsie. I started off by taking a course in editing and publishing with Australian College so that I could learn to edit my own writing — I enjoy creating short fiction and poetry. I found myself really enjoying the assignments and started thinking that editing could be something I’d enjoy doing every day. 

Some background on your career path? 

I have a business administration background. I worked in the disability industry as an Admin Coordinator, and much of my job was spent editing meeting minutes and business documentation. Although I didn’t realise it at the time, processing hundreds of thousands of words over the years I was there gave me the building blocks I needed for stepping into the editing industry. Plus, the opportunity to work in the disability industry was extremely insightful and helped me be constructively compassionate for the challenges so many people with disabilities face in their everyday lives. It really helped me grow as a person. 

What type of editing makes up most of your work? What are you most interested in? 

I’m interested in editing novels, and, after attending the IPEd Editing on the Edges conference and learning about different approaches to freelancing, I’m working on finding a niche market within the book industry where I can plant my feet and one day offer specialised skills. 

What aspects of the profession do you find most challenging? 

The things I’ve found most challenging so far, although slowly being remedied, have been networking and marketing. The conference was a great source for connecting with other editors and learning some marketing techniques. Plus, I’ve been immersing myself into the world of marketing with some short online courses in areas such as copywriting and graphic design. 

How would you like to build your skills as an editor? 

I’d like to build on my editing skills by working on real-world projects with clients and seeking their honest feedback. Additionally, I plan on expanding my professional development through further online study opportunities that arise and learning from fellow editors when I get the chance to connect with them. 

What do you like about being a member? 

I enjoy the opportunities that come up to learn from and connect with other people in the field. I’ve also loved the plethora of short courses/meetups that have been flooding my inbox — there’s so much opportunity to expand myself with the institute and make sure I’m being the best editor I can be.

Upcoming events

We have a grammar refresher workshop coming up in August. It will be divided into three sessions on consecutive Saturdays. This practical online workshop is suitable for practising writers and editors who want to brush up on the basics of grammar. Registration is now open.

The EdSA ABM will also be in August, with an exciting guest speaker. Keep an eye out for registration soon. 

Follow us on social media and keep an eye out in your emails for the latest updates on the exciting professional development and networking events coming in 2021.


Get in touch

If you’d like to send in a piece to be published in the newsletter and/or on social media, please email Your submission could be a review of a workshop or PD event you attended, a book review or anything else that you would like to share with your fellow editors.

Visit us on social media, like and follow our pages, and share our events. Find EdSA on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.