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We speak with IPEd’s new Communications Officer, Kirby Fenwick, and find out what led her to IPEd, what part of the role she’s most excited about, and her life outside IPEd.

A black and white headshot of a woman. She looks toward the camera and smiles. She has shoulder length curly hair.

IPEd’s new Communications Officer, Kirby Fenwick. Image: Supplied.

Have you settled in yet, and how are you finding it?
Somewhat, I think! Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and helpful and my predecessor, Cat, prepared a wonderful handover for me. While there’s still lots of people to meet and names to remember and still plenty to learn about the excellent work that the branches, standing committees and working parties do, I’m excited to learn it all and then come up with ways to share that work far and wide.

What led you to IPEd (and how much did you know about us before starting this new job)?
I’m a graduate of RMIT’s Professional Writing and Editing program so I was aware of IPEd but I’ll admit I didn’t know about the breadth of the work and advocacy undertaken by the organisation. I learnt a little about that in the process of applying for the role, but the last two weeks have given me such greater insight into that work.

What attracted me to IPEd and the role of communications officer was the variety of tasks – looking after everything from an annual report to the Instagram account. I prefer working for smaller organisations where that diversity in tasks and skills is encouraged and required. It ensures no two workdays are the same. The flexibility of the role and how it fits in with my research work was also a huge plus.

What aspects of the role are currently exciting you most, and what projects are you most looking forward to?
So many! The potential of our social channels, what we could do with the newsletter, how we can build IPEd’s profile and grow our membership, finding ways to share all the excellent work the standing committees and working parties do. The more I learn about the organisation, its history, and the work it does, the more notes I’m scribbling down – lots of ideas bubbling away already! And I know no-one will believe this but I’m actually looking forward to the annual report. I’m one of those people that love to jump into a project that has a bunch of threads that need pulling together and then set about pulling them all together.

Your audio documentary about the first AFLW season, “The First Friday in February”, won the 2018 Oral History Victoria award. Are we likely to see your oral history or documentary skills at work at IPEd?
I hope so! There are absolutely opportunities to bring those skills into my work at IPEd, whether it’s interviewing people; undertaking research; uncovering, and incorporating historical context into our work; or coming up with some innovative approaches to telling the story of IPEd. Plus, an oral history of IPEd would be a great project – filing that idea away now.

And a few quick questions about you –

What genres are you favourite for non-work reading?
Do women’s sport history books count as non-work? I read a lot of them! I tend to gravitate towards nonfiction generally, but I do have a soft spot for rom coms, which are guaranteed to pull me out of any reading slump.

What’s your dream holiday?
A European summer spent in Italy with my partner, who has Italian heritage, eating our way around the country, visiting family and wiling away many afternoons and evenings with a good book is right up there.

What’s getting you most excited at the moment – your first issue of Gatherings, the release of the Barbie movie, or the Women’s World Cup starting in Australia?
Tough question! All are very exciting for different, though nonetheless compelling, reasons. While I’m looking forward to getting my first issue of Gatherings published (if you’re reading this, I guess things went well!) and I can’t wait to see what Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie have done with such an iconic character, I have to say it’s the World Cup! It’s not often you get to have such a huge, worldwide event on home soil, plus I’ve got a good feeling about our chances – “2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Winners, the Matildas” has a nice ring to it.

And finally, what is something most people don’t know about you (that you’d feel comfortable sharing)?
I love watching bad movies. Terrifically terrible films, often made by amateur filmmakers, with little to no plot (or plot holes the size of a bus), hilarious (and often nonsensical) dialogue and fascinatingly confusing shot choices. I find them oddly endearing. Happy to provide titles if anyone is interested!