President happy to be back
On 12 August we had our Annual Branch Meeting (ABM) and the following week our first committee meeting. I’m pleased to once again represent EdWA as President and to be rejoined on the committee by Cathy Schwerin, Lerae Rowney, Catherine McDonald, Cheryl Bettridge, Angela Rogerson and Kiara Cramer. If you have a hankering to join us on the committee, we’d love to speak with you.
In the meantime, please find below an outline of the ABM reports presented at the meeting. We look forward to another exciting year.
President’s ABM report
It’s been a big year and, with some fresh faces on the committee, EdWA has organised a revival of events online and in person as we continue to build relationships within our industry.
We launched workshops once more with Honorary Life Member James Hansen, who presented a grammar workshop in the lead-up to the accreditation exam. Eight WA members attained accreditation for the first time and one resat the exam rather than simply renewing their accreditation, passing it for the second time. We are extremely proud of their efforts.
Official member meetings returned with our first speaker, Per Henningsgaard AE, presenting Book publishing in WA to members from Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. He was followed by Sherryl Clark who shared her knowledge on Developmental and structural editing for fiction manuscripts.
Zoom has allowed us to showcase our editors and their insights with the rest of IPEd, as well as giving us access to valuable knowledge from around the region. The ability to record these sessions and make them available later also lets members access and revisit this knowledge at a convenient time for them. The response to these events has been overwhelmingly positive.
As we move into the next year, we have a great lineup of speakers, workshops and opportunities to continue our professional development, networking and general support. Social gatherings will continue in person and online and we are launching our Read like an editor book club. A survey of members has also provided plenty of leads for more presenters in the coming year, and we are excited to draw from our membership to provide insight and expertise on a range of topics.
We recently had Renée Otmar present on starting out in fiction editing and Louise Thurtell gave a full-day workshop on structural editing in fiction.
Some other names and topics to look out for in the coming months include Rebekah Sheedy speaking on Copyright and permissions, Linda Nix who is presenting her Grammar refresher course, and Linda Martin and Laura Keenan from Night Parrot Press presenting on editing flash fiction.
We also have our Spring seminar coming up next month with tickets soon to go on sale. Speakers for the day include Monica Ronghe, Kerry Coyle, Eleanor Hurt and Kesha Busing talking about editing-career paths, Rebecca Freeman talking on self-publishing and e-publishing, and Rhonda Bracey presenting on macros as editing tools. We’ll also discuss changing language, promoting your freelance business and we’ll take the chance for some informal Q&A and networking.
WA’s membership broke the 100-members mark during the past year and we are keen to continue expanding, including increasing our student membership to bring in the next generation of editors and support them with the expertise of existing members. We’re also keen to expand the number of professional and associate members by increasing our visibility within the sector and working to provide more PD opportunities for editors across various disciplines.
A few months ago, we circulated a survey to members of EdWA: 27 people have since responded (about 30 per cent of the membership), revealing, among many things, a strong desire to see increased advocacy for the profession. It is therefore our goal, during the next financial year, to strengthen ties with existing networks while also seeking ways to connect with new partners as we advocate the benefits of our profession.
There is still a lot of work to do and so much we can offer the membership, but I like to think the past year has given our committee a chance to plan properly and play to our strengths so we can move forward with clarity and focus.
My sincerest thanks to all the committee members who have stepped up to help us get back to business this year. It obviously takes time to start organising events and speakers, especially amid ongoing pandemic challenges. Over the past year, the team has worked hard to ensure we can bring a strong program of events back to the branch. Increased support from and collaboration with other parts of IPEd has also helped with our branch revitalisation.
My thanks go to Cathy Schwerin, Secretary; Lerae Rowney, Budget Officer and representative on IPEd’s Communications Standing Committee; Catherine McDonald, Director and representative on the Accreditation Board; Kiara Cramer, who looks after News and Social Media; Cheryl Bettridge, who is our representative for the IPEd Mentoring Program; Ingrid Waltham, Events Officer; and Angela Rogerson, our representative on the Standing Committee on Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Style.
I’d also like to thank Jill Lindsay, Michele Drouart and Jan Knight, all of whom served on the committee throughout the year but, sadly, have had to stand down for various reasons.
I’m excited to have many of these wonderful people agree to rejoin me in nominating for the committee again this year; however, I am sad to say goodbye to Ingrid who is unable to stay on past our Spring seminar next month.
As such, we are looking for a new Events Officer, or two or three. The more people we have working on events, the more evenly spread the work is. So if you think you may have some time to spare to help us organise speakers for member meetings, workshops and in-person social events, I’d love you to nominate or get in contact with me to discuss it in more detail.
We’d also love someone to join us and give Kiara a hand with the News and Social Media, especially as she goes on parental leave for the next few months, and someone to assist Lerae with the finance side of business. If you like spreadsheets and budgets, this is the role for you.
Obviously, the more people we have on the committee, the more time those of us already on the committee, including myself, will have to devote to expanding EdWA offerings. If there are projects you’d like to see take off, we strongly encourage you to join us.
In addition to positions on the EdWA committee are opportunities to get more involved with IPEd on a broader level. EdWA is currently seeking members willing to sit as our representatives on the following IPEd-wide standing committees and working parties:
- The Standing Committee on Academic Editing
- The Accessibility Initiative Working Party
- The IPEd Standards Working Party
- The Pay Rates Working Party
- The Standing Committee on Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Style.
If you’d like to know more about any of these committees, you can look at their Terms of Reference through the membership portal under the section marked IPEd Board>Standing Committees, or get in touch with me to discuss them more.
And, finally, we’d love to have some EdWA Ambassadors. Ambassadors are people who we can recommend to speak to various groups about editing, editors and IPEd. This might be speaking to writing groups about how an editor can help them improve their manuscript, speaking to a corporate group about how editing can enhance their reports, talking to postgraduate students about getting their thesis edited before submission, or any of the many tasks we undertake as editors. Having a group of experienced professionals with good speaking skills is vital to advocacy for our profession so if you are interested in being an Ambassador for EdWA, please contact me.
I invite all EdWA members to contact me if you have any requests, would like to present to the membership, or would like to host an event yourself. While we work to find new speakers all the time, we’d love to draw from our membership and give you a chance to share your passion and expertise.
So, thank you all for a wonderful year, and for your patience as we get things back up and running. I look forward to another exciting year.
Director’s ABM report
I joined the IPEd Board as Director for WA about a year ago — my first meeting was 17 August 2020. The Board meets about every six weeks for about two hours at a time, so I’ve been to nine Board meetings, plus three Board & Branch Presidents meetings. We’ve also had separate Board workshops for governance training, strategic planning and risk assessment. It’s quite a busy job as I must read the branch minutes and finance reports for all seven branches, because directors govern the entire organisation, not just their own branches.
We also have to monitor IPEd’s overall financial situation and the activities of the many steering committees and working parties: professional development, academic editing, mentoring, accreditation, style manuals, awards and prizes, pay rates, communications, accessibility, the web site and the conference.
Our aim is to have a healthy, happy membership and financial situation, and both have been growing steadily while I’ve been on the Board. This past year we’ve been focusing on staffing issues — making sure IPEd staff are adequately resourced so they can do a good job in supporting branches, especially during COVID-19.
We’ve also been focusing on accessibility issues and inclusion plus affiliation with kindred organisations such as Australian writers centres and editors associations in the UK, Canada and South Africa, for example.
Other major issues you would be aware of, as you’ve received letters from CEO Karen Lee, and Board Chair Ruth Davies, are updating the website and the Australian standards for editing practice. The branch director can act as a link between the branch and the Board, so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have concerns you would like passed up the line.