AGM Reports

The 2013 Editors Victoria Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday 13 August. The following reports were presented at the meeting.

President's Report

Finance Report

Training Report

IPEd Report

Accreditation Report

Events Report

Website Report

Freelance Affairs Report

Membership Report

 

 

President's Report

It's been a busy year. So many people have contributed. My chief purpose is to thank everyone - because they are the backbone of your committee, the ones who do the real work.

The people who most directly help me in the role of president are Sabita Naheswaran and Charles Houen. I pester them pretty much daily (and vice versa).

As our administrative officer, Sabita pretty much does the lot. She directs the traffic, keeps on top of all the administration, reminds me about things, and generally takes the initiative when she needs to. She's the one who sends out those email blasts, greets you at the door, takes the minutes, and generally keeps the committee on track.

Charles fills the role of secretary and finance, and has picked up part of the IPEd role from Rosemary Noble as our nominated councillor to serve IPEd. Charles' blood is worth bottling. It is only from the perspective of president that the value of his work can be truly appreciated. He brings a rare combination of skills and professional competencies to EV, along with a hard-working volunteer's devotion. He manages the accounts to within an inch of their lives; he has steered us through legislative changes that affect the way we operate and report to government; he arranges for audits and insurance, and carefully safeguards our financial position. In sum, Charles is our Money Maven and Governance Guru, and he has a finely honed sense of propriety and due process. We are lucky to have him, as is IPEd.

When I assumed this office I said I wanted to give our systems a chance to be down, not so much to take a breather, but to give things a chance to settle into place after the sustained planning work done last year.

Two things emerged to take up most of my attention: IPEd and the website. In fact, they distracted me from my goal of building external relationships with kindred societies. Internally, this most affected Cass Ball, who was co-opted to that area with me and then found herself going here and there on various committee portfolios. Wherever Cass went, and on general committee, she was a terrific committee member. Something similar occurred with Maryna Mews (whom I'd like to thank for developing her own specialist niche of meeting venue coordinator and caterer). Maryna has become adept at finding meeting rooms in libraries and suppliers of sangers - pretty important for a society that doesn't have a home base. (Would anyone with a handy mansion like to join the committee?)

One role Cass has worked in is accreditation. The reins needed to be picked up from Kath Harper, who has worked long and hard on accreditation and has this year stood down from the committee. Kath has been both an inspiration, with her sudden emergence as an award-winning crime writer, and a generous supplier of common sense. She will be missed. Susan Keogh stood down last year, but retained a role in the round of accreditation held in 2012.

Rosemary Noble spent more time than I care to think about as our IPEd representative, and while she has stepped down from that role, she has continued as chair of the working party, as well as supporting me as IPP, and helping out as she is doing tonight as MC. I won't talk about IPEd tonight. It's centrally important, but it will be covered by others.

Our Membership Goddess Kristy Burt has had a big job managing our booming numbers. She gets together all the references and recommendations and handles the flow of new members so smoothly that it just seems to happen by magic. The committee receives a set of neatly compiled reports and recommendations, discusses them and votes. Just like that. Magic.

Ann Philpott also has training ticking over smoothly. This is an enormous contribution. It's a big job. Ann strikes a fine balance between repeating programs that have been successful and can usefully be repeated as long as they keep reaching members, and new programs that might appeal to members increasingly hungry for professional development opportunities. Ann arranges programs across all levels of experience to ensure we are offering something for everyone.

Our flagship mid-career training opportunity is Redact. I've just come back from Redact 2013, held at Grange Bellinzona in Hepburn Springs last weekend. Liz Steele pushed an initially doubtful committee to run Redact this year. We try to run it every other year, but it coincided with the Perth Conference, and there was some doubt about whether enough editors would find the budget to attend an intensive residential weekend in tough times, in a conference year. Liz said at the time that she was prepared to run it as long as she had the committee's support and approval. She formed a sub-committee in which I participated along with Rosemary Noble, Tara Rawlins and Lan Wang, and later Karyn Noble. Lan, although not currently serving on the general committee, very kindly hosted meetings (and there were many of them, over several months) and did the budgeting and documentation - a major task. We drafted contracts, searched for venues, shaped the curriculum with the presenters (Niky Horin and Kirstie Innes-Will on project management, Mandy Brett on fiction editing, and Sarah Fletcher on ebooks). Tara found the Bellinzona and negotiated the accommodation, room set-up and meals. Like Cass, Tara has served on general committee in several different capacities, including assisting Ann with training. Her role in Redact was time-consuming, but resulted in a fantastic weekend of training for those lucky enough to attend.

Melanie Sheridan and Maja Vatric have sustained their hard work on the newsletter, but are stepping down at this election. We know from the web statistics that a rush of people open up the links to the newsletter as soon as it is delivered. This is a centrally important service to members, keeping them informed, entertained and wryly amused in turn. Maja has offered to show the ropes to Lorna Hendry and Kate Goldsworthy, who have agreed to come onto the committee to take on this task. That continuity is very important. M&M were ably assisted by Christina Ratcliffe, who has proofed the newsletter on a voluntary basis many times (but not every time: if you spot any mistakes, they are not hers!)

Fran Madigan, your representative on freelance affairs, again did a sterling job and got an expanded Freelance Register together with a minimum of fuss, despite the enormous size of the task.

Ali Lemer made a great contribution to the website for more than three years, and her help during the transition after stepping down in February was valuable and much appreciated. I'll talk about the website in a little more detail later.

Petra Poupa was initially guided in the events portfolio by Ali, and I don't think she'll mind me saying she was a bit daunted by it at the beginning, and even a bit shy. But she's taken to it like a duck to water, developing confidence and competence. In taking on this voluntary role she's added valuable skills and experience that I'm sure will be useful in the future. They're also going to be of continuing use to us, as she has agreed to serve on your committee again.

Rosemary Noble has had a continuing role as immediate past president, along with Liz Steele. Both were honoured with life memberships last year, in recognition of their contribution. I've been very lucky to have had two of them - not so much breathing down my neck as being there when things cropped up that I was uncertain about. For the first few months of my term, they held the fort until I had cleared a space and could focus on the role.

Rob Sheehan was our IPEd representative and changed IPEd itself. He put in a prodigious effort on our behalf and deserves special thanks. He stepped down to regain some semblance of a life, and has remained available for advice on matters within his very considerable expertise.

I'd also like to thank Janet Mackenzie, the election officer for the AGM in 2012. Janet performed that task efficiently and well. But she was also a driving force in CASE (the Council of Australian Societies of Editors, the forerunner to IPEd, and in the formation of IPEd). Janet has pushed and pushed and pushed for the societies to become more professional and nationally united. Without her, where would we be? It is important to say this now, not just to thank Janet, but to ask you, the membership, how much you care about the craft of editing.

Whether you want to see editing in business and managerial terms as one of 'the new professions', or as a guild of skilled language-wranglers serving clarity and communication, national networks are crucial.

In my role as president I have been the contact point, on your behalf, for other institutions including the Australian Publishers' Association, Writers Victoria and Copyright Australia.

I went to the Perth conference during the year, and met and talked to the presidents of the other societies. I've presented prizes in your name, but also in an unofficial way dealt with a lot of mundane issues I won't go on about here, and hosed down the odd legal flurry or worry.

For the immediate future, I've arranged a panel at WV for September, at which some of our members will discuss working with editors. On Thursday I'm meeting the director of WV, and will see whether anything might come of our hope to find a base at the Wheeler Centre.

Lots to do next year, with a new committee. No other hats have been thrown into the presidential ring, so I will continue into a second term. But that is the limit. So I ask each of you now to consider whether you might be prepared to take on this job on behalf of our members next year. I'm sure the important matter of IPEd will be continuing as a focal point, and I hope a younger editor will get fired up about the need to advance the profession and step up to take over.

In closing, I'd like you to show your appreciation for the work done by all these people, who are due your thanks as well as mine.

 

2013 Committee Members (L-R): Fran Madigan, Kristy Burt, Cass Ball, Petra Poupa, Lorna Hendry, Trischa Mann, Charles Houen and Ann Philpott Trischa Mann, President

Back to top


Finance Report

This report contains information extracted from the audited financial statements for the financial year 2012-13. The full audited financial statements have been published on the website.

Summary Operating Statement

The attached summary operating statement shows a healthy overall surplus (total income less total expenses and income tax) of $19,367. The difference from last year's surplus is due to unusual expenses such as:

  • $5000 sponsorship of the 2013 IPEd national editors conference, held in Fremantle in April
  • member rebates paid to 22 members who made early-bird registrations for the national conference, totalling $4994
  • insurance policies covering volunteer workers accident insurance, public liability for events, and association liability was taken for the first time, costing $2437
  • printed copies of the second edition of the Australian Standards for Editing Practice were obtained and distributed to all members, cost $2701.

Editors Victoria ran a very active training program during the financial year, and registrations were also received for Redact 2013, which was held in August. The surplus from training is exaggerated because CAE is very erratic with its billing. The Freelance Register continues to be very popular with our freelance members.

At the end of the financial year, the committee raised membership fees by about 9%; this increase was the first since July 2010, three years ago. Some additional expenses for the membership system and website are anticipated in 2013-14.

Balance Sheet

The balance sheet shows that members' net assets (i.e. total value of our assets less what we owe to anyone) have increased by $19,553 over the past financial year. We have a $100,000 term deposit, which matured in July and was rolled over for another 12 months.

We are rapidly writing down the value of our intangible assets, i.e. the money invested in Editors Victoria's logo and brand, and in developing the current website. Effectively, those costs are being spread over two and half years, in the form of the depreciation expense each financial year.

Charles Houen

Back to top


Training Report

The past year has seen new members become involved in portfolios that were traditionally looked after by one person, with committee input and feedback.

This year the training portfolio has had the good fortune of receiving the enthusiastic support and capable input of Tara Rawlins and Maryna Mews, both of whom served as training officers alongside Ann Philpott, who has served as the training officer since mid 2009.

Tara Rawlins has taken an active role in the development of the Redact training weekend for mid-career editors, supporting the work of Liz Steele and Trischa Mann among others.

Maryna Mews has been active in a variety of areas for Editors Victoria this year, including organising venues and catering for the committee's monthly meetings. Of particular help to the training portfolio was her development of Certificates of Completion that are to be sent to participants on completion of a training course. These will list the course title, trainer and date, as well as topics covered and the hours of attendance. This will help participants and employers keep track of professional development hours. These certificates will commence with the first course in September this year.

Ann Philpott has organised and run an exciting and diverse training program since mid 2009, ensuring that members have access to a range of well-priced professional development activities to meet their current and future needs in editing.

Courses run by Editors Victoria since mid-2012 were as follows:

2012

  • 21 July and 10 November: Ebooks for Beginners, with Lan Wang
  • 4 August: Editing as a Sustainable Business, with Pamela Hewitt
  • 8 September: Science Editing: The Big Picture, with Sally Woollett
  • 21 September: Introductory Grammar for Editors, with Glenys Osborne
  • 26 October and 17 November: Intermediate Grammar for Editors, with Glenys Osborne
  • 27 October: Academic Editing for Editors, with Pamela Hewitt
  • 30 November and 1 December: Advanced Grammar for Editors, with Glenys Osborne
  • 24 November and 8 December : From InDesign to EPUB, with Lan Wang

2013

  • 16 March: Advanced Word 2010 for Editors (PC), with Emma Koch
  • 26 April and 29 June: Punctuation Refresher for Writers and Editors, with Ann Philpott
  • 4 May: Advanced Word 2011 for Editors (Mac), with Emma Koch
  • 1 June: Ebooks for Beginners, with Lan Wang
  • 6 July: From InDesign to EPUB, with Lan Wang
  • 13 July: Introduction to Copy-editing, with Susan Keogh
  • 27 July: Introduction to Structural Editing, with Susan Keogh

Upcoming courses scheduled for the remainder of 2013 are listed below:

  • 7 September: Dance Steps for the Self-employed Editor, with Jackey Coyle
  • 14 September: Introductory Grammar for Editors, with Glenys Osborne
  • 12 October: Intermediate Grammar for Editors, with Glenys Osborne
  • 14 November: Blurb Writing for Writers, Editors and Publicists, with Susan Keogh
  • 16 November: Advanced Grammar for Editors, with Glenys Osborne

We are grateful for the expertise and generosity of our trainers, who spend many hours preparing courses above and beyond the delivery hours for which they are paid. Our training program is a testament to their dedication, passion and commitment to editing as a profession and to their support for and development of editors.

Ann Philpott, Tara Rawlins and Maryna Mews, Training Officers

Back to top


IPEd Report

I am no longer Editors Victoria's representative on the IPEd Council and, in fact, this position has been officially vacant since Rob Sheehan resigned earlier this year. I am, however, chair of a working party, consisting of eight members from six of the seven member societies of IPEd, undertaking a review of the current structure and functions of IPEd. Before I give you a brief progress report on that working party's activities, I would like to pay special tribute to two of EdVic's members who have been pivotal in their commitment to IPEd and its stated objectives.

First of all, I would like to acknowledge Rob Sheehan, who took over as our society's councillor for IPEd at our last AGM and almost immediately became chair of the IPEd Council. In the time he held this role, Rob worked tirelessly over an untold number of hours to maintain the professionalism of this body. He led the Council in articulating many of IPEd's objectives. He was able to lead the Council to clarify its processes and realistically prioritise its activities, all the while drawing on his personal expertise in being mindful of good governance practices. I believe IPEd and its Council to be much stronger and more accountable due to his leadership.

Charles Houen is the second hero of IPEd that I would like us all to acknowledge. Not only has he taken on a serious commitment to EdVic as our finance officer and secretary, but he is also secretary to the IPEd Council and has filled in as our interim councillor since April. Charles has spent untold hours sharing his expertise in many, many ways, particularly in the Council's latest endeavour to develop a business case to put to members regarding the future of IPEd.

With regard to that review, over the coming months you will be receiving a series of discussion papers and documents that the working party hopes will stimulate a lot of discussion and culminate in a vote by the various memberships at the end of the year. In progress to date, we have collated the feedback from the various surveys held over the past year and we are currently finalising a business case and indicative budgets that detail scenarios for the possible future structure and functions of IPEd.

I urge you all to familiarise yourselves with these papers when they become available in the coming weeks, so that when it comes to a vote you can make informed choices that will determine the way our profession and our peak body moves from 2014 on. Many thanks for your support to date.

Rosemary Noble

Back to top


 

Accreditation Report

The Accreditation Board is made up of delegates from each of the state and territory editing societies. Its role is to manage IPEd's national accreditation scheme, which enables editors to obtain formal recognition of their skills and experience via a three-hour exam. Successful candidates become accredited editors (AEs).

In late 2012 I took over from Susan Keogh as Victorian delegate on the Board. My thanks go to Susan for her willingness to remain as delegate through the hectic pre-exam period, and for taking the time to discuss relevant issues with me while I acted as alternative delegate during this time.

The past year has been an extremely busy one for the Board, which meets every three weeks via telephone conference. The major issues it has dealt with have been:

  • the 2012 accreditation exam
  • a discussion paper on the future of accreditation for the 2013 IPEd conference
  • procedures for renewal of accreditation
  • preparation for the 2014 exam.

2012 Exam

A huge amount of effort goes into preparation, presentation and assessment of a national accreditation exam. The Board monitors the entire process and deals with procedural issues, and Board members generally act as invigilators in their own state. Much of the administrative workload falls on the exam secretary, exam coordinator, volunteer invigilators, chief examiner and assessors. The 2012 exam, held on 13 October in centres all around Australia, involved more than 70 candidates, of whom 34 were from Victoria (thanks, Susan for a great promotional effort). Sixty new AEs were added to the ranks, a pass rate of just over 80 per cent. We congratulate all new AEs.

Discussion Paper

The Board prepared a discussion paper on the future of accreditation for presentation at the 2013 IPEd national conference in Perth. The paper outlined various options for hard-copy, onscreen and online exam formats, with estimates of the likely cost of each. The Board asked for feedback on these options from conference delegates, and welcomes further comment via the IPEd website.

Renewal of Accreditation

The first AEs, who were accredited in 2008, will be due for renewal of their accreditation by the end of 2013. Renewal of accreditation is based on evidence submitted by candidates and does not involve sitting for an exam. The Board has finalised the application form and prepared guidelines for applicants, and both documents are now available on the IPEd website. Since this is the first year renewal has been available, the Board has also had to develop assessment and appeal procedures.

2014 Exam

The next accreditation exam will be held in May 2014, and will be in the same format as previous exams. Preparation for this exam is well under way. The Board has appointed a lead writer and a team of exam developers, who are now working on content for the exam as well as compiling a database of questions for use in future exams. The Board monitors progress and is also responsible for trialling the exam and recruiting people for organisational and assessment roles.

Membership of the Accreditation Board has been both challenging and rewarding for me. Management of the accreditation scheme and ensuring its continuing viability is a major responsibility, and all Board members take their role seriously. There is a great team spirit among members, even though almost all communication is via email and telephone. Meeting other Board members face to face at the Perth conference was a great pleasure. I also enjoyed the challenge of acting as co-chair of the Board for the three months leading up to the conference, and of co-writing the discussion paper presented at the conference.

I will be retiring as Accreditation Board delegate after the AGM, but feel confident that Cassandra Ball will fill the role admirably. Thanks Cass, and thanks to all those who have assisted me to do this work on behalf of Editors Victoria and the national profession.

Kath Harper

Back to top


 

Events Report

My term as events officer began last September with the IPEd exam preparation dinner, hosted by Susan Keogh and Kath Harper. In October, the publisher Andrew Kelly, author Sophie Laguna and editor Karri Hedge were our panellists discussing children's publishing, drawing our second-largest audience for the year. Joel Becker, chief executive of the Australian Booksellers Association, spoke about the continuing relevance of bookshops at our November dinner.

This was followed by our popular Christmas dinner and trivia quiz, which was a great success - thanks to Sabita and her hilarious trivia questions. We also collected 79 books for donation to the Smith Family's toy and book appeal. Our February dinner speakers Kath Harper and Kate Van der Veen presented their take on editors as writers in the romance and crime genres. In March, Ali Lemer and Kent Macarter were interviewed by Trischa Mann about editing the anthology Joyful Strains, and some of the 27 new IPEd accredited editors received their certificates. Michelle Prawer presented on judging the Children's Book Council Awards at our April dinner.

The highlight for the year was our May dinner organised by Liz Steele, which drew our largest audience when authors Carrie Tiffany and Toni Jordan were interviewed by Nadine Davidoff about their writing, their editing and also teaching creative writing. A special IPEd dinner meeting was held in June, hosted by Charles Houen and Rosemary Noble, to discuss the future direction of IPEd. In July, Louise Connor, Victorian Secretary of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, presented on the Alliance, and on editors in the rapidly changing media landscape.

Thank you to all those wonderful speakers.

Coming up this month we have acclaimed essayist, editor and writer Dmetri Kakmi; then in October we're hosting a debate titled Old Media is Dead; and in November we have blogger and online magazine editor Andrew Nette; followed, of course, by our Christmas dinner in December.

I'd like to thank my predecessor Ali Lemer for her hard work and commitment and for all her help with the handover.

I think it should be mentioned what a great venue we have here at CQ Functions. Special thanks to Bronwyn Simmons and Cassandra Dixon and their wonderful staff for their support at our dinner events.

Petra Poupa

Back to top


 

Website Report

Ali Lemer held the web manager role for the first part of the last financial year. In February Ali stepped down from the committee and from her webminder role. She was massively overworked and we had reached the point of needing a new solution, with our expanding numbers.

There was a sense that the current website was not meeting all our needs. I thought it was important to get a handle on the size of the task before making decisions on your behalf. So I took this job on myself for a while. And I sure got a good idea of the work involved! I met with a consultant and with our ISP, then Charles and I met them again to discuss options.

Charles drew up extensive documentation setting out capability and functionality needs. These included financial processing as well as membership records - in fact, the whole gamut of electronic services we use, need, or might like. Charles, Petra and I attended a webinar meeting on alternative software.

The committee has discussed the website extensively, and we agreed to do a benchmarking exercise with a professional web person for three months (June, July, August 2013). The time spent on tasks is logged, and a picture of the kinds of attention needed by each portfolio area is being mapped. At the end of this exercise we will have a clearer picture of what we want to do about web functionality. This will be a major decision to be made by your committee in the coming months.

I would like to thank Victoria Houen for agreeing to undertake this work, and for her quick response to web issues reported to her. I would also like to thank Janet Pearson, our ISP manager, who has given us help with the system.

Trischa Mann

Back to top


Freelance Affairs Report

The main areas involving the freelance affairs officer are:

  • management of the Freelance Register
  • organising freelance meetings, usually in the form of lunches
  • answering email and phone queries from freelancers, people who want to be freelancers, and prospective employers wanting to find freelance editors.

The Freelance Register

The 2013 Freelance Register was distributed to over 600 publishers, government organisations and individuals in January 2013. The mailing list was again updated prior to the mailout. There were 142 entries in the 2013 Register, around 30 more than in the previous edition.

The 2014 Freelance Register is currently being reviewed. We receive regular enquiries from Editors Victoria members about being included in the Register, and some new members have indicated that they should be able to be included as soon as they join Editors Victoria. Until last year and the new website, the online searchable version of the Register was not available; the printed version was mailed to potential users, and the PDF of that version was uploaded to the website. However, the online searchable edition now seems to have superseded the printed version and PDF on the website in terms of use.

Production of a printed version is costly and very time-consuming. While every entry for the online version has to be manually uploaded - which also takes time - freelancers who become members at any time during the year could have their entry uploaded at any time. We are investigating the logistics of setting up the Register in the same way as membership renewals.

An email has been sent to a large proportion of the mailing list to ask for comment about how users of the Register want to receive future editions: a) printed version; b) online searchable version; or c) both. To date, we have only received a couple of responses, but these indicate a strong preference for the online searchable version. Once we have received a reasonable response, we will let the freelance membership know how we will proceed with the 2014 edition of the Freelance Register.

Queries

There are several emails or phone calls each week from freelancers needing information about specific issues, and others looking for freelancers to help with their work. This is why the Freelance Register is so important - it's probably the area of our website that receives the most attention from visitors to the site.

Freelance Lunches

Just one freelance lunch has occurred since the last AGM - on 23 November 2012. We had RSVPs from 11 people indicating they would attend, and six actually made it on the day. While the lunches are a good opportunity for freelancers to meet and talk about issues relating to their work, it seems that it is difficult to get the location and timing right for most freelance members. The survey we undertook early in 2012 indicated that lunch meetings were not always convenient, and that dinner meetings were also difficult for many freelancers. If anyone has any suggestions about the best way for freelancers to get together, please email me.

Fran Madigan

Back to top

 

Membership Report

It's been another busy year for the membership portfolio, with lots of new member applications coming in each month. We've welcomed 170 new members over the past 12 months. This is a considerable increase on previous years and brings our total member numbers at 30 June 2013 to 709 (including our 20 honorary life members). This is an increase of almost 20% on last year's total.

While the number of new associate members was more than double the number of new full member applications, full members still make up just over half of our total member numbers. We were also pleased to see a number of students taking up our new student level of membership, which was brought in just after last year's AGM.

Editors continue to take advantage of our distant membership with members not only in regional Victoria but also as far flung as the United Kingdom, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, the USA, Switzerland and Indonesia.

Based on the information provided by our members, more than 50% are freelance editors, 16% are in-house editors and 8% work both in-house and as freelancers. However, as many of our members have not provided information about their employment, these numbers may not represent an accurate reflection of the type of work carried out across the membership, with many of our associate members not employed in strictly editorial roles.

We're thrilled to see our member numbers continuing to grow: we have an increasingly diversified member base, more people to network with, and a stronger, more vibrant society. We hope to be able to continue to deliver services relevant to all and, as always, welcome suggestions from our members as to how we can make your membership more valuable.

Kristy Burt

Back to top