AGM Committee Reports

Below you'll find reports read out by committee members at the AGM last month.

Membership Report

Kristy Burt retired as membership officer at the beginning of March to travel overseas. In March we also started the implementation of the new membership system, which also handles event registration. There was some natural confusion between it and the previous membership system, which was integrated with the website. We have now reached the stage where all member functions, including access to members-only website content, are handled by the new system, for which members use new usernames and passwords. The website itself hosts information content, including the details of events, but membership applications and renewals, event registration and all online payments are handled by the new system. It provides much better support for the committee and staff officers, and we believe it will provide better member service.

We ended the financial year with about 650 members. In April, the committee reviewed and updated the membership policy, including the criteria for the membership classes. The changes include recognising that most tertiary courses are part-time, so the criteria for student membership now include enrolment in a part-time course; recognising the IPEd Accredited Editor award as an automatic qualification for the full member class; and clarifying the experience requirements for admission as a full member.

Charles Houen

Newsletter Report

First, some huge thank yous:

To Maja for handing everything over to us so thoroughly, and helping us get our heads around the requirement to both create the email version of the newsletter and upload it to the website. She's also contributed many fantastic Etymology columns.

To the lovely Cass for her eagle-eyed proofreading every month. She's been incredibly reliable, friendly and insightful, and has been there for us no matter what.

To Phillip Bryan for his marvellous contributions, such as the Frankfurt Book Fair report, and all the general support he's given us.

To Davina and Trischa for putting together Micro Mentor, our new fabulous column, which so far has offered much wisdom to mentees.

To the anonymous Dear Ed for his diligent column-writing and tackling of the big questions.

To Janet Mackenzie for her fun and fascinating WWW links!

And to all our wonderful contributors and interviewees.

The good news: We're proud to say that we got every newsletter (just about!) out on the first of each month. We think it's important to have a regular schedule so that members start to expect their newsletter to arrive at the beginning of each month.

The bad news: Only about 50% of the 850 recipients open the newsletter to read it. Of those, less than 200 click through to read an article in detail. Attracting a larger audience has become a priority. We'd like to know what people want to see in the newsletter - we're more than happy to get feedback (although not of the nit-picking variety). And we'd love more contributions from members.

The MOST CLICKED article this year has been the April Fool's prank about the proposal to abolish apostrophes (Note from Kate: Lorna should take full credit for this - go Lorna!). We hope you all got that it was a joke. Given that lots of people went back three or four times to read it again, we think most of you eventually did.

We've ramped up our engagement in social media this year too. If you aren't following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook, we really encourage you to do that. Every week we post interesting articles, job opportunities or commentary on the profession of editing. We also publicise upcoming courses and conferences there too and run the occasional competition. Again, we'd love you to be involved with that - send us links you think would be of interest to other members and we'll post those too.

Looking ahead to the near future: Our co-editorship is soon coming to an end, and the newsletter editor is to become a paid position. We think that's a good idea, because it's likely to lead to an even better product that will attract more readers. Meanwhile, Lorna will continue developing EV's social media activities as a committee member.

Lorna Hendry and Kate Goldsworthy

Freelance Report

Over the past 12 months, the Freelance Affairs portfolio has continued to respond to email queries from both members and non-members - or 'potential' members. On average, we receive four to six queries each week, relating to a variety of issues including appropriate rates of pay, how to find work, freelance contracts and the Freelance Register.

For 2014 the Freelance Register moved from a printed publication distributed to a specific mailing list to an online-only resource. As a result, the annual fee for inclusion was reduced as indexing, printing, mailing-list updates and a mail-out were no longer required. While the Freelance Register will continue to be produced as an annual listing, with entries going 'live' on 1 January, the online version allows new members to be included throughout the year, with the fee for inclusion being on a pro rata rate according to the month in which an entry is uploaded to the Register.

Around 35 entrants in the 2013 Freelance Register (of a total of 144 entries) chose not to renew their entries in 2014 for a variety of reasons, and there are currently around 150 entries in the 2014 Freelance Register.

Areas of interest for freelancers have continued to be addressed through Editors Victoria's dinner meetings and training, and there have also been two well-attended freelance lunches in April and June this year.

Fran Madigan

Mentorship Report

This year has seen the launch of the National Mentoring Program, which Editors Victoria has joined.

Tedd Briggs of the Canberra Society of Editors had the original idea for a mentoring program for editors. Ted and Elizabeth Manning Murphy piloted the program in Canberra in late 2012 and early 2013, and then started to roll out the program nationally in late 2013. All except one of the societies of editors around Australia have signed up to the program.

The basic idea is that the program is mentee-driven. The mentee decides on an area that he or she would like to be guided in and applies to the program, stating a specific goal on the application form. Mentors also apply to the program, specifying the skills and knowledge that they are able to share. The local coordinator, the mentorship officer in Victoria, then matches the mentee with an appropriate mentor. Mentorships are expected to span up to eight hours over a few months and are intended to be two-way learning experiences. The requirements for both mentees and mentors are to be a member of a society of editors in Australia, to have some editing or proofreading experience and to have some editing or proofreading training.

Here in Victoria, the mentorship portfolio has handled a large number of inquiries about the program. More than 25 formal applications have been received, and at present there are more mentees than mentors.

Mentors must also attend a workshop before they can be matched with a mentee. Editors Victoria invited Elizabeth Manning Murphy to Victoria, and she held two workshops for mentors and potential mentors in May 2014. In these workshops, Elizabeth facilitated discussions on what mentoring encompasses and how to deal with situations that might arise during a mentorship. Overall, the 15 attendees enjoyed these workshops, particularly appreciating Elizabeth's knowledge and wit, and they left feeling enthusiastic about mentoring.

The discussions at the workshop raised many ideas, and as the local mentorship coordinator, I took this feedback to the mentorship coordinators' meetings. In this way, Victorian editors have been integral to changing some of the processes for the National Mentoring Program. I thank the editors who took the time and effort to attend these workshops and to provide additional feedback.

The rollout of the program has at times seemed like a slow process, and I would also like to thank the mentees and mentors who have applied to the program for their patience this year while we have trained mentors and amended the processes. I am now ready to begin matching mentees with mentors.

Editors Victoria is ahead of the other states in that we were the first, apart from Canberra, to hold workshops for mentors. We also have the largest local program, being the largest society involved in the program. On behalf of Editors Victoria, I thank all of those editors who have generously offered their time to help guide others. The great response to this program shows the strong community spirit among Victorian editors.

Being the mentorship officer this year has been challenging and rewarding, and I will be continuing in this role for the next year. I invite anyone with an interest in the program to email me with any questions, however large or small. I look forward to seeing mentorships flourishing around the state in late 2014 and 2015.

Davina Dadley-Moore

Events Report

The events calendar for the period August 2013 to July 2014 began with our Annual General Meeting last August.

This was followed in September by guest speaker Dmetri Kakmi, who spoke about his experiences as both a writer and editor.

In October we held our great debate: Old Media is Dead, hosted by Professional Writing & Editing students from RMIT and featuring six media luminaries plus moderator Michael Williams, the director of the Wheeler Centre. This was our most successful dinner for the year, with 68 attending.

Also in October, we held a special IPEd dinner meeting, hosted by Rosemary Noble and Charles Houen, to update members on the future direction of IPEd.

Unfortunately the November dinner had to be cancelled because of low numbers.

Our next dinner meeting was the Christmas dinner trivia quiz in December, with 62 attending - our second-highest attendance. Special thanks to President Trischa Mann and her family for organising the wonderful decorations and hamper prizes, as well as to Sabita Naheswaran who provided the trivia quiz questions. We also collected over 70 new books for donation to the Smith Family's toy and book appeal.

Following the Christmas dinner it was decided to move to bi-monthly dinners (every two months).

The first dinner for 2014 was held in February and titled 'A Shoe-in: Women Crime Writers Seize the Scarlet Stiletto' where Sisters-in-Crime convenors Carmel Shute and Jacqui Horwood spoke about the organisation and the Scarlet Stiletto Awards.

In March we held a special dinner in preparation for the IPEd exam, hosted by Susan Keogh.

At the April dinner, Lyn White, editor of the Allen & Unwin children's series Through My Eyes, spoke about developing and editing a series.

In June, editor Susannah Chambers, authors Penni Russon and Sally Rippin, and moderator Anna Burkey were our panellists in Dark Fantasy, discussing young adult publishing, which drew our largest audience since the Christmas dinner.

I would like to thank all those wonderful speakers and guest presenters who have generously given their time at our dinner meetings.

Thanks also to the audience members I have roped in, over the past two years, to write up reports on the dinner meetings for our newsletter.

I would also like to thank Sabita Naheswaran who supported me in this role until her departure earlier this year, and her successor, Nicole Mathers, who has been helping me since then.

And finally, I would like to mention our venue CQ Functions and to thank Cassandra Dixon and Sally Cocking and their wonderful staff for their support at our dinner events.

Thank you.

Petra Poupa


IPEd Accreditation Board Report

2014 Accreditation Exam

The Accreditation Board's major focus this year has been on developing and administering the 2014 IPEd Accreditation Exam, which was held in May. The government, business, education and publishing sectors have more Accredited Editors to choose from, with 16 Editors Victoria members earning accreditation. Congratulations to the following Editors Victoria members who achieved accreditation at the most recent exam: Michelle Manly, Edward Caruso, Sandra Gail Duncanson, Kirstie Innes-Will, Lorna Hendry, Petra Poupa, Bruce Evans, Astrid Judge, Alice Kane, Stephanie Holt, Susan Pierotti, Lu Sexton, Jacqueline Donaldson, Claire McGregor, Susan Patricia Webster and Helen Williams.

The accreditation scheme is a way for Australian editors to demonstrate their competence, and it gives potential employers confidence in the skills of the editors they hire. The exam is designed for editors with at least three years' full-time editing experience. It demonstrates that these editors have passed a peer review that certifies their competence in applying the standards set out in Australian Standards for Editing Practice. It also gives editors recognition and validation of their skills.

The three-hour accreditation exam tests many editorial skills, including copyediting, project definition, and the ability to identify defamation, permission and copyright issues. It also recognises that there may be more than one acceptable solution to an editorial problem.

The overall pass rate is 63%. This figure is less than the previous two exams but similar to the first two exams. In Victoria, 28 candidates sat the exam and 17 passed, making our pass rate 60%. Of the 11 unsuccessful candidates, 6 had less than three years' experience.

'Nationally a pass rate of 63% highlights the high standard and rigour of the exam and demonstrates that a combination of both experience and exam preparation are necessary to be successful,' said Accreditation Board Chair Ted Briggs, of the Canberra Society of Editors.


Accreditation is valid for a five-year period, so renewal for the editors who became accredited in the inaugural 2008 exam came due in late 2013. The board organised the assessment of the re-accreditation forms for these editors in early 2014. Happily, all 22 Victorian AEs who applied for re-accreditation were successful.

The re-accreditation forms for the editors who became accredited in 2009 will be available from the IPEd website by the end of August. Re-accreditation applications are due by the end of November, 2014; the AB will assess the applications within eight weeks of the closing date.

Next Steps: Onscreen Exam Development

The next IPEd accreditation exam is scheduled to be held in 2016. The board is concentrating on developing an onscreen exam. This is in the early stages, but the board hopes to make great strides over the coming year.

Andi Jones

Training Report

This year the training portfolio has benefited from the rollout of Memnet, the new website management system, the Certificates of Completion for participants of training courses, the electronic surveys for feedback from participants, and from the running of new and existing courses.

Memnet is revolutionising the way we book and record training registrations; process payments for individuals and for groups; produce invoices and receipts; produce and distribute website information about courses; produce lists of participants; and gather feedback from participants. It is still a work in progress.

The posting out via Australia Post of Certificates of Completion to participants of training courses has commenced. These attractive certificates are a permanent, professional record for the participants of the courses they have attended. They list the course title, trainer, date, topics covered and the hours of attendance. They help participants and employers keep track of professional development hours.

Electronic surveys of feedback from participants have commenced this year and have provided us with specific feedback about each course we have run. The experiences of participants as well as suggestions about future possible courses have enabled us to fine tune our training offerings to better meet the needs of our members.

Courses run by Editors Victoria were as follows:


1 June: Ebooks for Beginners, with Lan Wang

6 July: From InDesign to EPUB (Mac), with Lan Wang

13 July: Introduction to Copyediting, with Susan Keogh

27 July: Introduction to Structural Editing, with Susan Keogh

7 September: Dance Steps for the Self-employed Editor, with Jackey Coyle

14 September: Grammar for Editors - Introductory, with Glenys Osborne

12 October: Grammar for Editors - Intermediate, with Glenys Osborne

16 November: Grammar for Editors - Advanced, with Glenys Osborne


18 January: Introduction to Proofreading Symbols and Reading an Editorial Style Sheet, with Ann Philpott

25 January: Introduction to Hard-copy Copyediting and Creating an Editorial Style Sheet, with Ann Philpott

27 February: Writing Effective Blurbs and Publicity Material, with Susan Keogh

31 May: Creating a Back-of-Book Index, with Max McMaster

21 June: Dance Steps for the Self-employed Editor, with Jackey Coyle

9 August: InDesign for Editors (PC) - Introduction, with Clare Brophy

Upcoming courses are:

13 September: Writing Effective Blurbs and Publicity Material, with Susan Keogh

4 October: Dance Steps for the Self-employed Editor - Advanced, with Jackey Coyle

8 November: InDesign for Editors (PC) - Intermediate, with Clare Brophy

I am 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.

I look forward to another year of developing courses for the training portfolio.

Ann Philpott