Message from the President

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Midyear greetings! As we head towards our shortest day and the skeletons of our deciduous trees reveal themselves, it's apt that we're considering the bones of our national organisation.

We have exciting news about Redact, with three presenters and streams locked in. Read all about it here!

Those of us who made it to Canberra for write | edit | index are still buzzing. What a warm welcome the Canberra Society of Editors turned on for us. It was a thrill to see Canberra through their eyes and to meet so many colleagues who were formerly just names on a screen. Among the sharing of knowledge, experience and information across writing, editing and indexing, the discussions held forth on everything from style manuals to working conditions. One of the liveliest sessions was the plenary on the IPEd transition project, with some persuasive arguments both for and against. A transcript of the Q&A is available in the members-only section of the IPEd website.

Dates have been revised for feedback and voting in order to give us more time to collate your responses. The deadline for feedback on the IPEd Green Papers is now 21 June.

We urge you to consider both sides carefully and to both contribute feedback and cast your vote. You'll find an excellent rundown with a history of IPEd here.

There's no argument that change is needed, but the knottiest issues seem to be around the working of the direct membership model. Your vote in 2015 will be for or against the structure that has been proposed, not for or against change per se; it's not out of the question that the current proposal won't be the best long-term set-up for our national body.

Here are some important points.

Your vote counts. The future will be decided by the proportion of voting members, not of our overall membership, and there isn't a minimum percentage of our membership required to vote in order to pass the decision. Therefore, as happened with the decision to run with the direct membership model, it is possible that the vote could be won with a very small majority of those who have voted, which may not represent the true views of most of our members.

Editors Victoria, as the oldest and largest society of editors in the country, faces the greatest change in terms of our funds and our autonomy.

Our funds were built up under careful management over the decades, and belong to all of our members, past, present and future. It's essential that we honour all these members. Under the direct membership model we'll effectively be subsidising members of smaller societies.

Changes in administration will have very little effect on our volunteer workload, as we pay our admin staff already. Volunteers will still have a similar portfolio workload, with added layers of accountability and deadlines.

These are some of the things we've been thinking about. As your committee, our role is to ensure that you have the fullest possible picture of what you're voting for. Therefore we'll be holding a special late-afternoon debate on Saturday 12 September, in the form of a high tea. Please save the date!

I'd like to thank our committee members for their amazing work in thinking up ways to serve you better - right across membership, events, communication, freelance, professional development, secretaryship and treasury. They blow me away in each committee meeting with thoughtful and incisive comments, suggestions and ideas, above all, ideas! Not forgetting Nicole, our admin whiz, who keeps the wheels turning.

We'll be calling for expressions of interest for committee positions over the next couple of months, in preparation for our AGM in August. If you'd like to be part of our vibrant, active committee, please put up your hand via an email to Nicole at

Jackey Coyle