AGM: President's Report

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Tonight is a one and only – it is our 46th AGM, and could be our very last AGM for Editors Victoria as we’ve known it. Let me be clear: this isn’t an AGM for Editors Victoria, the branch of IPEd. We are looking back over 2015–16 for Editors Victoria Inc. We have been a branch of IPEd since 1 July, two-and-a-half months, so the first AGM for the branch will be in August 2017.

Tonight our hard-working volunteer committee members will report on what happened in our association up until the end of June, and we’ll vote to accept their reports.

Then we have special resolutions to vote on whether to continue as an association, as opposed to deregistering and handing over all our assets to IPEd. The reasons for this centre around honouring the status of the association as Australia’s oldest and largest professional society of editors.

Editors Victoria was founded in October 1970 as the Society of Editors. The inaugural members included Janet Mackenzie, who is with us tonight to oversee our voting. The first AGM was held in June 1971 and Editors Victoria was incorporated in 1991 under the name Society of Editors (Victoria).

When Editors Victoria was formed, publishers were beginning to withdraw from in-house training for editors. Over the years, we’ve worked hard to fill this gap, organising hundreds of courses and workshops on a wide range of topics, from the basics of editing to copyright law and ergonomics. Working closely with RMIT, we helped establish the Graduate Diploma in Editing and Publishing, which began in 1988.

Editors Victoria has itself acted as publisher on several occasions, producing:

One of the First and One of the Finest – a biography of Beatrice Davis – in 1991

At the Typeface in 2005

Editors in Conversation 1 and 2 in 2007 and 2009, respectively.

Editors Victoria has also provided strong support for freelance editors, producing a printed Freelance Register since the late 1970s, initially twice a year and then annually, and more recently producing it online.

In 1998, Editors Victoria was active in the establishment of the Council of Australian Societies of Editors (CASE), which was the first national body to represent editors. CASE was succeeded in 2008 by the Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd), which established a national accreditation scheme and runs national editing conferences every two years. And, as of 1 July, we ourselves are a branch of IPEd.

In 2005, Editors Victoria hosted Editing in Context, the second national editing conference, in Melbourne.

In 2010, Editors Victoria celebrated its 40th birthday at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne.

Last year, Editors Victoria celebrated its 45th birthday with a gala event here – our sapphire anniversary.

We’ve built up our presence as a vital part of Melbourne, the world’s second City of Literature, and our committee members continue to innovate in our systems, our freelance and dinner events, our professional development and our communications, providing a template for best practice to other state branches.

We have a grand history. And now we’re in the fortunate position of having a pool of assets built up by all our members, past and present, whether they voted for joining IPEd or not. It’s imperative that we deal with these assets as wisely as they have been protected, and we need to retain some control of the surplus to support our local community. Some options we’re discussing include:

commissioning a history of EV

supporting students and other up-and-coming editors

continuing to collaborate and sponsor events with the likes of Melbourne Writers Festival and Writers Victoria

hosting annual member events.

Before we move on, I’d like to thank our staff officers:

Secretary and Treasurer – Charles Houen

Administration – Nicole Mathers

Newsletter Editor – Margie Beilharz

Website Manager – Victoria Houen.

Let’s begin.

Jackey Coyle