Happy Birthday to the National Mentoring Program

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This article was first published in The Canberra Editor (October–December 2017).

The IPEd National Mentoring Program is celebrating its fifth birthday all round Australia. The program began in a small way with the CSE [Canberra Society of Editors] setting up a pilot program for Canberra editors at the end of 2012. Ted Briggs, helped by Elizabeth Manning Murphy, set up the program to see how it would run on a small scale.

About a dozen people were involved in the pilot. We tried all types of scenarios from mentoring in copyediting and business practices, to mentoring interstate and overseas editors, to even the idea of one mentor working with two mentees at the same time. All these worked, so when asked to present a paper at the 2013 IPEd conference in Fremantle, we had no hesitation in following the conference theme of editing across borders. We talked about mentoring across borders and we so excited a full plenary session with our pilot experience that first Western Australia and then South Australia said ‘We want to be part of that!’.

The next few years were spent getting our program arranged so that it could truly be ‘across borders’, and one after the other the remaining states joined in. By the middle of 2015 all states and territories were in the program and we were truly national. So IPEd stepped in and said it would like to call it the IPEd National Mentoring Program, and that’s what it’s been ever since. It is still run nationally from Canberra by the same team, with coordinators in every state.

We in Canberra are proud of the fact that once again the CSE has been the initiator of a national institution that is alive and well at the five-year mark, with many active mentorships in Canberra and around the country. We need more mentors in all parts of Australia, and we need editors to know that you don’t have to be old and wizened to be a mentor – young and knowledgeable about some aspect of editing or a related topic is just fine. Mentoring is great fun, a great way to give something back to our profession, and rewarding to both mentors and mentees. For more information, please contact your local mentoring coordinator or one of the National Coordinators. Or look at our guidance notes on the IPEd website.

In other news, the Mentors’ Workshop, originally designed for new and prospective mentors, has been renamed the Mentoring Workshop and is open to anyone interested in the program. These workshops are run whenever we have about four or five people on a waiting list.

Elizabeth Manning Murphy DE (emmurphy.words@gmail.com) with Ted Briggs AE (tedbriggs@grapevine.com.au) and Geoff Dawson AE (deputy; geoffdawsoneditor@gmail.com)
Joint National Coordinators


Former executive committee member Davina Dadley-Moore worked tirelessly to set up the mentoring scheme in Victoria. She also made major contributions to the IPEd National Mentoring Program. When she stepped down her role was ably undertaken by Louise Zedda-Sampson. Maryna Mews is the current Victorian mentoring coordinator and she would be happy to hear from anyone who would like to participate in a mentoring workshop. She will collect names and contact the National Coordinators so that either a workshop or a Skype session can be organised. Maryna would also like to hear from anyone who would like to be a mentor or to be mentored.

Maryna Mews
Professional Development Officer