President’s report – 2018

President’s report

This is my first, and perhaps only, president’s report for Editors WA. Thank you for the support of dedicated committee members and other members who have provided us with professionally delivered events over the past twelve months. Thank you also to members at large for your forbearance as we’ve tried to reinvigorate the branch. Above all, it’s imperative there are clear and tangible benefits to belonging to IPEd. Otherwise, what are we all here for?

However, I want also to deliver a branch health report and sound a note of concern with regard to the branch’s well-being. In this, I trust no one will feel hard done by; there have been outstanding moments, but from my perspective, the overall performance of the branch as a whole has been variable.

Branch events

We’ve had some excellent branch events since this time last year. The meetings on 19 February 2018, organised by Ilsa Sharp to discuss thesis editing, and on 19 March, Genres of editing organised by Michèle Drouart, stand out as model collaborations between committee, experts in the subjects, and editors’ minds generally. Why can we not achieve this more often?

There have been some lows, too. I’m sorry we had to cancel, or at least postpone, a proposed meeting for May. That meeting stalled mainly because, although the idea was good, no one took ownership of the event and the date was upon us before we had got a presenter or confirmed a venue. We should avoid duds like this in future.

In my view, at least two factors contributed to the ambivalent results and highly variable attendance at branch meetings. One is that it’s difficult to find motivated organisers for branch activities. The other is the lack of a ‘home’ for meetings.

We are lurching from one meeting to the next and have not been able to put in place longer-term plans that would lend our branch stability and consistency or purpose. As president I take some responsibility for not chivvying people along enough. Earlier in 2018, the branch committee approved an idea to appoint a general meeting coordinator. This person would oversee the calendar of meetings and help steer the logistics of keeping meetings on track. Specifics of meeting organisation would still be undertaken either by the committee or by other branch members, but the meeting coordinator would provide support and advice, and continuity of experience through the calendar year.

Unfortunately, no one from the committee was well placed to take this on and we have not advertised it widely enough to attract someone to the job. So, this report may be taken as an advertisement: if you have the time and resources to fill the role, please contact the committee sooner rather than later.

Our regular meeting venue at The Warehouse café in Shenton Park fell through late in 2017 because the café closed. We have struggled to find a good alternative. Several proposals have been mooted or tested, mostly looking at community halls, but it seems difficult to get consensus on the best. I think a reliable home for branch meetings would go some way to reviving interest among members to attend more events.

I touch on other factors for mixed meeting success later in this report. The calendar of events has only just kept up with the passing months and some events have been advertised with very short notice. It’s important that we give members longer lead times to slot meetings into busy schedules.

Committee

In December 2017 I offered to succeed Cheryl Bettridge as president because, by her own admission, Cheryl was finding it difficult to fit branch matters into or around other commitments. This change carried its own risks because I am also IPEd Councillor for Western Australia and chair of the IPEd Standing Committee for Professional Development (SCPD). It wasn’t clear whether I would be able to successfully juggle the three roles.
There have been some positive outcomes. Among them I count the visit by IPEd CEO, Karen Lee, on 14 April, for an open and frank discussion about the benefits of IPEd membership. We also talked about the functions of the branch for members, and the relationship between the branch and IPEd national office.

Competing demands on my time and energies mean I’ve found it difficult to follow up on all the initiatives that flowed from that meeting. That’s one reason I’m stepping down as president and I hope the committee can find a decisive and committed successor with a flair for motivating volunteers.

Resignations
During the second quarter of 2018 we’ve also had resignations from Bookworm editor, Martika O’Brien, website coordinator, Liz Green, and Accreditation Board delegate, Anna Maynard. Concurrently, long-term committee member Jan Knight has had important health matters to take care of, and Ilsa Sharp, our representative on the Style manualworking group and Standing Committee for Academic Editing (SCAE), has had time out for important life-events of her own.

Fortunately, Catherine Macdonald, branch member in Albany, has picked up the task of compiling and editing Bookworm, and I thank Catherine very much for that. Unfortunately, budget officer, Robert Green, has said he will not continue after this 2018 AGM.

Altogether, this means there is significant turnover of the committee as of this AGM. I issued a request for expressions of interest for someone to succeed me as IPEd Councillor, but there have been no responses. This means, if the branch committee and branch members approve, I will probably continue as Councillor until the national AGM in late October 2018, but not beyond. I’d like to encourage any professional member of IPEd with an interest in the broader, strategic scope of IPEd business to think about taking over the role. A detailed description of what’s expected from the Councillor is posted on the Editors WA website.

Branch survey

In March we distributed a survey to the WA membership looking, in particular, for views on what you want from branch meetings and professional development. More than one-third of financial members responded. This tells me there is high potential interest by in the welfare of the branch and what it can or should offer. The survey results are available on the Editors WA website (if the post has fallen off the News section of the Home page, search for ‘member survey’ to find the relevant pages).

I think it’s vital that the branch committee uses the survey as a foundation for planning activities over the next year. You expressed a clear and distinct wish for more professional development opportunities, workshops interspersed through the year (preferring half-day over full-day events), and less guff about IPEd national office and staff matters. Achieving these requires a shift in emphasis and a recommitment to up the ante.

However, it also means finding the right people with the time and availability to make these things happen—this is an on-going demand. An event logistics coordinator, as described above, would certainly help. And the committee needs to be reinvigorated with a mix of experienced members (possibly including some former committee members?) and younger or more recently joined people.

Constitution and Branch By-laws review

A significant review of the IPEd Constitution and By-laws is currently underway. Hopefully you have read about this in the CEO report from Karen Lee, or in a recent edition of Bookworm. We have published an article about this on the Editors WA website and I’m encouraging members to provide feedback.

These reviews are the biggest change to IPEd governance since the transition to direct membership in June/July 2016. Contrary to some expressed perceptions, changes signalled so far by Council and staff are (mostly) provisional—some changes are required under the Corporations Act 2001, but many reflect opinions about how the organisation should be governed and run. That is why it’s important for us to read and comment on the marked-up documents. It is a not-so-frequent opportunity to influence the tenor and colours of IPEd in years to come. The closing date for submissions is 31 August 2018.

Closing remarks

I said at the outset I wanted to deliver a branch health report. In my view, the branch is not in robust condition. I’ve been discouraged by the apparent lack of engagement (the survey was a notable exception) or lack of visible reciprocity between members at large and the committee’s efforts to keep things moving. It is a large state, and Perth is a very spread out city; perhaps this is part of the issue. Hopefully our recent foray into videoconferencing, as a way of enabling members living on the periphery or in more remote areas to take part in events, such as this AGM, will help to bridge that gap.

The Editors WA branch of IPEd has great strengths and its members represent a pool of exceptional talent and resourcefulness. Whether we’re making the most of these strengths and talents for our mutual benefit, and for the benefit of IPEd as an organisation, might depend on who you ask. We have some expert representation on standing committees and working groups, and individuals have been very committed to creating opportunities for learning and development, as well as networking and social cohesion.

Even so, in my view, unless the branch’s capacity to self-motivate improves, we are likely to find ourselves continuing in a rather haphazard, not to say desultory, fashion. I don’t have all the answers, or perhaps any useful answers at all, but someone must have. As individuals, as editing professionals, and as members of an Australia-wide organisation with growing influence among our partner professions, we owe it to ourselves and to each other to support a vibrant and thriving community of editors in Western Australia.

Stephen White
President, Editors WA
Institute of Professional Editors
21/07/2018

Constitution and By-laws review — member consultation

IPEd’s national office has released documents for its review of the Constitution and By-laws (formerly referred to as branch by-laws). Hopefully you have already read about this in the CEO reports from Karen Lee, or in a recent edition of Bookworm.

These reviews are the biggest change to IPEd’s governing principles since the transition to direct membership in June/July 2016. Some changes are copy editing corrections and should be uncontroversial. Many of the substantive changes signalled so far by Council and staff are recommendations and are provisional — but other changes are required under the Corporations Act 2001.

Review documents

This link opens a PDF of the review documents (3 MB). For each of the documents under review, there is a table describing the proposed changes and a copy of the original document marked up with revisions.

For comparison, if you wish, you can view versions of both documents without mark ups:
IPEd Constitution 1 July 2016
IPEd branch by-laws

Providing feedback

We can provide feedback by writing notes to address points in either or both of the documents. I imagine it would also be fine to add comments directly in the PDF using the tools in your favourite PDF viewer. (The mark ups you see in the review papers cannot be accepted/rejected as they would be in a MS Word document.)

Please send feedback directly to the IPEd secretary, Connie Finestone:
secretary@iped-editors.org
by 31 August 2018

Opportunities for discussion

The IPEd secretary has scheduled a webinar to discuss the changes:
Tuesday 14 August 2018

It might be worth the Editors WA branch organising a local meeting to discuss any proposals we disagree with, or any other changes we would like to see made. Please email the Editors WA secretary, Tracy Piper (edwa.admin@iped-editors.org), if you want the committee to arrange this.

Contacts

Do you have questions about the process? Are you not able to access the review documents from the website?

For either of these, send an email to WA Councillor, Stephen White: cr.edwa@iped.editors.org

Are you our next branch president?

Calling all visionary editors – your branch needs you

Editors WA is looking for its next branch president.

 

 

 

If you are motivated by these questions, and have the time and resources to commit, you could be the ideal candidate.

What does being branch president involve?

  • Develop and nurture a vision for the WA branch of IPEd
  • Coordinate committee roles and responsibilities
  • Chair committee meetings
  • Ensure there is an ongoing program of branch activities
  • Communicate with members about services and resources
  • Liaise with IPEd national office about branch issues
  • Meet triannually with other branch presidents
  • Liaise with related writing and publishing organisations

Read more in ‘Branch committee responsibilities and roles’ (PDF)

Job criteria

Candidates for branch president will:

  • have been a member of Editors WA (formerly Society of Editors (WA)) for several years
  • ideally have served at least one term on the branch committee
  • be committed to promoting and advancing IPEd’s vision and goals
  • have good people skills and be able to instil a sense of belonging and community
  • be reasonably adept with web systems and media.

Register your interest by:

  1. contacting the current branch president (details below)
  2. nominating yourself, or asking someone to nominate you, for election at the branch AGM on Saturday 21 July 2018.

Stephen White
President Editors WA
Institute of Professional Editors Limited
Ph: 0430 921 929
E:   edwa.president@iped-editors.org
W:  http://iped-editors.org/

EOI for IPEd councillor WA

 IPEd logo

Calling all editing advocates – your national body needs you

IPEd councillor for Western Australia

The Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd), through its Editors WA branch, is seeking a new councillor to represent IPEd in Western Australia.

Stephen White, WA councillor since early 2016, is stepping aside to allow a successor with verve and commitment to IPEd’s vision and objectives to take over. The councillor is a member of IPEd’s Board of Directors and may be co-opted to the branch committee (if not already a committee member). The term is usually two years from the date of the national AGM held in September/October. The position is voluntary but there is an honorarium.

A more detailed description of the tasks, requirements and benefits of the position is available here.

Other documents for prospective candidates are the Council mandate and Guide for councillors. Please contact Stephen to request these documents.

Stephen White

Editors WA – IPEd Councillor for Western Australia
Institute of Professional Editors Limited
Ph: 0430 921 929

Member survey: the results are in

Feedback from survey of IPEd members Editors WA branch

Between late March and early April we circulated a survey that sought to understand more about what editors in Western Australia want from their membership. This was the first survey of members’ views in Western Australia since IPEd transitioned to direct membership in July 2016, and to our knowledge is the only statewide survey of branch or former Society of Editors (WA) members for this purpose since at least 2010.

The aim of this survey was to better understand members’ overall level of satisfaction with branch activities, and what members, the committee, or IPEd as an organisation might do to improve services to members in Western Australia. The survey was conducted using SurveyMonkey online surveying and was distributed to the Western Australia membership list by the IPEd Communications Officer.

There were 37 respondents out of a state membership of 102, so just over one-third of Western Australian members of IPEd responded. This is at least as high as any previous survey or poll of Western Australian editors and is considered sufficient to reasonably infer that the responses may reflect the views of the membership as a whole.

A review and analysis of the results is available here.

Survey results extracted as PDF from SurveyMonkey are available here.

A summary of comments to questions that included a comments box are here (some comments are truncated in the results PDF).

Thank you to everyone who took part. Information from this survey will be used to provide a better member experience for editors in Western Australia.

Best wishes,
Stephen White
Editors WA President
edwa.president@iped-editors.org

Society of Editors (WA) now closed

 

Cancellation of incorporation

The Editors WA branch committee received notice on 15 February 2017 that the Department of Commerce had approved the application by the Society of Editors (WA) to cancel incorporation and wind up. Cancellation of incorporation was effected by the Department of Commerce on 6 February 2017.

The application to wind up was accompanied by an assets distribution plan, whereby the Society’s funds of approximately $26,000 were transferred to IPEd. This amount has been split 50:50 between the IPEd operating budget and a branch reserved funds account. The latter is a one-off amount exclusively for the WA branch to use at its discretion.

Acknowledgements

This brings to a close nearly 25 years of the Society’s support (previously under the name EditorsWA) of editors in Western Australia. Representation of Western Australian editors continues under the Editors WA branch of IPEd.

At the December Christmas function, a short final AGM for the Society included words of farewell from Anne Surma, James Hansen and Jan Knight. The current branch committee extends its sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the Society over the years.

Preserving a record

The Society’s records are now being archived. At present, the electronic records are taken from the Dropbox space the committee uses for business and only go back to about 2007. This clearly falls far short of the Society’s history. If any members have hard copy files you feel deserve to be preserved, please contact WA branch President Cheryl Bettridge or IPEd WA Councillor Stephen White.

The records may be lodged with the Battye Library, under the aegis of the State Library of Western Australia, if the Battye thinks they meet that institution’s goals. If so, all records must be catalogued before submitting. It would be very good to have a couple of long-standing society members volunteer to help, please!

Branch committee

On the advice of IPEd, the Editors WA branch committee rolled over from the Society committee and has been working to help reframe the representation of editors in Western Australia under the changed IPEd structure. I’m sure you will be aware there have been many new processes to get used to. A branch AGM will be held in June or July 2017, at which all committee positions will be open for reselection.

Meanwhile, the committee encourages members to contact us with your ideas about how you would like the branch, and IPEd as a whole, to support editors and the profession of editing in Western Australia. In particular, we would like suggestions for topics for member meetings that help us develop professionally and grow as a branch.

Best wishes,

Stephen White

IPEd Councillor for Western Australia
E: cr.edwa@iped-editors.org
Web: editorswa.com
Web: iped-editors.org
Ph. 0430 921 929

Changes to contact emails

IPEd recently announced changes to contact email addresses for several positions on the Editors WA committee. The new emails have been created to standardise the lines of communication throughout IPEd, and to reflect the move towards a common ‘look and feel’ for IPEd branches across the country.

The new email address for Editors WA committee positions are as listed below.

President edwa.president@iped-editors.org
Secretary edwa.admin@iped-editors.org
IPEd councillor cr.edwa@iped-editors.org
Accreditation Board delegate edwa.abd@iped-editors.org
Budget (formerly Treasurer) edwa.budget@iped-editors.org

We have updated these addresses at various places in this website. For instance, if you go to Contacts on the left side of the Home page and, in the list of names of committee members you see there, click on Cheryl Bettridge, you will find it opens a new email message to edwa.president@iped-editors.org.

These position-based emails are now being used for all specified committee positions. Committee members without particular positions still use their personal email addresses.

These addresses allow you to directly contact the committee member best able to help with any questions, requests or suggestions to do with particular aspects of your membership, such as accreditation, council representation, and so forth.

For preference, we ask that you send enquiries about your IPEd membership to Nicole Mathers* at members@iped-editors.org. However, you can also contact me, Stephen White, or the secretary, Georgina Gregory, if you need an intermediary to speak with IPEd staff.

Please contact Stephen White if you find any email addresses in this website don’t work, or if position titles still point to personal emails. Please also contact Stephen to suggest further improvements to the website, or to let us know about corrections or updates for your Register of Editors profile (the website administrator position is not yet linked to an IPEd address).


(* The IPEd membership officer hired in July, Karen Gillen, has unfortunately had to resign for personal reasons. The position of membership officer is currently being handled by Nicole Mathers of Editors Victoria. We will keep you up to date if and when there are any other changes to IPEd staff positions.)