Editors Victoria's honorary life memberships recognise individuals who have provided outstanding service to the association and to the editing profession in Australia over an extended period.
Since 1987, Editors Victoria has awarded 25 honorary life memberships.
Life members with a symbol next to their name can be clicked on for more information. (To hide it, click the name a second time.)
John Bangsund (b.1939) Born and schooled in Northcote, Victoria. Worked 1954-71 as clerk, bookseller's assistant (Cheshire), librarian (Victorian Railways Institute), publisher's representative (Cassell), printer's reader (Wilke), journalist (Age Publications) etc.; 1972-78 as subeditor (journalist, A grade), Parliamentary Reporting Staff, Canberra; editor (clerk, class 6), Australian Government Publishing Service; senior editor, Rigby Ltd, Adelaide. Freelance editor/proofreader, 1976-2005. Assistant editor (from 1994 editorial consultant), Meanjin, 1988-2005. Publisher, Australian Science Fiction Review and other publications, variously titled, 1966-2005. Editor, Society of Editors Newsletter, more often than not, 1978-96; in that time also served on the committee in every capacity except treasurer, even standing in as acting president on one occasion. FAW Barbara Ramsden Award, 1984. A. Bertram Chandler Award, 2001.
John Curtain (awarded 1996, d. 1999)
Beatrice Deloitte Davis was born on 28 January 1909 in Bendigo, Victoria. Beatrice was still studying the piano at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney when she began her university studies at the University of Sydney. She graduated with a BA in 1929 and began her working life as a stenographer at the French Trade Commission. She then worked for the Medical Journal for seven years, first as a stenographer and then as an editorial assistant. Beatrice freelanced for Angus & Robertson for a few years, and in 1937 began working in-house. She stayed with Angus & Robertson for 36 years, until 1973, and was the company's first full-time general editor. She created the editorial department, choosing and training a succession of fine editors, among them Nan McDonald, Rosemary Dobson and Alec Bolton. Beatrice also dealt with many published writers, either as their editor or as the head of the editorial department, including Thea Astley, Marjorie Barnard, Manning Clark, Alexandra Hasluck, Ruth Park, Hal Porter, Kylie Tennant, Judah Waten and Judith Wright.
From 1974, Beatrice worked for Thomas Nelson (Australia) Ltd, and a few of her Angus & Robertson authors followed her to Nelson. In 1986, at the age of 77, Beatrice continued to freelance, mostly for Mead & Beckett.
In 1981 Beatrice was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to literature. She had served as a judge of the Miles Franklin Award from its inception in 1957. Beatrice was nominated for honorary life membership of Editors Victoria in 1987.
Beatrice died in 1992, aged 83, and the Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellowship was established in her memory.
Ruth Dixon was born into a family of bookworms. On leaving school, she worked in the Melbourne University Publishing bookshop, then as assistant to the printing manager at Ruskin Press, secretary to the publishing manager, and finally as editor, while studying for a BA at the University of Melbourne (1958-61). She travelled by ship to London and worked in the production departments at Longmans Green (1962-64) and Faber & Faber (1964), completing a one-year Publishers' Association Book Production course. Her unforgettable journey home was overland, by bus.
Back in Melbourne, Frank Eyre offered Ruth a position as editor at Oxford University Press (1965-68), alongside Wendy Sutherland. In 1969 came experience in paperback publishing, with Brian Stonier and Lee White at Sun Books. For the next four years Ruth worked at Cheshire with Trevor Barr, John Curtain and Barney Rivers, and became the senior editor, responsible for editorial standards, training and workflow. During this period the fledgling Editors Victoria came into being, due to an opportune encounter between Ruth and Janet Mackenzie. Ruth's chosen role in the new association was training officer, providing opportunities for improving editing standards. Her final editorial positions (1973-74) were at ASEP, the national science project, and ACER, before wanderlust got the better of her.
After travelling to North and South America and the UK, Ruth found employment as acquisitions librarian at Hawthorn State College, while studying part time (Grad Dip Lib., RMIT, 1976-77). After an interlude in Germany, Ruth became acquisitions librarian at Chisholm Institute, was seconded to the new Western Institute (1987-88) as its first technical services librarian, and in 1990 was appointed systems support librarian at Monash University, Caulfield. Ruth's lifelong interest in training people in complicated and skilled tasks was given plenty of scope. In 1992 Ruth completed a Graduate Diploma in Applied Science at Deakin University. She retired in 1996 to pursue her interests in computer-assisted tasks and editing video.
Frank Eyre (awarded 1987, d. 1988)
Elizabeth Flann (awarded 2004)
Anne Godden (awarded 1989, d. 2004)
Beryl Hill was born in Melbourne in 1937. She began her formal editorial career at Melbourne University Press as a trainee editor under the watchful eye of that doyenne of editors, Barbara Ramsden. Over the following 40 years, Beryl worked as a freelance editor/consultant, as well as an in-house editor, often both simultaneously.
Beryl has held senior editorial and project management positions with publishers and academic institutions such as Oxford University Press, Penguin Books, Victoria College, Computer Documentation, Lothian Books and Deakin University, returning to Melbourne University Press in 2002. Her freelance and in-house projects were always varied - from prestigious art history publications and exhibition catalogues for the National Gallery of Victoria, to books about mud bricks, desert travel, crafts, Australian history, gardening, botany, cookery, humour, health and natural therapies, medicine, sport and politics, to dictionaries, educational textbooks and ancillary materials, to academic studies in such areas as education, environmental and world issues, history and biography, projects for government departments, technical manuals for business organisations, to TV scripts, even magazines on rock climbing and bushwalking.
Beryl has been a guest lecturer at RMIT and Monash University, and for several years was a training officer with Editors Victoria, running a series of editing workshops. These eventually led to the publication, with her co-trainer/author Elizabeth Flann, of The Australian Editing Handbook in 1994. The book received an award for excellence in educational publishing and became a recommended textbook for all graduate diplomas, TAFE and other courses in publishing and editing. In 2004, the book was updated and expanded to a second edition to reflect the changes and challenges facing editors today.
Beryl has been an honorary life member of Editors Victoria since 1989 and is currently one of the accreditation assessors for the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd).
Nick Hudson arrived in Australia from the UK in 1958, with the brief to set up an Australian arm of Heinemann Educational Books.
The 1960s were all about science books for Nick. Early successes included A Modern Approach to Chemistry (1963) by Jack Stove and Keith Phillips, probably the first Australian chemistry text to sell six figure quantities overseas. In Search of Science (1965) was hailed by Max Harris in the Australian Book Review as "an all-Australian spectacular".
His major project during the 1970s was the Heinemann Australian Dictionary, the first Australian general dictionary that did not start as an adaptation of an overseas original. As a result, overseas rights were sold, with the book appearing in adaptations for the UK, the US, Canada and New Zealand. It was also probably the first dictionary in the world to be created with an integrated editorial and production computer program.
In the 1980s, Nick concentrated on trade books, after Heinemann Educational Australia took trade company WHA to form Heinemann Publishers Australia. Project highlights were Steve Murray-Smith's The Dictionary of Australian Quotations (1984) and Peter Wright's Spycatcher (1987).
After leaving Heinemann in 1985, Nick started his own company, Hudson Publishing Services, which provides editorial and production services for third parties and publishes in its own right. Publishing successes include eleven titles by Kate Llewellyn, including The Waterlily (1987), and six titles by Robin Levett, including The Girls (1997), both bestsellers. The services side of the business specialises in maths books, with customers including Coghill Publishing and Phoenix Educational.
Nick Hudson is the author of Modern Australian Usage (OUP, 1993) and a number of other books, articles, academic papers and broadcast talks. He is a life member of both Editors Victoria and the Australian Publishers Association, the latter awarded in recognition of Nick's work on copyright.
Colin Jevons graduated from Monash and Swinburne universities, and the University of Melbourne. His career in editing began as a graduate trainee at Macmillan in 1979. He became the sales manager for the southern states before moving to Edward Arnold in an editorial capacity in 1980. From Edward Arnold he went to Nelson in 1983, where he rose to the position of publisher, before the traditional restructure saw him becoming a consultant in 1990.
In the meantime, Colin had been part of the group that developed what is now the Centre for Publishing Studies at RMIT, serving as chair of the course development and advisory committees. A stint at Collins Booksellers was followed by a job as marketing manager at Oxford University Press. In 1992 Colin left the book industry to become a business academic.
At various times throughout his career, Colin served as secretary, treasurer and president of Editors Victoria.
Susan Keogh (awarded 2000)
Vane Lindesay (awarded 1989)
Janet Mackenzie (awarded 1996)
Sally Milner (awarded 1989)
Stephen Murray-Smith (awarded 1987, d. 1988)
Rosemary Noble (awarded 2012)
Renée Otmar was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. In 1986, she came to Australia as a young immigrant, with no money or familial support and few skills. What she did have was a strong work ethic, a thirst for learning and an enormous appetite for fun and adventure.
In 1989, Renée started editing manuscripts for publication while working as an administrative assistant in the Key Centre for Gerontology Research and Education at the Abbotsford Convent campus of La Trobe University. Her editing career began in earnest when the printing and publications unit poached her to become its in-house editor at the main La Trobe University campus, Bundoora. Since then, Renée has amassed considerable in-house and freelance experience in editing and publishing. In 2005, she took her first step towards independent publishing, with a novel by the Western Australian writer John Cregan.
Renée is also a published author, having written a true crime memoir (In Cold Blood: The Murder of Baby Jordan, New Africa Books, 2007), and a scientific paper for a refereed journal ("Patterns of Treatment in Australian Men Following Fracture", Osteoporosis International, 2010), along with hundreds of fact sheets, brochures, booklets, guides and website content on prevention of harm due to alcohol and other drugs (Australian Drug Foundation, 2002-08).
On her own and in partnership with editor Sally Woollett, Renée has designed and presented countless workshops and seminars training editors in basic business and marketing skills. A confident public speaker, she has delivered presentations at conferences, seminars, workshops and other professional development courses.
Currently, Renée juggles freelance writing and editing with PhD research investigating barriers to osteoporosis treatment.
Renée holds a BA in Politics and Media Studies from Swinburne University, a Graduate Diploma in Editing and Publishing and an MA in Communication from RMIT University, and a Master of Public Health from the University of Melbourne.
Renée joined Editors Victoria in 1992 and served on its committee for fourteen consecutive years, including three terms as president. She was a founding member of the Council of Australian Societies of Editors (CASE) in 1998, and took an active role in its progression towards a national organisation for editors in 2005 as the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd). Renée was a foundation member of the Occasional Series on Australian Editors Working Group (2004-06).
Renée Otmar was granted honorary life membership of Editors Victoria in 2000 and the honorary award of Distinguished Editor by IPEd in 2008.
Teresa Pitt graduated with a BA in English Literature and Politics from the University of Melbourne in 1974. She began her editorial and publishing career as a trainee editor at Greenhouse Publications in 1980. Over a 26-year career she held various positions as editor, senior editor, publisher and commissioning editor, with organisations including the Institute of Family Studies, Pitman Publishing, Currey O'Neil Ross, Lloyd O'Neil, Penguin Books Australia (twice), William Heinemann Australia, the Macmillan Company of Australia, Melbourne University Press, Simon & Schuster (Australia) and Lothian Books.
Teresa taught editing in the Associate Diploma of Arts Professional Writing and Editing course at RMIT TAFE for five years, from 1992 to 1996, while also guest lecturing in the RMIT Graduate Diploma in Editing and Publishing. She was speaker secretary for Editors Victoria in 1982-83 and president from 1983-85.
From 1985 to 1989, Teresa was a member of Editors Victoria's Working Party on Training and Accreditation, the group which developed and established the Graduate Diploma in Editing and Publishing at RMIT. From 1989 to 1992 she was a member of the Course Advisory Committee.
Ruth Siems (awarded 2007)
Liz Steele (awarded 2012)
Wendy Sutherland was born in Melbourne in 1936. Wendy's early interest in literature and reading was fostered in a household of books, and by an inspiring English teacher at school, who also encouraged her to go on with Latin to what was then called matriculation level. Having graduated with a BA in French and English from the University of Melbourne, Wendy worked in private and municipal libraries before making the obligatory overseas trip. (Wendy had also gained a preliminary certificate in librarianship while finishing her degree.)
On return to Australia, Wendy began her editorial career at Oxford University Press (OUP), Melbourne, as a result of a blind leap of faith on the part of manager Frank Eyre. Her only previous experience of editing had been with the school magazine (which didn't impress Eyre at all), but the library course helped a lot with definitions of bleeding plates, preliminary pages and so on. No one could have had a better mentor than Frank Eyre.
After nineteen years at OUP, with brief interludes occasioned by the birth of two children (wonderful) and a year in Darwin (challenging), Wendy joined Melbourne University Press in 1978 as editorial manager. Despite the title, most of the work was "hands on", and she was also responsible for the training of junior editors. Wendy has been a freelancer since 1995, working for both of the above, as well as UWAP, Hyland House, Simon & Schuster, Lothian Books, CUP, Allen & Unwin and Aboriginal Studies Press.
During her time at Melbourne University Publishing, Wendy won the Barbara Ramsden Award three times and in 1994 was the recipient of the university's Gold Medal.
Wendy's professional affiliations include membership of the committee responsible for the fourth edition of the Australian government's Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers. She was guest lecturer in Scholarly Editing for RMIT University's Graduate Diploma in Editing and Publishing, and involved in the Publishing Advisory Committee for the Australian Music Examinations Board. Wendy has also participated in occasional grammar workshops run by Editors Victoria.
Wendy was one of nine founding members of Editors Victoria, and in 1987 she became one of its first honorary life members.
Basil Walby was educated at Latymer Upper School and King's College, London, where he read chemistry and mathematics before gaining an honours degree and corporate membership of the Royal Institute of Chemistry and the Institute of Mathematics.
He was editor-in-chief to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), 1971-87, and was responsible for developing the CSIRO publications program. Basil managed the Australian Journals of Scientific Research, CSIRO's book publishing program, and a printing unit set up to produce journals, technical publications, annual reports and publicity material. He also oversaw liaison with comparable science publishers in Australia and overseas to extend the reach of CSIRO material, in-house training and education of CSIRO staff employed in knowledge transfer, librarians and divisional information officers and editors, and the promotion of the above activities.
Since July 1987, Basil Walby Publishing Services has offered a wide range of consultancies. Clients have included the International Bureau for Plant Genetic Resources, the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, the Australian Defence Department, the Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute, ANZAAS and the University of Melbourne.
Basil was a founding member of Editors Victoria and served on the committee for many years, twice as president (in 1974-75 and 1982-83 with Teresa Pitt). He was treasurer from 1976-78, and training officer in 1977-78 (with Anne Godden) and 1982-83 (with Tessa Jones and John Bangsund). Basil was a member of the Style Manual review committee and the inaugural RMIT advisory group for the Graduate Diploma in Editing and Publishing.
Lee White was born at the bush nursing hospital at Springwood in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, towards the end of the Second World War, just avoiding being a "baby boomer". Her family moved to Victoria in the early 1950s.
In 1965, having decided against a career as a professional musician, and after dropping out of the law course at the University of Melbourne, Lee tumbled into editing when she answered an advertisement seeking a secretary for the managing director of Sun Books, a "new Australian publishing company". The managing director was Brian Stonier and the editorial director was Geoffrey Dutton, who then lived in Kapunda, South Australia. Gradually, Lee started doing basic editorial work and became more involved with the editorial side of publishing. After about two years with the company, she travelled to the UK and received further editorial training at William Collins Ltd and, briefly, with other London book publishers.
Returning to Australia, Lee was appointed editor at Sun Books and worked for the company through its vicissitudes until it became the paperback imprint of the Macmillan Company of Australia. Lee was appointed senior editor at Macmillan and later publisher of Macmillan's Australian Literature list.
After a decade in the book publishing industry, Lee sought a change. She became the public relations officer for the National Gallery of Victoria, then moved to Monash University as publications officer, and finally commenced freelance editing and journalism. She completed a BA in Journalism at RMIT and went on to complete a Masters degree at Murdoch University. Personal circumstances required a move out of Melbourne, and from 1984 Lee has worked full time as a freelance book editor for many mainstream book publishers in Australia.
Over the years, Lee has worked with a wide range of Australia's well-known general and academic authors, including Patsy Adam-Smith, Geoffrey Blainey, Roland Robinson, Bryce Courtenay, Stephen Murray-Smith and Pam Peters.
Jackie's publishing career began as an editor with Longman in Kenya, where she was born and raised. After travelling in Europe, she came to Melbourne in 1972 to work with Longman Australia. Her 35-year career spans the spectrum - trade, educational and specialist lists, fiction and non-fiction, adult and children. She worked in publishing houses large and small, including in-house with Cheshire, Lansdowne and Five Mile Press, as well as a freelancer. A decade with Penguin Books Australia in the 1980s was especially memorable, when "a great team published zealously - to map Australia's culture", with authors ranging from Thea Astley to Gough Whitlam. Jackie twice received the Barbara Ramsden Award, won jointly with Susan Hawthorne for Jessica Anderson's Stories from the Warm Zone and with Margit Meinhold for Mark Henshaw's Out of the Line of Fire.
In 1992 Jackie established Silver Gum Press, publishing a list that included Irena Sibley's best-selling children's classic, The Bilby's First Easter. In 1997 she joined Allen & Unwin as a publisher, merging Silver Gum's list with Allen & Unwin's. As a consulting publisher with Allen & Unwin, Jackie has developed adult non-fiction titles with authors like Tim Costello, Anne Deveson and Anna Lanyon.
Alongside her publishing career, Jackie also guest lectured on publishing at RMIT, Monash and Victoria universities, and at TAFE colleges. She also worked on the committees of arts and community organisations, including the Spoleto Festival, Victorian Writers' Centre, Community Arts Network, Victorian Ministry of the Arts, Brotherhood of St Laurence and Australian Society magazine. Pursuing her interest in other cultures through part-time study at the University of Melbourne, she completed a postgraduate diploma in Anthropology in 2005.
Jackie was among the first members of Editors Victoria, becoming a committee member in May 1971. As newsletter editor in 1972, she printed Editors Victoria's newsletter on Cheshire's gestetner machine. During the 1970s, she worked alongside other committee members to improve training, surveying salaries and union support for editors.