Lan Wang: Our 27th Honorary Life Member

This is an excerpt from Liz Steele's presentation speech.

Tonight it gives me great pleasure to speak about Lan Wang's outstanding contribution to Editors Victoria and why it is so important that Lan be recognised with honorary life membership.

LizSteeleLandLanWangRLan and I met in 2002 when we were paired to manage and produce the Society's then monthly newsletter. I was a new committee member and, when I needed a technically savvy partner, Lan appeared with every technical bit of knowhow you could imagine. We were both working at very full-time freelance businesses, but we seemed to gel brilliantly from the start, and for three years produced a pretty good newsletter to deadline every month. My erratic news gathering and hours of work around children were complemented by Lan's common sense and clear brain, and also late working hours - we often made very important decisions after midnight!

Liz Steele (L) and Lan Wang (R) after the presentation

Right from this early partnership I knew Lan was an exceptional person and team player - her diligence, supreme intelligence and reliability could not be questioned. Her willingness to always offer her services too was probably a mistake on her part, but so important for Editors Victoria - soon she was also preparing advertising copy for the society and doing just anything we threw her way with good grace and expertise.

When we decided to go online with the newsletter, once again Lan was there to lead us and advise us and, yes, prepare it for us and be responsible for that part of the production. Similarly, with the continuing changes to early incarnations of our website, Lan was our most esteemed adviser and then, to top it off, she managed it for some time too.

When I became president of the society, and I knew we were next on the list to host the national conference, Lan became the convenor - and her superb organisational and management skills were responsible for a fantastic event that was nearly faultless.

Lan's workload on top of the basic conference organisation and budget was also typesetting our book At the Typeface, organising its cover artwork, organising the book launch, creating a CD of conference proceedings, and so on - not to mention setting up our registration process and developing with the other committee members our conference themes and presenters. We even had our meetings at her home and this became a tradition for future meetings around another major project for Editors Victoria - the development of Redact.

Lan has been deeply involved in the thinking behind this professional development project. Over three Redacts she has developed our booking systems and registration processes, been heavily involved in deciding on Redact streams and presenters - and every part of the event, until this year when she regretfully could not be involved.

Almost every Redact planning meeting since 2008 has been held around Lan's dining room table - she has even organised our food and done the washing-up at the end of these meetings.

While involved in all those other jobs for the Society, Lan was soon typesetting the Freelance Register and deeply involved in thinking about its style and how to develop it as a useful marketing tool for our members, all the time refusing to be paid for it.

Lan was also a supporter of the first accreditation exam and Editors Victoria's organisation of the exam arrangements - designing publicity, maps of how to get there etc.

There are so many more ways Lan has supported Editors Victoria - always cheerfully and expertly, mostly behind the scenes - and she said to me many times that she doesn't like being on committees.

Most recently Lan has chaired meetings around her dining room table about the problems with the Style Manual; she's been a regular presenter on e-publishing at national conferences, taught e-publishing courses and represented the Society in so many ways.

Finally, her reorganising and revamping of the content of The Australian Editing Handbook took her hours and hours and hours - certainly not well paid work but seriously important work for all people wanting to learn about all facets of editing.

I have often been the public face of what the Society has been doing, but so many times it has been Lan's intelligence and strategic thinking that has made things work for Editors Victoria. Lan has been supremely supportive and reliable and super smart about decision-making and planning of Editors Victoria events.

Lan has always been an extremely hard and conscientious worker behind the scenes; prepared to work for the good of the organisation and its programs, but unobtrusively, staying outside the usual round of meetings and reports etc. When she has seen the need for something, she has created discussion among colleagues and has been a key driver to get things happening. She is calm, thoughtful and always so thorough.

If anyone deserves a commendation from Editors Victoria, it is Lan!

Congratulations, HLM Lan Wang.

Liz Steele
former Editors Victoria President
HLM Editors Victoria