President's Report

Jackey Coyle was re-elected as president of Editors Victoria at the AGM.

As we swing into our second year together, I'm looking forward to welcoming new committee members at our mid-month committee meeting.

The 12 months have zoomed by since I was elected president, and I'm proud of what our committee has achieved.

We've put to the test the new committee structure devised by our previous committee under Trischa Mann - and found it works a treat!

Rather than having a single committee with portfolio holders, we now have a two-level arrangement: an executive committee made up of full members who attend all committee meetings and, for each committee member, a subcommittee made up of both full and associate members. Subcommittee members may look after a particular area, such as social media or mentoring, or they may take on specific tasks or issues. This lightens the workload for executive officers and opens up the opportunity for associate members to contribute from their own repository of knowhow.

Our big jobs this year have been considering the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) direct membership model (DMM) and building connections with other writing and publishing organisations in Melbourne and nationally.

We've spent countless hours pulling the IPEd green papers every which way to see just how the proposed model will work for our members, for our committee and for the editing profession nationally.

I've realised - from both some anti-DMM correspondence and the scarily small number of members who actually voted for the model in 2013 - that we need to both urge and enable an open dialogue, and thus a greater participation in the final vote later this year. An important part of our role is to give everyone an opportunity to be fully informed as to how this will affect both their membership and the running of our committee. We have allocated our October dinner meeting to discussions of the proposed membership model. Save the date!

You'll soon see webinars added to our face-to-face training program, and we've introduced innovations and systems across our portfolios to improve your member experience. Read all about these in the committee reports.

With regard to building connections, we now hold our committee meetings in the Wheeler Centre, and we have an 'All About Editors' session with Writers Victoria scheduled for 7 September. We placed an ad in Writers Victoria's July program, and Vice-President/Communications Officer Lorna Hendry, Freelance Officer Mary-Jo O'Rourke and I collaborated on a page of editorial in the July newsltter outlining what editors can do for emerging authors, and how writers can search our Freelance Register. I also ran a Dance Steps session directed towards designing a life around writing, in July. This gave me valuable insights into the needs of writers, many of whom are also editors.

Our amazing committee members get on with their portfolios - using the thousands of hours they've notched up in skills, knowledge and experience - performing, and usually exceeding, what they need to do within all the variables of their professional and personal lives. I thank them.

Committee members who are staying:

We have more than a dozen  new committee members to welcome at our next meeting in September.

I had the pleasure of awarding our 27th honorary life membership to Lan Wang at our AGM. We include an  excerpt of Liz Steele's presentation speech.

The year will finish off a treat with our 45th anniversary celebration in December.

Jackey Coyle