President's Report

Welcome to October! We’re beginning the last quarter of 2017 with a sense of optimism after a convivial, stimulating and collegial national conference last month in Brisbane.

Lorna Hendry and Sophie Dougall did us proud when they wrapped up with a shout-out for the 2019 conference, which we’ll be hosting in Melbourne in May 2019. Their presentation was themed around Melbourne as Australia’s UNESCO City of Literature, featuring local writerly haunts as well as our laneways and buildings. They presented delegates with a beautifully designed bookmark and a save-the-date postcard, as well as chocolate-coated coffee beans and a red heart for the love of words. Our conference organising committee has been hard at work for several months now – they’re still interested in more members to help with the plethora of tasks involved. 

Another highlight was the IPEd plenary session where CEO Karen Lee outlined the new strategic plan. Like many others, I was pleased to have the vision of the way ahead mapped out in detail, and clear actions and timelines to ensure that this vision will become reality. Asking lots of questions helped us all get to grips with the nuts and bolts.

Editors Victoria was strongly represented in well-attended workshops, sessions and panels. All workshops were booked out and many sessions were packed, with standing room only remaining.

We will reach another Editors Victoria milestone soon. The motion to amend the IPEd constitution was passed at the IPEd AGM, so we can now transfer all of our surplus funds to IPEd as a restricted donation, to be the reserved funds of the Editors Victoria branch. That means that only the Editors Victoria branch executive committee will be able to authorise the expenditure of those funds, for specific purposes. One of the first such purposes would be for the writing of a history of Editors Victoria. This paves the way to complete the cancellation of Editors Victoria Inc. We will then be fully a branch of IPEd, but with the funds that have been safeguarded for so many years protected. Our future committees will be making important decisions as to how to spend these funds wisely, so as to honour our past, present and future members. 

Our 2018 committee met for the first time in early September and we were excited to swell our numbers with some brilliant new members to help keep on making our member services better and better. As IPEd becomes fully functional, committee roles are changing and evolving. For example, with IPEd taking over the freelance register, and with the quick access to help provided by the member-only Secret Editors’ Business Facebook group, the freelance officer role is streamlined to freelance events, which can move to the events portfolio. This frees up Mary-Jo O’Rourke to concentrate on her vice-president role. The budget tasks are now lessened with the national finance officer taking over the lion’s share, and what remains is being incorporated into the Secretary role, which frees up Charles Houen to train up his first subcommittee members. 

That still leaves the President role – surprisingly, seeing as there’s such great back-up experience and well-documented processes. I feel confident to be stepping down now that IPEd has stepped up to take on the roles envisaged for the national association. Editors Victoria is in great shape with our strong committee and a streamlined charter – the top priority is being the local presence for our Victorian members. 

Do you know someone who’d make a great prez to take over in mid-November? Perhaps they’re not quite ready yet… Maybe they’d like to sit in as a president-in-waiting until next year’s AGM and get the low-down on chairing fun, productive committee meetings that don’t run over time? And maybe they need some training wheels for knowing how to support our brilliant team of volunteers? Please get in touch with Nicole, our friendly admin officer, or any of us on the committee.

Make sure you don’t miss out on booking for our October events – our freelance lunch and dinner meeting – and stay tuned for more training events. 

Be well. Do good work.

Jackey Coyle