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From the president/committee


(This is an abridged version of my talk at our recent speaker event on 20 April on Zoom) 

Kia ora.

It is nearly a year since our first branch meeting at the Melbourne conference in May last year and about 10 months since our first proper committee meeting in July 2019. 

We set up our committee based on the blueprint of one of the largest Australian branches but, unlike that branch, our members were dispersed across the country with no clumps (I was going to say clusters, but thought better of it) of more than three or four members in any one spot. All our committee meetings were held on Zoom, not in person, and when we looked at planning events, we needed to consider our remote members – those members who lived rurally or in other cities. 

So, what did we do?

First, we had to decide on our focus: you, the members, and your needs. We had to think about what we could offer you to make your membership worthwhile and what was still achievable by us, your voluntary committee.

We looked at what our members wanted from our professional development events, and provided the first event in Wellington in February. We had plans for the next event, a speaker event, to take place in Christchurch in March, but that small matter of physical distancing put the kibosh on thatit will keep. Other professional development plans are temporarily put on hold as we deal with the demands of today. We will get them going again. Watch this space.

We looked at how we could help our members network with each other. We currently run free editor catch-ups in three parts of the country and aim to increase that. These catch-ups are open to all editors (members and non-members) and are a chance to form connections that can help you in your work.

We created a Facebook page for our New Zealand members, so we could keep in touch in person, and we started a newsletter, which is now incorporated into this new, IPEd-wide newsletter.

We looked at how to promote ourselves to our fellow editors and to other entities in our industrythis is something we continue to work on. We plan to become more visible and thus make your profession more visible. We aim to be seen. In a post-COVID-19 world, we are looking forward to getting involved with conferences and events run by other organisationsbut that one is on the ‘eventually’ list, when we are more established and have a larger membership.

As a committee, we worked on the legal and financial setup of the branch, so future committees would have a clear idea of their obligations for reporting. IPEd is on the New Zealand Companies Office’s Overseas Register. We continue to work on the New Zealand bank account. This has become something of a hobby of mine and with all my emails and questions, I am keeping the delightful staff at our local bank branch employed. Much as I would love to give you an exact date for opening the bank account, I cannot yet. This long process has not been helped by the lockdown. However, we persevere.

As a committee, we talked about the possibility of giving our members the opportunity to sit the accreditation exam in New Zealand. We got a clear message from both members and non-members that they would like this to happen. This has obviously been postponed, but the exam will still take place once both New Zealand and Australia are allowing this type of activity to occur. As part of the preparation process, Helen Bradford and Susi Bailey advocated for online workshops for New Zealand. The Accreditation Board and IPEd approved the idea and eventually members in New Zealand, Western Australia and Tasmania will get to ‘attend’ the workshop online, and remote members from other branches will be able to watch it later. 

And finally, as a committee, we are starting to work towards the conference to be held in New Zealand in 2022. Meredith Thatcher and I are the first members of the conference committee, and we welcome anyone who wishes to join us!

All this work is being done by a volunteer committee. It was really tough getting the momentum going for the new branch and we lost a few committee members by the wayside. I would like to take a moment to thank Anna, Sue, Imogen and Heather for their good intentions and readiness to help. Things do not always work out the way we had planned. I thank our current committee members for their altruistic and tireless work for the editing profession in New Zealand.   

We want to make it easier for our committee members current and future – so we have grouped our tasks together loosely into three main groups, with overlaps. There is a communications group (social media, website and newsletter), an events group (all events, whether training, social or speaker), and the executive group (the president and vice-president, the secretary and the budget officer). We also had two delegates – one for the Accreditation Board and one for the IPEd Board.

The benefit of these groups is that they are small (two to four people) and members get to know each other. They can discuss matters relevant to their group faster than general committee discussion would allow. They can support each other when business workloads make voluntary work temporarily difficult. They know their group’s responsibilities, so it is easier to train new members and get them up to speed. All group members are also committee members.

We also identified the need for local helpers for when we eventually add 'in-person' events back into our schedule. These are the meeters and greeters. They check the venue, host local events and make sure things run smoothly, working with the event and training officers who organise the event. Their responsibilities are intermittently intense. They are not part of the committee, but they are vital and valued.

There is more information on this below and I encourage you to read it. 

Which leads me to regional events. We are aiming to build on local groups of editors for the free networking catch-ups. All this is hard when we cannot leave our bubbles! 

However, this week we are holding a series of four free Zoom catch-ups. You will have seen these promoted already. I hope you have already booked – or attended. One editor (that would be you, Anna T) is going to three of these events. She laughingly called it gatecrashing. I call it networking. Expand your network. There is strength in knowing your fellow editors – especially in times like these.
 
I am looking forward to seeing all your smiling faces at the catch-ups this week.

Noho ora mai rā.

Caroline Simpson
EdANZ Branch President
edanz.president@iped-editors.org

Would you like to help? We’d appreciate it!

Current committee structure

We want to make life easier for our committee members – current and future – so in our committee structure we have grouped our roles together loosely into three main groups, with overlaps. There is a communications group (social media, website and newsletter), an events group (all events, whether training, social or speaker), and the executive group (the president and vice president, the secretary and the budget officer). We also have two delegates – one for the Accreditation Board and one for the IPEd Board.

The benefit of these groups is that they are small (two to four people) and members get to know each other. They can discuss matters relevant to their group faster than general committee discussion would allow. They can support each other when business workloads make voluntary work temporarily difficult. They know their group’s responsibilities, so it is easier to train new members and get them up to speed. All group members are also committee members.

How you could help

So, here is the part where I mention that we would love some help. 

Newsletter Editor

Currently we need someone to organise and collate our branch’s newsletter contributions. This is a lovely role and there is plenty of scope for original ideas – but you would not be expected to write it all yourself; you would be asking for contributions from others.

Events Officer

We need someone to help in the events group. This is a behind-the-scenes role that involves working with people both on Zoom and by email, so you get plenty of social contact and a chance to use your organisational skills to help arrange events all over the country. 

These are both committee positions and are well supported in groups with knowledgeable people. 

Local helpers

We also identified the need for local helpers when we eventually add ‘in-person’ events back into our schedule. These are the meeters and greeters. They check the venue, host local events and make sure things run smoothly, working with the event and training officers who organise the event. Their responsibilities are busy at the time, but intermittent. They are not part of the committee, but they are vital and valued.

We would welcome any people in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch to help as local helpers. Our first local helper volunteer, Jacqui Burne, is looking after the Bay of Plenty region editors and has been really helpful. Thank you, Jacqui.

If you think you could help us and would like to know more, please email Caroline Simpson. We have role descriptions for all these roles, and I am more than happy to talk through any questions you may have.

New members

We would like to welcome new members:

Associates: Kathryn Yee and Deborah Shaw
Student: Angie Brierley.

Events held:

Branch speaker event: An interview with Paula Wagemaker
by Ralph Watson

EdANZ held its first speaker meeting on 20 April.

New Zealand members scattered over the length of the country joined with some Australian members via Zoom: a means of communication dictated by physical rather than social distancing.

Our first IPEd-aligned gathering was a locally based one, so this represented a type of first flight from the nest; with our president, Caroline Simpson, ably navigating, we spent an hour listening, learning and sharing ideas.

After Caroline had reviewed the branch’s brief history, committee members introduced themselves and their roles.

The main event, however, was Paula Wagemaker being interviewed by Helen Bradford. Paula is a career editor, editing educator and doyenne of the profession in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We were intrigued to learn how, like so many of us, Paula came to editing seemingly by chance, and to learn about her journey as the industry and New Zealand society has changed. For instance, 35 or so years ago, Rogernomics turned Government Print from a public service publisher into a profit-driven enterprise. One consequence was a move led by Paula, and others, to publish about themes that had until then not attracted the attention of the wider publishing industry.

Paula continues writing and editingwhether it concerns New Zealand as a whole or simply the heritage of her local general store, Paula continues to impart her enthusiasm and expertise.

While none of us know what the future brings, EdANZ members can be sure of one thing: we will meet again, do know where (Zoom), not sure when … but not too long.

Ralph Watson is the vice-president of EdANZ. He can be contacted on edanz.vicepresident@iped-editors.org. 

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