About Us

Introduction

 

The Australian Society for Technical Communication (ASTC) Incorporated is a not-for-profit national group of people who work with technical and business information in many ways. The aim of the ASTC is to promote and support technical communication in the Australasian region and to provide networking and learning opportunities for our members.

 

Members are key to our society as we are a volunteer organisation. Our members come from all different fields and industries and have a huge range of knowledge and experience. We help members by providing information, networking, support, job advertisements, and professional development opportunities.

Our history

 

From the late 80s, there were two separate ASTC societies, one each in New South Wales and Victoria. Both societies had members from other states and they shared the same aims and goals: to promote technical communication. In 2013, the members of both societies voted to form a national body.

In 2014, representatives from both societies joined forces to form the national ASTC committee. Working together, we created a group to sort out the details and join us under the one banner. We had to introduce a temporary name for the new society as we could not register a similar name to an existing society in Victoria. For several years the national society had the temporary name of the Technical Writers Industry Association (TWIA).

We’ve now registered the national ASTC committee in the state of Victoria. We work under the Model Rules of the Associations Incorporation Reform Act of 2012, as all associations must. The Act says that we need a Committee, so we have one, and it includes some compulsory and optional positions.

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ASTC Commitee

 

A group of dedicated technical communication professionals make up the ASTC Committee each year. Our committee members volunteer their time to plan and manage the ASTC's program and meet the regulatory responsibilities of the committee and their committee roles.

The committee is elected at the ASTC's Annual General Meeting. The committee can have up to ten members, with four compulsory office-bearer and six ordinary member positions.

Our committee members can live anywhere in Australia, including rural or city areas. Our committee meets online, so distance is not an issue for meetings, we just need to manage the time zones.

 
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Janet Taylor

President

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Janet has been a long serving member of the ASTC(NSW) committee and, for the last eight or so years, has organised the conference and helped to assemble Southern Communicator.

Sonja McShane

Vice President 

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Sonja has been a member of ASTC(Vic) since 1993 and was the President for two years. She was co-creator and lecturer in the Technical Communications course at Swinburne University.

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David Stephenson

Secretary

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David’s passion for technical communication started in high school. He joined ASTC in 1991. David documents geophysics software, teaches procedure manual writing, and is a volunteer performing arts project organiser.

Carl Sarelius

Treasurer

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Carl has much experience as a technical writer in defence and private sectors. His involvement with the ASTC spans a decade, with previous stints as Treasurer and Web Master for ASTC (Vic).

 

David Cross

Ordinary Member

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David’s been actively involved with the ASTC since 2002. In 2013 he was part of the team charged to form the National ASTC, of which he’s been President and Vice President. David has been in technical documentation for 40 years.

Michelle Hornstein

Ordinary Member 

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Michelle's passion for software documentation led her to study the Technical Communication course at Swinburne University, run in conjunction with ASTC(Vic). She has since worked as a Technical Communicator, Instructional Designer and Business Analyst across various industries.

Janet Gray

Ordinary Member

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Janet joined ASTC in 2013 and previously served on the committee in 2018. Janet is a technical writer who has worked in scientific, environmental, mining and automotive organisations. 

Gerry Gowan
Ordinary Member

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Gerry has strived for clarity and comprehension since he started work as a COBOL Programmer and later morphed into a Technical Writer and Process Analyst. He has been a member of the ASTC for many years.

Brendan Angelo

Ordinary Member

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Brendan joined the ASTC in August 2020 and became a committee member the following October. Brendan has extensive experience as an IT Business Analyst in the telecommunications industry as well as other roles in the IT, events, health, education and funeral industries.

Julia Ponder

Ordinary Member 

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Julia runs her own company that provides documentation, support and training to businesses. She specialises in the application and operation of business software. As a member, Julia enjoys the learning and job opportunities the ASTC provides.

Jason Xiros

Ordinary Member

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After a lengthy career in telecommunications, Jason founded a project management consultancy to focus on large-scale contact-centre projects in Australia and overseas. The work encompasses all project stages including detailed documentation. Jason joined ASTC in 2015.