Member meetings and more
Find out about the various events throughout the year that will keep you engaged and up to date with various topics in our profession.
Member meetings are planned for the last Tuesday of each month (excluding December). Emails are sent out to members with the topic and call details.
If you know of an event that you'd recommend for this page, please send details to info @ astc.org.au (remove the spaces).
Our member meetings and social events are held online using Zoom.
Connect with your profession.
Learn from your peers.
Future Member's Meetings Topics
Subject to change but this is what we have planned:
The September meeting's topic is the Document Approval Process with Dave Newdick and Roslyn Abela
Join us next on Tuesday 26 September, at 7.30pm (AEST).
Past Member's Meetings
ChatGPT… a powerful tool, or a powerful enemy?
22 August 2023
Jason Xiros - Principal Consultant at Communiques - shares his knowledge about Chat GPT.
He talks about his experience with Chat GPT and how we can use it to support the way we work (hint, we can make it work for us to do the boring bits of our roles leaving us to do the fun bits). But give it a go and form your own opinion and hear what others think.
Jason covers the many features available in ChatGPT. He shows both the free and paid versions, how they differ, and how he plans to use it to make his time more productive.
Whatever the future, knowing what AI can offer, and its current limitations is something to be aware of.
It was an interactive session so it was longer than our normal meetings - everyone had something to add.
Creating a website using Canva with Grant Noble
1 August 2023
Grant Noble from Canva walked us through making simple websites using Canva. The process is simple and straightforward and is exactly what we expect when using Canva. This is Canva's first step into website creation and we look forward to what they do next.
More about Digital Adoption
27 June 2023
If you attended the conference, you will have heard Jasmine Sesso talking about Digital Adoption and how technical communicators have the specific skills to transfer to this growing area. But, what is Digital Adoption?
Paul Casaneau from WalkMe showed us how it all works. Paul demonstrated the use of the WalkMe no-code software and how to set it up. WalkMe software is specifically designed for Digital Adoption purposes.
Plain English for Technical Writers with Greg Moriarty
30 May 2023
Plain English methods have increasingly responded to new technology and research into how readers actually navigate text. Greg covered the ‘top 10’ of the key principles that offer a solid outline of the core principles of plain English.
No Members meeting.
Working with mind maps with Dave Newdick
Mar 28 2023
Dave demonstrated a number of mind-mapping techniques and how he uses them to create business and technical documents.
Cyber Security for Small Business with Jason Xiros
28 Feb 2023
Cybersecurity can't be ignored in today's world. Jason will discuss key threats (and mitigation strategies) in simple English.
Software demonstration of R4i Writer by Ana Young
24 January 2023
Contemplating a technical writing job with a defence-related industry?
You will need to learn about S1000D and how to write XML-compliant documents.
Ana gives us a brief outline of S1000D and shows us how R4i Writer can help us to achieve the required XML-format.
An introduction to Google Forms, presented by David Stephensen
28 June 2022
Google Forms provide you with immediate feedback, are easy to create and are free to use. Responses go straight to an easy-to-access Google spreadsheet which converts to Microsoft Excel if needed.
While not an expert, David has created forms to collect business requirements, to get to know customers and to collect customer feedback. He applies professional technical communication standards to his forms and showed us how it all works. It was surprisingly simple.
A conversation with Neil James
31 May 2022
What an interesting members' meeting, the conversation with Neil James turned out to be!
Why did Neil set up a Foundation, rather than just spread the word about Plain English as best he could? His answer was a surprise to me and his revelation, that he planned to be an economist, suddenly made sense.
I had wondered, was the name Plain English rather limiting when Neil seems to visit many other countries where English isn't the native language? We learned about how that is dealt with as well.
Many years ago, the ASTC(NSW) joined with the Plain English Foundation to run a conference. NSW Premier (at the time) Nathan Rees, opened the conference and he was very keen to introduce Plain English to all government documents, especially documents read by the general public. How had that gone? Not well, it seems. Our Australian governments still don't seem to think that it's important that we understand what they want to tell us.
How to update Wikipedia? presented by Daryl Colquhoun
27 April 2022
Daryl is a long-time contributor to Wikipedia - especially with grammar corrections. He shared his knowledge and experience of doing updates, told us about some of the conventions, and showed us how to edit a page and the rules governing new entries.
What do you want the society to do for you?
29 March 2022
Our meeting, surprisingly, focused on one particular topic: Advocacy.
We discussed the various ways we might go about it and reconsidered past activities. We decided to concentrate on LinkedIn to promote the work of technical communicators.
Have you thought of interviewing another technical communicator? We welcome podcasts that might help explain the benefits of the work we do. Contact email@example.com if you would like to join in.
22 February 2022
Dave Newdick, an accredited Simplified Technical English trainer, provided an introduction to STE and how it might affect your role as a technical communicator. Dave showed examples of the writing rules and the dictionary, but warned that you need training to set it up and use it efficiently.
Simplified Technical English - a must-have in your toolkit!
1 February 2022
Grant Noble demonstrated how to create presentations in Canva, including video presentations. Grant also demonstrated a new Canva feature called Talking Presentations. Talking Presentations allow you to perfect, record, and share your presentation with anyone to watch in their own time
Latest Developments in DITA
7 December 2021
Tony Self reprised his conference presentation to describe the latest developments in the DITA, or more importantly, the CCMS word.
All about Paligo
31 August 2021
Steve Wiseman, product specialist with over 25 years of experience in the documentation field, demonstrates Paligo – a cloud-based Component Content Management System (CCMS). Paglio provides a single source of truth for content and is used for all technical documentation as well as training content, policies and procedures. Because Paligo is cloud-based, users can collaborate and update the documentation no matter where they are, essential in these locked-down times. If you misssed the meeting, check out the video in the members-only area.
City Cos® - a new system of geolocation and organisation of cities
Tuesday 27 July 2021
Lu Do Valle is a professional graphic designer based in Porto, Portugal. Her own poor sense of geographic orientation led to her create the innovative guidance system, City Cos®. In her presentation, Lu demonstrated the system and show how it helps tourists and residents alike to know where they are located and to have a clearer mental picture of a city.
5 of my favourite software tools for writing, teaching and managing my consultancy
Tuesday 29 June 2021
Dr Marina Hurley is a lecturer and consultant and Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Science, UNSW. With the development of her online Writing Clear Science teaching programs and the need to manage most of her professional work online, Marina now uses many different software tools. In this presentation, Marina gave an informative discussion on her top 5 favourite software tools she currently uses for writing, teaching and managing her teaching consultancy. Marina provided more tips in a companion blog on the subject FAQ: What software tools do I use for writing and teaching?
From manuals to content improved from machine learning
Tuesday 25 May 2021
John Wilson is the Information Experience Manager at MYOB. His team’s core purpose is to provide help that starts in the software user interface and continues through online help, using data, design, language and technology to bring users the right help in the right place at the right time.
John revealed his team’s core content strategy, which values contextual experience over search as a primary method of providing information. He explained how a combination of technology, processes, metrics, expert stakeholder wrangling and other factors have enormously improved content performance and user experience over time.
A Technical Writer by another name?
Wednesday 28 April 2021
Are you a technical writer? Are you a content creator? Are you UX Writer?
ASTC Vice President Sonja McShane led a discussion on what we call ourselves to best describe what we actually do. This was a fairly informal meeting, with attendees sharing their thoughts on how best to describe their role and the tools they use. The discussion demonstrated the broad spectrum of communications our members are involved in, everything from analytics to software help to defence documentation.
An overview of ClickHelp - is it the tool for you?
Wednesday 24 March 2021
Alexander Muravyov, CEO of ClickHelp, introduced us to ClickHelp and where it sits in a Technical Writer's toolkit.
His presentation covered - what's special about ClickHelp, who uses it, what problems it solves for their clients, what are the interesting single-sourcing features of ClickHelp that can save time, how ClickHelp is helping manage documentation projects with reports, and what user behaviour reports it offers.
How do Agile practices work for technical documentation?
Wednesday 24 February 2021
Kylie Weaver, who is passionate about Agile development, led the discussion and gave an outline of how Agile-developed projects work and how technical communicators fit in.
Members were then welcome to ask questions and share their own experiences in working in Agile development.
Boost your learning design with Information Mapping
March 16 2022
A free webinar.
Learn why the Information Mapping method should be in every learning designer's toolkit.
Standardise the analysis and organisation of SME content
Design for your audience and their purpose
Simplify structure and flow
Create reusable modular microlearning in your favourite tools
February 16 2022
This year is your opportunity is to unlock growth with customer service. Join a virtual event where you’ll learn to avoid the top five traps that could derail your bottom line, hear how top-performers are thriving, and get actionable takeaways.
Follow this link to read about the program and to register: CX Trends 2022. Otherwise go to the Zendesk website.
Adobe Tech Comm monthly webinars
Learn about Adobe products and new features by joining Adobe experts online for live tutorials and get answers to all your questions.
Next webinar: All hands on deck – Achieve true collaborative authoring
This session will be a demonstration of how to use Adobe RoboHelp to easily set up a collaborative authoring environment, perform basic activities like check-in, check-out, edit changes, etc. and collect feedback from multiple stakeholders using a simple online review process.
Tuesday, September 14, 2021 9 am PDT (Wednesday 2 am EST)
Go to Adobe Events: Technical Communication for registration details and more information on upcoming webinars and events.
Season of Docs, by Google
Season of Docs supports documentation in open source by:
Providing funds to open source organizations to use for documentation projects
Providing guides and support for open-source organisations to help them understand their documentation needs
Collecting data from open source organizations to better understand documentation impact
Publishing case studies from open source organizations to share best practices
Season of Docs seeks to empower open source organizations to understand their documentation needs, to create documentation to fill those needs, to measure the effect and impact of their documentation, and, in the spirit of open source, share what they've learned to help guide other projects. Season of Docs seeks to bring more technical writers into open source through funding their work with open source projects and organizations.
For details, go to the Season of Docs website.