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Events calendar

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 @ (remove the spaces).


Our member meetings and social events are held online using Zoom. 

Connect with your profession.
Learn from your peers.

Upcoming Member's Meetings

How NOT to write a tutorial! with Dave Gash

28 May 2024, 7:30 PM AEST


Most of you will have enjoyed presentations by Dave Gash at past meetings and conferences. For those who are unfamiliar with his style and very valuable advice, you'll definitely enjoy and learn from this presentation.

Regardless of our work's context, much of the content we technical communicators produce is tutorial in nature. That is, it's meant to teach or instruct readers in task completion or problem resolution. However, tutorial documentation writers frequently make specific, identifiable errors in structure and presentation of the material.


This session examines the errors commonly made in both proper tutorials and general tutorial-themed content and shows you how to avoid them. There's even a bonus error that will make you say "SMDH!".

If you miss the meeting, we're recording it so you can view it from the Members Only pages of our website.

ASTC Members zoom link

To be confirmed.

25 June 2024, 7:30 PM AEST


Canva Magic Design with Grant Noble, Canva (and ASTC President)

30 July 2024, 7:30 PM AEST

Past Member's Meetings

What ever happened to forms design?

30 April 2024

Liz Griffiths from Communication Wise hosted an informal meeting where attendees discussed some of the bad forms we've encountered. She then considers what happened when we moved from paper-based forms to online forms in the 1980s. It was not an impressive change.

Liz used examples to show how we really should consider what it is we're doing when we gather information from a customer and showed us an example form that includes her "golden rules" of online form designs.​

Level up your tech writing game – from entry paths to project management

26 March 2024

Co-author of the popular book the Technical Writing Process (now in its second edition), Kieran Morgan, and attendees, talked about entry paths to becoming a technical writer, skills that are required and how much specific and prior education you need. Kieran opened the discussion to project management – a skill which every technical writer needs. This was a very interactive meeting with attendees giving their experience and opinions, not all of them as expected.


27 February 2024

If you've ever wondered why you're asked for your opinion about businesses you've never heard of, or received advertising for products you didn't know you needed, this was the presentation you needed to attend.

Jason Xiros talked about​​:

  • What is Personally identifiable Information (PII)

  • Why is privacy important?

  • Security / privacy / anonymity are not the same thing

  • Studies find majority disinterested in privacy

  • Laws in Australia vs Europe (GDPR)

  • You are the product!

  • Data brokers

  • Identity theft

  • Steps for mitigation

The Document Approval Process

26 September 2023

Dave Newdick and Roslyn Abela share their knowledge on getting documents reviewed.

Dave explains the process from a regulatory point of view - what triggers a document view -  and how to find the regulations that apply in each Australian state.

Roslyn talks about her experiences working in the banking sector. How she navigates having many stakeholders, all with their own requirements. 

Finally, the attendees raise their own experiences and gain insights from the others.

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.

April 2023

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 if you would like to join in.

Dave Newdick

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!

Grant Noble

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.

Past Events

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

CX Trends

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.

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