From the President

August 2017

I'm Meredith and I'll be your President today (and I guess for the next year or more). I'd like to offer a huge thanks to our departing President Emma Harding, who has given so much to this organisation over the past three years, and I know we are going to miss her heaps. I have a nasty suspicion none of us really know how many hours and how much Emma has given to TechCommNZ. She has left some pretty big shoes to fill, but luckily I love shoes and I own a wide variety of them, so I'm feeling reasonably positive about this role.

I've worked in the technical communication industry for over 12 years now, having got my start as a Junior Technical Writer with Streamliners after completing the GDTC (Graduate Diploma in Technical Communication). With a degree in Classics from Canterbury University, I kind of stumbled into technical communication, which was lucky, as I might otherwise have remained a professional cauliflower trimmer and pumpkin chopper, aka Supermarket Produce Assistant.

I worked at Streamliners for over 10 years and was lucky to learn and be mentored by Emma Harding, as well as number of other great TCs. Working on various contracts and projects allowed me to get a huge range of experience, meet a wide variety of SMEs and stakeholders, and try out lots of different tools and techniques. Over those 10 years at Streamliners I developed a passion for creating software documentation, single-sourcing, and SnagIt.

These days, you can find me in the wilds of Dunsandel, 40 minutes south of Christchurch, where I work at Synlait Milk as an Applications Support Analyst. In my current role, I do some writing (mainly for our ERP system), and a lot of related tasks, such as software testing, training, internal comms, content strategy, general dogsbody, and (not so) tech support. I love the variety, challenge, and fun that this role offers, and all the non-tech writing tasks have taught me a lot about what it takes to create helpful and relevant documentation.

I've been involved in TechCommNZ for many years, attending branch meetings and workshops, helping with branch organisation, and speaking at my local branch. In the past few years, I've taken a more active involvement and have looked after the Blog, taken on a Board role, and helped to organise the 2017 conference. This organisation has given me a lot. I guess now it's time to give back a little more.

I feel honoured to be your President and incredibly lucky to have good mentors and an extremely knowledgeable and experienced Vice President in Kaye Churches (also a past President).

I'm excited about the new Board. We have a great mix of old hands and fresh new faces. I can't wait to see what ideas the Board comes up with, and where we can take our organisation. One thing I'd like to see us achieve is the development of a strategy and longer term goals for TechCommNZ, and a plan to get us there. We need to be clear about what we want to achieve as an organisation, especially in these changing and unsettled times.

I'd like to see us grow, especially in the North Island, but I also want to make sure we look after our loyal existing members.

So... that's enough rambling for this month, but I look forward to updating you in September with some more ideas or actions. In the meantime, please feel free to get in touch with your ideas, opinions, complaints, requests, rants, offers of help, or just messages of support! No doubt I'll catch some of you at the upcoming branch events as well.

Bring it on!