Online citizens’ jury: Adapting deliberation for the virtual world

In November 2020, I was an independent facilitator for a citizens’ jury organised by Griffith University and the Prince Charles Hospital, convened to consider research priorities for stroke rehabilitation I worked with my colleague Dr Kym Madden to facilitate the event and encourage the jurors to make informed recommendations What was unusual about this citizens’ jury was that it was conducted entirely online Taking the jury online was a necessity rather than a choice: the...

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Wine bottles

Bias in the bottle shop

Last Sunday, for the first time in my life, I was refused service at a bottle shop The charge: purchase with intent to supply a minor I was momentarily speechless Then I started to assure the cashier he was wrong I had no intention of supplying alcohol to a minor, and couldn’t understand why he’d conclude that I would And then I realised there was no point I had no power in this situation The cashier (who was only just beyond being a minor himself) had made his decision about my...

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Triple the butter: A plain English approach to recipes

My bread, with triple butter I’ve been doing some comfort baking – a spicy, oaty sweet bread topped with rosemary-infused syrup Delicious! But when I put my dough aside to rise, I discovered I’d used triple the required butter And that got me thinking about how the recipe’s construction encouraged me to make the mistake Recipe reading needs reasonably high literacy Good recipe writing requires a thoughtful understanding of how readers interact with the text while they’re...

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Inside the Rosie Scott Writer's Studioe

Thanks for the gift of writing time

The gift of time to write is a peculiar thing It’s an astonishingly precious gift: time away from the routines and stresses of everyday life; an opportunity to be immersed in a calm environment that’s purpose-built for writing; normal work cleared to give time to concentrate on one project; time for the things that are most difficult to find – silence, calm, thoughtfulness But it’s a gift that comes with a huge helping of reality Being given time to write hasn’t suddenly made...

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Death of a typographer cover

Graphic design that makes reading a chore

When I heard about Nick Gadd’s book ‘Death of a typographer’, I could scarcely contain my excitement What could be better than a detective novel where the main character solves typographic crimes This isn’t a review of the novel itself, which I found to be a light-hearted, easy read even if some of the typographic content seemed a little self-conscious Once I realised that I shouldn’t take the novel too seriously, I enjoyed being taken for a typographic ride But I found the...

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PlainLanguagePro logos

Logan: Gold Standard for Plain English

Logan City Council website meets a gold standard for plain English This week, Logan City Council became the first council in Australia to achieve gold-level certification for its website from PlainLanguageProThe certification confirms that Logan City Council applied plain language principles in developing its new website For Logan City Council, plain language certification is part of an overall effort to ensure its website is fully accessible and user focused By March 2020, the council...

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Apostrophe Protection Society t-shirt

Would you like an apostrophe with your coffee’s?

I notice apostrophe errors Like many writers, I silently correct greengrocers’ apostrophes and misplaced possessives, and I put reasonable effort into making sure I dont make the same mistake’s myself I’m the proud owner of a t-shirt promoting the Apostrophe Protection Society Like many word-lovers, I was disappointed this week to hear the Society is closing Apparently its 96-year-old founder, John Richards, admitted defeat, claiming that ‘the ignorance and laziness present in...

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Using email to get the job done

My working day is centred around email I use email for client conversations, project quotes, project delivery, and invoicing Even though I like to meet clients face-to-face whenever possible, it’s not uncommon for me to conduct entire projects by email Email makes work communication easier and faster Because of its asynchronicity, I no longer need to worry about telephone tag and missed calls I also spend a lot less time travelling to meetings I can read and respond to email when it suits...

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A roadmap for writing

‘Write Away’ by Elizabeth George You’ll often hear writers talk about the value (or lack thereof) of planning Some writers (like James Patterson) are dedicated planners who write extended plot outlines Others (like Lee Child) claim to fly by the seat of their pants and be consistently surprised by the twists and turns their stories take Of course there’s no right choice between the planner vs pantser approach to writing Each writer needs to develop their own...

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