MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
WHAT A BIG MONTH!
DEAR ASTW colleagues,
Winter is upon us, folks, but some in the ASTW think the atmosphere and energy in the Society is akin to spring. That was certainly the vibe after the mega-lunch at The Crown at Barangaroo in Sydney earlier this month. It was electric and many spoke of a revived ASTW. Well, while glasses of superior T’Gallant Pinot Grigio will certainly do that to you, there definitely is a feeling of renewal.
May has been a huge month – five members of the ASTW Board assembled at the Secretariat’s offices in St Leonards, Sydney, and others Zoomed in from Victoria and regional New South Wales for two days of meetings, which included substantiation. It was a pity that our Victorian members Scott Podmore and Jocelyn Pride had to cancel at the last minute, due to anxiety over possible border closures after a Covid outbreak in Sydney’s eastern suburbs a few days’ earlier. We’ll see you next time!
Lunches also took place in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide and news broke that once again Trivia was on the agenda.
Thanks again to Tourism Australia for sponsoring the lunch on May 12. If you thought it was a bit loud, that’s because some 180 people were there, 140 of whom were ASTW members who’d not seen each other for ages.
Tourism Australia took us through the events of the past 16 months from the bushfires and floods to the pandemic with an excellent montage of news headlines, footage and photos. We saw the latest, and fun, Holiday Here this Year ads, starring power couple Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster-Blake, while TravMedia CEO Nick Wayland conducted a Q&A with Tourism Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer, Susan Coghill on TA’s marketing aims and plans.
By comparison, the Queensland lunch was an intimate affair with a tantalising trifecta of checked shirts, bootscooting and beer (more details below). Perth’s lunch at Samuels on Mill at the Parmelia Hilton hotel and the South Australian lunch at Hotel Indigo, Adelaide Markets, were held just days ago, so we’ll wait until next month to bring you the photos and news.
Thanks to all the lunch sponsors and to the lunch co-ordinators for making it all happen so seamlessly.
On a more prosaic note, for the first time in two years the Board investigated the word counts and PR clients of its members during a full-day substantiation meeting on May 10. Many submissions were straight forward, others needed a few more questions answered and unfortunately there were some 100 or so members who hadn’t lodged forms. During the following few days, several Board members and the Secretariat contacted those people urging them to get their forms in pronto. The official cut-off date was April 30, which had been advertised on Facebook and in the newsletter several times. We’ve decided to extend the absolute cut-off to Friday, June 4, for all stragglers. After that, it’s curtains.
Regrettably, several members contacted me and the Secretariat to say they weren’t renewing their membership this year – due to lack of word count or loss of clients, or because they didn’t have the financial wherewithal to justify their membership. We’re sorry to hear this and we want everyone to know that members are always free to re-join the Society when their work output and/or their businesses improve. If that happens during the coming year, feel free to contact the Secretariat on firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no joining fee for returning members.
On a more positive note, several writers and PRs who left the Society some years back have made contact and are expected to re-join soon.
In a few weeks, the Secretariat will send out the 2021-22 invoices. Fortunately, the fees are the same as last year across all categories. While many would have liked to see a fee drop, that just isn’t possible as the Society’s costs have, unsurprisingly, not gone down. We still pay the same Secretariat fees; website fees and our other regular outgoings include accounting fees, insurance and general expenses relating to all ASTW events.
Webinars are also starting again – the first to kick-off is on tax – next Wednesday, June 2, at 10am. You’ve got to love a company called Creative Crunchers. I look forward to many tax tips. More details below.
One of the big announcements this month was that Trivia is coming back. Save the date of Thursday, September 23, 2021. Believe it or not, it will be the ASTW’s 25th trivia contest. I tried to calculate how many of these crazy, chaotic nights I’d been to over the years and came up with at least 15, maybe more. We’ve had nights at a Balmain pub, on the harbour, at a slew of fancy city hotels, while tables of contestants have dressed up as gangsters and geisha girls. This, the Silver Trivia anniversary, will be great. Mark it down in the diary.
Just a note to everyone who books events such as lunches and trivia. If you need to cancel your booking, please contact the ASTW Secretariat first before placing any notices on the Facebook page. The Secretariat maintains the waitlist and they are the best people to know who’s next in line for a spot. Thank you.
Our next social event is the Captain Cook Cruises lunch on Sydney Harbour on Friday, June 4. I never tire of a day out on the harbour, and I believe we’ll be treated to Captain Cook’s new menu. See you there.
UPSKILL YOURSELF IN 2021
OUR successful ASTW webinar series is continuing this year and will kick off next Wednesday, June 2, at 10am AEST when Matthew Tucker speaks on Demystifying Taxation.
“I don’t need any help minimising my tax,” said nobody. Ever.
And especially when it comes to freelancers, taxation and compliance is anything but straightforward and can be a minefield. Matters are not helped when our forte is creative writing, photography and digital content development rather than numbers and legislation.
In this webinar, Matt will answer your burning questions about the often-complex issues facing freelancers. He will discuss good bookkeeping habits, PAYG instalment management, balancing paid employment and ABN, non-commercial loss provisions, superannuation for contractors, foreign income, GST and the choice to incorporate.
Matt is principal at Creative Crunchers: an accounting practice located in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, specialising in the arts and entertainment industries. He looks after a range of clients including individuals, partnerships, companies and trusts.
Matt has worked as treasurer on the boards of Playlab and Radio 4ZZZ and spoken for a range of arts organisations over the years. In a past life, he played the drums in a covers band and a number of original outfits ranging from jazz to heavy rock.
Note: You need to register to be able to join the webinar on the day. Once you have registered, you will receive a link for Zoom directly to your inbox. Each person registering will receive their own unique linking code so it is important that you watch out for your email and keep it in a safe place.
This webinar will be recorded so those who cannot make the live session can still view it. To assist with Matthew’s preparation, please email your questions to email@example.com
In other upcoming webinars, members will find a range of topics that will appeal both professionally and personally to grow and upskill.
For example: June 16, 10am AEST, How to improve your smartphone photos and videos – Christina Butcher; June 30, 10am AEST, Fast ways to edit your photos and videos from your smartphone – Christina Butcher.
TRIVIA NIGHT IS BACK
YAY! Trivia Night is back and locked in for Thursday, September 23. And when Jeremy Bourke tells our members on Facebook that this announcement is “anything but trivial”, you know it must be good. Keep an eye on future newsletters and announcements and get your teams ready so you don’t miss out on all the fun.
LONG-AWAITED SYDNEY CATCH-UP
AFTER the year we’ve had as an industry due to Covid, some 180 ASTW members, Tourism Australia representatives and other travel industry guests couldn’t wait to catch up in style on May 12 at Crown Sydney’s Pearl Ballroom in Barangaroo.
There was definitely a welcome buzz in the expansive room as some Board members joined others from around Australia in flying in for the grand ASTW Sydney lunch.
Tourism Australia hosted the event, showing its latest media campaign – putting comedian Hamish Blake and his wife Zoe in the picture of a medley of our nation’s “big” landscapes. ASTW President Caroline Gladstone gave a short welcome before TravMedia founder Nick Wayland interviewed TA chief marketing officer Susan Coghill about the state of play in the industry.
NEXT BIG LUNCH EVENT
BOOKINGS close today for the next Sydney lunch on Friday, June 4, when Captain Cook Cruises takes ASTW members for an afternoon cruise on Sydney Harbour. Meet at 12.15pm, for a 12.30pm sharp departure, and return at 2pm. Interstate members are welcome.
WHAT A HOOT
DEER heads with women’s bras strewn over antlers. Boot-scootin’ dancing. Checked shirts and cowboy hats. They all came together when Outback Queensland brought a taste of the country to the city for the May 14 ASTW Brisbane lunch.
Outback Queensland Tourism Authority hosted the event at Lefties Music Hall in Petrie Terrace’s Caxton Street, and not only delivered an entertaining afternoon of event must-dos and horseplay, but also a paddock-ful of prizes.
CALLING ALL SPONSORS
THE ASTW Board has called for expressions of interest for sponsors of categories in the 2021 ASTW Awards of Excellence, to be announced at this year’s convention in the Tweed.
This is your chance to associate your brand with Australia’s most prestigious travel writing, photography and PR awards and spread your goodwill and congratulations to the winners and finalists. To be involved or make further inquiries about award sponsorship tiers, email Caroline Gladstone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT POSTS ON FACEBOOK
WE’VE made it easy to find important posts on the ASTW Facebook group page. Group announcements are a way for administrators to highlight important posts. When information is posted to the Facebook wall, it will only stay near the top of the page while members are engaging with it through likes and comments.
As the wall is constantly being updated with posts from members, older posts get pushed further down, making them more difficult to find, especially if you can’t remember enough detail to search for it.
Our important posts and those we want members to be able to access quickly, such as our Jobs and Resources information (see below) can be found at the top of our Facebook page under announcements.
DO YOU VISIT THE JOBS BOARD?
THE Jobs Board is another free service for ASTW members on our Facebook page.
It’s a pinned post, so it will always appear at the top of the FB page. In these crazy Covid times of jobs uncertainty, this post allows members to post any new openings they hear of.
Check it out regularly to see if a heads-up on one of those jobs could be of interest to you.
USEFUL TOOLS FOR MEMBERS
DESTINATION NSW has launched a new Media Centre to support every professional publishing and content creation need, providing access to the latest travel and tourism news and the largest collection of content assets of any tourism body in the world.*
Register now at https://media.destinationnsw.com.au and enjoy instant download capability of 30,000 high quality images, video and inspirational editorial content features, as well as breaking news on Sydney and NSW’s visitor economy, products and experiences.
The ASTW Facebook group also now carried a Resources thread that will keep this reference to the new Media Centre and any other useful tools and resources members might need in their day-to-day business in the one, easy-to-find place.
*Based on extensive research by Lookatme, comparing State and National Tourism Boards media centres globally.
Writer and Digital Publisher members are reminded that TravMedia has useful tools to make your jobs a lot easier. Publishers/Editors can find a writer for their projects by using the Editor Alert tab. Writers, seeking information from PRs, should use the Journalist Alert tab. Hundreds of TravMedia members are then immediately notified with just one alert.
THREE new applications for ASTW membership were approved at the May Board meeting.
Tina Irving, Sharon Timms, Anna Mansfield and Alex Mitcheson have applied for Associate Writer membership and now have entered their 30-day objection period. Any objections to new member applications must be sent to the ASTW Secretariat at email@example.com before June 26 .
PLEASE also welcome our new official members who passed their 30-day objection period: Cath Johnsen (Assoc Writer) and Susie Boswell (Assoc Writer).
Australian Society of Travel Writers: of the members, by the members, for the members.
The ASTW acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders both past and present.