Deborah enjoys variety of scope and content. Over the years, she has worked as an editor and writer on publications that were breaking new ground.
- the first eco-guide for a commercial building industry magazine
- the first annual editions of national infrastructure books and national health reform books for the government division of an international custom publisher
- technical guides on sustainable resource use for specifiers
- magazines and supplements on Australian businesses and professionals in Asia-Pacific when it was still rare to trade there, and on pre-1997 Hong Kong migrants
She has also curated and been project manager for a number of titles focusing on Australia as a diverse, go-ahead, innovative nation, consolidating research completed for her MA Australian Studies.
Her features and news topics have included those that have become more mainstream and well-known to Australians during her time covering them, such as the sustainable (environmental, social and economic) urban and built environment, women in the workforce including women architects, population diversity, and global, smart cities.
As a writer and an editor, who works with businesses of all sizes, professionals of all backgrounds, off-beat independent thinkers, not-for-profits, community groups and educational and research establishments, she values the importance of empathy, guidance and understanding for her clients.
Managing and consulting editor
Coordinates and curates multi-author publications focusing on the urban experience, including architecture and design, infrastructure, transport and planning, and on health and wellbeing including social and political health reform, mental health and historical profiles of leading Australian scientists and contemporary women scientists.
Commissions contributors who are either experts in their fields or specialist journalists, develops themes and content mixing independent essays and sponsored editorial, and manages the editorial work flow, liaising with designers and production teams.
- custom publishers including Faircount Media Group, ETN Communications, Messenger Publishing and Roxby Media
- professional associations such as the Australian Medical Association, Mental Health Association of Australia (now Mental Health Australia) and Medical Technology Australia
- To build a nation – infrastructure, cities, planning, design, urban planning and transport
- Sustainable nation – managing Australia’s future (trading, responsibility, environment, community research and technology)
- Melbourne – global smart city
- Australia’s Nobel Laureates – Adventures in Innovation
- Annual editions of Transforming a nation’s healthcare – health and aged care and Rebuilding the nation – Australasia’s infrastructure on the move
- Breaking the novice barrier (medical devices, ehealth and technology)
- Perspectives on Mental Health & Wellbeing
Structural and copy editor
Edits structure and text detail of print and digital publications from raw copy to final layout including picture research, collaborating with designers, creating and checking resource lists, footnotes, captions and bibliographies and text consistency.
- Australian Architecture Association
- Building Construction Interchange (BCI) Australia
- Cirrus Media
- Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation (former)
- Endstate (project managers)
- ETN Communications
- Faircount Media Group
- Hardie Grant
- Messenger Publications
- NATSPEC – National (building) Specification System)
- Sole practice lawyers
- educational and how-to books on environmental management, building and construction and fashion
- annual reference guides
- award directories
- conference brochures
- technical and product guides for non-specialist audiences
- case studies and research projects
- Online content management databases
- Monthly and quarterly magazines and journals
Proofreads publications from newsletters, journals, newspapers and magazines to university study and reference guides, coffee table books and specialist technical guides.
Writer and journalist
Writes for print and digital media on design, architecture and products, culture and creativity, sustainability and the urban environment, and health and wellbeing.
- Award Publications
- Cirrus Media
- Content Empire
- Eureka Street
- Faircount Media Group
- Hardie Grant
- Indesign Media Asia Pacific
- King Content
- Lexus Nexus
- NATSPEC – national specification system of Australia
Essays and forewords
One-offs for diverse outlets.
- What is green editing for building industry publications?
- Women in architecture: diversity in the workplace
- Photographer Anke Stäcker’s imaginative vistas of ruins, desolation and hope
Humanities and social issues
Focuses on diversity, migration, Australia-Asia relations, community, population and inequality. The migration of Hong Kong Chinese to Australia and insights into their preferred Sydney suburbs was one of the first topics I covered here, property, culture and profiles of successful new politicians. This set me on my way and I have since also covered gender, employment, discrimination and other wider socioeconomic issues. Publications include Eureka Street, Sydney Morning Herald, GriffithREVIEW, Australia-China Connections and Architecture Bulletin.
- Hard hats and evening gowns could be fashion of the future
- Feeling at home in gathering spaces and community centres
- Mobility changes how we socialise and with whom
Focuses on representation, reviews, personal experience and community. Who you are gives you a perspective on life. As I have found, talking to people, listening, reading, researching and living to your fullest nourishes your outlook and ideas.
Publications include samesame.com.au, Sydney Star Observer, Sydney Morning Herald, LOTL and Eureka Street.
Culture and creativity
Focuses on creatives and creative precincts, contemporary dance and theatre, film festivals, fringe festivals, actor profiles and author interviews. After working as a staff writer for TV and Entertainment Times, which was Hong Kong’s main English language entertainment magazine in the early to mid1980s, I contributed to media covering the arts, including writing a fortnightly column for the South China Morning Post. I searched out new contemporary dance groups, film clubs, experimental theatre groups, institutions such as the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and the Fringe Festival and Club. Young Hong Kong Chinese started these groups after overseas study, mainly in the UK and US, and they gave a different perspective to financial Hong Kong. I still search out stories on the ever-growing awareness and ties between Hong Kong, China and Australia
Publications include architectureanddesign.com.au, Indesign and the Sydney Morning Herald.
- Creative places of all shapes and sizes
- Portraits of women that capture work and community
- Sculptures among trees and headstones bring cemetery to life
- Mime draws big audiences but few Hong Kong locals learn how to do it
Sustainability, urban environment, places and spaces
Focuses on sustainable cities and products, density, public places, Green Star-rated commercial and educational buildings, density, and green roofs and walls. I first researched sustainability with the EcoDesign Foundation and have witnessed the growth of interest and action on environmental, economic and social sustainability at micro and macro levels, city and precinct, single dwellings and schools, independent third-party measuring systems and life-cycle analysis. I am sure there will be so much more to continue to cover.
Publications include Indesign, Place Partners newsletter, Futurarc, Award magazine, BPN and Rebuilding the Nation.
- 2016 Green Cities conference review: when disrupting the known order of known things, remember we are human
- Change your ways and work with others
- What will our future cities look like?
- What identifies cities as vibrant, communal, distracting, intimate?
Building, construction and products
Focuses on economic/environmental/social/health and safety of products, workforce issues, and new technology. Spearheading the editorial revitalisation of a product magazine led to further writing on technical, business, political and supplier-driven approaches to building and construction. I am still struck by how important the industry is to the Australian economy, indeed the global economy.
Publications include architectureanddesign.com.au, BPN, Construction Contractor, PLUSspec, SPECnews (from the national specification system, NATSPEC) and Construct.
- Sit-stand for the best day at work
- Helping to make modelling and estimating fast
- Creating and managing temporary and permanent art installations
- What to watch out for with green roofs?
- I was there at the start and connections continue
Architecture and design
Focuses on architecture and design of projects and products within a socioeconomic framework, on design education, profiles and trends. This was a natural extension of my ongoing work on products. The recognition of design and designers’ influence on the look, feel and organisation of a place grows, perhaps slower than people in the industry would like, but at a pace that is exciting to cover.
Publications include architectureanddesign.com.au, Indesign, former DQ (Design Quarterly), Futurarc and Shaping Environments.
- Keep sakes to high-end collecting
- Australian artist Gary Carsley installs digital photography to escalators in leading Singapore shopping centre
- Expressing yourself from the hand or the computer
- Finding links amid diversity
Transport, infrastructure planning and project management
Focuses on road and rail, public and private, stakeholder and project integration, hard and soft infrastructure, state and federal governance, trends and change management. Another extension of this fertile area for editorial, these concerns are at the heart of policies, politics, economics, protests, compromises and, at their best, courage to envisage how we can improve the way we live. How this unravels is always fascinating, if often far from ideal.
Publications include Rebuilding the Nation, To Build a Nation, Project Manager and projectmanager.com.au.
- Major city infrastructure struggles to cope with growth
- High hopes for infrastructure across Australia
- How to deliver infrastructure with limited funds
- Contemplating how to manage the vision of change
Focuses on design, product, business and workplace organisation and culture particularly in co-working spaces and flexible/activity-based workplaces. Commercial building affects so much of our daily lives. From awarded new sustainable Green-Star rated offices to existing stock in need of more than a lick of paint, I follow how these fit in with population, housing and commuting pressures. I am particularly interested in all forms of agile working, including co-working and hubs.
Publications include www.hubaustralia.com, Architecture Association of Australia newsletter and BVN architects Transformative: The architecture of work culture.
- Liberating how we work
- What were the early days of co-working like?
- Cafes save the day in hectic schedule
- Designing for offices so you can hear yourself think
Health and wellbeing
Focuses on independent living design, modification and products, aged care facilities, hospital design and ergonomics. Since editing books on healthcare reform and on mental health and wellbeing I have looked further into this area especially as our demographics and increasing focus on health mean it is a subject that will only grow.
Publications include BPN, Australia’s Nobel Laureates, Exploring Teens, Living Well Navigator and www.archtitectureanddesign.com.au.
- Posture, exercise, furniture and a flexible space important at any age
- The long and the short of it
- Healthcare reform and action for ageing population
- Assisting accessibility with design and products
Focuses on Western Australia, Sydney, Japan, South-East Asia and China. My travel stories are from the early 1980s onwards. They arose from extensive travels across to Kathmandu (in 1978, one of the last trips before Russia invaded Afghanistan changing the entire overland route), then South and North-East Asia and Australia. Includes food stalls, markets and business etiquette, landscape, history, museums and chance meetings such as with the original members of the Shanghai Peace Hotel jazz group that was newly playing again in 1983. I only include a couple of samples from the publications that included newspapers, in-flight, business, hotel, credit card and specialist magazines. Many of the topics endure.