Each member of our team is passionate about the role we play in making a positive impact in the community. Learn more about the people behind the passion and what makes them proud to be part of the work we do. A head and shoulders photo of Sarah. She is wearing a white top and has medium length brown hair. She is smiling.

Introducing Sarah

The biggest part of my life is my son, Arlo. He’s just about to turn 14 months and he is my everything. I don’t remember life before him, it feels like he’s always been here. Being around books is my happy place. Whether it’s reading them, talking about them, or finding new ones to read in bookstores. My other favourite thing to do is play acoustic guitar. It’s a bit tricky for me to find as much time to play as I used to but when I can, it’s a fun way for me to express myself and my love of music. That’s another favourite of mine! I listen to music every day. My music taste is a real mix and I listen to artists or genres depending on how I feel in that moment.

And I can’t forget my joy of baking. It’s always been an interest since I was really little, and it’s grown as I’ve gotten older. My number one staple is making pancakes – there’s never a moment where I’ll pass on eating pancakes. I also like making cakes for family birthdays. The whole process of baking is the fun part, measuring everything correctly, cooking times, the way you need to mix ingredients together.

What is your role at the Information Access Group?

I’m a Project Editor and in my role, I write, edit and review Easy Read documents for our clients. I also work on edits for plain language projects. There’s a project I’m currently working on as the main editor for the Australian Government Department of Education that I’m really proud of. The project includes 8 documents that are educational resources for students with disability and their families. Each document focuses on a different topic to help the target audience navigate through their school years. I’m enjoying the process of creating the content and making it accessible to the target audience.

What do you find most rewarding about the work you do at the Information Access Group?

There are 2 parts to my role that I find rewarding. The first is creating documents for our target audiences that are more accessible and easier to read. The content we have to convert can be quite complex sometimes and I hope the Easy Read documents that make it out and into the world can help others. The second is getting to write, edit and review every week. I become really immersed in projects once the job is properly underway – the back-and-forth collaboration with the client is definitely one of my favourite parts. It’s what we learned about when I studied publishing: author collaboration.

You have written many book reviews on your blog, completed a Master of Writing and Publishing from RMIT University and volunteered as a committee member for Writers Victoria – when did you know you wanted to pursue a career in editing?

A woman on a bed holding a baby. They are both smiling.

It’s a combination of things for me. I’ve always loved books since I was a kid. When I finished high school, I studied a Bachelor of Arts and majored in literary studies and public relations. My passion for books went up a notch while studying literature. I moved into the space where my assignments were about analysing books and authors, then discussing them with the class. I also took part in a 2-day event through Writers Victoria which was an introduction to publishing. At the end of the second day, I approached the woman running it and asked her what someone’s next steps would be to become an editor. She said doing the Master of Writing and Publishing was the next best move. So, I applied for the course and got in. It was the best time I’ve ever had studying. I learned so much. A key part of the course was a mock-publishing house where we worked on real projects: short story anthologies, magazines, online news content, books. That’s where the true energy and excitement for a career in editing grew. So now when I read books, I still read them for enjoyment, but I always have the editor in me thinking about little edits I might have made if I worked on the book, or really appreciating the author’s approach with their writing style or storyline.

For your master’s thesis you chose to research audiobooks and how they can support children with learning difficulties. Did that spark your interest in accessibility?

My thesis definitely gave me more perspective and understanding of accessibility and what it can mean for people. For example, audiobook features can really benefit some children who might need the text read to them slower.

You have previously worked in publishing – what was the most important thing you learned during that time?

One of the biggest things I learned when I worked for an audiobook company is how much pre-planning is involved before a product is published. The publishing schedule would be one to 2 years in advance – there were so many moving parts everyone had to think about.

You fractured your leg while surfing on a girls’ weekend away and ended up needing surgery. Have you been back on the board since then or have you taken up a different sport?

Oh my gosh, no I haven’t! I got completely put off after the injury. It was a surf lesson and I stepped off the board in shallow water and I misplaced how deep the water was. To be fair though, I’ve never been (and am still not) an outdoor adventure person so it’s not a huge loss for me.

What’s your favourite memory of travelling to Europe with your dad in 2016?

A man walking away down a path. There are green hedges and trees lining the path.

So many! The overall one is getting to spend quality, one-on-one time with my dad. A few highlights were visiting the Palace of Versailles, walking through all the different towns and cities we visited and going to the 2-part play of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (it was the first year it came out, the initial reason we went to Europe).

You became a mother for the first time in 2023 – what has that experience been like for you? Has it changed how you see the world or the way you think about certain things?

It has been the most life-altering experience for me in so many ways. Being a mother is extremely rewarding and challenging every day. In fact, so much happens in one day when you’re a parent. Some parts came more naturally to me than others, which at times has been tricky to navigate through. But since Arlo has gotten a little bit older, especially in the past few months, we are having so many sweet and funny moments together. Becoming a mother has definitely changed how I see the world and the way I think about certain things. I have more appreciation and understanding for all parents, raising a child is a huge responsibility. I also view the time I spend on things in my life differently too. Now that he’s here and my mind is always on the go, I appreciate things more and can put other things to the side that serve less of a purpose for me.

You have a great post on your blog about whether a novel can change you. What book, or books, have made a big impact on you?

A baby crawling through a tunnel.

Thank you! For me, the Harry Potter series will always be a special one. I’ve re-read the series that many times and I just finished listening to the series as audiobooks for the first time which has been a whole other level of enjoyment for me. The series for me is super nostalgic and my safe space in the book world. I know what happens, but I feel connected to the story and characters each time. There’s definitely been other books that have affected me in different ways, a few standouts are The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shrivel and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Want to find out more about Sarah? Read her blog.