Saldais - Creative Writer - Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Margaret Saldais

Brisbane, QLD, Australia


Creative Writer


Authored numerous History/English textbooks (or part thereof) for international publishers Wiley and Oxford. Completed a young adult fantasy novel; while not accepted for publication, my writing style was commended by a publisher and a senior editor with major publishing houses and by a leading literary agent. Won the university prize for best female postgraduate when I completed my Masters degree (English Lit).

Work History

Freelance editor and writer; English language consultant

Southbank Institute

From February 2011

February 2011 to present:
Freelance editor and writer; English language consultant
• wrote an extended course on Corporate Social Responsibility for the Southbank Institute, Brisbane
• edited web sites, CVs and two self-published manuscripts
• provided English language coaching to senior Chinese and Brazilian mining executives
• completed contractual writing commitments on two OUP History texts
• wrote copy for a web unit on Pandemic Risk Management for a Queensland Government department (requiring research, content preparation and editing)
• edited a number of statistical reports for the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)

Freelance editor, reviewer and writer

May 2008 - July 2011

Prime author (and content developer) of two junior secondary History books for OUP for the National Curriculum. During this time, I also:
• wrote and edited teacher support copy and student worksheets for Oxford
• copy edited a geography textbook (high school) for Wiley
• completed writing a young adult novel
• edited work for a range of clients, including AGPAL (Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited); I overwrote and edited AGPAL's entire suite of documentation

Writer and content advisor

Oxford University Press

December 2006 - April 2008

Requested by newly appointed Managing Director to develop a new junior Humanities series. I wrote most of two texts, had a significant input into the shape and features of the texts, selected almost all the photographs and prepared all art and cartography briefs, including for large and very complex pieces.

Writer, publishing adviser

Southbank Institute of Technology

May 1996 - October 2006

Headhunted to assist Southbank Institute of Technology in developing/writing course documentation (Hospitality) for delivery in China/Southbank. Was encouraged to apply for a full-time senior managerial position but declined in favour of Oxford.

Project editor, development editor, publishing editor

John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd

February 1996 - April 2006

• Project managed a wide range of school and tertiary texts across a diversity of subject areas, including English, Biology, SOSE, Physics, Business, History, Management, Auditing. Responsibilities in this role included editing; overwriting; creative writing (e.g. short stories, plays and short scripts for audio recording); conceiving art and preparing briefs; photo selection; liaison with authors, e-media consultants, artists, agencies and individuals (re copyright), National Library (re CIP data), voiceover consultants, compositors and indexers; and managing time and contingency issues to ensure books met planned publication dates.
• Regularly wrote corporate material often at the direct request of, and on behalf of, the Managing Director.
• Helped to develop, wrote, overwrote and published a suite of junior high school texts (English and History) - some of which became market leaders.

Freelance editor, writer


February 1992 - December 1995

• Worked for a range of clients including: Kinhill Engineers; Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation; Commonwealth Departments of Tourism and Health, Housing and Community Services; Victorian Treasury; Australian Nature Conservation; National Gallery of Australia; National Library; Australian Institute of Health and Welfare; Australian Government Publishing Service; and Australian College of Education.
• Editing and/or writing/overwriting tasks included international newsletters, environmental impact statements, government annual reports, company reports, technical and statistical reports, asset management and public housing manuals, information brochures, marketing material, quality assurance documentation, catalogues (e.g. for the National Gallery).

Editor, publications officer

Kinhill Engineers, Canberra

May 1990 - February 1992

Involved in the compilation, overwriting and editing of corporate and divisional marketing material, capability statements, tender bids, annual reports, newsletters and staff CVs.

• assisted in editing environmental impact statements, including that for the proposed third runway at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport (working 60+ hours per week)

Was trained as an editor by Loma Snooks who later produced the 6th edition of the Australian Government Style Manual.

Freelance consulting, Canberra

ACT Housing and Community Services Bureau

January 1987 - February 1990

Writer, editor, administrator
Clients included Parliament House Construction Authority (PHCA) (wrote extended résumés for all retrenched staff), ACT Housing and Community Services Bureau (wrote an annual strategic plan), high-profile executives in the private sector (wrote job applications) and the then Australian Construction Services (provided input to annual reports, and assisted in developing corporate marketing strategies).

February 1983 to January 1987: Family responsibilities, Canberra

Executive officer (then Clerk Class 9)

Commonwealth Department of Housing and Construction

Up to October 1982

Provided executive support to the First Assistant Secretary (FAS), Major Projects (Defence and Airports) in the department's central office. This position followed my participation in the department's Executive Development program. Involvements included:

• high-level administrative activities associated with the planning, design and construction of major defence and airport facilities, all of which involved writing
• writing input to submissions to Cabinet and to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, and other parliamentary committees of inquiry
• preparation of a wide range of briefing, correspondence and reports for the departmental Secretary, the Minister, and senior staff (in department and client bodies)

Range of administrative positions

Commonwealth Department of Construction

Various positions, almost all of which involved working closely with engineers, quantity surveyors and architects.

• Played a key role in 1977 in assisting effective resource management of professional staff. Developed from first principles a system to match professional resources with expected workload to maximise efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Reported directly to senior management. I was told that my work in this regard was the reason for my selection for executive development.

Qualifications & Certifications

graduate studies

University of Queensland

University College

English literature

University of NSW

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