Kerry Davies AE (Accredited Editor) has been awarded the 2023 Janet Mackenzie Medal (the Mackenzie) for four decades of remarkable service to the editing profession and to the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd), the industry association for editors in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Mackenzie is IPEd’s highest award and honours the memory of revered editor, author and IPEd member Janet Mackenzie DE (1947–2018). The award is given to an outstanding professional editor who has lifted the standard of the editing profession and/or given exemplary service to IPEd. Kerry has done both.
Davies said of receiving the award:
'I feel so honoured and humbled to receive the Janet Mackenzie Medal 2023. My career over the past 45 years has been wide-ranging. Every aspect, every experience, some exhilarating, some just a tad scary and some even painful, is built on the last and feeds into the next; it’s a never-ending learning process that informs what I bring to my current editing practice.'
Davies has worked in publishing and communications since 1977, having worked on more than 300 publications and projects. Her extensive client list includes publishers; university, non-profit, government and corporate sectors; and private clients across many genres, both fiction and non-fiction.
Her career has taken her from being a communications officer with the Queensland Conservation Council, to the University of Queensland Press and Jacaranda Wiley. Davies also worked in Darwin as a journalist and producer for print, radio and television. From 1990 to 1995 she was the manager of Magabala Books, then only three years old. Over the next five years, she helped establish publishing and administration systems for the Indigenous publisher, achieving Major Arts Organisation status and triennial funding from the Australia Council.
Davies’ next planned project is to co-author, with Stephanie Holt AE, the third edition of The Editor’s Companion, continuing the work of the late Janet Mackenzie DE.
IPEd Chair Ruth Davies said Kerry Davies had made an outstanding contribution to the editing profession and was well known to many IPEd members, having served as Editors Queensland president for six years from 2010 and as Queensland director for IPEd from 2013, commenting:
'Kerry Davies has also been and continues to be, an active member on a number of IPEd’s working parties and standing committees. Notably, she was IPEd Board Chair from 2015 to 2020, and oversaw IPEd’s transition to its current structure in 2016.
Her contribution to the Pay and Conditions Standing Committee continues to be critical to advancing the recognition of editors as highly skilled professionals. The committee developed IPEd’s fair pay rates for self-employed editors, and Kerry remains committed to advocating for fair and reasonable conditions for freelance and in-house editors.
As a member of the Queensland branch of IPEd, I have long looked up to her and been inspired by her commitment, her professionalism and her sheer tenacity on behalf of all editors.
She’s a true leader, motivating and encouraging people and bringing them along with her.'
Kerry’s other achievements include lobbying the Australian Government for a seventh edition of the Style Manual, and overseeing IPEd’s review of the current digital edition. She also contributed extensively as a member of the organising committee of the 2017 IPEd Conference hosted by Editors Queensland, and conceived and participated in the recent IPEd Ambassadors Program. In 2013 she was made an Honorary Life Member in recognition of her significant contribution to Editors Queensland, to the editing profession and to IPEd.
Watch Kerry Davies' acceptance of the Janet Mackenzie Medal here, and learn more about the Janet Mackenzie Medal on the IPEd website.