Movers & Shakers – Philippa Yelland

March 3, 2001

… a showcase of successful and talented women. The women featured in this section are have achieved a level of professional success that most of us can, and do, aspire to.

The women who appear on this page are selected by consensus of the SheSaid editorial staff and are duly invited to participate. If you wish to nominate an inspiring woman to appear in this ‘moving and shaking hall of fame’, please contact us.

Name Philippa Yelland

Occupation/Title Journalist, writer, speaker

Company/Organisation WordWright Editorial Services

State NSW

Age 43

Star sign Libra

Describe your career progression and your current professional position.

I have been a journalist for 20 years, and currently focus on information technology (IT) issues.

After spending two years at each of The Canberra Times and The Australian Financial Review, I was appointed editor of Powderhound Ski Magazine and in 1986 founded Desktop Publishing Magazine. I was in a unique position to do this – as far as is known, I was the first person in Australia to use and train others in the earliest versions of PageMaker and to commission the newly available Apple Macintosh as a DTP system.

Since 1994, a time when IT was not yet a buzzword, I have specialised in computer journalism. I took up the position of Computers & High Technology business section editor with The Australian into a free-lance powerbase as a recognised expert in IT employment, the changing profiles of women in IT, eCommerce & the Internet.

My IT columns and features appear each Tuesday in the computer sections of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Her communications consultancy, WordWright Editorial Services, specialises in copy writing, editing, training, and lecturing.

At present I am completing my first novel set in the swamps of southern Queensland, writing a motivational self-help book about IT eEmployment, and collaborating with Perth composer Roxanne Della-Bosca on the libretto for Fish, a one-hour music-theatre piece commissioned by Arts WA – to be performed in Sydney next year.

Describe a typical day There isn’t one! My husband and I work from home while looking after our 3 young children (4 years, 2 ?, and 1). We have a wonderful house helper who looks after the children while we work in the mornings and some afternoons. A typical work session would be: check emails, reply, chase stories, work on book, write some more libretto for music theatre, wrestle with GST and BAS compliance, respond to invitations to speak.

What’s the best part of the job? Contributing to the debate about social equity in Australia

What’s the worst part of the job? Allocating time between work and family

What was your first job? Selling women’s underwear at Coles in Brisbane

What did you want to be when you grew up? My self.

What 3 character traits best describe you? Obsessive, loving, and frazzled.

If you could invite five people, living or dead, to dinner who would they be? Jesus Christ, Patrick White, Janet Frame, Germaine Greer, and my husband.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career? Sylvia Lawson, journalist and lecturer at Griffith University. She showed me it was possible to make a living from writing, and to have a family.

What would you spend your last $100 on? I’d give it to someone who needed it.

What are you incapable of living without? High heels.

What are you reading? Montessori Play & Learn by Lesley Britton; As Nature Made Him – The Boy Who Was Raised As a Girl by John Colapinto; With One Skin Less – Poems by Philip Hammial: The Bible

What are you driving? Our old Toyota LiteAce.

What’s your favourite piece of clothing? A Mondrian-like silk scarf.

What would you never wear again? Flares.

What is your favourite perfume? Lavender.

Would you consider cosmetic surgery? Not for myself.

What’s your favourite drink? Iced mocha.

What is, or would be, your perfect holiday destination? My home – with meals brought in, the housework done, and fresh white, fluffy towels each day.

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