Since 2000, our specialist writers and designers for government have helped countless state and Commonwealth government departments and agencies with plain English writing, editing and graphic design.
Government graphic design solutions
Our government graphic design solutions communicate information in the most legible and engaging way. Every element on every page has a clear purpose – to communicate your message clearly in a way that’s visually appealing.
Government documents and reports should never say, ‘Look at me.’ They should say, ‘Look at this’. Every design element on every page needs to inform and engage. Our crisp, clear, attractive government design will reinforce your brand. We can also animate your results and statistics with uncluttered, easily digestible and artful infographics, charts, tables and icons.
Your Andrew Pegler Media-designed annual report will:
- represent you at your best
- intelligently combine authority, emotion and reason
- be professionally project managed using our well-tested project management methodology
- be on-brand and on-message
- be accessible
- have at least two cover page and layout options
- contain well produced video/animation and infographics if required
- give you the option to have us organise printing.
Plain English government editorial services
Put simply or, dare we say it, plainly, plain English is writing something in a way that gives someone a good chance of understanding it on the first reading, and in the way you want them to. A good government writer uses clear, direct writing, with as few words as possible, avoiding ambiguity, verbiage and complex sentences.
What looks like a simple and effective message, is usually the product of long and careful crafting. For a government writer this process is impossible without a sound grasp of language from the ground up. So whether it’s copywriting from scratch, a light edit, or major surgery involving a complete rethink of an existing document, we’ve got you covered. We’ll craft your government document into a leaner, cleaner and more concise message that can be understood and acted on after one reading. Of course, while editing, we’ll rigorously maintain the original meaning and intent, and never change facts or figures.
Together our design and editorial services will make your government document the most effective it can be.
See specific examples of our work below which include:
- annual reports
- high profile government reports
- fact sheets
- case studies
- brochures and flyers
- internal communications
- press releases and much more…
INQUIRY INTO THE VICTORIAN ON-DEMAND WORKFORCE
APM plain English edited and graphic designed the 200,000 word Inquiry into the Victorian On-Demand Workforce. The Victorian Government commissioned Inquiry, released mid 2020, was a response to concerns about the wages and conditions of workers in the on-demand or ‘gig’ economy. APM worked with commissioned research, submissions and rough chapter drafts prepared by the Department of Premier and Cabinet. In addition to copy and design support, APM advised on structural changes to ensure the recommendations were clearly and logically expressed.
Our design approach to this document (and all government reports) is to create a document that is visually accessible. In a report where text predominates, it’s important to ensure there is visual relief. Infographics, break-out boxes, tables, graphs and other graphic elements in the Inquiry report provided statistics at-a-glance, directed the reader to important points of interest, and conveyed the core content of the report in a ‘readable’ format.
APM’s rigorous project management methodology ensured all editorial and design requirements were delivered on time and that the project ran smoothly.
The 2020 mid-term update of CSIRO’s National Marine Science Plan (2015–2025) brought together the knowledge and experience of Australia’s marine research organisations, universities, industry and government, as well as more than 500 scientists.
APM was the scientific editor on the report, and our substantive structural and copy editing assessed and shaped the copy to:
- remove any undue repetition and factual contradictions
- smooth-out the language to enable access for a broad audience
- improve flow and continuity of tone
- clarify meaning
- improve the organisation and content.
The result was a document that maintained scientific integrity without sacrificing accessibility.
THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING (DEET)
DEET has been a regular client of APM since 2003, having helped it to write and design numerous reports, program rollouts and other collateral. In 2019, APM plain English edited and proofread its four annual reports covering:[JH1]
- Department of Education and Training (DET)
- Victorian Regulations and Qualifications Authority (VRQA)
- Adult Community and Further Education Board
- AMES Australia.
The four annual reports comprised of over 150,000 words of supplied, internally written copy. Our role was to edit the copy [JH2] to ensure it was:
- easily understood
- flowing logically
- adhering to house style
- 100% correct across spelling, grammar, punctuation etc
- communicating core department messages
- addressing stakeholder concerns.
New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC)
In 2020, for the third consecutive year, NSWALC commissioned APM to write and design its annual report. The high level of professionalism we bring to writing, design and project management is what keeps NSWALC coming back.
Copywriting, editing and project management
APM organised the structure of the report and the information for each section to achieve a sequential flow of content. Both structural and plain-English copy editing were required on supplied text. This included rationalising repetitive information to form section introductions and overviews while ensuring a consistent, clear voice throughout. We also created copy from primary sources and interviews, including with the Chair and the CEO.
Each year, APM’s design for NSWALC’s annual report has sought to showcase Aboriginal culture and heritage. Colour palettes, typography and design elements were chosen to reflect the Aboriginal landscape and traditions. Using elements of Aboriginal art to create graphics and icons, and sourcing appropriate stock imagery, we’ve taken the design of the report from simply meeting statutory requirements to becoming the flagship of the organisation.
CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE VICTORIA
Victorians rely on the essential services that Victoria’s eight critical infrastructure sectors provide, to underpin our social and economic wellbeing. APM has produced four All Sectors Resilience Reports providing an overview of the sectors, their key emergency risks, the resilience improvement initiatives completed over the year and what was proposed for the next one. This annual report needed to highlight both the benefits of continued collaboration and the ongoing focus on boosting our resilience to key emergency risks.
The brief from Critical Infrastructure Victoria (CIV) was very specific: the design and images needed to equally reflect the eight critical infrastructure sectors, and their importance to urban and regional communities across Victoria. An additional challenge was to represent CIV’s core business of crisis management, without the use of ‘sensational’ images or repeating of images from previous reports (not an easy task when relying solely on free stock images). Overall, the message was one of the resilience of each sector to the shocks and stressors of emergency events. APM’s design solution used a ‘clean’ layout (plenty of white space) with large format images, and a wheel motif representing the interdependence of the eight sectors.
Copywriting, editing and project management
This regular APM client, wanted an annual report that would allow the public to understand the important work of this little known, but crucial corner of government. Drawing from a mix of rough existing material, press releases, ministerial speeches and reports, APM pulled together content for each sector of Victoria’s critical infrastructure. We then plain English edited the copy to ensure it was easily digestible by the general public without sacrificing its intent or intellectual rigour. This is a typical balancing act for us and one we always welcome.
RED AND BLUE BOOKS FOR THE VICTORIAN STATE ELECTION
Prior to each Victorian State election, government departments prepare an incoming government brief for both the Liberal Party (known as the Blue book) and the ALP (the Red book), reflecting advice on the challenges facing the state, as well as the known priorities of the new government. The party that forms government receives its book, while the other is pulped. APM proofread 250,000 words for red and blue books for Victorian Government departments. The highly confidential nature of the information required APM employees to be security checked and NDAs to be signed. The job was delivered within a very tight time frame and to the great satisfaction of our regular client.
FORMER LANDS DEPARTMENT CHEMICAL INQUIRY
The Victorian Government established an Inquiry into the use of chemicals by government employees – specifically 245T and 24D – between 1965 and 1995, in Western Victoria. Working very closely with the Inquiry’s Chair Greg Tweedly, APM was commissioned to plain English edit and proofread this 100,000 word report while also ensuring all 900 references adhered to a consistent Harvard style. This involved simplifying complex scientific information without losing any meaning or intent, as well as consulting on a range of content and style issues, to ensure the final document flowed clearly and concisely.
This Inquiry comes at a time of heightened concern in the Ballarat community around the impact of exposure to the chemicals 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) on the Department’s employees. The Inquiry has investigated the likely exposures of Department employees in the Ballarat region to these chemicals from 1965 to 1995 and any potential health risks. Many people will be looking for this Report to find out if there is a definite link between 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T to cancers and other illnesses of family, friends and work colleagues. The Inquiry was not tasked to assess this but to ascertain the likely exposure of employees to 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T and therefore better understand any potential health risks. Our key finding is that, prior to 1981, it is plausible that exposure to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD, a contaminant in 2,4,5-T) may cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma or soft tissue sarcoma. With so many possible causes of cancer, however, it’s impossible to be absolutely certain that this exposure is one of those causes.
THE EDUCATION STATE
Victoria’s Education State initiative aims to build an education system that produces excellence and reduces the impact of disadvantage. Working over several months, both in house and remotely, with the Department of Education and Training, APM wrote around 40 fact sheets and a range of press releases, brochures, web sites, FAQs and other collateral.
The brave new world of work skills
Globalisation and the emergence of low-cost producers in China, India and Indonesia have ensured our economic future no longer lies in making things but in advanced manufacturing and knowledge-based service industries. This shift is going on right now and will require workers with conceptual, analytical and information-processing skills, i.e., STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths). While international benchmarks place Australia/Victoria as a middle-to-upper ranked STEM-skilled workforce (often ahead of the USA and UK), our business community is still struggling to find enough people to fill roles and believes STEM skills should be a priority issue.
STEM at work
In its Skills outlook 2019 report, the OECD highlighted how the technological revolution has affected everything from how we ’talk‘ with our family and friends, to how we shop and especially how and where we work. This has shifted the skills that future workers will need strongly towards STEM. They’ll need numeracy and problem-solving skills to grasp complex, abstract information, and to conduct analyses and complex reasoning about quantities and data, statistics and chance, spatial relationships, and change, proportions and formulas.
What is a STEM job?
There’s not a recognised, global set of STEM jobs but health professions, agriculture, environment and related fields, and computing are all typically included, as are accountancy and business studies, economics and econometrics. In fact, of the 85 fields of study available, there are about 50 fields that have a STEM element.