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Creative Communication & Writing Services for Canberra - "The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do" - Thomas Jefferson

experience

Desk Job Director Barbara De Costa takes several years in the Public Sector preparing information briefs, correspondence and speech notes for senior public servants and Government Ministers and combines this with first-hand experience of the day to day operations, guidelines, compliance issues, clearance levels, timeframes and countless other factors affecting the outputs and requirements of individual government agencies. Having worked for a number of departments over 12 years, Barbara is able to quickly identify the dynamic and varied needs from agency to agency.

Government Experience

National Capital Authority
Prior to March 2007, Barbara was the ‘Ministerial Liaison and Governance Manager’ (Executive Level 1) at the National Capital Authority and was primarily engaged in writing and editing Ministerial briefs, Ministerial correspondence (to a variety of stakeholders) and speech notes for government Ministers. She also compiled the Annual Report for the Authority in 2003, 2004 and 2005, including some editing and writing.

Responding to Ministerial correspondence from the general public frequently involves introducing complex issues to a broad audience with varying degrees of understanding. It is essential that the response to a question on drought management from a qualified meteorologist complements that given a seven year old child, while considering the language, detail and format each are likely to comprehend. In the drafting of such correspondence Barbara has developed an applied understanding of how to write to different audiences. She partners this skill with a, near obsessive, fondness for good grammar, as prescribed in the Commonwealth Public Service Style Manual.

ComSuper
Barbara has recently completed comprehensive content updates for ComSuper’s MilitarySuper and Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB) websites. Barbara worked closely with ComSuper’s Military Communications and Marketing section to ‘refresh’ all content across both sites, whilst carefully maintaining the sites’ integrity, consistency and readability. This was in conjunction with the development of new designs and layouts for both sites. To expedite both projects through ComSuper’s compliance and clearance requirements, and to ensure all parties remained focused on common goals, a number of team meetings and workshops were conducted. Barbara actively and enthusiastically participated in the meetings which proved invaluable in progressing the projects and enabling her to meet all deadlines. The websites can be viewed at www.dfrdb.gov.au and www.militarysuper.gov.au.

Barbara has also drafted five online seminar scripts for MilitarySuper and DFRDB and is currently drafting a further four. These seminars examine a range of issues and queries that arise in regard to the superannuation benefits of Military Personnel. While three of these online seminars are still in production, one can currently be viewed at militarysuper.gov.au and one at drfrb.gov.au. These gave a little more creative scope, affording Barbara a greater opportunity to demonstrate research and creative writing skills. The final seminars have been well received by the MilitarySuper and DFRDB Members and Boards.

Further work for ComSuper has included editing and proofreading six reports - two Annual Reports to Parliament and four to DFRDB and MilitarySuper scheme Members.

Australian Federal Police
Barbara edited the Australian Federal Police booklet "Supporting those who are left behind", a counselling framework to support families of missing persons

Private Sector Experience

Barbara has provided professional writing and editing services across a varied selection of organisations, private businesses and initiatives including:

  • editing a funding proposal for National Capital Attractions
  • researching and writing two comprehensive tender responses for Government requests for tender
  • all website copy and print marketing for Kundalini Hair Salon
  • Beer, Cocktail and ‘Local’ guides for the Local Liquor website
  • a fortnightly on line newsletter for Local Liquor
  • the Canberra Times lift out guide, radio advertisements and web site content for the 2007 ActewAGL Royal Canberra Show
  • web site content for Teacher Tom (A company engaged in marketing educational software in Asia)
  • all copy for Escala Shoes Catalogue, website, radio and print advertising including an advertorial in FashionTrend magazine
  • radio and direct marketing for GymQuip Fitness