Introducing the people behind the scenes at DPS, the company bringing you the Disability Support Guide and Talking Disability, to help you get to know us a little better and give insight into what we do. Next up in our Q&A series is our Managing Editor, Margot White.
How long have you been with DPS?
I started with DPS in September 2012 so I'm currently in my tenth year.
I've had a few different roles in my time here. I initially started in a part time admin support role helping out with collecting and checking information about different aged care providers on our database.
I then became part of the Production team looking after all the website profiles and online adverts for our clients before eventually putting my journalism and graphic design skills to good use when I took on the Editor role seven years ago.
What is your role?
As the Managing Editor, I coordinate the operations of all the content we create at DPS. That includes the Aged Care Guide and Disability Support Guide websites and the different print publications we produce for each State and Territory as well as the news we cover on the Talking Aged Care and Talking Disability pages.
We're a small team and there are usually a number of 'balls in the air' at any given time. We work on a rotating schedule for our printed publications which means that while we're in the final stages of getting one book ready for print, we're also looking ahead at what content needs to be updated or refreshed for future publications.
I review and brainstorm new content with the editorial team and depending on what other projects we have going on there may be digital content that needs to be mapped out or written for either website.
We're constantly trying to make sure that our resources stay relevant and are easy to use so part of my role is reviewing how we present our information and working out if there is a better or different way to do that so we can better inform people or reach more people.
What are you currently working on?
At the moment the team and I are getting ready to start production of the next Aged Care Guide for Tasmania and we're planning some new consumer stories and case studies for the upcoming Disability Support Guide.
I'm also working on content for a brand new Disability Navigator Guide we're looking to launch in Queensland and I am managing the content side of a large digital project we're hoping to roll out soon.
What are some of the things you've learnt at DPS?
When I started working for DPS I didn't know much about aged care in Australia but over time I've learnt quite a bit about the sector and what the journey for older people needing support looks like.
Similarly, working on the Disability Support Guide website and printed guides meant getting a deeper understanding of the in's and out's of the NDIS and disability support options in general, to be able to translate all the complex information into easy to understand articles for consumers. My son accesses the NDIS as a participant and having that first-hand experience in dealing with disability supports and the NDIS was really helpful when writing content for our Guides.
Also, I come from a print media background and when I first started, the printed guides were a huge focus for the business and we didn't produce as much digital content. We would often implement things for the printed guide first that were then shared online.
Print is still a big part of the job but with the business transforming into a strong digital media company, I gained some new skills and learnt to shift my thinking from a print-first mindset to a digital-first approach and as a result we've been able to add a lot of valuable content to the website.
What is the best thing about working for DPS?
Knowing that the work we do can help make a difference in people's lives. The aged and disability sectors are incredibly difficult to navigate for people and often they are under a lot of emotional stress when trying to find out what supports best suit their needs and circumstances. Being able to play a part in educating people about the options available to them and helping them take control of their choices so they can live their best life is very rewarding.
Another great thing about working here is being part of such a dedicated team of people that work so hard to make our website and print publications happen. Every person in DPS, from client support making sure the information we display is correct and the sales people dealing with our advertisers, to the IT team constantly improving the website and the proof reader checking our guides before print, plays some part in the process so it really is a team effort.
What is your greatest achievement?
One of the exciting things about working for DPS is that the company is not afraid to try new things and there are always new ideas and opportunities to explore. I have worked on a number of great initiatives over the years, some that were only a once or twice off and others that stuck and have grown into great resources.
Starting the Disability Support Guide website and printed publication from scratch back in 2018 was a massive undertaking. Not only was there an enormous amount of new content to create, I was also heavily involved in the design of the publication and even ended up doing some of the typesetting of the first edition myself.
It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to the final product but I'm incredibly proud of the valuable resource we created so I'd say that's definitely my greatest achievement during my time at DPS so far.
Where is the most interesting place you've been?
Egypt was a really incredible place to visit. It has such a rich culture and so much history and exploring the country's highlights was like walking around in a big open air museum. I've always been interested in learning about ancient Egypt and how it has impacted on the modern world. They were one of the first civilizations to use symbols to express their ideas in written form and so much of their art and architecture is still around today.
The highlight of that trip was visiting the Abu Simbel temple. We had to leave at 4am and travel through the Sahara Desert to get there but it was so worth it. The temple is carved in a rock wall and was built in such a position that twice a year the sunlight comes in through the entrance and shines through the temple to the back chamber where it reflects on a statue of King Ramses II. We were there to witness that event which was pretty spectacular.
What is the best way to start the day?
I like to start the day early and go to the gym for a workout or go for a walk. I live near the beach and walking as the sun comes up while spotting dolphins and listening to the waves hitting the sand gives me positive energy for the day ahead and the feeling I have already achieved something.