chris pirie editorial services

Chris Pirie

editorial services clarity



Chris Pirie DE has been a professional editor and writer for close to 40 years, most of them freelance.

Beginning her career with a division of News Limited, she moved from writer to sub-editor, editor, production editor and managing editor within two years.

From 1984 to 2016 Chris freelanced in Canberra; she now works from the Far South Coast of New South Wales. Apart from being responsible for editorial standards and production to print-ready stage of hundreds of government reports, she has specific expertise in dealing with multi-author works. Among her diverse subject areas are civil–military collaboration, administrative law, superannuation, veterans’ affairs, health, and climate and the environment.

Chris was appointed one of the principal writers and editors for the sixth (current) edition of the Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers; this two-year project involved writing four chapters, rewriting a number of others, and editing almost all the manual. She has also written numerous other style guides.

Among Chris’s other career highlights has been editing the reports of many royal commissions and similar inquiries—demanding, fascinating and rewarding work.

An inaugural assessor for the Institute of Professional Editors accreditation scheme, Chris was awarded the descriptor DE (Distinguished Editor) in 2008.



Chris offers the following services:

  • substantive editing
  • copy editing
  • proofreading
  • writing
  • rewriting
  • preparation of style guides
  • document appraisal
  • document design and preparation to print-ready stage.

Australian Standards for Editing Practice (Institute of Professional Editors
2013, 2nd edn) describes the primary tasks associated with substantive editing,
copy editing and proofreading.

selected projects

Following is a brief listing of some of the many projects Chris has been responsible for over the years:











Agriculture, natural resources and the environment
Climate Change Science: current understanding and uncertainties

The Economic and Social Impacts of Water Trading

the National Wildlife Corridors Plan

Managing Natural Resources in Rural Australia for a Sustainable Future

State of the Nation

Benchmarking Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Australia

University Research: policy considerations for promoting Australia’s competitiveness

Financial services and superannuation
annual reports, product descriptions and disclosure statements

General non-fiction
Growth Fetish, Affluenza and The Freedom Paradox

art books (Brett Whiteley, Ian Fairweather, Fred Williams, Art Deco), memoirs and family histories

dietary guidelines—for older Australians, Australian adults, and Australian children and adolescents

clinical guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents

the Timor-Leste Family Study and the Vietnam Veterans Family Study

Assistive Health Technologies for Independent Living

Encouraging Quality Pathology Ordering in Australia’s Public Hospitals

Indigenous Australia
the plans of management for Uluru – Kata Tjuta and Kakadu National Parks

the National Indigenous Australians’ Sexual Health Strategy

The Yuendumu Doors

Policy statements and strategies
national strategies for forests, coasts, oceans and biodiversity

national HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C strategies

the National Drug Strategic Framework

all supporting reports for the Tasmania–Commonwealth Regional Forest Agreement

Public administration
the review of the Commonwealth efficiency dividend and the shared-services review

a series of best-practice guides to administrative decision making

The Coercive Decision-making Powers of Government Agencies

Automated Assistance in Administrative Decision Making

Royal commissions and similar inquiries
the HIH, Oil-for-Food, Family Violence and Black Saturday Fires Royal Commissions

more fires—the Coroner’s inquest and inquiry into the ‘Canberra firestorm’ of 18 January 2003, the McLeod inquiry into the 2003 fires in the ACT, and the Council of Australian Governments inquiry into bushfire mitigation and management in Australia

inquiries into the Cornelia Rau, Vivian Alvarez and Mohamed Haneef matters, the Centenary House lease, the equine influenza outbreak of 2007, the sinking of HMAS Sydney II, and events on HMAS Success in early 2009

Style guides
contributor to the Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers — fourth, fifth and sixth editions

contributor to the Defence Writing Manual

author of guides for, among others, the HIH and Oil-for-Food Royal Commissions, MTAA Super, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, and the National Museum of Australia.