Oxford Australia to help the Federal Government adapt its language for the digital age

A lot has changed since the Australian Government last updated its Style Manual in 2002. In the same year, Silverchair dominated the ARIA Awards, while Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out of My Head was the highest selling single.

We now live in a far more digital world — not just in the music industry
— and in response to those changes, the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has engaged communications agency Ethos CRS to produce the seventh edition of the Style Manual.

Oxford Australia, in partnership with the Australian National Dictionary Centre at The Australian National University, will provide Australian English language expertise in the first stage of its development.

The aim of the project is to produce the definitive digital style manual that will be recognised by all users as setting a new authoritative standard —both in Australia and internationally — and one that helps make government communication simple, clear and consistent.

The updated Style Manual will reflect contemporary government usage and include much-needed new sections on content design and digital media, while explanations of the relationship between quarto and broadsheet paper sizes and how to mark up typescripts for printers will no longer be needed. The manual will also be the first to have been published digitally.

OUP ANZ Managing Director Arthur Baker said he was delighted to be involved with the project.

“As the authority on Australian English, we are looking forward to contributing to the Australian Government’s Style Manual, ensuring the highest standards for writing and publishing are maintained, and that the language used in government publications reflects the new realities of the digital age.”

“We are honoured to have been selected to help inform this publication that will refresh and define the style of government communications.”

ANDC Director Dr Amanda Laugesen said: “The ANDC is excited to be involved in this important project. The contribution of the Centre’s research on contemporary Australian and global English usage will help to ensure that the new Style Manual is authoritative, relevant, and reliable.”

Ethos CRS and the DTA will scope out the detail and digital architecture of the new digital Style Manual in stage 1, which is to begin in July 2019. Work to develop content will commence after the successful completion of stage 1, with the aim of releasing the live product in 2020.

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