Though you may be familiar with the writers and editors of School News NZ and Aus, you may be less familiar with some of the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to produce the magazine each term.
One of these people is Mandy Clarke, the Director of Multimedia Publishing Ltd. She’s the editor of MMP’s other publications, AccomNews and Resort News. You may also remember Mandy from earlier issues of School News this year, when she was acting Editor.
Always sharply dressed, Mandy heads team meetings with a smile and never fails to make the team laugh. She always has an encouraging word for staff, and tirelessly oversees the myriad of operations at the company. To get to know her better, we asked Mandy a few questions.
Please introduce yourself and explain what you do at School News.
Hi! I am Mandy Clarke, a Director of Multimedia, Publisher of School News, AccomNews and Resort News and Editor of the accommodation industry titles.
Where are you based?
Multimedia’s office has been in Noosaville for 20 years and I lived in Noosa for 16 years.
Now, I split my time between home in Brisbane, and New Zealand. I work between the Noosaville office, Brisbane, New Zealand and occasionally on the road.
This puts me in the best position to be across what is happening, and make connections in both Australia and New Zealand.
Do you have any other current jobs?
Oh yes, I am a mum to four adulting adults (one daughter and three sons) plus two daughters in law. And I am a grandparent to four cats!
What positions have you held before becoming a Director at Multimedia Publishing?
Before moving to Australia, I was a registered nurse in the UK and for a few decades I specialised in care of adults and children with intellectual disabilities, autism, and behavioural challenges.
Then I was a stay-at-home mum for a few years before I took up writing and jumped into this Multimedia adventure 16 years ago.
I specialise in the accommodation and tourism industry titles.
What was your very first job?
My very first job was a coat check girl in a nightclub! It was seriously fun, and it was the 1980s, so I spent all my wages on hair lacquer and blue eye liner.
What did you want to be when you were at school?
I wanted to be an air hostess because I desperately wanted to travel but I enrolled in nursing school instead.
How are stories chosen for School News?
Sometimes the stories come to us but generally it’s a team effort and I am very grateful for the incredibly talented and creative School News team.
What is your favourite School News story that you’ve produced?
That is like asking who my favourite child is! I could never choose, there have been hundreds…
Of course, my heart will always lie within the field of teaching children with an intellectual disability, and I am always keen to keep myself up-to date about current interventions for behaviour challenges.
If you could introduce one thing into all schools (a program, a position, a philosophy or rule etc) what would it be?
Kindness and Empathy – I believe it can and should be taught.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I’m of Irish catholic heritage and was taught by nuns in an all-girls school. It was both amazing and terrifying, and I still have some fabulous girl friends from school to this day.
What do you do in your spare time?
I don’t have too much spare time, but I do like to have pint of Guinness while listening to any live Irish band. I also have some guilty pleasure TV shows – my current obsession is The Great British Sewing Bee, and no I can’t sew!