News + Events

Farewell to ABDA Manager Claire Smiddy

On behalf of the ABDA community, I extend a heartfelt thank you to the incredible Claire Smiddy who served as the inaugural ABDA Manager for the past two years. Claire is moving on to a full-time position as Marketing, Communications and Events Officer at the Melbourne Social Equity Institute at the University of Melbourne. During her time with ABDA, Claire organised the submissions, judging and celebrations for the 63rd and 64th annual Book Design Awards with graceful efficiency. Claire was instrumental in developing ABDA’s content-rich website, as well as coordinating the tours of international ABDA guests David Pearson and Jon Gray, and introducing administrative order to the Association.

Anyone who has had the pleasure of dealing with Claire will know her to be calm, frighteningly well organised and remarkably attentive to the smallest details – during Jon Gray’s stay in Sydney, Claire arranged for a Father’s Day card to be delivered to his hotel from the ABDA ‘family’. There will forever be a gin-cocktail with your name on it at our end of year drinks, Claire.

Although Claire will be sorely missed, the ABDA Committee is excited to welcome Jen Toogood as the new Manager. Jen comes to us with a strong background in marketing, business management and book publishing, most notably as a Director and Marketing Consultant for award-winning design consultancy Design By Committee.


Zoë Sadokierski

Australian Book Designers Association