Executive Director Plain English Foundation.

Neil James



As Executive Director of Plain English Foundation, Neil works to improve the quality of public language in Australia.


After starting his career in government and the media, Neil completed a doctorate in English at the University of Sydney. He then co-founded Plain English Foundation in 2003, combining plain English training and editing with a campaign for more ethical public language. He has published 3 books and over 100 articles and essays on literature and language.


Neil was founding chair of the International Plain Language Federation (IPLF) from 2008 to 2015, and then served as President of the Plain Language Association International (PLAIN) until 2017. He speaks regularly about language on radio and television throughout Australia. In 2019,

he was awarded PLAIN’s Christine Mowat Award, and in 2020

became chair of the IPLF’s Certification Committee.

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Let’s talk about style! (And why writing style is increasingly digital, plain and inclusive.)

In recent years, plain language practice has strengthened the substantive elements of wording, structure and design in a communication – and how best to evaluate that it will work. But we should not neglect the micro elements of style: from abbreviations, capitals and numbers to punctuation, formatting and referencing. 


Writing style has been going through its own quiet revolution of late, and it is worth taking stock of where practice is changing and why we might need to update traditional precepts and practice.


Where style is evolving: This presentation will draw on the Foundation’s own experience in developing the new online Australian Style GuideTM to identify 5 trends that are making style increasingly:

  • digital

  • accessible

  • local

  • inclusive

  • plain


Join this presentation to:

  • help you reflect on the style references you currently use and what you might need to review in your own practice

  • receive links for free access to the Australian Style GuideTM