By Judith Pembleton, Editor.
There are two articles in this issue on the proposed online
versions of The Australian Friend, and Friends need
to consider these prayerfully. If Yearly Meeting 2012
accepts the proposal for The AF to go online, this is likely to
be the last year of The AF in this format, and I am finding it a
bittersweet journey to be the final editor.
To some extent, there is no real choice. Until Yearly Meeting
2011 there were no offers to edit the print version of The
Australian Friend and it may be that the volume of work involved
discouraged Friends from volunteering. It takes about six weeks
of correspondence, editing and layout to produce this quarterly
Whatever the reason, The Australian Friend in its present
format seems to have reached a natural ending, and the new
energy that is needed to take this forward has arisen within
New South Wales Regional Meeting. Ian Hughes shares his
understanding of the way the Spirit is moving in relation to the
future of The Australian Friend in this issue.
Friends Journal, the US Quaker magazine, is also going
online but sees its print version as its flagship, with the online
facilities as extensions rather than replacements. Though 25 per
cent of our readers opted to read the portable document format
version of The Australian Friend, 75 per cent preferred to have the
magazine printed and posted to them. This demonstrates a strong
preference for the printed format from a majority of Friends at
present. The AF Online team will provide a printable option, that
allows Meetings to print copies for their members, or members
can print their own.
However, I remember when I became clerk of Queensland
Regional Meeting in the 1990s and we still printed, folded and
posted the Regional Meeting Minutes each month to the majority
of members. Now, emailing Minutes is the norm. Despite our
largely ageing demographic, we have adapted to change and now
email and Skype with gay abandon.
Enjoy the eclectic mix of articles in this issue. Jackie Perkins
has reported on the Cambodian trip with her usual modesty.
Friends who returned from that trip were lavish with praise
of the excellent organisation and the privilege of meeting our
development partners and seeing their work. Jim Palmer reports
on his experiences at the Asia-West Pacific Gathering. Further
details of the Asia-West Pacific Section can be found in The AYM
Secretary’s Newsletter which is published monthly on the Yearly
Meeting website, www.quakers.org.au and on the FWCC Asia
West Pacific Section website, www.fwccawps.org.