Name: Caroline Livanos
Job title: Accessible Information Coordinator
Organisation: Scope Australia
Q: What does your current role entail and how long have you been in this role?
A: I coordinate Scope’s accessible information team. We translate complex information into Easy English for people with low English literacy, including people with intellectual disability and people from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background. We also provide Easy English training, consultancy, consumer testing and plain language translations. I have worked in this role for 10 months, but I worked as a freelancer for the accessible information team before that.
Q: What did you do or study upon leaving school?
A: I completed a Bachelor of Business in Economics and Marketing after school. I enjoyed the creative side of marketing but it was never a perfect fit. I found myself constantly seeking out opportunities to write, for example, media releases and brochure content, which was my true passion.
Q: What was the career journey that brought you to this position and work role?
A: I worked in marketing for over 15 years in various roles including market research, product management, advertising, publicity, promotion and events. I was lucky enough to work for some wonderful organisations — such as Channel 9, Hallmark Cards and Mattel — and met some great people along the way! Once I started a family I needed a new, interesting and flexible career path, so I enrolled in the Graduate Diploma of Editing and Publishing at RMIT. It was a tough course but I loved it! The original intention was to write and edit for book publishers, but I ended up applying my skills in the business world, with a focus on helping not-for-profit organisations. Eventually I found my perfect fit at Scope.
Q: Who or what was a major influence in your career choices?
A: A mentor in my teen years helped me to understand the importance of job opportunities when choosing a career, which steered me towards the marketing field. My mum passed on a strong passion for reading and a love of the English language, which steered me towards the editing course. My first born son has severe autism, which steered me towards working in the disability sector.
Q: What do you value about your current role, what is its importance in the industry and where do you see it going/want it to go?
A: I feel this job makes a real difference. I love the challenge of transforming complicated information into clear and concise communications. I love knowing that Easy English helps people with low English literacy access information that is important to them. When I explain the concept of Easy English, most people say they would prefer to read information in this format — short words and sentences with images that add meaning. With the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), more and more organisations are looking to make their information more accessible. I think demand for Easy English communications will continue to grow.
Q: What were some major challenges in your career journey?
A: Even when challenges seem insurmountable (e.g. having three boys – one with a disability), I have found that if you follow your passion and make great contacts wherever you work, opportunities will present themselves along the way.
Find out more about Accessible Information and Easy English