Monday 9 February 2015
New Year Networking with Special Guest Robyn Flemming



By Clarissa Langley Coleman and Dana Baluk


The recent WiPS event held on 9th February at the FCC attracted a large group of attendees curious to hear the story of WiPS. It also provided an opportunity for the few non-members to get a feel for what WiPS is all about. 


Robyn Flemming spoke as the founder of WiPS in Hong Kong in the early nineties. She had been sent to Hong Kong for two weeks by the book publishing company with which she worked in Australia to check the proofs of an urgent job. Recognizing the potential for someone with her background to make her way as a freelancer in the city, she returned here a few weeks later, but with no established clients. Networking, especially with other women in the publishing profession, thus became a lifeline. It is from Robyn's early initiative to connect with like-minded women with synergistic skills that WiPS was formed.


Robyn is a highly respected publishing editor with a loyal clientele. After a long spell back in Australia she has for the last five years enjoyed work as an "editor without borders", as she calls herself. Robyn has no residential status. Instead she maintains her client base through online connections and moves from place to place, finding new hobbies like running half-marathons, and living the travelling life-style of which she had always dreamed. Perhaps what is most admirable about her is her courage to go after what she wants. It may not always pan out but her progress in her career is very much due to her determination and strong work ethic.


Although Robyn admits her lifestyle is not easy, the rewards and friendships made have been extraordinary. The most important lesson from Robyn's talk was this: If you want it; make it happen!