John Olekalns

I first encountered computerized Word Processing in 1978 when working at a government agency in London. It was developed by a Canadian company called Wordplex. The Word Processor ran on what was then known as a minicomputer with about 12 terminals attached.

By today's standards, that system was quite primitive and very expensive. However, at the time, it was quite revolutionary. Productivity increased significantly.

And it meant people like me who were not trained typists, could create and edit our own documents.

Computers and Word Processors have evolved continuously since my early days with Word Processing.

Computers, especially in the form of Personal Computers, are powerful and cheap compared to those of the past.

Microsoft developed their Word program in the 1980s but it was in the early 1990s that it really became popular with the introduction of Windows on the PC.

I have used all versions of Word in my working career as follows:

  • software developer (writing documentation, reports)
  • technical writer (writing several IT books)
  • adult educator (writing curricula, learning guides, assignments, assessments)
  • obtaining post graduation qualifications (writing papers, assignments)
  • editor and proofreader (reading, commenting, correcting students academic writing).

Each version of Word contained new functions and thus became more powerful.

Many users do not use all the functions available because not everything is relevant to their needs and/or are content with doing things the way did in previous versions.

Consequently, I have seen many users including university students and professionals who are unaware of functions that can help improve their work and productivity.

The aim of my website is to show Word functions that will assist users (students, academic staff, researchers, technical writers) to produce their academic work quicker, better and more professionally.

Below are the details of my career that illustrate my use of Word over the years.

Employment history

Vocational Education Teaching Activities

2008-Current  TAFESA (Technical and Further Education South Australia) (Adelaide, Australia)
Position:          Lecturer English and Computing
                        My role is to teach English and Computing (for example Microsoft Word) to migrants and refugees from non-English speaking backgrounds.

2005 - 2007   Australia China Chongqing Vocational and Education Training Project (Chongqing, China)
Position:         School Management Adviser
                       My role was to manage reforms in the Chinese Vocational Education system based on the Australian experience.
                       This involved training Chinese teachers, developing curriculum and learning materials, managing the Monitoring and Evaluation of the project and managing staff.

1994–2005   TAFESA (Adelaide, Australia)
Position:        Lecturer in Information Technology
                     My role was to teach software applications (Word, Excel, Access), OH&S, Writing, Communication, Database Design, Systems Analysis and Project Management.
                     Another role was to manage the licensing of educational institutions in India (Mumbai, Kolkata, Haldia)
 to deliver the Diploma of Information Technology.
                     This involved supporting Indian staff with training, material development, resolving issues and quality control

Information Technology Industry Activities

1984-1993   The Cooperative Hindmarsh Building Society (Adelaide, Australia)
Position:       Various - programmer, systems analyst, business analyst, project manager, applications manager
                     My role was in the development of a variety of banking systems.

1981-1983   James Hardie and Co Pty Ltd (Sydney, Australia)
Position:       Analyst/Programmer
                    My role was in the development of a production control system.

1978-1980   The Australian High Commission (London, UK)
Position:       Analyst/Programmer
                     My role was in the development of administration systems.

1977-1978   Marcol Computer Services Limited (London, UK)
Position:       Analyst/Programmer
                    My role was in the development of software for several clients (Lloyds Registrar of Shipping, Commercial Union Insurance, Avis Rent-a-Car)

1974-1977   Department of the Northern Territory (Darwin, Australia)
Position:       Programmer
                    My role was in the development of various government administration systems

Writing Activities

1994 - developed curriculum documents (competency based format) for Systems Analysis modules in the Associate Diploma of IT.
1995 - developed learning materials for computing courses for the Information Technology Industry Training Council in Canberra.
1999 - developed support materials for the Project Management competencies of the Information Technology Training Package for the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA).

I have authored and co-authored several text books that have been published for use in tertiary institutions. The texts are:

  • Systems Development Analysis Feasibility and Implementation (1999)
  • User Needs Analysis (1999)
  • Provide Remote Help Desk Support (2000)
  • Client Support Essentials (2000)
  • Migrate to New Technology (2000)
  • Software Essentials (2000)
  • Information Technology – a general course (2001)
  • Create Technical Documentation (2004)
  • Create User Documentation (2004)
  • Essentials of Information Technology 3rd Edition (2006)

Proofreading and Editing

In recent years I have proofread and edited several academic papers. They are:

  • The Persistence of Appeasement in the British Government: 1938-1940 - Thesis for History Honours degree
  • History Program - Paper for Bachelor of Education
  • Design for Education Thesis - Paper for Master of Education
  • Innovation - too much of a good thing? A study examining organisational climate, burnout and innovation overload - Thesis for Master of Education
  • Ethical challenges working with culturally and linguistically diverse clients - Paper for Psychology Graduate Diploma
  • Psychological Report - Paper for Psychology Graduate Diploma
  • How may social perceptions of mental health affect help-seeking behaviour of males aged 18-35 working in the construction industry in Australia? - paper for Physiotherapy degree
  • Discuss how a physiotherapist can effectively include aerobic exercise in a rehabilitation program for a person with stroke - paper for Physiotherapy degree
  • Flipped Learning – Create or Curate? - Thesis for Master of Education
  • What People of Reproductive Age Know about Male and Female Fertility: Development and Validation of the Male and Female Fertility Knowledge Inventories - Thesis for Honours Psychology degree

Academic Qualifications

2012                Certificate IV in Training and Assessment - TAFESA South Australia

2008                Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language - Flinders University

2007                Certificate IV in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) - TAFESA South Australia

2004                Master of Project Management - University of Sydney

1996               Graduate Diploma in Education - Education and Training of Adults - University of South Australia

1973               Bachelor of Science in the Faculty of Mathematical Sciences - University of Adelaide

professional organisations

I am currently a member of the Institute of Professional Editors (Iped) Australia.