Who am I?

By Heather Miles

Who am I?

• Enjoys holidays on sleeper trains
• Volunteers with the Pyjama Foundation, where she reads and plays with children in foster care
• Born in South Africa
• Trained as a librarian
• Gets paid to read books
• Won a prize for determining how to alphabetise index entries starting with the word ‘The’

Come on, enough clues! Of course, this is Glenda Browne, who is our volunteer office support for APS NSW, a role she’s been doing for the last three years!

Glenda in garden, image Jon Jermey

Support role

Glenda reviews all emails that come into the office email and resolves issues or directs questions or information to the right people. This is of enormous value to the Society, as we receive thousands of emails each year, many of which are queries from members and the public.

She manages the emails and mailing lists for Presidents, Secretaries, Newsletter Editors and Treasurers, as well as those for some groups which have @austplants.com.au email addresses.

Another role is managing the ‘Experts Group’. This is a small group of experienced APS members, who assist in answering queries from members and public. See the story on the experts group here.

All these activities are enormously helpful in running the APS NSW organisation, and we couldn’t do without Glenda’s contribution!

What else about Glenda?

Glenda in blueberry ash, image Jenny Browne

She was born in South Africa before coming to Australia when she was 2. She lived in Sydney and Melbourne before moving to the Blue Mountains in 1988.

Glenda is a professional indexer – a job she loves for a few reasons:

  • She’s paid to read books, journals and websites.
  • It’s fascinating to uncover the essence of the book or material, putting herself in the mind of the reader.
  • She can work from home!

Glenda indexed 30 years of Garden Design Study Group newsletters, working with Diana Snape and Jo Hambrett. The index is an invaluable resource for members. 

Glenda loves Australian plants, her favourites being banksias, grevilleas, blueberry ash and dianella. However she says she hates pulling anything out, even when it’s gone all straggly!

Living in the Blue Mountains is wonderful, but the ever present risk of bushfires makes for stressful times. When Glenda does her planting, she chooses plants that are bushfire resistant and waterwise.

She volunteers in the Glenbrook Native Nursery and enjoys promoting native plants to the public. ‘Grow what where’ is still the ‘go to’ book. She volunteered at the Royal Easter Show for a number of years.

Glenda with Florabella Pass view, image Jon Jermey

Glenda enjoys walking, particularly in the Blue Mountains National Park, and has discovered a range of new walks since Covid. With partner Jon (also an indexer), she is currently walking the Great West Walk in short snatches. It goes from Penrith to Parramatta through green areas as well as providing a look at new suburbs and industrial areas.

Glenda volunteers with the Pyjama Foundation (https://thepyjamafoundation.com/volunteer/), reading and playing with children in foster care once a week. She visited her first child for 5 years, and has been visiting two siblings now for over a year.

And to top it off…in 2007 she received an IgNobel prize for an article on the way indexers alphabetise index entries starting with the word ‘The’. (Yes, these things trouble indexers!) She flew to Boston and received the award at Harvard University from a real Nobel Prize winner. Details at http://www.webindexing.com.au/ignobel-prize-for-literature-2007). The IgNobels are a science humour prize.

Thank you, Glenda, for your wonderful contribution to APS NSW.