Group :: Arts Captioners

Arts Captioners

A group of artists who provide captioning services.


Live captioning and subtitles

ArtsFront are hosting the “Little Lunch On Line” series of daily zoom meets to share ideas and resources, and plan our actions in responding to the pandemic, the climate crisis and whatever global emergency awaits us next.

Artists and organisations across the country will also have the opportunity to take a turn at hosting some Little Lunches and provide a varied program. Hosts will organise guest speakers for their lunches and get a chance to dig a bit deeper into what's going in their community.

Arts Front is providing live captioning and Auslan signing to improve the accessibility of the Little Lunches for each session, ensuring access for both panellists and participants.

The Captioners are all arts practitioners that have offered their skills to provide this service. Introductions can be made to the Captioner team, if you would like to provide this service on your next online event.


  • Captioners are paid $50 per hour, directly to the person who will invoice on event completion.
  • Two Captioners will be rostered on for each session and assigned 15 minute blocks to be alternated.

CONTACT: Captioners Coordinator


Email us if you would like more information:


Captioners forum

The forum is a place for group members to ask questions, leave comments and share resources. This Forum is only visible to members of this group.

  • SCHEDULE - please confirm the week by Sunday 3pm
    by Melissa Robertson, Saturday 4 April 4:40pm
    4th April, 2020

    Hello everyone, could you please ensure you have filled in the schedule for the week BEFORE 3pm each Sunday.

    If you are unable to do a shift in that week, please leave a message in the NOTES column (J)

    If you have any questions, please phone me on 0412 570 701 or email


    Comments (2)
    • Mana Ogawa Sat 4th Apr, 8:21pm
      Hi Melissa. I am available on Tuesday 12pm at the moment (just waiting to hear back for Wed-Fri) which I will let you know as soon as possible.

      Kindest, Mana
    • Emily O'Connell Sun 5th Apr, 9:08am
      Hi Melissa,

      I am available everyday next week. Would you prefer we put our own name in a time slot or just give you our availabilities here so you can assign?

      Thanks very much!

  • Captioning on Zoom
    by Mana Ogawa, Tuesday 31 March 6:15pm
    31st March, 2020

    Hi Elliott, 

    Once assigned captioning, do we have to do anything on our end or just start typing?

    I am scheduled for tomorrow, and would love to know if there is extra information on the interview and guest speaker? (So I don’t type anything incorrectly). 

    Thank you. 

    Comments (2)
    • Melissa Robertson Sat 4th Apr, 4:35pm
      Hi Mana, did you work this out? I'm figuring as it was last Tuesday and you were doing well. I'm planning on gathering information prior to each one - so as to minimise that problem.
    • Mana Ogawa Sun 5th Apr, 9:34am
      Hi Melissa - Yes I did :) But it did take me a while to figure out. Thank you so much.

      That would be great about the minimisation, thank you so much Melissa.
  • LLOL #5 cancelled
    by Elliott Bledsoe, Monday 30 March 9:06pm
    30th March, 2020

    In case you all missed it, LLOL #5 tomorrow (Tuesday 31/03/2020) has been cancelled. View the session for more details.

    Comments (0)
  • Live Captioning Q's
    by Emily O'Connell, Monday 30 March 6:48pm
    30th March, 2020

    Hi All!

    I had some questions about the live captioning, so I am posting them in the group in case it's of use to others. 

     - During the Zoom sessions, each participant shares an acknowledgment of country / also may use traditional language & references. I wouldn't want to make a grammatical error and cause offence, how would you suggest going about this in terms of transcribing? 

    - Does the text need to be word-for-word, including 'um, like...' etc or is it okay if in order to keep up with the groups conversations, we summarise at times? 

    - During the live captioning, would you prefer we write the name of the person speaking, or is it okay without. E.G. Sally: ‘Hello everyone’ or just ‘Hello everyone’. 

    - Will the host re-assign captioning to the second 'live captioner' rostered during the zoom session after the first 15-min is up? Assuming the conversations will keep rolling and so the second captioner will need to find a point to pick up from. 



    Comments (3)
    • Elliott Bledsoe Mon 30th Mar, 8:18pm
      Hey Emily, thank you for asking these questions. They are all good questions. Response to each:

      - In terms of Acknowledgements or Welcomes to Country we will endeavour to get as much information beforehand as we can and provide it to the captioners before the meeting.

      - I asked Caroline Bowditch, Executive Director at Arts Access Victoria and host of LLOL #7 about captioning verbatim or paraphrasing. Caroline has been added to this group to help support you all. Paraphrasing is fine, but please try to be as true to the sentiment of the speaker as possible. We will also ensure in communications from here that we mention that the captioning is paraphrased not verbatim so users know. It is also recommended that you don't include Ums, etc.

      - Where possible and practical do include the name of the speaker before the caption e.g. Elliott: What Elliott said.

      - During LLOL events I will be the host and I will re-assign the captioning from the first to the second captioner. I have a timer on my phone for 15 minutes that vibrates to remind me to switch. If I forget at all, private message me in the Zoom chat and remind me. And yes, the after the transfer the second captioner should try to start captioning as soon as possible and practical after being assigned captioning.
    • Mana Ogawa Tue 31st Mar, 8:02am
      Hi @Elliott - once assigned captioning, do we have to do anything on our end or just start typing?
    • Emily O'Connell Wed 1st Apr, 10:41pm
      Thank you for taking the time to answer, very helpful! See you tomorrow.

  • Roster for for week commencing Monday 30 March 2020
    by Elliott Bledsoe, Sunday 29 March 5:46pm
    29th March, 2020

    Roster w/c Mon 30/03/2020

    Hey captioners, you can view the current roster for week commencing Monday 30 March 2020 on Google Drive. Please review the roster.

    Confirming a session

    If you are able to work the session/s you have been rostered for please accept the session/s by selecting the cell with your name in it and adding 'Accepted' followed by your initials and the date in a comment (e.g. If I was accepting a session today I would add the comment 'Accepted EB 29/03/2020').

    See the Google Docs Editor help page 'Use comments & action items' if you don't know how to add a comment.

    Please note: Your shift will not be confirmed unless you accept it. If you do not accept by close of business (5 pm AEDT) the day before we will reallocate the shift.


    If you are unable to do a shift, if you would like to swap shifts or you have a question please assign an action item to me in a comment (i.e. type an at symbol (@) or a plus symbol (+) and start typing my email address ( This will notify me by email that you have left a comment I need to respond to.

    If you don't know how to assign an action item to someone see 'Assign an action item in a comment' on the Google Docs Editor help page 'Use comments & action items'.

    Comments (3)
    • Mana Ogawa Sun 29th Mar, 6:34pm Where could we find info on the speaker of that day?
    • Elliott Bledsoe Sun 29th Mar, 6:45pm
      The times are listed in Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time (AEDT) i.e. the time in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart. To help everyone out I have added the time in each capital city. If you hover your mouse over the cell with a time in it, a pop up will display the corresponding time in each capital city.
    • Elliott Bledsoe Sun 29th Mar, 7:04pm
      Hey Mana, you can see them in the 'Lunches' tab on the LLOL event page.

      Or you can click on the hyperlink in the 'LLOL' Column of the Roster Google sheet.
  • About the fee/rate and other payment information
    by Elliott Bledsoe, Saturday 28 March 6:50pm
    28th March, 2020


    Arts Front is offering $50/captioner/LLOL Lunch, with 2 captioners rostered on for each lunch. This is for a period up to 1 hour (some sessions will finish exactly on the 30 minutes and others may run a little over). How does that sound to everyone?

    Two captioners per LLOL event

    As there will be two captioners per even each captioner will caption for approximately 15 minutes. The two captioners will be rostered on to either session 1 (the first 15 minutes) or session 2 (the second 15 minutes). If a session runs longer the 2 captioners will be assigned in order for 15-minute sessions during the extra time.

    Start and end times

    Both captioners are expected to join the LLOL event no later than 15 minutes before the event is due to start. Both captioners are expected to stay on the Zoom conference until the event concludes.

    ABNs and GST

    If you intend to undertake this work under an ABN please ensure you include your ABN on your Invoice. If you are registered for GST please add GST to the invoice amount.

    Invoice details

    Please make invoices out to:

    Feral Arts Corp Ltd
    PO Box 1236
    New Farm Qld 4005

    Please send your invoices to:

    Onella Ong


    carbon copy

    When to invoice

    It is up to you whether you invoice after each session you worked or if you wish to include multiple sessions on a single invoice.

    Comments (1)
    • Melissa Robertson Sat 4th Apr, 4:36pm
      Hello everyone. Can you please click LIKE to confirm you have seen this message.

      I will be taking over the coordination of the Captioners so if you have any questions, please call me on ph 0412 570 701
  • Hi guys!
    by Mana Ogawa, Friday 27 March 2:21pm
    27th March, 2020

    Hello - it was nice meeting you all on Zoom today. My name is Mana (ex-professional dancer, currently a Pilates Practitioner and Dance Instructor), and I am new to this Live captioning! however having always been in the art industry I am extremely excited about this opportunity. Little nervous though I have to say! 

    Comments (1)
    • Elliott Bledsoe Fri 27th Mar, 2:23pm
      Hey Mana, thanks for getting onto the group so quickly. It's OK to be a little nervous, we're here to help each other :D
  • Availability for week commencing Monday 30 March 2020
    by Elliott Bledsoe, Friday 27 March 1:36pm
    27th March, 2020

    As mentioned in the Zoom, we will not be running a LLOL on Monday 30 March but we will have events on:

    • Tuesday 31 March 2020
    • Wednesday 1 April 2020
    • Thursday 2 April 2020
    • Friday 3 April 2020

    Please indicate availability and/or events you are interested in live captioning in the comments. We are looking for two captioners per event to do a 15-minute session each.

    Comments (7)
  • Video of Zoom meeting
    by Elliott Bledsoe, Friday 27 March 1:31pm
    27th March, 2020

    For reference, you can view the video of the meeting today online on Zoom.

    Comments (1)
    • Melissa Robertson Fri 27th Mar, 2:36pm
      A great way to practice captioning is to type into a separate document, while you are listing to one of the past LLoL. You will also become familiar with Norm's introduction and the other ArtsFront team members. Becoming acquainted with names and communication styles.

      I also suggest grabbing people's names from the CHAT box as they log in and introduce themselves (I mean the guest speakers).
  • Hello and welcome
    by Elliott Bledsoe, Friday 27 March 1:19pm
    27th March, 2020

    I know we all introduced ourselves briefly in the Zoom call but please use this thread to tell us a little bit more about yourself.

    Comments (6)
    • Melissa Robertson Fri 27th Mar, 2:34pm
      Hello everyone. Lovely to meet new people as a result of the circumstances we have been thrust in. I am sitting on Wanyurr-Majay Yidinji Country, 45 minutes south of Cairns in the beautiful village, Babinda.

      I hail from Melbourne and found my way to working in the regions as an all-rounder Arts Worker. Originally I began my career as a musician, actor and event coordinator. I soon found my skills lay in organising rather than the physical aversion my body had to live performance. 35+ years later I am still an Arts Manager with experience in social inclusion, community events, capacity building and community-led initiatives. Always living and working with the principal of community cultural development underling what I do and why I do it.

      My son is Ngarrindjeri from Wellington region of South Australia. Even prior to my connection with his family, I had a strong allegiance to the sovereign rights of our First Nation peoples. I now have the privilege of working throughout the Torres Strait and Aboriginal communities of Far North Queensland. I thank the Custodians for their generosity and deep connect to Country and honour the Elders, past, present and emerging. And more to the point, thank my many First Nation friends and colleagues that have guided my way through the quagmire of being "PC" in a world of humans that just want to be treated fairly and have access to the same rights as anyone.

      Working with Arts Nexus Inc. over the past 15 years, in various capacities, I am currently the Program Manager and Public Officer for the Board, driving a new vision for the future of capacity building Creatives and Communities across Far North Queensland. We have just established an amazing co-working, Creative Production Hub that will have 24/7 access, great bandwidth internet and business accum support through events, training, advisory service and collegial camaraderie.

      I love travel, walks on the beach and eating - especially food crafted by a friend and made with love. Anything else you'd like to know - please ask me. That is the one thing, above all my skills and experience, is I loooove to chat and listen to other peoples stories. I look forward to hearing yours.

      Melissa Robertson
    • Loclan Mackenzie Fri 27th Mar, 6:11pm
      Hi all, great to "meet" you all earlier today! I'm a musician originally from the Dja Dja Wurrung country of Central Victoria. I've recently returned from 5 years living and working in the US.

      In a past life I trained as a translator and interpreter (my main LOTE being German and Russian) ... and simultaneous interpreting certainly has the same fast-paced feel to doing the live captioning! Looking forward to working with you all soon :)

      Cheers, Loclan
    • Daniele Buatti Fri 27th Mar, 10:08pm
      Hi everyone,

      I'm also a musician based in Melbourne, Australia. I've had a very diverse career over the past 10 years. I began my journey studying Communications, majoring in Public Relations and eventually moved to study music full time. During this time, I've worked as a graphic design, producer, creative director amongst my regular vocation as a musician.

      My most significant job was working at Forethought, as a Graphic Designer, extending myself into Publishing, Admin, Project Support and Office Management. Working at Forethought, I managed to expand my communication skills and did a lot of work collating data for focus groups, including writing transcripts from audio recordings.

      I love to read and learn and am fascinating with language and communication as a whole.

      I was unable to attend the Zoom meeting but I hope to virtually meet you all soon!

      Thank you
    • Elliott Bledsoe Fri 27th Mar, 9:16pm
      Great to meet you all today. Here's my 'corporate' bio. LOL!

      Elliott Bledsoe has made a career out helping artists and arts organisations publish, play, post, tweet and trend. My skills areas include copyright, marketing, software and hardware. I am the Director of Agentry, a communications micro-consultancy focused on small-to-medium arts organisations and I work with Feral Arts on Arts Front. I have held marketing and content positions with the Queensland Writers Centre, ABC RN, the Australia Council for the Arts, Regional Arts Australia and others.

      I am also the part-time Copyright Officer for the Australian Digital Alliance and the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee. And I am the Co-Lead of the Australian Creative Commons Chapter.
    • Emily O'Connell Sun 29th Mar, 4:48pm
      Hi Everyone!

      Lovely to meet you all via Zoom the other day. As I mentioned, I work in Film/TV, usually in production as an assistant Director / Directors Assist. In between shoots, I also work across development and more specifically as a note-taker for production companies in writing rooms. This usually involves writing down what is being said in the moment and collating notes for writers to walk away with!

      Due to current circumstances, work is slow and production has been suspended for a feature I was working! I am here and looking forward to being a part of this platform.

    • Marissa Saroca Mon 30th Mar, 9:01am
      Hi all! This is really exciting and I'm looking forward to being challenged and working on a new skill as well as being involved in the work that Arts Front does. I am a full time musician and actor - the majority of my work are gigs or in theatre, and some vocal/performance coaching for The Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, so things have definitely slowed down to a halt for me!

      I have two independent albums of original music, was on the first season of The Voice of the Philippines (on Lea Salonga's team - theatre/Disney nerds will know her!), and just plod along with this dream taking up opportunities as I go while trying to grow and challenge myself in the process.

      After doing a Bachelor of Arts (Communication), I have worked in radio, magazines and as an academic in media production (sound and radio). When I was in primary school, my Mum enrolled in Open Foundation and took herself all the way through to a PhD in Sociology. She would make us type out her handwritten essay assignments (I was the only primary school student who knew what a bibliography was, and had to do one complete with full referencing?!) and through high school, she paid me $50 to transcribe whole interviews from cassette for her thesis - which is why this opportunity jumped out at me! (except I won't be playing Minesweeper to escape the boredom haha)

      Feminist, unionist, and definitely leaning towards Socialist. I really appreciate that you had us all acknowledge the land that we are on (Awabakal/Woromi).

      Looking forward to working with you all!