Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Lead judge: Best Plain Language Legal Document

Image, Jan Bowen

Principal, Plain English Communications, Sydney, Australia

‘[Jan Bowen], high priestess of the move to demystify the law.’ Australian Financial Review

Jan Bowen is principal of Plain English Communications, a Sydney-based company she founded 25 years ago. Jan is a passionate advocate of the need to communicate in language that readers will understand and want to read. Her clients range from the legal profession, major financial institutions, insurance companies, technology companies, transport consultants, and a car park operator, to federal and state government organisations.

Jan is also a best-selling author. Of her 30 published books, some 15 communicate legal topics to the general community in plain language. Other publications encompass medicine, travel, and personality interviews. Jan presented ‘You and the Law’ for its 3 years on the Channel 10 lifestyle programme Til Ten, and was a weekly commentator on Radio 2GB.

Music has been a constant driving force in Jan’s life. After 14 years, she recently stood down as chair of Sydney Youth Orchestras and is now on the Board of the Australian Haydn Ensemble, as well as working closely with the NSW Minister for the Arts on several advisory Boards. In 2016, Jan was awarded an Order of Australia for significant service to the performing arts, particularly to youth orchestral music and to the community.

Meet the judges for the Plain Language Awards

How the judging process works