Festival Session Chairs 2015
Dr. Raji Ambikairajah is an electrical engineer and is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Women in Banking and Finance. She is also the Sydney Chapter Leader of Room to Read, a global non-profit organisation focused on providing a quality education to children across Asia and Africa. Raji is one of twenty-six Australian women nominated by InStyle Magazine for their2015 national awards that recognise the achievements of women. Raji has been nominated in the Charity and Community category for her work with Room to Read.
Angela Bowne SC is a barrister and mediator who has served on a number of arts boards continuously over the past 20 years. She chairs Sydney Chamber Opera and the ATYP Foundation. She is a former President of International PEN Sydney and was awarded life membership for her services. She has been a director of UNSW Press/NewSouth Publishing, Australian Theatre for Young People, Synergy & TaikOz, 107 Projects and the Sydney Film Festival.
Virginia Gordon is a passionate advocate for makers and tellers of stories, for creators and artists. She is former Public Affairs Manager for the Australian Society of Authors, Marketing Manager for Radio National, board member of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), Jessie Street National Women’s Library, The Performance Space and Deputy Chair of the Arts Law Centre of Australia. Currently, she is on the National Council of the Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO), the Copyright Society of Australia, and honorary life member of the Sydney Film Festival.
Dr Rosemary Huisman is Honorary Associate Professor in English at the University of Sydney. She has published widely on poetry and poetics including The Written Poem, Semiotic Conventions from Old to Modern English, 1998, 2000 and her own collection of poetry, The Possibility of Winds, 2006. More recently she has written on time in English literary narrative and modality in legal discourse. She is the current Chair of ISFLA (International Systemic Functional Linguistics Association).
Dr Christine Jennett is a political sociologist and criminologist with academic publications in the areas of race relations, social movements, public policy, policing, Indigenous issues and women’s issues. She is President of The Women’s Club, President of the Independent Scholars Association of Australia Inc (ISAA) and Chair of the NSW Chapter of Independent Scholars Association of Australia. She is the 2014 C.H. Currey Memorial Fellow at the State Library of NSW.
Phoebe Michaels is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Newcastle majoring in Australian history and creative and performing arts. She has a passionate interest in human rights issues particularly as they affect Aboriginal Australians and asylum seekers. She is a junior member of The Women’s Club and Deputy Convenor of the Drama Circle.
Dr Wendy Michaels is Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle. Her fiction includes poetry, plays and a picture book, Secret Smiles, 1996. She has written reference works such as Played upon a Stage, 1990 and numerous articles in academic journals such as History Australia and Lilith: a Feminist History Journal. She was formerly President, Drama NSW; Vice President of Society of Women Writers NSW Inc; and Director of Society of Women Writers Literary Festival 2014: Dare to be an Author. She is Immediate Past Chair, NSW Chapter Independent Scholars Association of Australia, a Director of The Women’s Club and Convenor of the Rose Scott Women Writers’ Festival 2015: Women Who Make a Difference.