Lesley Reece AM
Lesley Reece is the Founding Director of The Literature Centre. From 1992 until 2022, she was both Artistic Director and General Manager, leading the Centre to be acknowledged nationally and internationally as a Centre of Excellence for Australian Children’s and Young Adult Literature.
She has won the CBCA’s Nan Chauncey Award and has received an AM, Member of the Order of Australia, for her work promoting Australian children’s literature and nurturing those who create it. She has been deeply involved in promoting WA adult literature for Perth Festival 2019 to 2021; was a founding member of Irish Children’s Book Trust 1989 to 1992; and wrote the Guide to Irish Children’s Books, Volumes 1 & 2, 1990 and 1991.
Tabetha is excited to be re-joining the Board of Writing WA after a four year hiatus. Tabetha was formerly the Chair of Writing WA, as well as the former Chair of the KSP Writers Centre in Greenmount.
She recently resigned from her role as Manager of WA Partnerships and Industry at Tourism WA, where she was tasked with leading the 'Our Story' project, writing unique positioning statements for Western Australia's tourism destinations. Since then, Tabetha has been undertaking a travel writing mentorship with renowned travel journalist, Fleur Bainger as well as making progress on her other creative writing projects.
She currently works for the City of Armadale as their Tourism Development Specialist and sits on the Boards of Australia's Golden Outback and FACET (The Forum Advocating Cultural and Eco Tourism).
She has had several of her short stories and a novella published. Tabetha is a longstanding advocate of the WA writing community and lives in the Perth Hills with her two children. She looks forward to making a valuable contribution to the new era of Writing WA.
Ros O’Brien was raised with a love of reading – as a child her father would read aloud passages from Omar Khayyam, William Blake and TS Eliot, rejoicing in the beauty and rhythm of the words. Raised in a home with thousands of books there was never time to be bored and never an excuse to be ignorant.
Ros has run a small accounting practice in the Perth Hills for over twenty years and prior to that worked as a commercial accountant. As her five children are now adults, Ros is keen to contribute her time and expertise at a Board level to organisations such as Writing WA and Jigsaw Adoptions.
Jo has a background in media law, with a speciality in film finance and intellectual property rights. She has worked as a lawyer and consultant in Perth, Sydney and London, and holds various film production credits. At board level, Jo is currently the Chairperson of her children’s primary school, and has been a past board member of the Mark Howlett Foundation. Jo is passionate about the creative industries. Jo is currently an aspiring author, with a focus on writing for children.
Lakshmi Kanchi, pen name SoulReserve, is an emerging Western Australian poet of Indian descent. She is a dedicated Writing WA and WA Poets Inc. Board and Committee Member and Volunteer. Her poetry explores love and its tumultuousness, fantasy and zest in nature, and allegories that provoke thought and evoke tender feelings. Her writing anatomises the complex linkages between history, language, culture, perception, and nature.
Lakshmi's debut poetry collection, "Lakesong," was recently published by Centre for Stories (Northbridge) in collaboration with Red River Press (New Delhi). She is the recipient of the 2021 Pocketry Prize for Unpublished Poets. Her poem “Watermarks” was shortlisted for the South Coast Writers Centre’s 2022 Poetry Prize. Her poems— ‘The Sacred Place of Lotus’ and ‘1064°C’ were “Highly Commended” in both, Poetry d’Amour Contest and Ros Spencer Poetry Prize—announced at the 2022 Perth Poetry Festival. Lakshmi's poetry has been featured in various literary publications including but not limited to—"Social Alternatives”, "Portside Review", "Burrow Journal", "The Saltbush Review", "Blue Bottle Journal", "Seagift Journal", "Recoil 12", "Poetry d’Amour", "Letters To Our Home", "Brushstrokes II" and "Creatrix."
She is the current Poet-in-Residence at The Wetlands Centre Cockburn (2022-23) and it is here that she is constantly working towards her mission—of making poetry accessible to everyone in the wider community.
Shey Marque is an award-winning poet and short story writer, current committe member of WA Poets Inc, and former Coordinator for the KSP Writers Centre. Her poetry collections include Aporiac (FLP 2016), and Keeper of the Ritual (UWAP 2019). She holds a PhD Pathology (UWA), and MA Writing (Swinburne).
Internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed writer, Dervla McTiernan is the author of The Ruin, The Scholar, The Good Turn (together the Cormac Reilly series), her stand-alone novel, The Murder Rule, as well as her novellas The Sisters, The Roommate and The Wrong One. Dervla’s novels and novellas have been number one bestsellers in multiple territories. The Murder Rule has been optioned for television by FX, and The Ruin has been optioned by Hopscotch Features.
Dervla has won numerous awards, including two Barry Awards, a Davitt Award, a Ned Kelly Award and an International Thriller Writer Award.
Dervla spent twelve years working as a lawyer. Following the global financial crisis, she moved from Ireland to Western Australia and turned her hand to writing. Dervla lives in Perth, with her husband, two children and far too many pets.
Stephen Bevis is Communications Manager at Perth Festival, where he is responsible for promoting the Festival and building relationships with diverse stakeholders including artists, audiences, corporate and public partners, donors and the general public.
Before joining Perth Festival, Stephen was Arts Editor at The West Australian newspaper for 10 years from 2006 to 2016. In that time, he worked to elevate the profile of the arts sector as integral to the comprehensive news and current affairs coverage of a modern, interconnected society and economy. His other roles during a 25-year career as a journalist at The West Australian included Editor of the West Magazine, Deputy Foreign Editor, News Editor, State political reporter and Canberra correspondent.
A graduate of the University of WA with Honours in English Literature, Stephen has also taught English in Japan, tutored in media studies at Curtin University, been a WA Architecture Awards judge, sat on the UWAP Publishing Committee and the Artistic Advisory Committee for WA Ballet.
He also played a key role in the development of not-for-profit independent publication Seesaw Magazine, WA’s premier online arts magazine, where he is currently Deputy Chair.
Louise Allan is a Perth writer and author. Her début novel, The Sisters’ Song (A&U, 2018) was shortlisted for the TAG Hungerford Award and won the 2018 Tina Kane Emerging Writer Prize. Louise was also the 2019 KSP Scholarship Writer-in-Residence.
Louise is deeply engaged with the WA writing community and is sought after as a mentor and editor. She particularly enjoys developing programmes and workshops that give people confidence to write their stories and develop their creativity.
Before writing, Louise was a medical practitioner, first as a GP and then in the field of breast cancer. She has four children, two dogs and is a keen swimmer. She is currently working on her second and third novels.
Rachel Bin Salleh
Rachel is a Nimunburr/Yawuru woman from Broome and the Publisher at Magabala Books. She has worked as Project Editor, Editor, Production Co-ordinator, Marketing Assistant, Sales and Administration Manager. She has worked at her local bookshop and served on the boards of Magabala Books, SPN, APA, WritingWA, Centre for Stories, FNAWN. She has judged various awards and fellowships and contributes to furthering First Nations writing & storytelling in general. She was awarded the WritingWA Literary Lions Medal for outstanding contribution to Western Australia’s literary culture (2020). She is the author of Alfred’s War (2018) and has raised four sons.