Board of Directors

Libby Gleeson AM (Chair)
Libby is author of forty titles for children and young adults. She is formerly Chair of the Australian Society of Authors, Chair of the Literature and History Committee of Arts NSW and a Director of the Copyright Agency. She is a Director of the Public Education Foundation.

Felicity Castagna
Felicity has been a high school English, ESL and Special Needs teacher. Currently she primarily teaches creative writing and education subjects at the University of Western Sydney and in particular with Sweatshop. Her most recent book The Incredible Here and Now won The 2014 Prime Minister’s Literature Award (Young Adult). She is currently the National Ambassador for Literacy Week 2015.

Robyn Ewing AM
Robyn is Professor of Teacher Education and the Arts, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney. A former primary teacher, Robyn is passionate about the Arts and education and the role quality arts experiences and processes can and should play in transforming pedagogy across the curriculum.She enjoys working collaboratively with classroom teachers interested in creative teaching and learning.

In the areas of English, literacy and the Arts, Robyn’s research and writing has particularly focused on using drama with authentic literary texts to develop students’ learning. Her current partnership with Sydney Theatre Company on School Drama encapsulates this work. Other research interests include innovative teacher education, the experiences of early-career teachers and the role of mentoring; sustaining curriculum innovation; evaluation; and, the role of the Arts in educational research.

Robyn is immediate past president of the Australian Literacy Educators Association (2011-15), Chair of the Academic Board of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and Honorary Associate with Sydney Theatre Company. She was president of the Primary English Teachers Association (PETAA) from 2001-2006 and vice president of Sydney Story Factory, 2011-15.

Susanne Gannon
Susanne is Associate Professor in the School of Education, UWS. She teaches preservice English teachers with a particular interests in the teaching of creative writing in schools. She is on the National Executive of the Australian Association of Teachers of English, and Editor of their research journal English in Australia.

Bruce Handmer
Bruce Handmer is the founder and Managing Director of The Friday Group, a management consulting company which incorporates Friday Search and Friday Communications. Before launching this business ten years ago, Bruce was a Partner at Moss & Hooper Pty Ltd, a technology focused management consulting and recruitment firm. Prior to this Bruce was an Associate at Spencer Stuart & Associates’ Sydney office. He joined Spencer Stuart in 1997 from the international advertising and recruitment firm Austin Knight Pty Ltd, where he held the role of Managing Director. Prior to that Bruce held a Regional VP position with the global computer company, Memorex Telex. Bruce’s career started at IBM. He has also founded, built and sold a number of companies in computer, marketing and technical services along with numerous “change” and interim management roles including GM of an FMCG manufacturer and Executive and HR Advisor to AREVA Solar Inc & P/L.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Sydney, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, has completed and/or taught courses in Change Management, SPC & TQM, Class A Manufacturing, OH&S, Sales & Marketing, Finance and Business Administration and Fundraising, is a member of the Sunengy Advisory Board, an advisor to other boards including Barefoot Power, sits on the North Sydney Council Environment Reference Committee, and is a past President of both Kambala and The Scots’ College’s Parent Associations.

Philip Porter
Philip grew up in Parramatta and went to school at Rosehill Primary and Arthur Phillip High School. He subsequently graduated from UNSW with a BA (Politics and Spanish)and MA (Australian Politics) and Sydney University MA (Creative Writing). He also has a Teach Cert. from WWTC. He has been variously a high school and University teacher, business person (establishing educational centres in Australia, Japan, China, Indonesia and Thailand), fisherman, builders labourer, showman and ESL teacher (to name a few) in various countries around the world. He is currently the Director of Philip Porter Consulting and Special Advisor to The President of Meiji University, Tokyo. Philip is a poet and runs regular community Poetry Nights on the Lower North Shore and is currently editing an Anthology of Poetry of these events with Luke Fischer and Kit Kelen. His particular interest is to see more public support for Public Schools and has set up many programs at Arthur Phillip High over the past 10 years. Currently, he organises a Writing Scholarship Program at the School through his final year School Alumni. Details of these projects may be seen on his TEDTalk; “Public School Alumni-A Sleeping Giant.”

James Roy
James Roy is a multiple-awarded writer of over thirty books for young people. He teaches creative writing in Australia and overseas, served on the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts for three years, and is close to completing his Master of Creative Writing degree at the University of Sydney. His latest book, “”One Thousand Hills””, is set during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, and is co-written with Noel Zihabamwe.

Sara Saleh
Sara Saleh is an Arab-Australian human rights and refugee advocate, grassroots activist and creative artist. Her belief in the power of storytelling has taken her from a decade-long career working with NGOs like Amnesty International Australia, to performing her poetry locally and internationally. Sara regularly speaks and writes on human rights, refugees, Palestine, and the politics of language and identity, and has been published across national media. A 2015 Australian Poetry Slam State Finalist, Sara co-founded the Dubai Poetry Slam and began co-organising the hugely popular The Dirty Thirty global online poetry platform. Several of Sara’s poetry pieces have been published in the 2013 BPS Poetry Anthology “The Last Conversation”, and the 2014 edition, “On Second Thought” as well as the first Dirty Thirty Anthology 2015. A recent Masters of Human Rights Law graduate and Affinity’s 2013 Youth of the Year for her activism, Sara spends her nights working on her new social enterprise, ReBOOKS, dedicated to improving refugee literacy in Australia.

Cheryle Yin-Lo
Cheryle graduated in visual arts and teaching. She  has worked in  visual and performing arts organisations in Sydney and overseas for over twenty years in arts administration and audience development  and as freelance  arts consultant, exhibition curator and  creative producer. Previous positions as Board member include Playworks, Urban Theatre Projects and Carnivale and as advisory  member for arts funding bodies at state and Federal level. She has worked at Belvoir St Theatre and Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, and in audience development with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Museums and Galleries NSW. She has a Doctorate of Cultural Research from Western Sydney University and currently works as a cultural development worker at Camden Council in South West Sydney working with artists and communities.