President Angela Altair has had a lifelong love affair with the written word as reader and writer. She still can’t believe how a modest idea for a one-off literary event – dreamt up over a latte at a French creperie with co-founder Catherine Ryan 13 years ago – has become the West’s premier writers’ festival. Angela is a journalist and used to part-own a suburban newspaper group, The Western Times. She has been a Hobsons Bay Councillor since 1999 and is Patron of the Williamstown Musical Theatre Company. Her favourite novel is Wuthering Heights.
John arrived with his wife Sandy to settle in Williamstown in mid 2008 (from Fremantle via a year at UNESCO, Paris and three years as an Australian diplomat in New Delhi), lured to Melbourne by the task of setting up the Australia India Institute at the University of Melbourne. A scientist ( chemist) by training, he is now retired from this field and works part-time at Swinburne University of Technology on India and Innovation. A keen reader of both fiction and non fiction, particularly concerning India, his experience of the wonderful literary festivals in Jaipur, India propelled him to join the Committee for the Willy Lit Fest.
Barbara Hughes is a Williamstown resident, occasional writer and self-confessed theatre tragic. Barbara’s short story, The Visit, was shortlisted for the 2013 Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize and she writes regular theatre reviews for the Melbourne Observer. Barbara is the current Vice-President of Williamstown Little Theatre and her theatrical interests include performing, directing, viewing and administration.
As a chartered accountant Brian has had many years of commercial experience. He lives in Williamstown and is also the Treasurer of the Williamstown Little Theatre. When not engaged in “bean counting” Brian can often be found building sets and from time to time “treading the boards”, which he finds a refreshing antidote against anything relating to financial management. One of Brian’s long-term literary ambitions is to actually finish Ulysses, and wonders whether there is a self-help group that can provide support!
Loraine has extensive experience designing and delivering public programs and policy across a wide variety of settings including local government, the water industry, parks and botanic gardens, heritage sites, tourism and health promotion. She enjoys reading, writing and research. Late night often sees her glued to digitised 19th Century newspapers. In 2013 she was honoured to have been short listed for the Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize. 2018 will be her fifth Willy Lit Fest as Program Director. Her focus has been to build a diverse program with strong local input, delivering events and sessions across a range of styles with an aim to attract patrons who may not traditionally attend literary festivals.
Chris Ringrose is a poet and writer of short fiction who moved from England to Williamstown in April 2012. He is Adjunct Associate Professor of Literature at Monash University, edits the Journal of Postcolonial Writing and is one of the editors of the Sydney-based fashion magazine Papier Mâché. He won the WillyLitFest People’s Choice’ competition in 2013.
Lis Grove is a long-term Williamstown resident and supporter of the Literary Festival from its inception. Her love of language and literature is reflected in a professional career which has ranged widely: from English and literature teaching at Monash and Melbourne Universities and secondary schools, to teaching English as a second language to migrants and international students, to research into second-language learning and assessment at Melbourne University. She has also worked as a consultant in second -language assessment, professional writing and editing.
Carol has always had a passion for the creative and an all-out adoration of the “wordsmith.” She is herself, a multidisciplinary designer, working part time out of her studio in Hobsons Bay. Away from design and literature…she likes to close her eyes and drink in the sounds of classical music…particularly Wagner. Additionally, as Vice President of a local Historical Society she has gained much pleasure in being part of a volunteer team that featured “our seniors” in a dvd documentary titled “Time Travellers…the film.”
Prior to moving to Melbourne in 2012, Lindy worked in the museum and heritage sector in Western Australia. Since living in Williamstown she’s established a heritage archive and completed an oral history project for Williamstown Botanic Gardens. With her passion of bringing history to life she’s used personal stories and photos to develop videos stories for Freshwater Bay Museum’s ‘Western Suburbs at War’ exhibition and the City of Port Phillip’s Speaking Stories: Digital History exhibition. She’s researched the history of the men on the Williamstown Town Hall WW1 Honour Board and is currently cataloguing the Truganina Explosives Reserve collection.
Anna Brasier is a Melbourne writer and editor. Anna’s writing has been published in a variety of print publications such as The Big Issue, The Victorian Writer, Melbourne’s Child, Hyde, The Westsider and The Ada Cambridge anthologies; and online articles in SBS, The Footy Almanac and Weekend Notes.
Anna is the former Editor in Chief at Hyde magazine (2016), Victoria University’s student publication, and the former Managing Editor of Offset Arts journal (2015).
Hugh Jones is a communications consultant and former journalist. He worked for News Corporation in both Melbourne and London, and was editor of The Weekly Times newspaper. He has produced and edited several books, including The Bible of the Bush, a coffee-table book to mark the first 125 years of The Weekly Times.