Our Leadership Team—Australia East & New Zealand
Regional Advisor—Australia East & New Zealand
Susanne loves the community of children’s writers and illustrators. One of the deeply emotional moments of her life was being awarded an Order of Australia for children’s literature. She’s launched a lot of books; spoken at many festivals and schools throughout Australia and internationally, from Beijing to New York to Bologna. She writes social realism seeking to reach young people and adults through story. Her children’s novel ‘I Am Jack’ is a rite-of-passage children’s book based on her son being bullied at school, written before the world wide recognition of the critical need to stop bullying. ‘I Am Jack’ has been adapted into an acclaimed play which has toured theatres in Australia and is touring the USA in 2014. Her JACK series is in pre production as a feature film directed by internationally acclaimed Director Nadia Tass. ‘Butterflies’ her YA novel has just been published in the USA, and listed as in the Banks Street Best YA Books. Her books are endorsed by organisations including the Cancer Council, Children’s Hospital Westmead (Sydney), Life Education, The Alannah & Madeline Foundation and she is a patron of Monkey Baa Theatre, former Chair of the NSW Writers Centre, Ambassador for Room to Read.
Visit Susanne's website.
Illustrator Coordinator—Australia East & New Zealand
Having spent her childhood getting into trouble for sketching in class, Sarah now gets paid to paint, scribble and shade to her heart’s content, and can hardly believe her luck. Since 2008 she has had 17 books published in Australia and overseas, and her work has been shortlisted for 18 awards in Australia and New Zealand. In 2009 she was awarded the Crichton Award for Best New Australian Illustrator for her work on Mending Lucille by Jennifer Poulter (Hachette). Her work has been shortlisted twice for the CBCA Book of the Year award, Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot by Anna Branford (Walker Books) being awarded Honour Book in 2011, and Colin Thompson’s Fearless (ABC Books/Harper Collins) being awarded the CBCA Junior Judges award, and six regional Children’s Choice awards. She is currently working on a hilarious book about a Toucan, which is driving her crazy.
Visit Sarah's website.
Assistant Regional Advisor—New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory
After a seven year career producing and writing Children's TV, Deborah has written novels about spies, ghosts, soccer legends and characters good with swords who take on sea monsters and evil harbour lords. She is the author of the Max Remy Superspy series, Jasper Zammit (Soccer Legend) series, The Remarkable Secret Of Aurelie Bonhoffen and Grimsdon, about a flooded city, a group of lost children and flying machines. Her latest series, Ghost Club, is about two 11-year-olds who deal with pesky poltergeists and paranormal pests. Deb's won awards for her books, her latest being a USBBY Outstanding International Book Award in the USA. She is a very chuffed ambassador for the National Year of Reading and Room to Read.
Visit Deborah's website.
Assistant Regional Advisor—Victoria, South Australia & Tasmania
When Corinne is not looking after her SCBWI region, she is busy writing under the pen-name of Corinne Fenton and is passionate about picture books. ‘Queenie One Elephant’s Story’ was a CBCA Honour Book 2007 and was relaunched in paperback in January 2012. It will soon be published as a hardback in the USA. ‘The Dog on the Tuckerbox’, was shortlisted in the Australian Publishers Association and Australian Book Industry Awards. It was named a Notable Book in two categories of the CBCA Awards. In March 2010 it was one of 20 Australian picture books showcased by the APA at the Bologna Book Fair. ‘Flame Stands Waiting’ was released in March, 2010 and was on the Queensland Premier’s Reading Challenge list for 2011. Her latest picture book ‘Hey Baby!’ – a love letter to baby, was launched in November, 2012.
Visit Corinne's website.
Assistant Regional Advisor—Queensland
Sheryl Gwyther is a widely-published children's author of short stories, novels, school plays, for both educational and trade markets. She’s a recipient of two ASA Mentorships; a May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust Residential Fellowship; and an Arts Qld Individual Professional Development Grant. She is on the 2012 Board of Directors of the Australian Society of Authors; and ARA of SCBWI Queensland. Sheryl is also passionate about painting, printmaking and photography.
Visit Sheryl's website.
Assistant Regional Advisor—New Zealand
Frances Plumpton has always been an ardent advocate for New Zealand's children's literature and has convened both New Zealand Post and LIANZA children's book awards. After a long career as a children's librarian she joined Richards Literary Agency, NZ. In 2012 she has established her own agency, Frances Plumpton Literary Agency.
She is a trustee of Storylines Children's Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand and in 2006 was awarded their Betty Gilderdale Award for services to children's literature.
Visit Frances' website.
Our Leadership Team—Australia West
Regional Advisor—Australia West
Frané Lessac is an author and illustrator with over thirty-five children's books published throughout the world. She was born in New Jersey and spent time on the Caribbean Island of Montserrat and later London before moving to Australia. In 2010, Frané was awarded The Muriel Barwell Award for Distinguished Service to Children's Literature. She is the Regional Advisor SCBWI Australia West and joins the National Year of Reading 2012 initiative as a State Ambassador. Frané constantly visits schools, libraries and festivals in metropolitan, rural and remote communities sharing the process of writing and illustrating, books empowering both children and adults.
Visit Frané's website.
Illustrator Coordinator – Australia West
James Foley is a children's author and illustrator. His latest book, In The Lion, was released by Walker Books in 2012. It's a little like The old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, but darkly funny and set in a zoo. His debut picture book, The Last Viking, was written by Norman Jorgensen and published in 2011 by Fremantle Press. The Last Viking was awarded the 2012 Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' Crystal Kite for the Australia/New Zealand region. It has been shortlisted for a further four awards, including the 2012 Children's Book Council of Australia Early Childhood Book of the Year, the 2012 WA Young Readers' Book Awards and the 2012 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. James loves presenting workshops for schools and libraries, he's a big fan of yoga, and he has far too many books in his Bedside Uncontrolled Reading Pile ('BURP').
Visit James' website.
Assistant Regional Advisor—Australia West
Meg McKinlay is a West Australian poet and children's writer who has published work ranging from picture books through to junior fiction. Her work has been shortlisted for an number of awards, including the 2008 WA Premier's Book Awards and the 2010 CBC Book of the Year Award for Younger Readers. Meg has also published poetry and short fiction for adults and is an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Western Australia, where she has taught Australian Literature, Creative Writing, and Japanese. Her most recent publications are a junior novel, Surface Tension, and a picture book, No Bears.
Visit Meg's website.
Regional Advisor Emeritus, Crystal Kite Coordinator & Co Chair of International Board, Co-Regional Advisor for ANZ from 2004 to mid 2012
Christopher has been co-regional advisor for Australia and New Zealand since 2004. His books cover a number of genres; picture books (One child, with Steven Woolman); information books (The Eyespy Book of Party Animals); short stories (Zoo You Later, with Kerry Millard) and now historical fiction with New Gold Mountain, (My Australian Story Series).
Chris has also been a classroom teacher, Education Officer at Taronga Zoo, Children's Development manager for the Dymocks chain and Education Adviser at Purdue University (Indiana USA) developing Internet and CDROM education programs.
A passionate advocate for children's literature as well as the writers and illustrators of children's books, Christopher was also the federal government Ambassador for National Literacy and Numeracy Week for four years.
Visit Chris' website.