Professor Christine Alexander | Professor Chris Browne | David Dyer | Sandra Faulkner | Kate Forsyth | Dr Rachel Franks | Susannah Fullerton | Professor Margaret Harris | David Hunt | Tom Keneally AO | Professor Susan Martin | Walter Mason | Steven Miller | Dr Kylie Mirmohamadi | Dr Olivia Murphy | Jacqui Newling | Dr Paul Schlicke | Dr Cindy Sughrue | Dr John Vallance | Scott Whitmont
Professor Christine Alexander
Emeritus Scientia Professor of English in the School of the Arts and Media, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, at the University of New South Wales Christine Alexander has written extensively on the Brontës, especially on their early writings. She recently published a co-authored book commissioned for the Brontë Bicentenary— Celebrating Charlotte Bronte: Transforming Life into literature in ‘Jane Eyre’. She has also taught and published on gothic literature, Jane Austen, critical editing, literary juvenilia, and literature and landscape gardening; and she is director and general editor of the Juvenilia Press, an international research and pedagogic enterprise hosted by UNSW.
Professor Chris Browne
A former medical academic at Monash University, Professor Chris Browne has been a serious book collector for over 45 years. His personal library contains over 11,000 books with an emphasis on 19th and 20th century English literature and children’s books. He acquired his first Charles Dickens first edition in 1973, just before he left the UK to migrate to Australia. Chris is in demand for talks on a range of topics related to books, book collecting, literature, printing and book illustration. He is is a Melbourne Rare Book Week Ambassador.
David Dyer is a Dickens-loving teacher and writer. He has worked as a ship’s officer in the merchant marine and as a lawyer in Sydney and London. He is fascinated with the Titanic disaster and his 2016 novel The Midnight Watch tells the perplexing tale of the ship that did not come the Titanic’s rescue. He is currently working on his second novel.
Sandra Faulkner was one of the founding members of the Sydney branch of the Fellowship and was President until going back to live in England in 2010. On her return to London she was appointed to the Fellowship’s Management Committee and has been a long serving member. Sandra also represents Sydney branch on the Fellowship’s Council. In the UK she gives talks to different groups on Dickens and, in particular, his connection with Australia.
Kate Forsyth is a Dickens-loving storyteller who always wanted to be a writer. She has written stories and poems since she first learned to write. Her first novel was written at the age of seven and since then she has written forty books for children and adults which have sold more than a million copies. Recently voted one of Australia’s Favourite 15 Novelists, Kate has a doctorate in fairy tale studies and is an accredited master storyteller. Her Rapunzel retelling Bitter Greens won the 2015 ALA Award for Best Historical Fiction.Kate's latest novel is Beauty in Thorns, the story of Edward Burne-Jones’ famous painting of Sleeping Beauty through the voices of the muses, wives and mistresses of the Pre-Raphaelite circle. Kate is working on The Blue Rose, a fairy-tale infused historical novel for adults.
Dr Rachel Franks
Dr Rachel Franks is the Coordinator, Education & Scholarship at the State Library of New South Wales, a Conjoint Fellow at the University of Newcastle and is at The University of Sydney researching true crime. Rachel holds a PhD in Australian crime fiction and her research on crime fiction, true crime, popular culture and information science has been presented at numerous conferences. An award-winning writer, her work can be found in a wide variety of books, journals and magazines as well as on social media.
Susannah Fullerton OAM, FRSN is one of Sydney’s leading speakers on famous authors and their works. She has spoken at literary conferences internationally, and is in demand as an speaker at fund-raising events, conference dinners, schools, libraries, universities, bookshops and clubs. She is interviewed regularly on ABC radio and has appeared on TV interviews. She presents lecture series at the NSW State Library and 10-week series of lectures at the Art Gallery of NSW. Susannah is a founding member of the NSW Dickens Society, president of the Jane Austen Society of Australia, Patron of the Rudyard Kipling Society of Australia, and author of Brief Encounters: Literary Travellers in Australia.
Professor Margaret Harris
Professor Margaret Harris has published extensively on Victorian literature, especially on the fiction of George Eliot and George Meredith. She frequently brings to light previously unpublished material, as in The Journals of George Eliot (with Judith Johnston) and The Notebooks of George Meredith (with Gillian Beer). Her expertise extends to Australian literature, and she is literary executor for the novelist Christina Stead, on whom her publications include Dearest Munx : The Letters of Christina Stead and William J. Blake and introductions to several of her novels. She is Challis Professor of English Literature Emerita at The University of Sydney.
David Hunt is an historian, writer, satirist and Charles Dickens fan. His first book, Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia won the 2014 Indie Award for Non-Fiction and was shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards and New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards. True Girt, the sequel, was shortlisted for Audiobook of the Year at the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards and for the 2017 Russell Prize for Humour Writing. David published his first children’s picture book, The Nose Pixies, in 2016.
Tom Keneally AO
Tom Keneally is one of Australia’s best-known and most beloved writers, and a great lover of the work of Charles Dickens. A seminarian who didn’t become a priest, a sometime teacher and lecturer, his first novel The Place at Whitton was published in 1964 and has been followed by over thirty other novels including Man Booker Prize winner Schindler’s Ark on his fourth nomination for the award. He has been nominated for several Miles Franklin awards and won twice, and received a special award in the New South Wales Premier Literary Awards in 2008. Keneally is also a writer of non-fiction and drama. He is co-author with Meg Keneally of The Soldier’s Curse and The Unmourned, in The Monsarrat Series of historical crime fiction.
Professor Susan Martin
Professor Susan Martin is currently Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce at La Trobe University. She is a specialist in nineteenth-century Australian fiction and has taught Australian and Victorian literature and culture. She has worked on reading culture, women’s writing, gender studies and theory, spatial theory, garden history/culture, nineteenth century Victorian English fiction. Recent books include Colonial Dickens: What Australians Made of the World’s Favourite Writer and Sensational Melbourne: Reading, Sensation Fiction and Lady Audley’s Secret in the Victorian Metropolis both with Kylie Mirmohamadi, as well as Reading the Garden: The Culture of Gardening in Australia with Kylie Mirmohamadi and Katie Holmes.
Walter is a travel writer, speaker and lecturer with a special interest in spirituality. He is the author of two successful books of travel memoir, published by Allen & Unwin, “Destination Saigon” and “Destination Cambodia.” With a background in bookselling and publishing, Walter has studied theatre, Chinese, Vietnamese and has an honours degree in English Literature. Walter is Vice-President of the NSW Dickens Society and is much in demand for his talks on Dickens and other writers throughout Sydney. He runs Mindful Writer meditation and creativity courses and journal writing workshops at the NSW Writers’ Centre and throughout Australia.
Steven Miller is head of the National Art Archive and the Capon Research Library at the Art Gallery of NSW. His book Dogs in Australian Art was published by Wakefield Press in 2012, revised and expanded in 2016. He has also co-written Awakenings: Four lives in Art (2015), Degenerates and Perverts: The 1939 Herald Exhibition of French and British Contemporary Art (2005), which received the NSW Premier's Australian History Award, and The Art and Life of Weaver Hawkins (1995) with Eileen Chanin.
Dr Kylie Mirmohamadi
Dr Kylie Mirmohamadi is a Research Associate in English at La Trobe University. Her interdisciplinary work encompasses History and English. She has worked and published in garden history, Reading the Garden: The Culture of Gardening in Australia with Susan Martin and Katie Holmes, Australian studies, cultural studies, literary studies and Victorian studies. She is the author of The Digital Afterlives of Jane Austen: Janeites at the Keyboard. With Susan Martin, Kylie co-authored Colonial Dickens: What Australians Made of the World’s Favourite Writer, which explores the multiple ways in which Dickens was read and circulated in the Australian colonies.
Dr Olivia Murphy
Dr Olivia Murphy is a Postdoctoral Fellow in English at The University of Sydney and an Associate Investigator (2016) with the ARC Centre for the History of Emotions. Her research focuses on British Romanticism and the novel in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.She is the author of Jane Austen the Reader and co-editor of Anna Letitia Barbauld: New Perspectives. She has taught at the Universities of Sydney and Oxford, and from 2013-2014 was Lecturer in English at Murdoch University in Perth. Her broad research interests include Women’s writing, Gender and genre, Jane Austen as well as Science/speculative fiction.
Jacqui Newling explores our history and heritage through food as an interpretation curator and ‘colonial gastronomer’ at Sydney Living Museums. She is ‘the cook’ in SLM’s The Cook & the Curator blog and hosts a series of Colonial gastronomy programs in SLM’s historic houses, investigating the type of food eaten in Australia’s historic houses, giving us a real taste of past lives. She shares her knowledge in her book Eat your history: stories and recipes from Australian kitchens, and has curated menus for the St Albans Writers’ Festival colonial dinners, as well as speaking there and at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.
Dr Paul Schlicke
Dr Paul Schlicke is an American by birth and education (BA Stanford 1965, PhD 1971 U California San Diego) who taught at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) from 1971 to 2010. He is past president of the Dickens Fellowship and of the Dickens Society, and past chairman of the Trustees of the Dickens House Museum. He is founding chairman of the Aberdeen branch of the Dickens Fellowship, which hosted its conference in 2016. Author of Dickens and Popular Entertainment, The Oxford Companion to Charles Dickens, Simply Dickens, and many articles, reviews, editions, and bibliographies, his Clarendon edition of Sketches by Boz is currently being prepared for publication .
Dr Cindy Sughrue OBE
Dr Cindy Sughrue OBE has been the Director of the Charles Dickens Museum in London since October 2015, a dream job for a life-long admirer of Dickens, his writing and his legacy. Prior to this, she was Chief Executive at Scottish Ballet where she developed opportunities for the company to present its work across the UK and internationally, including multiple tours to the USA and China, and moved the company into new national headquarters following a major capital project. Cindy has worked in the cultural sector for nearly 30 years, in jobs as varied as running an art gallery and producing theatre. She is a Fellow of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce.
Dr John Vallance
John Vallance is the current New South Wales State Librarian. Born and raised in Sydney, he taught classics for ten years at the University of Cambridge and has written widely on classical science and philosophy. Between 1999 and 2017 he was Headmaster of Sydney Grammar School and until recently was on the board of the National Art School. He is a member of the board of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Honorary Professor for the Public Understanding of the Humanities at the University of New South Wales.
Scott Whitmont is the owner of Lindfield Bookshop & Children’s Bookshop, one of Sydney’s leading independent book stores which runs regular author talks. He is Past-President of the Australian Bookseller’s Association (NSW) and does a weekly book review segment on Radio 2GB. Scott is the great-great-great nephew of Ikey Solomon on whose life the character of Fagin is thought to have been based.
Please note that these details were correct at the time of printing and may be subject to change without notification.