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This page is part of the 2012 FESTIVAL ARCHIVE.
Visit the current Melbourne Writers Festival website for details of the next festival.

Meet the Team


FESTIVAL Director/CEO Steve Grimwade

Steve came to the role of Director/CEO of the Melbourne Writers Festival, having worked as Associate Director in both 2008 and 2009. Steve was curator of The Independent Type: Books & Writing in Victoria exhibition (held at the State Library of Victoria in 2009) and was general editor of the anthology Literary Melbourne (2009). He was, for ten years, co-host of 3RRR’s books and writing radio show Aural Text and co-editor of the Australian lit-mag Going Down Swinging. Steve has also been a freelance book editor, Program Director of the Victorian Writers Centre, Director of the Emerging Writers Festival and Artistic Director of Express Media.

General Manager Liz Chappell

Liz is a finance boffin with some 20 years experience across many sectors including chartered, ASX100, IT, Business Consulting, Insurance, Manufacturing, R&D and the Arts. This experience extends beyond finance to cover Commercial, HR and Legal matters. Liz loves project management, problem solving, negotiation and stakeholder engagement. In other words, she is very bossy! Just ask her two (lovely) daughters.

Development Manager Collette Stewart

A bookworm from an early age, it’s only natural that Collette gravitated to a major celebration of books – the Melbourne Writers Festival. Her love of ideas, travel, music, art and design were all inspired by books; even gaining an unexpected semi-literate understanding of quark, anti-matter and quantum physics via science fiction. Collette has marketed major events across Australia, the UK and Europe, but there’s no place like home, and no event as intriguing, interesting and downright exciting as the Melbourne Writers Festival.

Marketing Manager Stefan Treyvaud

Stefan recently arrived in Melbourne from Queensland – following the new government’s decision to discontinue the Premiers Literary Award. The headline 'Queensland: Perfect One Day – Illiterate the Next' unnerved him. He didn’t feel it was a good sign for the performing arts industry in which he has spent the past decade in senior marketing roles. Stefan is now a proud Victorian, reclaiming his place of birth, despite having been ‘brung up’ in Queensland since he was two. He likes the weather here, along with scarves and coats, travelling to work by tram, and spending his pennies on comedy, theatre, jazz, and film (and that’s just been in the first fortnight).

Program Manager Mike Shuttleworth

Mike grew up in Western Australia and fell in love with reading after he was left alone for hours on end in the school library. Arriving at the Western Australian Institute of Technology to study journalism, he wound up spending most of his time hanging around the radio station, to the point where he became the student union broadcasting officer. Mike moved to Melbourne in 1996 and has since worked at the formerly-known-as Victorian Writer’s Centre (now Writers Victoria), the Centre for Youth Literature, as well as a freelance writer, reviewer and literary awards judge. And yes, he has also worked in a school library.

Festival Administrator Shona Barrett

Before moving to Melbourne from London in 2011, Shona spent a decade at the British Film Institute, working on the preservation and re-release of films from the UK National Film Archive, from lesser-known cinematic gems to obscure examples of moving-image practice. Shona loves combining her passion for the creative arts and literature with her enjoyment of planning and organisation. When she’s not working, reading, or in the cinema, Shona can be found reluctantly jogging along the Yarra or rewarding herself with a pint.

Artist Liaison/Program Assistant Bhakthi Puvanenthiran

A proud Melburnian of Sri Lankan Tamil origin, Bhakthi comes to Melbourne Writers Festival via working as a freelance writer for The Age, Crikey and Women of Letters; sitting behind the mic at 774 ABC Melbourne and 3CR; and a two-year stint as co-director of the National Young Writers’ Festival. Bhakthi recently completed a degree in Media and Communications/Law from Melbourne University where she edited the student paper, Farrago. Much to her family’s bemusement, she is yet to put the law part to use.

Box Office & Customer Service Coordinator Lillian Birch

Lillian is a proud ex-volunteer at MWF and has managed box offices across hundreds of Victorian and interstate events. Sometimes referred to as 'the ticket master' by her friends, her obsessiveness in this area will contribute to a vibrant and smooth-running MWF 2012 and hopefully ensure an abundance of delighted and well-informed festival patrons. In her spare time Lillian enjoys cooking, crocheting and other extreme sports.

Marketing Assistant Imogen Kandel

A native Melburnian, Imogen moved to Beijing in 2007 after completing a B.A in media studies. Between stints as a Chinese language student, a freelance writer and a Sichuan food taster, she was marketing and communications manager for an education consultancy as well as managing editor of an English-language magazine. After five years in China’s capital, Imogen has recently returned to her hometown to pursue coffee drinking, book reading, and festival marketing. 

Production Manager Tom Abud

Tom brings a wide range of festival experience to Melbourne Writers Festival, having worked in various production management roles in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival, and The Garden of Unearthly Delights in the Adelaide Fringe Festival. He has also run an independent music venue, been general manager of the High Vibes Festival, and worked in a variety of technical, venue management, front of house and production capacities on other festivals, events and venues. Tom has been with MWF since 2009.


Daria is a freelance arts worker with a broad experience in festival and event operations who is delighted to return to Melbourne Writers Festival for a third year. Having performed many and varied roles - from volunteer usher to operations manager and seemingly everything in between - she relishes the fast-paced and ever-changing festival environment. When not organising other people, Daria can think of no greater pleasure than pursuing her passion for food, music and travel - ideally all at once.



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Melbourne Writers Festival, 25 Aug 2011 - 04 Sept 2011
Level 1, 176 Lt Lonsdale Street, The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne VIC 3000
Box Office: +61 (0)3 9999 1199, T: +61 (0)3 9094 7859, F: +61 (0)3 9650 6467

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