Brooke Webb – CEO
Spanning 25 years, Brooke’s career has seen her travel the globe, working as an Executive Director, Executive Producer and Artistic Director for leading global entertainment and production companies. Honing her skills on theatrical shows and large-scale concert experiences (both touring and residential) Brooke soon found herself producing and directing large-scale, commercial festivals and major events.
Previous experience includes Artistic Director for Cirque du Soleil creating three touring shows, Mel Brook’s ‘The Producers’ (Broadway and Australian National tour), Julie Taymor’s ‘Lion King’ (Broadway) as well as producing internationally recognised festival’s and events for the Sydney Opera House; Vivid LIVE, Graphic Festival and the Outdoor Music forecourt series. As Executive Producer for Universal Music in New York City Brooke has also toured with some of the most iconic rock n’ roll bands of her generation.
Prior to joining Sydney Writers Festival, Brooke was the Festival Director for The Taste of Tasmania, injecting her signature energy and passion for shared experiences into a lively program of events aimed at sharing Tasmania’s incredible culinary culture with the world.
Michael Williams – Artistic Director
Michael Williams joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in September 2020, as the Artistic Director navigating the post-pandemic landscape going into the 2021 festival. He has spent the past decade at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne; as its founding Head of Programming in 2009, and then as its Director from September 2011. A regular host and interviewer for literary and ideas events around Australia – including a long-standing association with Sydney Writers’ Festival – his background is in publishing and broadcasting. He has hosted two shows on ABC Radio National – Blueprint for Living (2015-2016) and Talkfest (2017-2018) – was a regular on ABC TV’s The Book Club, and remains a regular guest on ABC radio and TV. Michael has also worked as a Breakfast presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR, as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, in publishing in Australia and New York, and has written extensively for The Guardian, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and elsewhere. He is currently also host of Guardian Australia’s monthly book club.
Lydia Tasker – Program Manager
Lydia joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in August 2019. She comes from a background in book publishing, and prior to her appointment at the Festival she worked for five years at Hachette Australia, ultimately as Publicity Manager, touring with and building media campaigns for a broad range of international and Australian authors. She has been involved in publishing industry initiatives such as the Australian Book Industry Awards, the Publisher’s Publicity Circle and The Australian Reading Hour. Lydia holds a degree in English Literature and Writing from Macquarie University.
Amelia Lush – Head of Children's & YA Programs
Amelia joined Sydney Writers' Festival in October 2018. She has more than 10 years' experience in bookselling, focusing on children’s and YA literature.
Amelia is the former general manager of Better Read Than Dead, an independent bookstore in Sydney and has worked as a consultant and volunteer for a variety of organisations including Stella Schools, Twenty10, the CBCA and ACON.
Mel Piu – Programming Assistant
Mel joined Sydney Writers' Festival in February 2021 working in ticketing. She returns for her second year but now moving her skillset across to programming. She has worked in several roles for a number of large-scale festivals and organisations including Sydney Opera House, Sydney Film Festival and British Film Institute.
Drew Bourgeois – Acting Head of Development
Drew Bourgeois joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in November 2020. Prior to this, Drew was working in development and finance roles across the arts sector, including at the Australian Museum, Carriageworks and the Australia Council for the Arts. Drew holds an honors degree in English Literature and Philosophy from the University of Sydney.
Georgia Wilson – Development Manager
Georgia Wilson joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in January 2022. Georgia has previously worked in roles across philanthropy, development and partnerships for organisations such as the Australian Museum, Australian Theatre for Young People and Sydney Living Museums. She holds a Bachelor of Art Theory from the University of NSW.
Aimee Huxley – Head of Marketing & Digital
Aimee joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in 2016. Aimee has been working in arts marketing for over ten years, including holding positions at Sydney Festival, Sydney Theatre Company and Perth International Arts Festival.
Aimee has also worked as an editor and copywriter for various organisations across the arts, film, not-for-profit, education, health and publishing sectors. Aimee studied literature and Film at Curtin University and publishing at the University of Melbourne.
Emma Walsh – Marketing Specialist
Emma joined Sydney Writers' Festival in 2020 and has worked as a writer and editor across the business, publishing, finance, government, cultural and not-for-profit sectors for the past seven years. She has supported marketing and corporate communications campaigns for world-leading organisations as part of her role with Editor Group, Australia’s preeminent corporate writing firm, and has managed communications for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. She has also worked closely with Newcastle Writers Festival on its social media coverage. Emma holds a Masters in Publishing from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts (English, Philosophy), which she completed at the University of London.
Benython Oldfield – Media Manager
Benython has been working on the promotion of Sydney Writers’ Festival since 2013. He is the Director of publicity & writers’ agency, Zeitgeist Media Group.
Jo Jukes – Office Manager
Jo joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in October 2021. Prior to this, she held the position of general manager of operations for a New Business Development agency, leading projects and managing a busy team of inside sales agents. She studied Commercial Photography at the Arts University Bournemouth in the UK and has held a variety of roles in photography and media, both in Sydney and London. Jo is also a freelance writer; her work has been published both nationally and internationally.
PRODUCTION & OPERATIONS
Tristan Taylor – Head of Production
Tristan has played various technical roles in Arts and Entertainment Events for over thirty years.
Previous highlights include festivals and productions at the Sydney Opera House, National and International touring with Performing Lines, being part of the lighting team at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London, and teaching Theatre Technology in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Tristan is a graduate of University of Wollongong, Bachelor of Creative Arts (Theatre Technology), and Deakin University, Graduate Diploma of Arts and Entertainment Management.
Andrew Bondfield – Production Manager
Andrew joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in 2020. Andrew has a wide spectrum of experience in event production, from corporate lighting for TED conferences to fire performing at Burning Man. Preferring to be out of the limelight, Andrew thrives on working with people who are passionate about their projects.
Misty McPhail – Volunteers & Internships Manager
Misty has been managing the Volunteers and Internships portfolio since 2014 and is pleased to return to the Festival again this year. She is a current PhD student with the Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University (WSU), undertaking research into online writers’ festivals. Misty is also a tutor at WSU in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts. Misty co-produces Made in the West Film Festival, a grassroots film festival for Western Sydney filmmakers.
Kerry Littrich – Volunteers & Internships Coordinator
Kerry started working at Sydney Writers’ Festival in January 2021 as the Volunteers and Internships Coordinator after being a Festival volunteer herself for four years. She began her career in sales and customer service with Qantas Airways and progressed to managing flight inventory and optimising revenue through yield management. Away from the corporate environment, she has written two novels, myriad short stories and teaches yoga and meditation. Kerry holds a Bachelor of Arts (Geography, French) from UNSW.
Michael Clapham – Head of Ticketing
Michael comes to Sydney Writers' Festival with a ticketing career spanning over 25 years, having held multiple supervisory and managerial roles with Sydney Opera House. Over the years, he has provided ticketing support for major events, including the Sydney Opera House 40th Anniversary celebrations. Michael has also worked in customer-focused roles for Appliances Online, Sydney Theatre Company, Opera Australia and the Sydney Gay Games 2002.