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Executive Office

Brooke Webb GAICD – CEO

For the past 27 years, Brooke has held senior and executive-level roles, leading the creation of commercial theatrical productions, concerts, and large-scale festivals, working both within Australia and internationally.

Brooke has led the creation of large-scale, commercial productions for global entertainment companies, multinational corporations, state governments, not-for-profit organisations, local councils, and private SME agencies. Her diverse experience includes serving as the Artistic Director at Cirque Du Soleil (Canada, North America, South America, and the Middle East), Executive Director – Concerts and Touring at Universal Music in New York City (USA), Resident Artistic Director on The Producers collaborating with Mel Brooks, Susan Stroman and the US Creative Team (Australian Tour 2003–2005), Festival Director for The Taste of Tasmania, Executive Producer for Woolworths Carols in the Domain, Festival Producer at Sydney Opera House, and Project Manager – Major Events, also at the Sydney Opera House.

Brooke earned her Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University (ANU), followed by a post-graduate degree in Theatre Directing from the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) and a Master of Arts Management from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). Brooke has also commenced her doctorate studies in Creative Arts Therapy at the Melbourne Institute of Experiential Arts Therapy (MIECAT).

In 2024, Brooke was appointed by Minister for the Arts, John Graham, to serve on the Library Council of the State Library of New South Wales.


Ann Mossop – Artistic Director

Ann is an ideas curator and festival programmer. Throughout her career she has been involved with important initiatives to bring the work of writers and thinkers to broader audiences.
Prior to her appointment at the Writers’ Festival, she was the Director of the Centre for Ideas at UNSW Sydney, a new program she established that hosts live and digital public conversations about important issues. Recent highlights include talks with speakers like Dr Anthony Fauci, Daniel Kahneman, Grace Tame and Julia Gillard as well as writers William Dalrymple, Geraldine Brooks, Masha Gessen and Daniel Lavery.

As Head of Talks and Ideas at the Sydney Opera House from 2010-2017, she established the Opera House’s extensive talks and ideas program. The Ideas at the House series featured writers, thinkers, artists, cooks and comedians including Jackie Chan, Noam Chomsky, Roxane Gay, Elizabeth Gilbert, Stephen Hawking, Alicia Garza, Jamie Oliver, Yoko Ono, Grayson Perry, Jennifer Saunders, Alice Waters and many more. She led key projects like the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, which brought substantial audiences to hear speakers like Slavoj Zizek, Salman Rushdie, Vandana Shiva and Naomi Klein on Opera House stages. She was also the founder of the All about Women festival, which has taken place annually at Sydney Opera House since 2013.

She is a past member of Sydney Writers’ Festival’s Board and was involved with the establishment of the Sydney Writers’ Festival as an independent entity in 1998.

Nathan Luff – Manager of Children's & YA Programs

Nathan joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in September 2022. He is the author of multiple books and plays for young readers, including The Nerd Herd series and Bad Grammar. Nathan previously worked as a primary school teacher, focusing on literacy and the performing arts. Prior to that, Nathan was a Creative Producer for the Powerhouse Youth Theatre in Western Sydney, and Festival Director of the Wakakirri National Story Festival, an arts festival for Australian schools promoting education through the telling and sharing of stories.

Lauren Bennett – Festival Producer

Lauren joined Sydney Writers' Festival in October 2022. She is a creative producer with experience across the small to medium arts sector in both Melbourne and Sydney. Most recently, Lauren was Associate Producer at Australian Theatre for Young People. In mid-2022, she commenced her first board position with Theatre Works. 

With a passion for new writing, Lauren has worked as a producer on 30+ productions, programs and developments since her practice began in 2017, including with Theatre Works, Midsumma Festival, Lab Kelpie, Drama Victoria, and various independent theatre companies. Previous projects have spanned sketch comedy, circus, dance, musical theatre, and predominantly, new Australian plays. 

Lauren completed a Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing and Politics) at the University of Melbourne, and has a background in writing, performing and directing for the stage. 

Annette Hughes – Travel and Logistics

Annette Hughes is a cultural producer with long experience in the book industry as an editor, literary agent (Cameron Creswell) and was for seven years event manager of Reality Bites literary non-fiction festival in Queensland. Prior to publishing, she worked in the visual arts as gallery manager at the Ray Hughes Gallery (Brisbane and Sydney). She is also a published author and a musician/singer/songwriter.  


Lauren Dixon – Head of Development

Lauren joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in November 2023. She started her career as a marketing manager at Allen & Unwin and Palace Cinemas. Following these roles, she moved to the Walkley Foundation for Journalism where she ran their events, scholarships, and awards programs for over 10 years. During this time, she became General Manager of the Foundation and managed relationships with corporate, government, and media partners. She has a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Business from QUT.

Georgia Wilson – Development Manager

Georgia 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.


Sarah Hunt – Head of Marketing & Digital

Sarah joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in January 2023. She has worked in arts marketing across Australia and the UK, including positions at Opera Australia, Edinburgh International Festival, Sydney Festival, Dark Mofo and Sydney Opera House. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Italian Studies from the University of Sydney.

Jennifer McGrath – Digital Marketing Manager

Jennifer joined Sydney Writers' Festival in January 2023. Prior to this she worked in arts marketing for Bell Shakespeare and in publishing with Allen & Unwin. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Sydney, holding a Masters of Publishing and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy. 

Kate Farquharson – Marketing Coordinator

Kate is a Sydney/Eora-based marketing professional hailing from the town of Kempsey on Dunghutti country, on the Mid North Coast of NSW. Kate first joined Sydney Writers' Festival in February 2023 and has worked across various arts, entertainment and cultural organisations including Sydney Festival, Secret Sounds, and Live Nation. A musician and zinester, they are engaged in the Australian music scene and holds a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Fine Art in Photomedia and English Literature from UNSW.

Julia Clark – Digital Marketing Coordinator

Julia joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in 2024. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney where she also obtained her Bachelor of Arts in English and Linguistics and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English. Julia is also a poet, writer, and reviewer with years of experience reviewing the Sydney performing arts.


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.

Maeve Carragher – Associate Publicist

Maeve joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in 2024. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Media (Communications & Journalism) with a minor in Art Theory at UNSW.


Iain Shand – Ticketing & Customer Service Manager

Iain joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in October 2022. Prior to this, Iain had been working within membership, ticketing and consumer products since 2019 for the Central Coast Mariners FC. Iain also has a vast background in hospitality and in sports leisure, working across Australia and back in Scotland where he is from. Iain studied Sport and Exercise Science at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Aimee Clarke – Ticketing Supervisor 

Aimee joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in January 2024, after moving to Sydney in late 2023 from Tasmania. Before the move, she spent the last 7 years working at Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), based in customer service and supervising ticket sales for the museum and Mona’s yearly music and art festivals, Mona Foma and Dark Mofo.

Office Manager

Sandy Sarouni – Office Manager and Executive Assistant to the CEO

Sandy is a Lebanese writer and artist based in Western Sydney. She holds a Bachelor of Communications from UTS and has a media background with a strong focus on community engagement, most recently working for SBS. Sandy is passionate about engaging with diverse communities, utilising storytelling as a tool for social change.


Tristan Taylor – Head of Production and Operations 

Tristan has held various technical roles in arts and entertainment events for over thirty years. Previous highlights include festivals and productions at 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 the University of Wollongong, Bachelor of Creative Arts (Theatre Technology), and Deakin University, Graduate Diploma of Arts and Entertainment Management.

Tom Fenley – Production Manager

Tom joined Sydney Writers' Festival in January 2024. He has held various production and operations roles across the UK and Australia in the arts, culture and events sectors. In recent years Tom has worked with TEDxSydney, Openfield Contemporary Arts Festival, Performance Space, Antenna Film Festival, Sydney Contemporary, Art Aid, Festival of Dangerous Ideas, the National Art School and others. Tom holds a Bachelor of Fine Art in Sculpture from University of the Arts London.

Volunteers & Interns

Misty McPhail – Volunteers and Interns 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 & Society Research Centre undertaking research into online writers’ festivals and a tutor at WSU in the School of Humanities & Communication Arts. Misty also co-produces Made in the West Film Festival, a grassroots film festival for Western Sydney filmmakers.

Kieran Hennessy – Volunteers & Internships Coordinator

Kieran is a passionate writer and book lover who joined Sydney Writers' Festival in 2024. He brings a decade of management experience from music festivals, club nights, conferences, and research and advocacy for the arts and nightlife industries. Kieran graduated UNSW with a Bachelor of Commerce and International Studies, with distinction. He can often be spotted on the weekends DJing venues throughout Eora/Sydney.