Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Meet the Team



Regional Advisor—Australia East & New Zealand


Susanne Gervay

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 2014-2015.Her JACK series is in pre production as a TV series. 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, and an Ambassador for Room to Read.


Assistant Regional Advisor—New South Wales


Deborah Abela

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, Grimsdon and Ghost Club. Her latest releases are a sequel to Grimsdon called, New City and her first historical fiction about post war migration to Australia, A New World for Teresa. Deb won awards for her books but mostly hopes, one day, to be as brave as the characters inside. She is a very chuffed ambassador for Room to Read. 


Assistant Regional Advisor—Victoria

Caz100pxCaz Goodwin

Caz writes picture books, short stories and novels for children.  Over the past decade, she has lived and worked in Singapore and Melbourne, Australia (where she is now based).  She has had over 25 short stories, poems and books published.  Her first novel for younger readers, Curse of the Viking Sword, was published in 2008 and won a first time writers award.  Her new picture book, Dragon’s Egg, received a Singapore National Arts Council award (Beyond Words Young and Younger) and the publisher has recently sold the Korean Language rights.  She has co-edited a book of short stories and is currently working on a middle-grade fiction series.


Assistant Regional Advisor—Queensland


Sheryl Gwyther

Sheryl Gwyther writes for 7-13 year olds. Her short stories, chapter books and school plays are widely used in schools, and her novel, Secrets of Eromanga, an adventure set on an Australia's dinosaur fossil dig is still popular in many schools.
She’s a recipient of two Australian Society of Authors Mentorships; two May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust Residential Fellowship; and an Arts Qld Individual Professional Development Grant. In 2013, Sheryl was recently awarded a SCBWI Work-of-Outstanding-Progress Grant for her historical adventure w-i-p, Sweet Adversity. She also just completed two years on the 2012 Board of Directors of the ASA. Sheryl is passionate about writing children's books,and when she occasionally has a spare day, painting, printmaking and photography. 


Assistant Regional Advisor—New Zealand


Frances Plumpton

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.


Assistant Regional Advisor—Australia East & New Zealand

MarjorieCrosby-FairallMarjorie Crosby-Fairall

Marjorie Crosby-Fairall is an award winning illustrator whose books include Brothers from a Different Mother (Penguin Random House), One Christmas Eve (Black Dog/Walker Books), Mrs Dog (Five Mile Press), The Croc and the Platypus (Walker Books, shortlisted for Speech Pathology Award), My Little World (Ominbus, an imprint of Scholastic, shortlisted for the Wilderness Society Environment Award). She was awarded the CBCA Eve Pownall Award for her first picture book Killer Plants (Penguin). She lives in Sydney and works as a freelance illustrator undertaking an eclectic range of projects, including illustrations for educational publishers, trade book publishers, and magazines.


Regional Coordinator—South Australia

KellyHibbertKelly Hibbert

Kelly’s debut picture book, Fancy Pants, was published by Little Book Press in 2016. Across South Australia, over 20000 preschool children received a Little Big Book Club pack this year. These packs included a copy of Fancy Pants which was recently shortlisted in the Speech Pathology Book of the Year awards. As a part time relief teacher, Kelly is keen to read books and talk about writing with students from many preschools and primary schools. Much of her inspiration comes from the extraordinary children she meets or the everyday events which happen in the home she shares in Adelaide with husband, Steve, and two terrific boys. Her next picture book is due for release in 2018 with HarperCollins. 



Regional Coordinators—Tasmania


Anne Morgan

Anne Morgan is a successful published children’s author, poet, playwright and winner of The Children’s Book Environmental Award for The Smallest Carbon Footprint 2014. She has a PhD in Writing, for which she won a university medal, and a Master of Education Degree. As the Festival Director of the inaugural Bruny Island Children’s Literature Festival 2015, she partnered with SCBWI to hold a professional publishing day.


Christina Booth—Assistant Coordinator Tasmania 

Christina is a teacher, landscape artist, children’s book illustrator and picture book writer. She started her publishing career as an illustrator to great writers such as Colin Thiele, Max Fatchen and Christobel Mattingley. In 2007 Christina’s first picture Book, Purinina, A Devil’s Tale (Lothian Hachette) was published. Kip won an Honour Book Award in the 2010 CBCA Book of the Year Awards and Welcome Home (Ford Street Publishing) won the Environmental Award for Children's Literature in 2014.


Illustrator Coordinator—Australia East & New Zealand


Sarah Davis

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 just finished a hilarious book about a Toucan, which is drove her crazy. 


Illustrator Committee—Australia East NZ

Andrea Edmonds

Andrea’s experience includes illustration for greeting cards, stationery, commissioned paintings, and animation.  Andrea’s first picture books 10 Silly Wombats and 10 Funny Sheep (Ed Allen, Scholastic) were published in 2013. She is currently illustrating the Ava Anne Appleton series (Wendy Harmer, Scholastic, 2013). Inspired by wildlife, nature, people and humour, her illustrations are created with watercolour, pencil, and ink.


Liz Anelli

Liz Anelli was born with an intense curiosity about the world. She started drawing as a child around the same time as getting told off in school for daydreaming.  Today she makes her pictures using collage and printmaking as well as paint and pencils. Her publishing commissions for children’s markets have ranged from picture storybooks to young adult narratives, projected ‘speed drawings’ and huge scale illustrated maps. Liz came to live in Australia two years ago and has been formally recognised many times by her peers. She has just finfished illustrating her second picture storybook for Walker Books Australia.


Dale Newman

Dale is an artist and illustrator whose work has appeared on gallery walls, in newspapers and magazines, and in books for children. She loves giving form to stories, characters, worlds and dreams. She is currently illustrating Julie Hunt’s forthcoming graphic novel, KidGlovz, to be published by Allen & Unwin in 2015.


Jenny Hale

Jenny is an established illustrator and author, with 20 picture books and over a million copies in print. Her watercolour style is sweet and pretty. Her pencil style is bright with primary colours and pretty sweet, too. Her digital flap books are bold with naïve black outlines … but still rather sweet. Before publishing, Jenny spent 18 years as an advertising illustrator and copywriter. She lives with her husband and draws from a long marble table overlooking Sydney's bushland. She keeps her stamina up with double choc Tim Tams.


Aura Parker

Aura is an illustrator, writer & designer who makes prints, textiles and picture books. Her work is joyful, imaginative and brimming with details to explore. Aura works freelance from her studio in Sydney and has just released her first children's picture books. Aura also designs and exhibits screen prints and handcrafted textiles at Studio Bonnie. She has a background in graphic design and a passion for children's literature. 


Support Team—Australia East NZ and New South Wales


Charlotte Calder—Membership News, Awards and New Books

Charlotte is the author of the 2012 junior novel The Ghost at the Point and the CBCA 2010 Notable Picture Book Stuck!, both published by Walker Books. Also YA novels Settling Storms, Cupid Painted Blind, Surviving Amber and Paper Alice, published by Pan Macmillan. She lives with her husband near Orange in the central west of NSW with Toggie the Tibetan Terrier (now the human children have left) and other assorted animals.  


Ramona Davey—New Membership Coordinator

Ramona lives in Sydney and is an experienced primary teacher with a specialty in Art & Design. She writes picture books, junior fiction and middle grade novels for children. She has a passion for rhyme, quirky stories and historical fiction. Ramona hopes to be able to share her own books in the classroom one day.


Margaret Roc

Margaret is an author, co-author and editor of over 50 books for children and teachers including fiction, non-fiction and picture books. She was born in Scotland and lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband, John. She is a mother of two and has worked as a teacher, special needs teacher and teacher-librarian.



Support Team—Victoria

Chris Bell—Assistant Coordinator & CBCA Liaison

Chris Bell has written over thirty published books for children, including picture story, chapter and YA. Currently she is working on a YA historical novel and loving both the research and the writing. Her contemporary YA novel, Jumping Through Hoops, won the CYA Published Author Prize 2011 and was longlisted in the international 2012 Mslexia Writing for Children Competition. Chris holds a Master of Creative Writing and a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing. She has recently been awarded a 2014 Varuna Retreat Fellowship to work on her YA historical novel 


Jo Burnell—Membership Coordinator

Jo Burnell has loved children's literature ever since she could read. She relishes the privilege of spreading the word about quality tales through her voluntary roles at and the Good Reading Magazine. When she's not playing with children in her role as a Speech Pathologist or embroiled between the pages of yet another wonderful children's story, she's busy writing up a storm or editing someone else's work. 


Serena Geddes—Illustrator Coordinator  

Serena Geddes spent most of her childhood watching Saturday morning cartoons and flicking through her brothers’ comic collection. She was destined to spend her adult days hunched over a light box, scribbling illustrations for picture books and working for a mouse in trousers. She spent six years working for Walt Disney Studios in Sydney before diving head first into the world of book publishing in 2009. She’s the illustrator for Gracie and Josh by Susanne Gervay (Ford Street), Lulu Bell by Belinda Murrell (Random House Australia) and Misty Inn (Simon & Schuster USA).


Sub-chapters of Queensland

Angela Sunde—Coordinator of Gold Coast Sub-chapter

Children’s author and illustrator, Angela Sunde writes novels, picture books and short stories. Her light-hearted fantasy novel, Pond Magic (Penguin Australia), is popular with tween readers. Awarded 3rd place in the CYA Conference 'Illustrated Picture Book' competition and short-listed (twice) for the Charlotte Duncan Award, Angela hopes to inspire the dreams of children everywhere.



Ann Harth—Coordinator of Far North Qld Sub-chapter

Ann Harth is a children's writer, ghostwriter and manuscript assessor keen to share her stories and knowledge. She lives amongst the tropical rainforests in the hinterland behind Cairns, a true paradise.


Support Team—Queensland


Jacqui Halpin—Assistant to SCBWI Qld ARA, Sheryl Gwyther

Jacqui Halpin has a passion for children’s books— to read them, and to write them. Jacqui writes junior fiction, picture books, and short stories for adults and children.

Her first picture book titled, Parmesan the Reluctant Racehorse is published by Little Pink Dog Books. Her short stories appear in anthologies by Stringybark Publishing and Creative Kids’ Tales.

She is currently writing a middle-grade historical adventure series inspired by her father’s childhood on a farm called Misery. Jacqui is an enthusiastic member of SCBWI Queensland; loves hanging out in KidLit bookshops, and also attends writing festivals and workshops with alarming regularity. 


Pamela Rushby—our font of literary wisdom!

Pamela Rushby was born in Queensland, Australia, and grew up (mostly) in Ipswich, though her family spent a couple of years in Penang, Malaysia. As long as she can remember, she has been a reader. And ever since encountering, at the age of about six, a photograph of Enid Blyton, seated at her desk in an English country house, dogs at her feet, probably engaged on rattling out another Famous Five adventure, she decided that that was the life and she wanted to be a writer. She achieved it after taking the long way round of working as an advertising copywriter, a publicity officer and a pre-school teacher; studying ancient history, journalism and art history; and writing and producing for television. She now writes full time, often with the cat sitting on the desk.


Peter Taylor—CBCA Qld / SCBWI Liaison 

Peter Taylor hasn't always been a professional writer. He trained originally as an ecologist and educator, then did courses on printmaking, papermaking, bookbinding and calligraphy, and was employed in former lives as a natural history curator in a museum, nature reserve warden and high-school science and art teacher. In 1987 he left his teaching post to write The Australian Manual of Calligraphy (Allen & Unwin) and at the same time he started a book-arts business, Peter Taylor's Calligraphics, specializing in calligraphy, illumination, papermaking, creative card and artist's book construction, and in teaching the skills involved. He now spends most of his working life writing and, at every opportunity, public speaking, visiting schools and giving workshops.


Taryn Bashford—SCBWI Qld Member Co-ordinator

Taryn is the author of  Believe, Sassy Jam and The Purple Wars. She's been writing since the age of 5 and just loves to live in her characters' heads. She has an English Literature degree from Exeter University, and has worked in media for over 20 years, from radio and magazine to online and television.


Our Fabulous CommitteeAnil Tortop, Ozan Tortop, Melanie Hill, Jillanne Harrison and Carolyn Magerl 


Support Team—New Zealand

Gillian Torckler

Gillian Torckler is a medical scientist, mother, scuba diver and writer. Her first book was published in 1999, a coffee table book called Underwater Wonders of New Zealand, and her first children's book, Kiwi Adventures Snorkeling, followed in 2002 – a combination of fact and fiction this book was set in New Zealand's first marine reserve at Goat Island Bay, North Auckland. Since that time, another eleven books have been published. These include non-fiction (mostly about the sea and creatures that live there), a picture book (about global warming) and two gift books published in the USA. Most of Gillian's non-fiction books feature stunning photographs taken by her husband, award-winning photographer Darryl Torckler. Gillian is currently working on a longer natural history non-fiction title for the general market and a middle grade novel.


Support Team—Tasmania

Gay McKinnon

A former scientist, glass artist and lecturer, Gay McKinnon left academia in 2010 to fulfil a lifelong ambition to illustrate children’s books. Her first book as illustrator, The Smallest Carbon Footprint in the Land (Anne Morgan, IP Kidz, 2013) won The Wilderness Society’s 2014 Environmental Award for Children’s Literature. She has since illustrated two picture books, When I Was a Boy in Sudan and When I Was a Girl in Sudan (Sarafino Enadio, Paskalina Eiyo and Terry Whitebeach, Anzoa Books, Tasmanian Writers Centre, 2014). Gay is currently illustrating a picture book for Scholastic Asia, and will launch her first picture book as author-illustrator in 2016. Her glass art and paintings have been exhibited in Australian galleries since 1991. Gay is also the author of numerous scientific articles, travel articles, and a book chapter on plant evolution.


Support Team—Austalian Capital Territory


Nicole Godwin

As a writer and animal activist, the creation of Nicole’s debut picture book, Ella, was inevitable.  Launched at the Canberra Writers Festival in 2016, Ella gives a voice to a baby elephant who was taken from her mum to entertain tourists. Nicole worked as a freelance writer in Canada, she has ticked off the blogger box and has spent time in the corporate world wearing a public affairs hat where she had to tone down her creativity a notch or twenty. Nicole loves visiting schools to talk about Ella and elephant conservation and is energized by the insightful and often entertaining observations and questions from children about the book and elephants. School visits leave Nicole with great hope for the future of the planet. Nicole has also established strong ties with international elephant sanctuaries who benefit from sales of Ella.