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.
Kylie Anania – Head of Development
Kylie joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in 2019. With more than 10 years' experience fundraising for the cultural sector, at home in Sydney and in Hong Kong, she has worked at Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Premiere Performances of Hong Kong and most recently as the Director of Development at Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Kylie studied Australian literature and has a Masters in Arts Management.
Drew Bourgeois – Development Manager
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.
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 at Curtin University and publishing at the University of Melbourne.
Emma Walsh – Marketing Coordinator
Emma is pleased to return to the Sydney Writers’ Festival in January 2021 after supporting the Festival in 2020. Emma has worked as a writer and editor across the business, publishing, finance, government, cultural and not-for-profit sectors for the past six 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 most recently managed communications for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. She has also worked closely with the Newcastle Writers Festival on their 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.
PRODUCTION & OPERATIONS
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.
Ashleigh Morton – Administration Manager
Ashleigh joined the Sydney Writers’ Festival team in March 2016, and has now worked a variety of roles within the organisation. They include supporting the Festival as an intern, administrator and volunteers coordinator. Ashleigh has worked for a variety of arts organisations around Australia; most recently with the Australian Production Design Guild and Brisbane Festival. Ashleigh holds a BA in the Arts and a Masters in Publishing.
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.
Louise Davidson – Head of Customer Services & Systems
Louise joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in January 2020 having worked in the Australian arts industry for more than 10 years. She has worked predominantly in customer services, ticketing and IT. Louise previously held the roles of Application and Database Manager, Application and Database Administrator, Data Analyst, Season Tickets Manager, Acting Customer Services Manager, Assistant Customer Services Manager, Box Office Coordinator and Usher at Sydney Theatre Company. Her career in the arts sector began in 2002 after graduating from The Queens University of Belfast with a degree in Drama Studies and Film Production. Prior to moving to Australia, she worked in London for various arts companies including The Hampstead Theatre, The National Theatre and several Off West End venues.