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.
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.
Drew Bourgeois – Head of Development
Drew 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 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 more than 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.
Luke de Zilva – Digital Consultant
Luke is a senior digital and arts consultant, and currently a Digital-Strategist-in-Residence for Australia Council for the Arts. He has worked with Sydney Opera House, the Art Gallery of NSW, Carriageworks, Sydney Festival, Force Majeure dance theatre and Brisbane Writers' Festival amongst other Australian and international arts organisations. Luke is also a community liaison for Life for Koori Kids.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.