Board & Staff


Caroline Ryan – Chair

Caroline is a special counsel with King & Wood Mallesons with over fifteen years experience in advising clients in relation to all facets of intellectual property and enforcement. Caroline is a registered trade mark attorney and a member of the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Institute of Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys and the Licensing Executives Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Sophie Cunningham – Deputy Chair

Sophie is a former editor of Meanjin and was until recently the chair of the Australia Council’s Literature Board. She worked in publishing for twenty-five years and is the author of four books: GeographyBird, Melbourne, and Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy.

Dianne Cuka – Treasurer

With over 25 years of taxation experience, Dianne is a tax partner at EY and leads the Melbourne Private Clients Services Team. She specialises in accounting, taxation and related business services advice to high net worth individuals, their private wealth structures, entrepreneurs and family owned businesses. Dianne is a member of the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Australian Society of Certified Practicing Accountants and the Taxation Institute of Australia.

Lauren Gore – Secretary

Lauren is a solicitor with King & Wood Mallesons, practising in intellectual property law. Before coming to the law, Lauren had career in the performing arts and toured around Australia with an educational theatre company.

Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer and community radio broadcaster. She is the current editor in chief of Peril magazine, which looks at Asian Australian arts and culture, and a former board member of the Queensland Poetry Festival. A passionate advocate for the role of the arts in cultural sustainability, she has over 15 years’ experience in the non-profit and education sectors.

Lou Johnson

Lou is the co-founder of the recently launched, The Author People, which is pioneering a new approach to the connection between authors and audiences.

Lou has extensive book publishing experience, including senior roles at Random House, Allen & Unwin and Simon & Schuster Australia, where she was managing director between 2010–2014. She also served as the joint vice president of the Australian Publishers Association from 2012–2014 and was a member of the Book Industry Collaborative Council in 2013.

Paula McLean

Paula is a founding trustee of McLean Foundation which funds in the literacy, environment and community development sectors. In 2010 Paula set up a biennial nature writing prize for Australian writers run through The Nature Conservancy. She is the author of Good Foods for Babies & Toddlers. Paula wrote two parenting books for The Benevolent Society and is a former fiction editor.

Seri Renkin

Seri is the CEO of the ten20 Foundation and has over 20 years experience providing strategic advice and driving change management initiatives in the non-profit, philanthropic government and corporate sectors.


Aviva Tuffield – Executive Director

Aviva co-founded the Stella Prize and is the former chair of the Stella Prize Board. She has worked in publishing for almost twenty years, mainly as an editor, and is currently a publisher at Black Inc. Publishing. She was previously a publisher at Affirm Press and associate publisher at Scribe Publications, where she was responsible for building an Australian fiction list. Before that, she was deputy editor at Australian Book Review.

Veronica Sullivan – Prize Manager

Veronica is programs manager of the Feminist Writers Festival, and the co-host of Sisteria, a podcast about women’s experiences as the creators and consumers of arts and culture. She is the former online editor of Kill Your Darlings journal, and has written for publications including The GuardianOverlandRight NowThe Lifted Brow and Archer. She was a 2016 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow, and was part of the Melbourne Writers Festival’s 30 Under 30 program in 2015.

Molly Lukin – Assistant Prize Manager

Molly is a Melbourne-based writer, editor and broadcaster. Her work has appeared in The Lifted Brow, Scum Mag, The Suburban Review and Fireflies, and she was a co-presenter of the 3CR Tuesday feminist breakfast show in 2015–16. She has worked for The Lifted Brow, was the marketing coordinator for the 2016 Emerging Writers’ Festival, and is the assistant editor and designer of the Australasian Journal of Irish Studies. In 2015 she self-published a poetry chapbook called Intimacy and other bruises.

Bec Kavanagh – Schools Manager

Bec Kavanagh is a Melbourne based freelance writer, reviewer and YA fiction specialist. Bec has appeared at the Melbourne Writers Festival, on Radio National’s Books and Arts Daily and has judged a number of literary prizes, including for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Writing for Young Adults. Her work has been published by Bookseller + Publisher, Australian Book Review, Kill Your Darlings, and a number of education publications. She has had fiction published by Seizure and the Review of Australian Fiction. Bec is currently completing a Masters of Creative Writing at Melbourne University.