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.

Keren Murray – Secretary

Keren is an experienced lawyer, policy advisor and non-executive director. She is Principal of K Murray Consulting, a legal policy advisory service. Previously, Keren was Principal Lawyer at the Law Institute of Victoria, and worked in law reform at the Department of Justice, Victoria, and law reform commissions in England and Wales. Keren is currently a Director and Company Secretary of WAM – Women and Mentoring, and was previously a board member of the YWCA Victoria.

Amanda Buckley

Amanda has worked at senior levels in journalism, government and corporate communications and as a public relations consultant. Most recently she was Director at strategic communications firm Kreab. Prior to this,  Amanda held senior communications roles at Rio Tinto, BHP and Myer.  She served in Washington D.C. and Canberra as a senior officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and also as speechwriter to political leaders in Canberra and Darwin. Amanda began her working life as a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Financial Review, the Daily Telegraph, Bloomberg News and the Sunday Age, and is a graduate of the University of Melbourne.

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.

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 Tuffield is executive director and co-founder of the Stella Prize, and a publisher at Black Inc. She was previously a publisher at Affirm Press; associate publisher at Scribe Publications, where she was responsible for building an award-winning Australian fiction list; and deputy editor at Australian Book Review. In 2015 she was one of Westpac/AFR’s 100 Women of Influence and a finalist in the NAB Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards (Change Champion) for her work with the Stella Prize.

Megan Quinlan – General Manager

Megan is now Stella’s General Manager and was the inaugural Stella Prize Manager. She has many years of experience within the book industry, having worked as a bookseller, an editor at The Monthly, and a publicist at Text Publishing. 

Fiona Dunne – Prize Manager

Fiona is a Melbourne-based arts manager from Western Sydney whose practice focuses on the development, support, and presentation of early-career artists across Australian storytelling. From 2014 to 2018, she was Creative Producer of Express Media and has previously held roles with Playwriting Australia, Seizure, The Emerging Writers Festival, and Art + Australia. In 2016, Fiona was selected for the Footscray Community Arts Centre’s Emerging Cultural Leaders program and was a delegate of the Australia Council’s India Literature Exploratory, supported by the UNESCO Melbourne City of Literature.

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.