The Team


Jaclyn Booton — Executive Director

Jaclyn has over 15 years’ experience in the cultural sector, with a focus on the performing arts and literary events. She was previously the Senior Producer for Talks & Ideas at Sydney Opera House where she oversaw its two annual festivals: All About Women and Antidote. Prior to that, Jaclyn spent four years as General Manager of the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas, leadings its business strategies and event operations. She has also held senior management positions with Arena Theatre Company, Back to Back Theatre and Circus Oz, and served on the boards of Express Media and SYN Media.

Jaclyn holds a BA (Hons) in Performance Studies and Gender Studies from the University of Sydney, where she spent several years teaching a range of undergraduate programs and conducting research on large-scale community events.  She is a life-long bookworm and sees no contradiction in being both an NRL fan and a lover of literature.

Daniela Baldry — Program Manager

Daniela has worked for a number of Sydney’s prominent arts venues and festivals over the last decade; most recently at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, as part of the programming team on four consecutive festivals. Prior to this Daniela held a variety of roles at Sydney Opera House, Sydney Theatre Company and Sydney Film Festival. Her work focuses on centring and celebrating a diversity of voices and bringing readers, writers and audiences together in meaningful ways. Daniela previously ran The Fresh Meat Project, an emerging artist community, within which she self-published Fresh Meat – an interview anthology undertaken with a variety of emerging Sydney artists. Daniela holds a BA in Communications (Theatre/Media) and a Master of Education (English/Drama).

Lenny Robinson — Schools Manager

Lenny is a passionate educator with almost two decades of experience across both the secondary and tertiary education sectors. She has taught state, national and international curriculums and has worked for the State government in curriculum development and assessment. In addition to her work as an educator, Lenny has authored textbooks, essays, short stories and a short biography. She brings to the Stella a strong commitment to, and a belief in, the transformative capacities of education for building a better world.

Ana Boado — Program Assistant

With work experience that spans program and service delivery, logistics, industry-facing events, community-building programming and disability support, Ana also holds an MA of Arts and Cultural Management. Having grown up in the western suburbs of Melbourne, as a second generation Filipino-Australian, her feminism prioritises an intersectional approach with an openness to continuous learning. She is passionate about facilitating and enhancing the reach of authentic storytelling and memory making.

Connor Tomas O’Brien — Designer

Connor runs Studio Sometimes, a design studio devoted to working with non-profits, and was previously the Wheeler Centre’s Digital Content Producer and founder of the Digital Writers’ Festival.


Seri Renkin – Chair

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.

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.

Lisa Cotton

Lisa is Chief Executive of the Ideology Group. She has spent the past 15 years connecting executives to social purpose and is a respected leader in philanthropy and the non-profit sectors. Prior to establishing the Ideology Group, she co-founded and was the CEO of The Funding Network (TFN), a national award-winning social enterprise that builds the capacity of non-profit entities. In 2017, she was named Third Sector CEO of the Year, and was included in Pro-Bono Australia’s Impact 25 list of people.

Nicole Freeman

Nicole is a Senior Associate in the Corporate M&A team at Landerer & Company with broad ranging experience in corporate and commercial matters, prior to which she worked as a lawyer at Clayton Utz. Nicole is a director of YWCA Australia, a leading feminist organisation working to achieve real change through advocacy and programs for women, young women and girls and a member of the AGNSW Atelier Foundation. She was also a committee member of NEXUS Australia, a youth-based group movement aiming to improve philanthropy and impact investment.

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.

Elizabeth Shaw

A passionate reader and gender equality advocate, Beth is an Associate Director at KPMG, advising organisations on change, culture, diversity and inclusion. Beth is a qualified lawyer and company director and is the Deputy Chair of Inclusion WA. She has worked across a number of industries to advance gender equality and has led pro-bono work for the Male Champions of Change and the Australian Institute of Company Director’s 30% Club.

Claire Wivell Plater

Claire is an experienced non-executive director, lawyer and entrepreneur with a lifelong passion for literature and the arts. She spent most of her 40 year career as a practising lawyer – since 2002 in her own law firm, The Fold Legal providing diverse financial services, regulatory and commercial advice to SME businesses. She now chairs the boards of The Fold Legal and StatePlus and serves as a non-executive director of Youi and Athena Financial. She is also a member of PinchGut Opera’s Development Committee. Claire was instrumental in the early development of Australia’s fintech sector, and was nominated Fintech Mentor of the Year and Thought Leader of the Year in 2017.


Ellen Koshland, Founding Patron

‘All countries have a public imagination, a set of stories by which they know themselves. In Australia these stories have been largely male, for a raft of reasons. The Stella Prize is an opportunity to add to and fill out this picture, and create a fuller, richer, more accurate Australian story – one that represents us all.’

Catherine Andrews

‘Equality is not negotiable and must be sought in all industries across the country. We want our children to read the words of our men and women. Women writers have been marginalised for too long. The Stella starts to even the score.’

Carol Schwartz AM

‘Creating the Stella Prize for women writers will acknowledge women as inspiring literary role models for other women (as well as for literary audiences generally), for years to come. This is a really significant and much needed advance in the world of literature.’