The Northern Beaches Readers Festival Inc is a not-for-profit organisation, run by a voluntary executive committee, consisting of five extremely passionate readers.
Sandie Docker – NBRF President
An internationally published Sydney-based author of contemporary women’s fiction – The Kookaburra Creek Café (2018), German edition - Das kleine Café der großen Träume, (2020); The Cottage At Rosella Cove (2019); The Banksia Bay Beach Shack (2020), The Wattle Island Book Club (2021), The Redgum River Retreat (2023) – Sandie has identified, through her book tours and strong connections with authors and publishing professionals, a need to promote and showcase the amazing work being produced by Australian commercial fiction writers and the desire for readers of such work to connect with writers. Sandie brings to the NBRF committee many years of community service, event organisation and industry contacts, which will help make the festival a success.
Michelle Parsons - NBRF Vice-Presdent
Michelle is a Sydney-based writer, currently working on her debut novel The Forgotten Family. She is the creator (under the pseudonym Shelley Gardner) of The Author Stalker blog, an interview series which avidly promotes predominantly Australian commercial fiction writers. A graduate of Fiona McIntosh’s Writing Masterclass, she has a passion for networking with writers and readers, both online and via attending author events and festivals. The Northern Beaches Readers Festival will be the perfect forum to further strengthen the connection between the reading public and the authors whose books they devour. She is a member of Writing NSW.
Claudine Tinellis - NBRF Treasurer.
Claudine is a Sydney-based writer and the editor of Coastal Chef: Culinary Art of Seaweed & Algae in the 21st Century (Harbour Publishing House, 2014). She is currently working on her debut novel and since 2018 has hosted and produced popular podcast Talking Aussie Books where she interviews Australian authors about their novels. Through her podcast and memberships of Writing NSW, the Australian Society of Authors and Romance Writers of Australia, Claudine has established a wide-reaching network of readers and writers on the Australian publishing scene and understands the ever-increasing desire for Australian readers to connect with local authors. With a background in corporate law along with many years service on community organisations (such as Kidsafe NSW, P&F Committees and Community Fundraising initiatives), Claudine brings a unique set of skills which will help the NBRF Committee achieve its goals to the benefit of the Australian reading community.
Cassie Hamer – NBRF Secretary
Cassie is a Sydney-based author of three works of contemporary women's fiction - the bestselling After the Party (2019), The End of Cuthbert Close (2020), The Truth About Faking It (2022). Through membership of Writing NSW, the Australian Society of Authors and the Romance Writers of Australia, she has established a wide network of writing colleagues and has innate understanding of the issues and challenges faced by them, and the challenges of cultivating and connecting with a reading audience, which is why she believes so passionately in the Northern Beaches Readers Festival. Cassie also has a background in journalism and PR and will use these skills to publicise the NBRF and ensure it attracts the audience it deserves.
Anna Loder – NBRF Volunteer Coordinator
Anna's name is no doubt familiar to many in the book community as she was the heart and soul of Anna's Shop Around The Corner for over thirteen years where she hosted many, many incredible author events, and was a huge advocate of Australian writers. She is now the manager of Dymocks Eastgate, where she continues to share her love of Aussie fiction. Her warmth and enthusiasm for books and authors is infectious and Anna is a fabulous volunteer co-ordinator, cultivating such an inclusive and joyous culture for our volunteers.
Penelope Janu – NBRF Committee Member
Penelope, who has worked for over thirty years as a solicitor and legal academic, credits Sydney’s northern beaches—where she regularly spotted koalas while walking to school—for inspiring her love of coastal regions and our precious natural environment. She is the author of eight novels published by HQ/ HarperCollins, the latest three being Clouds on the Horizon, Shelter From the Storm and Sunshine Through the Rain. Penelope is an active member of Romance Writers of Australia, where she has served as a committee member and secretary, as well as on the organising committee for the 2023 conference. She is also a member of Writing NSW, and the Australian Romance Readers Association. As a mother of six children nine years apart, Penelope has had more experience running school functions than she cares to remember, but the transferable skills of people wrangler, presenter, and facilitator will be put to excellent use on the NBRF committee.
Rosemary Puddy - Committee Member
Rosemary was the Presenter/Producer of The Book Podcast, a weekly podcast talking to Australian women writers of fiction and non-fiction. Inspired by the Stella Prize, the podcast aimed to celebrate Australian women writer's contribution to literature and bring more readers to books by women. Over a number of years the podcast promoted over 150 books from all genres cultivating a wider audience for authors. A proud northern beaches resident, Rosemary's background in Information Technology and experience in audio production bring valuable technical skills to the team.