The Committee


 angelaaltair President – Angela Altair
Founding President Angela Altair has had a lifelong love affair with the written word as reader and writer.   She still can’t believe how a modest idea for a one-off literary event – dreamt up over a latte at a French creperie with co-founder Catherine Ryan  13 years ago – has become the West’s premier writers’ festival.  Angela is a journalist and used to part-own a suburban newspaper group, The Western Times.  She has been a Hobsons Bay Councillor since 1999 and is Patron of the  Williamstown Musical Theatre Company.  Her favourite novel is Wuthering Heights. 
 John Webb John Webb OAM – Vice President

John arrived with his wife Sandy to settle in Williamstown in mid 2008 (from Fremantle via a year at UNESCO, Paris and three years as an Australian diplomat in New Delhi), lured to Melbourne by the task of setting up the Australia India Institute at the University of Melbourne. A scientist ( chemist) by training,  he is now retired from this field and works part-time at Swinburne University of Technology on India and Innovation. A keen reader of both fiction and non fiction, particularly concerning India, his experience of the wonderful literary festivals in Jaipur, India propelled him to join the Committee for the Willy Lit Fest.

barb hughes  Executive Officer & Secretary – Barbara Hughes

Barbara Hughes is a Williamstown resident, occasional writer and self-confessed theatre tragic.  Barbara’s short story, The Visit, was shortlisted for the 2013 Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize and she writes regular theatre reviews for the Melbourne Observer.  Barbara is the current Vice-President of Williamstown Little Theatre and her theatrical interests include performing, directing, viewing and administration.

photo of Brian Christopher  Treasurer – Brian Christopher

As a chartered accountant Brian has had many years of commercial experience. He lives in Williamstown and is also the Treasurer of the Williamstown Little Theatre. When not engaged in “bean counting” Brian can often be found building sets and from time to time “treading the boards”, which he finds a refreshing antidote against anything relating to financial management. One of Brian’s long-term literary ambitions is to actually finish Ulysses, and wonders whether there is a self-help group that can provide support!

 IMG_5300 Program Director – Loraine Callow
Loraine has extensive experience designing and delivering public programs and policy across a wide variety of settings including local government, the water industry, parks and botanic gardens, heritage sites, tourism and health promotion.  She enjoys reading, writing and research. Late night often sees her glued to digitised 19th Century newspapers. In 2013 she was honoured to have been short listed for the Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize.  2016 was her third Willy Lit Fest as Program Director. Her focus has been to build a diverse program with strong local input, delivering events and sessions across a range of styles  with an aim to attract patrons who may not traditionally attend literary festivals.

alison standish sm - WLF 2014 Marketing Coordinator – Alison Standish
Alison has extensive experience in business development and marketing, having established Australia’s first women-focused business incubator and an award-winning cafe-laundrette. She is currently the Manager of HR and Corporate Services at the Municipal Association of Victoria. Beginning her career as a primary school teacher, Alison has always been passionate about fostering a lifelong love of reading in children. This is her third year with the Willy Lit Fest.
Chris Ringrose smallest  Christopher Ringrose

Chris Ringrose is a poet and writer of short fiction who moved from England to Williamstown in April 2012. He is Adjunct Associate Professor of Literature at Monash University, edits the Journal of Postcolonial Writing and is one of the editors of the Sydney-based fashion magazine Papier Mâché. He won the WillyLitFest People’s Choice’ competition in 2013.

 lis grove Elisabeth Grove

Lis Grove is a long-term Williamstown resident  and supporter of the Literary Festival from its inception. Her love of language and literature is reflected in a professional career which  has ranged widely: from English and literature teaching at Monash and Melbourne Universities and secondary schools, to teaching English as a second language to migrants and international students, to research into second-language learning and assessment at Melbourne University. She has also worked as a consultant in second -language assessment, professional writing and editing. 

 carol winfield no 2  Carol Winfield

Carol has always had a passion for the creative and an all-out adoration of the “wordsmith.” She is herself, a multidisciplinary designer, working part time out of her studio in Hobsons Bay. Away from design and literature…she likes to close her eyes and drink in the sounds of classical music…particularly Wagner. Additionally, as Vice President of a local Historical Society she has gained much pleasure in being part of a volunteer team that featured “our seniors” in a dvd documentary titled “Time Travellers…the film.”

 Sue Martin
Sue Martin

Sue taught English for 25 years then opened local bookshop Book and Paper, Williamstown five years ago. Book and Paper has been the bookseller for the Willy Lit Fest for three years and this is Sue’s second year as a Committee member.

Lowen Clarke Lowen Clarke

Lowen Clarke’s greatest delight is the success of his popular children’s picture book series ‘Sam the Tram’. This series attracted great interest with Leo McKern (Rumpole of the Bailey) playing the part of Sam the Tram.  He is studying for a Doctorate at MIECAT in therapeutic art practice and organisational dynamics. A pilot animation of ‘Sam the Tram’s Dance Club was broadcast recently.  He is also researching his Empowerment Script, which he says ‘is just meant to be for reading pleasure, but is showing signs of being useful in the treatment of trauma’.

 Michelle Holloway Michelle Holloway – Volunteers Coordinator 

Michelle moved south from Sydney to Melbourne in 1994 and settled in Williamstown 18 years ago.  She recently retired from the Seven Network where she worked in Commercial Inventory and Revenue Management.  Michelle has spent the past five years raising funds to build a Children’s Community Development Centre in Cambodia.  She is now enjoying working on the family farm, travelling, painting and photography as well as enjoying precious time with her husband, children and seven grandchildren.