About HomeWord:

A Western Sydney Writers' Festival hosted by NWG Inc and supported by Parramatta City Council's 2005 Community Grants Scheme

Festival Friends:

- Writing and Society Research Group UWS
- Sydney Writers Festival
- Riverside Theatres
- Poets Union
- Western Fringe
- Token Word

HomeWord Festival 06/07 Biographies Archive

Our HomeWord Festival is a gathering of many talented people: poets, story-writers, novelists, song-writer/musicians, cartoonists, illlustrators and other visual artists who like to work with words. Our special guests. panelists and tutors love to share their creativity with the community.
Please note these bios were written in 2006-2007 - much has happened since then!

Our Patron

The NWG Inc committee wishes to express its gratitude to Julie Owens M.P. - federal member for Parramatta - and her office staff for their kind assistance with preparations for our HomeWord Festival.


Lil Scully lives in Parramatta and is President of NWG Inc (2005-07). She loves being a part of the New Writers' Group. Lil believes writing provides a great insight into the lives and concerns of the members of our community and is keen to promote writing in Western Sydney in particular. She wrote an honours thesis in 2004 entitled 'Nice, different, unusual: A political reading of Kath and Kim'. Most of her own writing she says is fragmentary and contained in small, but colourful notebooks. Poetry seems to fit her life best: lending itself to being scribbled on buses, between meetings and even sometimes scrawled in lipstick on a bathroom mirror.

Nasrin Mahoutchi is our Festival Co-Ordinator for 2007 and brings to her work extensive experience in the Arts and community cultural development including work with newly arrived migrant, refugee artists and women from culturally diverse communities. Nasrin holds a Master of Creative Writing from Macquarie University (1999-2000). Some of her short stories have won prizes and been published in literary periodicals such as HEAT, SOUTHERLY, MEANJIN.

Isabell Petrinic was the co-ordinator of HomeWord 05 and 06 helping build quality programs. She continues to give advice and promotion support during our 2007 preparations. A journalist with Fairfax Community Newspapers Isabell also teaches at the University of Western Sydney and the University of Notre Dame. Isabell has extensive networks with cultural groups in Western Sydney and beyond. Spoken Word events are a specialty.

Geoff Miller is the Community Events Co-ordinator for Parramatta City Council; he has been the catalyst for the HomeWord Festival becoming an annual event. NWG Inc relies on his fifteen years experience in event management and the arts, both in Australia and overseas, to develop and promote HomeWord. Geoff's vision and skills assist community groups define and achieve their goals. Amongst his wealth of qualifications we're intrigued by one in particular: an 'explosives licence'. Maybe a touch of Festival Fireworks from a barge in the Parramatta River, Geoff...?

HomeWord Festival Forums

Tim Brunero will debate Politics in Art at our HomeWord forum on Saturday 9th September at Riverside. Tim is a Sydney Journalist who shot to prominence as the runner-up of the 2005 series of Big Brother. He writes a weekly blog on the satirical website The Chaser mixing multimedia content with conventional columns and 'adventure blogs'. Tim is a committed unionist and activist, and has worked on many progressive publications like Workers Online writing stories eg Girl Power and Arabian Lights. Since leaving BB Tim has been MC-ing University Orientation weeks, Trade Union functions, and other events up and down the eastern seaboard. He has also been working on television and radio and writing for mastheads like The Sydney Morning Herald. He recently traveled to East Timor to make a documentary on the work of Aid Organisation Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA. He also blogs about 2006 Big Brother and does a video podcast about the show.

Jayne Dyer joined the panel on "Artistic Licence" held in collaboration with Sydney Writers Festival on 31st May. Her work was exhibited as part of this year's Sydney Writers' Festival. "In Dyer's work Babel, black columns, constructed from books, suspend and refute logic - and hover between the real and the illusory.... A labyrinth of passageways and crammed bookshelves rise from base to pinnacle like a beehive, woven with tunnels, steps, platforms and bridges that presage an immense library of seemingly impossible geometry. Jayne Dyer is Head of Public Programs at the National Art School in Sydney. She is represented by Uber Gallery in Melbourne, John Batten Gallery in Hong Kong and Redgate Gallery is her agent in Beijing." (quoted from SWF site). Photograph "Jayne Dyer #4" by Prudence Upton.

Fida Haq Fida's most recent exhibition was "Of Angels and Chariots - Australia" at the Chrissie Cotter Gallery. This followed his return from the 12th Asian Biennale in Dhaka, where he also held his first solo exhibition Of Angels and Chariots at a major private gallery. Among many recent projects, he installed his photomedia project, Voyage of Friendship, at the Bangladesh High Commission in Canberra. A mural more than seven metres in length and almost a metre in depth, it combines images from both Bangladeshi and Australian contexts and includes one of his own favourite subjects, the colorful rickshaw art of Bangladesh. See Fida's site for the wide range of work including his beautiful and though-provoking recycled creations. Fida is collaborating with NWG Inc writers to produce an animation for our main September forum "Politics and Art".

Jennifer Maiden was born in Penrith. Thirteen of her poetry collections (one including short stories) and two of her novels have been published. She has won the New South Wales Premier's Prize twice, the Victorian Premier's Prize, the Christopher Brennan Award for a lifetime of achievement in poetry, and many other awards. She has been Writer in Residence at the Australian National University in Canberra, the University of Western Sydney, Springwood High School and the New South Wales Torture and Trauma Rehabilitation Service. Her novel Play With Knives has been translated and published by dtv in Germany. Her latest collection, Friendly Fire, is published by Giramondo Press.

Stewart Peters With a style he chooses to call 'Acoustic Singer-songwriter', Stewart Peters is highly respected in Sydney as a singer-songwriter and producer, Stewart has performed on several national TV shows and written and produced for various successful Australian artists. He has released five CD's of his original songs and received national airplay with several of his CD's. Stewart regularly performs live at our gatherings and festivals. Visit his website to hear sample tracks. Stewart's festival workshops cover the basic structures of song; how to get creatively inspired; how to record your ideas and what 'songwriting success' can mean to you. Writing from the heart and not the wallet! Stewart has produced a CD for NWG Inc members in his own studio Soundshed Music Productions and his new singer/song-writer network Western Fringe (based at Mars Hill Cafe) has become hugely popular.

Poetry Slam

Citizen Tom is a performance poet anchored in rhythm, politics and spirituality. He is captain of the Word Wrestling Federation's Australian Title holding team, Housecat Havoc. He is currently adapting the poetry of the 13th century Sufi mystic, Rumi, into hip hop. This collection, recorded with Iranian musicians and one of Austrlia's leading independent hip hop producers, will be released shortly. Citizen Tom (aka Tom Keily) was our special co-host with Nathan Judd at the HomeWord heat of the second State Library Poetry Slam - Mars Hill Cafe, 24th November 2006, and OneWord welcomes him back for the HomeWord Festival 07 Poetry Slam on Friday 25th May 2007 at Mars Hill Cafe see Calendar.

Miles Merrill will co-ordinate our poetry slam in the Courtyard of Riverside Theatres, Parramatta on Saturday 2nd September. Born in Chicago, Miles Merrill is the son of a Black Panther father and a mother whose family tree dates back to British-American Colonialism. His mother's ancestors enslaved his father's. The tension of embattled generations twists it's way through the work of this one man. The hit of Sydney Festival 2005 with his show Slamming and guest of this year's Sydney Writers Festival, Miles Merrill is Australia's spoken-word tour de force. Miles combines elements of theatre, hip-hop, slam poetry and music, flinging words in a rapid fire onslaught of versified emotion. His CD What Night Knows, can be heard on JJJ, ABC Radio National, and Sydney's FBI Radio.

Nathan Judd is a spoken word poet who runs One Word at Mars Hill Cafe (331 Church Street, Parramatta) last Friday of the month. One Word offers open mic to all comers who read/sing/perform their original work or the work of their favourite writers (free entry). Nathan is Senior Vice President of New Writers Group Inc and a regular at our fortnightly gatherings. His poem 'Heat' is published in ZineWest, NWG Inc's 2006 anthology. Nathan will MC the Parramatta heat of the State Library Poetry Slam with Citizen Tom on Friday, 24th November, 2006 when for one night, One Word becomes part of the HomeWord Festival. Update: Nathan and Citizen Tom will again host a HomeWord Festival Poetry Slam on friday 25th May 2007, see Calendar 2007.

Singer songwriter Dan Hopkins performs solo in the singer songwriter tradition or with accompaniment at a wide range of venues. His work features powerful melodic lines, thoughtful lyrics and creative guitar work. Dan has recorded a six track demo of his most recent collection of work, including the haunting number 'misty eyes.' Dan will be the first artist performing at the Parramatta heat of the State Library's Poetry Slam on 24th Novemeber 2006 at Mars Hill Cafe, 331 Church St Parramatta. Dan is also a committee member of NWG Inc and a popular member at our regular gatherings. His song lyric 'You're the Man' appears in ZineWest, NWG Inc's print anthology. He will accompany TC Coombes at the HomeWord Festival 2007 Poetry Slam.

Poets Union

"Poems in Conversation with each other" were held at Riverside Theatres on Saturday, 2nd September, 2006 as part of the HomeWord Festival (see Calendar)

Margaret Bradstock is an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales, co-editor of Five Bells and Editorial Adviser to Kalimat. She has been widely published in journals and anthologies in Australia and overseas, and has won national awards for poetry, including the Henry Lawson Festival Award, the Wesley Michel Wright Prize and an Asialink Literature Residency in China. Margaret has published four collections of her own poetry and eleven other books of poetry, fiction and biography. Her most recent poetry collections are The Pomelo Tree and Coast.

Joanne Burns is a Sydney poet who also writes short fiction, including monologues and future fictions. She has published numerous collections since 'Snatch' was published in London in 1972. A new collection of her poetry 'Footnotes of a Hammock' was published by Five Islands Press in 2004, and was joint prize winner in the 2005 ACT Poetry Awards : the Judith Wright Award for a published collection by an Australian poet. Her work has been widely published in magazines, journals and anthologies and also produced for theatre and radio - most recently two of her monologues of obsession 'Bare Feet' and 'Ergo Sum', under the title 'Missionary Positions' on ABC Radio. Joanne Burns has taught creative writing for many years and is currently a recipient of an Australia Council New Work Grant in the Established Writer [Poetry] category.

Kerry Leves Descended from Irish convicts and Danish immigrants, Kerry Leves has published poetry and prose in various magazines, newspapers and anthologies as well as in his own selected works. In the early 1980s he lived and worked in India before returning to Australia and working as a teacher of English as a Second Language.

David Musgrave was born in 1965 in Sydney. He studied at Sydney University where was awarded a PhD in literature in 1997. He has continued to write prose as well as poetry and has published articles on Australian and European literature. His list of awards and prizes includes the Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize, the Broadway Poetry Prize and the Sidney Nolan Gallery Poetry Prize and the Henry Lawson Poetry Prize. He was awarded an Australian Society of Authors Mentorship in 2001 and an Emerging Writer's grant from the Australia Council in 2002. David is currently working on a collection of poems, titled Bodies of Water, in collaboration with his wife, photographer Fiona Robards, as well as another book gathering his poems from the last four years. In 2005 he started the publishing house Puncher & Wattmann, which publishes contemporary Australian poetry and prose.

Jenni Nixon, a Sydney poet, has performed her poetry at a wide range of events in Sydney, Melbourne, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains in many diverse settings: pubs, theatres, halls and parks, even a cemetery. Jenni trained at the Independent Theatre, Sydney, and worked as an actor for many years. She toured schools with the Queensland Theatre Company, delivering classic and contemporary plays along with a poetry program. Her poem, Visitor at Home, won the 2002 Leonard Teale memorial prize at the Henry Lawson Festival, Gulgong, NSW. Her book and audio CD, 'Café Boogie', published by Interactive Press was launched by Joanne Burns at Gleebooks in June 2004.

Louise Wakeling is a Sydney poet, teacher and novelist. Her most recent collection of potry is 'Medium Security' (Ginninderra Press,2002). She is currently working on a third collection, Parachuting in a War-zone, which explores the interconnections between sport, war and life in the slow lane.


Roger Fletcher is a prolific, award-winning Australian cartoonist and illustrator. His first comic strip, TORKAN made its debut in the Sunday Telegraph in June 1976 and his second comic strip, STARIA, a tongue-in-cheek science fiction adventure, has appeared in the pages of the Daily Telegraph since May 1980. Roger has taught children and adults the art of cartooning in Sydney, country NSW, Qld and even Ireland. He delights in seeing kids who think they can't draw producing something they're really proud of. When he isn't flat out drawing and teaching he plays guitar in a rockabilly band. "Fletch" will conduct a workshop for 12-16 year olds at Parramatta Library on Saturday 9th September 2006, 10-12 noon.Update: this workshop was a great success - the adults loved it as much as the youngsters!

Jane Goodall is a research professor with the Writing and Society program at the University of Western Sydney and her academic interests include theatre and dance performance, and the history of science. Her book PERFORMANCE AND EVOLUTION IN THE AGE OF DARWIN (Routledge, 2002) is about science in popular performance. It won the Australasion Drama Studies biennial book prize for 2002/03 and was the basis for a 3 part series Jane wrote and presented for the ABC Science Show in 2003. She is also the author of two psychological thrillers - THE WALKER (Hodder, 2004) and THE VISITOR (Hodder, 2005). She won the Ned Kelly first crime novel award, has been a guest author with the Big Book Club of South Australia and was on the Books Alive 100 Great Reads list for 2005. Her novels explore themes of cultural change, the supernatural and working life. Jane will give a class on creative writing/editing at our TownHall workshops on Saturday, 9th September, 2006.Update: Jane consented to be our Judge for the ZineWest 07 Competition for Western Sydney Writers. The Writing and Society Research Group doubled the competition prize money to $400 for first and added a subscription of HEAT magazine to 2nd place. See 2007 Calendar

Dianne Ellis is experienced as a director/producer and writer of short films. Her credits include finalist in the Comedy Channel Short Film Festival. Dianne currently works full-time as a marketing and media manager with broad experience in graphics, web design, media, film and television. Her workshops in previous Homeword Festivals were highly praised and we are delighted to welcome her back this year to share her passion and expertise with aspiring film makers. At an all up fee of $15, her workshop must be the most reasonably priced film-making course in Sydney! Together with Adrian Viglianti , Dianne will run her Film Making workshop on Saturday 9th September 2006 at the Parramatta Library from 9:30-3:30.Update: Dianne's filmmakers club will be open to visitors and new members for the HomeWord Festival 07, see 2007 Calendar