Presenters for Enchanting: Music, Magic, Spells

June 2021 – Online and live presenters and performers

Alexandra McCallum is an oral storyteller and writer of fiction, poetry and performance work. She is also a community cultural development facilitator with a particular interest in creative pathways to oracy and literacy development. She has performed at numerous venues and festivals around Australia including Queensland Art Gallery and Darwin Festival and schools or community centres from Carindale to Mt. Isa. Her work has appeared in Artshub, Brisbane Modern and Best of Bareknuckle Poet and was selected for the US writers’ workshop Tin House. Her scripts have had readings at Metro Arts and the Judith Wright Centre and she has co-written scripts for school touring.
Ange Humphries has been writing and talking about poetry for 19 years as a guest speaker, hobbyist and educator of young people. She has a particular passion for poetry slam and spoken word performances, having scripted and performed in Australia and overseas at a variety of events. Growing up in western Sydney and now working with disadvantaged people who are homeless, marginalised or living with a disability, Ange believes that poetry and fairy tales can cut through all demographics and should be open and accessible to everyone. Ange often incorporates Auslan (sign language) into her work and has been involved in deaf productions. As a spoken word enthusiast Ange has translated her life story of the highs of profound love, the grief of immense loss and the deep depths of mental illness for a large range of audiences. Poetry and storytelling was one key therapy agent she used to overcome her own disability and subsequently advocate for other disabled people in a world that is often too harsh for minds that think differently. Ange adjudicates and teaches debating, public speaking and is a regarded coach and multicultural speaking award panelist.
Anna Jarrett is a professional storyteller, facilitator, consultant, teacher and outdoor guide. With 30 years experience, Anna’s work is a mix of programs which create places and spaces for sharing our stories in diverse ways including: community storytelling, environmental education, reflections and outdoor adventure/reconnection journeys. Living on the south coast, Anna enjoys listening deeply to the stories which are whispered in the wind and sung under the stars, as well as the stories which are shared everyday in community. Her greatest joy is to create places where individual voices and stories can be heard and celebrated in many forms from books and songs to festival performances. Anna’s creative workshops energise a vision of a connected, caring world community where our heart language is speaking up and thriving.
Caitlin Winter works on programming, outreach and content development for 0-5 year olds and their parents/carers at Libraries ACT across all of Canberra. She worked as a primary school teacher for six years in government and non-government schools and is currently studying a Masters in Early Childhood Education. She has been with the libraries for three years and greatly enjoys bringing fun and meaningful early literacy experiences and activities to the Canberra community.
Cheralyn Darcey is a gardener with a passion for ethnobotany and botanical history, Cheralyn Darcey produces and presents a live weekly two-hour gardening radio show, At Home with the Gardening Gang, on CoastFM. She is also the gardening columnist for weekly print and digital editions for The Coast News and The Coast Chronicle and is the Garden Curator of SWAMP (Sustainable Wetlands Agricultural Makers Project). Based in the middle of the NSW Central Coast, it is a working Community Garden and Urban Farm which provides community outreach programs and community garden training.
Cheralyn has written and illustrated nineteen botanical titles to date that share with readers her passion for plants and lifelong research that explores the relationships of the botanical kingdom and us. She is a popular botanical history and ethnobotany subject matter expert regularly appearing on national tv, international podcasts, radio and print media and is known for her extensive and engaging knowledge of botanical history, garden folklore and practical gardening.
Eliane Morel is a writer, performer and producer. She has a degree in Theatre Studies from UNSW, graduated from the NIDA Playwrights’ Course and studied opera at the Canberra School of Music. She has written and produced several plays, including ‘The Cabbage Patch Kid’ (Griffin Theatre), ‘There Was No Frog’ (a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty, The Performance Space) ‘All Night Long – an Evening With Madam Long’ (TPS) and ‘Ba Ngoai’ (TPS).
She regularly performs theatre-in-education shows at high-school around Australia (Troubie) and is Principal Mezzo Soprano with ‘Sydney’s favourite boutique opera company,’ Opera Bites.
She is writer, performer and producer of ‘Disenchanted: A Cabaret of Twisted Fairy Tales’ which explores the stories of previously sidelined fairy tale characters. ‘Disenchanted’ premiered at the Sydney Fringe 2018, toured the South Coast of NSW 2019, aired in Adelaide Fringe View and was nominated for Best Cabaret at the Melbourne (Digital) Fringe Festival, 2020.
Erin-Claire Barrow is a Canberra-based author and illustrator who uses digital art, ink and watercolours to explore, retell and subvert traditional fairy tales and folklore. Erin-Claire is the author and illustrator of ‘The Adventurous Princess and other feminist fairy tales’, a book of traditional fairy tales retold and illustrated with a feminist twist. 
Finegan Kruckemeyer has had 98 commissioned plays performed on six continents and translated into eight languages. His work has enjoyed seasons in over 200 international festivals and in 2018, he was the most-produced playwright of original children’s theatre in the US.

His work has received 37 awards, including the Mickey Miners Lifetime Achievement Award for international Theatre for Young Audiences, David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Australian Playwrighting, seven Australian Writers Guild Awards and an inaugural Sidney Myer Fellowship. He has spoken at conferences in ten countries, with papers published and works studied at international universities.

Finegan was born in Ireland and moved halfway around the world to Adelaide, Australia aged eight. After 15 years, he and his wife Essie left for the island state of Tasmania. And after 15 more, with their son Moe, they returned.

He is committed to making strong and respectful work for young people, which acknowledges them as astute audience members outside the plays, and worthy subjects within.
Frank Oakes is qualified as schoolteacher, lawyer, and ceramicist. He first shown interest into puppets at the age of 4 years old. Frank remained interested into puppetry all through school trying for a job at least twice and unsuccessful because of the uncertain nature of the industry. Frank spends the majority of his working life as a teacher and a lawyer. In the last 40 years Frank has directed more than 20 live shows for Maitland Repertory Society along with designing, staging, directing, acting many other plays for the Maitland Community Theatres.
In July 2017, Frank and Helen Hopcroft put the bases of a local puppet theatre Frank’s Fantastic Fairy Theatre with the support of a grant offered by University of Newcastle and local business houses and since then at least 25 puppet shows were presented all through Hunter Valley area.
In 2020, Frank exposed his puppet exhibition for Maitland Regional Art Gallery.
Jenni Cargill-Strong has twenty-eight years experience as a professional storyteller, four award-winning story albums, seventeen years experience teaching storytelling and several years experience teaching online. She is Australian, and lives with her two nearly grown children in the seaside town of Ballina on the east coast, just south of Byron Bay.
Jill Webster has worked as a professional storyteller in Scotland and Australia. She has a degree in Performing Arts (Theatre) from the University of Western Sydney as well as further studies with the Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre. She ran the storytelling and children’s theatre company “Monsters and Mayhem” in Sydney and Scotland, touring performances, leading workshops, and being Storyteller-in-Residence at the Village Storytelling Centre in Glasgow. Since returning to Australia, she has set up her new company Story Bubble, which aims to share the joys of story, puppetry and creativity with everyone.
Juliet Marillier was born in Aotearoa New Zealand. She’s an award-winning writer of historical fantasy. Juliet’s lifelong love of mythology and folklore is a major influence on her writing. She also loves strong, complex characters. In 2021 Juliet will have two new books out, A Song of Flight (Warrior Bards Book 3) and Mother Thorn, a fairy tale collection illustrated by Kathleen Jennings. When not writing, Juliet tends to a varying number of rescue dogs.
Jo Henwood is a Storyteller and everything she does is connected with stories in some way.
Jo is a tour guide and education officer and has worked at many heritage sites around Sydney.
She has a Master of Cultural Heritage, a degree in library science, and post graduate qualifications in museum studies, tour guiding, and gifted education, as well as being an Accredited Storyteller with the NSW Storytelling Guild and accredited as a Professional Member of the Institute of Australian Tour Guides.
Jo is co founder of the Australian Fairy Tale Society, and coordinates the annual World Storytelling Day event in Sydney.
She is a museum theatre creative, workshop leader and public speaker on literature, history, creative writing, intangible culture, and storytelling.
Joe Vandermeer grew up near a Dutch forest of fairy tales, which sent him on a life-long quest for meaningful tales, stories, myths, history and all things spiritual. His professional decades of tinkering (read ‘struggling’) with technology, apparently makes him a suitable volunteer as conference audio-visual tech assistant. Since escaping the IT scene he has been running the Swedenborg Centre in Roseville.

Zoom host
Dr Kate Forsyth is an internationally published poet, novelist, journalist and storyteller. Her historical novels for adults include ‘The Blue Rose’, ‘Beauty in Thorns’, ‘The Wild Girl’ & ‘Bitter Greens’, which won the 2015 American Library Association Award for Best Historical Fiction. Non-fiction books include ‘Searching for Charlotte: The Fascinating Story of Australia’s First Children’s Author’, longlisted for the 2021 Indie Book Awards, and ‘The Rebirth of Rapunzel: A Mythic Biography of the Maiden in the Tower’ ‘ which won the 2017 William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism. Her books for children include Vasilisa the Wise & Other Tales of Brave Young Women, which won a silver medal in the 2018 US Readers Favorite book awards. Kate has a BA in literature, a MA in creative writing and a Doctorate of Creative Arts, and is an accredited master storyteller with the Australian Guild of Storytellers. Her work has been translated into twenty languages.

Presenter at Newtown
Kathy Smart has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and earned an Advanced Diploma in Game Design and Production to create the world’s first full length, fully voiced, fully interactive English children’s storybook based on “The Frog King, or Iron Henry” (Grimms). She runs the Adelaide Game Developers discord and the Adelaide Game Developers website page and SA Women in Games. All Kathy’s stories are ultimately about girls separating from strongly-knit families, and stepping into the lives they choose.

Zoom presenter
Lana Susan Kains Tasmanian soprano Lana Kains has performed with numerous prestigious ensembles in Australia and abroad with experience ranging from early Baroque music to contemporary classical genres. She has completed her Bachelor of Music through Sydney Conservatorium studying with Maree Ryan and will be studying a Masters in Opera this year. 
She debuted as a soloist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in 2017 in their performance of The Snowman conducted by Elena Schwarz and performed with them again last year as part of their Friday Night Live series singing Zemlinsky’s setting of Waldgesprӓch conducted by Johannes Fritsch which has been broadcast on ABC Classic FM. As part of her involvement with Gondwana Choirs she has sung in America, the United Kingdom and the Baltic States as a soloist and chorister. In January 2020 she collaborated in the production of and performed the role of Queen Dido for the Gondwana Festival of Summer Voices Production of Purcell’s Dido & Æneas
Lauren Elise Daniels holds a BA and MFA in Creative Writing and has edited nearly 100 published titles. Her magic realism novel, Serpent’s Wake: A Tale for the Bitten was shortlisted with Half the World Global Literati Awards in 2016 and was published in 2018. She directs Brisbane Writers Workshop.
Liane Morris has worked as an arts marketer since the mid-90s across media and performing and visual arts, working on brands such as Sydney Symphony, ABC Classic FM, Time Inc. Magazines, Riverside Theatres and Canberra Glassworks.
On the board of the Newcastle and Dubbo Fringe Festivals, she currently donates her time and energy to stimulating the cultural landscape of regional NSW and supporting emerging artists through the organisation and marketing of performing arts fringe festivals.
A freelance writer for business and local magazines, Liane writes blog posts, articles and websites for a range of clients in diverse industries. She is also an aspiring author with 3 short stories published in a children’s short story anthology in 2019 and has loads of other stories in various stages of readiness to land that big publishing dream.
She has previously written articles on the performance of fairy tales for Riverside Theatre.
Livonne Larkins graduated from Nepean Arts & Design Centre with a Diploma of Photo-Imaging in 2015. Her work is predominantly Fine Art Composite Photography and uses her love of theatre, storytelling, mythology, history, costuming and fairy-tales to complement her art practice.
Having been impacted by them, Livonne is a passionate advocate of de-stigmatising mental illness, grief, and domestic violence, which form principal elements in her work. Her first solo exhibition, From Fractured to Fairytale, the story of the artist’s life told as a fairytale, was first shown in May 2019 in the Blue Mountains NSW.
Louisa John-Krol has released albums on record labels abroad, chiefly in France. Her faerie service includes founding Victoria’s Fairy Tale Ring, co-founding our Ezine, co-editing the Anthology, serving as AFTS President, working with storytelling guilds, salons or festivals, and blogging in Australian Fairy Review. Bushland drew her to Animism; elementals haunt her. A singer-storyteller gadding from Wonderwings Fairy Shop to Trolls & Légendes (Belgium) and Faerieworlds (Oregon), she’s published widely, cherishing words, plants and fée lions.
Michael Patterson has an interesting background that enables him to relate to children and people of all walks of life. Ask him about his time living in Japan or Bangladesh; his time as a university lecturer; as a disability advocate; his time in the military; vipassana meditation in India; his clowning course in San Francisco; bushwalks in Tasmania; his one and only caving expedition; his Commerce degree; his MBA; trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas;  hot yoga in short shorts; riding a motorbike across the Nullarbor; living with a mother with mental illness; volunteer work with refugees; ESL teaching.
Miranda Wageman has played violin since she was eight and has been involved in music ever since then. She moved to Tasmania twelve years ago, and met Mike Raine shortly after that. Together they have produced eight albums of music that reflects a variety of styles from around the world.
The Mooncatchers Choir (led by Christina Mimmocchi) is a women’s choir that welcomes all women singers and creative souls. We sing songs from all corners of the globe and from the spirit, in many languages and songs that celebrate the achievements of women. We meet on Monday mornings in Newtown at the Older Women’s Network surrounded by a beautiful garden.
Munetaka Umehara is a language teacher and translator. He was a member of a Japanese folkloric traditions study group for many years, during which time he learnt to play the flute music that accompanies traditional dances performed in villages around Japan. Along the way, he also acquired a range of paper craft skills, including bookbinding, origami, and the production of Kamishibai sets. Gail has had a series of careers – public servant, librarian, editor, interpreter, lecturer – in which language and communication have been the common thread. Since retiring from full-time work the couple spend much of their time on activities sharing Japanese culture with audiences in schools, libraries and at a variety of community events. In these contexts (largely Australian) they have adapted their Kamishibai performances from the traditional teller-with-bicycle format. At present, they are also particularly interested in encouraging others to join in developing the kamishibai format with their own creations.
Reilly McCarron is a writer, composer, playwright, and folklorist with a love of fairy tales.
Roslyn Hull has been a museum educator for 22 years and a performance storyteller for 20. She writes many of her own stories but has an interest in the universality of themes found in folk and fairy tales. She has a Masters degree in Creative Writing which she uses for work and play, writing semi-regular reviews of movies and interpretive exhibition text. She also has a brief film review spot on ABC Radio, Canberra.
T.D. Luong was born during the Vietnam War and his family were political refugees. His debut novella ‘Refugee Wolf’ (Flying Pig Media, 2013) is abridged for our anthology ‘South of the Sun’. His story shines a dark light on a society of excess and how it fears asylum seekers. The 2017 Special Education edition contains a glossary of symbols and questions for students. He recently published an article in ‘The New York Times’.
Wendy Blaxland is an award-winning and internationally published writer who has
worked in fiction, non-fiction, theatre and poetry, and as a reviewer. She has
published over a hundred children’s books, written over twenty-five plays and run a
family-based theatre company presenting her historical plays through NSW and the
ACT. As a former academic, she taught English literature at Macquarie and drama at
New England universities, and ran a theatre appreciation course for Auckland
University. Wendy has always been fascinated by fairy tales, and has adapted eight
of these for Marian Street Theatre for Young People, as well as writing another
seven original plays for them, all using fairy tale elements, as well as songs. She
loves telling stories in many different forms, mostly with a sprinkle of humour, and
has always been enchanted by live theatre.