The AFTS Leadership

 2022 Committee

President and Ring Maiden: Jo Henwood

Jo Henwood is always telling stories in some form.

She is an Accredited Storyteller with Australian Storytellers, AFTS Secretary, and an accredited Professional Guide with the Institute of Australian Tour Guides, leading tours around many Sydney heritage sites as a Tour Guide and Education Officer.  Jo is a museum theatre creative, workshop leader and public speaker on literature, history, creative writing, intangible culture, and storytelling.   She is currently a FEAST mentor to heritage sites Storytellers.

Her qualifications include BA (Library Science), Tour Guiding Cert III, Grad Dip Museum Studies, Grad Cert Gifted Ed, and M. Cultural Heritage.

Membership officer: Diane Curran

Headshot of Diane Curran wearing floral dress in front of jungle background.

Diane Curran is a writer of reimagined fairy tales with a twist of gay, along with young adult fiction and stories about women with attitude, who are navigating the contemporary dating landscape and finding themselves through creative pursuits. Along with dabbling in paintng and mixed media, she sometimes finds time to create collage poetry by cutting words from magazines and assembling into poems. At other times, she can be found at home just hanging out with her favourite procrasti-CAT, Mojo, on the beautiful Mid North Coast. She is currently a servant of the public but feeds her love for culture in various voluntary positions.

Secretary: Kathy Smart

Kathy Smart is a videogame designer in Adelaide, South Australia. Her studio Joy Everafter Stories produced Frog’s Princess, an interactive storybook for 9-11-year old children, accessible to blind or deaf readers.

Please contact her at for website corrections and improvements.

Ordinary members

Devahuti Rai Chaliha sits on a sofa smiling and holding a mug. Behind her is an Indian statue.

Devahuti (“Debs”) Rai Chaliha is a PhD student by day, AFTS volunteer by night.

Serene Conneeley smiles in front of posters of her books and travel posters. She wears a dark crystal necklace with light crystals at the centre forming the shape of two swans making a heart shape as they touch heads.

Serene Conneeley is a writer with a fascination for history, travel, ritual and the myth and magic of ancient places and cultures. She is the author of the Into the Mists and Into the Storm Trilogies, original faery tales The Swan Maiden and The Snow Queen’s Daughter, plus the non-fiction books Faery Magic, Mermaid Magic and Witchy Magic, and Seven Sacred Sites, A Magical Journey, and the meditation CD Sacred Journey: A Meditation to Connect You to the Magic of the Earth. 

Patsy Poppenbeek copy

Patricia Poppenbeek is a writer, freelance editor, and chair of the anthology committee that published ‘South of the Sun’. Her work includes a retelling of Cinderella in the Romance Writers of Australia anthology, Little Gems, ‘The Magician’s Boy’ in online magazine Timeless Tales, the essay ‘Virus Wonderland’ in 2020 Vision and ‘The Timely Chocolate Shop’ in Issue 10 of the AFTS ezine. In the tradition of Dick Whittington, her writing group, the Cartridge Family, won a City of Melbourne grant to publish Melbourne Subjective, an anthology that included three of her stories, one of which was historical fantasy.

Shirley Way smiles into the distance with shoulder length hair and a floral blouse.

Shirley Way  is a founding member of the Australian Fairy Tale Society, a former president of the Queensland Storytelling Guild, and a current member of South Burnett Arts. The passionate arts advocate is also the Local News Director for Queensland’s Resonate Regional Radio Network.

Nola Wernicke smiles in front of a green leafy tree wearing a green shirred blouse.

Nola Wernicke

Nola Wernicke has enjoyed fairytales for a while now. Over the past few years her poetry has been influenced by them. She’s had some haiku and free verse published in various places, such as Page Seventeen (Victoria) Free Xpression (New South Wales) and The Mozzie (Queensland).

She lives in regional Victoria among trees and hills, ripe places for fairytales to be written. 

Other volunteers

Graphic Design: Spike Deane

Spike looks at the camera with long brown hair over her brown blouse, wearing brown glasses and a brown hat with a very tall spike.

Spike Deane is a visual artist specialising in cast glass. She makes art about folklore, fairy tales and myth.

Ezine Troupe:

Editor: Melanie Hill
Graphic Design: Spike Deane
Sub-Editor: Patricia Poppenbeek 

Former Editors: Gypsy Thornton, Claudia Barnett, Rebecca-Anne Do Rozario, Shirley Way
Former Sub-Editors: Erin Hallowell-Gartlan & Louisa John-Krol (founding co-editor with Gypsy Thornton & then-president Catherine Snell), Avleen Masawan

Anthology Sub-Committee:

Chair: Patricia Poppenbeek
Anthology Secretary: Louisa John-Krol
Anthology Visual Arts Manager: Lorena Carrington
Anthology Subcommittee elves: Gabi Brown, Kathryn Gossow, Suzanne Zammit & Rebecca-Anne Do Rozario
Co-Publisher/Partner: Serenity Press, Western Australia
Link to anthology:


Jo Henwood and Reilly McCarron

Position Descriptions (Procedures, Roles, Responsibilities)

President Procedures 2018
Vice President Procedures 2018
Treasurer Procedures 2018
Secretary Procedures 2018
Public Officer Procedures 2018
Membership Officer: a role formed in April 2018