Tonya McCusker originally danced with the Australian Ballet Company before completing a law degree at the University of Western Australia and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from Henley Management College (UK). She has worked in Hong Kong and China and been the business development manager for the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and the Leeuwin Youth Development Foundation. In addition to her work as trustee and administrator at the McCusker Charitable Foundation, she is an advisory board member of the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth, an advisory board member of Giving West, a board member for Celebrate WA and the Australian Ballet Foundation and patron of a range of other organisations.
Fremantle Press is a proudly not-for-profit team of publishers, authors and artists who bring uniquely Australian stories to the world. Established in 1976, Fremantle Press is renowned for producing quality works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children’s literature. Our core purpose is to identify talented new and emerging Western Australian writers and artists, and to publish and distribute their work to the widest possible audience.
Fremantle Press respectfully acknowledges the First Nations peoples of Australia as its traditional owners and custodians. We thank them for the continuing contributions they make to the life of this country through storytelling. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
Clair Medhurst has lived in Perth since 1985. She has practised as a corporate, resources and energy lawyer for 25 years across the private sector, specialising in project acquisition, construction management and corporate governance. She has over 25 years experience on public company and not-for-profit boards, including as a board member of West Australian Ballet Company Inc. from 1991 to 2001, and as a board member and treasurer of EON Foundation Inc. from 2007 to 2013. Clair brings experience in legal and commercial risk management, governance, strategic planning, project management and fundraising to the board of Fremantle Press.
Felicity Ruse emigrated to Australia in 1976 and successfully established and sold two new-to-Perth property companies – Leasing Elite (1984) and Private Properties (1994) – that catered to the rapid rise of people and businesses relocating to Perth, and to property investors looking to increase rental revenues from their assets. Felicity is on the Brightwater Leaping Lizard Fundraising Committee, which supports the Oats Street rehabilitation facility for adults suffering acquired brain injury and cognitive impairment. She has a keen interest in Aboriginal art, and as joint owner of Silverstream Wines in Denmark, Western Australia, has a challenging venture dealing with vagaries of weather and market. She brings to the Fremantle Press board new ways of looking at old ideas, strategic planning, promotion, and business initiatives.
Mark is the Managing Partner at Fremantle accounting firm Francis A Jones and a Fellow of CPA Australia. At Francis A Jones, Mark takes personal responsibility for client service, business development, and most importantly, the education, development and well-being of his entire team. The ‘people first’ culture at FAJ is Mark’s proudest achievement in more than 30 years at the company. Mark is passionate about helping businesses plan and grow by identifying real issues and opportunities, and providing achievable action plans, and brings these skills to the Fremantle Press Board. He has held previous Board positions with Fremantle BID and Freo Now Inc.
Louise Jones qualified as a lawyer in 1987 with degrees from the University of Western Australia. Working for a few years in Perth, Louise moved to London and worked in a specialist white-collar crime practice, returning to Perth in 1994 as a Commonwealth prosecutor. Children followed, as did work as a barrister at Wickham Chambers and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. In 2010 Louise experienced a sea change and set up The Write Business with a colleague, providing writing services to businesses, government departments and not-for-profit organisations – particularly those in the arts and health sectors. Louise has also been part of significant fundraising initiatives for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Asthma Foundation WA.
Deborah Leavitt has 25 years experience in leadership and building high-performance teams. She began her radio career in Boston with National Public Radio before moving to Australia in 1988, where she produced radio programs and podcasts in Perth and Melbourne for the ABC. She made the move into management in 2005, taking the helm at ABC Local Radio in Western Australia for ten years before moving to Sydney in 2013 to become ABC Radio National manager. Deborah is a Fulbright Scholar selector. She brings to Fremantle Press a huge passion for all things books and a knack for thinking of new ways to reach readers and supporters who have not yet discovered the quality and distinctive works published by Fremantle Press.
John Hoddinott is a management consultant with over 20 years experience of government, healthcare and the wider public sector. John focuses on helping clients improve operational efficiency; deliver complex change and transformation programs; as well as reform operating models and governance. John has held various roles, including as a partner with one of the Big 4 firms, and now leads his own consulting business. He has been actively involved with organisations addressing issues faced by young people, both here in WA and nationally, including publishing several reports with ReachOut.com on the current state and future direction of the Australian youth mental health system.
David’s work history includes teacher, Principal, General Manager of The Smith Family (WA), Senior Executive in the Department of Education responsible for Youth at Risk and Early Childhood, Senior Officer in the Department of Premier and Cabinet and Deputy Director General of the Department of Culture and the Arts. Most recently David was employed by the Telethon Kids Institute as Policy Director of CoLab, established through a partnership with the Minderoo Foundation. A focus of David’s career has been improving outcomes for children from low socio-economic backgrounds through education and was instrumental in establishing the Fogarty EDvance program with the Fogarty Foundation to support schools serving low-income communities. He has served on several government and community sector boards.
Jane Fraser began her career in educational publishing in Sydney over 25 years ago before moving into editorial trade publishing. She spent five years in San Francisco heading up the editorial office of an international book packaging and co-editions publishing company. During this time she further developed her interest and expertise in the production of large-format photographic books, including landscape photography, art, history, cooking, gardening and natural history titles. For a decade prior to joining Fremantle Press, Jane worked in the corporate communications sector, expanding her business skills working with large international companies.
Claire Miller worked for Lothian Press in Melbourne before relocating to the Netherlands to work for the country’s first satellite communications company during the ISP boom. Upon her return to Australia, Claire worked for a number of years as an events manager and marketer for Tourism WA and the University of Western Australia. She joined Fremantle Press in 2008 and is the marketing and communications manager.
Georgia Richter has a BA (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and an MA (Creative Writing) from the University of Western Australia. She has taught creative writing, professional writing and editing at the universities of Melbourne, Western Australia and Curtin. She has been with Fremantle Press since 2008. Georgia is fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry publisher, and an IPEd Accredited Editor.
Cate Sutherland originally trained and worked as a solicitor before moving into publishing at University of Western Australia Press. In 1997 she coordinated the Perth Writers Festival. She then took up a position as production and publishing coordinator at Fremantle Press. In 2006 she was appointed publisher of children’s and young adult books.
Armelle Davies joined Fremantle Press as an editor in 2018, as part of a three-year position sponsored by the Minderoo Foundation. She previously completed an internship at Fremantle Press in 2017, and has two degrees in international relations and a BA in Creative Writing, Professional Writing and Publishing, all from Curtin University.
Chloe Walton was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. In 2015 she graduated from Curtin University with a double major in Marketing and Public Relations, and has spent the past five years working for Western Australian–owned companies, with a focus on analytics and customer loyalty programs.
Jessica Checkland joined Fremantle Press in 2021 as their Events Marketing Assistant, having volunteered for them since 2019. She received an Excellence Scholarship for Edith Cowan University and subsequently graduated in 2016 with a BA in Writing. In 2018, she volunteered at Peter Cowan Writers Centre and coordinated their Publication Event of the same year. She has written for Junkee Media (2018), worked as a Subeditor of Literature and Film at Dircksey Magazine (2019), and worked for Westerly Magazine (2019) through their internship program. Most recently, she has worked for Dymock’s Joondalup co-running their monthly YA Book Clubs, school book clubs and author events, as well as being a monthly catalogue book reviewer.
Kirsty Horton joined Fremantle Press as an editor in 2021 after completing their internship program. Her position is part of a three-year editorship sponsored by the Minderoo Foundation. She is a graduate of the University of Western Australia with a BA in History, and is currently completing an MA in Professional Writing and Publishing at Curtin University.
Kitty He graduated from the University of Science and Technology of China with a major in Business English. She began her accounting career at KPMG China before migrating to Western Australia where she studied accounting at Curtin University. After 15 years in the profession, Kitty is very excited to now be part of the team at Fremantle Press.
Cathy Szabo worked as a library technician at the State Library of Western Australia before taking a 17-year break to raise her two daughters. Cathy has been the customer service manager at Fremantle Press since 2005.
Emily Mead grew up in England but moved to Dunsborough, WA, in 2009. In 2017 she moved up to Perth to undertake a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Law and Society. Emily has spent the past nine years working in customer service while completing her studies. Emily was appointed to the customer service team at Fremantle Press in 2021.