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.
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.
Bill Chambers is a chartered accountant who established his own accounting practice after a number of years working for a large international practice. Outside work he has had a long-standing interest in education and the environment, having a long involvement with Men of the Trees Inc., which is a not-for-profit society for tree planting and protection.
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.
Paul’s career has included leadership roles, both at the executive and board level, in the government and private sector, for the benefit of a diverse stakeholder group across the health, arts and culture, tourism, education and community development sectors. Paul has a lifetime of enjoying Freo Press editions and a long family heritage in Fremantle.
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.
Naama Grey-Smith joined Fremantle Press in 2010. She has edited award-winning fiction and non-fiction and writes for Australian Book Review. She speaks three languages and holds qualifications in communications and publishing.
Wendy Jenkins has been an editor with Fremantle Press for several decades (poetry, fiction, non-fiction) and now works principally as an assessment editor. Books she has edited have won major national and international awards, including the Miles Franklin and the Commonwealth Poetry Prize. She is author of two poetry collections and four novels for younger readers and is a past member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council.
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.
Jen is originally from North-East England. A graduate of Edinburgh University and City University, London, she has worked extensively in journalism and publishing in both the UK and Australia. She has worked for a number of independent publishing houses in Scotland, including Birlinn Books, Freight Books and Floris Books, and has also worked as a freelance journalist and writer for the Guardian, Westerly and The List among others. She was previously Arts & Events Editor of Scoop Events. She plays tenor horn for City of Perth Brass Band.
Patricia Brady’s first position in administration was in the admissions office of the University of Western Australia. She worked as a bookkeeper for one of Perth’s major building companies and was trained on one of the first computerised accounting systems in Western Australia. For 11 years she has worked across multiple companies for the one director. She joined Fremantle Press as the accounts manager in 2015.
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.
Kendra Ellis has a background training at TAFE colleges in the Kimberley and Fremantle, where she taught courses like New Opportunities for Women, Office Skills, Introduction to Computing, and Health for Indigenous Communities. After taking four years off to raise her youngest son, Kendra was appointed to the customer service team at Fremantle Press in 2018.
Tiffany Ko is a graduate of the University of Western Australia with a degree in English and Cultural Studies and Chinese. She has previously organised major events for AIESEC and the Australia China Youth Association. She has also written for Colosoul Magazine through their internship program, and been a volunteer reviewer for the student guide Cultured Cities and Fringe Festival’s FringeFeed. Most recently, she co-edited UWA’s Damsel Magazine and is currently curating a story series with the Centre for Stories called ‘A Few of My Favourite Things’, which tells the personal stories behind each individual’s collection.