President – Louisa John-Krol
Louisa John-Krol has released several CDs of ethereal music on foreign indie labels, exploring faerielore, poetry and mythology. She has performed at international festivals such as Faerieworlds in Oregon, and published in journals, magazines and books. Her professions have spanned fey storytelling (as pioneer of the world’s first fairy shop Wonderwings), admin and teaching. Embroilments include The Elderbrook Chronicles with a soundtrack. Louisa leads Victoria’s Fairy Tale Ring, with a whimsical blog. Other memberships include Writers Victoria, Storytelling Australia Victoria, The Athenaeum Library and The Monash Fairy Tale Salon.
Treasurer and Public Officer – Jo Henwood
Jo Henwood is an Accredited Storyteller with the Storytelling Guild of NSW, co-founder and Public Officer of the Australian Fairy Tale Society, and the Ring Maiden who coordinates the Fairy Tale Rings. She is qualified in Cultural Heritage, Museum Studies, Gifted Education, Tour Guiding, and Librarianship. As well as storytelling Jo works as a Tour Guide and Education Officer in various Sydney heritage sites. She also organises the Professional Development Days for Museums Australia Education and the first World Storytelling Day celebrated in Sydney. Her favourite fairy tales have turned out to be the Animal Bridegroom variants. Her greatest delight in the AFTS has been discovering new meanings in familiar tales and being provoked to create Australian interpretations, as well as meeting some fascinating people.
Secretary – Robyn Floyd
Robyn Floyd is an author, educator and cannot seem to stop studying fairy tales! Her PhD, “Imagining Australia in fairy tales, philosophical essays and children’s songs”, focussed on Olga Ernst’s bush fantasy construction in Australian children’s literature. In 2015 she presented ‘A Cabbage Tree Hat and a Stock-whip Wand: Early Australian Fairy Tales’ at the AFTS Annual Conference. In between juggling Assistant Principal duties, she continues to explore the influence of fairy tales on children’s literature on a daily basis.
Ezine Editor and Committee Member – Gypsy Thornton
Aussie abroad, human/zombie hybrid & fairy tale writer/researcher-mama who wishes she had tastier brains to snack on. (Grows her own hair.) Known as the Fairy Tale News Hound of Once Upon A Blog, reporting daily FT news since 2009; fairy tale student, enthusiast & researcher since 1980. Teaches kids to love (& create) art. Has put bread on the table via Disney Features, TV & Special Projects animation, visual R&D (film), theater (director, writer, producer), animal rescue work, articles, short stories & one non-fiction book. Also admits to being various characters and a puppeteer of a touring children’s theater company.
Committee Member – Thang Luong
Thang Dac (T.D.) Luong is a Sydney based writer and lawyer. Thang was born in 1971, the year of the pig, during the Vietnam War. He has been inspired by the role of pigs in fairy tales. His long, short story ‘Refugee Wolf’ (Flying Pig Media, 2013) is a dark, satirical re-invention of The Three Little Pigs. Refugee Wolf is about a society of excess and how it fears asylum seekers. Thang has completed a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing (UTS) and is currently working on a novel inspired by his late dad, a persecuted journalist during the war.
Committee Member – Patricia Poppenbeek
Patricia Poppenbeek is an award winning writer and freelance editor, whose published work includes a retelling of Cinderella in the Romance Writers of Australia anthology, Little Gems. In the tradition of Dick Whittington, her writing group, the Cartridge Family, won a City of Melbourne grant to publish Melbourne Subjective, an anthology. This included three of her stories, one of which is historical fiction with a touch of fantasy. Her most recently published stories include ‘The Magician’s Boy’ in the online magazine Timeless Tales. Her current novel, a YA fantasy about an Artful Dodger girl who is a shadow mage trying to stop Jack the Ripper, was runner up in a 2016 San Francisco Writers Conference competition.
Committee Member – Spike Deane
Spike Deane is a glass artist based in Canberra, Australia, working primarily in cast glass, though she likes to mix it up now and then with textiles, animation and other materials. Her themes – and artistic practice – focus on underlying narratives found in folk and fairy tales to consider questions of becoming, transformation and ‘the hopeful journey’. She exhibits throughout Australia, between working in her home studio and at the Canberra Glassworks, the nation’s centre of glass art, and feels she has yet to discover much magic, so never stops looking.
Former Committee members:
Dr Belinda Calderone, Dr Nike Suleway, Susan Clancy, Dr Rebecca-Anne Do Rozario, Joe Vandermeer, Julie Mundy-Taylor, Danuta Raine, Pam Blamey, Catherine Snell, Penny Clay
Jo Henwood and Reilly McCarron