Snowy Mountains Readers Writers Festival Demo Options
Snowy Mountains Readers Writers Festival

Special Guests

Here are our extra participants and Conveners for the 2014 Festival.

RANDY WIEMAN – Forum guest



After almost two decades as photo-journalist/feature writer with a regional daily newspaper, Helen relocated to the Bega Valley in 1997 to care for her elderly mother. Echoing her newspaper background, Helen thoroughly enjoys the challenge of capturing the spirit of real people dealing with life’s issues, in their own environment. It was at Bega, with Junee Waites, that she wrote Smiling at Shadows (HarperCollins) an account of Junee and Rod Waites having successfully raised their autistic son, Dane, despite professional advice that the little boy be confined to an institution. With Judy Winters she prepared Pictorial History – Bega Valley Shire (Kingsclear Books, 2001), followed by Accordions in the Snow Gums – Thredbo’s Early Years, self-published in 2006, and Escape from Tanjong Rue, a privately commissioned account of an Australian engineer’s Singapore experience, 1941-1942. Following a number of years taken up with family matters her latest book People of the Lake – Stories of Merimbula, with Olwen Morris, was published in 2012 by Merimbula Imlay Historical Society Inc. She is presently undertaking preparatory interviews for a biography.


WENDY CROSS – Forum Guest

Wendy Cross H&SWendy Cross, author of the seminal work Australian Skiing. The First 100 Years, is a Melbourne-based journalist and editor with extensive experience in writing for newspapers and magazines such as The Age and The Australian Women’s Weekly, as well as writing and producing ABC radio and television news. Prior to retirement, she edited the internationally-recognised Australian Journal of Physiotherapy for 11 years.

Despite the demands of full-time paid employment, Wendy also found time to serve the Australian skiing community in an honorary capacity, as a member of the Victorian Ski Association Executive, and as a ski patroller, for more than 20 years. She edited the national ski magazine, Fall-line, throughout that time and was the longest-serving editor of the Australian Ski Year Book.

 The legendary American ski historian, Emeritus Professor E John B Allen, described Wendy’s book, in a review published in Skiing Heritage (Journal of the International Skiing History Association) last year, as “The definitive account of skiing Down Under.”

Currently, Wendy is researching another non-fiction book about the woman at the heart of a Brisbane scandal in the late 1990s.


ROGER ANDREW – Forum Guest


CLARE KENNEDY – Convenorclare portrait

Clare Kennedy is a Melbourne writer with a passion for books. A former lawyer with an interest in politics and current affairs, she has been widely published, including Australian Book Review, Goodreading, Bookseller&PublisherViewpoint on books for young adults, The Big Issue and Broadsheet. She currently reviews for the Weekend section in the Saturday Herald Sun and contributes to the Developing Our City column in The Weekly Review. Just for fun, she writes short stories and poetry.


GRAHAM WEST – Convenor

Graham West

Part owner of Snowprint Bookshop and expert consultant in the Not for Profit space, Graham is an avid reader who enjoys non-fiction, but has also been known to pick up a Sulari Gentill book with equal joy. Graham is well regarded in the Not For Profit Sector for his open and compassionate approach to issues and his common sense solutions.

Graham is a part time farmer, full time father and all the time husband. He oversees 2 alpacas, 3 ducks, 2 dogs, 5 chickens, 3 children. His wife lives in a bookstore to avoid saying yes to his request to get camels. Graham is also an active volunteer with St Vincent de Paul, Shine for Kids and Good Samaritan Education.




DEB STEVENS – Convenor