Philip Porter - Convenor

Philip Porter, has had a portfolio career, in other words, a succession of unrelated jobs in a variety of countries, with no end-view in sight. They have all involved the use of language (the right expletive on a building site for instance) but this became a little more refined after completing a Masters in Creative Writing a few years ago. He has a very modest collection of published poems in Australia, USA, Britain and New Zealand. As a follow-up to his stint as “poet in residence” under the aegis of Australian Poetry Philip organises the North Shore Poetry Project at Rubino’s, a Sydney café, featuring established and up and coming poets. He recently co-edited the groups Anthology, "A Patch of Sun”, with Luke Fischer and Kit Kelen.

Philip Porter
0404 006 009


Helen Bersten

Helen Bersten has been writing sporadically for over 50 years – mostly poetry and short stories with an odd play. She had a short story published in a recent ABC Grandstand collection and one was highly recommended by the Australian Republican Movement in its short story competition. She has lived in Roseville, Sydney for the past forty-five years where she and her husband raised their three daughters and ran a coffee business. She worked part-time as Honorary Archivist for the Australian Jewish Historical Society for thirty-two years. She received an OAM in 2005 for her volunteer services as Archivist.


Dawn Bruce

Dawn Bruce is a widely published Australian poet, living in Sydney. She was coordinator of the awarding winning group Somerset Poets and leader of Harbourside Poets, both free verse poetry groups. Dawn is now the leader of Ozku (haiku, haiga and haibun poetry) and Moonrise (tanka poetry), both small master classes. Her free verse and haiku collections, Stinging the Silence, Tangible Shadows and Sketching Light (the latter containing tanka and haibun too) were published by Ginninderra Press.She is not sure if free verse gave her up or she gave up free verse...she only writes haiku, tanka and haibun now... but with a passion.

John Carey

John Carey is an ex-teacher of French and Latin and a former actor. He has been published widely in Australia, including Best Australian Poems, Best Australian Poetry and the Australian Poetry Journal. He has read in Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Byron Bay and at the Sydney Writers Festival. The latest of his four collections is One Lip Smacking (Picaro Press 2012). He has lived most of his life on the lower North Shore, in the last 40 years in the Willoughby- Chatswood area.

Geoff Cartwright

Geoff Cartwright is a former actor, now teacher and theatre director, occasional poet and passionate lover of riding-his-motorcycle-a-long-way. His love of the theatre, particularly Shakespeare has seen him perform in and direct several outdoor productions for which he has a passion. As the inaugural artistic director of The Rough Hewn Theatre Troupe, which has been running since 2007, he has directed plays by Shakespeare, Racine, Dario Fo, Ray Mathew, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Moliere, Dylan Thomas and Anthony Burgess. He has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Sydney.      

Alison Gorman

Alison Gorman grew up in Melbourne but has lived in Sydney for the past 18 years. Currently she lives on the leafy lower north shore with her family. She completed a Masters of Creative writing at the University of Sydney in 2014 where she met Philip Porter. She has been reading as local poet at Rubino’s since 2013. Her poems have been published in Southerly, Perspectives: The University of Sydney Anthology, 2013 and forthcoming issues of Meanjin and Contrapasso.

Col Grant

After University Col Grant pursued a career in health services, as an academic in Australia and Hong Kong with numerous national and international publications. Later he followed up interests in social security at Brunel University. For several decades he has been writing poetry and is a regular contributor at functions of the North Shore Poetry Project and elsewhere. His poetry has been published in various formats including anthology, book, broadsheet and
journal. He has a second book of poetry in preparation.

Gary McCartney

Gary McCartney is a Sydney based designer, poet and short story writer. He was born on a small, green, wet island and moved to a bigger, redder, drier one twenty years ago. His poetry is informed by his Irish roots, remote landscapes, and a keen interest in how humanity works, or doesn’t. When not in creative mode, he enjoys ocean swimming and triathlon, as well as relaxing with a side or two of vinyl and a nice glass of red.

Micky Milner

Micky Milner arrived on the planet on the 28th May 1932. He grew up in Johannesburg where he studied Pharmacy. He did not fancy spending his life in a shop dispensing pills and cough mixtures and recommending lipsticks to his female customers. He then did an enjoyable spell in manufacturing pharmacy. In 1959 he started his own business refining gold , silver and platinum from jewellers and dental waste. In 1963 he married ‘the girl with the gentian eyes’. They have three sons, and five grandchildren. While this was going on, he started writing humorous poetry, and putting Bible stories into verse. In 1978, the family emigrated to Sydney, and started the business again, where he finally retired in April 2015.

Pam Morris

Pam Morris grew up enjoying summers on the beach at Bondi, and worked in Sydney during WWII. She remembers dancing in the streets on VEday. She travelled overseas and worked in London before returning to Sydney in 1954.  Her major work during the growth of her family was with community groups in support of people with disability. She is a long-term advocate for her son Robert. Whilst working Pam studied literature and history at University, graduating in 1978. Pam is a member of the Youngstreet Poets group, Sydney, and has been a practising poet for more than 20 years.  

C. Benjamin Murray

C. Benjamin Murray, born Dublin, Ireland 1940, trained as a secondary teacher in the Religious Life which he left before he was 21. In 1963 he migrated to Australia and work on the Snowy Mountains Scheme for over 7 years. He built up a wide practical knowledge in the application of engineering equipment technology to efficiently execute infrastructure projects and remains gainfully employed in the Civil, Marine and Defence industries throughout Australasia. A proactive peace-loving social justice anarchist, his poetry and memoir pieces have been published in the broadsheet, tabloid and magazine media. 

Frances Roberts

I worked as a psychologist from 1985 to 2012 within the state government departments of Health and of Ageing, Disability and Home Care before changing to my current role in private practice, specialising in anxiety and depression. Prior to graduating as a psychologist, with a particular interest in complex behaviour, I taught French, German and English in high school and used my prior training in dance to assist emotional change in people on the autistic spectrum or those who were coping with trauma.   

For as long as I can remember, all the arts, but music and poetry in particular, have been a well-spring of some sort for me. My different careers and my love of music and natural history have added nuances and insights to the words I choose and have contributed greatly to the poetry I write.    

Ian Williamson

Ian Williamson came to Australia at the beginning of 1991 after completing a degree in Social Science majoring in Sociology, with Philosophy and Archaeology sub-majors. He spent a year living in bush land in Northern Tasmania then he moved to Sydney, where he has been for the better part of 24 years. Since then he worked in fields ranging from advertising to personal training, and 8 years working on Unix computer system and major database systems. Recently, he finished 9 years as a Sydney bus driver and has now started a printing business. He has a 20 year old son.

Erina Booker

Erina Booker was born, and lives, in Sydney, though spent several years travelling and living in other countries. She is a graduate of Griffith University and a post-graduate of the University of New England. Her professional experience is in many different fields: as a teacher, a counsellor, a musician, in a branch of diagnostic medicine, and as a writer. Erina has a wealth of knowledge, experience, and observation from which to draw. Added to which, Erina owned, and ran, a sheep farm in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales for ten years, spending weekends there while working in the city of Sydney. She bred coloured sheep, and enjoyed the deep connection she feels with the natural world. Erina has written poetry for most of her life, and has published seven books to date, one produced collaboratively with an artist in Ithaca, NY, USA. She knows she will continue to be inspired by the world and all of its people, including her son, daughter, and five grandchildren.


Marilyn Humbert

Marilyn Humbert spent her childhood in North Central Victoria.  Her first 20 years of married life were spent living in Gippsland, Goulbourn Valley, North-Eastern Victoria and Melbourne relocating with her husband's work. They now live in the Northern suburbs of Sydney NSW surrounded by bush. Her pastimes include travelling in the open spaces of Australia with her husband by 4x4 or motorbike, camping, writing free verse, tanka and haiku. Her tanka and haiku appears in International and Australian Journals, Anthologies and Online.  Some of her free verse poems have been awarded prizes in competitions and some have been published.

Thomas Thorpe

Thomas Thorpe was born in Nottingham, England. One of his earliest memories is of the school party to celebrate the coronation of King George VI, when all children received a shiny, silver thrupp-nee bit. Moving to the South Coast in 1941 brought World War Two closer, leaving starker memories – the strafing of his primary school, the German bomber that crashed in his street, and exchanging rags for a uniform button with Newfoundland artillerymen whose guns lined the street before D Day. The button is a prized possession. After reading geography at Nottingham University he joined the Royal Air Force, seeing service in the Libyan Desert where he quickly learnt the value of water, and the necessity of respecting the sun. Sailing to Australia as ‘a ten quid pom’ he was introduced to Australian culture through teaching at South Sydney Boys’ High School. He ended his teaching career as a department head in the School of Education, Australian Catholic University. Thomas sees himself as a poetry lover, who from time to time writes poems.