Our Committee

To bring the inaugural Festival to life a Subcommittee was formed under Ballarat Writers Incorporated. The team is made of five Ballarat Writers members who bring a variety of skills and perspectives to the Festival’s planning and programming.

David Twomey, Chair

David has spent a lifetime in journalism of many kinds and interests within newspapers, television, radio and now the internet. He’s always attempting to write something else and his dubious success as a photographer doesn’t hinder his efforts. When David couldn’t help asking, “Why doesn’t Ballarat have a writers festival?” He was told, “We don’t know, why don’t you organise one?” And so Ballarat Writers Festival was born, with our dedication, the rest will be history!

Mary Debrett, Secretary

Mary has worked in television, documentary making and academia. Her writing on the media has appeared in diverse journals and her book, Reinventing Public Service Television for the Digital Future, was published by Intellect in 2010. Recently settled in Ballarat, Mary is now reinventing herself as a member of Ballarat Writers Inc. and an aspirant fiction writer. Her special interests are media coverage of climate change, children’s literature and food, not necessarily in that order.

Irene Warfe, BWI Chairperson & Committee Member

After teaching for more than 40 years in Primary and Tertiary education, Irene retired in 2014. For half of that time she coordinated and taught the Professional Writing and Editing programs at Federation University. In addition to being our current Chairperson of Ballarat Writers Incorporated she volunteers for the community with U3A Ballarat and the yearly Royal South Street Competitions.

Laurie Warfe, Committee Member

Another supporter of words and writing, Laurie was a Primary School Teacher for 27 years and since retiring, dedicates time to Ballarat Writers events and now the Festival Committee. He is also a sports lover and has decades of experience within executive committees of many sporting clubs in the Ballarat district.

Amber Wells, Committee Member
Amber is a full-time NFP administrator, part-time copywriter and sometimes writes fiction. A relatively recent tree-change to Ballarat has allowed her greater time for important things in life, such as starting the Ballarat Writers Festival with fellow members.