Introducing the Fellowship of Australian Writers WA committee members 

Meet the leadership team behind the organisation, who volunteer their time, skills, and professional experience to ensure the future growth of FAWWA membership and programs. To get in contact with the FAWWA Committee please click here
President Karen Herbert
David Allan-Petale
Dr Cindy Solonec
Dr Helena Studdert
Annie Wilson
LynneDePerasFAWWA.jpg
Lynne De Peras
Machiel van der Stelt

Karen Herbert is the author of The River Mouth (2021) and The Castaways of Harewood Hall (2022). She is a Board Member of The Intelife Group and Advocare, President of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (WA), and is the convenor of FAWWA’s Book Length Project Group. Karen has held executive roles in a range of sectors, holds a Master of Science in Applied Psychology, and is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

David Allan-Petale is a writer from Perth, Western Australia whose debut novel Locust Summer was published in 2021 by Fremantle Press. The book was longlisted for the 2021 ALS Gold Medal for “an outstanding literary work,” while the manuscript was shortlisted for the 2017 Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award and developed through a fellowship at Varuna, the National Writers’ House. He worked for many years as a journalist in WA with the ABC and internationally with BBC World. 

Dr Cindy Solonec is a Nigena (Nyikina) woman from the Kimberley, who has lived off-country on Whadyuk boodja for twenty five years. Married with two daughters, five grandchildren and one great grandchild, Cindy is a late comer to the world of writing. Her book Debesa that encapsulates a quintessential social history in the West Kimberley draws on the lifestyles of her parents and extended family during the 1900s. Until recently, Cindy worked in the higher education sector as a sessional staff addressing Aboriginal themes. She graduated with a PhD in History from UWA in 2016. She joined the FAWWA committee to seek inspiration from like-minded people to further her writing aspirations.

Dr Helena Studdert was an Australian diplomat for over 20 years, including as Ambassador to Serbia and as Consul-General in Bali, Indonesia. Previously, she served as a Captain in the Australian Army and also spent time in academia. Helena has a First-Class Honours and PhD in Australian History. She joined FAWWA in 2019, publishing her work No Bed of Roses: Teo’s Story in the same year. Helena has a strong interest in real life storytelling and is currently working on her own life story. Helena enjoys travelling, writing, dabbling in art, walking and swimming.

Annie Wilson is a writer and language teacher. A draft of her manuscript Treehearts received a Highly Commended in the ASA Mentorship Awards 2021, and she is a FAWWA Four Centres Emerging Writer 2021/22. Her WIP Osprey 44 centres around a boy finding his way forward after a sudden loss. Annie’s work explores the strengths and vulnerabilities of teenagers with particular focus on how communication, or lack of it, affects relationships. Annie has a special interest in supporting students with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and is the co-facilitator of a large online parent group. Currently studying Auslan and Korean, Annie is addicted to learning languages, reading, and walking daily so that she can eat more chocolate.

When Lynne DePeras, as a 14-year-old, met a Polish refugee on a Perth train, she began to champion Poland. But it wasn’t till she obtained a BA in Literature and History, a Polish fiancé and later, a Polish husband, that she finally visited their country. There, in 2008, during the breakup of her marriage, she learned the reality of Polish loss and annihilation. Afterwards, she re-created her Polish myth in The Vodka Cure, her first novel – excerpts published in SoftCopy January 2018. Lynne also has been short-listed in four short story competitions, and her poetry is published in WAPI’s Creatrix, Meuse Press’ Australian Poetry Collaboration #15 (2009) and more.

Machiel van der Stelt was born and raised in the Netherlands and lived for seven years in the United States of America. Now in Australia, in his spare time he likes to write inspiring short historical dramatic stories. Apart from creating and telling great stories, he enjoys writing for two main reasons. The first is for his emotional and intellectual growth through the exploration of the human emotional experience. The second equally important reason is to address important social issues to inform and hopefully cause a positive impact (even if it is small) on the global society.