Bhama Daly

Dr Sathyabhama Daly (nee Gopal) is an adjunct research fellow at the College of Arts, Education and Social Sciences, James Cook University, Australia. Her research interests are the ways in which writers use myths, legends and fairy tales to engage with history and cultural identity in contemporary society. A founding member of Tropical Writers Inc. and Cairns Tropical Writers Festival, she is actively involved in nurturing and promoting writing, literature, and the Arts in the region. Her publications include short stories, memoirs, and academic essays.

Carol Libke

Carol Libke is a qualified journalist who has written a non-fiction history book, magazine and newspaper articles, short stories and a host of 500-word pieces and a video for ABC Open. For the past 13 years, Carol has served as past-president, secretary and longstanding committee member of Tropical Writers Inc. Her short stories are included in all group anthologies. Carol enjoys the company of like-minded friends who enjoy discussing books and watching movies on the big screen. She is currently working on a new non-fiction work, planning a novella and writing simple stories for her grandchildren.

Celia Berrell

A regular contributor of verse to the CSIRO children’s science magazine Double Helix, and Australian Children’s Poetry, Celia Berrell artfully combines accurate science with rhyme. Science Rhymes are shared around the world, through school textbooks (Australia, Canada, Ireland, India & Malaysia), the Science Rhymes website ( and via “The Science Rhymes Book – Second Edition” (through by Jabiru Publishing Born in Cambridge, England, Celia spent her school days in Yorkshire, later gaining a Certificate in Education from University of Oxford Delegacy for Educational Studies.  After four years as a maths & science teacher, she left cloudy England to skydive in the sunshine. Arriving in Australia (with a work-visa) in 1978, she later became an Australian citizen and considers life in Queensland as the perfect working holiday! Childhood poetry icons include Winnie-the-Pooh’s AA Milne and The Jumblies’s Edward Lear.  She created her first poem, The Moon, aged 4 and has used poetry as a way of capturing snapshots of her world ever since.  In 2008 she started combining snippets of science in poems as an educational resource.  By 2010, with help from alter-ego The Alien Queen of Science Poetry, she was encouraging young writers to create their own poems about science, for publication on the Science Rhymes website. You can email your science poem to:  

Dave Hodges

D. S. Hodges lives in Cairns, Australia with his wife Angela and two children. He is owned by a cat who sits on a chair next to him as he writes. Dave is hoping the cat will one day provide inspiration, but all the cat ever does is sleep. Over the course of his life, Dave has had numerous jobs: he worked as a baker in the family business, as a computer programmer, as a business analyst and finally a project manager. He now writes full time, and has published three books. Two of his books are in the Blaise Hall series: The Barlow Bridge Machine and Retribution. The third book is Little Miss Muffet, the story of the 1921 Mount Mulligan mining disaster. To learn more about these books, go to

Denise Petersen

Denise Petersen (McCallum) was born in Jamestown in 1949, and lived in Caltowie, a small town near the grain belt of South Australia. She now lives in Cairns with her husband and adult children. She still works happily at the Cairns Hospital. As a child in the 1950s Denise was asked many times, “What would you like to be when you grow up?” Aunty Mavis, her mother’s sister, was a much-traveled nurse, who would chat extensively about her great adventures traveling overseas and her many stories of nursing experiences. Denise always answered she wanted to be “A nurse like Aunty Mavis”. The family moved to Port Augusta. After a difficult time in school due to her dyslexia, Denise commenced nursing training at the Port Augusta General Hospital in 1966.
This began her journey with nursing, from the fun days of training, where we learned compassion and camaraderie, to the hard work of a nurse’s life. This led to Midwifery training, remote nursing out on the Nullarbor Plains of Australia, and patrol work and home Midwifery in Papua New Guinea. After twenty years in Papua New Guinea, Denise returned to Australia and settled in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, with her family. She continued to expand her nursing career at the Cairns Base Hospital, working up to a Level 2 position in Paediatric Units, higher duties in Nurse Management positions and finally settling as the Regional Case Manager for Children with Cancer. She was always eager to pass her knowledge and experiences down to younger nurses, with many “tricks of the trade” of nursing. Her story incorporates her many travels and experiences of living in Papua New Guinea, her family, and ocean sailing on the yacht, Vitiaz. Denise had often thought of recording Aunty Mavis’s many nursing adventures. Sadly, by the time an opportunity for this arose, her aunt had dementia, and her stories were lost forever. This encouraged Denise to write about her own nursing career and travel experiences, in memory of her aunt’s life.

Elizabeth Martin

Elizabeth moved from Melbourne to Cairns in 2000. She has been a member of Tropical Writers since 2010, speaking on author panels at the 2012 and 2014 Cairns Tropical Writers Festivals, the 2011 JCU Tropics of the Imagination Conference and at the Yungaburra Book Fair in 2010, 2011 and 2012.  She presented Tea for Two, with Josephine Moon, author of The Tea Chest, at the Cairns Botanical Gardens, in June 2014. Her publications include the two romantic comedy novels (All You Need is Love and Coffee, and The Teahouse in the Lime Trees) set in Far North Queensland; articles in Medical Observer; short stories in the Tropical Writers 2011 and 2013 anthologies; and her story Second Thoughts was published in 2010 in ABC Great Australian Rabbit Stories. Her poem Silence Slices won the Port Douglas Gazette and Reef Writers poetry competition in 2012. Her story Damn Dog Won’t Die was shortlisted for the QRRRWN/Writer’s Web competition in 2013 and later published in their e-anthology. The Fragility of Loyalty won the Tropical Writer’s Tiny Shorts competition in January 2017. Elizabeth works as a general practitioner, a medical educator and a shepherd of three energetic boys and an assortment of other animals. She can be found in her spare time lurking in various coffee shops around Cairns, avoiding single use plastic items and scrabbling back a creative life.

Hazel Menehira

Hazel Menehira is a Fellow, of Trinity College, London. She also holds both an Associate and Licentiate Diploma. She is an internationally recognised writer and teacher, as well as a retired New Zealand Speech Board examiner and a qualified ANZDA adjudicator. Hazel’s background of 50 years in New Zealand includes 40 years in journalism, (senior reporter, reviewer, feature writer and arts editor) as well as professional theatre involvement as actor or director for 150 performances. She founded and directed Wanganui Rainbow Theatre for Youth for 10 years with students appearing at the Shaw Theatre, London, in Peace Child International. During this time Hazel introduced and taught the public speaking examination programme at Wanganui Collegiate School attended by Prince Edward. A Cairns permanent resident since 2003, Hazel is a retired mentor and tutor for writers and performers. Now a retired member of New Zealand Society of Authors, Queensland Writers Centre, Arts Nexus and Book Creators Network. For four years she became a noted reviewer of international books for the Media/Culture webpage of the University of Queensland. She has published 17 books across all genre. These include oral resource Fingertips textbooks ; a novel The Seer Stone; collections of short stories and poetry Below a Time and Beyond a Time; two commissioned creative nonfiction N.Z. histories and her Nothing as Posh as a Memoir launched in 2013. Nominated for the N.Z. Prime Minister’s Literary Award. Into her 86th year, Hazel continues to write daily and continues to enjoy her involvement with Tropical Writers which began before the first Cairns TW anthology and writer’s festival.. New Spin Into series and all Hazel’s other books are available From Jabiru Publishing, Hzl’s blog: 82 Not Out! Hazel Menehira FTCL.ANZDA.NZSA.

Irene McGregor

Irene McInerney-McGregor was born and raised in Kilmaley, Clare in the west of Ireland. Irene is much travelled and has lived in Papua New Guinea for a number of years before settling in the Tropics, Cairns, Australia, in 1991, where the rainforest meets the sea. She is well known in Cairns socially and a member of many organisations and societies, pursuing her passions of writing, food, friends and woman’s rights. A long time active member of Zonta International, a human rights organisation empowering women and young girls. Recognised for her cooking skills, and dinner parties, she even had a minor dalliance with MasterChef back in its earlier years. Now a retired business woman, writing ‘Down by the Sandy Gardens’ named after ‘Gortagannive’, the farm where she grew up has been a lifelong ambition. A bulging bag of long-buried traumas, sins of the flesh and not always hers, but she paid the price anyway. This is the first part of what she hopes will be a three-volume memoir. Book two is already underway. She is also writing a historical novel on the life and times of Australian women during the 1940’s Making Ends Meet – One Way or Another.

Lenka Wagner

When Lenka started her career in financial planning twenty years ago, the possibility of becoming a writer didn’t even enter her mind. She had just arrived from the European shores, and was settling down in her new life in Canberra. Fast-forward twenty years, and Lenka now lives with her family in beautiful Cairns, enjoying the tropics and everything it has to offer. She has become a writer and is the author of two children’s picture books about an adventurous bunny, Tommy Learns a Lesson and Tommy and Friends to the Rescue, while still occasionally dabbling in financial planning. Lenka is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Lenka would like to invite you to visit her website at where you can find out more about her and her books.

Norman & Barbara Miller

In January 2019 Barbara released a gripping biography of Lena Goldstein a 100-year-old Holocaust Survivor living in Sydney. This is Barbara’s second book on the Holocaust with the first being the biography of William Cooper in 2012. He was an Aboriginal Australian who, as well as being an activist for his people, led a protest against Kristallnacht, the start of the Holocaust in 1938. She wrote a historical biography in 2014 on European adventurers who were the first to land on Australian soil in 1606. This was followed in 2018 with her memoir, White Woman Black Heart and The Dying Days of Segregation in Australia, both with an emphasis on the contact history of Europeans with Indigenous people. Barbara is a pastor, mediator, psychologist, sociologist and historian. She was shortlisted in 2018 for the Queensland Literary Awards for a “Work of State Significance” for her memoir.

Peter Barker

Pete Barker left school at 16 due to a mutual lack of interest. He found much more exciting things to do working in car factories, mines, power stations and other noisy, greasy places full of giant machines. He went on to travel across Asia, Europe, and Africa for several years before studying for a degree in English Literature in the United States. Luckily – or not – he took a second major in Journalism which led to working as a reporter, photographer and editor at magazines and newspapers in the U.S., Hong Kong and Australia. These days he avoids work by pretending to be a freelance journalist while trying to write two books at once (it’s a Gemini thing) and tinkering with noisy, greasy old motorbikes.

Philip Newey

Philip was born in Birmingham, UK, in 1957, and emigrated to Australia—among the wave of ₤10 immigrants—in 1966. The family settled in Adelaide in South Australia. Philip has enjoyed a number of careers over the years, including serving as an Anglican minister, and working as an evolutionary biologist at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. He holds two doctorates, one in theology and one in biology. When Philip left Switzerland, he returned to Australia to pursue a more literary career. Always keen on writing, Philip finally completed his first novel in 2012, and is continuing to write in his spare time. Now based in Cairns, in Far North Queensland, Philip runs a freelance editing business from home.

Robyn Kienzle

Robyn Kienzle BSc. Dip. Ed. After teaching Senior science at a girl’s school in Toowoomba, marriage took Robyn to Kokoda in PNG where she then worked with her husband managing the family cattle and rubber estates. From there they moved to their farm on the Darling Downs, where they grew cattle and asparagus and owned and operated a supermarket in the local town. A few years on the Gold Coast in semiretirement allowed Robyn time to write her father- in -law’s biography “The Architect of Kokoda”, published 2011, now into its 3rd Edition & heading to 20,000 copies sold. Robyn and her husband now own management rights in Cairns as Robyn tries to find time to pen a follow up book about life in PNG post war.