Program Advisory Panel

To improve depth, breadth and innovation in our programs, the HNSA Committee has established a Program Advisory Panel to assist in using principles of diversity and inclusion. We are grateful for the invaluable contribution of the panel members below.

Tim Darcy Ellis

Tim Darcy Ellis (BA BSc, MHSc) is a writer, business owner and formerly a professional archaeologist. His critically acclaimed debut, ‘The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives’ is a fast-paced and meticulously researched historical novel. Tim is passionate about bringing his love of history, archaeology and philosophy together: and to express it by writing great fiction. For further information:

Kelly Gardiner

Kelly Gardiner writes historical fiction for all ages. Her latest series is The Firewatcher Chronicles. Her other books include Goddess, based on the life of Mademoiselle de Maupin; 1917: Australia’s Great War, shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Young People’s History Prize and Asher Award; the Swashbuckler pirate trilogy; and a picture book, Billabong Bill’s Bushfire Christmas. Her young adult novels Act of Faith and The Sultan’s Eyes, were both shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, while Act of Faith was shortlisted for the ASA’s Barbara Jefferis Award. A former journalist, Kelly teaches creative writing at La Trobe University. For further information:

Roanna Gonsalves

Roanna Gonsalves is the award-winning author of the acclaimed collection of short fiction The Permanent Resident (UWAP) published in India as Sunita De Souza Goes To Sydney (Speaking Tiger). Her writing has been compared to the work of Alice Munro and Jhumpa Lahiri. Her four-part radio series On the tip of a billion tongues, commissioned and broadcast by ABC RN’s Earshot program, is an acerbic portrayal of contemporary India through its multilingual writers. She teaches creative writing within the university sector in Australia. For further information:

Suzanne Leal  

Suzanne Leal is the author of novels The Teacher’s Secret, Border Street and, most recently, The Deceptions , which was shortlisted for the Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award and won the Nib People’s Choice Prize. A regular presenter at literary events and co-presenter of the BAD All About Crime podcast, Suzanne is the host of Thursday Book Club, a relaxed, friendly book club connecting readers online. For further information:

Sophie Masson

Born in Indonesia of French parents Sophie Masson AM is the award-winning author of over 70 books, for children, young adults and adults, many of which are in the historical novel genre. These include the bestselling award-winner The Hunt for Ned Kelly (Scholastic Australia, children’s) and the genre-bending Forest of Dreams(Penguin/Random House, adult). Forthcoming in 2022 is Sydney under Attack(Scholastic Australia, children’s) Sophie is also a founding partner and publishing director of award-winning small publisher, Christmas Press, a children’s/YA specialist, which has published historical novels for children, by established and emerging authors, under its Eagle Books imprint. For more information:

Paula Morris

Paula Morris (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Whatua) is the author of the story collection Forbidden Cities (2008); the long-form essay On Coming Home (2015); and eight novels, including Rangatira (2011), winner of best work of fiction at both the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards and Ngā Kupu Ora Maori Book Awards. Her most recent book is False River (2017), a collection of stories and essays around the subject of secret histories. She teaches creative writing at the University of Auckland, sits on the Māori Literature Trust, Mātātuhi Foundation, and New Zealand Book Awards Trust, and is the founder of the Academy of New Zealand Literature. Appointed an MZNM in the 2019 New Year Honours, she currently holds the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship. For further information:

Rachel Bin Salleh

Rachel Bin Salleh is descended from the Nimunburr and Yawuru peoples of the Kimberley. Rachel is passionate about First Nations peoples telling their stories and started at Magabala Books in the 1990s. In 2014, Rachel became Magabala’s Publisher and wrote her first book Alfred’s War (2018).  For further information:


Indrani Ganguly is from a Bengali Indian background. She lives in Brisbane, Australia with her Dutch-Australian husband, son, daughter, grandson and two beagles.   

Indrani’s publications comprising both academic and creative works include a book based on her Ph.D. thesis, The Social History of a Bengal Town (1987), an anthology of poetry, prose and fiction titled In My Father’s House (2015) and a historical novel The Rose and the Thorn (2019) focusing on the role of so-called ordinary women in  India’s national movement for independence. She is now working on the sequel which continues the story in post-Independence India and explores some Australia-India connections. For further information:

Sienna Brown

Sienna Brown is a novelist and film maker born in Jamaica and now living in Sydney. Her debut novel, Master of My Fate (Penguin Random House, 2019), won the MUD Literary Prize for best debut novel at the Adelaide Writers’ Week and was a finalist in the inaugural $60,0000 2020 ARA Historical Novel Prize. Before turning to fiction, Brown worked as a film director/editor. A highlight is her SBS documentary My Bush Wedding about the Aboriginal artist Gordon Syron. She has also won numerous awards for her educational videos. Brown has a BA in directing from the Australian Film Television and Radio School and technical experience in all aspects of screen media. She also has experience in public engagement and events management, having worked ten years for Sydney Living Museums.

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