Who’s who

HNSA Patron

Dr Kate Forsyth, BA (Lit.), MA (Writing) , DCA (Fairy Tales)

HNSA Conference Patron

Dr Sophie Masson, BA, M.Litt, PhD, AM


HNSA is managed by a Committee elected by a small body of active members.


Elisabeth Storrs (Chair and Program Director), BA (Lit) LLB, Retired FCIS, FCSA, MAICD

Elisabeth has a great love for the history, legends and myths of the ancient world. She is the award winning author of the ‘A Tale of Ancient Rome’ saga which has been endorsed by Ursula Le Guin, Kate Quinn, Ben Kane and Sherry Jones. Over the years she has worked as a solicitor, corporate lawyer, corporate governance consultant and legal writer. She is the former Deputy Chair of the Writing NSW and the founder of the HNSA.

Greg Johnston (Treasurer), B.Pharm, BA

Greg has written in one form or another most of his life. He has published three novels and is working on a novel set in the cane fields of Far North Queensland from the 1920s to 1940s. He works as a bookkeeper, so half the day is spent in the company of numbers and half in the company of letters.

Dr Diane Murray, Danks Design Group, MA (Writing), PhD (Creative Writing, Media and Communications) (Swinburne)

Diane is an interior architect and writer who designs offices by day but writes and reads historical fiction at night. Her recent novel, Printer’s Ink, the biography of Australian newspaper pioneer Marion Leathem and the accompanying exegesis, Unreal Truths: The Lies in Every Story investigate the impact of historical biography on the writer’s unconscious mind and the intriguing psychological transferences which occur between a writer and her subject. Previously a former Deputy Chair of the NSW Writer’s Centre, Diane has been on the executive committee of the HNSA since 2014. Diane was awarded her PhD in 2016.


Dr Gabrielle Ryan (PhD, Creative Writing, Deakin University)

Gabrielle is a white writer and arts manager based in Melbourne. She has a PhD in Creative Writing, looking at the Gothic in historical fiction by Australian women writers, and is currently completing the novel that was the creative artefact of that PhD. She works as Events Manager at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas.

Sally Wood BA (History and Literature), BLitt (Journalism and Public Relations)

Having worked in marketing and communications for her 20 year career, Sally established Wordly—a Melbourne-based marketing, copywriting and graphic design—agency in 2014. Her previous professional experience includes roles as a corporate communications consultant at a global professional services firm, account director at a boutique PR agency, and marketing manager at a construction firm. Sally’s love of all things reading, writing and historical fiction (particularly Renaissance Florence and Venice) is taking shape in her first novel, which is currently a work in progress.   

Sienna Brown BA (AFTR)

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.


The ARA Historical Novel Prize is administered by a sub-committee of HNSA’s management committee. Its members comprise Elisabeth Storrs, Greg Johnston, Diane Murray and Sienna Brown (Prize Coordinator) from HNSA, and Sophie Masson, Chair of the New England Writers’ Centre.

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