Committee

Marylou Gilbert

President

Due to a midlife career change, Marylou has had almost seventeen years book selling. For the previous seven years, she was the co-owner and manager of The Bookshop at Queenscliff before handing it over in October 2016 to Mathew and Lisa Jose. Marylou Gilbert is the founding President of the Queenscliffe Literary Festival (May 2015) along with freelance editor, bookseller, and Vice President, Alice Barker. At The Bookshop at Queenscliff, Marylou placed a high priority on literary fiction, children’s and young adult books, and select non-fiction. In that time, she produced many high-profile author events. She was co-founder of the annual Bellarine Lighthouse Films and instigated the annual visit of the St Kilda Film Festival Regional Tour. Being a part of the Queenscliffe Literary Festival, with a great team and wonderful community, she says, makes it all a fascinating and enjoyable journey.

Lorna Downey

Vice President

Lorna describes her working life as a series of eclectic roles rather than a career. These include Manager and Valuer at Harrods Auction Galleries and Ceramic restorer; then, following her passion for the environment and conservation, a leap into roles at Birds Australia, Trust for Nature, the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and currently Bush Heritage Australia. It was after reading Families and How to Survive Them that she was inspired to undertake a degree in Psychology. Starting her passion for reading with Anne of Green Gables as a child, among the books that she holds dear are Revolutionary Road and The Great Gatsby.

Georgie Clegg

Secretary

Georgie is now living in Point Lonsdale having retired from full time work in Melbourne where she lived in Richmond. Georgie was a buyer for Henry Bucks Menswear store, based in Collingwood, for the last 11 ½ years and prior to that worked at Market Import homewares store in Armadale for many years. She has had many years in travel (many years ago!) in a ticket office with international airlines in Melbourne and travel agency and is currently enjoying being involved in the local environment again after many childhood memories of “Lonnie”!

Marion Benfell

Treasurer

Marion was born and raised on a farm south of Dunedin, New Zealand, where she grew to love the lakes and mountains of Otago (Wanaka, Queenstown), hiking, skiing, and horse riding. She moved to Melbourne to further equestrian pursuits. Her husband owned and operated a small business in Melbourne for 20 years but they always maintained their link with the coast and the surf through endless trips to Point Lonsdale, until finally settling here 18 months ago. Having always been an avid reader, Marion has found it a great pleasure to become involved with the Queenscliffe Literary Festival and the wonderful group of fun loving and highly motivated book people determined to bring the world of print to the community.

Jill Swanson

Grants and Sponsorships

After graduating from Monash University with a BA in Sociology and Psychology, Jill spent several years living overseas. Upon her return, she spent the early part of her working life in marketing and communications. She has always had a passion for our environment (and its inhabitants) and the need to factor its continued health into the decisions we make. As such, she has been fortunate to spend the last twenty years working in environment-based organisations – fifteen years at the Australian Conservation Foundation in publications, volunteer management, community engagement, and fundraising, and five years at Bush Heritage Australia in fundraising and bequests.

Gabrielle Mitchell

Social Media Manager and Intern

Gabrielle is a university student majoring in literary studies and history. Her life-long love of books led her to work at The Bookshop at Queenscliff with Marylou, from which her passion for reading and the world of publishing grew. Gabrielle was a regular contributor and sub-editor of Culture at Monash University’s official newspaper, Lot’s Wife, and has experience in copywriting and editing. Gabrielle hopes to pursue an editing career.

Jacinta Farrugia

Kids Day Manager

Jacinta has lived in Queenscliff for 30 years and has been strongly involved in the local community, including being a member and current Chairperson of the Queenscliffe Neighbourhood House and as a volunteer and team leader for the Queenscliff Music Festival. She has a passion for early childhood and primary education and has worked as a teacher with a focus on encouraging participation in the Arts. She has also been a marine educator, and a presenter and producer of science and technology programs for the Education Department. Jacinta is enjoying being part of the Queenscliffe Literary Festival Committee and especially providing support for the local in-school days 2019 program.

Jocelyn Grant

Community Member