story island board members 2019


Emily Bullock – Co-founder, Creative Producer and Board Member
Emily is a teacher and writer, with a PhD in English literature and cultural studies and a Masters of Teaching. In addition to co-founding The Story Island Project, she has taught in universities in Sydney and Hobart, in the public education system, and in adult and family literacy initiatives in community education settings.


Kate Gross – Co-founder, General Manager and Public Officer
Kate received an AMP Foundation grant in late 2015, enabling her to spend 2016 on the development of The Story Island Project. From 2006–2015, she was a writer/editor at the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies, an organisation that provided information and resources to the Australian youth sector. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Teaching.


Lynne Hanlon – President  and Volunteer Coordinator
Formerly Principal of Claremont College and of Kingston Primary School, Lynne was a teacher in Tasmanian schools for over 40 years. She is passionate about helping students develop their literacy, a love of reading, enjoyment of language and an understanding of the power of language. Lynne has extensive experience in writing curriculum, including the original Writers’ Workshop subject (now English Writing), Applied English and Studies in English, and has taught all English subjects, including Writers’ Workshop, for which she was also a Marking Examiner. Lynne has been an Adult Literacy Tutor in Launceston, and is a past Board Member of the Tasmanian Qualifications Authority and the Schools’ Registration Board. 


Melinda Maddock – Senior Vice President
Melinda went to her first political rally at the age of four and grew up wanting to change the world. After studying politics at university she began her career as a political adviser. As chief of staff to ministers, senior adviser to premiers and senior executive in government, she used her influence to shape public policy, political strategy, campaigns and organisational culture. Now she teaches what she knows about politics and power to anyone who wants to make change for good. Melinda is a director of Madfinch Pty Ltd and loves writing and dwelling in the creative world of her two children and filmmaker husband.  


Louise Mills – Vice President and Secretary
Louise is a senior executive in the Tasmanian State Service, and is the chair of The Training Consortium Executive. She has held senior positions in policy, strategic planning and corporate services across a number of State Service Agencies. Louise has a Bachelor of Arts (UTAS) majoring in English and Public Administration, and Masters of Business Administration (UTAS) for which she was awarded the W. O. McCarthy Medal. Louise was a participant in the Tasmanian Leaders Program (TLP) 2007, and coordinates the Lunch With A Leader Session (South) for the TLP Alumni. She is also Certified Practitioner of the Australian Human Resources Institute. In addition to her role with The Story Island Project, Louise is a mentor for the YoungMile Program through UTAS. She has been an active participant in a range of sports, and played and coached touch football at a state and national level, and is currently training in taekwondo. 


Heather Chong – Treasurer
Heather is an accountant by background which, she says, is why she usually ends up as Treasurer. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. and sits on a number of boards. Her day job is Deputy Mayor of Clarence City Council.


Frances Butler – Board member
Frances is the Artistic Director/CEO of Glenorchy Art & Sculpture Park (GASP!) and an independent producer/writer (Gap In The Fence). She has worked in the arts sector for over 25 years, in NGO and government management, project and production delivery and in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. Throughout her varied career, Frances has championed best practice in governance and arts administration, and capacity building in the arts community while maintaining an arts practice spanning the visual arts/craft, music, and performance. Gap In The Fence’s first production A Tasmanian Requiem – which Frances produced, directed and co-wrote – premiered at the Theatre Royal, Hobart, in April 2018.


Andy Vagg – Board member
Andy is an artist, designer and performer. He creates work in social contexts, to activate spaces to form literal and metaphorical platforms for the development of ideas to encourage positive social change. His work utilises post consumer materials, to create installations, sculptures and objects. His performances explore the role of religion, liturgy and ritual in a contemporary secular context, and how they can help us come to terms with the rapid changes brought about by industrialisation, globalisation and climate change. Andy has created work in public and private spaces in Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne, Launceston and Hobart. He has collaborated with community in colleges, high schools, primary schools, community centres, and child and family centres.

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Finegan Kruckemeyer – Ambassador
Finegan has had 80 commissioned plays performed on five continents and translated into six languages. His work has been performed in over 100 international festivals, and at the Sydney Opera House (seven works), America’s Kennedy and Lincoln Centers, Ireland’s Abbey Theatre and China’s Malan Flower Theatre. He has received at least one award each year for the past 13, including five Australian Writers Guild awards, and has presented papers in nine countries, with plays published and studied worldwide.