Search our website

Sign In



Justyna Jochym


Justyna Jochym is the CEO of Festivals Adelaide, a strategic umbrella organisation that exists to advance a sustainable, enterprising, and collaborative international festival city through the coalition and collective action of Adelaide’s leading cultural festivals. Prior to this role, she worked as the Head of International Cooperation and Development at the Krakow Festival Office (Poland), where she managed global partnerships and programs, among them the Krakow UNESCO Creative City designation. From 2014 – 2018, Justyna was the chair of the 28 UNESCO Cities of Literature and a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network Steering Committee. She has been the coordinator of the Festival Cities Network (Adelaide, Edinburgh, Krakow, Montreal, and Singapore) since 2017. Justyna also serves on the board of The Mill, as well as an executive committee member of the Arts Industry Council of South Australia and the United Nations Association of Australia, SA Division.

Manal Younus

Board Member

Manal Younus is a freelance storyteller from Eritrea who believes that language and stories are the very fabric of our existence. Using her writing and performance, Manal explores different aspects of life from perseverance, identity, travel and truth. She speaks on issues including youth leadership, gender and female empowerment, faith, blackness, culture, language, migration, displacement, racism and interculturalism. The young artist also facilitates writing, performance, public speaking, youth empowerment and intercultural awareness workshops in schools, community groups and professional environments to encourage others to develop their own voices.

Since making the Australian Poetry Slam National Finals in 2013, Manal no longer competes in slams but has gone on to perform around the country and the world including at the Jaipur Literary Festival and Georgetown Literary festival. In 2015, she released her first book of poetry called ‘Reap’, and is founder and director of monthly Open Mic night Soul Lounge.

Manal frequently collaborates with Act Now Theatre to write and produce educational theatre pieces for schools, includeing the award winning play, Responding to Racism.

She has been featured on ABC’s QandA, presented at the Adelaide TEDx Conference in 2016, the National Multicultural Women’s Conference of 2016, the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and Open State Festival, the Halogen Foundation’s Young Leaders Convention, The Council for International Schools Conference 2017 and James Cook University’s Young Language Ambassadors Conference of 2018 and much more.

Jane Howard

Board Member

Jane Howard is a Walkley Award-winning journalist and deputy arts and culture editor at The Conversation.

Jane’s work has appeared in publications including the Kill Your Darlings, ABC, Meanjin, Crikey, and The Stage. She has written for the Guardian across Australia and in Asia; had writing commissioned in the UK, the USA, Canada, and the Czech Republic; and has been translated into multiple languages.

Tracy Crisp

Deputy Chair

Tracy Crisp is a writer and performer of novels, essays and monologues. She has established a funeral celebrancy and consultancy business, specialising in alternative funerals in Adelaide and South Australia. She has worked for a range of NGOs in Australia and overseas, and has substantial experience in campaigning and advocacy work in both paid and volunteer capacities. She has extensive experience on boards at a state and national level including Amnesty International Australia and the Disability Information & Resource Centre (DIRC).

Ben Brooker

Board Member

Ben is a writer, editor, critic, playwright, essayist, dramaturg, and bookseller. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Flinders University and an Advanced Diploma of Professional Writing from the Adelaide College of the Arts. His work has been featured by Overland, Australian Book Review, RealTime, The Saturday Paper, ArtsHub, CityMag, The Lifted Brow, Meanjin, Witness Performance, and Daily Review, as well as the international publications Tanzconnexions, ArtsEquator, and Plays International & Europe. In 2013 Ben was an Emerging Writer in Residence at the SA Writers’ Centre, and was a featured playwright at the 2014 Emerging Writers’ Festival Adelaide Roadshow and the 2015 National Play Festival. His plays have been performed in Sydney and Adelaide, including by the award-winning Adelaide independent theatre companies and SAYarts. In 2016-17 he was an inaugural Sydney Review of Books Emerging Critics Fellow and in 2018-19 was writer-in-residence at the Mill. His latest performance projects include commissions by ActNow Theatre, Next Wave Festival, and OzAsia Festival. His experimental performance work Below the Line, an exploration of online comment culture, was featured in Adhocracy, Vitalstatistix’s national experimental arts hothouse, in 2017, and was to be presented in May 2020 at Melbourne’s SUBSTATION as part of Next Wave Festival. Most recently he was a core writer on DECAMERON 2.0, a collaborative online theatre project by the State Theatre Company of SA and ActNow Theatre. He is currently working on his first book, on psychedelics in Australia, and was appointed to the board of Writers SA in May 2021.

Themba Shumba


A South African born and raised multi disciplinary artist, possessing a natural
flare for music, poetry & media. Having lived in 3 different continents,
Themba incorporates his cultural awareness and diverse palate into his
creative pieces. Notoriously known for his nonchalant smooth melodic flow,
Themba pioneers this style through his cadence and delivery, intended to hit
the soul and take his audience on an poignant wave.
Having hosted his very own radio show and carrying out multiple
performances, Themba’s stage presence and energy can be felt
instantaneously reinforcing his story telling ability and crowd connection,
most recently seen at the Australian Poetry state final and “Journey”
production showcased at the Adelaide Fringe. Through his art, Themba hopes
to inspire the next generation of upcoming artist and strengthen the current
scene of creatives in his community and beyond. Themba is an Ambitious
young man with an analytical mind and attention to detail. Themba brings a
wealth of essential skills and qualities that he has developed through he’s
studies and work experience. Themba has obtained a Bachelors Honours
Degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Liverpool in the UK
and Masters of Professional Accounting from the University of South
Australia. Themba currently is working with Moore Australia as an Audit
Graduate and has the ambition to qualify as a Chartered Accountant.

Rachel Spencer

Board Member

Rachel Spencer recently embarked on a freelance writing and consulting career. She is a lawyer, a writer, a scholar and a teacher, who has driven her professional life down many roads; winding between legal practice, tertiary education, public speaking, creative writing, research, professional writing, teaching and management. Rachel has worked in private legal practice, in the commercial radio industry, the wine industry and the community legal sector. She also has extensive experience on the boards and committees of a variety of not-for-profit organisations. Along the way she has taught conversational English to French secondary school students and English literature to university students. Rachel been a legal academic (involving teaching, research and high-level administration) at three universities.
Rachel has published six book chapters, about fifteen articles, and one book. She holds a Masters and a PhD in Creative Writing. Her current writing project is a book that straddles the genres of true crime and life-writing. Rachel recently resigned from her role as an Associate Professor of Law and the Director of a community legal centre at Monash University in Melbourne so she can focus on getting her book published. She is looking forward to getting to know and working with the Writers SA Board and staff.

David Meldrum

Board Member

Part-owner of Mostly Books, David is a published author, and is currently working on his fourth novel. He is a director on the board of several mental health related organisations, and volunteers as a Community Visitor. He also helps select books for customers of the Home Library service at Unley.

Carlee Smyth

Board Member

Carlee Smyth is a lawyer who also holds a degree in Behavioural Science (psychology). She currently works in private legal practice and has previously worked as the manager of a non-profit charitable trust.
Carlee is a member of the Accident Compensation Committee and the Women Lawyers’ Committee of the Law Society of South Australia. She enjoys writing short stories and poetry and is studying a Bachelor of Letters (Creative Writing) at Flinders University.