President: Gavin Fisher
Acting vice president: Mark Wren
Treasurer: Janet Lawless
Acting secretary: Leah Bunn
Membership secretary: TBA
Competition coordinator: Noela Cowell
Newsletter editor: Noela Cowell
Webmaster: Damien Booth
General committee members: Elena Ornig, Andrew McDermott
Nominations of new committee members 2017
Financial members only are eligible to stand for committee positions and have the right to vote or nominate another member. Nominations close 4 October 2016.
Please complete the nomination and seconded section only on the form (the nominee will need to complete the acceptance section).
Nominations will be accepted at the August meeting in person, but if you wish to nominate a member for any committee position below, please scan and email the form to email@example.com or post to arrive no later than the 4 October 2016 to GCWA, PO Box 441, Pacific Fair, QLD 4218.
Read more about our current committee members below
Gavin was born in South Africa. He studied there and worked as an architect and project manager before relocating to New Zealand where he lived for seven years with his wife and two daughters.
He also enlisted as a volunteer paramedic for several years and served with the National Sea Rescue Institute on numerous rescue missions. Other interests include flying and scuba diving.
Gavin now resides in the Gold Coast with his wife, Caroline, and currently works for an award-winning construction company as a contracts administrator.
Favourite quote: Fiction [fik-shuhn] – A literary work that avoids letting the truth get in the way of a good story.
Noela Cowell – Competition coordinator & newsletter editor
For twenty-five years as a military wife, Noela lived a nomadic lifestyle in Australia and overseas while homeschooling her aspergers syndrome son. She worked for many years with numbers and then she transitioned to the world of words. Having lost both her parents at a young age, and being raised by an older sibling, she understands the importance of being independent and living a full life. Noela writes contemporary stories about second chances in love and life under the pen name of Laura O’Connell. She has had many second chances throughout her own journey and expects there will be many more in the future.
She calls the Gold Coast home; however, her curious nature leads her on adventures to locations that inspire her. She is currently working on the sequel to African Hearts.
Mark was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1963, his family arrived by ship to Western Australia as Ten Pound Poms.
He moved across to Melbourne in 1969, where his mother, one of Australia’s top A-Grade female journalists, married the publisher of her newly-written books. Dennis Wren was managing director of the Melbourne office of William Heinemann Publishing. In 1970, he went out on his own, starting Wren Publishing, which Mark now owns.
The family also started ‘The Independent’ newspaper in Hastings, Victoria.
Mark has completed over twelve years of college and university, combined with thirty-seven years as an IT technician, printer and photographer.
He has achieved the highest printing qualifications attainable in Australia. Apprenticed to Wilke Printers, Mark went on to work for another of Rupert Murdoch’s companies. As a third year apprentice, he shared a supervisor position, where over the next decade he participated in the production of over 300 million books and magazines (57 mast heads).
Mark wrote a thesis after finishing his Printing Survey Certificate in 1983. This was published and has been used as an education tool to this day. Regular articles and photographs have been published with Australian Conservation Foundation, as well as various magazines and IT publications over four decades.
He has been involved in conservation circles, and has been a member of the ACF (Australian Conservation Foundation) for over thirty years. Mark is one of the founding members of Green Drinks (GC), now in sixty countries. He is on the board of the Southport Chamber of Commerce; co-organiser of a small business group with partner, Leah; and has been involved with various charities and community groups since 1976.
Mark relocated from Melbourne to the Gold Coast, in 1991 to become self-employed.
Mark is equally qualified in ICT, as he is in printing. He is the proprietor of IPCC (Group of Companies) now trading in eight countries.
- Cherri International (Computer Solutions)
- After Dark Digital, Security & Offset Printing
- International Plastic Card Corporation P/L (IPCC)
- Rat Mats (Mouse Pads with Attitude)
- Wren Publishing
Author and Publicious CEO, Andrew McDermott (Andy), published his first novel The Tiger Chase in 2002 with an American publisher. He launched the book in San Diego and followed up with a book tour of the US, including the LA China Town and Las Vegas.
On his return to Australia, he became disillusioned with the publishing industry. After being locked into an unproductive contract, earning a tiny percentage of royalties for all his hard work, and not owning any of his rights, he decided to follow the self-publishing route.
From 2005 – 2007 he was the president of The Gold Coast Writers’ Association (of which he is now an honorary lifetime member), and worked closely with like-minded authors, assisting them with their manuscripts and publishing needs.
In 2010, to mark the year of the tiger, he launched the revised self-published edition of The Tiger Chase as a paperback and an ebook, and donated all his royalties to the Save China’s Tigers Foundation. That same year he followed his dream by creating Publicious, a company designed to help self-published authors like himself. His main aim was to create the kind of company he wished had been around when he was starting out and one that would give the many unscrupulous publishing providers that populate the internet a run for their money.
In 2011 he launched his first, and last, children’s book, The Last Tiger, in paperback, hardback and ebook.
2014 saw the launch of Murder inQuest, which is the first book in a series of speculative fiction stories featuring The Galactic Knights. That same year he also wrote and published The Publicious Guide to Self-Publishing.
Andy continues to write and is currently working on the third book in The Galactic Knights series and has recently completed a detective novel called Flirting With The Moon to be published soon. He teaches creative writing at the ACE Adult Community Colleges NSW and QLD, and is active in the writing community, regularly appearing at writers festivals and groups.
After arriving in Australia and meeting her soul mate, Leah Bunn has dived into a world of the unknown, learning about things that she didn’t realise she was passionate about. Rather than walking away, she has taken on each challenge with the intention of learning from each and every lesson. Whether it be business, writing, conservation and/or the environment, it is clear that her life has been turned 180 degrees.
Leah is a co-organiser of Green Drinks (Gold Coast), and she is co-organiser of a local small business group on the Gold Coast. She believes in buy local, and support local – whether that be small business or farmers and the like.
She has started writing her first book, and is excited about sharing her story. Leah has a wide variety of skills and attributes, which have assisted her in looking at things both logically, and outside the square box.
Leah works with her partner, Mark Wren, within their businesses.
She has been a member of the Helensvale Writers for a few years, and has been a member of the Gold Coast Writers’ Association for approximately five years, joining the committee of the GCWA in December 2015.
Damien has a genuine passion for helping and assisting people/businesses with their web sites and social media marketing. Ever since Damien first laid his hands on a keyboard, he hasn’t considered doing anything else.
2009 – Damien decided it was time to run his own business, developing and marketing web sites for small to medium businesses around Australia. 123 Internet.com.au and 123 Buy.com.au were born over two years of hard work and continuous persistence.
2015 – Damien joined forces with Cherri International (Computer Solutions). Working as a team has been a benefit to all parties involved, as each bring their own skills and attributes.
Damien has never looked back. He prides himself on helping each and every small to medium business within his portfolio, as well as individuals needing some help with their online presence, reach success.