Our Board

The NT Writers’ Centre is overseen by a dedicated Board, who guide and steer the strategic direction of the organisation.

You can find out more about our current priorities in our NT Writers’ Centre Strategic Plan 2020-2024 and NT Writers Festival Strategic Plan 2020-2023.

Our Board members include:


President: Tanya Heaslip (Alice Springs)


Tanya Heaslip was raised in Central Australia through the 1960s and 70s, and has practised law for many years in different parts of Australia. Between 2019 and 2021 she published Alice to Prague, An Alice Girl and Beyond Alice through Allen & Unwin. Tanya is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Vice President: Dina Davis (Darwin)


Dina Davis is the author of Capriccio: A Novel (Cilento Publishing 2018), which was shortlisted for the 2020 Chief Minister’s Best Fiction Award. She holds an MA in English and Linguistics, and across her career worked in the areas of governance, anti-discrimination and equal opportunity. Her forthcoming book is A Dangerous Daughter published by  Cilento 2021.


Regional Vice President: Renee McBryde (Alice Springs) 


Renee McBryde has extensive experience working in the community services sector, primarily with disadvantaged children. The House of Lies (Hachette 2017) was her first book and she is currently working on her second while undertaking a Masters in Psychotherapy.



Currently vacant.


Treasurer: Brian Tucker (Brisbane)

Brian Tucker has been an Accountant and Auditor for over thirty years, and treasurer of a number of arts organisations, including previously, the Queensland Writers’ Centre for ten plus years. He is now retired but continues to contribute his expertise to many arts organisations by providing financial and governance advice.


Public Officer: Shona Ford (Darwin)


Shona Ford is two time winner of the NT Literary Awards. She publishes both historical and paranormal romance under the pen name S.E. Welsh and writes a regular column for Romance Writers of Australia. Her debut historical Australian romance, The Gamble, was published in 2020, along with her debut paranormal, Seer.


Ordinary Members:


Michelle Bates (Tennant Creek)


Michelle Bates lives and works on Warumungu manu and with others established the beautiful Paterson St Hub – a community hub and an open co-working space in Tennant Creek. A descendant of the Anaiwan people of the great range and tablelands area, inland from the east coast, Michelle’s willingness and commitment to working with first peoples and others is grounded in the personal as well as the professional.


Joanna Henryks (Alice Springs)


Joanna works as a management consultant, facilitator and coach.  She has worked in marketing, communications and research for over three decades and taught across these fields in tertiary environments. Alongside her consulting work, she works in bookshops whenever opportunity presents and feels lucky to work at Red Kangaroo Books when asked. Her formal qualifications include a PhD in Consumer Behaviour, an MBA (AGSM) and Graduate Diploma in Counselling and a Bachelor of Business (Marketing).


Fred van’t Sand (Melbourne)


Fred van’t Sand is a long time grass-roots organiser of spoken word events. He can herd cats to do point work like a sheep dog. He understands and can implement the learning needs of a first time or early blooming creative spirit. He is a mix of hippie and punk realism with a touch of cynicism. He likes people. He likes people doing things that are worthwhile. He likes life to be good and fun and a bit serious when needed, while all the while being as kind as he can. He can passably speak three languages and is a handyman specialising in home painting. He is a dog person who occasionally strokes cats.