Meet our Workshop Mentors

(subject to availability)

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Dr Andrea Baldwin is a clinical psychologist with PhDs in Psychology and Creative Writing. She is well-known in the Queensland folk scene as a singer-songwriter whose songs tell stories of love, life, work, people and places, especially the sea. Andrea has released two CDs and has performed at folk clubs, sessions and festivals including the National Folk Festival and Woodford Folk Festival. As a community teacher, Andrea is passionate about helping others to express themselves through poetry and song.



Pam Blamey is a creative arts therapist with qualifications in social science, art therapy and 28 years in the counselling field. She is passionate about fairy tales, and believes there is more to them than ‘happily ever after’, including symbolism and metaphor, which nourish the spirit. They are part of the social environment, depicting in story form the highs and lows of the human condition. Pam uses fairy tales to examine personal and social issues, foster wellbeing, and explore creativity.



Nicki Cassimatis is an experienced teacher, workshop facilitator and published poet. She is a passionate advocate for poetry as a tool for self-care and authentic joy-filled living. Her three chapbooks, published as Veronica Cassiane, are the fruits of a personal recovery journey from the darkness of depression and anxiety into light, hope and reclaimed joy. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Mental Health (UQ) and has presented at national and international conferences and events, including TEDxUQ.



Dr Leanne Dodd is an author, researcher and lecturer/workshop facilitator for creative and academic writing, with qualifications in arts, education and mental health. She believes in the therapeutic potential of creative writing to transform lives, and has published and presented nationally and internationally on her innovative practice of using creative life writing framed by narrative therapy. Under the pen name of Lea Scott, she has published three novels with developing themes of trauma and mental illness and acts as a mentor for emerging writers for Queensland Writers Centre.

Dr Jo-Ann Sparrow is a published author and researcher with qualifications in arts, journalism and PR. She has co-authored a non-fiction book, 'Masters Guide to Wedding Photography' (Amherst Media 2007), and penned her memoir 'Keeping Mum' (2015) for her Doctor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing). She writes editorials for Australian and international news media and delivers workshops on memoir, adoption, and constructing identity after trauma.



Elena Volkova is a transmedia storytelling practitioner with qualifications in literary and museum studies and creative industries (QUT). Her Higher Degree Research thesis explored the capacity of transmedia storytelling to support the integration of female Defence Force personnel back into civilian life. She designed an innovative narrative-based artistic practice that offers a range of services to assist in building resilient and sustainable peer support communities.  Her area of practice includes creative life story writing, digital storytelling, and oral history practice.