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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.



Kim Polistina is a university lecturer and the Director of Eternal World, an education, training, consultancy, and research business.  Her work focusses on assisting people from all walks of life understand how important they are to maintaining a just, peaceful, and sustainable world. Helping others to understand how vital their individual and unique capacities, skills and worldviews are to a sustainable world is one of her life goals.  She has over 30 years’ experience working in education for sustainability and global citizenship. In this time, she has presented at national and international conferences and worked across a diversity of cultural and social contexts. 



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.



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