ETAQ and FALS celebrating our local authors

Key Information


29th February 2024

5:15pm - 7:45pm


Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts, 408 Flinders Street Townsville City, QLD 4810


Non-members - $10, FALS members - free


Public and Community


The English Teachers Association Queensland (ETAQ) [Townsville Branch] and the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies (FALS) are collaborating to recognise the depth and breadth of local authors who are living and working in Townsville.

Join us at Umbrella Studios to celebrate some of our local authors where we are asking each writer to talk for five minutes about why they write and their latest book or poem.

The event will be facilitated by Heather Fraser, President of ETAQ [Townsville Branch] Local writers include:

  • Liz Tynan
  • Rohan Lloyd
  • Ian Frazer
  • Wayne Bradshaw
  • Barb Hannay
  • Rob Handicott

Q&A session to follow

Liz Tynan, Rohan Lloyd and Ian Frazer have submitted titles to the Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award. Mary Vernon, on the Judging Panel for the Award will give her insights to being a Judge.

Helene Kotzas facilitated the FALS Narrative Writing Competition for Senior Students in 2023. Helene will announce the short story winner for the local school competition.

This event is aimed at members and supporters of the Foundation together with teachers of English and Literature. There will be an opportunity to purchase books from Mary Who? prior to the event. View the current exhibitions and mingle before 6 pm start.

You can support the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies by becoming a member. Explore membership options here.

Speaker Bios

Professor Elizabeth Tynan is a Professor in the Graduate Research School at James Cook University. A former journalist, her book Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story (NewSouth, 2016) won the Prime Minister's Literary Award (Australian History) and the CHASS Australia Book Prize in 2017. Her latest book, The Secret of Emu Field was submitted for the 2023 Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award. She has started work on a history of the British atomic tests at Monte Bello Islands, Western Australia.

Dr Rohan Lloyd is a historian who specialises in North Queensland and Australian environmental history. He has published histories on the Great Barrier Reef, North Queensland and Australian environmentalism. Rohan works as an English teacher at Ignatius Park College in Townsville and is an adjunct lecturer at James Cook University. His first book, Saving the Reef, was shortlisted for the 2023 Prime Minister's Literary Awards and was submitted for the 2023 Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award.

Ian James Frazer. "Born in Goulburn, New South Wales, 1951, I grew up on `Stillwater', the farm where Miles Franklin wrote My Brilliant Career. Mine began in 1972 as a cadet journalist on The Goulburn Evening Post, in 1976 took me to The Canberra Times as a sub-editor and in 1996 to The Townsville Bulletin, in various roles until retirement in 2016. Rain God, my biography of meteorologist Clement Wragge, grew from studying environmental history at JCU with Dr Russell McGregor. My MA thesis, Conservationism and Farming in North Queensland, 1861 – 1970, was completed in 2003. I've written one other biography, God's Maverick, published in Sydney, 1993, by Albatross Books. The subject of God's Maverick, Edwin Tscharke, was a self-taught PNG medical missionary. Rain God — self-published in 2023 — took 12 years to research, write and publish. For the sake of my supportive family, I'm reining in my writing for a while "

Dr Wayne Bradshaw is an adjunct research associate at James Cook University with degrees in English and Politics. His first book, The Ego Made Manifest: Max Stirner, Egoism, and the Modern Manifesto was published by Bloomsbury in 2023. It is the first study to examine Max Stirner's contribution to the development of artistic and political manifestos in the early twentieth century, and has been described by Emeritus Professor John Carroll as "a masterpiece in the history of ideas." He is currently working on a book about the Antipodean poet and radical, Arthur Desmond, and his role in popularising egoistic nationalism internationally in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

Barbara Hannay has been writing women's fiction for the past twenty-five years, with over twelve million books sold worldwide. Her novels set in Australia have been translated into twenty-six languages, and she has won the Romance Writers of America's RITA award and been shortlisted five times. Two of Barbara's novels have also won the Romance Writers of Australia's Romantic Book of the Year Award.

Robert Handicott was born in Brisbane in 1952. A retired teacher of English and German, he has lived in Townsville since 1976, a year which coincides with the publication of his first poem in the Sydney little magazine Letherjacket. As well as having selections of his own poetry published, he has edited anthologies of other poets' work, and has hosted radio programmes about writing. For example, in the late 1970s he hosted the community-access programme Write from the Word Go! On 4QN. He has also edited issues of The Border Issue, a Queensland poetry periodical. An elder in the Presbyterian Church in Townsville, Handicott's other interests include art and music.

Heather Fraser has been an English teacher for forty-two years in the Northern Region and a Head of Department English in a variety of schools for many years. Heather has been President of English Teachers' Association of Queensland – Townsville Branch for thirty-three years. Heather has won an ACEL award for highest result in Masters in educational leadership and has won two national Teaching Awards for Educational Leadership and Teaching. She is also a Peter Botsman and Life Member of ETAQ. Heather is currently lecturing at James Cook University in English Education.

Mary Vernon, Life Governor, Foundation for Australian Literary Studies. Born in Perth Western Australia Mary has worked as a journalist in most states of Australia and several other countries. As well as her considerable experience in writing, reporting, layout, editing and uploading web content she started reviewing books for The Australian in the early 1980s. She took over as Books Editor at the Townsville Bulletin when Colin Roderick retired from that position while also being, in turn, deputy editor, features editor, production editor, and daily columnist at the Townsville Bulletin in North Queensland. She has edited several books and anthologies and, like most journalists, is working on the Great Australian Novel, as well as having almost completed a history of food on Magnetic Island. Besides working in print with a variety of regional papers, she has also worked in radio and is still heard most Friday afternoons on ABC Radio Townsville as part of their drive time show. She worked as tutor and mentor for News Ltd's online training college for young journalists for 10 years and spent six months in Myanmar in 2005, mentoring and training journalists on the Myanmar Times in Yangon, an experience she found very satisfying, although difficult. In 2009 she graduated as a Master of Arts (Writing) from James Cook University in Townsville and although she hopes to complete a PhD in Social History is having a hard time finding a university willing to back a humorous thesis.