The Varuna Board


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Jennifer Scott (Chair)

Jennifer has practiced as a lawyer since 1981, specialising in environmental and planning law. She is also an arbitrator and nationally accredited mediator. Since 2005 Jennifer has focused on providing facilitation and dispute resolution services to private and government organisations, and to the courts and tribunals. She is also an active Rotarian who presently sits on the Rotary International Election Review committee and is vice chair of Rotary International Leadership Development and Training Committee.



Louise O'Halloran (Treasurer)

Lou now consults to the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network which brings together philanthropists focused on solving some of Australia's most urgent environmental challenges.

Prior to this she worked in senior management roles in the arts - in Sydney as General Manager of Belvoir Street Theatre, General Manager of the National Playwrights Centre and Conference, and Development Manager at the Art Gallery Society of NSW. She also spent many years working outside Australia in Los Angeles (LA Festival), Washington and New York (arts consulting), Edinburgh (Edinburgh Festival, Assembly Rooms) and London (Institute of Contemporary Arts).

She has a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism), an MBA (philosophy and ethics) and spent three years writing her PhD focusing on business ethics and responsible investment (discontinued upon commencement at RIAA).

Lou's extra-curricular appointments include: Governor of WWF; board member of Varuna Writers Centre and is on the Chairman's Council for Inflection Point Capital.


Claire Corbett

 Claire Corbett is a writer and award-winning teacher of literature, film and creative writing. She writes novels, creative non-fiction, journalism, and short stories. Her first novel, WHEN WE HAVE WINGS, was published in 2011 by Allen & Unwin and shortlisted for the 2012 Barbara Jefferis Award and the 2012 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction and published overseas. Recent fiction and essays have been published in Best Australian Stories 2014 & 2015, Griffith Review, Southerly and Overland. She has written on defence and strategy for The Diplomat, The Strategist and The Monthly. Her second novel, WATCH OVER ME, is published by Allen & Unwin in May 2017.



Susan Hayes (Deputy Chair)

Susan Hayes has worked in arts administration for over 30 years. Posts have included: State Literature Officer for Western Australia, Director of the National Playwrights' Centre, Manager of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and Director of the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. She is on the Boards of Varuna and the Blue Mountains City of the Arts Trust. Susan is a Churchill Fellow and has an MPhil in Australian Studies.


Angelo Loukakis

Angelo Loukakis is an Australian author who has also worked as a teacher, editor, publisher and scriptwriter. He has been a member of the Literature Board, chair of the NSW Writers’ Centre, and between 2010 – 2015 was executive director of the ASA. His most recent novel was Houdini’s Flight (HarperCollins 2010).


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Veronica Sumegi

Veronica Sumegi is co-founder and Publisher with Brandl & Schlesinger an independent publisher based in the Blue Mountains. Established in 1994 Brandl & Schlesinger committed to publishing and supporting new writers.




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Peter Minter

Board director Peter Minter is a poet, poetry editor and writer on poetry and poetics. Author of numerous books, most recently In the Serious Light of Nothing, his work is widely published, anthologised and translated in Australia and internationally. He was a founding editor of Cordite, co-edited Calyx: 30 Contemporary Australian Poets and the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature, and has been poetry editor for Meanjin and Overland. He teaches Indigenous Studies, Creative Writing and Australian Literature at the University of Sydney, and shares Koori and Celtic ancestry.