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People & Friends

At Story Box Library, we understand the power of collaboration. Between words and illustrations, authors and publishers, booksellers and readers.

Our Story Box Library founders and staff bring a wealth of individual experience to what is definitely a team effort.

 

Nicole Brownlee

Founder/Director

nicole.jpgAs a child, Nicole remembers the regular thrill of stories, read to her by her beloved step-father. Her passion for books grew even stronger throughout her school years. Eventually, she studied to become a teacher, with a major in Literature – hardly surprising for someone with such a passion for words.

The natural progression was to undertake a Graduate Diploma in Children’s Literature at Deakin University. To pay her way through uni, Nicole found herself working in various bookshops and eventually became an experienced Children’s Bookseller. Landing a job at Allen & Unwin Publishers in her early twenties was a pivotal moment and Nicole revelled in the chance to experience the world of publishing first-hand. After meeting a Scotsman who lured her overseas, she continued bookselling in order to travel around Europe.

When Nicole returned to Australia, (complete with Scottish husband-to-be), she walked away from the pressure of publishing to throw herself into the equally intense world of teaching. The role of teacher-librarian was a perfect combination of her talents and it was a role she continued until motherhood.

As a mother-of-two and founder of Story Box Library, sharing the imaginative power of stories is something that will always be close to her heart.

 

Shannon Morris

Creative Director/Videographer

shannon.jpgShannon began his press career as a photojournalist for a local paper in Melbourne. After two years learning the craft, he booked a ticket to the UK and found work shooting pictures for all the major daily papers, including The Guardian, The Times and The Observer. While there, Shannon covered major stories such as the Queen Mother’s funeral and refugee migrations in the north of France for a number of national publications.

Back in Australia in 2003, Shannon began work with The Age and The Sunday Age until his appointment as a staff photographer at The Australian, where he covered Melbourne's crammed calendar sporting events and various news stories.

In late 2007, Shannon left the newspaper industry to start his own company,adding cinematography to his practice as he continued to forge a career as a commercial and magazine photographer. His clients include major organisations such as Crown, DEEWR and Burbank, with work appearing in GQ, Rolling Stone, and Marie Claire. Shannon has also been DOP for television commercials and corporate video projects.

As a father to four children, his love of children’s literature (which he also studied at university as part of a Professional Writing degree) is put on display each night, as designated bedtime reader. He is also the designated family photographer, who hopes one day to actually appear in a photograph with his family.

 

Bronwyn Weingott

Creative Content Manager - Documentaries

bron.jpgBronwyn had a happily nomadic childhood, where treasured books were always carted from home to home, and were as much a part of life as eating and sleeping. Later, with a passion for people, diverse cultures, storytelling and the arts, she completed a Bachelor of Arts Psychology and Social Anthropology at the University of Sydney (1998). This led to the intoxicating chaos of the not-for-profit sector, working with organisations such as Berry Street Victoria, with disadvantaged and marginalised children and their families.

In 2000, Bronwyn undertook a Graduate Diploma in Film and Television (Documentary) at the Victorian College of the Arts, and from there worked on a mix of independent, corporate and educational films, as writer, director, producer, and crew.

In 2005, the lure of further study and a desire to merge film and puppetry, took her back to the VCA for a Graduate Diploma in Puppetry. Since 2006, Bronwyn has relished being a mother to three beautiful children, and shares their collective delight in stories and images - a launch-pad for many a selfdevised lounge-room performance, or guerrilla publication lovingly stapled together and slipped into the letterboxes of friends and family.

 

Jackie Small

Educational Consultant/Researcher

jackie.jpgArmed with a love for learning, Jackie embarked on a career in teaching after completing a double degree at Deakin University. She taught English, Humanities and the Arts in secondary schools for five years before completing a Bachelor of Primary Education and accepting a position as a classroom teacher in 2006.

Throughout her career, Jackie was recognised amongst her colleagues as a teacher with passion and drive, and was appointed to various positions of responsibly including Year Level Coordinator and Transition Coordinator. Her interest in curriculum development have led to many opportunities beyond the classroom: Joining the Geography Teacher’s’ Association of Victoria committee, presenting workshops at teacher conferences, co-authoring secondary texts and teacher resources and participating in a Parliamentary Fellowship at Parliament House in Canberra.

Jackie is currently on family leave, raising her two children. During this time, she has created My Little Bookcase - an online resource to help parents and teachers engage children in books and reading. My Little Bookcase has gained a loyal online readership, with workshops and events bringing the online community together at popular ‘real world’ events. The experience has opened wonderful doors for Jackie - allowing her to continue working closely with parents and teachers as well as authors, illustrators and publishers.

At Story Box Library, she creates interesting and comprehensive teachers’ notes, designed to help schools make the most from their Story Box Library membership.

 

Fiona Harris

Production Manager / Director

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Fiona wrote and co-starred in the ABC’s sketch comedy show Flipside, Channel Nine’s comedy series Comedy Inc, and Network Ten’s Skithouse. In 2012 she wrote and performed in Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s hit comedy show Plus One with her husband, Mike McLeish. As well as her extensive work as an actor, Fiona was head scriptwriter on the popular ABC3 Kid’s television series Prank Patrol.

Fiona has had three chapter books for younger readers published with Hardie Grant, has worked as a story consultant on various television shows and regularly co-hosts with Lindy Burns on ABC radio. She is currently writing a new kids' book series, The Super Moopers, with Sally Rippin, due for release with Five Mile Press in 2017. She is also mother to two beautiful girls, who are quite partial to a bit of dancing and singing on stage! You can see more of Fiona's work at www.fionaharris.com

 

  

Jennifer Kean

Publisher Liaison

Jennifer Kean

Growing up in a family of avid readers, making her own books from an early age, winning short story writing competitions at school and time spent volunteering at the local newspaper office meant it was almost inevitable that Jennifer's vocation would revolve around the written word.

Jennifer has spent the last decade establishing her career within the publishing industry, achieving senior Marketing and Publicity positions within Hardie Grant Egmont and The Five Mile Press during this time.

With a proven track record of excelling in meeting all aspects associated with author care and event management Jennifer has forged strong working relationships with contacts, networks and associations within the children's and YA publishing industry. She has also created, managed and implemented marketing campaigns and coordinated book events, festival appearances,
launches and publicity tours with bookstores, libraries and schools across Australia and New Zealand for a number of well-known local and international authors and illustrators.

Jennifer works part-time in her role at SBL and undertakes additional freelance projects at her own discretion.

 

Jo Clear

Finance and Administration Manager

Jo Clear

From an early age Jo had a penchant for counting money. She would sit for hours sorting and counting an ice-cream container full of her dad's discarded coins (this was back in the day when there were one and two cent coins!) just to see how much there was.  Sometimes her family would go out for dinner and pay with the coins!

A love of fantasy and sci-fi books was born one summer holidays. Her cousin gave her a Choose Your Own Adventure book filled with wizards and dragons. She never looked back and now loves sharing these magical worlds of imagination with her young daughter.

After completing a Diploma Business (Accounting) and years later a Diploma of Interior Design at Holmesglen TAFE, Jo is happy to have found a workplace that marries her creative side to her ‘other' side (the process driven, systematic and a little bit OCD side). She loves being part of the team who create Story Box Library all the while still ‘counting the beans'.

 

 

Marketing & Communications Manager & Schools Liaison

Jo Clear

Del Robinson has worked in publishing and bookselling roles for over 15 years mostly in a marketing and programming capacity.

She is extremely passionate about engaging children with stories and books.

 

 

 

 

Amy Kaldor-Bull

Library Accounts Manager

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Amy has been a lover of all types of literature since her youth, when her siblings would kindly kid her for bringing a book to family baseball games so she could read while awaiting her turn to bat. Later, as a writing major at university, Amy worked as a cataloguing assistant in the school’s library, relishing the opportunity to be amongst the first to lay eyes on new books that would be hitting the shelves.

 

A native New Yorker, Amy worked in a variety of public relations roles before landing at Disney Publishing Worldwide as communications coordinator, responsible for the company’s community outreach efforts and marketing for Disney Adventures magazine. Amy later transitioned to Disney Adventures’ editorial team, where she wrote book reviews and edited comics. She ultimately joined its sister publication, FamilyFun, turning her focus to social media marketing and testing family-based apps and writing their reviews.

After taking a short break from the working world to start a family and move to Australia, Amy is thrilled to be involved in children’s literature again and liaising with public libraries.