President – Rebecca Findlay-Debeck – gcwa.president@gmail.com 

Vice President – Kellie Cox – gcwa.vicepresident@gmail.com 

Treasurer – Jen Swenson – gcwa.executivetreasurer@gmail.com

Executive Secretary – Rochelle Miller – gcwa.secretary2022@gmail.com

Association Editor – Jackie Washington – gcwa.editor@gmail.com

Speaker Coordinator – Christine Betts –  gcwa.news@gmail.com

Publicity Coordinator – Selena Budgen – gcwa.publicitycoordinator@gmail.com

Social Media Manager – Steph Laverie – gcwa.socialmedia1@gmail.com

Membership Secretary – Rochelle Miller – gcwa.membersec@gmail.com

Web Content Manager – Sandra Mayer – gcwa.websitemanager@gmail.com

Providore – Christene Khan

General Committee Members – Louisa Wright and Lizz Curry

Patrons – Founder, Mary Maclaren (Harbottle); Kay Danes OAM; Andy McDermott

Read more about our current committee members below

President – Rebecca Findlay-Debeck

Rebecca Findlay-Debeck joins the GCWA after a working history that spans the United Nations to remote Indigenous communities. She has been published in a range of specialist legal and technical arenas, as well as editing numerous criminal justice books and publications. For the last decade, Rebecca has been a regular conference speaker in the USA, United Kingdom and Australia in the field of safety. In late 2022, she turned her passion for writing to works of fiction. Focusing on middle-grade children’s fiction and cozy murder mysteries, Rebecca’s first novels will be published in 2024. When not writing, she can usually be found in the ocean or snorkelling the seaway.

Vice President – Kellie Cox

Kellie M Cox has worked in the area of psychology for decades giving her insight
and fascination for human behaviour which she draws on to create complex characters. Published with Strong Female Protagonists her books titles include, Murderous Intent, The List, The Reef, Advice for Life and The Last First Kiss.

Kellie’s stories traverse the globe, taking readers to cities they dream to visit from Paris, Rome, Berlin, Bora Bora, and the Mekong Delta. Her own travel stories forming much of the inspiration for the settings and colourful characters readers fall in love with. Drawing on themes of life, love and death, Kellie writes in the genres of magic realism, romance, suspense, and psychological thriller to create stories that stay with you long after you put them down.

Recently Kellie has found a love for short story writing and has enjoyed a few successes.


Sixty-Five and Fearless – highly commended, Peter Cowan Competition

Girl Down – QWC Anthology, My Story, My Voice.

Stranded – longlisted, Minds Shine Bright Short Story Competition

Gamer Grandma – RWR Anthology, Got Game.

Immoral – winner, Helensvale Writers Group competition and Somerset Storyfest.

Mango Lover – second place, Helensvale Writers Group competition.


Unnecessary Noise – winner, Gladstone Writers Group short story competition

Author Award – winner of the Andy McDermott Achievement Award


Death by Trident – GCWA Anthology, Short Tales for Big Imaginations.

Kellie connects with her writing tribe through GCWA, QWC, ASA, Rainforest Writers Retreat, Helensvale Writers Group, Sisters in Crime, Somerset Storyfest and Fiona McIntosh’s Masterclass graduate group.

When not writing or seeing clients in private practice, Kellie can be found on the beaches of
the Gold Coast flooding her social media with photos of her gorgeous dogs.

Connect with Kellie at www.kelliemcox.com or on any of the socials.

Treasurer – Jen Swenson

Jen Swenson is a community-hearted accountant specialising in Not for Profits. She has a passion for writing books and resources centring around personal development, her first being a fun children’s story entitled “Goldie the Unchicken”.

Executive Secretary and Membership Secretary – Rochelle Miller

Association Editor – Jackie Washington

Speaker Coordinator – Christine Betts

Christine Betts is an Australian writer based in the Northern Rivers. Christine trained in education and the visual arts. She spent many years creating Australian-made giftware and art for interior design projects. Writing took centre-stage in 2017 when she left her management position with a market-leading art-seller and packed up her brushes.

AWARDS 2021/2022

  • Death of a Show Princess, Shortlisted for the Scarlet Stiletto Awards (Highly Commended)
  • Tough Crowd, Winner – Queensland Writers Centre RightLeftWrite competition, November 2021
  • How I Got this Tattoo, Winner – The Tasmanian Writers Prize for 2022
  • Southbank, Shortlisted -the Brisbane Writers Festival First Date at Southbank competition
  • UndetectedPublished co-authored with Kate Kelsen. Rainforest Writers Retreat Anthology 2021 Anthologies available here (Amazon)
  • A Tale of Twin Towns – Published – Eastern Regional Library (Vic) Anthology Tales of the Pandemic
  • Fancy Meeting You Here – Honorable Mention – Queensland Writers Centre RightLeftWrite competition, August 2022

Her long-time internet handle, WriterPainter, is also the name of her blog on creativity, writing, art, meditation, and potential. She believes everyone is creative, and it is through our act of creating that we find our purpose and meaning in life.

Publicity Coordinator – Selena Budgen

Selena has a background in banking, marketing, copywriting, and sales and has created and owned several businesses. She loves fiction writing and writes in several genres, including women’s fiction, teen fiction, and fantasy, but has always written non-fiction professionally for newsletters, blogs, websites, and other marketing materials as part of her career.

In 2013 she completed the Diploma of Professional Book Editing, Proofreading and Publishing, and used this to create one of her businesses’ Mark My Words, which at that time provided writing and proofreading services to business owners.

In 2020 under the pseudonym Selena Jane, she published her debut fiction novel Search for the Holy Whale, a coming-of-age story about the importance of our connection to animals and Mother Earth.

Nominated for the BX Business Awards in 2021 for her content and copywriting business Blott Business, Selena is passionate about empowering business owners to share their passion project with the world through creative content.

In 2022, Selena was on the panel of judges for the association’s short story competition Writing in the Sand.

Her short story titled Angel Wings are Precious Things, was accepted into the Rainforest Writing Retreat’s Got Game? anthology and was published in April 2023.

Selena is passionate about being a good mother, saving animals and the environment, writing, and creative content. She is enjoying the journey from writer to author and is currently working on Whatever! This is the 90s, Two Wrongs, and Luna’s Gift.

You can learn more about Selena Jane over on her website or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin.

Social Media Manager – Steph Laverie

Web Content Manager – Sandra Mayer

Sandra Mayer is a long term Gold Coast resident with a background in retail.

Her writing journey started with poetry in her teens and has evolved into different avenues and genres. She has dabbled in novels, children’s chapter books for 7 to 12-year-olds, feature films and short scripts. She has 3 self-published novels, Riot:of the Senses in the genre of Erotica and 2 Children’s Chapter Books. Her projects at the moment are Children’s Picture Books, a sequel to one of her Children’s Chapter Books and her second Erotica novel.

You will soon find her Children’s Chapter Books, Serena Silver Secret Agent S and Scrub and the Sea Serpent in Gold Coast Libraries.

Connect with Sandra via her webpage, and socials, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Linkedin.

Thanks Sandra

Webpage www.sandramayerwriter.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sandra.mayer.391

Instagram https://instagram.com/mayer.sassy?igshid=NGVhN2U2NjQ0Yg==

Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandra-mayer-a17366130/

Tumblr https://scmayer.tumblr.com/?source=share

Providore – Christene Khan

General Committee Members – Louisa Wright and Lizz Curry

Louisa is an aspiring children’s, YA and Adult novel writer. 

Louisa Published an article in the Gold Coast Bulletin in 2016. This then inspired her to join a writer’s group. In 2017 she published three adventure stories in an anthology called ‘Mystery, Mayhem and Magic.  Louisa’s current project is called ‘Escape to Utopia – Mystery of the Lost Corner’ an adventure novel aimed at 9-12-year old’s. 

Louisa is also writing a women’s fiction novel called ‘Rollercoaster – The Ride to Oz.’  

Louisa lives on the Gold Coast with her two fur babies and enjoys writing by the ocean which is her happy place.   

Patron – Andy McDermott

Andrew McDermott (Andy) published his first novel, The Tiger Chase, with an American publisher in 2002. He has since self-published three fiction titles: The Last Tiger, Murder in Quest and Flirting with the Moon, and two non-fiction titles: The Publicious Guide to Self-Publishing, and The Publicious Book Marketing Toolkit. He has recently finished the first book of a detective series, set on the Gold Coast, featuring Detective Scotty Stephens, entitled X and he has just begun work on the second book in the series entitled Bestseller.

Andy is the CEO of Publicious Pty Ltd a company he started in 2010 to assist authors with their writing and publishing needs. He a former President of the Gold Coast Writers Association, of which he is also a lifetime member, and he previously taught creative writing at the Ace Community Colleges on the Gold Coast.

As an experienced speaker, Andy has spoken in the US as well as the UK, and he continues to appear at writers’ festivals and events around Australia.


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