The Committee

President: Marisa Parker
Vice-President: Kellie Cox
Treasurer:  Jen Swenson
Secretary: Beverley Streater
Membership Secretary: Jackie Moore
Newsletter Editor: Kerri Yarsley
Online Media Manager: Rebecca Torti
General Committee Members: Kerry Pearmain, Luke Amery, Christine Betts, Dominique Liongson, David Kay and Ocean Reeve

Read about current committee members below

Marisa Parker – President

Marisa Parker

Marisa was previously in the GCWA Treasurer’s role for two years. With the GC Writers’ Fair taking place in 2020, Marisa is delighted to be involved at this time with the committee and members of this creative community.

Marisa is the author of two award-winning non-fiction books, “GOODBYE TO Italia” (2016) – set during World War II in Italy and Africa; and, “Ciao! WE’RE IN AFRICA” (2018) – once Marisa’s parents leave Italy in the 1950s, seeking adventure, fame and fortune in Africa.

Marisa was born in Zimbabwe, Africa. Along with her Scottish husband and two children, they left Africa in 2000 and went to live in New Zealand for six years before moving to Queensland, Australia which is now their home.

Since moving to Australia in 2006, Marisa has worked in a university for 11 years where she undertook study as a mature-age student (Master Degree in Project Management); and just recently, she completed a certificate in Editing & Publishing and is working part-time with Ocean Reeve Publishing.

Kellie Cox – Vice-President

Kellie Cox

Kellie Cox is an Australian author indulging her love of fiction, non-fiction and prose. With qualifications in psychology, education, and training she relishes writing about the human condition and vulnerability of the psyche.

A therapist, clinical trainer, creative coach and conservationist, she enjoys a dream life on the beautiful Gold Coast. Most days Kellie can be found working with artists in the creative industries or writing her novels, publishing them under her publishing and production arm, Strong Female Protagonists. When not writing, Kellie will most likely be saturating her Instagram account with adorable photos of her German Shepherds.

Follow Kellie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as @KellieCoxWriter or @KellieMCox.

Beverley Streater – Secretary

As a career public servant, Beverley was a service coordinator, manager and senior advisor in the field of human services, particularly disability services.

She developed a strong appreciation for effective communication within and across organisations – via the web, internally, through social media and face to face. In her corporate role, she designed technical communications (media releases, briefs, speeches) for a range of stakeholders. Beverley was project-lead through a number of organisational changes, where communication was the key to reassuring and retaining affected personnel. She continues to share this expertise by offering assistance to organisations in the area of strategic planning and change management, where effective communication is vital. In recent times, Beverley has turned her attention to looking at the needs of older women, who are approaching the transition to retirement, through her dedicated blog, Classic Women. She writes about relationships, solutions for maintaining fitness and health, and provides inspiring stories about remarkable women who daily balance their roles as mother, daughter, grandmother, partner, friend, volunteer.

As a writer, Beverley currently contributes via her blog, social media, book reviews, and has been published in the online magazine, Broad.

As a freelance editor, she offers encouragement, support, guidance, and editing to local writers.

Beverley volunteers as a local Justice of the Peace, and as Secretary of the GCWA. In her free time, she loves exercising at the Palm Beach Aquatic Centre, reads voraciously, and releases her creative muse through the Palm Beach Stitchers’ Group.

Jackie Moore – Membership Secretary


Jackie has enjoyed several varied chapters in her life.

She began her professional career as a skincare therapist in the late 70’s, working with a vibrant team at a renowned health spa in South Africa.

She then changed direction in order to pursue her passion for handwriting analysis and forensic handwriting examination, lecturing and practising in this field for the better part of a decade.

In 2013 she made the decision to leave South Africa in order to relocate to the Gold Coast, Australia.

Today she focuses her energies on her love of words, developing a somewhat dormant talent for creative writing.

To date, she had completed a children’s chapter book, which she hopes to have published soon, as well as several short stories, one of which won the ‘Mona Brand Short Story Commended Award 2015.’ She is currently busy on her second book.

Kerri Yarsley – Newsletter Editor

Kerri Yarsley

Kerri has spent most of her career in the computer industry, initially as a programmer, then after four kids, she found documenting to be more easily achievable from a home-based office.

English and the written word was not originally a strength, especially coming from a Science background, but it became so after two decades of technical writing.

Kerri’s first book, “The Instruction Manual for Kids – Parent’s Edition”, took twenty-five years to research and twelve months to write. After that, Kerri chose to format and edit the work herself, feeling that she was up to the task, having done it for corporations and governments for years. The book was self-published in 2012 and received a number of really good reviews.

Timing and sudden health issues halted the momentum of the book’s progress and it has laid fairly dormant ever since.

Kerri continues to remain active in the creative writing space through her connection with the GCWA, which she enjoys immensely.

Jen Swenson – Treasurer

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

Rebecca Torti – Online Media Manager

Graduating with a BA Hons in French and Spanish from the University of Wales (Cardiff) in 2004, Rebecca then worked as an Editorial Assistant in a publishing house in Bristol (UK) for several years. In search of adventure, Rebecca left for the French Alps to work as a chef. The snow melted and the Côte d’Azur called, where Rebecca joined the crew of a luxury yacht.

In 2008, Rebecca met her Australian husband whilst working together on a (different) yacht in Doha, Qatar. Before moving to Australia in 2011, Rebecca flew to India to study yoga and qualify as a yoga instructor.  Marriage, two children and a two-year stint in Tasmania later, Rebecca and her family now find themselves comfortably settled on the Gold Coast.

Rebecca has a passion for clear and authentic communication, with a special interest in how this can be expressed online; she is honoured to be able to offer her skills to the vibrant and deeply knowledgeable community that is the Gold Coast Writer’s Association.

General Committee Members

Kerry Pearmain

Kerry has spent an extensive career in senior and executive management roles for Federal and State Government Departments and Not for Profit agencies. Her experience covers writing policy, procedure, legal documents, and marketing and communications for disability, family and community services as well as a wide range of community endeavours funded and supported by the West Australian Lottery during her tenure as Director of the Lottery’s funding portfolio. Her subsequent role as Director, Sales and Marketing at Lotterywest included developing promotional strategies for print, television and social media for all of its gaming products.

Writing for business always seemed easy for Kerry but writing and self-publishing her first novel Ever Been Had in 2018 brought new challenges. The desire to write fiction had been with her since childhood but as a sole parent bringing up children and focusing on study and career always took precedence.

Now retired, Kerry has time to indulge in her long-harboured passion – putting words on a page about people and places stoked either by the recollections of others or imagined and shaped by her own experiences.

Ocean Reeve

Ocean is committed to facilitating the creative process in all who are willing to express themselves through the written word. With the belief that we are all born with a desire to be creative, Ocean operates a defined, dedicated and determined process to bring a book to life and if desired, build a profitable future from this expression of creativity.

Ocean’s 20-year career in the creative arts has been one he has great respect and gratitude for. Following a successful 6 years in Film & Television, Ocean spent a year in nightclub promotion before beginning his publishing road. Beginning as a Digital Production Manager for an educational publisher, Ocean was soon promoted into a sales role which quickly developed into Sales Manager for both the educational and traditional arm of Zenith Publishing Group. 

As the internet took its grip over the creative arts industries, Ocean was integral in the development and management of New Zealand’s premier self-publishing house, PublishMe, and following a six month stint as a Radio Host, successfully graduating with a Diploma in Creative Writing, becoming a qualified Workflow Trainer and being nominated and winning two National Awards for Service to Authors, Ocean departed New Zealand to expand his creative reach into Australia.

Six years into his new life in Australia and Ocean has now introduced an established and fruitful marketing platform where authors not only achieve their vision of bringing a book to life, but also promote and market their published works with amazing results. He has played a major role in the birth of InHouse Publishing in Queensland and believes that in this current landscape of creative expression, it is the vision and legacy of the author that has to be the paramount focus.

David Kay

Born 1937 in the shipbuilding town of Barrow-in-Furness on the border of the English Lake District; David played soccer and cricket in the local leagues and saxophone and clarinet in the Palais Big Bands. He was an engineer in the Merchant Navy before driving overland in an Ambulance to India with three companions in 1964; a ship to Singapore, a flight to Darwin and David found work as a construction fitter on Koolan Island in Yampi Sound. Then four months Opal mining in Andamooka before backpacking around the rest of the continent. David and his wife Patricia worked in New Zealand, South Africa and Sydney before settling with their son and daughter on the Gold Coast in1979. They sold their business in 1995 and travelled around Australia for nine months, then Europe, Turkey, the USA and Canada before settling back on the coast.

David studied genealogy in his retirement, and he passed a professional writing course at U3A Broadbeach. DNA ascertained his ancestors dated back to the Norse Viking immigration of the Lake District and this was the inspiration for his first fiction novel The Sword of Saint Isidores. Norse and Gypsy Mythology and English Folklore became a feature of his novels and ‘Why did you kill off Ragnarr?’ by annoyed readers led to the introduction of Viking reincarnation in books 2 and 3 of the series, ‘Circles of Time’. 

Book 2 ‘The Ring of Mann’ introduces the clandestine monks of Furness Abbey, the investigative monks of the Knights Templar, and the rule of King Charles II, racehorses and Quakerism. Book 3 ‘The Inscription’ jumps to the 19th century and the early rule of Queen Victoria, but the lingering curse of Freydis is never far away.

After the initial self-publishing in 2007, David joined Kobo eBooks on their inception in 2010.

Dominique Liongson

Dominique Liongson is a clever creator of three dimensional (3D) craft projects, 2D visual arts, and 1D written words. All that in one word– artist! In the field of authorship, she has created poetry, prose, puns, riddles, essays, blogs, and illustrations.

Dominique’s connection with the Gold Coast Writers Association (GCWA) began, when her mentor Ocean Reeve invited her, to attend one meeting. She witnessed a lovely support group of authors, whose individual genres are in different shapes and sizes. She feels that the wonderful part wasn’t just the meeting, but two things. One, the journey to get there. And two, the teamwork to organize supportive contents, for each session. She narrowed down these two things in one word– fun!

The next chapter of Dominique’s GCWA adventure is, to participate as a General Committee Member. She thinks it’s a level of GCWA fun, going up one step higher. She looks forward to being part of this experience, in the grand scheme of things.

Follow Dominique on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as @dominicreative. Or visit her home on the web at www.dominique-liongson.com. 🙁 -> 😐 -> 🙂

Christine Betts

Christine Betts is a business owner and writer. Originally trained in education and the visual arts, Christine spent many years creating Australian-made giftware and art for interior design projects.

Her long-time internet handle, WriterPainter, also the name of her blog on creativity provides an insight into her two great loves; books and art. She believes that everyone is creative, and it is through our act of creating that we find our purpose and meaning in life.

Writing took centre-stage in 2017 when she left her management position with a market-leading firm and packed up her brushes and easel.

Her first novel Hotel Déjà vu (independently published through her imprint Time Step Press, 2018) combines her passion for Paris with her interest (obsession?) for artists, writers and their lives. 

An enthusiastic traveller, she has written short stories and novellas set in Paris and two works-in-progress set in California and England. She is passionate about writing strong female characters, yoga, animal rights and her family but she can sometimes be found beside a pool with a cocktail. She is a work in progress.

You can find her on Facebook by searching @ParisTimeTravel or at her website www.writerpainter.com

Luke Amery

Luke Amery was happily working as an “open-cut” miner in Australia when he began struggling with his physical balance and discovered he had been struck with brain cancer. Luke’s book is “Ganbaru Mindset: Do Your Best: Successful Mind Management Through Brain Cancer”. Which discusses the importance of having a strong team behind you during recovery and shares stories that he experienced, and lessons he learned along the way to recovery. This captivating best-selling author found a new joy in helping others achieve their dreams and win, through sometimes horrible circumstances, to rediscover their “mojo” along with their true purpose and passion in life, to succeed and be happy.

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