Previous GCWA Meetings

Saturday 21 December

Tammy Richie is a remarkable woman whose story is a powerful reminder about what we’re truly capable of as human beings.

She is one of the lucky ones who had First Aid training – she saved her own son’s life when he drowned in their backyard pool at just 16 months of age.
Her passion for protecting lives and helping others avoid the pain she has been through is what inspired her to start her Business, First Aid YUCAN2. And today, she is an inspirational mentor and life-coach to many people around Australia and the globe.

Saturday 16 November

Latest Publishing News – the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ to Becoming a Published Author, with Andy McDermott.

Last month, Andy McDermott was invited to be a presenter at the inaugural ‘Fiona McIntosh National Masterclass Conference’ in South Australia.

As a representative of self-publishing, he appeared alongside the major publishers including Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Shuster, Allen & Unwin and Harlequin, as well as the CEO of QBD and representatives from Dymocks and James Bennet.

Andy’s returned to Queensland bursting with all the latest information about the publishing industry, especially the ever-changing ‘Dos and Don’ts’ for the author aiming to become a published author; and, he can’t wait to share this information with you.

Josh Clifton, author of ‘The Hospitality Guide’.

Joshua is an experienced customer service coach who provides clients with promotional and marketing knowledge to propel their businesses. His expertise includes business improvement, maximising staff potential, productivity, formulating successful client outcomes, client relationship development, in-house training/staff development, strategic promotion and client marketing.

Joshua will discuss the fundamentals of customer engagement and what it really takes to build a powerful tribe and deliver a product that makes you stand out from the rest.

As a first time publisher, Joshua will discuss with you step by step this process that enabled him to become an international author, featured in multiple newspapers and magazines in Australia and around the world, and partner with organizations such as Tafe Queensland and International software companies Tanda all within a few months of being published.

Saturday 19 October

Can your book become a platform for building a community and influence social change?

Dr Elizabeth Celi will discuss how your books can become a positive leverage tool for social progress in your local community and beyond, if you so choose. Once the creative journey to publish your book is done, what avenues can you consider in developing the profile and positioning of your book for the readership you intended to serve? Considerations on engaging the media, media training and the power of words deliberately spoken and deliberately not spoken will be discussed.

Lastly, how can video and film entice your readers to get your book on their bookshelf? Elizabeth will share examples of activities she worked on to position her books and how screenwriting and short films have become the next step to enhance her social health messages.

A limited number of “Breaking the Silence” books will be available for $20 (cash only) at the GCWA meeting (RRP $29.95). For the first 20 “Breaking the Silence” books sold, a copy of “Regular Joe vs. Mr Invincible” will be given as a gift.

Saturday 17 August

Dion Jensen – PTSD – How Creative Expression takes a soldier through PTSD and into a career

Author and international speaker and trainer, Dion Jensen is the Confidence Coach. However, it came from a journey of heartache as Dion learned how he could claim VICTORY over PTSD, by training those who have suffered trauma, in a SOLUTION based program, delivered in a language and manner that matches the background of The Warrior.

Now a two time published author, Dion’s book and concepts throughout have saved lives, including his own as he proved that PTSD was not a disorder.

Today we have an online interview to screen with Dion as he currently works in the South Pacific providing mental health and welfare solutions to foreign governments. We will find out how through writing Dion took on re-framing, externalising and challenging the status quo, providing an alternative perspective and solution. Dion talks about how exposing himself and writing this book was challenging, but also provided him peace; peace through serving and the impact it had on others.

Andy Cullen – Writing to Heal

Zoe and Andy Cullen

An Australian soldiers journey home through writing!

Andy is a veteran of 17 years service in the Australian Army. Retiring as a Major in 2012 having served 6 years as a soldier in the Royal Australian Infantry (RAINF) and later as an Officer in the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) focusing much of his career in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). He was awarded the COMMENDATION FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE for operations in Afghanistan. Zoe grew up in the tranquil hills of Byron Bay living in a mud brick home built by her parents. She has a passion for life, family and travel and after university married into the Army, her own career taking a back seat to Andy’s life as a Military Officer.

Andy was diagnosed with PTSD following multiple deployments to Afghanistan. Zoe was forced into the position of sole parent of their four young children. Andy’s condition worsened while he battled with a loss of identity and purpose following his retirement from the Army. He eventually ended up in a mental hospital falling into a dark depression that very nearly cost him his life leaving Zoe to pick up the pieces of the broken family.

Together they fought their way through the many challenges living with PTSD brings. Resurrected gives a unique insight into the realities of war and its effects on marriage and family. Told from the perspectives of both veteran and wife.

Andy and Zoe are Ambassadors for Mates4Mates, proudly supporting Defence Force injured and their families. They now facilitate the REBOOT Combat Recovery Course in Australia, It’s a course that provides practical help for service members, first responders and their families, addressing the moral and spiritual wounds of combat for both the veteran and the family that were fighting a battle of a different kind at home

$5 from every book sold goes to veteran charity PTSD Resurrected Inc, supporting veterans and their families suffering from trauma as a result of service.

Saturday 20 July Theme – Children’s Books


The management of illustrations and overseas illustrators for self and indie authors. What to know, what to expect, what it costs!


Everyone has a story and wife/mother/police officer/debut author…Debz Pokai is no different. Debz will introduce the concept of her published work ‘The Rainbow Zoo’ and what it took to transition her mindset into authorship and the ‘why’ behind her creative expression.

Trade Published author and illustrator, Susy Boyer has worked as a freelance illustrator and painter for 30yrs. She works from her home studio beside the beach in the Byron Shire. Susy also runs a studio & gallery called “The Art Room” on the Gold Coast where she lived for many years while raising her three sons.

Here she regularly steps away from her own work to teach drawing to some wonderfully talented children, and to mentor young teenage artists.
Susy majored in Illustration and Design at The Qld College of Art, and after graduating spent five years working as a graphic designer for magazine publishers in Sydney and London. After some wonderful years as the Assistant Art Director of The Australian Women’s Weekly, a yearning for more drawing time led her to change to a full-time career in illustration. Susy loves working in publishing, especially children’s books and has illustrated more than 80 titles, from Picture Books to Readers for the educational market.

Saturday 15th June


The synopsis, the blurb and the logline, what’s the difference?

AUDIOBOOKS – Ocean Reeve

Our very own GCWA President will be giving a brief outline into the process of recording your audiobook and why it is important to consider within your publishing journey.


Award Winning author of ‘The Art of Self Love’, professional speaker, entrepreneur, and podcaster will be joining us to share the concepts behind her book. Constantly in demand nationally for speaking, Kim never fails to captivate, entertain and inspire.

Saturday May 18th 2019

WRITING WORKSHOP – Clive Johnson Author

Award-winning non-fiction published author Clive Johnson, is back to further enhance our creative thinking with this 1-hour workshop on profiling.

AUDIOBOOKS – Ocean Reeve

Our very own GCWA President will be giving a brief outline into the process of recording your audiobook and why it is important to consider within your publishing journey.

PODCASTING – Brett McCallum

Published author of ‘Embrace The Fail’, professional speaker, storyteller, and podcaster will be joining us to share why it is important as creatives we embrace podcasting and some steps to consider if you plan on establishing a podcast.

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