Interconnectivity Between Authors, Publishers, Librarians and Australian Government Programs

Panel Description:

Interconnectivity Between Authors, Publishers, Libraries and Australian Government Programs

How do we build demand for Australian writing? What roles can authors, publishers, libraries, and Australian Government policy and programs play? How can we better work together?

Each panellist will bring their perspectives to this discussion, exploring how we can work together to nurture an Australian reading culture, support writers to continue to create and publish works including through programs such as the lending rights schemes, and expand the profile and market for Australian literature.


  • Vikki Wakefield, Author
  • Sarah Powell, Collection Development Librarian, Public Library Services South Australia
  • Anna Burkey, Head of Communications, Australian Publishers Association
  • Jesse Fatnowna, Assistant Secretary Creative Industries, Office for the Arts


  • Rohini Sharma, Director Literature, Office for the Arts

Vikki Wakefield


Author Bio

Vikki Wakefield writes fiction for young adults and adults. Her books explore family, class and relationships in a contemporary setting. Her novels All I Ever WantedFriday BrownInbetween Days and Ballad for a Mad Girl have been shortlisted for numerous awards. This Is How We Change the Ending won Book of the Year: Older Readers, Children’s Book Council Awards, 2020. After You Were Gone, a psychological thriller, was her first novel for adults and was published in 2022 to much acclaim. To the River is her second psychological thriller for adults.

Sarah Powell

Collection Development Librarian, Public Library Services South Australia

Author Bio

Sarah is a Collection Development Librarian within Public Library Services in South Australia. With a focus on digital and data analysis, she works within a small (but mighty!) Collections and Content Team who manage both physical and digital acquisitions for the statewide consortium. 8 years ago, Sarah was the library manager in a remote South Australian mining town – and before that she worked in Minerals Processing for 16 years.

Anna Burkey

Australian Publishers Association

Author Bio

Anna Burkey has a passion for storytelling, reading and learning. Hailing from Scotland, where she was on the founding team of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature, she currently live in Melbourne/Naarm.

After several years in leadership roles with State Library Victoria, establishing StartSpace and leading the Centre for Youth Literature, Anna is working with ALIA, the Australian Publishers Association and partners across the country to grow Australia Reads – a national not-for-profit collaboration aimed at increasing reading rates. Australia Reads is on a mission to get more people reading, more often – because reading has the power to transform our lives.

Jesse Fatnowna

Assistane Secretary, Creative Industries Branch, Office for the Arts

Author Bio

Jesse Fatnowna is an Australian South Sea Islander man with Wik Heritage who currently leads the Creative Industries Branch in the Commonwealth Office for the Arts. Jesse oversees four teams (one being the Literature Team including Lending Rights) and is a passionate advocate for the Arts with family members working in different parts of the sector. Jesse grew up in remote North East Arnhem Land with two teachers as parents, which instilled an early appreciation of the value of reading as an enabler for education. Prior to joining the Office for the Arts, Jesse held various senior roles in the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments focusing on stakeholder engagement, service coordination and community development.

Rohini Sharma

Director Literature, Office for the Arts

Author Bio

Rohini Sharma has worked at all three levels of government in roles supporting the creative sector at Office for the Arts, Creative Victoria and Bunjil Place, City of Casey. Her roles within the creative sector include creative producer of Express Media which publishes Voiceworks Magazine and producer and co-founder of the Emerging Writers’ Festival. Rohini has held governance roles including as a member of the Steering Committee for Melbourne’s successful UNESCO City of Literature bid. In a former life, Rohini wrote plays and produced independent theatre.