Founded in 2015 by John and Caroline Wood, the Centre for Stories is a vibrant, inclusive literary arts and cultural organisation.
The Centre uses storytelling to grow skills and confidence, inspire understanding and promote community cohesion.
Our work is about more than words. We are led by and empower storytellers and writers whose experiences and perspectives may have been historically disempowered and disenfranchised.
With a focus on cultural diversity, we create opportunities for storytellers and writers who are underrepresented in Western Australia’s creative sector. In sharing their stories with arts and community audiences, we drive social change.
What we do
Our services are aimed at helping individuals and organisations tell stories that engage, inform, and influence. The Centre provides a variety of services and amenities to people, community groups, government agencies, and the corporate sector. These include:
- Storytelling training and services
- Writing Programs for emerging, mid-career and established writers
- Producing writing and storytelling workshops, panel conversations and other events
- Print, online, audio, and video-storytelling production services
- Professional development training for teachers, writers, and oral storytellers
- Mentoring for emerging practitioners
We have worked with the Department of Health, Youth Link, North Metropolitan Adult Migrant Education Program, City of Wanneroo, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Curtin University, and others.
Help us do more
We’re on a mission to create a diverse, inclusive, and cohesive society through the art of storytelling. Join us in supporting emerging artists and sharing powerful stories from across our community.
Chief Executive Officer
Caroline Wood is responsible for advancing the vision and direction of Centre for Stories. She has held senior management positions at the University of Western Australia and served on several boards, including Amnesty International Australia and Small Publishers Network. She was the co-founder and director of Margaret River Press.
Program Director – Writing and Publications
Robert Wood is responsible for developing partnerships with artists and social change organisations; planning writing, publishing and mentoring programs and implementing best-practice models that improve wellbeing. His concepts include Backstories and Portside Review.
Program Director – Oral Storytelling
Sisonke Msimang is a renowned storyteller who has worked with The Moth, TED, Yale University, Bellagio Centre and Aspen Institute. Sisonke facilitates story training workshops, develops training resources, and establishes the direction of story performances.
Program Co-ordinator – Writing and Publications
Logan Griffiths coordinates the signature writing program, Writing Change, Writing Inclusion. She also coordinates the quarterly digital journal Portside Review and oversees production of the Centre for Stories’ print publications.
Program Co-ordinator & Producer – Oral Stories
Luisa Mitchell coordinates the oral storytelling program, including story training, storytelling events, and producing podcasts, oral history and interview collections.
Program Co-ordinator – Youth and Schools
Claudia Mancini coordinates storytelling programs for young people, including oral storytelling and creative writing workshops delivered in schools and through partner organisations.
Co-ordinator – Events and Festivals
Jay Anderson manages Backstories, our annual backyard storytelling festival, oversees events planning and activities at the Story Lounge and manages storytelling projects with partner organisations.
Zhanna Needham has over fifteen years’ experience as an accountant and finance officer for large corporations, small business, and not-for-profit organisations. She is responsible for preparing budgets, financial reports, and processing payments.
Paola Borquez-Arce is a PhD candidate in Biological Anthropology and has experience in the community development sector as an advocate for cultural diversity and equity. Paola is collating and coordinating data for our WA Stories project.
Social Media and Administrative Officer
Henry Farnan is the primary coordinator of Centre for Stories’ social media and is also responsible for administrative data collection and correspondence.
The story of 100 Aberdeen St
Jane den Hollander
Professor Jane den Hollander AO was Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University from 2010 until 2019, and Interim Vice-Chancellor of the University of Western Australia in 2020. In 2019 she received an Order of Australia for distinguished service to tertiary education and was named in the Victorian Honour Roll for Women. Jane has done significant work to ensure equal opportunity for learners and working women as well as working to better enable the arts in regional communities.
Neil Fernandes has held a number of senior positions in the vocational education and training sector over 30 years. He was the Managing Director of the former Central Institute of Technology between 2005 and 2016, and served as the Deputy Director-General (Training) in the Department of Education and Training.
Raj Thethy is the Chief Financial Officer at Youth Focus. Raj has had over 23 years experience in the not-for-profit, public, and private education sectors. His responsibilities have covered financial accounting, strategic planning, market and competitor analysis, and business improvement and development.
Leo Gallop is Senior Legal Counsel at Woodside Energy, providing legal advice and assistance across the full array of Woodside’s oil and gas exploration and production activities in Western Australia and overseas. Leo was educated at Rossmoyne Senior High School and the University of Western Australia and was a board member of the inaugural Rossmoyne Senior High School Board.
Rachel Bin Salleh
Rachel Bin Salleh is the Publisher of Magabala Books. She won the inaugural Literary Lions Medal from Writing WA in 2020. Based in Rubibi/Broome, Rachel is descended from the Nimunburr and Yawuru peoples of the Kimberley region, and has worked in publishing for over 20 years.
Julie Beeck has enjoyed a fulfilling career delivering market research and marketing strategy over the last 30 years. Most recently Julie was Executive Director at Metrix Consulting for ten years, and prior to this was Australian Managing Director of global consulting firm Synovate (now Ipsos).
Randal Humich is a property investor and developer who runs a family office based in Fremantle. His work has led him to be a supporter of the arts and he believes that arts and culture are the key to reviving the City. Randal also provides advice and support to other non-profit organisations.
Our partnerships are collaborations that fund us, work with us, share expertise, and support us in delivering our objectives. Thank you to each of our partners for their ongoing support and contribution.
If you’re interested in partnering with the Centre for Stories, please Get in touch.