We are the Uplit and Brisbane Writers Festival Team.
Lovely to meet you.

Zoe Pollock

Chief Executive Officer & Artistic Director

Zoe is an arts and cultural leader with over 10 years experience in strategic organisational development and audience engagement. As a senior manager and sector leader, Zoe has a strong track record in development and fundraising, creative production and stakeholder engagement.

For six-and-a-half years years Zoe lead the History Council of NSW, where she was responsible for connecting diverse audiences with history and heritage through a broad range of programming including the annual History Week, public lectures, seminars and innovative immersive events. More recently, as Head of Development at Sydney Living Museums, Zoe built a network of engaged supporters and lead growth of external revenue through strategic corporate partnerships, philanthropy and membership. Passionate about creating positive change through collaboration and effective relationships, Zoe is looking forward to contributing to the work of the Queensland arts and cultural sector.

Lesley-Anne Houghton

Chief Operating Officer

Lesley-Anne has extensive business, community, and writing experience. For most of the past fifteen years she has owned and managed an award-winning training and development business, working with national and international organisations. During this time she also held senior roles in not-for-profit organisations including Chair of Act for Kids, founding member and Deputy Chair of Women & Change, and Chapter Leader of Room to Read.

She has a degree in business, is currently completing her Masters in Writing and Literature, and has studied leadership at Harvard, and creative writing at New York University and QUT. In addition to reading and writing, her other passions are gardening, travel, and long rides on her Harley.

Amy Hyslop

Marketing Manager

Amy is a cultural advocate and practitioner who is passionate about connecting audiences with the rich and varied creative experiences Queensland has to offer. Prior to joining UPLIT, Amy worked in senior marketing and development roles with Musica Viva (QLD), Expressions Dance Company, Declassifed Music and The University of Queensland. She is also a member of the Declassified Music advisory board. Her areas of expertise include for-purpose marketing, audience development, fundraising, digital transformation and event management.

Contemporary dance, photography and new music are all close to Amy’s heart, but her true loves are reading and writing. She believes in the power of stories to open up worlds of possibility and bring culturally diverse communities together and is thrilled to be able to bring her love of all things literary to her role with UPLIT.

Amy was a dance and theatre critic for Australian Stage for seven years and her one-woman show Where is Joy? was produced by Metro Arts. She is working on her first manuscript. Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts (UQ) with a major in Art History and is completing further studies in photography.

Jacqueline Bawtree

Acting Development Manager

Jacqueline is a passionate advocate for the creative industries with over ten-years’ experience, working on major events across the cultural and not-for-profit sector in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Brisbane raised, Jacqueline returned in 2012 after more than 10 years interstate and overseas, eager to play a part in the sustainable growth and profiling of Queensland's burgeoning cultural sector.

Her areas of expertise include partnership engagement, fundraising, event planning and operational delivery. Prior to joining UPLIT, Jacqueline worked with Brisbane Marketing on key city events including the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival, Regional Flavours Food Festival and the city's Christmas program. An aspiring storyteller herself, Jacqueline was one of eight participants awarded a place in the 2018 Queensland Writer's Centre / Hachette Manuscript Development Program for her work in progress. She also holds a Bachelor of Photography, with a major in Photographic Art Practice, specialization in Photo Journalism from Griffith University’s, Queensland College of Art.

Ella Peile

Children & Young Adult Programs Coordinator

Ella has been working with young people for the past fourteen years, including six years as a teacher with Education Queensland. She has also worked with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre and as an Education Resource Writer for Queensland Theatre Company. Ella enjoys all art forms and has produced work as a writer, director, performer, and artist. She holds degrees in Creative Industries and Education.

Rachel Fry

Adult Programs Coordinator

Rachel is a creative who began her career in Fashion Design, moved on to wandering the globe then headed home to work in business management, event management and small business ownership. Rachel co-owned Urban Grind cafe’s around town for over ten years which were havens for community engagement and great coffee. Her love of community and the written word flowed over into starting an Independent Bookstore Cherry Blossom in Paddington where she created and facilitated many community and writer’s events.

Rachel has spent the past couple of years writing for online publications on emotional wellbeing, is slowly working on her first manuscript and developing a series of illustrated children’s books. Rachel is passionate about sharing stories, writing, travel, cultural diversity, the arts, sustainability, music and contributing in any way that adds more beauty into our community.

Stephanie Dennis-Fernandez

Administration Manager

Stephanie is a lover of the arts and creative industries, holding a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Creative Writing and Literature. Whilst a newcomer to working in the arts industry, she brings with her over 4 years’ experience and expertise from working in Administration and with industry Associations, and is ecstatic to have a chance to follow her passion in the arts at UPLIT. She is an avid reader and is the author of her own self-published novel trilogy Winter Lost.

Emily Kinny

Development Manager (Maternity Leave)

Emily has extensive experience in the arts and cultural sector having spent over 11 years working in the creative industries. Passionate about building sustainable futures for arts organisations, her focus is on fostering strong stakeholder relationships to enable innovation and growth. Her areas of expertise include business development, fundraising and stakeholder engagement. Emily was the Development Executive at Brisbane Powerhouse before joining the Brisbane Writers Festival team as Development Manager in 2014. She is also a member of the Management Committee for Backbone Youth Arts. Emily holds Bachelor degrees in both Communication Studies and Dance, and a Masters degree in Communications with a specialisation in Journalism.