National Convenors

Lindy Cameron

An independent publisher and crime writer, Lindy is author of the Kit O’Malley PI trilogy Blood Guilt, Bleeding Hearts and Thicker Than Water; the archaeological mystery Golden Relic; the action thriller Redback; and the sf crime Feedback.

Lindy is two-time Readers’ Choice Davitt Award winner: for Bleeding Hearts (2002) and Thicker Than Water (2004).

She is also co-author of the True Crime collections: Killer in the Family and Murder in the Family, with her sister Fin J Ross; and Women Who Kill, with Ruth Wykes.

Lindy, who currently holds the position of President, is a founding member and convenor of Sisters in Crime and the Publisher at Clan Destine Press.

Robyn Walton

Robyn has been a member of Sisters in Crime since 1997. She has worked in university teaching, research and book editing, and has published short fictions.

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Carmel Shute

Carmel is the inimitable powerhouse behind Sisters in Crime, but we couldn’t possibly place her way down an alphabetical list (although she assures us she doesn’t mind) so we are breaking with convention and listing our fabulous convenors in order of convening years.

Carmel helped found Sisters in Crime Australia in 1991 and has been a national convenor ever since. She was inspired by the new wave of feminist crime writers, including Sara Paretsky who founded Sisters in Crime in 1986 at Bouchercon, the premier US crime writing convention. Carmel loves the combination of politics, suspense, good writing and fun that women’s crime writing and Sisters in Crime has brought to her life.

Carmel is an historian by trade, has worked as a union organiser at the ABC, and a media officer in local government and the trade union movement. She runs her own PR business Shute the Messenger. Carmel currently holds the position of Secretary.  In 2016 she was awarded a Ned Kelly Life Time Achievement Award.

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Lesley Gillis

Lesley holds a Bachelor of Business with a major in Accounting. She has worked in a few industries (i.e. banking, confectionary, legal and the trucking industry) during her working life prior to taking her undergraduate degree and joining the public service. She is now a retired public servant and has recently moved back to Melbourne from Canberra where she spent most of her public service life. In her last job she managed a budget of $1.4 billion.

Lesley has been a keen horse rider, dressage judge and competition organiser, and still attends some large international competitions. For 25 years she was treasurer of the ACT Dressage Association and the National Capital Equestrian Association.

From an early age she cut her reading teeth on the old Mistresses of Crime Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh and Marjory Allingham and some American crime fiction notably Rex Stout and Raymond Chandler. She also reads science fiction, fantasy and travel memoirs. She has no intentions of ever writing a novel, preferring to enjoy others’ stories.

Caz Brown

Caz has a BA in Professional Writing and Literature, a Diploma in Clothing Design and a Grad Dip in Graphic Design. She puts these skills to good use by designing and editing most of the Sisters in Crime printed material and also helps out with snail-mailouts at Carmel’s, when laughs and a good feed are guaranteed!

Caz’s first encounter with the Sisters was in 1992 when she was on the St Kilda Writers Festival committee. Sisters in Crime held a trivia night at the Village Belle – the most successful event of the festival. At that time, she was reading dodgy lesbian crime fiction on the tram to work, started to go to Sisters in Crime events, and became a convenor in 2011. She was delighted to discover Koko and Yum Yum, Lilian Jackson Braun’s pair of sleuthing Siamese cats – quite the opposite of her own Orientals who are all incorrigible ‘tea leaves’. Current must watch is The Bridge – the Scandinavian version, of course.

Moraig Kisler

Moraig is a freelance writer, reviewer and editor with murderous impulses. She champions Australian genre fiction, particularly crime fiction. Moraig’s monthly book reviews can be found on the Sister’s website. For her sins, she helps out at Clan Destine Press and does what she’s told (with a smile).

Moraig holds a Diploma and an Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT. To balance her dark side, and because she enjoys romantic suspense, she’s a proofreader for Romance Writers of Australia’s monthly newsletter Hearts Talk. Sometimes she writes in the vague hope of one day finishing her police procedural novel The Salt Works.

Pauline Meaney

Pauline’s introduction to the Sisters was in the notorious back room of Leo’s in the mid-90s. Oh how far away that seems now … but the memory is still clear – a room filled with chattering, opinionated, fun women, all determined to have their say. And so it continues…

Having worked with books and information in a variety of roles, Pauline is a keen and critical consumer – and is especially supportive of the Australian voice. Crime writing is of special interest – especially when combining an historical or travel element.

Pauline has worked in education, in public libraries and for various community-based groups in a variety of programs and is currently using her skills and commitment to social justice by working as an Advocate in Aged Care. She was elected a convenor in 2016.

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Tara Mitchell

Tara grew up in Adelaide, aka ‘Strange Murder Capital of the World’, which meant an interest in crime was somewhat inevitable. Initially unsure of how to translate this into a career, she qualified as an economist and administrator at university, but then decided against boring people to death for a living.

Finding the wine trade (the other great industry South Australia is famous for) far more interesting, she found a new passion for fermented grapes, which has taken her around the globe. She is currently writing her first crime fiction series and scripting a true crime podcast.

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Kelly Gardiner

Kelly’s new series is the time-slip trilogy, The Firewatcher Chronicles, which begins with Brimstone.

Her previous novel, 1917: Australia’s Great War, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Young People’s History Prize and the Asher Award. Kelly’s other books include the young adult novels Act of Faith and The Sultan’s Eyes, both of which were shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and CBCA Notable Books; the Swashbuckler pirate trilogy; and Goddess, a novel for adults based on the life of the seventeenth century French swordswoman and opera singer, Mademoiselle de Maupin.

Kelly has worked as a journalist and in the community sector and now teaches creative writing at La Trobe University.

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Karina Kilmore-Barrymore

After 30 years as a daily business journalist grilling company directors, exposing financial scams and uncovering crimes against consumers and the economy, Karina has now turned her hand to crime fiction. With her in-depth experience in the corporate and political worlds, Karina says she has no end of inspiration and examples to draw on for her new crime writing career. She has had more than three million words published in articles for papers, magazines, websites and wire services around the world and has reported on almost every major financial scandal and crisis since the 1987 sharemarket crash. Karina has also authored three non-fiction finance books and is a former book editor and ongoing book reviewer for News Corp. Her debut crime novel Where the Truth Lies is due out in March 2020 through Simon & Schuster and she is currently writing a second novel.

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Sara Hood

Sara grew up reading and has never stopped. Her favourite hobby is lying on the sofa with a good book. Not surprisingly, her home is filled with books, with a strong bent towards crime and historical fiction.

Sara is a consultant in the wider music industry, managing memberships, websites, conferences and social media for music industry associations. She is also an aspiring writer and has recently begun writing her first crime novel.

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Paula Duggan
(Qld Convenor)

Paula is a freelance writer and has been a member of Sisters in Crime since 2010. After a total laryngectomy in 2004, she changed careers from customer service and conflict resolution to writing full-time and has written articles and short stories for both the web and print media.

Paula has a passion for history, genealogy, gardening and conservation. Recently she has developed a keen interest in fly fishing.

At present she is working on a psychological thriller and has a PI series on the back burner.

Val Marsden
(WA Convenor)

Val, WA Convenor, is a retired public servant (as indeed are almost all of the Perth Sisters!), feminist, recreational cyclist, amateur photographer and, above all, lifetime reader.

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Samantha Battams
(SA Convenor)

Samantha has worked as a public health researcher and teacher, consultant, health service administrator and community development worker. She has a passion for history, travel, French language, reading and writing. Apart from studies in psychology, sociology and public health, she studied English literature at university.

Samantha recently published two books: a true crime tale about the notorious 19th century Richmond Poisoner (The Secret Art of Poisoning, 2019, self-published); and, with Les Parsons, a biography on 20th century South Australian pioneer aviator Harry Butler (The Red Devil, 2019, Wakefield Press). She is currently working on the sequel to her first novel. Samantha joined Sisters in Crime in 2019 and has now started up the Adelaide chapter.

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Catherine du Peloux Menagé
(NSW Convenor)

Catherine was born in Mauritius, hence the French name. Now that’s out of the way! She has been a crime addict from the day she found her first Agatha Christie in her mother’s bookshelves, aged 10. After working for many years in educational publishing in the UK and Australia, she now has fun doing other things including interviewing writers, organising festivals and events, teaching French and giving talks on perfume.

Catherine co-founded the St Albans Writers’ Festival in 2015 and was its Artistic Director from 2015–18. She has facilitated sessions at that festival as well as at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the Rose Scott Writers’ Festival at the Women’s Club, BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival and at libraries around Sydney. She is a member of the NIB Literary Awards Committee; Director of the Rose Scott Writers’ Festival; and on the crime front, Artistic Director of BAD. She is now very excited about helping revive the Sydney chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Past national convenors

Sisters in Crime has had many convenors – each has given generously of their time and talents, for which we thank them.

Special recognition in the form of Lifetime Membership has been awarded to the following women who were convenors for 10 years or longer:

  • Robin Bowles
  • Phyllis King
  • Cathy Martin
  • Vivienne Colmer
  • Sue Turnbull
  • Ann Byrne