Guest Speakers

Rosalie Ham
Rosalie Ham (author)

Rosalie Ham is the daughter of a farming family, born and raised in Jerilderie, NSW. She has achieved a Bachelor of Education (majoring in Drama and Literature, Deakin) and a Master of Arts, Creative Writing (RMIT, 2007). Rosalie teaches Literature at Trinity College, University of Melbourne.

In 2000 she published her first novel, ‘The Dressmaker’, to critical praise. ‘The Dressmaker’ is an Australian gothic story of love, hate and haute couture, set in the 1950s. The central character Tilly Dunnage, is a Paris couturier who returns to her home town of Dungatar, years after having been expelled as a ten year old. Her intention is to visit her mother Molly and then leave. Instead, she stays, colliding with her past and exacting revenge upon the people who pilloried her. When she does depart, she leaves behind a town ruined, and another past to flee. In 2015 the novel was adapted into an award-winning film of the same name.

Rosalie’s other published works include the novels ‘Summer at Mount Hope’ and ‘There Should be More Dancing’. Her novels have sold over 150,000 copies in Australia and internationally.

More information about Rosalie and her novels is available from her official website.


Sue Maslin
Sue Maslin (film producer and director)

Sue Maslin grew up in Jerilderie, and attended boarding school alongside Rosalie Ham. She is now one of Australia’s most successful film, television and digital content producers with a track record of creating award winning feature and documentary films.

Sue produced the 2015 film adaptation of ‘The Dressmaker’, starring Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Hugo Weaving, and Liam Hemsworth. The film grossed more than $20 million at the box office and garnered the highest number of nominations at the 2015 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards,  winning five, including the coveted People’s Choice Award for Favourite Australian Film.

Sue’s feature credits include ‘Road To Nhill’ (winner of 2003 Best Feature Film at Thessaloniki International Film Festival), ‘Japanese Story’ (winner of 2003 AFI Award for Best Feature Film, IF Award for Best Feature Film, Film Critics Circle of Australia Best Feature Film);  ‘Celebrity: Dominick Dunne’; and ‘Hunt Angels’ (winner of the 2006 AFI Award for Best Feature Documentary Film).

Sue’s outstanding 35-year contribution to the Australian screen industry has been recognised in numerous ways. She was appointed Adjunct Professor of the School of Media & Communication at RMIT University and in 2012 received the inaugural Jill Robb Award for Outstanding Leadership, Achievement and Service to the Victorian Screen Industry. Reflecting her commitment to advocacy for women, Sue is currently a Patron of Women In Film and Television and the President of the Natalie Miller Fellowship, an organisation dedicated to inspiring leadership and increasing the participation of women in the screen industry.

Sue and business partner Daryl Dellora’s innovative company, Film Art Media distributes screen content across many platforms with a focus on blue chip documentaries including ‘Harry Seidler: Modernist’ and ‘The Edge of The Possible: Jorn Utzon and the Sydney Opera House’ (winner of the Golden Plaque at the Chicago International Television Competition).

More information about Sue and her company can be found on the Film Art Media website.


Professor The Honorable Dame Marie Bashir AD, CVO (former Governer of NSW)

Professor The Honorable Dame Marie Bashir AD, CVO was born and raised in Narrandera. Dame Marie is the former and second longest-serving Governor of New South Wales. She has degrees in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Sydney, was named the ‘Australian Mother of the Year’ in 1971, was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) ‘in recognition of service to medicine, particularly in the field of adolescent mental health’ in 1988, served on the New South Wales Women’s Advisory Council from 1990 to 1992, was the Clinical Director of Mental Health Services for the Central Sydney Area Health Service from 1993 to 2001, and served as the Chancellor of the University of Sydney from 2007 to 2012.

Dame Marie has been instrumental in developing collaborative teaching programs within Australia and internationally, and in partnership with the Aboriginal Medical Service, Redfern, helped establish the Aboriginal Mental Health Unit, which provides regular clinics and counselling at both the Aboriginal Medical Service in Sydney and mainstream centres. Throughout her career she has been a champion of indigenous, youth, and juvenile mental health care.

Dame Marie retired on 1 October 2014.   In 2015 Narrandera Park was renamed Marie Bashir Park in her honour.



Meet the rest of our Guest Speakers