About Us

PEN Perth aims to raise the consciousness of the public and encourage a world where writers are free to express themselves, responsibly and respectfully.

Image Credit: Ed Robertson

PEN plays a crucial role in drawing attention to the plight of imprisoned writers, artists and academics around the world.


Our People

Peter Greste

Patron and Honorary Member

Sydney-born Peter Greste is an internationally recognised journalist concerned with politics, media freedom and war. He has worked for Reuters, CNN and the BBC in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. For his work on media freedom and human rights, he has won awards from the Walkley Foundation, the RSL’s ANZAC Peace Prize, and the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Medal. He is the author of The First Casualty published by Penguin. PEN International helped work for Peter’s release from an Egyptian prison where he was incarcerated in 2013 for reporting that was ‘damaging to national security’. In 2018, he commenced his position as UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communications at the University of Queensland.

Krishna Sen 

Chair and Writers in Prison Coordinator

Krishna Sen grew up in India. She completed a BA honours in History and a MA in International Relations in Kolkata, before moving to Australia to do her PhD in Political Science at Monash University. She has published extensively on contemporary Indonesia, as well as serving in various management positions and boards in the Higher Education sector. Throughout most of her adult life, Krishna has been actively involved as a donor and activist for a number of human rights and international aid organisations.

Christopher Lin  

Committee Member

Christopher Lin migrated to Australia at the age of seven from Myanmar, and is of Karen ethnic heritage. He completed his PhD in Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia, writing on the aesthetics of moving bodies in contemporary screen and print narratives. He has worked in numerous roles across the university in teaching, academic program coordination, and curriculum management. He has interviewed writers at local literary events and recently curated the ‘Spotlight on Burma’ for PEN Perth as part of the 2019 Perth Writers Festival.

Caroline Wood

Commitee Member

Caroline Wood is Co-Founder and Director of the Centre for Stories and Margaret River Press. She has held senior management positions in the private sector and universities. She served on Board of the Small Publishers Network and Amnesty International (Australia), was President of the WA Branch of Amnesty International and convened Amnesty’s first Stop Violence Against Women’s International Conference. She is also the Co-Founder of the Australian Short Story Festival. 

Dan Midalia


Dan Midalia has been a Commonwealth and State public servant for over thirty-five years, working mostly in the archives, records management and statistics sectors.  He is the author of Collections in Perth: A Guide to Commonwealth Government Records (2000). For several years, he worked as an independent researcher and assisted with the collation of data for the Bibliography of Australian Literature and the AustLit database.  He has a long-held interest in social activism.

Dennis Haskell


Emeritus Professor Dennis Haskell is a poet and literary essayist; he is the author or editor of 24 books, and a member of the Order of Australia for services to literature, education and intercultural understanding. Dennis was President of Perth PEN in its previous incarnation; his other past committee roles include Chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council and Chair of writingWA.

Rania Ghandour

Committee Member

Rania Ghandour has forged a career across journalism, education and communications. She is passionate about leadership, ethics and citizenship. Rania co-founded Black Iris Consulting where her skills and values align in projects that foster new opportunities, wellbeing, equity and inclusivity, while bringing positive change to individuals and communities. As Director of Black Iris she acts as project manager, fundraiser and adviser on wide-ranging projects for individual artists, corporations, arts organisations, local and State government and agencies. Previous roles Rania has held include media and communications manager at the Perth International Arts Festival and features writer at The West Australian newspaper. Rania is a former languages teacher with 14 years’ experience in secondary and tertiary education in Australia and France.

Frances An

Committee Member

Frances An is a PhD student in Psychology at the University Of Western Australia. She is interested in market research history and intellectual life under Communism. She has reviewed multiple academic essay collections on literary culture during Maoist China. Her short stories and personal essays have appeared in The Vietnamese Magazine, Demos, Portside Review, Los Angeles Review Of Books, The Spectator (Australia) and others. Her responsibilities at PEN include collating the monthly newsletter, social media updates and bilingual reader (Vietnamese-English). Through PEN, she is passionate about highlighting the struggles of writers and intellectuals under Communist dictatorships

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