Our Association

Our Association

History


Life Stories Australia was founded in 2017 in response to the need to have Australian personal historians/ biographers gain representation, recognition and promotion within their own country. Originally paid members of the Oceania chapter of the American-based Association of Personal Historians (APH), it became obvious that due to the geographical and cultural differences between the two vast regions, that a new, independent association had to be formed and thus, Life Stories Australia was born and incorporated as an Association on 29 June 2017 in New South Wales, registration number INC1700896. 

Life Stories Australia is governed by a Board of Directors (without ownership) made up of at least five fully paid members, all of whom must be practising in the industry and one of whom must represent film or a non print biographical form. 

Objectives


Promotion

  • To promote Life Stories Australia as the recognised, professional industry benchmark for the recording, preserving and sharing of personal life stories and organisational histories
  • To promote awareness and appreciation of the value of preserving life stories and organisational histories
  • To promote Life Stories Australia and its members in the media and other relevant forums in Australia
  • To maintain a public register of Life Stories Australia professionals and facilitate access to potential clients in their geographical area and preferred format.

Professional Services

  • To establish and maintain a code of ethics and professional standards
  • To provide ongoing education and training based on industry best practice and research
  • To provide support, networking and collaborative opportunities amongst members
  • To provide members with links to external relevant educational and professional organisations.

Board Members


Deborah Gough – President and principal spokesperson

Deborah Gough – President and principal spokesperson

Nearly 30 years of reporting for The Age and suburban newspapers taught Deborah Gough that sometimes the best stories don’t end up in the paper. She believes those stories deserve to be told at the very least to friends and family. She now runs a bespoke publishing company offering everything from audio interviews to full-scale business histories and biographies.

Susan Pierotti – Vice President

Susan Pierotti – Vice President

Susan interviews, records and writes people’s life stories. By including personal photos and researching facts and places, she provides a life story that validates the teller and can be treasured by generations.

Heather Millar – Treasurer & Membership

Heather Millar – Treasurer & Membership

Heather’s passion for life stories began after she recorded her father’s memoirs before he died. She has worked as a volunteer biographer, recording the memoirs of palliative care patients. After a long career in publishing, she now runs Life Stories Ink, a life story, memoir and biography writing/editing service, based in Adelaide. Also an accredited editor, she has also been a board member at the Cancer Care Centre and Australians Against Racism, for whom she co-edited two volumes of Australian refugee stories.

Sally-Anne Watson-Kane – Secretary

Sally-Anne Watson-Kane – Secretary

Sally-Anne Watson Kane, owner/operator On Time Typing Books and Life Stories*, welcomes storytellers/clients of diverse backgrounds and abilities. She produces life stories or memoirs based on oral and/or written stories. She consults either face to face, or via telephone or Zoom. Sally-Anne then compiles, edits and produces a beautifully-designed and printed self-published book that is wholly owned by the storyteller or client.

* also trading as On Time Typing, Editing and Proofreading

Des Tobin – Board Member

Des Tobin – Board Member

Des Tobin of Killaghy Publishing is a ‘pioneer’ of Australian death and bereavement educational programs. The author of five biographies and an accomplished public speaker, Des writes life stories for family or commercial distribution. 

Felicity Lenehan – Member Communications

Felicity Lenehan – Member Communications

Across 25+ years’ experience as a journalist in Australia and Europe on publications such as the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Women’s Weekly, The Irish Times and The Mirror UK, Felicity Lenehan most enjoyed writing the “people” stories. It was a natural progression to write life stories and she has published over 30 to date. Felicity also runs NSW government-supported creative writing programs for young people and writing programs for Headspace.  

Angela Mules – Marketing

Angela Mules – Marketing

Angela Mules founder and owner of Treasured Tales which is a videography business that captures people’s life stories via video format for families and friends to watch and generations to keep. Angela has worked in International Education in senior marketing roles prior to establishing Treasured Tales. As a new Board member in 2023 she will support the Board’s marketing and media communications function.

Annie Payne – Honorary Life Member

Annie Payne – Honorary Life Member

Annie Payne is a retired personal historian and life story writer and a founding member of Life Stories Australia. Annie began interviewing Australians about their life stories in 1988 creating beautiful family heirloom bespoke books to pass on to future family generations. Her business History from the Heart existed to help people turn their memories into unforgettable life stories. A front runner in life story telling in Australia, Annie appeared regularly on radio and television extolling the benefits of life story telling. 

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