Meet KSP's Life Members
Following its formation in 1985, the KSP Foundation awarded its first Life Membership in 1992 to Charles Staples.
Charles attended the inaugural AGM in 1985, and together with Pat Burnett was elected as the KSP Foundation’s first Vice-Chairperson. Charles was an active member of the KSP management team in various roles until 1992. After this point, he remained in touch as an advisor.
Charles is a Life Member of the KSP Foundation, and we acknowledge his long-term efforts in establishing the KSP Writers’ Centre. He passed away in 2006.
Professor Glen Phillips is an internationally known poet, fiction writer, teacher and Director of the Landscape Centre at Edith Cowan University. At the first official KSP Committee Meeting on 14 August 1985, Glen was elected Chairperson of the Foundation. He has since served as Patron, Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Committee and Literary Advisory Board member. Glen was part of the original Steering Team who convinced the Western Australian State Government to purchase Katharine’s Place for use as a community space and as Australia’s first such Writers Centre. The name 'Phillips' is also attached to one of KSP's three retreat cabins to acknowledge his substantial contributions to the Centre.
Glen is a Life Member of the KSP Foundation, and we acknowledge his long-term efforts in establishing and continuing to support the KSP Writers’ Centre.
Dr Sally Clarke has been a long-term Chairperson and Committee Member of the KSP Foundation. Sally helped to establish two writing groups, a competition and a writer-in-residence in the early years of the Writers’ Centre. She also co-produced a biographical booklet on Katharine Susannah Prichard and the Centre, Katharine’s Place (Gooseberry Hill Press, 2010), and helped to research and compile extensive guide notes for the Centre’s annual heritage tours. Sally also sponsored an annual KSP Volunteer’s Award.
Sally was a member of the KSP Poetry Group since its 2007 inception until ill health prevented her from attending at the end of 2012. Her poetry has been widely published in anthologies and literary magazines. In 2006, her biography of author Donald Stuart, In the Space Behind his Eyes, was short-listed for the WA Premier's Book Award. She was also a former Managing Editor of Creatrix Journal and a founding and Life Member of WA Poets Inc.
Sally was awarded a KSP Life Membership in 2006 and passed away in August 2013. Some of her ashes were scattered in the KSP garden that she so loved in life, in a special ceremony with her children present. A bench in the garden has been dedicated to Sally with a memorial plaque. Her name 'Clarke' is also attached to one of KSP's three retreat cabins. We acknowledge her long-term efforts in expanding and supporting the KSP Writers’ Centre.
Christopher (Chris) Prince was an official KSP ‘Green Thumb’ since the early establishment of the Writers’ Centre in the 1980s and well into the new millennium. During this time he was instrumental in the coordination and completion of many significant KSP garden projects, including the restoration of the front verandah and the establishment of the front garden and courtyard that visitors (and magpies!) still enjoy today.
Chris was awarded a KSP Foundation Life Membership in 2006. We acknowledge his long-term efforts in shaping and supporting the KSP Writers’ Centre.
Eris joined the KSP Writers’ Centre early in its establishment, and was an inaugural member of the Thursday Night Group. Her dedicated efforts as a KSP volunteer cover many years and involve setting up and maintaining official archives. She is also author of ‘The KSP Family Album’, a substantial historical record of significant people and events connected to the Centre since its formation in 1985. Eris continues to support KSP in an advisory role and as a heritage tour guide.
Eris was awarded a KSP Foundation Life Membership in 2006. We acknowledge her long-term efforts in expanding, supporting and preserving the history of the KSP Writers’ Centre.
Christopher (Chris) Oakeley became Treasurer for the KSP Foundation in 2002, a post which he filled for an impressive seven years. He also worked to develop the Writers’ Centre to have an attractive ambiance in which to write, and to make it financially sustainable for the long term. With this objective, he raised the money and arranged the rebuilding of the SW Pergola and stone pillars, the conversion of the washhouse into the office, the heritage internal painting and furnishing of the house, the construction of three income producing self-contained writer’s cottages, the upper and lower carparks and the remodelling of the heritage garden. The number of writing groups was expanded from two to 12. He developed computerised Member and Activity Management software and governance procedures, and established the Public Fund and what developed into the Literary Committee. He was part of the committee that initiated the ‘KSP Write-a-Book-in-a-Day’ competition, running it for thirteen years during which it generated over 1,600 books and $400,000 for children’s hospitals throughout Australia.
Chris is a Life Member of the KSP Foundation, and we acknowledge his long-term efforts in expanding and supporting the KSP Writers’ Centre.
Collin is a former actor, director of theatre, theatre critic and senior drama studies lecturer, who held the KSP Foundation Chairperson role for a five year period. This is the second-longest post ever held.
As well as fulfilling the Chairperson role, Collin was also an active Centre volunteer and tutor for KSP’s Young Writers Groups.
Collin is a Life Member of the KSP Foundation, and we acknowledge his long-term efforts in expanding and supporting the KSP Writers’ Centre.
Mardi is a widely published and awarded poet writer of short fiction and social history who is an active KSP Board of Management and KSP Literary Committee member. She also organises the selection process of the annual KSP Writers-in-Residence, by coordinating a Selection Panel for each category and conducting interviews with short-listed candidates.
Mardi first joined KSP in 1994 as a founding member of the Thursday Night Group, and has facilitated the Poets@KSP group since its inception in 2008. She has also facilitated the Past Tense (social history) Group since launching it in 2002, and coordinates and edits an annual KSP anthology of work for both groups. Under Mardi’s leadership, these groups enjoy a large and accomplished member base.
Mardi is the Foundation’s most recent Life Member, being awarded with the honour in 2014. We acknowledge her long-term efforts in expanding and supporting the KSP Writers’ Centre.