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Management Committee

Sydney PEN’s Management Committee is annually elected and brings together a collective experience and expertise across communications and human rights law, publishing and editing, journalism and media, writing and teaching.

Dr Sandy Symons (Joint President)

Dr Sandra Symons was a Senior Lecturer in Journalism at the
University of Technology, Sydney, for 21 years. An award-winning writer
and editor, she worked for Sydney’s metropolitan press as well as a
foreign correspondent in San Francisco for Australian Consolidated
Press before becoming an academic.

She has an MA in International Communications from Macquarie University and a PhD from UNSW and UTS. Sandy has been a member and a committee member for Sydney PEN since 2006.

Zoë Rodriguez (Joint President)

Zoe Rodriguez

Zoë is the Director of the Australian government arts support program Artbank which acquires work by contemporary Australian visual artists and makes them available through a public leasing scheme to government, corporate and domestic clients in Australia and overseas.

She trained as a lawyer focusing on copyright and other IP laws for writers, publishers and visual artists. She has worked at the Copyright Agency, the Arts Law Centre and Viscopy in policy development and drafting submissions to government; providing legal advice to individual creators working in all art forms; and assisted in the development of licensing arrangements for the ethical trade in artists' IP.

Zoë is currently the Chair of PEN International's Women Writers Committee, and a member of PEN International's Lawyers' Circle providing specialist advice on copyright. She is on the Board of Sydney Non-Objective, a visual arts cooperative.

Claudia Taranto (Vice President)

Claudia is a Walkley award winning documentary/podcast producer with ABC Radio National, working on Earshot and The History Listen.  She has also taught journalism to First Nations broadcasters at James Cook University.

Magdaline Shenton-Kaleido (Joint Treasurer)

Magdaline is an experienced leader who has been working in non-profit organisations with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants for over ten years in settlement, community development and social justice.

Dragana Zivancevic (Joint Treasurer)

An independent scholar and higher education professional, Dragana is also a freelance translator for English, Serbian and Spanish. She studied Spanish language and literature at University of Belgrade and Complutense University in Madrid, later specializing in history of the Spanish language, medieval dialectology and literature at University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dragana has lived and worked on four continents, and now divides her time between Brisbane and Sydney. She strongly believes in freedom to read and write. For her, culture in general, and literature in particular, play the most important role in bringing people together and bridging both visible and invisible divides. Dragana first joined Perth PEN Centre in 1994 and served on the Organizing Committee for the PEN World Congress held in Fremantle in 1995. For many years she was the editor of Perth PEN Newsletter, chaired the Centre’s Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee, and served on its Writers in Prison Committee.

Dr Nina Burridge (Committee Member)

Dr Nina Burridge is an Associate Professor in the School of International Studies and Education, in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Sydney. She joined UTS as a full time academic in 2005 and has been involved in researching and writing and publishing about human rights, cultural diversity, global citizenship and women’s empowerment.

Dr Susanne Eisenhuth (Committee Member)

Susie is currently an Adjunct Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). A longtime academic at UTS lecturing in postgrad and undergrad journalism programs in research, reporting and longform journalism, she came to academia with a strong background in metropolitan print and broadcast journalism, and maintains a special interest in issues involving editorial independence and ethics. She is co-author with Dr Willa McDonald of The Writers Reader, Understanding Journalism and Non Fiction (Cambridge University Press), a founding member of the International Association for Literary Journalism Studies, and a former books editor for its journal
Literary Journalism Studies.

Mansour Razaghi (Committee Member)

Mansour came to Australia as a Kurdish political refugee from Iran.  He has hosted New Voice, a Farsi/Persian current affairs and community program, on 2000FM since 1998. He worked as a journalist for SBS Radio, ABC Radio’s Background Briefing and ABC TV’s Foreign Correspondent and was twice nominated for a Walkley Award. He is a NAATI qualified interpreter and has worked with the Department of Education. He also worked with Department of Immigration assisting the settlement of refugees.