Her Excellency, Mme Sylvaine Carta-Le Vert graduated from the Institute of Political Science and has a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Aix-en-Provence. Mme Carta-Le Vert is an Officier de la Légion d’honneur and an Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite. During her diplomatic career, she has served in Geneva, Beirut, Brussels, London and Zurich. Prior to her arrival in Wellington, Mme Carta-Le Vert was Consul General of France in London. See https://nz.ambafrance.org/Ambassador-Sylvaine-Carta-Le-Vert
Dame Fiona Kidman DNZM OBE is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated writers and winner of numerous awards and fellowships for literature including a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour. As a Katherine Mansfield fellow, she lived in Menton, France, in 2006 and travelled the country with a contingent of New Zealand writers promoting New Zealand literature.
Dame Fiona is renowned as one of New Zealand’s foremost storytellers, having written over 30 books, including novels, short stories and poetry, and numerous television, film and radio dramas. She was created a Dame (DNZM) in 1998 in recognition of her contribution to literature. Her most recent publication is a memoir So Far, For Now (2022). Dame Fiona is a founding trustee of the Randell Cottage Writers Trust.
Christine Hurley (Chair) has a background in public service policy and NGO management. She is a life member of the Institute of Public Administration and an active member of the Rotary Club of Wellington. Christine has served as Chief Executive of Interpreting New Zealand, during which time she chaired the Wellington Branch of the NZ Society of Translators and Interpreters. She has an MA (Hons) in English literature from Canterbury University. She has lived and travelled extensively in Francophone countries in Europe and the Pacific. Christine combines these interests with a commitment to the preservation of New Zealand heritage sites.
Gordon Stewart trained as a lawyer and is now a professional company director and professional trustee. As well as his involvement as a trustee of the Randell Cottage Writers Trust, he is involved with Rotary, is chair of the Sisters of Compassion Group, and is co-chair of the Sacred Heart Cathedral Restoration Committee. Gordon has lived in the Cook Islands, and in Menton, France, and maintains close contact with that country.
Jean Anderson is Associate Professor of French at Te Herenga Waka / Victoria University of Wellington, where she founded the Te Tumu Whakawhiti Tuhinga o Aotearoa / the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation, in 2007. She has co-translated into French novels and short stories by leading New Zealand writers, including Patricia Grace and Janet Frame, and translated into English a number of works by Randell Cottage French writers.
Sir Vincent O’Sullivan KNZM is a leading author, poet, dramatist, librettist and Katherine Mansfield scholar. He is an Emeritus Professor of English at Te Herenga Waka / Victoria University of Wellington. Vincent has won many awards for his fiction and his poetry. Vincent was joint editor of the five-volume Letters of Katherine Mansfield and has edited a number of major anthologies. He was the Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Fellow in Menton, France, in 1994. In 1997, he was appointed Director of Victoria University of Wellington’s Stout Research Centre. In 2020 he published The Dark is Light Enough: Ralph Hotere, A Biographical Portrait for which he was awarded the Ockham NZ Book Award for General Non Fiction. His most recent work is Mary’s Boy, Jean-Jacques and other stories (2022). In 2009, he declined a redesignation from Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit to Knight Companion, but accepted the honour in December 2021.
Sian Robyns is a Wellington-based translator and writer with a background in journalism and political and strategic communications. She is currently a PhD candidate in Literary Translation Studies at Te Herenga Waka / Victoria University of Wellington. Her short stories have been published in the e-journal Headland. A Tale of Love. Sian’s translation of Conte de l’amour bifrons by Linda Lê was published by Mākaro Press in 2017.
Koenraad Kuiper emigrated to New Zealand from the Netherlands in 1951. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Canterbury and formerly Adjunct Professor in Linguistics at the University of Sydney. He holds an MA (Hons) from Te Herenga Waka / Victoria University of Wellington and a PhD from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. He is author or editor of a number of books including An Introduction to English language, Smooth Talkers, and Theories of Syntax: concepts and case studies. He has also published four books of poetry, the last of which was entitled Bounty. A book of his and Sarah Hart’s translations of the Dutch poet Frank Koenegracht was published in New York in 2019.
He has held two Fulbright Fellowships in the United States and been a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences. He was awarded a DSc for his research on the phrasal lexicon in 2001, and the University of Canterbury Teaching Medal in 2004.
Francis Cooke is a Wellington-based writer and lawyer. He has published work in Landfall, Hue & Cry, JAAM, and Sport, amongst others, and is the co-editor, with Louise Wallace, of the online journal Starling, publishing new writing by New Zealand authors under 25.
Harold Hyde (bio and photo to come)
President, Friends of Randell Cottage Association
Leslie Brown is a Teaching Fellow in Taxation at Te Herenga Waka / Victoria University of Wellington. He holds an LLB (Hons) from VUW. Before he retired from full-time work at the university, Leslie’s research specialised in aviation and he was the lead author for the Brooker’s (now Thomson Reuters) loose-leaf text Aviation Law. Leslie has long had an interest in Wellington’s early dwellings grappling as he does with living in an 1897 villa.