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 All the way to summer (2020). Dame Fiona is a founding trustee of the Randell Cottage Writers Trust.
Sarah Dennis (Chair) is a former career diplomat whose last posting was as New Zealand’s Ambassador to France from 2006-2010. During her career, she was posted to a number of different countries and filled a range of positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In 2013-2014 she was Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to francophone West Africa for New Zealand’s bid to join the United Nations Security Council. Now involved in the not-for-profit sector, she chaired the NZ Board of the (recently-terminated) New Zealand-France Friendship Fund and currently serves on the committee of the Alliance Française Wellington and the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship Advisory Committee. Sarah is a Grand Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite for services to New Zealand-France relations.
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.
Vincent O’Sullivan DCNZM is a leading author, poet, dramatist, librettist and Katherine Mansfield scholar. He is also 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. His most recent work is The Dark is Light Enough Ralph Hotere, A Biographical Portrait (Penguin Random House 2020).
Anita Woods was born in Belgium in 1938 and is fluent in French, Italian and Dutch. She studied additional languages – English, Spanish and German – for four years. Anita came to Wellington with her New Zealand husband in 1977 and worked at the Consulate of Ecuador, the Embassy of France and for eleven years at the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. She is now retired. Anita joined the Randell Cottage Trustees in 2011 and served in the key role of liaison with the French Embassy over a number of years.
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.
Stephen Stratford is an author and editor. As a journalist he ran the books/arts magazine Quote Unquote, and before that was at Metro and The Listener. Writers he has edited include Vincent O’Sullivan, Kevin Ireland, Ranginui Walker, Paddy Richardson, Kelly Ana Morey, Karyn Hay and Lloyd Jones. He has published more than a dozen books of his own including a novel, an illustrated history of New Zealand in the 1980s, several joke books and, most recently, New Zealand’s Gift to the World: the youth justice family group conference (Henwood Trust).
Christine Hurley 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.
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.
Jenny Ang joined the Trust in 2015. She is a Chartered Accountant by profession with finance, audit, management and governance experience. She runs her own Chartered Accounting firm. Her interest in giving back has led her to assist several charities in their treasury functions including the Randell Cottage Writers Trust. She also assists several primary and secondary schools in their finances and reporting to their boards. She loves ballroom dancing and tramping in her spare time.
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.