Current Members

Sheila Mason
Sheila was born in the heart of the English countryside. Choosing a career in engineering as a draughtswoman, she journeyed to Africa in her early 20s, eventually settling back in England with her Australian journalist husband, Peter, and their two sons. Turning her hand to painting and writing, initially as a hobby, after more than twenty years of calling Noosa home, that hobby has become a full-time occupation. Writing under the pseudonym of Rebecca S Mason, Sheila has been putting words together creatively for over thirty years. And whilst admitting that most of those words and ideas often stayed rattling around her brain, some did, eventually, make their way onto paper. Rebecca’s motto has to be, ‘you’re never too old’, and she’s proved that by writing scores of short stories, and working on her autobiography as well as her first novel, Shimla, set in England and India, which is now almost complete. Disobedient Tumbleweeds was Sheila's fifth published joint anthology with Noosa Writers. Previous anthologies containing Sheila’s short stories and poems include: Frozen in Time, When Pelicans Turn Blue, Dead Elephant in the Surf, and Dead Elephant in the Bazaar.

Maria Benson
Maria spent three years of her early childhood in Tripoli Libya before returning to her native Scotland. Four years later, in 1968, she immigrated with her family to Australia. By then, the family had grown to eight children. She attended Ballarat High School, but as another two siblings came along, she left school at fifteen to help contribute to the family. Her first job was at a newsagent in Ararat, where her love of books grew. ‘It doesn’t matter how much education one may have, there is a lot to learn from reading,’ is a favourite cliché that the self-professed non-educated woman lives by. Moving to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in the 1980’s, Maria hadn’t considered writing until a friend mentioned that her dog always had a tale to tell her every time she visited. It prompted her to begin work on her first novel, which sadly, was put on the backburner due to work and raising a family. Years later, Maria joined Noosa Writers and began writing short stories, honing her craft with the help of fellow authors. The novel is now close to completion, with another two in progress. Maria’s short stories can be found in three anthologies she put together with Noosa Writers: When Pelicans turn Blue, Frozen in Time and Disobedient Tumbleweeds.

Celia Esplin
The seed of Celia's spirited imagination was borne from a childhood of travel and adventure. Born in the UK to a military family, her journey to Australia came via boarding schools in England, a French Convent in Belgium, time on the ancient island of Cyprus and the striking west coast of Africa. Settling in Australia in 1965, her marriage furthered the creative journey taking her further afield to the Seychelles, Taiwan, Kenya and Abu Dhabi. Celia's sense of fun has drawn her to discover her niche which is children's poetry. The diversity of her background and child-like free spirit drives the words to the pages; creating images which appeal to children of all ages from two to 99! Celia and her husband, Brian, now live on the Sunshine Coast where they run their own aviation business. Besides the child within, her greatest inspiration these days comes from the eyes of her grandchildren and their combined fascination of the world around them. Since joining Noosa Writers Celia has turned her hand to adult fiction in conjunction with her poetry. She has published two anthologies with Noosa Writers, namely Frozen in Time and Disobedient Tumbleweeds.

Barb Kelly
Born in Brisbane and began working at 15 selling everything from frocks to gas stoves. Did the usual bunk to England at 20 and worked for Australia House marketing wine. Hitch-hiked around Europe and that’s where I developed my writing, penning weekly ten-page letters back to the parent-birds. Married a vet pathologist who taught me everything I know about science, and we added three to the world population Gough Whitlam gave me the chance to go to Uni where I gained an Industrial Relations degree and studied writing with Thea Astley and Bruce Dawe. Worked at QUT and UQ until retirement, developing a successful student tutoring system (PASS) .Design art enamels: by fusing glass onto copper at 1600 degrees. Specialise in Private Bin distributions (!) small volumes of poetry, travelogues and two decades of family life. Won the Queensland Women’s Poetry prize. Recently finished a novel Gertrude, to be self published. Her short story titled Chernobyl was included in the Disobedient Tumbleweeds anthology.

David Erskine
After several years working as a journalist and advertising copywriter, David completed a Bachelor of Education, majoring in drama, film and music. In his new role as Arts Educator, he taught in schools and tertiary institutions. Then one day, he acquiesced to the call of the itinerant performing artist and literally ran off with the circus. He toured with Adelaide’s Magick Circus across Australia and then to Europe, honing skills in clown, mask, puppetry and magic. On returning home, he established his own theatre troupe and spent many years performing in schools, arts festivals and corporate events throughout Australia and overseas. At the same time, David's fascination for sound led him to the world of audio production, where he developed skills in sound-design for radio and film. From 2003 -2015, he lived in Berlin, Germany, continuing his work in the arts. And it was during this time he became inspired to write a novel on the restitution of stolen art, titled The Provenance Diary. He now lives in Noosa, where he continues to write and develop new ideas in sound and theatre arts.

Shane Thompson
Growing up in the country, Shane will always be grateful for a childhood that stimulated her imagination and allowed time for voracious reading. Boarding school came as a shock but student life at the University of Queensland was a revelation. She took full advantage of writing, politics and psychology classes and began her career as a librarian. However nature continued to be her inspiration and gardening, her pleasure. Juggling a busy teaching career while raising two children did not leave much time for writing unless it was work related but always she kept diaries where her creative life lurked next to household to do lists. Now at last, she has the luxury of time to express what is within and would like to thank Noosa Writers for supporting this journey.

Christine Davidson
Christine has a background in medicine and law. She retired to Queensland in 2018 after 35 years in Canberra where her writing was confined to riveting titles like The Carotid Body of the Rat and its Role in Erythropoiesis and The Assessment of Non-economic Loss.
Retirement liberated a long dormant passion for writing and she is now working on her first novel – a foray into speculative fiction. She also writes short stories and poetry.

Roger Kelly
Roger has found writing fiction to be a liberation after years as an academic veterinarian working on scientific papers, lecture notes and text-books. But, on retiring, he was liberated anyway, so the escapist urge subsided and the manuscript languished to the point that it began to smell bad.
The Group have been very helpful and have tactfully informed Roger of some of his worst stylistic habits (please note that the sentences in this bio are shortish and that it contains neither semi-colons nor colons). Roger is now stalking the conclusion of his tale, although it is proving to be an elusive quarry.

Peter Mason
Peter is an award-winning Anglo-Australian journalist, travel writer, author and adventurer. Born in Melbourne, he was taken out of school at age 15 by his journalist parents and dragged halfway around the world to Britain, where he finally managed to complete his education. After studying Journalism, Politics and English Literature at Canterbury College (now Kent University), he followed in his parents’ footsteps, embarking on a lifelong journey through every aspect of the media which took him from humble copy boy in London to Motoring Correspondent in South Africa to editor of a daily newspaper in Rhodesia. Back in London he joined the Daily Express, progressing through the ranks of reporter, features writer, columnist, and foreign correspondent. In 1987, disillusioned by the closure of a new London daily newspaper to which he had been lured by the infamous Robert Maxwell, he embarked on a second career and founded, together with his wife Sheila, the Aerial Display Company (ADCO), which went on to become the world’s foremost hot air balloon project management operation. In 1990-91 he organised, and led, two expeditions to the Himalayas which culminated in the first flight by hot air balloon over the summit of Mount Everest. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Freeman of the city of London.

Peter Lee
Peter first ran away from home at the age of one. He was later found hiding between the curtain and the windowpane. How he escaped his cot and navigated the staircase is still a mystery; what is not, is his continued desire for exploration. At sixteen he joined the Royal Navy, five years later he left to backpack around the world. Forty-five countries later he settled down to do a degree in Creative Writing and English. To celebrate graduation, he hiked across Spain on the Camino de Santiago, half of which he did without money. Nominated Support Worker of the Year for London 2011, whilst working in a homeless, drug and alcohol shelter. He also worked in Recruitment, before moving to Bali to study and teach Therapeutic Breathwork and Meditation. He now co-owns and manages Sacred Lotus Love, an international gift company, with products that help people create presence and connection in their daily lives. Writing? That has been his passport, his alibi, and his companion on rickety bus journeys to the furthest corners of no man’s land since he was old enough to press a key on a typewriter. Peter writes about the cracks - those fissures where the light gets in. You can read his travel blog, The River of Stars online. Peter is currently writing an Epic Fantasy novel, as well as a memoir based on adventures both inside and out. He reads to escape and writes to confront.