Our ambassadors

Our ambassadors

Thomas Keneally AO

An Australian Living Treasure and one of our most successful authors, Tom Keneally is best known for his Booker Prize winning novel Schindler’s Ark, later adapted to Steven Spielberg’s Schlindler’s List which won an Academy Award for Best Picture. 

He has been shortlisted three more times for the Booker, won the Miles Franklin Award, the Prime Minister’s Literary Award, the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award and the Helmerich Award.  Tom co-authored A Country Too Far, a landmark anthology by 27 of Australia’s finest writers which confirms that the experience of seeking asylum – the journeys of escape from death, starvation, poverty or terror to an imagined paradise – is part of the Australian mindset and deeply embedded in our culture.

Tom has a passionate commitment and deep understanding of why people come to our country seeking safety and protection.

Thomas-Keneally-002Thomas Keneally. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe

Wendy Sharpe

Wendy Sharpe is one of Australia’s most awarded artists.  She has won many major national awards, scholarships and prizes including The Archibald Prize, The Sulman Prize and The Portia Geach Memorial Award (twice).

Major commissions include the olympic pool size mural for Cook and Phillip Park Aquatic Centre, Sydney; Australian Official Artist to East Timor 1999 (the 1st woman since WW2) by the Australian War Memorial, and many others.  She was a member of the Council of the War Memorial from 2005 to 2013.

Wendy has been awarded many international artist residencies including Egypt, Mexico, China, the Arctic, two in Antarctica and two in Paris.  Her most recent Australian residency was with the State Library of NSW. She has held more than 60 solo exhibitions around Australia and internationally. Her exhibition, ‘Seeking Humanity’, which comprised 39 portraits of people seeking asylum and refugees, made an enormous contribution to the perception of asylum seekers at all levels of society.

Wendy is a figurative painter.  Her work has always been about people.

WS at Refugee Week

Wendy Sharpe. Photograph: Phat Ngo