Friends of the Centre for Stories

Friends of the Centre for Stories Inc. (the Friends) is an incorporated association. 

The objective of the Friends is to support and work with the Centre for Stories (the Centre) to create a vibrant, inclusive arts and cultural organisation that uses storytelling to inspire cohesion and understanding through rich and diverse programs.

For that purpose, the Friends fundraises for the Centre and undertakes ‘not for profit’ activities and projects with the Centre that have a special focus on supporting people from diverse backgrounds, community organisations and the not for profit sector with story training and collection with a view to developing empathy across the community to remind one another of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people and to teach the value of listening. The Centre offers a safe, inclusive space where the craft of storytelling is taught, learned and shared



The Friends is governed by an eight-member Committee, who meet bi-monthly and bring a wide array of experience and interests to governing the affairs of the Friends. 

The specific responsibilities of the Committee include:

  • Driving the strategic direction of the Friends;
  • Ensuring that the resources, funds and personnel necessary to implement the Friends’ strategic objectives in support of the Centre are available;
  • Implementing, maintaining and (as necessary) refining a system of good governance that is appropriate for the Friends;
  • Reviewing reports and monitoring the performance of the Friends;
  • Endorsing work programs, budgets and funding plans; and
  • Periodically reviewing the Committee’s structure and composition, so that these remain appropriate for the Friends.


Relationship with Centre for Stories

The Centre for Stories is a social enterprise established to inform and inspire social change through business-minded approaches. Given that the Centre does not have ‘not for profit’ status, the Friends of the Centre for Stories Inc. has been established under the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 (WA) to support and work with the Centre where the social objectives of the Centre can only be achieved through the undertaking of ‘not for profit’ activities and projects.

Although the Friends and the Centre are separate organisations, the Friends may utilise the personnel (including management) and facilities of the Centre in undertaking ‘not for profit’ activities and projects in furtherance of its objectives. The management of the Centre has a minimum representation on the Committee of the Friends as set out in the governing rules of the Friends to ensure clear communication between the two organisations.


Members of the Friends of the Centre for Stories


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Robyn Ellison


Robyn Ellison is the Communications Manager for Rio Tinto’s global diamonds business. An economist by training, Robyn has held a number of commercial and strategic planning roles in the public and private sectors prior to taking up her current role in 2007.  Robyn has a Commerce degree and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia. 

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Raj Tethy


Raj Thethy is General Manager Finance and Corporate Services at Youth Focus. Raj has had over 18 years of experience in the public & private education sector; his responsibilities have covered financial accounting, strategic planning, market and competitor analysis and business improvement & development.  In his current role, Raj manages all administrative functions including finance, IT&T, facilities management, risk management, and HR.



Neil Fernandes

Committee Member

Neil Fernandes has held a number of senior positions in the vocational education and training (VET) system in Western Australia over the last 35 years. He currently runs his own consultancy, and is a board member of the Schools Curriculum and Standards Authority, the Training Accreditation Council of WA, PICA, and the Engineering Institute of Technology. He holds a BA (Philosophy) from the University of Western Australia.


Coralie Bishop

Deputy Chair

Coralie Bishop is the Development Manager at West Australian Opera. She is a Fellow of Leadership WA and holds a Master of Arts in Arts & Entertainment Management from Deakin University and a Bachelor of Commerce from Melbourne University. Coralie is currently a member of the Leadership WA Finance, Risk and Audit Subcommittee and was previously a board member of the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Deputy Chair of Perth Theatre Company and a committee member of STRUT Dance.

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Leo Gallop


Leo Gallop is a Senior Legal Counsel at Woodside Energy, providing legal advice and assistance across the full array of Woodside’s oil and gas exploration and production activities in Western Australia and overseas. Leo was educated at Rossmoyne Senior High School and the University of Western Australia and was a Board member of the inaugural Rossmoyne Senior High School Board.  

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Pavitra Aran

Committee Member

Pavitra Aran is the 2017 West Australian Young Achiever of the Year. Pavitra was headspace’s first CaLD Youth Worker nationwide and the founder of Young Refugees of WA. Prior to this, Pavitra was the program manager for a youth suicide prevention organisation working with primary and secondary schools across WA. Currently, Pavitra is a Provisional Psychologist based at Murdoch Psychology Clinic.