CAROLINE WOOD: Co-Founder & Managing director
Caroline grew up in a household where music, storytelling, reading and a strong sense of community were highly valued and encouraged. She disappointed her parents by leaving school at sixteen and becoming a secretary, but she made up for this later by completing a double degree at Oxford Brooks University and a Diploma in Education at Edith Cowan University.
She taught English as a Second Language at primary, secondary and tertiary levels for close to a decade. She left teaching in 1990 to take up an appointment as Communications Officer at the Centre for Water Research based at The University of Western Australia and went on to become Deputy Director of the Centre, a position she held until 2010.
In 2010, she set up Margaret River Press, an independent press committed to nurturing authors and producing high-quality publications.
Caroline’s passion for stories was fostered in her childhood by her parents and extended family who enjoyed recalling stories from India – their country of birth, growing up in multicultural Singapore, interactions with her students of diverse culture backgrounds and work with Amnesty International both as an activist and a Director.
The establishment of the Centre for Stories is, therefore, a fruition of a lifelong passion and commitment to the art of storytelling and the power of the story to influence and evoke social change.
JOHN WOOD: Co-Founder
John has had a diverse career path spanning academia and both public and private sectors. After graduating with a degree in Economics, John completed a Doctorate at Oxford, taught at universities, worked for governments of both major political parties, crafted speeches for a Prime Minister, held Professorial appointments at Notre Dame and Edith Cowan Universities. He is currently Chief Executive Officer of University Programmes for Navitas.
John grew up in a small country town in the Western Australia, Brookton, his dad was the baker and his mother ran the bakery. His parents fostered reading and learning from an early age. Engaging tales told by his parents of Scottish, English, Irish and German heritage were great sources of entertainment in his childhood. From his Scottish father it was endless and engaging tales of salmon fishing and adventures on the ruggedBerwickshire coastline interspersed with quotes from Robbie Burns. From his mother it was tales of the characters of her childhood in Greenbushes, the Goldfields and the “Eastern States”
Over the years he has written 2 books, edited/co-edited 145 volumes of great thinkers and this work has reinforced John’s belief in the power of words to change society.
Sisonke Msimang: Program Director
Sisonke Msimang is writer and activist who works on issues of money, power and sex. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, Newsweek and a range of other international publications. Sisonke has told stories at The Moth and TEDxSoweto and has used storytelling as a tool for social justice for many years.
She has worked for the United Nations – both at global and regional levels – working on issues of gender and HIV/AIDS. From 2008 – 2012 she served as the Executive Director of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa. In 2012 Sisonke was a Yale World Fellow. In 2014 she was named as an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow and in 2015 she was awarded a Ruth First Fellowship at the University of the Witswatersrand.
She serves on the boards of directors of the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) and Africa Check, in addition to serving on the board of trustees of the Graca Machel Trust.