Bent Street 2 Contributors

Here are the bios of our contributors whose work appears in the printed book Bent Street 2


Geoff Allshorn is a former school teacher who has recently been undertaking post-graduate research on the history of HIV/AIDS. He has been a member of many LGBT and other community/activist groups, and has received a number of awards relating to this activism. He is also a former member of various atheist/humanist groups, and believes that it is time for queer atheists to have agency in public discourse; accordingly he is currently the co-convenor of the Rainbow Atheists Facebook and MeetUp pages.

Dennis Altman AM is a professorial fellow in human security at La Trobe University and the director of the Institute for Human Security at La Trobe University. He has written over a dozen books, including Queer Wars with Jon Symons. In 2013 he was awarded the American Sociological Association Simon and Gagnon Award for career contributions to sociology of sexualities.

Roz Bellamy is a writer, researcher and educator who is passionate about social justice, creativity, storytelling, and mental health. She has written for a range of publications, including Archer Magazine, The Big Issue, Huffington Post, Junkee, Kill Your Darlings, and Meanjin, She is a PhD student and research assistant at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University.

René Bennett is a non-binary person who came out through an online post during October 2017, and has since sought some gender affirmation interventions. They reflect on the social complications to these process in their poetry and writings.

Henry Von Doussa is a researcher working at The Bouverie Centre (Victoria’s Family Institute) and Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society. Family health and wellbeing is his key area of interest. Henry has published numerous academic and fiction pieces including a novel, The Park Bench. Henry is also a talented photographer, providing works from his Iris series for this issue.

James Eades is the collaborative non-binary duo Jamie James (photographer) and Quinn Eades (poet). The work presented in Bent Street 2 is part of a book-length work in progress titled Queerdom. When they’re not making images or writing the queertrans poetics of performance and photography, James Eades is taking care of children, loving each other hard, playing backgammon, and trying to keep on top of the washing.

Madison Griffiths is a writer, artist, poet and an online editor at Voiceworks, whose work has been published in VICE, SBS, Overland, Daily Life, Meanjin, The Suburban Review, Kill Your Darlings, Pedestrian, Catalogue Magazine, Catapult, Writers Bloc and Going Down Swinging. Earlier this year she was the Victorian Women’s Trust resident writer and last year was shortlisted for the 2017 Overland Fair Australia Prize in the fiction category. She has been involved in events such as the Digital Writers’ Festival, the NGV Triennial and the Emerging Writers’ Festival. You can find more of her work at

Tina Healy is an advocate, peer support worker and an elder in the transgender community. She is a dad to her children, grandma to her grandchildren, and just ‘Tina’ to her community. Tina was co-coordinator of Gender Diversity Australia, and is currently co-coordinator of Alphabet Soup – a peer support group in Melbourne and regional Victoria. Now semi-retired, she is following her passion as a writer.

Mandy Henningham studies at the Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health, Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney. She completed her Master of Health Science (Sexual Health) at the Health Science campus at the University of Sydney. Through this degree, she found her passion to pursue LGBTI and human rights. Mandy pursued other degrees in health such as a Graduate Certificate in Public Health and also completed a Bachelor of Health and Movement (Sport) which fuelled her passion for health and fitness. This background in health as well has led Mandy to pursue research interests in LGBTIQ sexuaity work.

Jeff Herd is a singer and a songwriter from Melbourne who recently released ‘Illuminate’, a song about Marriage Equality as well as a new album, Boy Down in 2018. Jeff was born in Geelong and spent his first 18 years there and in Torquay before heading to Melbourne to go to Uni. He lives now in the south-east of Melbourne with his partner of 23 years, Philip Jones. He tries to meditate most days. His latest song is called ‘Radical Faerie Suburbia’.

Jamie James is an Australian photographer. James has been exploring the art form for over two decades, taking a deep interest in various community themes through creative documentation and scene-based engagement. Some of James’ works consider community portraiture and in particular, examinations of the cultural shifts in communities’ self-representations and performativity.

Tiffany Jones is the editor of Bent Street.

Michael Bernard Kelly PhD is an educator, activist and theologian. He is the author of Seduced by Grace: Contemporary Spirituality, Gay Experience and Christian Faith (Clouds of Magellan, 2007) and the recently released Christian Mysticism’s Queer Flame: Spirituality in the Lives of Contemporary Gay Men (Routledge, 2018). He is an Adjunct Research Associate in the Centre for Religious Studies at Monash University.

Adrienne Kisner is a popular young adult fiction writer who has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She plays both the viola and tennis with more heart than skill. She loves her current home in Boston but will always be a Pennsylvanian at heart.

Aurea Kochanowski was born the only girl among thirteen grandsons, based in Australia with Polish-Rroma heritage and a taste for spoken and written stories. They have work featured in Piltdown Review, Kaleidotrope, and Not One of Us magazines. They are queer, will definitely go into that museum over there, and have an unfathomed enthusiasm for chickens. You can find them on Twitter at @AureaGaily.

Brigitte Lewis is currently writing her memoir of her travel and spiritual journeys, including her time in ashrams and exploring body works and other methods. She is a scholarly, literary and poetic writer. She has written on a range of diverse topics including feminisms and feminist digital activisms, lesbian and other types of sex and desire, and cosmopolitanism. She also has skills in the translation of research for mainstream readerships.

Lian Low writes across spoken word, performance text and creative non-fiction. From 2009-2016, Lian undertook various editorial and board member roles with Peril magazine. Publications include Growing Up Asian in Australia, Griffith Review 49 New Asia Now II and ArtsHub. In 2015 she was a recipient of a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship and also a City of Literature Travel Fund.

James May writes fiction, theatre and freelance journalism. He work has appeared in The Big Issue, the Queer Press and the HIV/AIDS sector. His fiction has appeared in journals such as Wet Ink, Page Seventeen and Melbourne’s Banquet Press.

Craig Middleton & Nikki Sullivan are curators working in social history museums in South Australia. Nikki is also Honorary Associate Professor of Critical and Cultural Studies in the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. If you are interested in contributing, head to the KINQ manifesto go to

Peter Mitchell is the author of the poetry chapbooks, Conspiracy of Skin (Gininnderra Press, 2018) and The Scarlet Moment (Picaro Press, 2009). Living in Lismore in Bundjalung Country (NSW), he writes poetry, memoir, short fiction and literary criticism. His writing has been published in international and national print and online journals, magazines and anthologies. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Eureka Street, New England Review, Verity La, Styluslit and Bent Street, among other journals. Recently, he was awarded an Olvar Wood mentorship, writing the fifth draft of his memoir, Fragments through the Epidemic.

Andy Murdoch is a Melbourne-based writer and journalist. His short fiction has appeared in a few places, including The Big Issue and Going Down Swinging. He is currently enrolled in a PhD in creative writing at La Trobe University.

Marcus O’Donnell currently leads digital innovation and support at Deakin University. Marcus has worked as a journalist and editor (he was editor of Sydney Star Observer 1999-2006). His PhD investigated apocalyptic narratives and the war on terror.

Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University. She has gained national and international recognition as a writer, researcher, lecturer and consultant in the issues of cultural diversity, gender diversity, sexual diversity, family diversity, HIV/AIDS, and social diversity in health and education, with a specific focus on adolescence and young people.

Steve R E Pereira is a Melbourne-based writer and creative producer working on performance and art related community engagement and community development projects.

Jennifer Power is an Australian academic, social commentator and researcher of LGBTIQ concerns. Her PhD explored gay activism and HIV in Australia and she’s had a long association with same-sex and gender diverse communities through her work at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society and The Bouverie Centre, both at La Trobe University. Jennifer has published many works about same-sex parented families in Australia in both academic journals and in social media forums. She is a mum of two young children and is connected with the rainbow families community in Victoria.

Senator Janet Elizabeth Rice is a member of the Australian Greens, former Councillor and Mayor of Maribyrnong, environmentalist, facilitator and one of the founding members of the Victorian Greens. She is one of eight current openly-LGBTI members in the Parliament of Australia. Janet Rice won her Senate seat in 2014 and was re-elected in 2016.

Martin Roberts is a professional arts therapist with extensive experience of using the creative arts to work therapeutically with individuals and groups. He holds a Masters of Arts Therapy (with distinction) from Western Sydney University and is a professionally registered member of ANZATA (Australia New Zealand Art Therapy Association). He has over 20 years of experience working across the arts and in the community sector. Martin has extensive experience working with groups including the LGBTIQ community groups and children, and aims to help clients bring enjoyment into their lives through creative therapies.

Rebecca Ryall is a single mother of two (one teenaged daughter and one non binary adolescent) living off grid in the middle of the forest in northern NSW. Rebecca is a full time student at Southern Cross University Lismore, where she is completing a BA with majors in writing and cultural studies.

Senator Dean Anthony Smith is the first openly gay member of the Australian Liberal Party. He joined the Liberal Party at the age of 17. In 1998, he was a senior advisor to Prime Minister John Howard. In 2010, he served as treasurer of the Liberal Party state branch in Western Australia. He has been a Western Australian representative member of the Australian Senate since 2012.

Jean Taylor is a radical lesbian feminist writer and activist in Wurundjeri country Naarm in Melbourne, Australia. Her earlier works were under the pseudonym of Emily George; now Jean publishes in her own name and the 2008+ imprint Dyke Books Inc.—established to publish lesbian writing by lesbian writers. Jean’s books include ‘Brazen Hussies: A Herstory of Radical Activism in the Women’s Liberation Movement in Victoria 1970—1979’ (2009) and ‘Stroppy Dykes: Radical Lesbian Feminist Activism in Victoria During the 1980s’ (2012) and ‘Lesbians Ignite’ set in Victoria during the 1990s. Her work can be found at

Gordon Thompson is the publisher of and a contributing editor to Bent Street.

Alison Thorne is a veteran LGBTIQ liberationist and the Melbourne organiser for the Freedom Socialist Party. She is currently working with PUSH! Organising and Educating for a United Front against Fascism and has more than three decades of experience countering neo-Nazis, patriarchal foetus worshippers, homophobic bigots and other assorted right-wing types! Contact PUSH at

Guy James Whitworth has been labelled ‘one of the most promising and collectible artists’ by the ABC. He was Bent Street’s first cover artist for the 2017 volume and the 2018 ‘artist in residence’ at Sydney University’s Pride in Place conference. He hails from the North East of England and now lives in Sydney’s Surry Hills, working primarily as a portrait artist. He has backgrounds in various professions: illustration, poetry, costume design, performance and modelling.

Holly Zwalf is very bent, very queer, and very scared about climate change. She is a solo parent by choice and lives in the bush in Queensland with her toddler. From her desk overlooking the dam and a crepe myrtle tree she coordinates Rainbow Families Qld, writes academic articles about her research on kink and femme feminism, and writes queer chic lit novels. She also occasionally puts on some shoes and descends to the city, where she performs smutty spoken word stand-up comedy, usually involving silken tofu and silicon cocks.