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Management Committee

The Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild is managed by a Management Committee elected at the Annual General Meeting or appointed after. The appointments are for the year until the next Annual General Meeting, when the positions are vacated. The Committee has an Executive consisting of the President, Treasurer and Secretary. There are also general Committee positions. We work for our members so they can experience the benefits the Guild can offer.

The Management Committee's role is to set the strategic direction and be Responsible People according to the statutory responsibilities set by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) and Fair Trading of NSW.


Catherine O'Keefe

I am from a family of makers, and from a young age, I have knitted and embroidered, which progressed to dressmaking, glass art, ceramics, spinning and now venturing to weaving. I had my spinning wheel in pieces for many years as I was focused on work with a lot of travelling. In 2011, I finally assembled my first wheel and learnt to spin. I find the greatest joy in the community of spinners and creating functional and free creative yarn for varied projects from a myriad of fibre sources. My yarn is either gifted, knitted, crocheted or woven.

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Prue Hill

I was inspired to make a huge, off-loom wall hanging in the 1970's craft revival and have been improving my skills ever since.(There was lots of room to improve!) I joined the Guild in the early 80's and started at Strathfield TAFE which was like hitting the fibrey jackpot. We moved to Northern Virginia in 1988, and I happily joined guilds there and learned a lot. Since returning to Sydney in 1998, I have been active in the Guild and can't imagine life without it.


Cheryl Fletcher

My craft path started with my mother teaching me knitting, crochet, embroidery and sewing. The list didn’t expand until we moved to Kangaroo Valley in 1985 when I met the ladies from Berry Spinners & Weavers.  I was lucky enough to have tuition from excellent teachers, while I missed out on Strathfield Tafe we had one tutor from the Tafe and also Ron Brewer as well as our local tutors.  My imagination exploded with dyeing, tapestry weaving, indigo/shibori dyeing felting, tamari balls, inkle weaving and finally my latest passion real weaving.


Frances Campese

I come from a family of fibre creatives with mum, aunties, sisters and grandma, all spinners, felters, weavers and artists. I was first introduced to spinning and weaving by my inspirational mum, Prue Campese. Prue was involved in the Tamworth Art and Craft Society and instrumental in the creation of the Tamworth Craft Shed, always bringing home some new craft for us all to try out. My main craft was crochet, as I couldn’t get the hang of knitting as a kid, and after many years away, I came back to spinning in 2019. I started weaving when my sister sent me a loom. I complained of being bored during one of the lockdowns, and I’m now learning to knit so as to use up some of the yarn that is filling the stash cupboard.


Jay Farrugia

My mother gave me yarn and some knitting needles when I was about five just to keep me busy and out of her hair. By the end of the day, I had knitted my first scarf, and I knew that anything fiber related was deep in my soul.  I have been spinning for 36 years, with wool being my favorite fiber to spin. I have taught all kinds of fiber related classes, am a knitwear designer, and have been a knitting judge at shows like the Sydney Royal Easter show, both here in Australia, and in the US. I was also a costume director for a renaissance faire in the US because of my dressmaking skills. I’m living my happily ever after here in Sydney with my wonderful husband, and a yarn and fiber stash that is large enough for five lifetimes. 


Jen Roseman

Fibre and Clay. I have always been drawn to the first materials humans used to satisfy their essential and creative needs. My grandmother taught me how to knit a scarf for my teddy on our four-seater lounge (also known as ’the bus’ in childhood games). In high school, I chose to weave my major works and walk my 4’x6’ frame loom back and forth from art class to home. After exploring other art forms, I completed a Master of Visual Arts with a major in ceramics. Not long after, I found the Guild. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to study with master weavers and spinners who are so generous with their knowledge. I’m keen to hand over to, or share the role with, someone equally enthusiastic about the value of the Guild for future generations. 

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Gina Sirabella

My grandmother was nicknamed ‘la spingula’ – Neapolitan for ‘the pin’, referencing both her work, as a seamstress, and her appearance, small and sharp. Even though I never met her (first in my family to be born here in Sydney and Italy was very far away), I did acquire her skills in textiles – sewing, spinning, embroidery, macrame, knitting...having skipped a generation as my mum didn’t have the patience for it. After completing tafe courses in garment construction, a design degree at university, my worklife followed a communications and customer experience pathway – concurrently always continuing to hone my textile skills, ramping up my embroidery techniques, developing my art practice and workshop facilitation focusing on colour interactions. I am currently fascinated with the world of stumpwork, which includes needlace and am excited to see where this will take my work. 


Denise Stevens

My links to the textile crafts started at home and expanded during my University degree in Wool & Pastoral Sciences. While the biological sciences absorbed my working life, I continued my commitment to textiles through the Craft Textiles Certificate course at Strathfield TAFE and later the Diploma of Art (Tapestry) at Warrnambool TAFE. I have been a member of the Hand Weavers & Spinners Guild of NSW for over 40 years, adding continually to my knowledge and expertise.

Woven tapestry has proved to be my abiding passion.

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Melissa White

Melissa developed a passion for wool and wool handcrafts as a child, inspired by her Grandmothers, Claire and Shirley, and then her Mother, Gail.

By day, Melissa works in the Agricultural Carbon Farming space with a dedicated team that inspires Australian Farmers to report their credentials and tell their stories. She is passionate about promoting the skill and dedication of Australian Farmers in providing Food and Fibre for all.

At home, she is the Mother of two amazing young men, Hamish and Angus, and her trusty sidekick, a Westie named Bridie.

Melissa’s crafting passion is wool spinning and knitting- experimenting with colour and texture is always on the agenda. Weaving is the next challenge she would like to tackle!

She enjoys sharing her love of these skills with others and participates in the Guild’s many activities, demonstrations and social groups.

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