Irina Dunn is the Director of the Australian Writers’ Network, which has 8,000 plus subscribers throughout Australia and abroad.
Previously she was Director of the NSW Writers’ Centre for 15 years, as well as Manager of the Australian Writers’ Guild Authorship Collecting Society and Managing Editor at Booktopia.
She wrote The Writer’s Guide: a companion to writing for pleasure or publication, (Allen & Unwin), which was shortlisted for the Australian Publishers’ Association National Education Awards.
The Writer’s Guide was described by the Australian Book Review as ‘a godsend for writers’ and as ‘one of the clearest and most commonsensical compendiums around’ (Christopher Cyrill, author).
Irina has been a regular programmer, speaker, presenter and moderator at writers’ festivals at Ubud in Bali, Byron Bay, Norfolk Island, Bellingen, Darwin and the Sydney Writers’ Festival.
She chaired the Woollahra Council Local Writers’ Festival from 2007-2011, and in 2011-12 she was a programmer and moderator at the inaugural Gloucester Writers’ Festival.
In 2010, she was invited to be a judge of the inaugural Randwick Council Literary Awards.
She has an Honours Degree in English Literature and Language from the University of Sydney, and a Graduate Diploma in Russian from Macquarie University.
She has worked variously as a tutor in the English Department at Sydney University, as a journalist, book editor, film-maker, school and TAFE teacher and university lecturer at the University of New England.
The book she co-authored and co-edited with two scientists, A Natural Legacy: Ecology in Australia, won the Royal Australian Zoological Society Prize in 1979 for best text on the subject.
Irina received an international prize for her documentary about the Australian women’s peace movement, “Fighting for Peace”.
She represented NSW as an Independent Senator from 1988 to 1990.
Irina was born in Shanghai, China, and is of Russian, Irish, Portuguese and Chinese background.
She is a cultural tour guide and takes Australian travellers to Russia, the Baltic States, Mongolia and China.