Curator of Books, Literary Event Specialist, Marketing and Management Expert and avid reader.
Mary spent the first four decades of her working life in the book trade in Melbourne, Australia.
Dedicated and passionate about books and literacy, she ran, in succession, the three largest bookselling outlets in Melbourne, a UNESCO City of Literature.
During that time, she initiated annual literary festivals, hosted hundreds of events, welcomed local and international authors launching their new books, and nurtured twenty-two booksellers who had an average tenure of twenty-five years.
The cultural heartbeat of our great city was aided by her endeavours. She was instrumental in bringing a major exhibition to the State Library of Victoria, donated to the restoration of the famous Reading Room in that library, and gifted a James Joyce Seat of Learning to the library forecourt.
Mary commissioned the installation of Hands in Print at The Melbourne Athenaeum Library, the rendering in sculpture of the writing hands of twelve prominent authors including international and local award winners.
With a personal library of thousands of books with emphasis on the crime fiction genre, and the history and culture of Ireland, she addresses audiences on books, genres, trends and undertakes book reviews for radio and social media.
She immersed herself in the world of bookselling, doing two terms as president of the Australian Booksellers Association; was shortlisted for the Telstra Business Woman of the Year award in 1996 and for the Melbourne Business Awards in 2010; and her bookstore, Reader’s Feast, was runner-up in the Victorian Small Business Retailer of the Year award in 2013.
Over the decades she developed several strands of expertise - marketing, business development, event management, public relations and leadership skills, all of which are transferable to other fields of endeavour. Mary currently works with libraries and undertakes freelance projects in proofreading and events consultancy and management. She is also a book reviewer on radio. Go to the "Engagement" tab to learn more.