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New interim board at The Lifted Brow apologises, promises restructure

A new interim board at TLB Society Inc., which produces literary journal The Lifted Brow and publishes books under publishing arm Brow Books, has announced it will undertake ‘a complete re-evaluation of the organisation and its potential role in our communities, and a close examination of its structure, accountability processes and founding documents’.

The statement from the interim board, published on the organisation’s website, comes several months after the previous TLB Society Inc. board announced it was pausing publishing and operations.

In the most recent statement the interim board said: ‘Earlier this year, an internal investigation of misconduct at The Lifted Brow led to the mass resignation of TLB’s staff and Board due to a loss of good faith.’ It added that many of these resignations ‘came before, and for reasons not directly related to that investigation’.

‘To prevent the organisation from immediately dissolving, a group of former staff members nominated themselves onto a new Board or became associate members of it.’ The interim board members said they created the new board ‘because we believe in the mission of TLB, and we believe that it occupies an important space for vital work’.

The new interim board comprises Bridget Caldwell-Bright (president), Dženana Vucic (vice president), Hassan Abul (treasurer), Sophia Benjamin (secretary) and Elizabeth Bryer, Emily Cecchetto, Toby Lukin, Emily Paesler, Will MacFarlane, Cameron Mason and Lachy McKenzie.

After the organisation’s re-evaluation and restructuring, the interim board will nominate a permanent board of members to be chosen collectively by ex-staff.

The interim board said its intended restructure of the organisation ‘will include a reimagining of the publisher and editor-in-chief positions as well as other crucial roles within the Brow, and the assignment of new individuals to fill these positions’. It said it did not know what this restructure meant for The Lifted Brow journal, and said announcements about it and Brow Books are to come.

As previously reported, several books previously signed to Brow Books have since been acquired elsewhere, including Evelyn Araluen’s Dropbear (UQP), Jamie Marina Lau’s Gunk Baby (Hachette) and the Liminal magazine anthology Collisions (Pantera Press).

In its statement, the interim board issued ‘a public apology to The Lifted Brow‘s contributors, supporters, staff and volunteers, readers, and community’.

‘To everyone who has been harmed, silenced, neglected or let down by the (in)actions of TLB staff, TLB Board and the organisation collectively, we are truly sorry,’ the statement said. ‘Of course, words are not enough, and we know that the only way we can truly apologise is to enact the necessary changes to ensure that this kind of harm does not and cannot happen again. We are committed to making those changes.’


Category: Local news