Meet our new Program Manager: Madeleine Rebbechi
Stella is delighted to welcome Madeleine Rebbechi to the team in the role of Program Manager. Find out more about her love of reading, her interests outside work, and why she’s excited to join the Stella team in our Q&A with her.
What role have books and reading played in your life?
Books have become central to my career in the last few years, but reading has been a huge, constant love throughout my life. I grew up in the country and for a large chunk of my childhood we didn’t have TV, so reading and music were incredibly important to us. Then when I was in high school I worked in a small bookshop/cafe. It was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had – talking about and recommending books is still one of my favourite things, and recently I’ve channelled that passion into my work as a book publicist.
People think of reading as something that takes place in isolation, but it can be so bonding and fortifying to share that experience, and your discoveries, with others. I feel really lucky that I’m surrounded in my career by people who feel as excited about books and reading as I do.
What excites you about working at Stella?
I’ve long admired the work Stella is doing in championing the work of women and non-binary authors. The Australian literary industry has historically been pretty conservative – I think this is changing, thankfully – but Stella provides amazing opportunities for talented writers whose work might otherwise be overlooked, and I’m excited to be part of an organisation that I think is making some genuine progress for Australian writers.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
A lot of reading, writing, cooking for friends, and scoping out the city of greater Melbourne for the best baked goods. I’m a big fan of live music and theatre, so this year I’ve been trying to make up for time lost in lockdown by seeing as many shows as time, energy and budget allow. I’m also (very slowly) undertaking a Masters degree, so that tends to take over my evenings during the academic year.
What are you reading at the moment?
I just finished Eliza Henry-Jones’ Salt and Skin and thought it was wonderful—so moody and atmospheric, with a lot of important questions simmering under the surface. I also just read George Saunders’ latest collection, Liberation Day, which is characteristically brilliant. I have been listening to the audiobook of Middlemarch for what feels like half my life, and though I’m enjoying it, I’d like to get through the remaining seventeen hours before the end of the year!
My summer reading list is a mile long, but a few at the top: Hydra by Adriane Howell, People Who Lunch by Sally Olds, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enriquez, The Trees by Percival Everett and Salt Slow by Julia Armfield – Armfield’s Our Wives Under the Sea is one of the best things I’ve read all year, so I’m excited to read her stories.