The Team

  • Publishing Director of Ultimo Press, Robert Watkins, has over 25 years experience in the Australian book industry having worked in book retail, sales, marketing, publicity, and publishing. His love for a good story well told has led to publishing some of Australia's most acclaimed contemporary authors including Shankari Chandran, Diana Reid, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Claire G. Coleman, Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Sulari Gentill, Victoria Hannan, Sarah Schmidt and Peter Polites, to name just a few. His particular passion is progressive, inclusive publishing that speaks to contemporary issues, whether that be in narrative non-fiction or literary and reading group fiction.

    ‘Books present us with an opportunity to not only be entertained and educated - but also to broaden our worldview, empathise with others and hear from those who might not have had the opportunity otherwise. I love when a book challenges me to be better, to do better - and all the while sweeps me away with a great story.’

  • Brigid Mullane is a publisher at Ultimo Press. She previously worked at Hachette where she was the Managing Editor. Before that, she was Editor of literary journal Kill Your Darlings, Communications Manager at Writers Victoria, and she has also worked in a variety of roles at Melbourne Writers Festival, National Young Writers’ Festival, Emerging  Writers’ Festival, the Sun Bookshop and the Brunswick Street Bookstore. Brigid is seeking narrative and literary non-fiction. She is interested  in activism and politics, nature and science writing, pop culture and criticism, and memoir. She encourages LGBTQIA+ and own voices submissions across all topics.

    ‘Australia is home to some of the world’s best storytellers - writers doing bold and exciting things with the written word. I want to bring these stories to the fore, opening up a conversation about who we are, and who we want to be.’

  • Alisa is the managing editor at Ultimo Press. She began her
    publishing career at a literary agency in London and has worked closely with authors writing across a variety genres and topics. Whilst in this role she established and ran an initiative for writers of colour to gain traction in the industry, and is continually seeking opportunities to promote and widen inclusivity in publishing. She also has experience in negotiating contracts and selling rights, and more recently, she worked in production at Scribe Publications.

    ‘Books are the best window into worlds we cannot know, lives we cannot live ourselves. I love stories written from unique perspectives, stories that challenge us, stories that change us, and stories that inspire.’

  • Sophie Mayfield is a senior editor at Ultimo Press. She recently worked at Hachette Australia where she edited across the children's and adult fiction and non-fiction lists, with a particular focus on children’s and literary fiction. Sophie has worked with award-winning authors Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Natasha Lester and Jessica Townsend. She also previously worked as a production editor.

    ‘When you read a great book, you carry a part of it with you – I can't wait to work with our authors to bring their stories into the hands of readers, to be carried with them as comfort or a challenge, as informative or inspiration.’

  • Andrea is an experienced marketing, community and digital content specialist, having worked in roles spanning from book publishing to consumer advocacy. She joins Ultimo Press from HarperCollins Australia, where she was the Social and Digital Manager. Andrea delights in coming up with new ways to reach and connect with readers, and has supported a range of Australian authors on their publishing journeys such as Trent Dalton, Dervla McTiernan and Holly Ringland. 

    'Ultimo Press presents a unique opportunity to think creatively and do things differently. I am thrilled to be starting at such an exciting time and to get to work with such passionate and creative individuals. I look forward to collaborating with the talented authors at Ultimo Press and nurturing the community surrounding this important voice in Australian publishing.’

  • Zoë is the Media Officer at Ultimo Press. She is a dynamic content professional with experience across the media and non-profit communications sectors. She joins Ultimo Press from the Older Persons Advocacy Network, where she worked as Marketing Coordinator - Media and Content. Prior to that she worked for SBS, where she was involved in the administration of the 2021 SBS Emerging Writers' Competition. She also has over three years of experience working in public libraries. Zoë is passionate about championing the work of new and diverse writers, and making reading accessible for all. 

    ‘Getting the right book into the hands of a reader is a special type of magic. I feel so honoured to have the opportunity to work with our authors to help share that magic with readers across Australia.’ 

  • Chief executive and co-founder of Hardie Grant, Sandy has a distinguished career in book publishing and media. He was formerly MD of Heinemann, Octopus and Reed Australia, and CEO of Reed Books UK. In addition to his key strategic role guiding Hardie Grant, Sandy has always been actively involved in the publishing industry, including as a former director of Meanjin and the Australian Republican Movement, chair of the Melbourne Writers Festival and the Copyright Agency, member of the UNESCO City of Literature Bid Committee, and president of the Australian Publishers Association.

    ‘We believe in books – in print, digital and audio – and we see an opportunity to provide a contemporary, vibrant home for Australian authors here and in global markets. We think success in the next era will look like Australian authors punching above their weight across the English-language world, not just being sold well here. That is our opportunity – over 50 per cent of our sales are now beyond the Australian market – and the growth has been exponential.’