Abstract Planet

The Australian Science Fiction Foundation is run by a dedicated committee of individuals, all of whom are passionate about Science Fiction.

The Committee meets on the second Tuesday of each month via Zoom. Currently, the ASFF is re-branding and is welcoming new members to the committee.

We invite others to join our committee and become involved in relaunching the ASFF during 2022, making a contribution in whatever ways you feel that you are best able to make a difference.

Please email if you are interested in joining the ASFF Committee.

Juliette Cavendish 2021 -

Juliette Cavendish

Juliette Cavendish was born in Liverpool UK and is of Welsh and Norwegian heritage. Juliette has an interest in Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Science and writes in both Science Fiction and Contemporary Fiction genres. 

Juliette was fascinated with space as a young child and dreamed of being the first astronaut to visit Jupiter, until she learned she would sink and be squashed by gravitational forces if she pursued her dream. Her passion for all things space is now being vicariously undertaken through the creative narratives in her novels. She weaves the familiar into unpredictable future scenarios whilst experimenting within the fields of genetics, quantum science and cosmology. 

She has published four novels to date - 


'Project IQ,'  


'The Psychopath Who Nearly Lost His Arm' 

and 'Consequences.'  


She is currently working on her third sci-fi novel, 'The Third Thought' which is due out in late 2022.


She has also published the first book in her children's series 'Jemima and Lulu.'

She has been a keen life-learner and has undertaken a variety of degrees and courses in order to learn and digest as much about life as she can. These include a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney University. A Masters in Education specialising in Research Methodologies with distinction from CSU, and a PhD in Metaphysics from IHMS in which she graduated with High Distinction.


She also holds Professional Certificates in Astrophysics, Indigenous Reconciliation, Holistic Counselling, NLP, Meditation and Health. She is now completing a Certificate with Harvardx, studying Einstein and Relativity. 


Juliette has been engaged in a number of roles during her career. Originally starting out as a classical musician, Juliette held a number of positions as an orchestral clarinettist, composer and bassoon teacher and has been awarded two international music scholarships representing Australia. Juliette was selected for five National Music Camps. She had a newspaper column in theatre/music reviewing for a number of years, and has written for regional newspapers (music and political journalism). She was a regular guest on ABC morning breakfast radio, has been engaged writing federal political campaign speeches, and has taught Senior English and Music.  She has been Chair of several Health and Business Committees. She is the CEO of Cavendish Designs.

Juliette currently acts as a writing mentor for new authors, speaks regularly in the areas of Cyber-Bullying, global children's literacy and Climate Change and is a registered teacher in Victoria and Queensland. She has a keen interest in youth mental health.

She is also an international award winning photographer, having won awards in Paris, Moscow, Budapest, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney and New York. Her photography and graphic designs can be found at

'Don't forget to look up.'

Vice- President
Geoff Allshorn 2021 -

Geoff Allshorn is a life-long science fiction fan and participant, and a writer/editor/publisher of fan fiction and fanzines before he even knew what those terms meant.


Founder of the Melbourne Amateur Science Club in 1973; the Star Trek club, Austrek, in 1976; and the queer SF club, Spaced Out, in 1999; he was co-recipient of a Ditmar Award in 2002 for his work with that last group.


He started writing fan fiction as a child and this later progressed to newsletters and fanzines, including being founding editor/writer for Club News, The Space Age, Captain's Log, Spock, Interceptor, These Are The Voyages, Diverse Universe, and Solar Spectrum. He has been a member of various local and national SF clubs over the decades, and one of his favourite SF moments would have to include being an extra in a crowd scene on the ABC TV series, Outland, which was a fictional representation of a queer SF club that was not dissimilar to his own club, Spaced Out.


Geoff has also served as a committee member, volunteer or panellist/speaker at various conventions. He sees the successful conclusion of one of his other projects – the production of an Australia Post stamp in 2011 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Amnesty International – as a natural outcome of his human rights activism that has been inspired by his interest in humanist and utopian SF. He also enjoys hard science SF and this has led to space-related articles being published in a variety of media, including the Skeptic magazine and the Herald Sun. His interest in the real-life space program led to his involvement with the Space Association of Australia, where one highlight was interviewing a real-life astronaut who revealed that his choice of career was inspired, in part, by Star Trek.


Geoff has been an activist and author, writing LGBT+ academic and other articles on topics ranging from slash fiction to rainbow atheism, and he had a book published last year ('Always Remember') to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, in line with his PhD research (deferred with good intent) on the social history of HIV/AIDS in Melbourne during the crisis years. He also writes a blog on space, science fiction, human rights and many other topics at Humanist Blog . and is keen to see the diversification of the SF community to be more inclusive of Afrofuturisms, feminist writings, queer imaginaries, indigenous futurisms & native slipstream, youth perspectives, and other forms of cultural and linguistic diversity. He was a school teacher for many years, which included running a science fiction lunchtime club for students and publishing a school SF fanzine. Geoff joined the ASFF in recent times as a reflection of his desire to contribute to the promotion of SF in the wider community, in line with the words of the NASA teacher-astronaut Christa McAuliffe:


'I touch the future. I teach.'

Geoff Allshorn


Cath Ortlieb 1976 -


I discovered fandom by accident in 1975 when saw the art exhibition at the Melbourne Town Hall as part of AussieCon, and I joined the con as a supporting member. I ended up being invited to a Wednesday night gathering and it was there that I first communicated with Marc Ortlieb, whom I eventually married in 1984. I was also ‘introduced’ to many brilliant writers, and was directed to Space Age Books, where the Melbourne Science Fiction Club also met.

I was asked to be on a panel about teaching SF at my first convention, Bofcon, in August 1976. I didn’t know what to expect, nor did I feel particularly qualified as it was also my first year of teaching. The following year, when I offered SF in Year 9, I had to run it for all three terms as about 90% of the students wanted to do it. I also impressed a senior class when I read an extract from Eric Frank Russell’s Diabologic. My greatest success was reading The Odor (sic) Of Thought by Robert Sheckley to a Year 7 class. I had some copies made so they could follow it, but they became engrossed watching me as I read it aloud. When the bell went soon after, we were all shocked to be brought away from the planet to the classroom. The teacher who had them next asked me what I had done to them, as they appeared to be in another ‘world’.

I continued ‘spreading the word’ when I moved back to Melbourne, giving a guest lecture to all my Year 12 students on their theme of ‘The World of Tomorrow’ before going on leave to attend the World Science Fiction Convention in Baltimore in 1983, where I was part of the team to promote Melbourne’s Aussiecon Two bid in 1985. Stuart McArthur, a colleague at Croydon High School, had created McArthur’s Universal Corrective Map of the World, which had Australia at the top of the world, and he was trying to sell it overseas, so he asked if I’d take a few copies to the WorldCon. It was displayed on the board behind our bidding table. When Carey Handfield and Peter Darling were interviewed by a local TV station, they convinced the interviewers that we’d come over to fight ‘northern hemisphereism (sic)’ by showing the world the way it really was – with Australia on top. We were fighting to keep a straight face during the interview, and were surprised that it made that night’s news. Our bid was successful and I was part of the Programming Sub-Committee. Later, I was very honoured to be fan GOH at Convergence 2 in 2007.

Marc and I have been members of the ASFF from the beginning, holding committee positions at various times. More recently, I have been a member of the committee as I believe strongly in its role as a link between those outside our community and those within, the support it offers through Awards, offering seed loans and prize money for writing / artistic competitions, and providing backing for Fan Funds.

I was the only person in my workplace who knew the answer to The Age quiz question asking who said, ‘Klaatu barada nikto’.

Other committee profiles are currently being added.

The ASFF thanks all of our global team who have helped with our relaunch.

Despite Covid lockdowns... you have all been amazing!