Sydney PEN was established in 1925 and was revived in 1958. It now has a very active Writers in Prison Committee. The Centre also runs a Voices Programme – which sees well known writers speak on relevant issues three times per year – as well as working with the New South Wales State Library.
Sydney PEN’s mission is to be an authoritative source on matters of free expression in Australia and internationally; campaign on behalf of writers who are silenced by persecution, exile or imprisonment; and to promote the written word.
In November 2004, Sydney PEN, as part of the Australian PEN network, won the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Community Award for its work with asylum seeker writers held in Australian detention centres.