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Abdi’s world fell apart when he was only fifteen and Somalia’s vicious civil war hit Mogadishu. Unable to find his family and effectively an orphan, he fled with some sixty others, and joined another 300 heading to Kenya. On the way, death squads hunted them and they daily faced violence, danger and starvation. After almost three months, they arrived in at refugee camps in Kenya – of the group he’d set out with, only five had survived.» Read more about Abdi Aden
Tansel is a 3-Time Australian Memory Champion and author of the titles ‘The Yellow Elephant’, ‘How To Learn Almost Anything In 48 Hours’, and the e-book app, ‘The 4 Most Powerful Techniques’. He has amazingly memorised two Yellow Pages phone books in only 24 days.
As one of the world’s foremost memory educators and mental athletes, Tansel is often seen on television demonstrating his memory skills as well as speaking at schools and conferences, nationally as well as internationally. In 2012 he was the memory coach for Leo Burnett former CEO Todd Sampson in the award-winning TV documentary, Redesign My Brain and has received praise from the founder of Atari, Nolan Bushnell and Google. A passionate motivator, Tansel has coached students, CEOs, athletes, and celebrities, to be at their very best.
Tansel also has a passion for inspiring and engaging students to tap into their mental capabilities, to achieve their goals and maximise study performance. After working with Australian schools for the past 13 years, the memory techniques he has developed have been described the leading way for faster and better learning.» Read more about Tansel Ali
Clue by clue, chapter by chapter, David Astle’s Puzzled meanders through the maze of a cryptic crossword, showing you the dark secrets and wondrous tricks of wordplay. ‘He’s the Sergeant Pepper of cryptic crosswords,’ says award-winning Australian actor Geoffrey Rush.» Read more about David Astle
Luke Atkins is one of Australia’s leading obstacle endurance athletes. In 2012 and 2013 Luke finished 14th at the Tough Mudder World Championships, a 24 hour race held in the USA in which he completed more than 300 obstacles and 120km. He is also a member of the Under Armour Australia Team for Obstacle Racing.» Read more about Luke Atkins
Rachel Berger is one of Australia’s most highly regarded, adept, and adaptive comedic talents, working variously as a broadcaster, comic, novelist, columnist, agitator and television entertainer. Rachel’s dynamic presence and engagingly sharp observations have made her an extremely popular performer both live and on television, across Australia and overseas.» Read more about Rachel Berger
Psychologist Steve Biddulph realised that males were in crisis at a time when it was fashionable to ignore their needs. He blitzed schools and communities around the globe with engaging, practical and moving seminars, facilitating a cultural shift which is still in motion. His parenting books, including Raising Boys and Manhood, are now in four million homes and twenty seven languages.» Read more about Steve Biddulph
Described as ‘Australia’s best known academic’ by ABC radio and a ‘celebrity academic’ by other media, Karen lectures on the areas of youth, sexuality and popular culture using a psychoanalytical model. Karen has also worked as a professional actress, a children’s playwright, an Army Officer in the Royal Australian Army Survey Corp, a checkout-chick, an assessment clerk with the NRMA, a waitress, a dress-boutique manager, a theatre director, a wife (twice), and a mother (twice over too!).» Read more about Dr Karen Brooks
Lauren Burns OAM, Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist (BHSc) Olympic Gold Medallist, Taekwondo Sydney 2000» Read more about Lauren Burns
Simon Coronel is one of the most skilled illusionists in the Southern Hemisphere. Using pure dexterity and no tricky props, he creates live performance art that seems utterly impossible.» Read more about Simon Coronel
Ben Cryan achieved the unachievable. After falling from his surfboard onto a coral reef and developing a serious illness, he overcame thirty-four operations, being told he would never walk again, to defy the odds. His life is built on adventure, about challenging your ability and about never giving up, which is exactly what he did from his hospital bed. Ben has been faced adversity, and has one hell of a story to share that will inspire all who have the opportunity to hear it.» Read more about Ben Cryan
As a trained social worker and teacher Chris Daicos has extensive experience in working directly with children and adolescents in schools. Chris can talk to welfare staff, teaching staff, and parents.» Read more about Chris Daicos
Oslo Davis is an illustrator and cartoonist who has drawn for magazines and newspapers worldwide. As a satirist, Oslo has a particular interest in drawing the foibles and ridiculousness of modern day life.» Read more about Oslo Davis
Robin de Crespigny is a powerful and moving speaker who provides an alternative view on the very topical subject of asylum seekers. Her bestselling book The People Smuggler put a human face to a debate often conducted in the abstract, and her thought-provoking talks will help start constructive, non-judgmental conversations in the community.» Read more about Robin de Crespigny
Hanifa Deen is an award-winning author and social commentator with extensive public speaking experience. Audiences all around Australia, at writers’ festivals, conferences, seminars and debates have heard her speak on a range of topical and literary subjects. A former History and English literature teacher, Hanifa can also guide secondary students to a better understanding of Australian curriculum themes of The Making of Australia, Identity, Belonging and Australian social history. Her aim is to inform and entertain.» Read more about Hanifa Deen
Mary is a writer, award winning ABC Journalist and former Education Minister. She is National Director of Writing Australia and Chair of Orchestra Victoria. She was the first female solo prime time TV newsreader in Victoria, and the first female Planning Minister in Victoria.» Read more about Mary Delahunty
Catherine Deveny is a comedy writer, comedian, author, social commentator and broadcaster well known for her work as a columnist with The Age and as an ABC regular. Deveny has been named in the Top 100 Most Influential Melbournians. She is an atheist and (along with two of her sons) dyslexic. Her extensive charity and community work includes the Asylum Seeker’s Resource Centre, Homelessness and Broken Rites. She is a proud ambassador for Dying With Dignity Victoria, International Day of People with Disability, and the Patron (alongside Father Bob) of Griefline. Catherine was also one of the founding members of Friends of Public Housing.» Read more about Catherine Deveny
Sean Dooley has written for TV comedies like Full Frontal, Hamish and Andy and Spicks and Specks, is author of books such as The Big Twitch and Cooking with Baz, and is currently editor of Australian Birdlife magazine. He was also the national birdwatching champion, holding the record for seeing the most birds seen in one year. Sean Dooley is the Birdman.» Read more about Sean Dooley
Adam Elliot is not only an Academy Award ™ winning Animator, but also one of Australia’s funniest, unique and most refreshing corporate speakers and entertainers. Adam has given his inspiring and motivating presentations to hundreds of groups all over the world.» Read more about Adam Elliot
Evelyn Field is an international expert in managing school and workplace bullying. She answers the big question, “Help, I am being bullied! How can I block the bullying myself when others don’t?”» Read more about Evelyn Field
Clementine Ford’s take on social issues is bold, brave and entertaining. She inspires and challenges people of all ages in equal measure.» Read more about Clementine Ford
Arabella Forge is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), television presenter and food writer. She is the author of the cookbook Frugavore: How to Grow Your Own, Buy Local, Waste Nothing and Eat Well (Black Inc 2010) which has been published and distributed throughout Australia and the USA. Arabella presents a regular segment on food and gardening for Channel 10’s Love to Share Food and is a spokesperson for The Markets of Melbourne.» Read more about Arabella Forge
Sean aims to give parents, teachers and students greater insight and the practical tools to foster health and wellbeing along with academic and sporting achievement.» Read more about Sean Fyfe
Morris is one of Australia’s most successful and experienced children’s authors. As a speaker he uses the mix of humour and emotion found in his best-selling books. His sessions are informal, interactive and fun. Sharing the secrets of his writing room, Morris leaves students informed and inspired, as well as equipped with tools for their own adventures in literacy and creativity. And he brings his own sandwiches.» Read more about Morris Gleitzman
Anna Goldsworthy is a prize-winning classical pianist and writer. She an engaging speaker and performer, and is passionate about bringing the lessons of classical music to the widest possible audience. She is Artist Director of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival.» Read more about Anna Goldsworthy
Dave Graney is a wise guy from the showbusiness scene. He hails from South Australia, but now lives in Melbourne and has been a musician his entire career. Dave writes and performs his own music, as well as composing tracks for film, television and theatre. He is an accomplished performer and has kept his live band Dave Graney and the mistLY together for more than twenty years, still playing nationally. Dave has won several ARIA awards and a gold record. Dave is also passionate about writing, and is the author of 1001 Australian Nights» Read more about Dave Graney
Tanya Ha is an award-winning environmentalist, best-selling author, broadcaster, science journalist and sustainable living advocate. More hip than hippie, she makes sustainability and science easier to understand and is known for her TV shows, including ABC’s Catalyst and the SBS series Eco House Challenge.» Read more about Tanya Ha
Nicholas Hansen’s first feature documentary Rash was awarded the Best Australian Documentary Film from the Critics Circle of Australia Awards in 2005. Nicholas is passionate about documentary and produces and directs the successful outcomes of short, feature documentaries and multi-platform online storytelling. In 2011 Nicholas completed the one hour documentary Breaking The News about two local East Timorese journalists who a decade after independence still struggle to freely report the ongoing turmoil of their country.» Read more about Nicholas Hansen
Fiona is the author of two books in the recently released Hardie Grant Egmont series, Forever Clover, and is currently writing three more books for the second series. She also wrote the third series of the popular children’s ABC television show, Prank Patrol.» Read more about Fiona Harris
Belinda Hawkins has reported on national and international events for ABC TV and SBS TV for almost 30 years, filing from countries as diverse as Nigeria, Eritrea, Cuba, Germany and Russia. For the past twelve years she has been a senior journalist with ABC TV’s Australian Story program. Her documentary work has been recognised with a raft of awards, among them a Walkley award, seven Quill awards, four New York Festival Medals and four United Nations Media Peace Awards. She started her working life as high school teacher in country Victoria.» Read more about Belinda Hawkins
Barry Heard is Scribe Publication’s bestselling author. His first book, Well Done Those Men is used in over one hundred high schools throughout Australia in both History and English subject areas. Barry visits these schools to give talks on the book. Now claimed as a classic, the author has received over 100 000 emails and some 30 000 letters in response to the book. The book is essential reading in most Australian University History faculties.» Read more about Barry Heard
Justin Heazlewood is an award-winning triple-threat of writer, musician & comedian. As The Bedroom Philosopher he has appeared on Triple J & ABC TV, releasing three albums including the ARIA-nominated Songs From The 86 Tram. The video for Northcote (So Hungover) earning nearly half a million hits. In 2014 his first non-fiction book Funemployed, about being an artist in Australia, was an indie-hit, earning praise from artists and industry alike. In 2015 an 8-part series was commissioned for RN.» Read more about Justin Heazlewood
Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson is the Principal of the School of Thinking (SOT). He is a former colleague of Edward de Bono and holds the world’s first PhD in Lateral Thinking. SOT is the longest running global program for the teaching of thinking skills.» Read more about Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson
Kate Holden is the author of the best-selling In My Skin and a columnist for The Age. She speaks frankly and movingly of her time as a heroin addict and sex worker, talks of personal dignity and survival, and also speaks about her writing career as a memoirist and freelancer.» Read more about Kate Holden
Tony Wilson has written two hilarious satirical novels about celebrity and tabloid media. He is also the author of five picture books, and has worked successfully on television (Race Around the World and Santo, Sam and Ed’s Cup Fever!), radio (Triple R’s Breakfasters) and print media (The Age and The Monthly).» Read more about Tony Wilson
Sophie Cunningham worked in publishing for twenty years before becoming the Chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council. She is well known for her work as the editor of Meanjin, and is the author of two novels, Geography (2004) and Bird (2008) as well as the non-fiction Melbourne.» Read more about Sophie Cunningham
Shane Horsburgh is a re-definer of masculinity, constantly challenging the accepted interpretation of what a ‘real man’ is and how this view impacts our everyday lives. From counter-terrorism operative to author, educator and sometime stage actor, Shane’s inspirational and engaging style helps young men become better students, friends, partners and husbands. He has been engaged to speak at the National Press Club and TEDx to national and international audiences.» Read more about Shane Horsburgh
Sammy J is an award-winning comedian, writer and musician. A proud nerd, he abandoned his law degree to travel the world and sing funny songs for a living. You may have seen him on TV, at a festival, or as one half of the man/puppet duo Sammy J & Randy.» Read more about Sammy J
Cool Australia founder Jason Kimberly is an eco-warrior, globally renowned photographer, adventurer and founder of the online environmental resources, Cool Australia and Our Cool School.» Read more about Jason Kimberly
Anneli is an enthusiastic and energetic presenter who is comfortable in the school room and the board room.
She speaks on a variety of topics – from empowering girls and women through financial independence to having the courage to pursue your passions.
Anneli also runs half day and full day workshops teaching workplace teams how to write powerfully and persuasively, and she addresses corporate audiences on how to capture and keep readers’ attention.» Read more about Anneli Knight
Ramona Koval is known for her wit and wisdom. Although she pursued studies in science, during her celebrated career as a broadcaster she made interviews with significant writers her signature. She presented The Book Show on Radio National for six years, before that, Books and Writing for thirteen years. She has written for newspapers and international journals, and had her interviews published in book form. Speaking Volumes: Conversations with Remarkable Writers, was published by Scribe Books to enthusiastic reviews. She is the editor of The Best Australian Essays, published by Black Inc.» Read more about Ramona Koval
Anna Krien is a writer of the usual suspects – journalism, essays, fiction and poetry. Her debut book Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania’s Forests was shortlisted for the 2011 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and she has been published in The Monthly, The Age, The Big Issue, The Best Australian Essays, The Best Australian Stories, Griffith Review, Colors, and Frankie. In 2008, she won the Val Vallis Poetry Award.» Read more about Anna Krien
Judith Lanigan brings a wealth of performance experience and circus skills to her public speaking. She is entertaining, unusual and memorable.» Read more about Judith Lanigan
Benjamin Law is a Sydney-based journalist, columnist and screenwriter. He is the author of two books: the black comedy memoir The Family Law (2010) and the travelogue Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012). The Family Law has been translated into French and is currently being developed for television. Gaysia was published in India in 2013, with the US and other territories to follow in 2014. Both of his books were nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards, and he is currently working on his third.» Read more about Benjamin Law
Erin Vincent is a highly respected journalist who has worked both here and in the US for publications such as The Australian, Marie Claire,The Sunday Telegraph and America’s biggest selling publicationPeople Magazine. She is also the author of the acclaimed memoir Grief Girl: My True Story that is now in its seventh printing in the US and was named a New York Public Library’s Best Book for 2007.» Read more about Erin Vincent
David Nyuol Vincent is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. He was trained as a child soldier in Ethiopia and lived as a refugee in Kenya until he was twenty-six. Since rebuilding his life here in Australia, David has become an advocate for refugees and the Sudanese community and he is a Victorian Human Rights Youth Ambassador and a People of Australia Ambassador. He also helped to set up an all-Sudanese refugee football team, the Western Tigers, in the Brimbank soccer league. David is a true humanitarian and is committed to achieving peace for his people in Sudan.» Read more about David Nyuol Vincent
Marathon swimmer, Tammy van Wisse currently holds five World Records. She has swum the English Channel twice (the success rate is only seven percent), is the only person to have swum Bass Strait and spent three and a half months submerged in the mighty Murray River – just to mention a few of her milestones.
Armed with the same energy and dedication as she has put into her incredible swimming career, Tammy brings a truly unique and inspiring presentation that entertains as it informs, and inspires as it motivates.
Tammy’s story of inner strength, persistence, and learning to overcome insurmountable obstacles shows audiences that with a commitment to a goal, and belief in oneself, anything is possible.» Read more about Tammy van Wisse
Chris is an Australian and British professor of Earth science and author of three popular science books. Chris is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change at the University of University of New South Wales, where he and his team are focusing their efforts on finding lessons from the past.
Chris investigates past and future climates, how people have responded to change, and recent human evolution and migration. He does this in a hands-on fashion: he digs down into the ice of Antarctica for core samples, the depths of a volcanic crater, or searches for Hobbit fossils (seriously!) across Indonesia. He has stories to tell and bring to life.
Chris has earned a reputation as scientist who can demystify and articulate, for any audience, exactly what it is that a scientist does for a living. His enthusiasm shows us not only why he pursues these interests, but points out what we stand to gain through scientific education.» Read more about Chris Turney
Melinda Tankard Reist is an author, speaker, social commentator, Fairfax Media columnist, blogger and advocate for women and girls. She is author/editor of four books including Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls, now in its fourth printing, and Big Porn Inc: Exposing the harms of the global pornography industry. Her presentations aim to show us how stereotyped, limited and hypersexualised messages give distorted ideas of bodies, relationships and sexuality and give us tools for addressing the problem.» Read more about Melinda Tankard Reist
Anne E Stewart is an acclaimed storyteller with an international reputation. A versatile performer Anne has the energy and voice to engage any audience. Her focus is on the shared stories of Australia honouring Indigenous, Celtic, Asian and World stories.
Anne has told stories in some of Australia’s major cultural institutions, art galleries and libraries as well as on ABC radio and TV. She has been invited guest at Storytelling festivals throughout Australia, the UK and in Mexico and Colombia. Anne is a consummate MC with the ability to create shows tailored to audience needs.» Read more about Anne E. Stewart
Trent Southworth is a former NSW Police Officer with over fourteen years policing experience, including eight years employed in the Youth Liaison role. In his role, Trent worked closely with numerous government and non government agencies to identify youth related initiatives such as underage drinking programs, truancy, road safety, drug programs, and bullying.
Trent assisted in the implementation and monitoring of the State Governments Young Offenders Act, which targets all young offenders aged between 10 and 18 years of age. Through his experience in the NSW Police, Trent witnessed first-hand the importance of ongoing education of young people in today’s society.
Since leaving the Police, Trent has developed and facilitated numerous seminars for students, teachers, parents and community groups Australia-wide.» Read more about Trent Southworth
Australiaʼs most well known mountaineer is a veteran of pioneering routes in remote regions of the Himalaya but is best known for his attempts of Mount Everest on two very different, pioneering expeditions. Remarkably he reached the summit on both occasions, without the use of bottled oxygen and in a style and substance of a class way beyond the realm of guided ascents so popular in recent times.» Read more about Tim Macartney-Snape
Claire Madden is a social researcher, media commentator and next-gen expert, fluent in social media, youth culture, and engagement styles of these global generations, and a professional in interpreting what this means for educators, managers and marketers. Claire is in demand for her skill in effectively identifying the emerging trends and assisting business leaders to strategically respond to them.» Read more about Claire Madden
Shane Maloney is a popular novelist. His books have been published in the US, Britain, Japan, Germany, France, Finland and Tasmania.» Read more about Shane Maloney
John Marsden is the author of titles including So Much to Tell You, Letters From the Inside, and the much celebrated Tomorrow series, adapted for film in 2010. From a childhood at a deeply conservative paramilitary school with strict standards and a culture of rugby and rowing, John developed a passion for reading, writing and education at an early age. So far has published fiction and non-fiction for children, young adults and adults and has founded the Candlebark School in Victoria.» Read more about John Marsden
From dragging sleds to the North Pole to sailing tiny yachts to Antarctica, Matt McFadyen has been there and done that. At the age of 29 Matt has spent the last decade pushing himself to his physical and mental limits while exploring some of the most remote parts of the globe.» Read more about Matt McFadyen
Breathtaking and often hilarious, Russell’s entertaining stories and photos of his adventures will inspire anyone with an ounce of wonder dust in their pants and the courage to say ‘yes’ to the big ‘what if’ that lies out there for all of us.» Read more about Russell McGilton
Esther Mckay has led an incredible life, from her work as a crime scene examiner in Sydney to best selling author. She is an advocate for Police suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and works actively to improve conditions for mental health in emergency workers. She speaks regularly about her experiences and is an Australia Day Ambassador.» Read more about Esther McKay
Tristan Miller has had an incredible story, for such a regular guy. He dealt with a number of life’s highs and lows, before finally losing his dream job at Google in the Global Financial Crisis of 2009. Instead of laying down, he turned his life into an amazing adventure by running 52 marathons in 52 weeks, in 42 countries, on all 7 continents!» Read more about Tristan Miller
Ellen has been National Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, one of Australia’s largest non-profit climate organisations. During her leadership, the organisation grew from a handful of friends wanting to change the world to a national organisation with over 80,000 members and the ear of politicians and business leaders due to it’s quirky and innovative campaigns.
Ellen has become one of Australia’s leading commentators and campaigners on the issue of climate change. Since leaving the AYCC in late 2012 she has worked in politics, as Campaign Manager for Simon Sheikh’s Senate campaign in the ACT (mobilising thousands of volunteers and just missing out on a Senate seat) and as a Senior Campaigns Advisor for Greens leader Senator Christine Milne.» Read more about Ellen Sandell
Since starting on a country newspaper in 1975, Andrew Rule has worked on three metropolitan newspapers and in both radio and television production. He has written, co-written, edited and published many books, including the Underbelly true crime series and theChopper series, which inspired the successful feature film. He hosts a regular fortnightly spot on Triple M’s Hot Breakfast called In The Rule World.» Read more about Andrew Rule
Ever wondered what it is like to work in a disaster zone? Krissy Nicholson speaks passionately about her experience as an aid worker in some of the biggest disasters the world has seen. From the Boxing Day Tsunami and Pakistan Earthquake, to post conflict Northern Uganda and PNG Cholera outbreaks.» Read more about Krissy Nicholson
Michelle Nouri was born in Prague and raised in Baghdad where she and her family lived through the Iraq-Iran conflict. After being abandoned by her father, she briefly returned to Prague, and at age eighteen Michelle moved to Italy seeking a better life. After learning Italian, Michelle built a successful career in the Italian media, working in both television and print, covering the lives and issues of immigrants in Italy.» Read more about Michelle Nouri
Michael Robotham began his career an investigative journalist in Australia and the UK before becoming a ghostwriter, collaborating with the likes of Rolf Harris, Lulu, Geri Halliwell and Tony Bullimore to produce a dozen best-selling autobiographies. His psychological thrillers have been translated into 22 languages and have twice won the Ned Kelly award for best Australian Crime Fiction.
Michael has very limited availability, but we are always happy to look into any enquiry.» Read more about Michael Robotham
Marcus is a medical doctor and popular motivational speaker, who has addressed thousands of school children and a large number of businesses over the last ten years on a wide variety of health and personal welfare subjects.» Read more about Dr Marcus Robertson
Hannie Rayson is a multi-award winning playwright who has a reputation for topical complex dramas written with wit and insight. She is an accomplished public speaker – funny, incisive and thoughtful.» Read more about Hannie Rayson
Alice Pung is a writer and lawyer who loves teaching. Alice’s books are studied in secondary schools and universities in Australia as well as the United States, and she has taught writing workshops to students from the ages of 8 to 80 in Australia, China and the States. Alice is also an Ambassador for the 100 Story Building Project, a social enterprise which helps promote literature and literacy skills to young people in the Western suburbs.» Read more about Alice Pung
Ailsa Piper has worked throughout Australia as a writer, theatre director, actor, speaker, teacher and memorably, a pate-wrapper! She completed her MA at the University of Melbourne during her three-year stint as an actor in Neighbours’ Ramsay Street, winning the Patrick White Playwright’s Award in her spare time. She is a passionate – some would say obsessive – walker, and her book Sinning Across Spain, reflects that.» Read more about Ailsa Piper
Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli has gained national and international recognition as a writer, researcher, lecturer and consultant in the issues of cultural diversity, gender diversity, sexual diversity, family diversity, HIV/AIDS, and social diversity in health and education, with a specific focus on adolescence and young people. She is Honorary Patron of PFLAG Victoria; External Faculty Member of Saybrook University in San Francisco and Founding Member of AGMC (Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council), which has been recognised as a member of FECCA (Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia). Her first novel has recently won a 2010 US Lambda Literary Award» Read more about Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli
Dr Leslie Cannold is an author, teacher, ethicist and commentator. Her books include the What, No Baby? which made the Australian Financial Review’s top 101 books list. Her first novel, The Book of Rachael, has been reprinted twice by her Australian publisher Text and will be published in 2014 in the United States and the UK. Leslie is often noted as one of Australia’s leading thinkers. She has been listed alongside Professor Peter Singer, Professor Gustav Nossal and Inga Clendinnen as one of Australia’s top 20 public intellectuals, and named in 2012 among Australia’s top ten most influential thinkers. In 2011 she was named Australian Humanist of the Year.» Read more about Dr Leslie Cannold
Luke Ryan is a Melbourne-based writer, comedian and two-time cancer survivor. His first book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Chemo, is a comic memoir about growing up and getting cancer that grew out of his critically acclaimed 2009 Melbourne Comedy Festival show, Luke’s Got Cancer. Inspiring, engaging and with a unique comic edge, Luke brings years of stand-up, storytelling and speechmaking experience to bear on topics as diverse as handling adversity, bullying, discovering perspective, getting the most out of life and finding one’s vocational direction.» Read more about Luke Ryan
Critically acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Alex Hammond’s debut novel Blood Witness was shortlisted for the 2014 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Crime Novel. It was also selected for the State Library of Victoria’s Summer Read 2014 where it was the most borrowed title. This novel is currently under option as a TV series while its sequel The Unbroken Line is released in 2015.» Read more about Alex Hammond
A couple of decades ago, Graeme Base’s job description was distilled by his then six-year old son as “Oh, my dad just stays home and colours in.” Unable to forgive or forget this devastatingly accurate dismissal of his life’s work, Graeme has finally decided to embark on a global speaking tour to set the record straight: Sure he stays home and colours in, but he also writes the words!» Read more about Graeme Base
Anne Edmonds is one of Australia’s most exciting new stand up, character and banjo-playing comedians. From naughty kid at school to performing at the New York Comedy Festival, Anne has a story to tell about a winding road to success.» Read more about Anne Edmonds
Angela Pippos is a journalist, TV and radio presenter, columnist and author of The Goddess Advantage – One Year in the Life of a Football Worshipper. It’s as much about love, loyalty, stuffed tomatoes and Greek mythology as it is about Australian rules football.» Read more about Angela Pippos
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, The Fifth Estate, now in its third year. She is a former editor of The Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia. Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.» Read more about Sally Warhaft
Claire Dunn is a writer, journalist, educator, barefoot explorer and author of My Year Without Matches, the memoir of her extraordinary journey living in the bush for a year learning wilderness survival skills.» Read more about Claire Dunn
Sian Prior is probably best known as an ABC radio presenter, a columnist and critic for The Age, and a musician. But this accomplished public performer is also the author of an acclaimed memoir, Shy. Her book solves the riddle of how someone who has grappled for decades with debilitating social anxiety has nevertheless managed to carve out a series of successful careers in the public eye.» Read more about Sian Prior
David Hunt is a writer, satirist and historian. He is the author of The Nose Pixies and Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia, which won the 2014 Australian Independent Booksellers (Indie) Award for Best Non-Fiction Book and was shortlisted for several other literary awards. He has also written for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Guardian, The Chaser Quarterly and The Hoopla. He co-presents the Australian history podcast Rum, Rebels & Ratbags with Dom Knight for ABC Radio and has appeared regularly on ABC Radio shows, including Outsiders, Background Briefing, Counterpoint, The Drawing Room and Evenings with Dom Knight.» Read more about David Hunt
Maxine Mckewʼs background is in journalism and politics. For many years she was a familiar face to ABC TV viewers and was anchor of prestigious programmes such as Lateline and 7.30 Report. Her work has been recognised by her peers and she is a recipient of both Logie and Walkely awards. When she left broadcasting and made the switch to politics, she wrote herself into the Australian history books by defeating Prime Minister John Howard in the Sydney seat of Bennelong. In government she was both parliamentary secretary for early childhood, and later for infrastructure and local government.
Following the success of her political memoir, Tales from the Political Trenches, published in 2012, Maxine McKewʼs new book Class Act looks at some of the most important questions in Australian education. Maxine has been a Vice Chancellorʼs Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Located in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education she has drawn on the expertise and substantial research of the school to inform her stories of success and challenge in Australian education.
Maxine now lives in Melbourne where she continues to work on a range of activities at the University of Melbourne. She is a director of three boards, Per Capita, the John Cain Foundation and the State Library of Victoria.» Read more about Maxine McKew
Dr Susan Carland has recently completed a PhD at Monash University, where she researched the way Muslim women fight sexism within the Muslim community. She also seems to pop up on numerous lists.
Author, academic, broadcaster, rock musician, former human rights lawyer and AFL mascot, Waleed Aly is one of Australia’s most exciting political and social commentators. Waleed is known in the public eye as a host on The Project, and from appearances on Q&A, Meet The Press, The 7.30 Report, Enough Rope with Andrew Denton and the host of ABC’s Big Ideas. In December 2014 he finished a two-year stint as the presenter of ABC Radio National’s Drive program.» Read more about Waleed Aly
Luke is a former AFL player. He played 133 games with the Sydney Swans including the 2005 Premiership. Since retiring from the game, he has completed a Bachelor of Arts at RMIT and has spent a year volunteering in Vanuatu, in the South Pacific. Luke is passionate about promoting gender equity and preventing men’s violence, and has extensive experience delivering education and capacity building programs on these topics to a range of different groups.» Read more about Luke Ablett
Shamini Flint is an engaging, witty and inspirational speaker. She holds audiences of any age spellbound with tales of growing up in Malaysia and travelling the world in search of an identity (or at least a good curry). Her ability to discuss important issues in an accessible way is unparalleled.» Read more about Shamini Flint
One of the very first to identify the contemporary rise of Melbourne’s cultural and place power, Maree Coote is an energetic inspirational speaker. Her unique understanding of her topic (Melbourne) is made accessible through her command of history, culture, art and design for a wide variety of audiences. According to Philip Adams, “Melbourne never had a more ingenious ambassador.” Coote’s first book The Melbourne Book: A History of Now is in its fourth edition after 12+ years in print, and has been dubbed ‘Melbourne’s Bible’.» Read more about Maree Coote
Luke S. Kennedy was formerly an obese alcoholic and drug addict. He was leader of a street fighting and graffiti crew. Luke came close to death numerous times and also nearly killed others in street battles. He was stabbed on two separate occasions; once in the lung and the other time in the head.
Luke captivates his audience after his first sentence and then takes them on a ‘journey’ of how his life turned from an innocent, happy childhood to violence and drugs. He then shows how he got out of that life and now runs a successful business helping others both physically and emotionally. After his total turn around Luke won a State Title in boxing.» Read more about Luke Kennedy
Samantha took the ultimate challenge and entered the ‘4 Deserts Grand Slam’, which requires competitors to run four 250km ultra marathons across the driest (Chile), windiest (China), hottest (Sahara) and coldest deserts (Antarctica) on earth – it is regarded as one of the toughest endurance series on the planet. Samantha made history by becoming the first woman and the youngest person ever to complete the Grand Slam. Her journey was captured for the big screen in the award winning film Desert Runners. She now uses her capacity to run long distances to impact social change in developing countries and within Australia. In 2014, she ran 1968kms across rural South Africa to fund an initiative that improves access to feminine hygiene products and education.» Read more about Samantha Gash
Damon Young combines a love of ideas and language with a fun, entertaining style. And lots of superhero t-shirts.» Read more about Damon Young
Dr Arne Rubinstein is an expert on adolescent development, with 30 years experience as a doctor, counsellor, mentor, speaker and workshop facilitator. His programs and seminars have been attended by over 25,000 people in Australia and around the world and are designed to support boys and girls to successfully make a safe, healthy transition from children to young adults, with a particular focus on creating coming of age Rites of Passage. In 2008, he was nominated for Australian of the Year for his groundbreaking work with youth.» Read more about Dr Arne Rubinstein
Maria is the good Greek girl who grew up above her parents’ Melbourne milk bar and shared a bedroom with her yiayia – until university when she discovered her rebellious side. She tells her story in her acclaimed memoir together with her experience of a complete mental breakdown that shattered her professional and personal identity. Maria is now a vocal mental health advocate and an ambassador for Beyond Blue.» Read more about Maria Katsonis
Leah Kaminsky is a family physician and an award-winning author of eight books.» Read more about Dr Leah Kaminsky
Growing up the eldest son of a prominent politician, Melbourne-based Nick Bracks was already accustomed to the spotlight when he was offered a contract with American Crew in 2009. His profile grew quickly and before long, Nick branched out from modelling to become a prime time television favourite.
It was during his acclaimed appearance on Channel Seven’s Dancing with the Stars (according to Nick the most nerve wracking experience of his life) that he found a way to advocate for the cause closest to his heart: mental health awareness.» Read more about Nick Bracks
Nicole is a fashion historian: an award-winning writer, educator and retailer, the author of two books and curator of perhaps the largest collection of Australian fashion in the world.
She has presented talks and workshops around Australia.» Read more about Nicole Jenkins
Tommy Dassalo is a comedian, podcaster and writer. He has performed comedy around the world since he was 16 and is the co-host of The Little Dum Dum Club – one of Australia’s most successful comedy podcasts. His story of surviving cancer as a child and ending up as a comedian is poignant, inspirational and hilarious.» Read more about Tommy Dassalo
Andrew is a clinical psychologist who specializes in creating resilience in the lives of parents, children, teenagers and people of all ages. Andrew also has expertise in the area of learning and neuroscience and is demand for his presentation on optimising brains and performance.
His training sessions are always fun and informative. He has been rated as a ‘master in his field’ by developmental psychiatry trainees in 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.» Read more about Andrew Fuller
Aviva Reed is a visual ecologist, illustrator and collaborator on the Small Friends book project; a series of science-adventure storybooks created by artists, writers, scientists and educators that explores symbiotic relationships between microbes and larger forms of life.» Read more about Aviva Reed
Cheryl Koenig’s embrace of life shines through as she delivers inspirational presentations on a variety of issues close to her heart. Cheryl’s talks have a lasting impact on her audiences.» Read more about Cheryl Koenig
Ron is a much loved and highly respected Victorian Indigenous educator, storyteller and musician. He is in demand as a speaker, sharing his knowledge of Indigenous culture with passion, honesty and humour.» Read more about Ron Murray
Industrial designer, hack engineer, DIY aquaculturalist and illustrator Stephen Mushin collaborates with scientists, and engineers in underground workshops to solve ‘elephant in the room’ scale ecological problems.» Read more about Stephen Mushin
Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a mechanical engineer, social justice advocate, writer and petrol head. Debut author at 24 with the coming-of-age-memoir, Yassmin’s Story, the 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year advocates for the empowerment of youth, women and those from racially, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Yassmin founded the not-for-profit Youth Without Borders at the age of 16.» Read more about Yassmin Abdel-Magied
Jake Wilson is a freelance writer whose film reviews appear weekly in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and other Fairfax Media publications. His book Mad Dog Morgan, a critical study of the film of the same name, was published in 2015 as part of the Australian Screen Classics series.» Read more about Jake Wilson
Ruth Clare the author of the memoir, Enemy: A Daughter’s Story of How Her Father Brought the Vietnam War Home. Inspiring and engaging, she draws on her former career as an actor, and the years she spent in therapy, to speak with honesty and insight about the impact of growing up with violence and neglect, developing resilience in the face of adversity, the importance of authenticity, how becoming a parent was way harder than she imagined, and the importance of fighting against the voices that say you are not good enough.
Ruth recently delivered a speech for Child Protection Day in Kiama, read her deeply moving speech here.» Read more about Ruth Clare
Kate James is a coach and mindfulness teacher working with people who are seeking purposeful lives.
In workshops and annual retreats in Bali and Byron Bay, Kate introduces participants to a range of different styles of meditation as well as the principles of mindfulness and how they can be integrated into every day life.
She is the author of Believe in Yourself & Do What You Love and Be Mindful & Simplify Your Life.» Read more about Kate James
Steve Bell is an inspirational individual who has forged his own path through life. The world’s highest and most difficult mountains are the backdrop for his vivid lessons on growing up, personal fulfillment and building a business.» Read more about Steve Bell
Jessica Walton’s picture book Introducing Teddy started as a Kickstarter project, gaining the attention of international media and eventually, Bloomsbury Publishing. Now published in 13 countries and translated into 9 different languages, the book introduces the youngest readers to understanding gender identity and transition in an accessible and heart-warming story about being true to yourself and being a good friend. Jess is a cancer survivor, amputee, queer, daughter of a trans parent, feminist, musician and teacher. She has spoken to any and every age group about her book, writing, LGBTI issues, cancer and disability.» Read more about Jessica Walton
Alicia Sometimes is a writer, poet and broadcaster. She regularly appears on ABC radio talking books and culture and is often touring with her poetry. She has also appeared on ABC TV’s Sunday Arts, News Breakfast, Recovery and SBS’s Nomad program. Alicia was a 2014 Fellow at the State Library of Victoria and writer and director of the science-poetry show, Elemental that toured extensively in planetariums around the world.» Read more about Alicia Sometimes
Judy Horacek is an award winning Australian cartoonist, children’s book illustrator and writer. In 2004, she and Mem Fox created Where is the Green Sheep? which became an instant children’s classic, and winner of the CBCA Gold Medal for Early Childhood. She has since done four books of her own that she has both written and illustrated, and three other books with Mem, Judy is an experienced presenter in schools, both talking about her own work and helping children to make their own drawings and stories. Her classes are always full of laughter and fun, and her enthusiasm is infectious.» Read more about Judy Horacek
Tasneem is a whole lot of parts, symbolising the hybrid identity of today’s global citizen, which she speaks to with sheer wit. She is an East African born, Indian origin, Bendigo raised, Melbourne loving, daughter, mother, middle-child, karaoke swooning, sleep deprived, vertically challenged, feminist, Muslim, exhausted, activist – and she won’t compromise on any of those titles.» Read more about Tasneem Chopra
A charismatic,engaging, intellectually adventurous, deep thinker who also makes her audiences laugh. Talks accompanied by stunning National Geographic photography.» Read more about Robyn Davidson
Liam Pieper is an award-winning fiction writer, journalist and columnist. His 2014 memoir, The Feel-Good Hit of The Year, is a true story of loss, grief, addiction, and mental illness. It’s a comedy.
Feel-Good was shortlisted for the National Biography Award and the Ned Kelly Best True Crime award and widely praised for its honesty. This was followed by Mistakes Were Made, a volume of humorous essays that collectively make up a craven apology for being too honest in Feel-Good Hit. He was co-recipient of the 2014 M Literary Award, and was the inaugural creative resident of the UNESCO City of Literature of Prague, where he completed his first novel The Toymaker, released in 2016.
As a writer and speaker, he uses a light touch to explore serious social issues through storytelling. He has a passion for helping others use story craft to express themselves and better understand the world around them.» Read more about Liam Pieper
Since publishing her first play at age seventeen, Alex (Lee) Miles has written for stage and screen, for brides, with the book Sixty Secrets for a Happy Bride, and for spys-in-waiting with eight Zac Power books. Using her background in theatre, Alex entertains with interactive workshops on writing and the Imagination Muscle. Her Starring Olive Black children’s series launches in 2017.» Read more about Alex Miles
Osamah Sami is an award winning actor, author, screenwriter, director and comedian. He is also a struggling Muslim and a failed cricketer.» Read more about Osamah Sami