Sign up to receive our regular news and events announcements – we send about one newsletter per month.
Asphyxia is the author of the magical new series, The Grimstones. She is an experienced motivational speaker and loves to inspire people to be more creative and open-minded. She handcrafted her Grimstone family of puppets and their world from upcycled junk, and has since toured the world with the acclaimed, award winning theatre show, The Grimstones. Now Asphyxia is ready to inspire students to create their own miniature worlds from ordinary household rubbish.» Read more about Asphyxia
Randa practiced as a lawyer for ten years, is an award-winning author of 12 internationally published novels and regular op-ed contributor to print media. She has a PhD in sociology on the topic of Islamophobia in Australia. Her latest novel, When Michael Met Mina, won the Vic Premier’s Literary award for young Adults and the People’s Choice award. With funding from Screen Australia, Randa is also working on the film adaptation of her first novel, Does My Head Look Big in This? and is also working on the theatrical adaptation of her novel Where the Streets Had A Name with MonkeyBaa theatre company. She is a regular guest at writer’s festivals in Australia and around the world. Randa is keen to use her intervention into popular culture and academia to reshape dominant narratives around racism and multiculturalism.» Read more about Randa Abdel-Fattah
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
Steven Amsterdam has been writing for decades, producing everything from speeches for the Tokyo Auto Show to little artsy dance reviews in free weeklies. His most recent book, What the Family Needed (Sleepers, 11/2011) was a chosen as a Great Read by Women’s Weekly. Already the book has been called “exhilarating” by The Australian and “strange and marvellous territory” by The Monthly. His first book, Things We Didn’t See Coming won The Age Book of the Year, was longlisted for The Guardian First Book Award, and has been printed to acclaim in the US and the UK this year, with French and Dutch editions. It has been selected for the VCE reading list for 2011 and 2012. He works as a palliative care nurse on some days and works on his next book on other days.» Read more about Steven Amsterdam
Felice Arena is one of Australia’s much-loved children’s authors. His books have topped bestseller lists and garnered several awards, including six Australian Children’s Choice Book Awards – plus in 2013 he was awarded KOALA (Kids Own Australian Literature Awards) Legend of the Year. His works include the incredibly popular Specky Magee series, the hilarious Farticus Maximus books, Whippersnapper, Wish, the Boyz-Rule and Girlz-Rock books, the action-packed bionic-hero series Andy Roid, and most recently the Sporty Kids series. Follow Felice on Twitter and Instagram @Fleech or visit his site: www.felicearena.com» Read more about Felice Arena
Kerry Argent is one of Australia’s finest and most highly acclaimed illustrators. Her first picture book, One Woolly Wombat was published while she was still at art school and went on to become an international bestseller. For over a decade, Kerry combined illustrating books with her job as Art Director at Omnibus Books in Adelaide. She now illustrates full time and works on texts of her own, like India the Show-Stopper, as well as continuing to collaborate with Australia’s best known picture book writers, including Margaret Wild (Ruby Roars).» Read more about Kerry Argent
Venero has been running writing courses and short workshops with children, teenagers and adults for more than ten years. He teaches in schools, community groups and universities, and brings an innovative approach to all his classes by combining interests in stories, novels, films and songs. Veny’s classes are very loud, passionate and laugh-out-loud funny. In a fun and participative environment that emphasises quick wits and play, students learn a lot about themselves and the things they like, sometimes without even realising it!» Read more about Venero Armanno
Romy Ash’s debut novel Floundering, described by Robert Drewe as ‘suspenseful, tough and moving’, was shortlisted for the 2011 Vogel Award. She also writes short fiction and non-fiction that has been published in various journals and magazines.» Read more about Romy Ash
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
Amal Awad is a writer and author who has spoken on issues of society, religion and popular culture. She has addressed festivals, universities, youth groups and community organisations, and has appeared on national radio. Her debut novel Courting Samira – a tale of Muslim courtship and coming of age in the modern era – will be followed in 2014 by two more books.» Read more about Amal Awad
Tim Bain is a playwright and TV writer, specialising in comedy, kids and animation. His credits include Rove, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Get Ace, Dennis & Gnasher and Disney’s upcoming Boyster.» Read more about Tim Bain
Emilie Zoey Baker is an international poetry slam champion who will excite and delight all ages about poetry written for both page and stage.» Read more about Emilie Zoey Baker
Leo Baker is a writer and director of film and animation. His most recent work is the feature documentary film called ‘The Will To Fly’ about the life and tumultuous sport career of Olympic champion aerial skier, Lydia Lassila. Leo has also created two short films ‘Love Notes’ and ‘Off Course’, that have found success of the international film festival circuit.
In 2010 Leo completed animating and editing the animated film ‘The Lost Thing’ which won many international awards, including the 2010 Annecy Crystal and the 2011 Academy Award for best animated short film. In 2011 Leo was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to research sustainable animation industries around the world, with the intent to reinvigorate the Australian animation industry.» Read more about Leo Baker
Tim Baker is Australia’s favourite surfing writer, a former editor of Tracks and Surfing Life magazine, who has written a string of best-selling surfing biographies and collected surf stories. He has twice received the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame Culture Award and been shortlisted for the CUB Australian Sports Writing Awards.» Read more about Tim Baker
Max Barry is an Australian who pretended to sell high-end computer systems for Hewlett-Packard while secretly writing his first novel, Syrup. In fact, he still has the laptop he wrote it on because HP forgot to ask for it back, but keep that to yourself. He went on to publish Jennifer Government and Company. His fourth book, Machine Man, is due in 2011 and is based on a real-time interactive serial Max wrote and delivered online one page per day.» Read more about Max Barry
Michael Gerard Bauer is an in-demand speaker and a popular writer for children and young adults. His books have been shortlisted, won numerous awards and are used as class texts in many schools around Australia. He has written drama, comedy and adventure.
» Read more about Michael Gerard Bauer
Jon Bauer is the author of short stories, and plays for stage and radio. His work has been published in The Daily Telegraph, The Sleepers Almanac and The Bridport Prize, as well as broadcast on national radio. Rocks in the Belly is his first novel.» Read more about Jon Bauer
After losing her sight in her early twenties, Melissa began a unique journey towards independence and resilience. In her sessions, Melissa addresses issues like teamwork, problem solving, leadership, discrimination, courage, decision making, goalsetting and overcoming adversity.» Read more about Melissa Benson
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
Amanda (AJ) Betts is an award-winning author, teacher and cyclist, living in Perth. Her novel ‘Zac and Mia’ won the 2012 Text Prize for best unpublished manuscript.» Read more about Amanda Betts
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
Tony Birch is a writer of short fiction, novels and essays. He is also an educator and teacher of writing and history.» Read more about Tony Birch
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
Thomas Caldwell is a freelance writer, broadcaster and public speaker who specialises in film criticism and educational writing on film. He is the author of the secondary school textbook Film Analysis Handbook, he writes the film criticism blog Cinema Autopsy and he reviews films for the Breakfasters on Melbourne independent community radio station Triple R (3RRR 102.7FM). He also co-hosts the Triple R film criticism podcast Plato’s Cave, regularly reviews films for The Big Issue and is one of the film and television columnists for Killings, the Kill Your Darlings blog.» Read more about Thomas Caldwell
Bernard Caleo is a performer, comic book maker, and comic book communicator.» Read more about Bernard Caleo
Fiona Capp is the internationally published author of three works of non-fiction including That Oceanic Feeling, a memoir about her love for the sea and surfing. She is also the author of three novels – Night Surfing, Last of the Sane Days and Musk & Byrne. Her most recent book is part memoir, part journey through the landscapes which inspired Australian poet Judith Wright, My Blood’s Country.» Read more about Fiona Capp
Deborah Carlyon is a talented writer and versatile speaker. Her work forms a bridge between two cultures. Her books have sensitivity, depth, heart, humour, and a soulful, healing imagery.» Read more about Deborah Carlyon
Isobelle Carmody is a well known Australian author who has written many novels and short stories for children and adults and has a host of award winning novels to her credit. She began the first of her highly acclaimed Obernewtyn Chronicles while she was still at high school and worked on it while completing a Bachelor of Arts and then a journalism cadetship. Obernewtyn was accepted by the first publisher she sent it to and went on to be shortlisted in the “Older Readers” section of the CBC Book of the Year Award. The series and her short stories have established her at the forefront of fantasy writing in Australia.
She has written many award winning short stories and books since then and she also illustrated The Legend of Little Fur and The Kingdom of the Lost series.
She is now completing the last of her Obernewtyn Chronicles, The Red Queen while undertaking a PhD at the University of Queensland.» Read more about Isobelle Carmody
Paul’s novel Eleven Seasons won the 2012 Australian/Vogel’s Award. He has a keen interest in the experience of contemporary adolescence and its connections with popular culture, as is reflected in his work.» Read more about Paul Carter
Mark Carthew is an award winning editor and children’s author well known for his many books and series exploring wordplay, music, movement, drama, jokes, rhymes and riddles! Mark’s recent picture book The Gobbling Tree was a winner of the Speech Pathology Australia’s Book of the Year.» Read more about Mark Carthew
Ben Chandler is the author of the YA fantasy series Voyages of the Flying Dragon. He holds a PhD in Creative Writing and has published work on popular culture, video game narrative theory, Japanese heroism, anime & manga, and creative writing pedagogy. Ben loves heroes, villains, comic books and video games, and he believes you can learn more from watching cartoons than you can from the news.» Read more about Ben Chandler
Anna Ciddor inspires audiences with her passion for turning dry facts into gripping narrative. She has written and illustrated over 50 books, including the best-selling historical fantasy Runestone. For her newest success, Anna drew on her grandmother’s childhood in Poland and created The Family with Two Front Doors, a story of happy, colourful Jewish life before the war.
Read more at www.annaciddor.com.» Read more about Anna Ciddor
Jane Clifton is the genuine show-business all-rounder. Actress, singer and, more recently, published crime novelist, Jane is often asked if there is anything she can’t do, to which she simply replies ‘Ballet and making money.’» Read more about Jane Clifton
Danielle Clode is a zoologist and natural history writer. She also teaches professional and creative writing.» Read more about Danielle Clode
Gallery for a Day is a travelling exhibition of the original illustrations and preliminary artwork from Australian picture books. Interactive workshops give the students an understanding of the planning and process involved in creating art for picture books.» Read more about Amanda Cooper
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
Cath Crowley is the author of the Gracie Faltrain trilogy, Chasing Charlie Duskin, Graffiti Moon and Rosie Staples’ Minor Magical Misunderstanding.» Read more about Cath Crowley
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
John Danalis has been writing and illustrating for children and young adults for ten years. His works include picture books, chapter books and non-fiction.» Read more about John Danalis
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
Gregory Day is a writer, poet and musician whose debut novel The Patron Saint Of Eels won the prestigious Australian Literature Society Gold Medal in 2006.» Read more about Gregory Day
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
Linh Do is a Melbourne based activist with a globe-trotting lifestyle, having worked in over 15 countries. She’s done everything from changing one million lightbulbs (and mindsets) in Australia to working at the UN to create social change on environmental issues, and in 2013 was named as Australian Geographic’s Young Conservationist of the Year.» Read more about Linh Do
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
Daniel Ducrou’s first novel, The Byron Journals (Text Publishing, 2010), tells the story of an eighteen-year-old classical musician from Adelaide who goes off the rails on a schoolies trip to Byron Bay.» Read more about Daniel Ducrou
Kylie Dunstan is an award winning author and illustrator of children’s picture books. Her first book Collecting Colour won CBCA Picture Book of the Year in 2009. She has since written and illustrated two more books and is working on her fourth.» Read more about Kylie Dunstan
Nick Earls is the author of twelve novels and two collections of short stories. Two of his novels have been adapted into feature films, and five have become stage plays.» Read more about Nick Earls
Meyer has written over fourteen books and published a number of others as the publishing coordinator of the St Kilda Historical Society. All the books deal with the natural, cultural and social history of Melbourne. He is the founder of Melbourne Walks, which uses the performative and engaging format of a walking tour to impart social, cultural and historical knowledge.» Read more about Meyer Eidelson
Born in rural Wisconsin, Amy Espeseth immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s and lives in Melbourne. A writer, publisher and academic, Amy lectures in both writing and publishing at NMIT.» Read more about Amy Espeseth
Declan Fay is one of Australia’s leading comedy writers and motivational speakers. He has performed at the Comedy Festival, The Fringe Festival and written for some of the best (and worst) television shows. He has spoken at over 600 different schools around Australia. He has never been pelted with fruit, although his dad once threw a whopper with cheese at him for talking during The Bill.» Read more about Declan Fay
Corinne Fenton has a passion for picture books, especially those that have a connection with history. Her picture books are read by four to ninety-four year olds.» Read more about Corinne Fenton
Evelyn M Field OAM, FAPS is a practising psychologist, Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and regular media spokesperson. She is regarded as an Australian expert in dealing with school and workplace bullying. In 2014 she was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her anti-school and workplace bullying initiatives.
The core of her professional work is her simple, six step Social Survival Skills model. This basic recipe for relating is suitable for children and adults and improves their social and emotional resilience.
Following her successful debut as an enrichment speaker on cruises, Evelyn believes that people want simple presentations with a few facts, not many stats, and lots of skills, strategies and options! She provides keynotes, workshops and seminars that are ethical, educational and entertaining. She trains participants to understand, manage or treat those affected by school and workplace bullying.
As a speaker, she empowers participants to develop their social and emotional resilience; based upon the latest evidence-based psychological and neurological theory. Everyone can leave with simple, practical ideas that they can implement immediately!
Evelyn is involved with many professional groups including Convenor, Therapist Special Interest Group, International Association for Workplace Bullying and Harassment (IAWBH) the advisory council of the National Centre Against Bullying (NCAB) and the Australian Psychological Society. She was involved with the Mental Health Foundation of Australia and schools counsellors associations for two decades and on the Victims of Crime Assistance League for five years.
Evelyn presents regularly to schools, organisations and therapists in Australia and overseas. She has published six books, numerous book chapters and a DVD.» Read more about Evelyn Field
An ex professional tennis player and teacher, Pat Flynn writes realistic fiction with a dose of humour for 8-16 year olds. His book The Tuckshop Kid won an Honour Book Prize at the CBCA Book of the Year Awards and his new books include The Trophy Kid and How to Get Dumped.» Read more about Pat Flynn
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
Adam Ford is a poet, novelist and short storialist who also makes zines and draws comics. He lives in Chewton, in Central Victoria.» Read more about Adam 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
Giulia Giuffre is the author of Primavera, an Australian-Italian memoir of childhood and family in the second half of the 20th Century. It has been described as an ‘exuberant, bittersweet encyclopaedia of life in general’.» Read more about Giulia Giuffre
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
Jane Godwin is a children’s book publisher, and the highly acclaimed author of books for young people, across all styles and ages. Her work is published internationally and she has received many commendations.
Anna Walker and Jane have created five bestselling children’s picture books together – Little Cat and the Big Red Bus, All Through the Year, Today we have no Plans, Starting School and What Do You Wish For?
Jane often works in schools and the community, running literature and writing programs, making books and encouraging students in their own creative ventures. She is dedicated to pursuing quality and enriching reading and writing experiences for young people, whether it’s as a writer, a publisher or a speaker/facilitator in schools.» Read more about Jane Godwin
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
Peter Goldsworthy grew up in various country towns, finishing his schooling in Darwin, which was the site of his first novel, Maestro. He graduated in medicine from the University of Adelaide in 1974 and now devotes his time equally to medicine and writing.» Read more about Peter Goldsworthy
Gus Gordon is an internationally acclaimed illustrator and author. He has illustrated and written over 80 books for children. His illustrations are known for their loose and energetic line work, mixed media and humour. His writing is always anthropomorphic, which he attributes this to his love of Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in The Willows.» Read more about Gus Gordon
Mini Goss is a Melbourne-based award winning author and illustrator, with more than 30 books to her name. Mini’s life-like, detailed illustrations draw readers into a world of imagination and humour that appeal to children and parent alike. She has won over fans in Australia and overseas with her quirky, realistic style.» Read more about Mini Goss
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
Children’s Author and Cartoonist Dave Hackett (Cartoon Dave) is the kind of guy who likes to draw nine-headed chickens and sumo-wrestling grannies. Currently sharing his NO-Rules brand of cartooning each week on Channel Eleven’s Toasted TV, Dave also creates a weekly caricature on Channel 7’s It’s Academic, and can be seen each week on his own YouTube channel, ‘cartoondaveweekly’. Dave is passionate about empowering young people to pick up a pencil and draw.» Read more about Dave Hackett
Leanne Hall began her writing career with short stories, some of which have been published in Sleepers Almanac, Meanjin and Best Australian Stories. She has resolutely resisted a sensible career trajectory, and has worked in the arts and educational publishing, in between long rambling jaunts overseas. In 2009 she won The Text Prize with her novel This Is Shyness, which was followed up in 2012 by Queen of the Night.» Read more about Leanne Hall
Rosalie Ham achieved a Bachelor of Education (majoring in Drama and Literature, Deakin) and a Master of Arts, Creative Writing (RMIT, 2007). Rosalie teaches Literature at Trinity College, University of Melbourne.
» Read more about Rosalie Ham
Author and researcher Maggie Hamilton writes books and for magazines; gives frequent talks and lectures; is a regular media commentator and a keen observer of social trends. Her many books, which have been published in Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Italy, China, Lithuania, Korea, the Arab States and Brazil, include What Men Don’t Talk About, which examines the lives of real men and boys; What’s Happening to Our Girls? and What’s Happening to Our Boys? which take a close look at the 21st century issues boys and girls face, and offer practical, workable solutions to these challenges; and Secret Girls’ Business a fun funky empowering gift book for teen girls.» Read more about Maggie Hamilton
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
When H.J. Harper was growing up in WA, she wanted to be either a mad scientist or an author. She now lives in Victoria and writes books for younger readers, like the action-packed Star League series, but is still working on her Mad Science PhD.» Read more about H J Harper
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
Roland Harvey writes and illustrates highly detailed, funny and slightly educational books using pen ink and watercolour. He has won a number of awards including the Dromkeen Medal. He demonstrates his craft in an entertaining manner to all ages.» Read more about Roland Harvey
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
Karen Healey is a young adult author of contemporary fantasy and science fiction for tomorrow’s heroines. A New Zealander living in Australia, she’s a fan of baking, feminism, and World of Warcraft.» Read more about Karen Healey
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
Jack Heath is the award-winning author of ten exciting books for young people. He started writing his first book at age thirteen and had a publishing contract at eighteen. His work is now sold all over the world and translated into French and Vietnamese. Jack regularly tours Australia to teach creative writing and shares his love of literature. His enthusiastic presentations have helped thousands of teenagers to get hooked on reading.
In the course of his research, Jack has gone scuba diving with sharks, traveled through Texas, Russia, and Cambodia, trained with firearms, toured prisons and interviewed guards, examined body parts at the morgue, read only books by women for a year, been a stunt driver, played bass in a rock band and performed street magic for an afternoon. He is also the Deputy Chair of the ACT Writers Centre. He has appeared on Today Tonight, Pyramid, Sunrise, Stateline, The Shak, Kids WB, State Focus and various other TV shows, as well as being featured in the Shanghai World Expo.» Read more about Jack Heath
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
John Heffernan has written about thirty books for a range of audiences from early readers to young adults, in a range of genre that includes realistic fiction, fantasy, futuristic, and picture books. He also writes for junior readers under the pseudonym “Charlie Carter” (most notably, the Battle Boy series).» Read more about John Heffernan
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
Robert Hillman has published more than sixty works of fiction and non-fiction. His books feature in school libraries all over Australia and his autobiography, The Boy in the Green Suit, won the 2005 Australian National Biography Award. His publications cover sports, Australian history, nation building, Young Australian achievers, and the plight of refugees and asylum seekers» Read more about Robert Hillman
Lia Hills is a poet, novelist and translator. Her work has been published, performed, and translated both locally and internationally, and focuses on sources of meaning.» Read more about Lia Hills
Nette Hilton is a compelling and challenging storyteller of exciting tales for children of all ages with a voice that is strong and filled with warmth and humour. She creates the extraordinary in the everyday lives of families captivating her readers while opening new worlds and realities for them.» Read more about Nette Hilton
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
Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky is a writer, storyteller and musician, with a forty-year career in books, broadcasting, radio, television, bands, theatre, and solo performance. He came to Australia as a boy in 1956, with his Czech-Scots family, and has made a lifetime exploring this land, it’s music and stories.
All of Jan’s presentations for schools are designed carefully to match up with points along the VELS Curriculum for both Primary and Secondary levels. Ask an agent at Booked Out to forward you the full curriculum breakdown sheets if required.» Read more about Jan Wositzky
Penny has been growing, writing about and photographing edible and useful plants for more than thirty years. After seven books and countless articles and talks, her passion for her subject is undiminished. She contributes regular articles and photographs to her website and to the ABC’s Organic Gardener Magazine and Essential Guides, as well as appearing on radio in gardening talk back shows.» Read more about Penny Woodward
Fiona Wood is the author of Six Impossible Things, Wildlife and Cloudwish. Six Impossible Things was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year, Older Readers in 2011. Wildlife won the CBCA Award in 2014 and was shortlisted for numerous other awards. Cloudwish won the CBCA Award in 2016, and the 2016 Indie Book Award for YA fiction. It was also shortlisted for the Gold Inky Award, and the ABIA Award. Her books are published internationally. All three books are Junior Library Guild Selections in the US. Before writing YA fiction, Fiona worked as a screenwriter. She lives in Melbourne with her family.» Read more about Fiona Wood
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
Lili Wilkinson is a reader and writer of YA literature. She is the author of nine books for teenagers, and has a PhD in Creative Writing.» Read more about Lili Wilkinson
Frances Whiting is Queensland’s best-known and best-loved newspaper columnist. For five years her weekly column in the Sunday Mail has made readers smile, cry, tear their hair out, and on several occasions, fall out of bed laughing. Frances is also the Associate Editor of the Sunday Mail and Senior Feature Writer. When she isn’t doing all of these things she enjoys playing guitar badly and falling off her surfboard.» Read more about Frances Whiting
Paula has worked as a print journalist and government communication specialist, and is now one half of a writer-designer consultancy. She has been writing fiction for many years, finding her niche penning gritty young adult paranormal stories with an Australian flavour in the Rephaim series.» Read more about Paula Weston
Maya Ward walked the length of the Yarra River from the sea to the source and wrote the book The Comfort of Water: A River Pilgrimageto share her tale. She is passionate about education in creative environmental problem-solving and works as an eco-urban design consultant and writer when not planting trees and growing vegies.» Read more about Maya Ward
Gabrielle Wang is an award winning author and illustrator of novels and picture books for children and young adults. She was born in Melbourne of Chinese heritage. As a result, Gabrielle’s books are a blend of both Australian and Chinese culture with a touch of fantasy. She has conducted workshops in writing and illustrating around Australia and overseas.» Read more about Gabrielle Wang
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
Lucy Howard-Taylor is the author of Biting Anorexia – an extraordinary
depiction of her descent into the tortured existence of anorexia
and her arduous and remarkable recovery from it.
Anorexia nervosa is the most fatal of all psychiatric illnesses, and
over 90 per cent of eating disorder victims are young women.
While anorexia is often portrayed in the media as a phase that
some young girls obsessed by their appearance go through, the
realities of the illness prove that nothing could be further from the
truth. As Lucy states in her powerful depiction: ‘This isn’t about
weight, or a diet or a figure. Somewhere along the line I’ve come
to equate fat with failure and weakness. Weight loss is merely
symptomatic of the greater psychological problem.’
Biting Anorexia is unique in that much of it was written while the
author was in the grips of the condition. Recovery is the hardest,
most challenging and most confusing part – and the one least
written about. This book tracks her slow progress out of the illness.
Lucy says: ‘To challenge an eating disorder, or any mental illness,
is to wage a prolonged, painful and devastating war … it is the
most confusing and emotionally draining part of the illness.’
‘Lucy’s brave struggle to reclaim her life from an eating disorder provides a graphic yet poetic insight into the pain and suffering experienced by sufferers of eating disorders and will no doubt provide a positive incentive to others – to both those already in treatment and to those who are struggling to take that first step.’
–Claire Vickery, CEO/Founder, The Butterfly Foundation.
‘In her raw and compelling account of the experience of anorexia nervosa, Lucy strips away all grandiosity or pretension … her cautious, tentative steps towards recovery should inspire not only those currently trapped by the illness or its relapses, but also families who all too often have their deep trauma minimised and trivialised.’
– Amanda Jordan, Chief Executive Officer, Eating Disorders Foundation.
Simmone Howell is an award-winning internationally published writer. She has written books, plays, screenplays, poetry, comic scripts, advertorials, speeches, shopping lists, blurbs, glossaries and legends. In addition to writing she teaches creative writing, mapping and journaling workshops for young people and adults. Her YA novels are: Notes from the Teenage Underground, Everything Beautiful, Girl Defective and Take Three Girls (September 2017 with Cath Crowley and Fiona Wood).» Read more about Simmone Howell
Melinda Hutchings is a media commentator, author, speaker and mentor on the topic of body image and teen issues. She is the author of four books and is passionate about empowering young people to face and overcome challenging issues and to recognise their enormous potential to create a happy and fulfilling future.» Read more about Melinda Hutchings
Michael’s novels for young adults, Hey Joe, MAX and Tyger Tyger have experienced critical success and continue to be widely read and taught in many schools. Hey Joe – about the Vietnam War, the movement against it and the sixties in Australia – was named as a Notable Book in the 2004 CBC Awards. Many of his short stories for younger readers are published in the Trend/Awesome Series including the popular titles: The Footy Coach from Hell, Seal Saves the Island and How I Got a Girlfriend. Michael also edited two senior anthologies for the Australian Association of English Teachers (AATE), Hunger (CBC Notable Book 2004) and The Girl who Married a Fly (CBC Notable Book 2002). Both anthologies feature popular YA Australian writers (including Michael) and like his novels, enjoy significant sales. Michael’s Change the Game series – choose-your-own-adventure sports books became overnight favourites with young readers, 20,000 + copies being sold in one year.» Read more about Michael Hyde
George Ivanoff is the author over 80 books for young people, including many education titles. He is best known for his You Choose books — a series of interactive books where the reader gets to make key decisions about how the story progresses. He is also author of the Gamers trilogy — teen novels set inside a computer game world. His books appear on both the Victorian and NSW Premiers’ Reading Challenge booklists. He enjoys speaking to all age levels, from primary school students through to adults.» Read more about George Ivanoff
Linda Jaivin is one of Australia’s most versatile writers. Her work spans humour, eroticism, social issues (The Infernal Optimist is set in an immigration detention centre), China studies, literary translation and cultural commentary. She has appeared on ABC’s Q & A and was a regular panelist on the now sadly defunct Critical Mass.» Read more about Linda Jaivin
Toni Jordan’s debut novel, the international best-seller Addition, was published in 2008 and shortlisted for both the Barbara Jefferis award and the ABIA best general fiction book, longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and won best debut fiction in the 2008 Indie awards. Addition was published in 16 countries and has been optioned for film. Her second novel, Fall Girl, was published in November 2010 in Australia and will be published in 2011 in the UK, Germany, France and Taiwan.» Read more about Toni Jordan
Cate Kennedy writes across most genres – fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Her short stories and essays regularly appear in magazines and literary journals. She is one of Australia’s most popular teachers of the short story form.» Read more about Cate Kennedy
Bringing Africa to life through stories, song and dance, Valanga’s solo performance Out Of Africa has toured schools throughout Australia to the enthusiastic acclaim of students and teachers in primary and secondary schools. Valanga was born in South Africa and spent his youth in Alexandra, a black township in Johannesburg, and in rural Transvaal. Growing up in a community where many could neither read or write, music and dance and storytelling were an integral part of the culture of his people.» Read more about Valanga Khoza
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
Will Kostakis is an award-winning author for young adults and younger readers. He splits his time between writing, touring Australian schools and working as a journalist.» Read more about Will Kostakis
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
Sofie Laguna is an actor, author and playwright. Her many books for children have been published in the US and the UK and in translation throughout Europe and Asia.» Read more about Sofie Laguna
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
British-Australian thriller author, L.A. Larkin, has been likened to Michael Crichton and Ian Fleming. The Genesis Flaw was nominated for four crime fiction awards and Thirst described as, ‘the best Antarctic thriller since Ice Station.’ Her latest thriller, Devour (July 2016), has been praised by authors such as Peter James and Kathryn Fox, and James Phelan describes Larkin as ‘a world-class thriller writer.’ An adventurer at heart, Larkin has spent time in the Antarctic, and with scientists at the British Antarctic Survey and the Australian Antarctic Division. In between creating the Olivia Wolfe thriller series, she writes humorous mysteries as Louisa Bennet. Larkin moves between Sydney and London, and teaches mystery and thriller writing.» Read more about L.A. Larkin
Michelle Law is an award-winning writer and screenwriter whose previous speaking engagements include TEDx events, Woodford Folk Festival, writer’s festivals, ABC radio and The Project. Her stories and essays have been widely anthologized and her films have screened nationally at festivals and on the ABC.» Read more about Michelle Law
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
Julia Lawrinson is an award-winning author for children and young adults and an engaging presenter for students of all ages. She had published ten novels from Aussie Nibbles to young adult fiction. Before You Forget is her most recently published book, read more about the young adult novel on her website.» Read more about Julia Lawrinson
Sophie Li, daughter of renowned ballet dancer and author Li Cunxin was born profoundly deaf. Unable to benefit from regular hearing aids, Sophie became one of the first children in America to receive a cochlear implant, during the time when there was fierce scepticism in the US about its capability and success. With implants in both ears, Sophie worked hard on her speech and hearing, attending a mainstream school and pushing herself to extraordinary lengths – such as learning the violin, cello and piano, speaking in Mandarin Chinese and performing Ballet, Jazz and Tap.» Read more about Sophie Li
David Lovegrove is a gifted artist who studied at two of Australia’s best art schools – The Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney and the Qld College of Art, Brisbane (where he gained his Master of Arts in Visual Arts). His passion is for exploring the ‘Way’ or the ‘Tao’ of the artist in the 21st Century, bringing together high skill and intuitive inspiration and freedom.» Read more about David Lovegrove
Michael Wagner is one of Australia’s most popular and original writers for children. His 70+ books successfully engage readers (even reluctant ones – especially boys) with quirky humour, fast-paced action and unpredictable storytelling.» Read more about Michael Wagner
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
Mitch Vane has had a long career as an illustrator and artist – based in Melbourne, she works in a variety of mediums but is at her happiest creating quirky humorous characters (and a lot of mess) with her beloved dip pen and Indian ink . Her distinctive loose energetic stye can be seen in many of the children’s books she has illustrated including : Bed Tales by Meredith Costain, The Deep End by Ursula Dubosarsky, and most recently Our (last) Trip to the Market by Lorin Clarke.
Mitch often collaborates with her partner Danny Katz . Her cartoons appeared with his weekly humour column in The Age for over twelve years – and they have created many hilarious children’s books as a writer/illustrator team. Mitch currently divides her time between illustrating children’s books, and developing painting projects of her own. She also does various workshops and appearances at bookshops, libraries and schools throughout the year.
You can see more of what Mitch is up to on her website at www.mitchvane.com or check out mitch vane art on Facebook and Instagram.» Read more about Mitch Vane
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
Maria Tumarkin is a Melbourne-based writer and historian, and a 2013-2014 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow. She is the author of three critically acclaimed books of narrative non-fiction, which explore some of today’s most pressing issues – identity, immigration, family, moral courage and trauma.» Read more about Maria Tumarkin
Coral Tulloch has worked on close to 60 books for children for both Australian and International publishers. As an author and illustrator, working in both fiction and non-fiction, Coral brings a wide range of presentations from cartooning to discussions on the environment, for a wide audience group.
Her latest book, One Small Island co-authored and co-illustrated with Alison Lester tells the story of Macquarie Island. She is currently working on two illustrated fictions, which revolve around the continent she loves so well.
Coral is the creator of a syndicated children’s page, The Tales Of Wombat Creek, which appeared for over 20 years in newspapers throughout Australia and Internationally. She has a passion for environmental education and equally, a passion to help others express their own stories through either the written or visual narrative.
Her work for more than a decade has centred on her voyages and experiences of the Antarctic, with several works produced. Antarctica The Heart Of The World won the Wilderness Societies Environment Award for Children’s Literature in 2004 and was named one of the best ten books of the year by US Science Books and Films several years later.
Coral lives in Hobart with her husband, Peter.» Read more about Coral Tulloch
Ian writes picture story books, novels for older readers and young adult novels as well as dabbling in some freelance journalism. He was, until recently a primary school teacher, but after 40 years in front of a chalkboard he finally decided writing is heaps more fun and so much quieter.» Read more about Ian Trevaskis
Kim Michelle Toft is a full time illustrator and author of environmental children’s books, focusing primarily on coastal and ocean habitats. Her illustrations are all hand painted onto silk, and as part of her presentation she demonstrates her silk painting technique.
Publications currently in print: I Can Swim A Rainbow (Silkim Books), Recipe For Perfect Planet Pie (Silkim Books), Tick Tock Tick Tock What’s Up Croc? (Silkim Books), The Twelve Underwater Days of Christmas (Silkim Books), A Sea of Words (Silkim Books), The World That We Want (UQP), Turtle’s Song (UQP), Neptune’s Nursery (UQP) and One Less Fish (UQP)» Read more about Kim Toft
Tony Thompson is the author of Summer of Monsters, a fictional account of Mary Shelley’s circle in Geneva. He has also written two non fiction books for teenagers, Shakespeare: The Most Famous Man in London and Vampires: The Unhistory of the Undead. His articles on education have appeared in The Age and The Australian.» Read more about Tony Thompson
Matteo is an interactive storyteller who develops the imagination of his audience along with their listening and thinking skills. His sessions are interesting, fun and engaging.» Read more about Matteo the Storyteller
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
Penny is the author of three books for young people. Her first novel, Loving Richard Feynman was shortlisted for the 2010 CBCA Book of the Year (older readers).
Penny performed stand-up comedy for many years beginning by winning the Victorian final of Triple J’s Raw Comedy Competition. Most recently she performed a show about education and teaching, Chalk and Talk, in the Melbourne Comedy Festival.» Read more about Penny Tangey
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
Anne Spudvilas is a multi award-winning illustrator of children’s books. Her work on the picture book version of Mao’s Last Dancer, The Peasant Prince, took her to China with author Li Cunxin. The Peasant Prince won both the NSW and Qld Premiers Awards and CBCA Honor book in 2008.
Anne’s work concentrates on portraying character and expression in people in commissioned portraits, courtroom sketching and children’s books. Anne is in demand for drawing workshops here and overseas and gives presentations about the process of illustrating books for primary and secondary level.» Read more about Anne Spudvilas
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
Jamie Mackenzie is one half of an intrepid duo who set out to see the entire world from the seat of a bicycle. Armed only with an open mind and a thirst for adventure, Jamie and his cousin departed their homes on a unique mission to cycle on every continent without the use of an airplane. They called the journey Free Wheels East. With little money and no training or know-how, they set out from England to forge an unbroken line around the earth’s surface…to everyone else it seemed like an impossible journey.» Read more about Jamie Mackenzie
Emma Magenta was born in Sydney and began her career drawing and writing her thoughts down on brown paper bags while working at Berkelouw Books in Paddington. After pinning them to the front window, they accrued a cult status and a publishing deal was offered to her by Australian publishing phenomenon; Bradley Trevor Grieve.» Read more about Emma Magenta
Emily Maguire is the award-winning author of three novels and two non-fiction books. Her articles and essays on sex, religion, culture and literature have been published widely in Australian and international magazines, journals and newspapers.» Read more about Emily Maguire
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
Ellie Marney is a teacher, and author of the highly-awarded Young Adult crime trilogy, the Every series (Every Breath, Every Word, Every Move), published locally and overseas. In 2015, Every Breath (Allen & Unwin, 2013) was named by ALIA (Australian Library Information Association) as one of the top ten most-borrowed YA books in libraries nationwide.
Ellie has helped spearhead a campaign to promote and advocate for Australian YA literature, #LoveOzYA, and hosts an online book club (#LoveOzYAbookclub) to encourage more engagement with local YA stories. She is an Ambassador for the Stella Prize Schools Program, and is a regular speaker at schools, events and festivals.
Ellie lives in regional north-central Victoria with her partner (also a teacher) and their four sons. She likes jumping in the dam on a hot night, all things Sherlock, and the occasional spot of remedial chain-sawing.» Read more about Ellie Marney
Aquatic Scientist Sheree Marris is one of Australia’s youngest environment ambassadors. She is committed to educating the community about their responsibilities in water preservation, marine life and other environmental issues such as recycling. Among her many accolades, she was Young Australian of the Year (Victoria) in 2002.» Read more about Sheree Marris
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
Marc Martin is one of Australia’s most talented new picture-book creators. Having formally trained as a graphic designer, he splits his time between his design studio and various illustration projects. His first book, A Forest, explores themes of sustainability, growth, and our relationship with the environment.» Read more about Marc Martin
A shepherd boy from the mountains of Afghanistan, Najaf became a rugmaker of genius but was forced to flee his homeland under the onslaught of the Taliban. He painstakingly rebuilt his life in Australia and rescued his family from the despair of Pakistan’s refugee camps.» Read more about Najaf Mazari
Maureen McCarthy is one of Australia’s best loved writer’s for Young Adults. Her novels are full of gutsy and believable characters caught at the cusp of adulthood – a time when so much is changing and being decided. Her strong storylines celebrate the complexity of contemporary life with honesty and humor.» Read more about Maureen McCarthy
Michael is a well known author, commentator and presenter. He is a familiar voice on radio. As well as writing his own books, he has reviewed over 900 books for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. He is the author of Bypass: The story of a road.» Read more about Michael McGirr
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
Kate (left) is best known for her one-woman stage comedy show The Debutante Diaries. In the show Kate brings an entire school community to life as they plan their Year 11 debutante ball, pitting adult disaffection against teenage angst, with hilarious results.» Read more about Kate McLennan
Glenda Millard writes picture books, novels for younger readers and for young adults. Her books have been published in Australia and internationally and have won many accolades.» Read more about Glenda Millard
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
James Moloney has written more than thirty books for readers between seven and seventeen years old. Many of his YA novels are widely studied in schools and two have won the CBCA Book of the Year Award. He is an engaging speaker for all ages from seven upwards.» Read more about James Moloney
Meg Mundell is a novelist, journalist, short fiction writer and teacher who is passionate about the power of storytelling. Meg has taught journalism at the University of Melbourne and run creative writing workshops for young homeless people. She has a strong interest in creativity, social justice and sense of place.» Read more about Meg Mundell
Kirsty Murray is a multi award-winning author of nineteen books whose dynamic and inspiring presentations are guaranteed to send young people away itching to read more widely and to believe that they too can share their stories with the world. Kirsty is a 2017 nominee for the world’s most prestigious children’s literature prize, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, for her contribution to children’s literature.» Read more about Kirsty Murray
Series contributors: Lyn White; Rosanne Hawke; John Heffernan; Sophie Masson; Robert Hillman; Prue Mason.» Read more about Through My Eyes
Craig Smith is the performer and author of The Wonky Donkey, the biggest selling picture book in Australia in 2010. It is still amongst the top three best selling children’s picture books, outsold only by Mem Fox’s Where’s the Green Sheep and Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
In late 2007, Craig released his first kids’ album Not Just for Kids. The first track from this album — “The Wonky Donkey” – won the APRA NZ Children’s Song of the Year Award in 2008. It ended up making the top 25 songs in the children’s section of the ISC International Songwriting Contest — the world’s biggest song competition.
In 2009, The Wonky Donkey was published as a book with hilarious illustrations by Craig’s friend, Katz Cowley. The pair teamed up again for 2010’s Willbee the Bumblebee, based on a childhood story told by Craig’s mother and co-author, Maureen Thompson. Like The Wonky Donkey, Craig turned it into song.
All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth was written by Don Gardner and illustrated by Katz Cowley, with an accompanying CD of the story performed by Craig Smith in song.
Craig has also had success with his recent book Kaha the Kea, which topped the best-sellers list for Children’s Books in New Zealand.
Craig is excited about the release of his newest book, Eating, which is illustrated by Scott Tulloch and again includes a CD of a musical performance.
Craig lives in Queenstown, New Zealand and regularly tours various locations with Booked Out.» Read more about Craig Smith (NZ)
Jessica Shirvington is the author of the international bestselling series:The Violet Eden Chapters (also known as The Embrace Series), a young-adult paranormal romance series that debuted with Embrace in 2010 and was closely followed by Entice, Emblaze, Endless andEmpower. The series has gone on to sell in a large number of international markets including the USA, UK, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Brazil, Czech, Hungary and Poland.
Jessica also released a stand alone novel in 2013 – Between the Lives– and has another two book series on the way in 2014. Jessica’s first picture book is also in the works with HarperCollins Australia and will be released shortly.» Read more about Jessica Shirvington
Katrina Nannestad grew up in central-western New South Wales and has lived and worked most of her life in small country towns. After studying Arts and Education at the University of New England, she went on to teach, travel, raise children and pursue her love of stories. Katrina likes to celebrate family, friendship and community in her writing.
Katrina is the winner of the 2014 Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature, as part of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards for The Girl Who Bought Mischief.» Read more about Katrina Nannestad
Angela Savage’s crime novels are inspired by the six and a half years she spent living in South-east Asia in the late 1990s, working for the Red Cross on HIV/AIDS programs. Her love affair with Asia continues, and in 2008 she spent the year in Cambodia with her partner and their two-year-old.» Read more about Angela Savage
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
Josh Nelson (BCA Hons, PhD) is a writer, academic, broadcaster and filmmaker. He has worked as a lecturer at The University of Melbourne, Monash University and Victoria University, and has extensive experience presenting to secondary schools on a number of film and media-related topics.» Read more about Josh Nelson
After thirteen years as a detective in the NSW police force, P.M. Newton decided to take a leap into the unknown and seek a different path, one that did not involve constantly meeting people for the first time on the worst day of their life. Since then she has travelled to Timbuktu, written about music in Mali, studied Buddhist philosophy in India, taught English to Tibetan monks and written a critically acclaimed novel.» Read more about P.M. Newton
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
Jeannette Rowe is one of Australia’s best selling preschool authors/illustrators. She has published over 100 picture books over the past twelve years and has sold nearly two million books around the world. She has also developed four Digital BookGames, including the award-winning YoYo Go Spy for iPad. Find out about these gameshere.» Read more about Jeannette Rowe
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
PROJECT ROCKIT is Australia’s youth-driven anti-bullying and leadership organisation that empowers young people to stand up and lead change – in school, online and beyond. The team has worked with over 100, 000 young people in workshops across Australia and have earned the reputation as the student-favourite in anti-bullying programs. They believe in creating a world where respect thrives over bullying, prejudice and judgment and all young people are free to realise their potential.
So what are you waiting for? Join the anti-bullying movement!» Read more about Project Rockit
Kathleen Noonan is a Brisbane-based journalist and columnist. She has written a weekly opinion column ‘’Last Word’’ in Saturday’s Courier-Mail for 13 years.» Read more about Kathleen Noonan
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
Patrick O’Neil is a 31-year-old travel writer, journalist, editor and author. His debut travel memoir, spanning six continents, was published by Penguin in 2009 and reprinted in 2010. In between overseas jaunts, he works editing news and writing headlines for The Age newspaper.» Read more about Patrick O’Neil
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
Paddy O’Reilly is a multi-award winning writer of fiction and non fiction and a passionate speaker on the art of writing.» Read more about Paddy O’Reilly
Sally Rippin is one of Booked Out’s most versatile speakers. She has run workshops and given presentations from Prep to Year 12 in both writing and illustrating. Sally travels regularly throughout Australia to speak at schools and festivals and has recently had residencies in Beijing, Singapore, Shanghai and Ghana.» Read more about Sally Rippin
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
Sonia Orchard is a freelance writer and author with a background in classical music, marine biology, teaching (music and environmental education), cooking and scuba-diving instruction.» Read more about Sonia Orchard
Wendy Orr is the multi-award winning and internationally published author of over forty books ranging from picture books to adult, including Peeling the Onion and the Nim’s Island series, which have also become feature films. She is passionate about her craft and is known for the honesty and inspirational qualities of her sessions.» Read more about Wendy Orr
Amra Pajalic is a Melbourne based author of Bosnian background. Her debut novel The Good Daughter won the 2009 Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Civic Choice Award. Her short stories have placed in competitions, been published in magazines, journals and anthologies. She received funding from Artists in Schools to conduct writing workshops in 2010, 2011 and 2012 in high schools. In early 2014 an anthology she co-edited will be published by Allen and Unwin, and her middle grade novel will be published by Garratt Publishing.» Read more about Amra Pajalic
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
Felicity’s stories reflect her passion for history (both Australian history and medieval England) and her fascination with the unknown in our world: time travel, ghosts and reincarnation.» Read more about Felicity Pulman
Best-selling author Michael Pryor has published more than twenty books and fifty short stories. He is one of Australia’s leading fantasy writers. Michael has been shortlisted six times for the Aurealis Awards (including for Blaze of Glory and Heart of Gold), has been nominated for a Ditmar award, and five of his books have been CBCA Notable Books, including Word of Honour.» Read more about Michael Pryor
Liz Porter is a freelance journalist best-known for her prize-winning books about “the real CSI” – the way forensic science is used to solve crime. Based in Melbourne, she is a former award-winning legal affairs reporter for The Sunday Age.» Read more about Liz Porter
Ben Pobjie is the author of the Masterchef spoof Superchef, and the satirical collection Surveying the Wreckage. He is the resident satirist for New Matilda and TV writer for the Saturday Age, co-hosts comedy podcast Gather Around Me, and is a regular voice on ABC radio,Triple R and 3CR as well as writing occasionally for TV.» Read more about Ben Pobjie
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 James Phelan is the bestselling and award-winning author of twenty-eight novels and one work of non-fiction. From his teens he wanted to be a novelist and he started his first novel aged 15. After high school he first tried his hand at a real job, studying and working in architecture before turning to English literature, spending five years at The Age newspaper, while obtaining an MA in Writing and then a PhD in Young Adult Literature.
His first published book was Literati (John Wiley & Sons), a series of interviews with Australia’s top literary figures. This lead to several publishers offering James publication for his fiction, and he signed with Hachette, who have published five titles in the Lachlan Fox – an Australian investigative journalist – action thriller series, the Alone trilogy of Young Adult post-apocalyptic novels, and the Jed Walker series suspense thrillers: The Spy, The Hunted, Kill Switch, and Dark Heart. James has also written a fourteen-book adventure series for Scholastic, titled The Last Thirteen. This series, described as “The Famous Five meets Indiana Jones,” has won many Australian kids-choice awards, where it has sold over half a million copies since 2014.
James has been a full-time novelist since the age of 25, and spends his time writing thrilling stories and talking about them. As a highly sought after speaker across all education levels, James has spoken at festivals, schools, and universities all over the world. Each year James spends three months talking at schools in the USA. He is currently working on a Middle Grade series of funny illustrated novels, some picture books, thrillers, and YA work. James has sold over 4 million copies world-wide.» Read more about James Phelan
Acclaimed YA author Tim Pegler is an award-winning journalist, extensively published in newspapers, magazines and online. Tim’s experience covering social issues, such as homelessness, disability and juvenile justice, provides the foundation for much of his writing for young adults.» Read more about Tim Pegler
As a child, Mark Pardoe had his sights firmly set on being an internationally famous soccer star who won Formula One races in his spare time.
Perhaps fortunately, these days Mark Pardoe is a part time primary school teacher who writes children’s fiction. Mark’s aim is to both entertain and challenge his readers. His writing employs a distinctive humour that can be read and enjoyed by a wide audience.» Read more about Mark Pardoe
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
Lucia is as a freelance illustrator specialising in children’s books. Since 2008 she has collaborated with Australian and English Publishers and has illustrated fifteen books, among which Come Down Cat! (CBCA Honour Book 2012) and the successful series Our Australian Girl. She likes to create whimsical characters and dynamic compositions and she works with traditional techniques, mixing watercolor, pencil and acrylic.» Read more about Lucia Masciullo
Born in Vietnam in 1974 Bic Walker escaped war torn Vietnam at the age of four. Bic’s experience as a refugee was the catalyst for her first Book A Safe Place to Live. This autobiographical children’s book recounts her experience in fleeing Vietnam with her family in 1979 on a tiny boat bound for freedom. The events that transpired are the stuff of Hollywood movies: attacked by pirates and left drifting in the open ocean without fuel, the family were finally rescued by a Canadian oil tanker. Bic and her family were transported to Malaysia where they waited for six months before being taken to Australia.» Read more about Bic Walker
Trace Balla works with people of all ages and abilities to inspire their creativity and awareness of the wonders of the natural world and the ample stories that surround us. Her book Rivertime is about appreciation of nature, facing challenges, not needing so much, and connecting with the earth. Trace can discuss and show slideshows and offer activities with varying focus, such as; sketching in nature, cartooning, book layout, making mini books, story catching and making combining words and images.» Read more about Trace Balla
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
Clare Wright is a historian who has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster. Her first book, Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans, garnered both critical and popular acclaim. She researched, wrote and presented the ABC television documentary Utopia Girls and is currently co-writing a four-part series to commemorate the centenary of WWI for ABC1. The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka won the 2014 Stella Prize. Clare lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children.» Read more about Clare Wright
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
Courtney Collins is the author of The Burial, inspired by the life of a female bushranger. Shortlisted for The Stella Award, The NSW Premiers’ Award and the Dobbie, it is currently being developed as a feature film. Courtney is a regular contributor to ABC Arts online and is at work on her second novel.» Read more about Courtney Collins
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
Daniel Witthaus has spent the past two decades challenging homophobia one cuppa at a time in schools, rural communities and, occasionally, developing countries like Sri Lanka, Poland and Indonesia. He is the author of Beyond Priscilla: one gay man, one gay truck, one big idea… (2014), Beyond ‘That’s So Gay!’: Challenging homophobia in Australian schools (2010) and the Pride & Prejudice educational package (2002, 2012) – which won three Tasmanian schools Human Rights Week awards.
In 2013 Daniel founded the National Institute for Challenging Homophobia Education (NICHE), which focuses on the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in regional, rural and remote Australia. NICHE has had success with both the YourStory cartoon series and the oi! challenging rural homophobia campaign.» Read more about Daniel Witthaus
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
Michael Camilleri is a Melbourne artist who creates books, comics and visual theatre. Michael’s latest illustration work can be seen in One Minute’s Silence by David Metzenthen. His illustration work also features in The Devil You Know by Leonie Norrington and on the album art and accompanying picture book for Martin Martini’s Vienna 1913. He lives with his partner Katherine and their son Ruben.
To check out Michael’s work and read some of his comics, visit www.epicboy.com» Read more about Michael Camilleri
Angela has been working in the area of Alcohol & other Drugs (AOD) for 15 years. Her passion is raising awareness of the impact of AOD on the family and the broader community. Her presentations and six week education program called ARC (Action for Recovery) are about changing behaviour. Angela’s work tangibly examines how to modify the impact and bring about change in attitude.» Read more about Angela Ireland
Kelly Gardiner writes historical fiction for readers of all ages. Her books range from a picture book, to pirate adventure tales for younger readers, to acclaimed young adult novels. Her latest book, Goddess, is a novel for adults based on the true life story of a seventeenth century swashbuckling opera singer. An engaging speaker and educator, she most enjoys those moments of connection between author and audience – that instant camaraderie that brings together readers, writers, and stories.» Read more about Kelly Gardiner
Dean Rankine has been writing and drawing comics for over 20 years. His credits include: working on Simpsons and Futurama comics (the only Australian to ever do so), Australian MAD Magazine, the iconic Dandy and Beano magazines for DC Thomson (UK), Itty Bitty Bunnies in Rainbow Pixie Candy Land (Action Lab Entertainment) and Mania, K-Zone, Krash, Pursuit, Challenge and Explore magazines. He has also illustrated books for Ashton Scholastic, Pearson Australia and Penguin Books.» Read more about Dean Rankine
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
Mike is a survivor of one of the deadliest diseases on the planet. His story of courage, determination and pure resilience will inspire, educate and entertain!» Read more about Mike Rolls
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
Nicholas Jones is a contemporary visual artist specialising in book sculpture. Nicholas is available for different kinds of events including workshops, literary festivals and artist residencies.» Read more about Nicholas Jones
Neridah is an inspiring presenter who knows how to connect with her students, making Australian history, Indigenous history and Sport accessible to children in a fun and engaging way.» Read more about Neridah McMullin
Excitable, energetic and ever the entertainer, Alice In Frames is on a quest to make food fun. As author of Alice’s Food A-Z, host of popular kids’ game-show Kitchen Whiz and “Adventurer-in-Residence” at Melbourne’s iconic Prahran Market, this former Middle School teacher turns wherever she goes into her classroom.» Read more about Alice Zaslavsky
Karen Wood is the author of the Trick Star series of books for children, Jumping Fences and Rain Dance for teens, and of the five Diamond Spirit rural romance books. She has an Arts degree majoring in communications and a diploma in horticulture. She has syndicated a gardening column in several newspapers throughout Australia, has published feature articles in various magazines and has published photographs in bushwalking guides. She is married with two children, a few horses, some dogs, chooks and a very cute rabbit. She lives on a small acreage on the Central Coast, New South Wales, where she spends as much time as possible with kids and horses or at her laptop, dreaming up a new book.» Read more about Karen Wood
Nova Weetman wrote her first book at 12. A dystopian story about jelly eating, it’s predictably unpublished. From there, she honed her story writing skills in the world of film and TV, before returning to the thing she loves most – writing prose. Now she writes YA novels and middle fiction, and short non-fiction and fiction for various literary magazines and online publications.» Read more about Nova Weetman
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
Mariam Issa is a visionary storyteller and delivers a story of determination and strength that is uniquely inspirational.
As an author and renowned speaker, Mariam tailors her talks to the interests of her audiences, and has spoken about a wide variety subjects including leadership, community building, culture and diversity, gender issues, social justice, social inclusion and cohesion, as well as advocacy on FGM.» Read more about Mariam Issa
Erin Gough is a fiction writer whose award-winning short stories have been published in a number of journals and anthologies. Her novel for young adults, The Flywheel, won the Ampersand Prize and was published by Hardie Grant Egmont in 2015.» Read more about Erin Gough
Sarah Ayoub is a journalist and author. Her work has appeared in Marie-Claire, Cosmopolitan, The Guardian, Sunday Style, Girlfriend, CLEO and more. Sarah attended a mono-cultural school from Kindergarten to year 12 and the culture shock she experienced out in the real world inspired her to write her debut novel about race, identity, gender and belonging. She has spoken at schools and writers festivals across the east coast of Australia and appeared on TV and radio discussing her work and the social/cultural issues she covers. She has taught Journalism at the University of Notre Dame and is passionate about teens and seeing diversity in the arts. She blogs about writing, wanderlust and her inspirations at www.sarahayoub.com» Read more about Sarah Ayoub
Clare Atkins is an author and television scriptwriter. Her debut novel, Nona & Me, has been shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers and the Gold Inky Award 2015. She has written for many successful Australian television dramas including Wonderland, Winners & Losers, All Saints and Home & Away.» Read more about Clare Atkins
Donna Campisi is marathon runner with heart, and with a difference. At eight years old, she survived a stroke and doctors said she would never walk or talk again. At fourteen, she was in a critical condition and diagnosed with Diabetes Type 1.
In 2012, she set her own challenge: a campaign called Run Donna Run. She planned to go from being able to run only 30 steps in November, to completing a marathon in October the following year.
Her success raised funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, inspired a great many followers, and proved “there is no such thing as can’t”! Donna is a woman who takes a challenge and believes it is achievable when broken into ‘baby steps’ and having the right mindset. She explains with confidence “Don’t just take opportunities when they come. Make opportunities!”» Read more about Donna Campisi
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
David is a multi-award-winning writer from Queensland. In 2015, David published his funny, sad and serious memoir How to Be Happy, which tackled an adolescence of depression, anxiety and sexual confusion head on. He’s regularly requested for his hilarious and inspiring talks.» Read more about David Burton
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
Skye is the author of YA fantasy books such as the Chasing the Valley trilogy and The Hush. She is an enthusiastic speaker who offers a variety of talks and writing workshops designed to spark students’ imaginations. Skye is the author of YA fantasy books such as the Chasing the Valley trilogy and The Hush.» Read more about Skye Melki-Wegner
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
Julia is the author of the recently released memoir, Breakfast, School Run, Chemo, chronicling life as a mum of four daughters, living with stage four bowel cancer. Since her diagnosis, she has learned how to live her best and most authentic life, despite great adversity and speaks around the issues of a terminal cancer diagnosis, living in the moment, learning how to stop glorifying busy, going after your dreams, body confidence issues, and believing in yourself. She has also written several articles, for Fairfax Media’s Essential Baby.» Read more about Julia Watson
Claire Zorn is the critically acclaimed author of young adult novels The Sky So Heavy and The Protected. Both books have been shortlisted for multiple awards. The Protected was awarded Young Adult Book of the Year 2015 by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, and won both the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and the 2015 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for young adult fiction.» Read more about Claire Zorn
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
Rowan McAuley loves to engage children and adults alike in dynamic, interactive presentations and workshops. As a visual and kinesthetic learner herself, she wants her audience to become participants, and to feel excited about reading and creative writing.» Read more about Rowan McAuley
Favel Parrett is the author of Past the Shallows, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2012. Her latest novel, When the Night Comes, took her to Antarctica by ship and was the trip of a lifetime.» Read more about Favel Parrett
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
Elise Hurst is a writer and illustrator who is enthralled by the places that imagination can take you. Starting out as a traditional artist she soon discovered a passion for narrative and her work uses both visual and written languages to convey meaning. In her sessions Elise loves to equip people with the tools to draw their wildest ideas.» Read more about Elise Hurst
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
Helen is an author and an actor. Using both her performance and writing skills, Helen brings dual knowledge and understanding to the art of expression.» Read more about Helen Chebatte
Gabrielle Tozer is an internationally published author with a background in journalism, editing and copywriting. Her YA novel, The Intern, won the State Library of Victoria’s 2015 Gold Inky Award, and its sequel Faking It is out now. Gabrielle has shared her passion for storytelling and creativity at numerous events, including the Sydney Writers’ Festival’s Children’s Festival of Moving Stories, Somerset Celebration of Literature, National Young Writers’ Festival and the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s National Conference.» Read more about Gabrielle Tozer
Jacqueline Harvey is the author of 27 novels for younger readers and a Children’s Book Council of Australia award winning picture book. Her bestselling Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose series’ are published internationally and have garnered various short listings and awards. Jacqueline travels widely, speaking and teaching in Australia and overseas.» Read more about Jacqueline Harvey
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
Kirsty Eagar is the award-winning author of the Young Adult novels: Summer Skin, Raw Blue, Night Beach and Saltwater Vampires. She believes storytelling is a life skill, and her author talks and workshops are structured using tenets of performance psychology to ensure they are distilled, sequenced and practical.» Read more about Kirsty Eagar
Tim Harris is one of the fresh faces in Australian children’s literature. His first series of books, Exploding Endings, will have primary-aged readers both captivated and laughing out loud.» Read more about Tim Harris
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
In his YA fiction, Mark combines his love of the outdoors (surfing, mountain biking, travelling) with his experience as a teacher in a residential campus on Victoria’s west coast. He believes strongly in the resilience and adaptability of young people when they’re confronted with new and challenging situations.» Read more about Mark Smith
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
Lucinda works as a children’s illustrator and author from her colourful, ink-splattered home studio. She loves to draw and especially enjoys improvised sketching with groups of children because – through the chaos – wonderful things can emerge.» Read more about Lucinda Gifford
Kate Mildenhall is a writer and educator who has worked in schools, at the State Library of Victoria and has volunteered with Teachers Across Borders in Cambodia. Her debut novel, Skylarking, based on the true story of best friends growing up on a remote Cape in 1880s Australia, was published in 2016.» Read more about Kate Mildenhall
Story Peddlers is a roving pop-up performance space that comes to you.» Read more about Story Peddlers
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
Zana Fraillon is the author of picture books and novels for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Bone Sparrow, has been shortlisted and nominated for national and international awards including The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, and the Carnegie Award.» Read more about Zana Fraillon
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