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Open Right

Audience: Senior Secondary

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Abdi Aden

Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

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
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Tansel Ali

Author, Corporate, Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development, Speaking Out

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
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Steven Amsterdam

Author

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
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Venero Armanno

Author

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
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Romy Ash

Author

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
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David Astle

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

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
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Luke Atkins

Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

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
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Tim Bain

Curriculum Specialist, Illustrator

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
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Emilie Zoey Baker

Entertainer, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Leo 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
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Tim Baker

Author, Journalist

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
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Tristan Bancks

Author

Tristan Bancks is a children’s and teen author with a background in acting and filmmaking. His books include the My Life series, Mac Slater: Coolhunter (Australia and US) and Two Wolves, a crime-mystery novel for middle-graders. Two Wolves won Honour Book in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. It also won the YABBA and KOALA Children’s Choice Awards and has been released in the US as On the Run (Farrar Straus Giroux).

» Read more about Tristan Bancks
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Max Barry

Author

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
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Myke Bartlett

Author

Myke Bartlett is a journalist and critic whose debut novel, Fire In The Sea, won the 2011 Text Prize. When not writing fiction, Myke writes on politics, movies, pop culture and rock music. His work has been published in The Age, Dumbo Feather, Overland, Triple J Magazine, Metro, Cream Magazine and The Big Issue, among others.

» Read more about Myke Bartlett
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Catherine Bateson

Author

Catherine Bateson has won the CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers twice and received three Honour Book Awards, including one for Older Readers. She teaches in the Professional Writing and Editing course at TAFE but is also available for school visits, to talk about both fiction writing and poetry.

» Read more about Catherine Bateson
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Katherine Battersby

Author, Illustrator

Katherine is a children’s writer and illustrator whose first picture book, Squish Rabbit, is published in Australia, the US, China and beyond. Squish Rabbit, which The New York Times says “is bound to win children’s hearts”, is shortlisted for the 2012 Crichton Award and is also a Notable Book in the CBCA Book of the Year Awards. In September 2012, the adorable bunny returns in Brave Squish Rabbit.

» Read more about Katherine Battersby
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Jon Bauer

Author, Inspirational Speaker

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
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Melissa Benson

Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

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
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Rachel Berger

Author, Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

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
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Amanda Betts

Author, Education Consultant

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
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Tony Birch

Author

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
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JC Burke

Author

The Story of Tom Brennan won the 2006 CBC Book of the Year – Older Readers and the 2006 Australian Family Therapists Award for Children’s Literature. It is currently on the NSW HSC syllabus list. Pig Boy has been shortlisted for a slew of awards and won Jane the prestigious Ned Kelly Award for crime fiction in 2012.

» Read more about JC Burke
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Lauren Burns

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Lauren Burns OAM, Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist (BHSc) Olympic Gold Medallist, Taekwondo Sydney 2000

» Read more about Lauren Burns
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Thomas Caldwell

Author, Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant

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
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Bernard Caleo

Author, Illustrator, Storyteller/Performer

Bernard Caleo is a performer, comic book maker, and comic book communicator.

» Read more about Bernard Caleo
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Fiona Capp

Author, Curriculum Specialist

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
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Deborah Carlyon

Author, Illustrator

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
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Isobelle Carmody

Author, Illustrator

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.

Website: www.isobellecarmody.net/
Blog: http://theslipstream.com.au/

» Read more about Isobelle Carmody
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Paul Carter

Author

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
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Ben Chandler

Author, Education Consultant

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
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Danielle Clode

Author

Danielle Clode is a zoologist and natural history writer. She also teaches professional and creative writing.

» Read more about Danielle Clode
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Simon Coronel

Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Cath Crowley

Author

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
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Ben Cryan

Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

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
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John Danalis

Author, Illustrator, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Oslo Davis

Corporate, Illustrator, Speaking Out

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
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Gregory Day

Author, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Demet Divaroren

Author, Inspirational Speaker

Demet Divaroren is a Melbourne based writer and editor who teaches creative writing at Victoria University. She is the co-editor of Coming of Age: Growing up Muslim in Australia anthology which was shortlisted in CBCA’s Book of The Year awards. Her writing has appeared in Griffith Review, Island magazine, Scribe’s New Australian Stories Anthology, The Age Epicure and The Big Issue. Demet’s first novel Living on Hope which explores contemporary Australia, cross-cultural friendships, domestic violence, racism and different kinds of love, will be published by Allen and Unwin in 2017.

» Read more about Demet Divaroren
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Daniel Ducrou

Author

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
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Nick Earls

Author

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
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Amy Espeseth

Author

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
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Declan Fay

Author, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Adam Ford

Author, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Arabella Forge

Author, Corporate, Personal Development, Speaking Out

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
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Sean Fyfe

Corporate, Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Sean aims to give parents, teachers and students greater insight and the practical tools to foster health and wellbeing along with academic and sporting achievement.

» Read more about Sean Fyfe
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Scot Gardner

Author, Storyteller/Performer

Scot Gardner has some powerful ideas to share about story—about how we write our futures, purge our demons and celebrate the things we love using words. A veteran raconteur, you’ll get heart and humour with every presentation he delivers.

» Read more about Scot Gardner
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Marjory Gardner

Illustrator

Marjory Gardner has been illustrating for trade and educational books and magazines for over twenty years. Her rainbow colours and cheerful, friendly style are instantly recognizable.

» Read more about Marjory Gardner
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Giulia Giuffre

Author, Inspirational Speaker

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
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Jane Godwin

Author

Jane Godwin is a publisher and highly acclaimed author of many books for children.

» Read more about Jane Godwin
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Anna Goldsworthy

Author, Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

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
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Peter Goldsworthy

Author

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
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Gus Gordon

Author, Illustrator

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
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Mini Goss

Author, Illustrator

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
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Phillip Gwynne

Author

Phillip Gwynne is best know for YA novels, first making his mark with the hugely popular and critically acclaimed Deadly Unna in 1998. Since then Phillip’s books have all received both high acclaim and popularity amongst readers, and he has penned works for all ages. He continues to write young adult novels (Swerve being the most recent), and his adult thriller The Build Up led to an epic thriller series for upper primary students: The Debt. Phillip now has a legion of young fans too, with picture books Yobbos Do Yoga, What’s Wrong Wobbegong? and more.

» Read more about Phillip Gwynne
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Dave Hackett

Author, Illustrator

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
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Leanne Hall

Author

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
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Rosalie Ham

Author

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
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Fiona Harris

Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Roland Harvey

Author, Illustrator

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
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Karen Healey

Author

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
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Jack Heath

Author

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
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Justin Heazlewood

Author, Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out, Storyteller/Performer

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
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John Heffernan

Author

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
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Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson

Corporate, Education Consultant, Personal Development, Speaking Out

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
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Anthony Hill

Author

Anthony Hill is an award-winning author of historically accurate books for children and young adults. They include Soldier Boy (NSW Premier’s Award), about the youngest Anzac; and The Burnt Stick (CBCA Honour Book) a powerful story from the ‘Stolen Generations.’

» Read more about Anthony Hill
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Robert Hillman

Author

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
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Lia Hills

Author, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Nette Hilton

Author

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
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Jan Wositzky

Entertainer, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Fiona Wood

Author

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
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Tony Wilson

Author, Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

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
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Gabrielle Williams

Author

Gabrielle Williams has three kids, one husband, and a dog. She has been described by The Age reviewer Cameron Woodhead as ‘one of the funniest young adult fiction authors around.’ In the name of research, Gabrielle has gone (illegally) into the drains that run under Melbourne, and also interviewed a number of artists, some of whom may or may not be the Australian Cultural Terrorists, responsible for stealing Picasso’s Weeping Woman from the NGV.

» Read more about Gabrielle Williams
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Lili Wilkinson

Author, Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker

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
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Paula Weston

Author

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
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Joanne Horniman

Author

Joanne Horniman has been writing for twenty-five years and is an experienced writing teacher to both adults and children.

» Read more about Joanne Horniman
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Melinda Hutchings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

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
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Sammy J

Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out, Storyteller/Performer

Sammy J is an award-winning comedian, writer and musician. A proud nerd, he abandoned his law degree to travel the world and sing funny songs for a living. You may have seen him on TV, at a festival, or as one half of the man/puppet duo Sammy J & Randy.

» Read more about Sammy J
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Toni Jordan

Author

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
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Bec Kavanagh

Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant

Bec Kavanagh is a reviewer, freelance writer & YA fiction specialist. Bec founded A Thousand Words Festival, a festival which celebrated and encouraged the reading and writing of young adult fiction and now takes that knowledge and passion for books directly into schools where she can share more book love with more people! She has appeared at the Melbourne Writers Festival and AussieCon4 (the 68th World Science Fiction Convention), volunteers for Pigeons (a literacy organisation making exciting work in primary schools) and is polishing up her first manuscript.

» Read more about Bec Kavanagh
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Melissa Keil

Author

Melissa Keil’s romantic comedy, Life in Outer Space, was the winner of the inaugural Ampersand Project, an initiative for debut young adult writers. It is a been described as a ‘humorous, heartfelt and angst-y romance with the potential to break the gender barrier’. When she is not writing, she can be found immersed in other people’s manuscripts in her day job as a children’s book editor.

» Read more about Melissa Keil
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Geoff Kelly

Author, Illustrator

Geoff has worked in most areas of illustration from magazines and publishing to the many faceted world of commercial art. He has written and illustrated a number of children’s books and made the pictures for many more.

» Read more about Geoff Kelly
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Cate Kennedy

Author

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
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Valanga Khoza

Storyteller/Performer

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
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John Kilner

Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant, Journalist

John Kilner is a well known expert in the fields of media issues, writing analysis and persuasive writing. He worked for The Age for nineteen years, much of that time for the Education supplement.

» Read more about John Kilner
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Will Kostakis

Author

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
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Sofie Laguna

Author, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Judith Lanigan

Author, Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development, Speaking Out

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
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Michelle Law

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Julia Lawrinson

Author

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
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Sue Lawson

Author

Sue Lawson worked as a teacher and a radio announcer/producer before serious illness motivated her to devote more time to her true passion – writing.

» Read more about Sue Lawson
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Erin Vincent

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development, Speaking Out

Erin Vincent is a highly respected journalist who has worked both here and in the US for publications such as The AustralianMarie 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
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Tammy van Wisse

Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

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
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Chris Turney

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Chris is an Australian and British professor of Earth science and author of three popular science books. Chris is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change at the University of University of New South Wales, where he and his team are focusing their efforts on finding lessons from the past.

Chris investigates past and future climates, how people have responded to change, and recent human evolution and migration. He does this in a hands-on fashion: he digs down into the ice of Antarctica for core samples, the depths of a volcanic crater, or searches for Hobbit fossils (seriously!) across Indonesia. He has stories to tell and bring to life.

Chris has earned a reputation as scientist who can demystify and articulate, for any audience, exactly what it is that a scientist does for a living. His enthusiasm shows us not only why he pursues these interests, but points out what we stand to gain through scientific education.

» Read more about Chris Turney
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Maria Tumarkin

Author

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
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Pelissa Tsilimidos-Thorne

Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant

Pelissa Tsilimidos-Thorne (B.A., Dip. Ed., MA. Ed.) is a senior English teacher with 25 years’ experience. She holds a research Masters in Education (Film as Text) from Monash University and has written for various educational journals and books.

» Read more about Pelissa Tsilimidos-Thorne
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Tony Thompson

Author

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
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Rosie Thomas

Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

Rosie is a highly energetic and passionate facilitator, whose experiences in working with youth communities have bolstered her strong sense of compassion and understanding towards fellow young people. With her sister Lucy she founded Project Rockit, a school-based program aimed at building youth leadership, citizenship and resilience by tackling the issue of bullying in school communities.

See also Project Rockit

Rosie was recently awarded the title of ‘Role Model of the Month’ by Girlfriend Magazine, in recognition of her commitment to empowering young women. In 2010, she was awarded first place in the Victorian Business Icon Awards, an intensive social entrepreneurship competition adjudicated by leading Australian business innovators. She also rocked out at the 2010 Cyber-Racism Summit in Sydney, wowing major corporates with her genuine understanding of youth online culture.

Rosie is also dynamic member of the Lord Somers Camp and Powerhouse community, contributing to core programs such as Very Special Kids Camp, Empowerme and Camp Diversity. In particular, as a past-coordinator of ‘MAX,’ the organization’s youth led leadership program, Rosie led a team of 15 young people to deliver a week-long residential seminar designed to MAXimise the potential of its young participants.

But it’s not just youth work that excites Rosie. Rosie is a talented singer and drama buff, jumping at any opportunity to perform! Her highlight performance was opening the Independent Primary School Heads of Victoria Association biennial concert with her musically talented sister, Lucy.

» Read more about Rosie Thomas
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Penny Tangey

Author, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Anne E. Stewart

Storyteller/Performer

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
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Anne Spudvilas

Illustrator

Anne Spudvilas is a multi award-winning illustrator of children’s books. Her work on the picture book version of Mao’s Last DancerThe 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
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Anthony Lucas

Entertainer, Illustrator

An acclaimed director and animator, Anthony Lucas has made films that have been celebrated around the world. His 2005 short film The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello won a host of awards and was nominated for an Oscar.

» Read more about Anthony Lucas
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Tim Macartney-Snape

Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

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
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Jamie Mackenzie

Inspirational Speaker

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
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Claire Madden

Corporate, Education Consultant, Speaking Out

Claire Madden is a social researcher, media commentator and next-gen expert, fluent in social media, youth culture, and engagement styles of these global generations, and a professional in interpreting what this means for educators, managers and marketers.  Claire is in demand for her skill in effectively identifying the emerging trends and assisting business leaders to strategically respond to them.

» Read more about Claire Madden
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Emma Magenta

Author, Illustrator

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
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Ellie Marney

Author, Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant

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
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John Marsden

Author, Corporate, Speaking Out

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
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Marc McBride

Illustrator

Marc McBride has illustrated over fifty book covers and countless magazines, as well as producing artwork for advertising campaigns. He has a solid design background in both advertising and film, and won the West Australian Film and Television Award for Best Art Director. Marc has had work exhibited with the New York Society of Illustrators. He is best known for his illustrations in the Deltora Quest series, written by Emily Rodda.

 

» Read more about Marc McBride
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Maureen McCarthy

Author

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
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Matt McFadyen

Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

From dragging sleds to the North Pole to sailing tiny yachts to Antarctica, Matt McFadyen has been there and done that. At the age of 29 Matt has spent the last decade pushing himself to his physical and mental limits while exploring some of the most remote parts of the globe.

» Read more about Matt McFadyen
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Russell McGilton

Author, Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out, Storyteller/Performer

Breathtaking and often hilarious, Russell’s entertaining stories and photos of his adventures will inspire anyone with an ounce of wonder dust in their pants and the courage to say ‘yes’ to the big ‘what if’ that lies out there for all of us.

» Read more about Russell McGilton
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Michael McGirr

Author

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
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Esther McKay

Author, Corporate, Speaking Out

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
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Kate McLennan

Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Storyteller/Performer

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
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James Moloney

Author

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
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Kirsty Murray

Author

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
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Jessica Shirvington

Author

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 EnticeEmblazeEndless 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
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Sue Saliba

Author

Sue Saliba is the prize-winning author of novels for Young Adults. She has taught English at secondary school, Novel Writing at RMIT and Creative Writing at Melbourne University.

» Read more about Sue Saliba
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Josh Nelson

Author, Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant

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
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Michael Robotham

Author, Corporate, Speaking Out

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
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Patrick O’Neil

Author, Journalist

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
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Dr Marcus Robertson

Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development, Speaking Out

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
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Paddy O’Reilly

Author

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
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Sally Rippin

Author, Illustrator

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
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Hannie Rayson

Author, Corporate, Curriculum Specialist, Speaking Out

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
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Wendy Orr

Author

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
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Felicity Pulman

Author

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
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Ailsa Piper

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

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
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James Phelan

Author

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
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Marissa Pinkas

Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant

Marissa Pinkas is an experienced educator with 20 years of dedication in varied educational environments in South Africa, Western Australia and Victoria. Currently she is completing her Masters in Education at the University of Melbourne, specialising in Collaborative Learning. Marissa is an expert on the Context section of the VCE English curriculum.

» Read more about Marissa Pinkas
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Tony Palmer

Author

Tony Palmer is a graphic designer by profession and writes part time about Australian History. His first novel, Break of Day is written with ringing clarity and real immediacy, putting his readers inside the skin of his characters.

» Read more about Tony Palmer
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Trace Balla

Author, Illustrator, Inspirational Speaker

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
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Luke Ryan

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

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
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Alex Hammond

Author, Corporate, Speaking Out

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
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Courtney Collins

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Anne Edmonds

Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out, Storyteller/Performer

Anne Edmonds is one of Australia’s most exciting new stand up, character and banjo-playing comedians. From naughty kid at school to performing at the New York Comedy Festival, Anne has a story to tell about a winding road to success.

» Read more about Anne Edmonds
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Daniel Witthaus

Author, Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Sally Warhaft

Author, Corporate, Journalist, Speaking Out

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
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Claire Dunn

Author, Inspirational Speaker

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
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Sian Prior

Author, Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development, Speaking Out

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
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Michael Camilleri

Illustrator

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
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Angela Ireland

Corporate, Personal Development

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
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Ursula Dubosarsky

Author

Ursula Dubosarsky wanted to be a writer from the age of six, and is now the author of over 40 books of fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults, which have won several national prizes, including the NSW, Victorian, South Australian and Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards. She and Andrew Joyner have now collaborated on three best-selling picture books The Terrible Plop, Too Many Elephants in This House and Tim and Ed. She lives in Sydney with her family.

www.ursuladubosarsky.com

» Read more about Ursula Dubosarsky
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Kelly Gardiner

Author

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
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Dean Rankine

Illustrator

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
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David Hunt

Author, Corporate, Speaking Out

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
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Shamini Flint

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Maree Coote

Author, Illustrator, Speaking Out

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
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Fleur Ferris

Author

Fleur Ferris spent the first seventeen years of her life growing up on a farm in Patchewollock, North West Victoria. She then moved twenty times in twenty years.

During this time, Fleur sometimes saw the darker side to life while working for a number of years as a police officer and a paramedic.

She now lives a more settled lifestyle on a rice farm in Southern New South Wales, with her husband and three young children.

Fleur’s colourful and diverse background has given her unique insight into today’s society and an endless pool of experiences to draw from. When she isn’t weaving this through young adult fiction, reading or spending time with her family, you will find her with friends, talking about art, books and travel.

Risk is Fleur’s first novel for young adults.

– See more at: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/fleur-ferris/risk-9780857986474.aspx#sthash.AcANKJDA.dpuf

» Read more about Fleur Ferris
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Rebecca Lim

Author, Illustrator

Rebecca Lim is a writer and illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia, with a background in commercial law. Rebecca is the author of sixteen books for children and young adult readers, including The Astrologer’s Daughter (a Kirkus Best Book of 2015) and Afterlight. Shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award, Aurealis Award and Davitt Award for best YA, Rebecca’s work has also been longlisted for the Gold Inky Award, the David Gemmell Legend Award and the CBCA Book of the Year Award for Older Readers. Her novels have been translated into German, French, Turkish, Portuguese and Polish.

» Read more about Rebecca Lim
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Samantha Turnbull

Author, Storyteller/Performer

Samantha Turnbull is a children’s author, slam poet, multimedia journalist for the ABC, and mummy blogger. She offers talks about her books and creative writing workshops for primary school students, slam poetry and multimedia journalism workshops for upper primary and secondary students, and informative sessions on childhood gender stereotypes for parents and teachers.

» Read more about Samantha Turnbull
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Nicholas Jones

Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant, Illustrator

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
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Neridah McMullin

Author, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Rebecca Starford

Author

Rebecca is a committed and passionate teacher. She is also an engaging, open and refreshingly candid speaker about her debut memoir, Bad Behaviour, which explores bullying and aggression in an elite private school. Rebecca is currently an editor at Text Publishing, the co-founder and publishing director of Kill Your Darlings cultural magazine. She was also a founding member of the Stella Prize steering committee, a prize dedicated the celebration of Australian women’s writing.

» Read more about Rebecca Starford
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Tony Nicholls

Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker

Tony Nicholls is an accomplished live broadcast journalist who has held roles over the last ten years with the ABC, SBS and Network Ten, covering state, national and international stories.

Tony was born and raised in Melbourne but like most journalists got his break in the country, when Macquarie Regional Radio in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales gave him a radio news job.  From there he followed a path through television news with Network Ten in Canberra, and finally back to Melbourne.

 

» Read more about Tony Nicholls
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Clare Atkins

Author

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

Donna Campisi

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

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
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Nicole Jenkins

Author

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
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Tommy Dassalo

Illustrator, Inspirational Speaker, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Skye Melki-Wegner

Author, Curriculum Specialist

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
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Andrew Fuller

Author, Education Consultant

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
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Aviva Reed

Education Consultant, Illustrator, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Julia Watson

Inspirational Speaker

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
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Dr Rick Kausman

Corporate, Personal Development, Speaking Out

Dr Rick Kausman is a Medical Doctor, and the Australian pioneer of the person-centred approach to wellbeing, healthy weight and lifestyle balance. Rick has written two books including the award-winning If Not Dieting, Then What? and has had several articles on healthy weight management published in peer-reviewed journals.
» Read more about Dr Rick Kausman
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Claire Zorn

Author

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
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Rowan McAuley

Author

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
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Favel Parrett

Author

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
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Elise Hurst

Author, Illustrator

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
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Drug Ed Australia

Personal Development

Drug Ed Australia is a leading provider of high quality, factual drug education to school communities and sporting groups. Our aim is to ensure the community has access to accurate and up to date drug and alcohol information. Our sessions aim to give a working knowledge of alcohol and other drugs and their associated harms, conducted in an interactive and non threatening environment.  All of our sessions are facilitated by an experienced Ambulance Paramedic and a Health Education Teacher, ensuring information is factual, current and age appropriate.

» Read more about Drug Ed Australia
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Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Speaking Out

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
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Gabrielle Tozer

Author, Journalist

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
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Jake Wilson

Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant, Journalist

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
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Kirsty Eagar

Author

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
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Kate James

New Speakers, Personal Development

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
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Mark Smith

Author, New Speakers

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
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Steve Bell

Author, Inspirational Speaker, New Speakers, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Nathan Hulls

Accelerated Learning and Study Skills, Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker, New Speakers, Personal Development

In the world of youth motivational speakers Nathan Hulls is a breath of fresh air. He speaks from the heart about issues that are real to young people today. Nathan can relate because he has faced adversity, suffered loss, endured disability and achieved great success.

Nathan connects with youth with humour and relevant stories of his own teenage years, but more than that he has a knack of connecting with each young person’s heart with a powerful message of hope, peak performance mindset and a tool kit for success.

» Read more about Nathan Hulls
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Kate Mildenhall

Author, Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant

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