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Location: Victoria

Asphyxia bio high res

Asphyxia

Author, Entertainer, Storyteller/Performer

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
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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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Felice Arena

Author, Illustrator

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
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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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Hilary Badger

Author

Hilary is the author of the Space Scout series, which follows the adventures of Kip Kirby, an intrepid space explorer. Hilary’s alter-ego is H.I. Larry, the mysterious author of the popular Zac Power series.

» Read more about Hilary Badger
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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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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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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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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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Lorette Broesktra

Author, Illustrator

Lorette Broekstra writes and illustrates children’s picture books. She wrote and illustrated the best selling Baby Bear and Hugo series.

» Read more about Lorette Broesktra
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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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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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Mark Carthew

Author, Entertainer, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Anna Ciddor

Author, Illustrator

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
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Sherryl Clark

Author

Sherryl Clark writes stories for all ages – from picture books to verse novels and novels for middle/older readers. She loves inventing characters and doing research, and then weaving the amazing things she discovers into all kinds of stories.

» Read more about Sherryl Clark
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Jane Clifton

Author, Entertainer

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
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Kate Constable

Author

Kate Constable is the author of the acclaimed and internationally published fantasy trilogy, The Chanters of Tremaris. She has also written three realist books for teenagers as part of the highly successful Girlfriend Fiction series. Her recent fantasy for younger readers, Cicada Summer, has been short listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and Crow Country won the CBCA Book of the Year (Younger Readers) in 2012.

» Read more about Kate Constable
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Amanda Cooper

Illustrator

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
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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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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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Sue deGennaro

Author, Illustrator

Sue deGennaro is an author and an illustrator. She has illustrated 16 picture books, and is the author and illustrator of The Pros and Cons of Being A Frog (shortlist for the CBCA 2013 Early Childhood Prize) Her second picture book Eddie Frogbert will be released Feburary 2017. Her most recent illustrated book is Clarries Pig Day Out by Jen Storer (HarperCollins 2016). Sue’s illustrations are quirky and infectiously funny. Sue has worked in many careers (including confectionery, circuses and home renovations!), and now (between making books) she often teachers writing & illustration.

» Read more about Sue deGennaro
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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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Kylie Dunstan

Author, Illustrator

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
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Adam Elliot

Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Adam Elliot is not only an Academy Award ™ winning Animator, but also one of Australia’s funniest, unique and most refreshing corporate speakers and entertainers. Adam has given his inspiring and motivating presentations to hundreds of groups all over the world.

» Read more about Adam Elliot
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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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Corinne Fenton

Author

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
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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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Lee Fox

Author

Lee Fox writes hilarious stories in rollicking rhyme about the things children do not like doing. She cleverly disguises literacy concepts in her stories so that young readers don’t even know they are learning.

» Read more about Lee Fox
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Archie Fusillo

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

Archie is one of the most in-demand and successful presenters of author talks and workshops in Australia. Archie’s versatility means he can communicate to, and cater for, a range of abilities and interests. The fact that he was a teacher and features writer probably helps.

» Read more about Archie Fusillo
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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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Serena Geddes

Illustrator

Spending most of her childhood watching Saturday morning cartoons and flicking through her brothers comic collection, Serena was destined to spend her adult days hunched over a light box, scribbling illustrations for picture books and working for a mouse in trousers.

She spent six years working for Walt Disney Studios in Sydney before diving head first into the world of publishing in 2009. She’s the illustrator of the highly successful ‘Lulu Bell ‘ series with Random House Australia and is currently working on a new US series called ‘Misty Inn’ published by Simon & Schuster. She has illustrated over 30 books ranging from board books to picture books through to junior readers.

» Read more about Serena Geddes
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Morris Gleitzman

Author

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
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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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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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Dave Graney

Author, Corporate, Entertainer, Speaking Out

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
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Susan Green

Author

Susan has had eleven books for children and young people published since 1987, ranging from picture storybooks and teenage romances to the popular Verity Sparks mysteries. She’s passionate about the pleasure and fun to be had from reading…and the way you can learn about other people, times and places without even knowing that’s what you’re doing.

» Read more about Susan Green
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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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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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H J Harper

Author

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
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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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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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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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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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Kate Holden

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

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
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Elizabeth Honey

Author, Illustrator

Elizabeth Honey is an award-winning author of poetry, picture books and novels. She is also an artist and illustrates her own books. Her playful humour, originality, and energy strike a chord with children everywhere. Her novels are published in many countries.

» Read more about Elizabeth Honey
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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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Penny Woodward

Author

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
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Ben Wood

Illustrator

Ben Wood has been illustrating for publishers and design studios for many years. He has been a Booked Out speaker for nearly as long and enjoys creating books with students.

» Read more about Ben Wood
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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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Mark Wilson

Author, Illustrator

Mark Wilson is one of Australia’s most successful author/illustrators of children’s books. He currently has seventeen books in print in Australia and the USA. His picture books have won many awards including two Whiteley Awards for children’s picture books, two Wilderness Society Awards and five CBCA Notable Picture Book awards.

» Read more about Mark 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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Carole Wilkinson

Author

Carole speaks engagingly about her books and the research process. She shows how she finds her stories in history and how historical artifacts inspire her.

» Read more about Carole Wilkinson
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Trudy White

Author, Illustrator

Trudy White is a painter, illustrator, author and designer. She draws in watercolour, ink and acrylic paint, making large paintings and small books, and she also designs books and other things.

» Read more about Trudy White
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Stig Wemyss

Storyteller/Performer

Stig Wemyss is Australia’s most loved narrator of audio books for children and young adults. His performances in libraries and schools around the country are wildly entertaining, cleverly irreverent and chocked full of fun.

» Read more about Stig Wemyss
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Gabrielle Wang

Author, Illustrator

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
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Anna Walker

Author, Illustrator

Anna Walker has illustrated and written delightful books for young children. Her books have won awards for their design and content and are published internationally.

» Read more about Anna Walker
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Simmone Howell

Author

Simmone Howell has written everything from advertorials to short plays to soap opera dialogue. But mainly, she writes realistic teenage fiction and runs zine workshops. She also takes walking tours around St Kilda, uncovering the world of Girl Defective for her audience.

» Read more about Simmone Howell
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George Ivanoff

Author

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
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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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Carol Jones

Author

Carol Jones has been a teacher, children’s magazine editor and publisher. She has written more than 40 books for children, including educational fiction and non-fiction, eight novels and trade non-fiction.

» Read more about Carol Jones
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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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Kim Kane

Author

Kim Kane was born in London in a bed bequeathed by Wordsworth to…a writer, a painter or a poet. Despite this auspicious beginning, she went on to practice law.

» Read more about Kim Kane
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Danny Katz

Author

Danny Katz is a Canadian-born author and newspaper columnist who writes for The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and The West Australian. He is the Modern Guru in Good Weekend Magazine.

» Read more about Danny Katz
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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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Ramona Koval

Author, Corporate, Journalist, Speaking Out

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
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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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David Lawrence

Author

David is a comedy writer/performer who makes a living out of pretending to be other people. He has written for numerous TV shows including Hamish & Andy, Comedy Inc., TV Burp and Talkin’ About Your Generation, and accidentally became a Children’s author in 2008. Anna Flowers and the three Fox Swift books have sporting themes and use comedy to tackle issues such as bullying and racism in schools.

» Read more about David Lawrence
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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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Sophie Li

Inspirational Speaker

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
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Steven Lochran

Author

Steven Lochran is the author of the Vanguard Prime series, published by Penguin and described as “Alex Rider joins the X-Men”. He majored in Creative Writing at QUT and has worked as a film critic, a projectionist and as a mobile party DJ. Most recently, he’s worked in the publishing industry as a marketing assistant and a sales rep, giving him a good overview of both the art and commerce of writing.

» Read more about Steven Lochran
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Michael Wagner

Author, Storyteller/Performer

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
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Mitch Vane

Illustrator

Mitch Vane is a Melbourne based illustrator who works in a variety of mediums but is at her happiest drawing with a good old-fashioned dip pen and Indian ink. She often collaborates with her partner Danny Katz – her cartoons have appeared with his weekly humour column in The Age for over twelve years. They have created many children’s books together, including the YABBA award winning Little Lunch series andNo Thanks Hanks & Other Unmannerly Tales. Mitch has illustrated many other children’s books with publishers both in Australia and the US including The PatchBedtails, and the much loved Becky series with Ursula Dubosarsky which includes the 2011 CBCA shortlisted titleThe Deep End. Mitch paints in her studio at home, and does various workshops and appearances at bookshops, libraries and schools throughout the year.

» Read more about Mitch Vane
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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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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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Ian Trevaskis

Author

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
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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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Lucy Thomas

Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

Lucy Thomas is a highly creative and innovative youth professional, whose imaginative take on life is at the core of her ability to connect with young people in a credible and meaningful way. With her sister Rosie 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

On finishing school, Lucy pioneered Family Life Agency’s responsive anti-bullying program, Knock Out Violence, presenting interactive sessions to over 5,000 students. She has since designed extensive workshops, seminars and residential programs around issues such as bullying, leadership, anger management and drug and alcohol awareness for Family Life and other organizations including Lord Somers Camp and Powerhouse and Rotary International.

In 2010, Lucy made her international debut as a speaker at the U.S. National ‘Stop Girl Bullying’ Conference in Texas, during which she appeared on primetime CBS news. During the same year, Lucy was also named winner of Anthill Magazine’s “30 under 30,” an awards scheme set up to recognise 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours.

As a Melbourne University graduate, Lucy has completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts (honours) and Graduate Diploma in Psychology. Her artistic background, together with a solid professional grounding within the youth development and community sector, has given her the precious ability to creatively engage young people through a variety of learning styles.

» Read more about Lucy Thomas
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Matteo the Storyteller

Storyteller/Performer

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
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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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Jen Storer

Author

Jen Storer grew up in a small country town in the Wimmera. She began her working life as a nurse. In the 1990s she returned to study, graduating from Monash University with first class honours in Literature. She has written many books for children including the best-selling Truly Tan series and the acclaimed gothic fantasy, Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid ChildrenQuincy Jordan, book one of the Crystal Bay Girls, is out now. Romy Bright will follow in August 2014. Jen lives in Melbourne, Australia.

» Read more about Jen Storer
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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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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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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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Doug MacLeod

Author

Doug MacLeod had his first book published at the age of sixteen, which earned him a fan letter from British comedian John Cleese. After graduating from the writing course at The Victorian College of Arts, Doug became head writer of the hit show The Comedy Company, and continued working full-time in TV for fourteen years, before leaving to write novels for young adults.

» Read more about Doug MacLeod
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Shane Maloney

Author

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
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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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Felicity Marshall

Author, Illustrator

Felicity is an author and illustrator of children’s picture books, as well as an accomplished painter. She believes in a holistic approach to art, and its role in all forms as both expression and therapy. She also believes that the process of creating art is as important as the end result.

» Read more about Felicity Marshall
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Marc Martin

Author, Illustrator

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
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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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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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Heath McKenzie

Illustrator

Heath McKenzie is a best selling illustrator specialising in stylised, rather cartoony digital illustration (though it’s all meant to look as ‘not digital’ as possible!)

» Read more about Heath McKenzie
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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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Glenda Millard

Author

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
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David Miller

Author, Illustrator

David Miller is having a lot of difficulty answering this question, so here are a few kind words from publisher Helen Chamberlin: ‘David is a leading Australian children’s book author/illustrator with a hugely impressive track record. His unique paper sculptures are of the highest artistic merit and he has a consummately professional approach to all he undertakes.’

» Read more about David Miller
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Tristan Miller

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

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
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Simon Mitchell

Author

Simon Mitchell writes stories for young people that are fast-paced, funny and a little bit quirky. He is the author of action-packed historical adventure Tough Times, mouthwatering picture book Louie the Pirate Chef, the hilarious Baked Bean Bandit trilogy and the Sniffy the Mouse Mysteries

» Read more about Simon Mitchell
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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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Martine Murray

Author, Illustrator

Martine Murray left university to study art. After art school she studied more physical things like acrobatics and dance. Then she tried to join it all together in theatre. Meanwhile, she started writing just to keep track of what was going on. She spends a lot of time walking with her dog, Bear, and thinking up ideas. She has never learnt practical skills except how to cook rice. She lives in Melbourne.

» Read more about Martine Murray
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Craig Smith

Illustrator

Craig Smith’s warm, quirky illustrations have amused kids for more than three decades. With over 360 books to his credit, the humor and pathos of home and school life, and a fondness for unusual perspectives are features of his work.

» Read more about Craig Smith
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Katrina Nannestad

Author, Illustrator

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
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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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Robert Newton

Author

Robert Newton works as a full-time firefighter with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. His first novel, My Name is Will Thompson, was published in 2001. Since then he has written six other novels for young people, including Runner, The Black Dog Gang and When We Were Two, which won the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and three daughters.

» Read more about Robert Newton
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Jeannette Rowe

Author, Illustrator

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
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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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Marion Roberts

Author

Marion Roberts is a fiction writer with two novels published for young readers following the misguided adventures of eleven-year-old Sunny Hathaway. Marion also has a Masters in creative writing and enjoys teaching children to develop their writing skills by running workshops in schools.

» Read more about Marion Roberts
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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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Sonia Orchard

Author, Journalist

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
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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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Jeff Raglus

Author, Illustrator

Jeff Raglus is a well known artist, illustrator and musician. He has worked for Mambo Graphics, Swatch Watches and has played in musical ensembles such as The Black Sorrows and The Bachelors from Prague.

» Read more about Jeff Raglus
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Amra Pajalic

Author

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
Michael Pryor

Michael Pryor

Author

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

Liz Porter

Author

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
Andrew Plant

Andrew Plant

Author, Illustrator

Andrew trained as a zoologist before discovering he preferred painting and writing about animals rather than dissecting them! Now he loves creating books about almost any subject, and is passionate about sharing that creativity with kids. A scientific artist, or an artistic scientist!

» Read more about Andrew Plant
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Nick Place

Author, Journalist

Nick Place is an internationally-published writer of comedy adventure novels for pre-teen and early teen readers. He is also a published poet and has credits as a screenwriter, TV writer and playwright. Away from writing fiction, he is a career journalist/media identity.

» Read more about Nick Place
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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
Marissa Pinkas

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
Darrell Pitt

Darrell Pitt

Author

Darrell is the author of the Jack Mason adventures. After first dreaming of becoming a writer at age twelve, he caught the ebook self-publishing wave in 2011. One of his books became Canadian website Wattpad’s most read adventure stories in 2013. This success in ebook self-publishing led to an unprecedented eight book deal with Text Publishing.

» Read more about Darrell Pitt
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Chrissie Perry

Author

Chrissie is the author of over thirty books for Children and Young Adults, including thirteen books in the popular Go Girl series and the award winning Whisper. Her work has been published in ten countries. The first two books in her middle fiction series Penelope Perfect : Project Best Friend and Very Private List for Camp Success were released in Australia in 2015 and have already been acquired by Simon and Shuster, North America. Chrissie lives in St Kilda with her husband, three children who are stubbornly refusing to stay young and an opinionated Maltese Shih Tzu called Gidget.

Like Penelope from her new series, Chrissie believes it’s great to aim for excellence. But she also has a sneaking suspicion that going with the flow every now and then can work out just fine.

» Read more about Chrissie Perry
Geelong children's author Michael Panckridge

Michael Panckridge

Author

Michael Panckridge has written over thirty five books, many with a sporty theme, making them ideal reads for boys and reluctant readers. They are pacy, readable and hit the spot!

» Read more about Michael Panckridge
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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
Bic Walker

Bic Walker

Illustrator, Inspirational Speaker

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
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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
Graeme Base

Graeme Base

Author, Corporate, Illustrator, Speaking Out

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
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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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Chris Miles

Author

Chris Miles has written a wide range of books for children and teenagers. He’s found fun and unique pathways into studying Australian history in his popular non-fiction books, thrilled reluctant readers with fast-paced adventures as an author on the mega-successful Zac Power series, and provoked LOLs and a few gasps with Spurt: a balls and all story, his outrageously naughty comedy novel for teens. His sessions explore how to engage young people with history, narrative, and humour.

» Read more about Chris Miles
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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
Sally Warhaft, photo by Darren James

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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Adrian Beck

Author, Storyteller/Performer

Adrian Beck is the co-author of the best-selling kids’ series Kick it to Nick, with AFL Hall of Fame inductee Shane Crawford. Part-time TV producer / part-time writer, Adrian uses both skill sets to entertain with lively, humorous and interactive sessions on writing, working in television and footy.

» Read more about Adrian Beck
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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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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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Maxine McKew

Author, Corporate, Education Consultant, Journalist, Speaking Out

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
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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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Andrew McDonald

Author

Andrew McDonald is an author of books for young readers. He has visited many primary and secondary schools to talk about his writing and conduct workshops. His novels include The Greatest Blogger in the World and Son of Death. Andrew has a diploma in Creative Writing from RMIT University.

» Read more about Andrew McDonald
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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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Jacinta Halloran

Author

Jacinta Halloran was a founding board member of the Stella Prize. She is a GP and the author of two novels, Dissection and Pilgrimage. She has written on medical science for The Sunday Age, and her short stories have been published in New Australian Stories 2 and The Pen and the Stethoscope. Jacinta lives in Melbourne with her husband and three sons.

» Read more about Jacinta Halloran
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Lyn White

Education Consultant

Lyn White has been a primary school teacher-librarian and English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher for more than twenty years and is passionate about children’s literature. She has great expertise in engaging students with quality texts and teachers with relevant high quality resources. Her work with refugee and migrant children motivated her to create a series that spoke of their experiences, and led to the Through My Eyes series.

» Read more about Lyn White
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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
Neridah McMullin

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
Alice Zaslavksy

Alice Zaslavsky

Author, Entertainer, Personal Development

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
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Amie Kaufman

Author

Amie Kaufman is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. Her books have been published in fifteen countries, won numerous awards, and are currently in development for TV. She writes full time from her home in Melbourne, but loves to get out of the house and meet readers!

» Read more about Amie Kaufman
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Gregory Mackay

Author, Illustrator

Gregory has been drawing cartoons since childhood, he draws comics for adults and kids alike. His latest book for children Anders and the Comet is out now from Allen and Unwin.

» Read more about Gregory Mackay
Publicity photos of writer Nicole Hayes, shot by Sharon Blance for Image Workshop Pty Ltd.

Nicole Hayes

Author, Broadcaster

Award winning author Nicole Hayes’s debut, The Whole of My World, was the first novel about AFL to feature a female main character, and the first written by a woman. It was longlisted for the Gold Inky Award, and shortlisted for the YABBA and KOALA awards. Her second novel, One True Thing, won the Children’s Peace Literature Award, is a 2016 CBCA Notable Book for Older Readers, and was shortlisted for the 2016 WA Premier’s Literary Award.

» Read more about Nicole Hayes
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
Tommy Dassalo

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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Ailsa Wild

Author

Ailsa Wild is the author of the beloved Squishy Taylor series, about ninja-daredevil, problem-solving Squishy and the adventures she has with bonus sisters. Ailsa is a writer, performer and community artist who loves collaborating. She makes stories with scientists, musicians, kids and circus performers. Her first publications with Small Friends Books are science adventures starring microbes, molecules and mucus, where the bacteria are the heroes.

» Read more about Ailsa Wild
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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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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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Meredith Badger

Author

You may know Meredith Badger’s work from the popular Go Girl series. What you might not know is that she has a number of secret identities too. She has written for the Zac Power series (under the name H.I. Larry), comics (as M.C. Badger) and also writes YA novels using the pseudonym ‘Em Bailey’ and her first YA novel Shift, won a Gold Inky in 2012. Meredith is originally from Melbourne but has lived for extended periods overseas, including Germany where she consistently failed to master the grammar.

» Read more about Meredith Badger
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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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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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Davina Bell

Author

Davina Bell is a book editor and writer for young people. Her first picture book, The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade, won the Small Publishers category in the 2016 Australian Book Industry Awards, and she is the author of the Alice books in the bestselling Our Australian Girl series of historical fiction for middle readers. Davina was formerly a Senior Editor at Penguin Books, where she worked with some of our country’s most beloved children’s book creators.

» Read more about Davina Bell
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Alicia Sometimes

Author, Broadcaster, Entertainment, Storyteller/Performer

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
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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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Lucinda Gifford

Author, Illustrator, New Speakers

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
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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
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Alan Brough

Author, Entertainer, New Speakers, Storyteller/Performer

You probably recognise Alan as a team captain on the hugely successful ABC TV show ‘Spicks and Specks.’ Kids certainly do. (It’s on every night on ABC2 after ABC4Kids finishes.) Alan is also a comedian, musician and an author. He’d love to come and talk to your kids about writing, jokes and how to weaponise handkerchiefs. He’ll even sing some songs.

» Read more about Alan Brough
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Story Peddlers

Storyteller/Performer

Story Peddlers is a roving pop-up performance space that comes to you.

» Read more about Story Peddlers
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Zana Fraillon

Author, Education Consultant

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
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Alex Miles

Author, New Speakers

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