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Open Right

Location: Victoria

Asphyxia

Author, Entertainer, Storyteller/Performer

Asphyxia is the author of the magical series, The Grimstones. She is an experienced motivational speaker and loves to inspire people to be more creative and open-minded. She is an avid art-journaler and generously shares her process to help others benefit from this amazing life tool. Asphyxia is also a Deaf activist, sharing details of Deaf experience. 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 art journals and miniature worlds from ordinary household rubbish. Check out her free online Auslan (sign language) course at www.asphyxia.com.au.

» Read more about Asphyxia

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

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. 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, the Sporty Kids series and most recently and most recently his acclaimed historical adventure novels The Boy and the Spy, Fearless Frederic and A Great Escape.

Follow Felice on Twitter and Instagram @Fleech or visit his site: www.felicearena.com

» Read more about Felice Arena

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

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

Luke Atkins

Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Luke Atkins is an ultra-endurance runner and personal safety expert. Luke has represented Australia in both taekwondo and endurance running competing all over the world from Mongolia to the USA.

Luke seamlessly draws the link between the mental toughness required to run for more than 24 hours non-stop and the daily grind. His concept that life is an endurance race has proven to be especially valuable for VCE students and corporate groups.

As a sponsored athlete in the Under Armour Australia team in Worlds Toughest Mudder and the General Manager of Hall’s Taekwondo his ideas on leadership and team work are invaluable.

As a martial arts instructor for over 15 years Luke has developed structured personal safety sessions for schools and corporate audiences.

» Read more about Luke Atkins

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

Emilie Zoey Baker

Entertainer, Poet, 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

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

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

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

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

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

Steph Bowe

Author

Steph Bowe is the author of YA novels Night Swimming (Text Publishing, 2017), All This Could End (Text Publishing, 2013) and Girl Saves Boy (Text Publishing, 2010). She was born in Melbourne in 1994 and now lives in Queensland.

She has appeared at Melbourne Writers Festival, Brisbane Writers Festival, National Young Writers Festival and the Emerging Writers Festival, among many others, and has been speaking in schools and delivering writing workshops since 2010. She was one of triple J’s inaugural 25 UNDER 25 and won Express Media’s award for Outstanding Achievement By A Writer Under 25 in 2010.
She has also written for The Age and had an essay published in Destroying the Joint: Why Women Have To Change The World  (UQP, 2013).

» Read more about Steph Bowe

Lorette Broekstra

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 Broekstra

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

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

Bernard Caleo

Author, Illustrator, Storyteller/Performer

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

» Read more about Bernard Caleo

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

Mark Carthew

Author, Entertainer, Storyteller/Performer

Mark Carthew is an award winning editor and children’s author well known for his many books, including the recent The great Zoo Hullabaloo!, and his series that explore 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

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. In more recent years, Anna has created a hit with a story based on her grandmother’s childhood in 1920s Poland – The Family with Two Front Doors.

Her newest book, 52 Mondays (March 2019), is inspired by her own childhood memories of 1960s Australia. 52 Mondays has been shortlisted for the 2019 YABBA, KOALA and KROC children’s choice best book awards.

Read more at www.annaciddor.com.

» Read more about Anna Ciddor

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

Jane Clifton

Author, Entertainer

Jane Clifton talks for a living. Actor, broadcaster, panelist, guest speaker, M.C., writing coach and registered civil celebrant, Jane is a story-teller – even when she sings she’s telling a story. Her by-line is ‘here to help’ – with an entertaining speech, hosting an awards night, moderating a debate, writing a wedding or funeral or just inspiring you, by example, to get started on that book you’ve been meaning to write.

» Read more about Jane Clifton

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

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

Cath Crowley

Author

Cath Crowley is the author of the Gracie Faltrain trilogy, Chasing Charlie Duskin, Graffiti Moon, Rosie Staples’ Minor Magical Misunderstanding and Words in Deep Blue.

» Read more about Cath Crowley

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

Sue deGennaro

Author, Illustrator

Sue deGennaro is an author and an illustrator. She has illustrated 20 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), Eddie Frogbert and her newest picture book Missing Marvin released May 2018. 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 teaches writing & illustration.

To watch the book trailer for Sue’s charming picture book, Missing Marvin, please click here.

» Read more about Sue deGennaro

Demet Divaroren

Author, Inspirational Speaker

Demet Divaroren was born in Adana, Turkey, and migrated to Australia with her family when she was six months old. She is the author of Living on Hope Street, which won the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Prize for Writing for Young Adults and was shortlisted for a 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Award. Her writing has appeared in Griffith Review, The Age Epicure, The Big Issue, Island Magazine, From the Outer and Best Summer Stories. Demet appears as a panellist, guest speaker and workshop leader at literary festivals, universities and schools across Melbourne and teaches creative writing at Victoria Polytechnic.

» Read more about Demet Divaroren

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

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 6 more books. The most recent Nannie Loves was an Honour Book in the 2017 CBCA Early Childhood Category.

» Read more about Kylie Dunstan

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

Declan Fay

Author, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Storyteller/Performer

Declan Fay is one of Australia’s leading comedy writers and motivational speakers, who has performed at the Comedy Festival and The Fringe Festival. He is an award winning writer who has written for a range of TV shows such as Rove, Dirty Laundry Live, and the kids TV comedy You’re Skitting Me. He also co-created and co-wrote the ABC Comedy Ronny Chieng: International Student which is now available on Netflix. Declan has has hosted numerous radio shows on Triple R, Triple J, and MMM. He has spoken at over 600 different schools around Australia. He has never been pelted with fruit, although his dad once threw a whopper with cheese at him for talking during The Bill.

» Read more about Declan Fay

Corinne Fenton

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

Adam Ford

Author, Storyteller/Performer

Adam Ford is a poet and zinemaker who lives in Chewton, in Central Victoria. He loves showing people how easy it can be to start making zines or writing poetry themselves.

» Read more about Adam Ford

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

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

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

Jane Godwin

Author

Jane Godwin is a children’s book publisher, and the highly acclaimed author of books for young people, across all styles and ages. Her work is published internationally and she has received many commendations.

Anna Walker and Jane have created six bestselling children’s picture books together – Little Cat and the Big Red Bus, All Through the Year, Today we have no Plans, Starting School, What Do You Wish For? and Go Go and the Silver Shoes. They are currently working on their seventh collaboration.

Jane often works in schools and the community, running literature and writing programs, making books and encouraging students in their own creative ventures. She is dedicated to pursuing quality and enriching reading and writing experiences for young people, whether it’s as a writer, a publisher or a speaker/facilitator in schools.

janegodwin.com.au

» Read more about Jane Godwin

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

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

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

Fiona Harris

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

Fiona has been writing and performing for Australian stages and screens for many years. She wrote and co-starred on the ABC sketch comedy show, Flipside, as well as on channel nine’s sketch comedy series, Comedy Inc – The Late Shift series 5 and on all three series of the Network Ten sketch comedy series SkitHouse.  She has also written and directed numerous shows for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

» Read more about Fiona Harris

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

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

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

Lia Hills

Author, Poet, Storyteller/Performer

Lia Hills is a poet, novelist and translator. Her work has been published, performed, and translated both locally and internationally, and nominated for numerous awards, including the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

» Read more about Lia Hills

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

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

Ben Wood

Illustrator

Ben Wood is a children’s book illustrator. He has illustrated over 25 books, including Blast Off! by Shelly Unwin, the Squishy Taylor series by Ailsa Wild, and the hilarious new series Real Pigeons by Andrew McDonald. He has also had several titles on the CBCA Notable list in 2016 and 2017. Ben offers interactive sessions that are a lot of fun.

» Read more about Ben Wood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simmone Howell

Author

Simmone Howell is an award-winning internationally published writer. She has written books, plays, screenplays, poetry, comic scripts, advertorials, speeches, shopping lists, blurbs, glossaries and legends. In addition to writing she teaches creative writing, mapping and journaling workshops for young people and adults. Her YA novels are: Notes from the Teenage Underground, Everything Beautiful, Girl Defective and Take Three Girls (September 2017 with Cath Crowley and Fiona Wood).

» Read more about Simmone Howell

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

Sammy J

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

Sammy J is an award-winning comedian, author 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

Toni Jordan

Author

Toni Jordan is the author of four novels. The international best-seller Addition was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Fall Girl was published internationally and has been optioned for film, and Nine Days was awarded Best Fiction at the 2012 Indie Awards, was shortlisted for the ABIA Best General Fiction award and was named in Kirkus Review’s top 10 Historical Novels of 2013. Our Tiny, Useless Hearts was shortlisted for the Voss Literary Award and longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. Toni has been widely published in newspapers and magazines and teaching creative writing at Faber Academy. Her most recent novel, The Fragments, was published in November 2018.

» Read more about Toni Jordan

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

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

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

Melissa Keil

Author, Inspirational Speaker

Melissa Keil’s young adult novels have been published around the world, and have been described as ‘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

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

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

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

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

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, the three Fox Swift books and the four Ball Stars stories all have sporting themes and use comedy to tackle issues such as bullying and racism in schools.

» Read more about David Lawrence

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

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

Mitch Vane

Illustrator

Mitch Vane has had a long career as an illustrator and artist. Based in Melbourne, she works in a variety of mediums but is at her happiest creating quirky humorous characters (and a lot of mess) with her beloved dip pen and Indian ink . Her distinctive loose energetic style can be seen in many of the children’s books she has illustrated including : Bed Tails by Meredith Costain, The Deep End by Ursula Dubosarsky, and most recently Our (last) Trip to the Market by Lorin Clarke.

Mitch often collaborates with her partner Danny Katz. together they have created many hilarious children’s books as a writer/illustrator team, but are best known for their much loved Little Lunch series which has recently been made into a TV series for ABCTV. Mitch currently divides her time between illustrating children’s books, and developing painting projects of her own. She also does various workshops and appearances at bookshops, libraries and schools throughout the year.

 

You can see more of what Mitch is up to on her website at www.mitchvane.com or check out mitch vane art on Facebook and Instagram.

» Read more about Mitch Vane

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ellie Marney

Author, Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant

Ellie Marney is a teacher and an author of fiction for Young Adults. Her YA crime trilogy, the Every series, and her YA standalone, White Night, have been critically and commercially successful in Australia and overseas – her debut, Every Breath, was shortlisted for the Gold Inky Award, the Ned Kelly Award and the Sisters in Crime Davitt Award (YA), and in 2015 was named by the Australian Library Information Association as one of the top ten most-borrowed YA books in Australian libraries.

In the last two years she has diversified by independently publishing the Every series companion novel, No Limits, as well as a new YA rom-crime series, Circus Hearts. Ellie has been involved in the creation of the national campaign called #LoveOzYA to promote and advocate for Australian YA literature. She contributed to the critically-acclaimed Begin End Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology, and runs the popular #LoveOzYAbookclub online. She also co-coordinates an online info-sharing group for Australian women self-publishers.

Ellie is a regular speaker at festivals and events, teaches writing and publishing through Writers Victoria, and advocates for Australian women’s writing as a Stella Ambassador in schools. She lives in regional north-central Victoria, with her partner (also a teacher) and their four sons

» Read more about Ellie Marney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Martine Murray

Author, Illustrator

Martine Murray is an acclaimed Australian author and illustrator whose work has been translated into more than 20 different languages. She has a long involvement in the arts, including dance, theatre, circus and filmmaking. Her first novel The Slightly True story of Cedar B Hartley was on the White Ravens international list of outstanding children’s books, and was shortlisted for the Victorian, NSW, QLD Premiers Awards and the CBCA Award. Marsh and Me and Henrietta and the Perfect night were both CBCA honour books in 2018.

Martine was shortlisted for the Prime Ministers Award for Mannie and the long brave day and has made appearances at literature festivals across the country and overseas. Martine also teaches writing and her new adult novel, The Last Summer of Ada Bloom, is published by Text.

» Read more about Martine Murray

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

Josh Nelson

Author, Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant

Josh Nelson (BCA Hons, PhD) is an academic, broadcaster and filmmaker. He has worked as a lecturer at The University of Melbourne and Victoria University, and has extensive experience presenting to secondary schools across the state on a number of film and media-related topics.

» Read more about Josh Nelson

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

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

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

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

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

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
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

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

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

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
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

Chrissie Perry

Author

Chrissie is the author of over 30 books for Children and Young Adults, including 13 books in the best-selling Go Girl series, the much-loved Penelope Perfect series and the award-winning Whisper. Her work has been published in eleven countries. She lives in Southbank, Melbourne with her youngest child and husband.

» Read more about Chrissie Perry

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

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

Trace Balla

Author, Illustrator, Inspirational Speaker

Trace Balla loves to illustrate and write songs and stories, and inspire others in their creativity and awareness of the wonders of the natural world and the ample stories that surround us.

Her multi award winning books include Rockhopping, Rivertime, Shine and The Thank You Dish. Themes include gratitude, grief, slowing down, growing up, connecting with the land and its’ creatures, the joy of the outdoors and the lessons nature can teach us. She is currently working very slowly on a graphic novella set in central Victoria where she lives.

Trace enjoys visiting schools, festivals and community centres to inspire people of all ages and abilities with slide show talks as well as workshops. These include nature journaling, making graphic novels, mini books and story catching. Talks and workshops can be tailored to the group’s interests.

» Read more about Trace Balla

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
Alex Hammond (2014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
Angela Ireland, Booked Out Speakers Agency

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

Kelly Gardiner

Author

Kelly Gardiner writes historical fiction for readers of all ages. Her books range from a picture book, to adventure tales for younger readers, to acclaimed young adult novels. Her latest book is 1917, part of Scholastic’s Australia’s Great War series. Her previous novels include Goddess, 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. Kelly is also the co-host of Unladylike – a podcast on women and writing.

» Read more about Kelly Gardiner

Dean Rankine

Illustrator

Dean Rankine has been writing and drawing comics for over 20 years. His credits include: Simpsons and Futurama comics (Bongo), Rick and Morty (Oni) Australian MAD Magazine, Hellboy (Dark Horse), Skottie Young’s I Hate Fairyland (Image), the iconic Dandy and Beano magazines (DC Thomson), 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 Scholastic (including A Funny Thing Happened to Simon Sidebottom), Pearson Australia and Penguin Books (The Stuff Happens series).

» Read more about Dean Rankine

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

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’.

Maree’s ingenious typography has caught the attention of international design bodies with her book Spellbound: Making Pictures with the A-B-C winning the coveted Bologna Ragazzi 2017 Special Mention Prize in Italy. (She’s the first Australian to win this prize since Shaun Tan 10 years ago.) It was also shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year awards.
An earlier book Alphabet City Zoo also won a Distinction Prize in Korea’s Nami Concours Awards in a field of entries from 149 countries.

» Read more about Maree Coote

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

Rebecca Lim

Author, Illustrator

Rebecca Lim is a writer, illustrator, editor and lawyer based in Melbourne, Australia. She is the author of nineteen books, including The Astrologer’s Daughter (a Kirkus Best Book of 2015 and CBCA Notable Book for Older Readers), Afterlight and the bestselling Mercy. Her work has been shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award, Aurealis Award, INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award and Davitt Award, and has also been longlisted for the Gold Inky Award and the David Gemmell Legend Award.

She is a co-founder of the Voices from the Intersection initiative to support emerging young adult and children’s authors, illustrators and publishing professionals who are Indigenous, people of colour, LGBTIQA+ or living with disability, and a co-editor of Meet Me at the Intersection, a groundbreaking anthology of YA #OwnVoice memoir, poetry and fiction.

» Read more about Rebecca Lim

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

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

Nicole Hayes

Author, Broadcaster

Nicole Hayes is an award winning author and podcaster from Melbourne. She writes fiction and non-fiction for young people and adults, and is one-sixth of the groundbreaking all-female AFL podcast and radio show, The Outer Sanctum, (on the ABC), winner of the Australian Football Media Association’s award for best coverage of the AFLW in 2018.

Nicole’s novels include contemporary YA thriller, A Shadow’s Breath (Penguin Random House, 2017), which was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award, Longlisted for the Gold INKY Awards and a CBCA Notable book; One True Thing (Penguin Random House, 2015), a contemporary YA novel with a backdrop of music and politics. One True Thing was the winner of the Children’s Peace Literature Award and was shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Literary Award, the WA Young Readers Award, and the YABBA and KOALA awards; and The Whole of My World (2013) which was the first novel about AFL to feature a female main character, and the first written by a woman. The Whole of My World was longlisted for the Gold Inky Award, and shortlisted for the YABBA and KOALA awards, and was the vehicle that brought The Outer Sanctum team together in 2015.

» Read more about Nicole Hayes

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

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

Ailsa Wild

Author

Ailsa Wild was an acrobat and whip cracker who ran away from the circus to be a writer. Ailsa is the author of the beloved Squishy Taylor series for 6-10 year olds, about the adventures of daredevil, problem-solving Squishy and her bonus sisters (published in Australia by Hardie Grant Egmont), which was recently released in the USA and the UK and will be published in Spain and Brazil later this year.

Ailsa’s first publications, with Scale Free Network, are science adventures starring microbes, molecules and mucus, where the bacteria are the heroes. These stories are now being re-worked and released by CSIRO Publishing as a four book series. Her collaborative graphic novel, The Invisible War (Scale Free Network, 2016) won multiple awards, including the Most Underrated Book Award, the DeBarry Children’s Science Award (USA) and Award for Excellence in Educational Publishing: Most Outstanding Resource of the Year, 2017, and will be published by Graphic Universe in the USA in 2019.

Ailsa’s work has appeared in Meanjin, The Monthly and on stages across Australia. She has spoken at Melbourne Writers Festival, World Science Festival Brisbane, Ipswich StoryArts Festival and at more than 200 schools around Australia. She has a Masters of Creative Media (creative writing) from RMIT.

» Read more about Ailsa Wild

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

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

The Drug Education Project

Personal Development

One life lost due to alcohol or drug misuse is one too many….

The reality is all young people need drug and alcohol education, whether they indulge or not, as everyone can be affected by the choices of those who do. Our aim is to reduce the adverse health, social, cultural and economic consequences of alcohol and other drug use by minimising the harm for both the community and the individual.

The Drug Education Project is facilitated by a Health Teacher and a Paramedic.

Our sessions are practical and engaging, discussing the very real issues facing students today.

  • We promote positive social norms and teach strategies to recognise and reduce harm.
  • We believe given accurate information and practical strategies, our youth are better equipped to make “good” decisions.
  • We will empower students to recognise harm, act quickly and appropriately, to reduce drug and alcohol related harm in their communities and perhaps even save a life!
  • An important part of our message to both parents and students is “SAFETY”. We have developed an action plan that we believe will help our young audience to identify an alcohol or drug emergency and guide them to act. Students currently receive a business size card to place in their wallet that reminds them of the steps of this action plan.

The objective is to teach young people about the harmful effects of alcohol and other drug use, as a key preventative measure in the ongoing effort to address drug related harm. The sessions are interactive and we encourage questions! The aim is to get the students thinking, talking and involved in the process, and actively developing their own strategies to keep safe.

» Read more about The Drug Education Project

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

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

Kate James

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

Mark Smith

Author

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.

Mark’s second novel, Wilder Country, is the winner of the 2018 Indie Book Award for Young Adults.

» Read more about Mark Smith

Steve Bell

Author, Inspirational Speaker

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

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

Alicia Sometimes

Author, Broadcaster, Poet, Storyteller

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

Lucinda Gifford

Author, Illustrator

Lucinda works as a children’s illustrator and author from her colourful, ink-splattered home studio. She loves to draw and especially enjoys improvised sketching with groups of children because – through the chaos – wonderful things can emerge.

» Read more about Lucinda Gifford

Kate Mildenhall

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

Alan Brough

Author, Entertainer, 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

Alex Miles

Author

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 launched in 2017.

» Read more about Alex Miles

Nathan Strempel

Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

“Nathan’s unique blend of humour and sincerity is unanimously well received. He gains an immediate rapport with audiences via his dynamic storytelling and his work as a sports presenter on Channel 9 and Fox Sports having covered NBL & WNBL basketball, AFL footy, Big Bash Cricket, A-League Soccer, Super Rugby and Super Netball.

He retains ongoing engagement and captivation with laughter and entertaining interaction being underpinned by his raw authenticity and integrity. Nathan’s honesty in recounting stories of failure, rejection and grief from his own journey strike a chord with any audience.

15 years of experience as a speaker and working with youth equip Nathan with the ability to tailor the ideal presentation for your group. His current position as a Boarding Duty Master and Director of Basketball at St Ignatius College Riverview ensures he is on point with teen culture and trends.

» Read more about Nathan Strempel

Liv Downing

Inspirational Speaker, Mindfulness, Personal Development

Liv is a passionate and engaging speaker with over 15 years of experience working across the corporate and non-profit sectors across both Australia and the US.

As a registered psychologist and qualified meditation teacher, her sessions bring a balance of science and practice and are interactive, fun and practical.

In her role as a mindfulness educator, she brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to her sessions through sharing both her personal and professional experiences.

» Read more about Liv Downing

Scott Edgar

Illustrator, New Speakers

Scott Edgar studied Graphic Design and Theatre Production before embarking on a career as a composer, writer, comedian and actor, primarily in the comedy band Tripod. Tripod have been regulars on the international live comedy circuit, regulars on radio and television, and have written musicals for the screen and stage.

» Read more about Scott Edgar

Shivaun Plozza

Author, New Speakers

Shivaun Plozza is an award-winning author of books for young adults. Her novel, Frankie, was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year and the Gold Inky; it won the Davitt Award for best YA Crime Novel. She is a former English and Philosophy secondary school teacher and regularly teaches creative writing skills to adults and teens around the country. When she isn’t writing or teaching, Shivaun works as a freelance editor, manuscript assessor and graphic designer.

» Read more about Shivaun Plozza

Sophie Jamieson

Education Consultant, New Speakers, Nutrition, Personal Development, Sustainability

Sophie Jamieson is a qualified Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Nutritionist who is passionate about young people enjoying food that makes them feel good, learn well, grow strong and succeed in sport.

In the 21st century we receive hundreds of messages about health every day. Drawing on her vast experience in Food, Nutrition and Sustainability, Sophie cuts through the noise to revel the key information and strategies students need to make informed decisions about what they eat.

» Read more about Sophie Jamieson

Susannah McFarlane

Author, New Speakers

With over 1 million books sold in Australia alone, Susannah is one of our most popular children’s authors, writing books kids love and parents can trust. Contagiously energetic and inspiring, Susannah’s workshops for primary school students take kids’ reading and writing to a new level of engagement and enjoyment.

» Read more about Susannah McFarlane

Jo Stanley

Author, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development, Storyteller/Performer

Having started her career as a comedian, Jo is a dynamic and entertaining speaker. She has presented to schools, universities, conferences, the corporate world, and community groups. Her areas of expertise are:

  • Gender equality
  • Resilience and mindfulness
  • Purpose
  • Media
  • Personal branding
» Read more about Jo Stanley

Scott Harris

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

Scott Harris traveled the world solo with multiple disabilities to show us we can do anything we put our mind to. After a dirt bike accident in 2008, he spent three years at Epworth Rehabilitation learning to live with these disabilities and came out the other side with a completely new approach to life. He wrote the book Crashing Into Potential: Living with my injured brain, which tells the story of how he went from zero to hero despite being knocked down many times along the way.

» Read more about Scott Harris

Christian White

Author

It took Christian White over a decade to find ‘overnight success’. Before he became a screenwriter and an award-winning author with his bestselling novel, The Nowhere Child, he slogged away at his computer on nights and weekends, relying on a long list of unusual day jobs to supplement his writing habit. As a speaker he is honest and self-deprecating, as he explains how writing for the screen helped him write for the page, he reveals the importance of letting others read your work, and shares all the things he learned from Stephen King.

» Read more about Christian White

A.S. Patric

Author

Alec Patric is an award winning writer. He is also a bookseller in Bayside Melbourne and teaches Creative Writing Australia-wide.

» Read more about A.S. Patric

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Author, Illustrator

Maxine Beneba Clarke delivers presentations on her short fiction collection Foreign Soil which is a 2019 VCE Literature text.

Maxine has written portraits for The Saturday Paper for four years, including profiles of Hugh Jackman, Roxane Gay, Julian Assange, Uncle Jack Charles, Paul Barry, Catherine Deveny, and Tony Abbott. She has guest taught short fiction, profile writing and arts journalism at a number of Australian universities, and also offers talks and workshops on portrait writing.

» Read more about Maxine Beneba Clarke

Meredith Gaston

Author, Illustrator, Inspirational Speaker

Internationally acclaimed author, artist, INN Health Coach and speaker Meredith Gaston is passionate about joyous, mindful and inspired living. She delivers spirited presentations about integrative wellbeing in daily life, based on her various bestselling titles.

» Read more about Meredith Gaston

Lorna Hendry

Author

Lorna is an award-winning children’s author who has written and designed more than 17 science books, and co-wrote How to Win a Nobel Prize with Barry Marshall (who actually did win one), illustrated by Bernard Caleo. Read more about her Nobel Prize session with Bernard Caleo here. Lorna teaches writing and editing at RMIT University.

» Read more about Lorna Hendry

How to win a Nobel Prize

Session description:

Mary is only 10, but she has a big dream. She’s been doing experiments at home and thinks science is pretty cool, but she really wants to win a Nobel Prize. Mary is the hero of Nobel Prize-winner Barry Marshall’s hilariously informative illustrated time-travelling adventure book, How to Win a Nobel Prize. In this energetic and interactive event, the book’s co-author Lorna Hendry and illustrator Bernard Caleo take kids into the wild, weird and wonderful world of science. Along the way, they’ll meet Einstein, Marie Curie and Rita Levi-Montalcini. They (literally) draw out some of the characters from the book and get kids started on some seriously silly experiments they can do at home.

» Read more about How to win a Nobel Prize

Anna Snoekstra

Author

Anna Snoekstra is the bestselling author of four novels, which have been published in twenty countries and translated into many different languages. She is also a screenwriter for film and television.

» Read more about Anna Snoekstra

Ella Holcombe

Author

Ella is the author of  The House on the Mountain, a gently told, beautifully illustrated account of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires from a child’s perspective (recommended for 7+). Ella also loves to share her own stories of growing up in the bush, as well as her family’s current rebuilding process in Kinglake.

» Read more about Ella Holcombe

Neil Grant

Author

Neil Grant was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He spent many years slouching through Europe and Asia with a stack of notebooks until, in 2001, Allen & Unwin agreed to publish his first novel, Rhino Chasers. This was followed by Indo Dreaming in 2005, which saw him researching traditional whale-hunting, surf culture and two-minute noodles in Indonesia. In 2009, he travelled to Afghanistan to gather material for a book on asylum seekers, a journey that changed his life; The Ink Bridge was published in 2012. The Honeyman and the Hunter is based partly in India – the birthplace of his mother.

» Read more about Neil Grant

Ingrid Laguna

Author, Corporate, Education Consultant

Ingrid Laguna is a dynamic and engaging author, educator, musician and inspirational speaker. She is the author of junior fiction novel Songbird, a story about a young Iraqi, Muslim girl struggling to fit into her new life in an outer suburb of Melbourne. Drawing on over five years of experience working with school-aged new arrivals to Australia, many from refugee backgrounds, Ingrid uses a range of strategies to support students to tell their stories in a way that is engaging and alive, with strong characters and effective language choices.

» Read more about Ingrid Laguna