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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
Amanda (AJ) Betts is an award-winning author, teacher and cyclist, living in Perth. Her novel ‘Zac and Mia’ won the 2012 Text Prize for best unpublished manuscript.» Read more about Amanda Betts
Psychologist Steve Biddulph realised that males were in crisis at a time when it was fashionable to ignore their needs. He blitzed schools and communities around the globe with engaging, practical and moving seminars, facilitating a cultural shift which is still in motion. His parenting books, including Raising Boys and Manhood, are now in four million homes and twenty seven languages.» Read more about Steve Biddulph
Described as ‘Australia’s best known academic’ by ABC radio and a ‘celebrity academic’ by other media, Karen lectures on the areas of youth, sexuality and popular culture using a psychoanalytical model. Karen has also worked as a professional actress, a children’s playwright, an Army Officer in the Royal Australian Army Survey Corp, a checkout-chick, an assessment clerk with the NRMA, a waitress, a dress-boutique manager, a theatre director, a wife (twice), and a mother (twice over too!).» Read more about Dr Karen Brooks
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
Ben Chandler is the author of the YA fantasy series Voyages of the Flying Dragon. He holds a PhD in Creative Writing and has published work on popular culture, video game narrative theory, Japanese heroism, anime & manga, and creative writing pedagogy. Ben loves heroes, villains, comic books and video games, and he believes you can learn more from watching cartoons than you can from the news.» Read more about Ben Chandler
As a trained social worker and teacher Chris Daicos has extensive experience in working directly with children and adolescents in schools. Chris can talk to welfare staff, teaching staff, and parents.» Read more about Chris Daicos
Paul Dillon has a unique investment in the wellbeing of young people. Founder of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia and a former school teacher, Paul continues to conduct drug information sessions and workshops for school students across Australia and internationally, in countries as diverse as the UK, the Phillipines, and Indonesia.» Read more about Paul Dillon
Evelyn Field is an international expert in managing school and workplace bullying. She answers the big question, “Help, I am being bullied! How can I block the bullying myself when others don’t?”» Read more about Evelyn Field
Jackie was the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2014/15 and the 2015 Senior Australian of the Year. She is also an historian, ecologist, dyslexic, and a passionate worker for literacy, the right of all children to be able to read, and the power of books.
Jackie’s writing career spans 25 years, 148 wombats, over 140 books, 36 languages, 3,721 bush rats, and over 60 awards in Australia and overseas.» Read more about Jackie French
Sean aims to give parents, teachers and students greater insight and the practical tools to foster health and wellbeing along with academic and sporting achievement.» Read more about Sean Fyfe
Author and researcher Maggie Hamilton writes books and for magazines; gives frequent talks and lectures; is a regular media commentator and a keen observer of social trends. Her many books, which have been published in Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Italy, China, Lithuania, Korea, the Arab States and Brazil, include What Men Don’t Talk About, which examines the lives of real men and boys; What’s Happening to Our Girls? and What’s Happening to Our Boys? which take a close look at the 21st century issues boys and girls face, and offer practical, workable solutions to these challenges; and Secret Girls’ Business a fun funky empowering gift book for teen girls.» Read more about Maggie Hamilton
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
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
Shane Horsburgh is a re-definer of masculinity, constantly challenging the accepted interpretation of what a ‘real man’ is and how this view impacts our everyday lives. From counter-terrorism operative to author, educator and sometime stage actor, Shane’s inspirational and engaging style helps young men become better students, friends, partners and husbands. He has been engaged to speak at the National Press Club and TEDx to national and international audiences.» Read more about Shane Horsburgh
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
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
Pelissa Tsilimidos-Thorne (B.A., Dip. Ed., MA. Ed.) is a senior English teacher with 25 years’ experience. She holds a research Masters in Education (Film as Text) from Monash University and has written for various educational journals and books.» Read more about Pelissa Tsilimidos-Thorne
Robyn Treyvaud is an educational leader and an internationally recognised expert in online safety and digital citizenship and is the founder of Cyber Safe Kids, a global organisation that assists educators, school and parent communities to understand the challenges of living and working in the digital world and then equips them to meet these challenges.
Robyn provides advice to the media, industry and governments in Australia providing a balanced and evidence based view based on her work in schools in Australia and Asia for the past decade.
Cyber Safe Kids is a global partner of Common Sense Media a not for profit organisation in the US whose mission is to empower parents, teachers and young people by providing unbiased information, trusted advice and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in their lives.
Robyn is a leading consultant who works with public and private schools as well as international schools and conducts parent engagement programs and professional learning for educators. She provides schools with best practice approaches and resources to support a strategic, sustainable approach to digital citizenship and resilience.» Read more about Robyn Treyvaud
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
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
Melinda Tankard Reist is an author, speaker, social commentator, Fairfax Media columnist, blogger and advocate for women and girls. She is author/editor of four books including Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls, now in its fourth printing, and Big Porn Inc: Exposing the harms of the global pornography industry. Her presentations aim to show us how stereotyped, limited and hypersexualised messages give distorted ideas of bodies, relationships and sexuality and give us tools for addressing the problem.» Read more about Melinda Tankard Reist
Claire Madden is a social researcher, media commentator and next-gen expert, fluent in social media, youth culture, and engagement styles of these global generations, and a professional in interpreting what this means for educators, managers and marketers. Claire is in demand for her skill in effectively identifying the emerging trends and assisting business leaders to strategically respond to them.» Read more about Claire Madden
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
Dr Michael Nagel is an Associate Professor and the Head of Education Programs in the School of Science in Education at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Dr Nagel teaches and researches in the areas of cognition, behaviour and learning and human development and early learning.» Read more about Dr Michael Nagel
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
PROJECT ROCKIT is Australia’s youth-driven anti-bullying and leadership organisation that empowers young people to stand up and lead change – in school, online and beyond. The team has worked with over 100, 000 young people in workshops across Australia and have earned the reputation as the student-favourite in anti-bullying programs. They believe in creating a world where respect thrives over bullying, prejudice and judgment and all young people are free to realise their potential.
So what are you waiting for? Join the anti-bullying movement!» Read more about Project Rockit
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
Louise writes books for children under her own name as well as several secret identities including H. I. Larry, Mac Park and Poppy Rose. She loves writing books with action and grand adventures and is the author of the best-selling series Zac Power Test Drive, Bella Dancerella and Star Girl—soon to be a television series. She is also the co-author of Boy vs Beast.
Louise loves nothing better than taking students on huge adventures and helping them to craft action-packed stories of their own. Learn more about her at her website.» Read more about Louise Park
Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli has gained national and international recognition as a writer, researcher, lecturer and consultant in the issues of cultural diversity, gender diversity, sexual diversity, family diversity, HIV/AIDS, and social diversity in health and education, with a specific focus on adolescence and young people. She is Honorary Patron of PFLAG Victoria; External Faculty Member of Saybrook University in San Francisco and Founding Member of AGMC (Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council), which has been recognised as a member of FECCA (Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia). Her first novel has recently won a 2010 US Lambda Literary Award» Read more about Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli
Clare Wright is a historian who has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster. Her first book, Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans, garnered both critical and popular acclaim. She researched, wrote and presented the ABC television documentary Utopia Girls and is currently co-writing a four-part series to commemorate the centenary of WWI for ABC1. The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka won the 2014 Stella Prize. Clare lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children.» Read more about Clare Wright
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
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
Author, educator, actor and broadcaster, David has over a quarter of a century of experience in education, having headed English departments and run workshops for students and professional development for teachers. He has authored novels and developed curriculum resources that are sold nationally and internationally. He has an engaging presentation style encouraging active participation where possible.» Read more about David McLean
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
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
Samantha took the ultimate challenge and entered the ‘4 Deserts Grand Slam’, which requires competitors to run four 250km ultra marathons across the driest (Chile), windiest (China), hottest (Sahara) and coldest deserts (Antarctica) on earth – it is regarded as one of the toughest endurance series on the planet. Samantha made history by becoming the first woman and the youngest person ever to complete the Grand Slam. Her journey was captured for the big screen in the award winning film Desert Runners. She now uses her capacity to run long distances to impact social change in developing countries and within Australia. In 2014, she ran 1968kms across rural South Africa to fund an initiative that improves access to feminine hygiene products and education.» Read more about Samantha Gash
Tony Nicholls is an accomplished live broadcast journalist who has held roles over the last ten years with the ABC, SBS and Network Ten, covering state, national and international stories.
Tony was born and raised in Melbourne but like most journalists got his break in the country, when Macquarie Regional Radio in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales gave him a radio news job. From there he followed a path through television news with Network Ten in Canberra, and finally back to Melbourne.
» Read more about Tony Nicholls
Damon Young combines a love of ideas and language with a fun, entertaining style. And lots of superhero t-shirts.» Read more about Damon Young
Dr Arne Rubinstein is an expert on adolescent development, with 30 years experience as a doctor, counsellor, mentor, speaker and workshop facilitator. His programs and seminars have been attended by over 25,000 people in Australia and around the world and are designed to support boys and girls to successfully make a safe, healthy transition from children to young adults, with a particular focus on creating coming of age Rites of Passage. In 2008, he was nominated for Australian of the Year for his groundbreaking work with youth.» Read more about Dr Arne Rubinstein
Andrew is a clinical psychologist who specializes in creating resilience in the lives of parents, children, teenagers and people of all ages. Andrew also has expertise in the area of learning and neuroscience and is demand for his presentation on optimising brains and performance.
His training sessions are always fun and informative. He has been rated as a ‘master in his field’ by developmental psychiatry trainees in 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.» Read more about Andrew Fuller
Aviva Reed is a visual ecologist, illustrator and collaborator on the Small Friends book project; a series of science-adventure storybooks created by artists, writers, scientists and educators that explores symbiotic relationships between microbes and larger forms of life.» Read more about Aviva Reed
Ron is a much loved and highly respected Victorian Indigenous educator, storyteller and musician. He is in demand as a speaker, sharing his knowledge of Indigenous culture with passion, honesty and humour.» Read more about Ron Murray
Industrial designer, hack engineer, DIY aquaculturalist and illustrator Stephen Mushin collaborates with scientists, and engineers in underground workshops to solve ‘elephant in the room’ scale ecological problems.» Read more about Stephen Mushin
Jacqueline Harvey is the author of 27 novels for younger readers and a Children’s Book Council of Australia award winning picture book. Her bestselling Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose series’ are published internationally and have garnered various short listings and awards. Jacqueline travels widely, speaking and teaching in Australia and overseas.» Read more about Jacqueline Harvey
Jake Wilson is a freelance writer whose film reviews appear weekly in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and other Fairfax Media publications. His book Mad Dog Morgan, a critical study of the film of the same name, was published in 2015 as part of the Australian Screen Classics series.» Read more about Jake Wilson
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
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
Tasneem is a whole lot of parts, symbolising the hybrid identity of today’s global citizen, which she speaks to with sheer wit. She is an East African born, Indian origin, Bendigo raised, Melbourne loving, daughter, mother, middle-child, karaoke swooning, sleep deprived, vertically challenged, feminist, Muslim, exhausted, activist – and she won’t compromise on any of those titles.» Read more about Tasneem Chopra
Zana Fraillon is the author of picture books and novels for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Bone Sparrow, has been shortlisted and nominated for national and international awards including The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, and the Carnegie Award.» Read more about Zana Fraillon