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Speaker Type: Education Consultant

Amanda Betts

Author, Education Consultant

Amanda (AJ) Betts is an award-winning author, teacher and cyclist, living in Perth. Her novel ‘Zac and Mia’ won the 2012 Text Prize for best unpublished manuscript.

» Read more about Amanda Betts

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

Sean Fyfe

Corporate, Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

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

» Read more about Sean Fyfe

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

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

Claire Madden

Corporate, Education Consultant, Speaking Out

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

Hello Gen Z reveals the critical importance of knowing how to engage this generation of hyperconnected, agile and adaptive digital savants as employees, consumers and emerging leaders. Hello Gen Z is required reading for any organisation wanting to future-proof and unlock the potential of the Post-Millennials.

» Read more about Claire Madden

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

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
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

Louise Park

Author, Education Consultant

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

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

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

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

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

Jacqueline Harvey

Author, Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant

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

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 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

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

The Cyber Safety Lady

Education Consultant, New Speakers

Leonie Smith (aka The Cyber Safety Lady) is one of Australia’s leading Cyber Safety experts. She is passionate about empowering children, teens and adults to take positive, preemptive steps to stay safer online. She’s done the hard yards as a mum of 4. Leonie has spoken to thousands of students, teachers, parents, seniors and business, Australia wide. Her practical and sometimes technical solutions for online safety have been called life changing!

» Read more about The Cyber Safety Lady

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