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Randa is a prominent Australian author, academic, human rights advocate, former lawyer and mother of four children. She was recently nominated for Sweden’s Astrid Lindgren Award, the world’s biggest children’s and young adult literature award. The award-winning author of 11 novels published and translated in over 20 countries, Randa writes across a wide range of genres and actively seeks to translate her academic work into creative interventions which reshape dominant narratives around race, human rights, multiculturalism and identity in popular culture. She has been publishing her op eds in Australia’s national and international newspapers and journals since 1998. She has had regular appearances on Q&A, the Drum, Lateline and the 7.30 Report and radio interviews (RN Drive, ABC Books and Arts, the Conversation Hour etc).» Read more about Randa Abdel-Fattah
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
Sophie Cunningham worked in publishing for twenty years before becoming the Chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council. She is well known for her work as the editor of Meanjin, and is the author of two novels, Geography (2004) and Bird (2008) as well as the non-fiction Melbourne.» Read more about Sophie Cunningham
Benjamin Law is a Sydney-based journalist, columnist and screenwriter. He is the author of two books: the black comedy memoir The Family Law (2010) and the travelogue Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012). The Family Law has been translated into French and is currently being developed for television. Gaysia was published in India in 2013, with the US and other territories to follow in 2014. Both of his books were nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards, and he is currently working on his third.» Read more about Benjamin Law
David Nyuol Vincent is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. He was trained as a child soldier in Ethiopia and lived as a refugee in Kenya until he was twenty-six. Since rebuilding his life here in Australia, David has become an advocate for refugees and the Sudanese community and he is a Victorian Human Rights Youth Ambassador and a People of Australia Ambassador. He also helped to set up an all-Sudanese refugee football team, the Western Tigers, in the Brimbank soccer league. David is a true humanitarian and is committed to achieving peace for his people in Sudan.» Read more about David Nyuol Vincent
Alice Pung is a writer and lawyer who loves teaching. Alice’s books are studied in secondary schools and universities in Australia as well as the United States, and she has taught writing workshops to students from the ages of 8 to 80 in Australia, China and the States. Alice is also an Ambassador for the 100 Story Building Project, a social enterprise which helps promote literature and literacy skills to young people in the Western suburbs.» Read more about Alice Pung
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
Courtney Collins is the author of The Burial, inspired by the life of a female bushranger. Shortlisted for The Stella Award, The NSW Premiers’ Award and the Dobbie, it is currently being developed as a feature film. Courtney is a regular contributor to ABC Arts online and is at work on her second novel.» Read more about Courtney Collins
Dr Susan Carland is an academic, author, and social commentator. She has a PhD from Monash University’s School of Social Sciences, and she is the director of the Bachelor of Global Studies, also at Monash University.
Susan is a regular Friday panellist on ABC TV’s News Breakfast, and hosted the ABC Radio National Series Assumptions. She has guest-hosted on ABC Melbourne radio, and was co-creator and presenter of SBS’s Salam Café. She has appeared on the Agony series, Lateline, Q and A, The Project, 7:30, The Drum, Home Delivery, and has featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Dumbo Feather, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Sunday Life, and 200 Women. Her first book was Fighting Hislam, was published by Melbourne University Publishing in 2017, and her writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Age, The Saturday Paper, in academic publications, and numerous anthologies. In 2017, she presented on a panel at the United Nations in Geneva as a guest of The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement.
In 2018 she was named on Who magazine’s “Women Who Fight” list, and in 2017, she was named on the “Who’s Who of Australian Women” list, in InStyle as a “Woman of Style”, and in Elle as one of 17 women “To Know and Be Inspired by”. In 2012 she was named on the “20 Most Influential Australian Female Voices” list by The Age. She has also been named on the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World list, and as a “Muslim Leader of Tomorrow” by the UN Alliance of Civilisations.
Susan is an ambassador for UNICEF Australia, and is also a certified scuba diver!» Read more about Dr Susan Carland
Author, academic, broadcaster, rock musician, former human rights lawyer and AFL mascot, Waleed Aly is one of Australia’s most exciting political and social commentators. Waleed is known in the public eye as a host on The Project, and from appearances on Q&A, Meet The Press, The 7.30 Report, Enough Rope with Andrew Denton and the host of ABC’s Big Ideas. In December 2014 he finished a two-year stint as the presenter of ABC Radio National’s Drive program.» Read more about Waleed Aly
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
Nick’s early career in the fashion and entertainment industries ultimately led him to his ongoing work in mental health awareness. He earned international modelling contracts and made regular appearances on Australian television as a presenter as well as a personality. During his time on Dancing with the Stars, Nick publicly spoke about his experience with depression and anxiety for the first time.» Read more about Nick Bracks
David is a multi-award-winning writer from Queensland. In 2015, David published his funny, sad and serious memoir How to Be Happy, which tackled an adolescence of depression, anxiety and sexual confusion head on. He’s regularly requested for his hilarious and inspiring talks.» Read more about David Burton
Cheryl Koenig’s embrace of life shines through as she delivers inspirational presentations on a variety of issues close to her heart. Cheryl’s talks have a lasting impact on her audiences.» Read more about Cheryl Koenig
Rowan McAuley loves to engage children and adults alike in dynamic, interactive presentations and workshops. As a visual and kinesthetic learner herself, she wants her audience to become participants, and to feel excited about reading and creative writing.» Read more about Rowan McAuley
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
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
Helen is an author and an actor. Using both her performance and writing skills, Helen brings dual knowledge and understanding to the art of expression.» Read more about Helen Chebatte
Gabrielle Tozer is an internationally published author with a background in journalism, editing and copywriting. Her YA novel, The Intern, won the State Library of Victoria’s 2015 Gold Inky Award, and its sequel Faking It is out now. Gabrielle has shared her passion for storytelling and creativity at numerous events, including the Sydney Writers’ Festival’s Children’s Festival of Moving Stories, Somerset Celebration of Literature, National Young Writers’ Festival and the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s National Conference.» Read more about Gabrielle Tozer
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
Tim Harris is one of the most exciting children’s authors in Australia. His first series of books, Exploding Endings, will have primary-aged readers both captivated and laughing out loud. The first book in the series, Painted Dogs & Doom Cakes, was awarded Honour Book at the 2017 KOALAs. His second series, Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables, contains his trademark quirkiness, mixed with a touch of poignancy. The lead book was awarded a CBCA Notable in 2018 and has been shortlisted for the 2018 REAL Awards (as voted by children in NSW, Victoria and NT).» Read more about Tim Harris
Ruth Clare is the author of the award-winning memoir, Enemy (Penguin, 2016), and a passionate advocate for the rights of children. She is also a TEDx and keynote speaker, copywriter and teacher. Her work has appeared in publications such as Meanjin, Elle, The Good Weekend and Better Reading.
Ruth’s memoir is about the way she faced her experience growing up with a violent father and an alcoholic mother with courage and strength. It is also a compassionate unravelling of the psychological impact of war on veterans and their families.
Though the issues she talks about are tough, Ruth is an open, inspiring and entertaining speaker. She believes honest discussion about the things that hurt us can be the beginning of real change.
Ruth also speaks on the nature of resilience – how to fight back instead of surrendering, hope as an attitude not an emotion, the way to effectively challenge negative thinking and how being kinder to yourself can help you move on from trauma to create a thriving life.» Read more about Ruth Clare
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 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
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
Caroline is an engaging, entertaining and brutally honest speaker about her experiences as an only child growing up in a privileged European family burdened with hidden trauma. She talks with insight and humor about the complex dynamics of difficult parents and what it means to become a Good Daughter despite conflict, estrangement and illness.» Read more about Caroline Baum
Craig has spent the past 30 years employing, working with and mentoring thousands of teenagers in his many Subway stores. His book 28 Tips for Teenagers Life Skills That Fast Track Success takes a caring employers look at a range of skills that Craig believes are important in the transition from school to the workforce and beyond. He highlights areas that may need improvement coupled with some ‘old fashioned tips’ that can help teenagers reach their own full potential.
Craig’s message is a positive one that has resonated very well not only with teenage audiences but also parents and teachers. He speaks in a simple straightforward way with lots of fun stories and examples from the workplace.» Read more about Craig Goddard
Dr Matt Beard is a dad, husband and award-winning moral philosopher with experience helping people find meaningful, practical advice in the history of philosophy.
He is an accomplished speaker, broadcaster and facilitator who brings enthusiasm, rigour, humour and accessibility to his work.» Read more about Matt Beard
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
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
Tom Robb’s powerful presentations are recognised nationwide. His passion, drive and playful energy inspires students, teachers and communities alike to dive deep and face fears to unlock their true, ultimate potential.» Read more about Tom Robb