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Randa practiced as a lawyer for ten years, is an award-winning author of 12 internationally published novels and regular op-ed contributor to print media. She has a PhD in sociology on the topic of Islamophobia in Australia. Her latest novel, When Michael Met Mina, won the Vic Premier’s Literary award for young Adults and the People’s Choice award. With funding from Screen Australia, Randa is also working on the film adaptation of her first novel, Does My Head Look Big in This? and is also working on the theatrical adaptation of her novel Where the Streets Had A Name with MonkeyBaa theatre company. She is a regular guest at writer’s festivals in Australia and around the world. Randa is keen to use her intervention into popular culture and academia to reshape dominant narratives around racism and multiculturalism.» 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 has recently completed a PhD at Monash University, where she researched the way Muslim women fight sexism within the Muslim community. She also seems to pop up on numerous lists.
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
Luke is a former AFL player. He played 133 games with the Sydney Swans including the 2005 Premiership. Since retiring from the game, he has completed a Bachelor of Arts at RMIT and has spent a year volunteering in Vanuatu, in the South Pacific. Luke is passionate about promoting gender equity and preventing men’s violence, and has extensive experience delivering education and capacity building programs on these topics to a range of different groups.» Read more about Luke Ablett
Rebecca Lim is a writer and illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia, with a background in commercial law. Rebecca is the author of sixteen books for children and young adult readers, including The Astrologer’s Daughter (a Kirkus Best Book of 2015) and Afterlight. Shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award, Aurealis Award and Davitt Award for best YA, Rebecca’s work has also been longlisted for the Gold Inky Award, the David Gemmell Legend Award and the CBCA Book of the Year Award for Older Readers. Her novels have been translated into German, French, Turkish, Portuguese and Polish.» Read more about Rebecca Lim
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
Julia is the author of the recently released memoir, Breakfast, School Run, Chemo, chronicling life as a mum of four daughters, living with stage four bowel cancer. Since her diagnosis, she has learned how to live her best and most authentic life, despite great adversity and speaks around the issues of a terminal cancer diagnosis, living in the moment, learning how to stop glorifying busy, going after your dreams, body confidence issues, and believing in yourself. She has also written several articles, for Fairfax Media’s Essential Baby.» Read more about Julia Watson
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
Favel Parrett is the author of Past the Shallows, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2012. Her latest novel, When the Night Comes, took her to Antarctica by ship and was the trip of a lifetime.» Read more about Favel Parrett
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 fresh faces in Australian children’s literature. His first series of books, Exploding Endings, will have primary-aged readers both captivated and laughing out loud.» Read more about Tim Harris
Ruth Clare the author of the memoir, Enemy: A Daughter’s Story of How Her Father Brought the Vietnam War Home. Inspiring and engaging, she draws on her former career as an actor, and the years she spent in therapy, to speak with honesty and insight about the impact of growing up with violence and neglect, developing resilience in the face of adversity, the importance of authenticity, how becoming a parent was way harder than she imagined, and the importance of fighting against the voices that say you are not good enough.
Ruth recently delivered a speech for Child Protection Day in Kiama, read her deeply moving speech here.» 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 Adult works.» 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
Manal Younus is a writer, poet, performer, and creative producer. As a young, black Muslim woman of Eritrean origins living in Australia, Manal uses her art forms to create and explore her own identity and spark thought in the minds of the audiences and communities she engages with.» Read more about Manal Younus
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