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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
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 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
Amal Awad is a journalist, author and screenwriter who is focused on issues of society, religion and popular culture. She is the author of four books and is involved in several screenwriting projects. Amal is also a public speaker and has produced and presented for ABC Radio National.» Read more about Amal Awad
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 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
Tim Baker is Australia’s favourite surfing writer, a former editor of Tracks and Surfing Life magazine, who has written a string of best-selling surfing biographies and collected surf stories. He has twice received the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame Culture Award and been shortlisted for the CUB Australian Sports Writing Awards.» Read more about Tim Baker
Tristan Bancks tells stories for the page and screen. His books for kids and teens include Two Wolves, The Fall, Detention, the Tom Weekly series, Nit Boy and Ginger Meggs, a 100th anniversary book of brand new short stories based on characters created by his great-great uncle, Jimmy Bancks, in 1921. His books have won and been shortlisted for many awards, including a Children’s Book Council of Australia Honour Book, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, ABIA, YABBA, KOALA, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and Queensland Literary Awards. His new release for July 2022 is Cop & Robber, a must-read thriller for kids and teens.
Tristan is a writer-ambassador for literacy non-profit Room to Read. He is currently working with producers to develop a number of his books for the screen. He’s excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create. You can find out more about Tristan’s books, play games, watch videos, join his Young Writer’s StorySchool and help him try to change the world at tristanbancks.com
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 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
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
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
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
The Story of Tom Brennan won the 2006 CBC Book of the Year – Older Readers and the 2006 Australian Family Therapists Award for Children’s Literature. It is currently on the NSW HSC syllabus list. Pig Boy has been shortlisted for a slew of awards and won Jane the prestigious Ned Kelly Award for crime fiction in 2012.» Read more about JC Burke
Thomas Caldwell is a writer, broadcaster, film critic, public speaker and film programmer. He is a specialist in film analysis and programming films for children and teenagers, and is the author of the secondary school textbook Film Analysis Handbook, which was published in 2005 by Insight Publications, with a revised edition published in 2017.» Read more about Thomas Caldwell
Bernard Caleo is a performer, comic book maker, and comic book communicator.» Read more about Bernard Caleo
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.» Read more about Isobelle Carmody
Danielle Clode is a zoologist and natural history writer. She also teaches professional and creative writing.» Read more about Danielle Clode
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 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
Mary is a writer, award winning ABC Journalist and former Education Minister. She is National Director of Writing Australia and Chair of Orchestra Victoria. She was the first female solo prime time TV newsreader in Victoria, and the first female Planning Minister in Victoria.» Read more about Mary Delahunty
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 (DARTA)
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
Linh Do is a Melbourne based activist with a globe-trotting lifestyle, having worked in over 15 countries. She’s done everything from changing one million lightbulbs (and mindsets) in Australia to working at the UN to create social change on environmental issues, and in 2013 was named as Australian Geographic’s Young Conservationist of the Year.» Read more about Linh Do
Sean Dooley has written for TV comedies like Full Frontal, Hamish and Andy and Spicks and Specks, is author of books such as The Big Twitch and Cooking with Baz, and is currently editor of Australian Birdlife magazine. He was also the national birdwatching champion, holding the record for seeing the most birds seen in one year. Sean Dooley is the Birdman.» Read more about Sean Dooley
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
Nick Earls is the author of twenty-six books for adults, teenagers and children. Two of his novels have been adapted into feature films, and five have become stage plays. His books have won awards in Australia, the UK and US. He has a PhD in creative writing from the University of Queensland.» Read more about Nick Earls
Declan Fay is an award-winning writer who co-created the show Ronny Chieng: International Student which screened on ABC, BBC and Netflix. He has written for numerous shows such as The Weekly with Charlie Pickering and the hugely popular kids sketch show, You’re Skitting Me. Declan has also authored articles for The Age, The Guardian, The Herald-Sun and The Big Issue. On radio Declan has hosted shows on ABC, Triple M, Triple J and Triple R. Earlier this year he co-wrote a comedy podcast called Crossbread, which became one of the most popular podcasts in the Australia and the US.» Read more about Declan Fay
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
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
Jane Godwin is a highly acclaimed author of over twenty-five books for young people, across all styles and ages. Her work is published internationally and she has received many commendations, the most recent being shortlistings in the 2020 CBCA Book of the Year Award with her picture book Tilly (illustrated by Anna Walker) and in the 2021 Book of the Year Award with her novel When Rain Turns to Snow, which has also been shortlisted for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Literary Award.
Anna Walker and Jane have created eight 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?, Go Go and the Silver Shoes, Tilly and Don’t Forget. They are currently working on their ninth collaboration.
Jane’s upper-middle grade novels include As Happy as Here and When Rain Turns to Snow, both published by Hachette, and Falling from Grace, published by Penguin.
For many years, Jane worked as the Children’s Publisher at Penguin Books Australia.
Jane is currently working on several picture books and a new upper-middle grade novel, set in the Otway Ranges. A Walk in the Dark will be published by Hachette in September 2022.
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.» Read more about Jane Godwin
Anna Goldsworthy is a prize-winning classical pianist and writer. She an engaging speaker and performer, and is passionate about bringing the lessons of classical music to the widest possible audience. She is Artist Director of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival.» Read more about Anna Goldsworthy
Gus Gordon is an internationally acclaimed illustrator and author. He has illustrated and written over 80 books for children. His illustrations are known for their loose and energetic line work, mixed media and humour. His writing is always anthropomorphic, which he attributes this to his love of Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in The Willows.» Read more about Gus Gordon
Tanya Ha is an award-winning environmentalist, best-selling author, broadcaster, science journalist and sustainable living advocate. More hip than hippie, she makes sustainability and science easier to understand and is known for her TV shows, including ABC’s Catalyst and the SBS series Eco House Challenge.» Read more about Tanya Ha
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 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 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 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
Belinda Hawkins has reported on national and international events for ABC TV and SBS TV for almost 30 years, filing from countries as diverse as Nigeria, Eritrea, Cuba, Germany and Russia. For the past twelve years she has been a senior journalist with ABC TV’s Australian Story program. Her documentary work has been recognised with a raft of awards, among them a Walkley award, seven Quill awards, four New York Festival Medals and four United Nations Media Peace Awards. She started her working life as high school teacher in country Victoria.» Read more about Belinda Hawkins
Jack Heath is the bestselling author of more than twenty action-packed books. He wrote his first novel in high school, and it was published while he was still a teenager. Since then his work has been translated into several languages, shortlisted for many awards and optioned for film and television. His enthusiastic presentations have helped thousands of kids get hooked on reading.» Read more about Jack Heath
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.
His 10-part Get Up Mum radio series based on his cassette recordings of himself as a kid was aired Radio National’s Life Matters. You can listen to the series here.
In 2020 Justin gave a witness statement and presented at the launch of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. He is an ambassador for the Satellite Foundation who offer support for children of parents with a mental illness.
» Read more about Justin Heazlewood
Anthony Hill is an award-winning author of historically accurate books for children and young adults. They include Soldier Boy (NSW Premier’s Award), about the youngest Anzac; and The Burnt Stick (CBCA Honour Book) a powerful story from the ‘Stolen Generations.’» Read more about Anthony Hill
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 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
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
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 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
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
Paula has worked as a print journalist and government communication specialist, and is now one half of a writer-designer consultancy. She has been writing fiction for many years, finding her niche penning gritty young adult speculative thrillers with an Australian flavour in The Rephaim series and The Undercurrent.» Read more about Paula Weston
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
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
Michael’s novels for young adults, Hey Joe, MAX and Tyger Tyger have experienced critical success and continue to be widely read and taught in many schools. Hey Joe – about the Vietnam War, the movement against it and the sixties in Australia – was named as a Notable Book in the 2004 CBC Awards. Many of his short stories for younger readers are published in the Trend/Awesome Series including the popular titles: The Footy Coach from Hell, Seal Saves the Island and How I Got a Girlfriend. Michael also edited two senior anthologies for the Australian Association of English Teachers (AATE), Hunger (CBC Notable Book 2004) and The Girl who Married a Fly (CBC Notable Book 2002). Both anthologies feature popular YA Australian writers (including Michael) and like his novels, enjoy significant sales. Michael’s Change the Game series – choose-your-own-adventure sports books became overnight favourites with young readers, 20,000 + copies being sold in one year.» Read more about Michael Hyde
The author of The Shortest History of China, Linda Jaivin is one of Australia’s most versatile writers. Her work spans history, biography, memoir, travel, humour, eroticism, social issues (her novel The Infernal Optimist is set in an immigration detention centre), China studies, literary translation and cultural commentary. Her first novel, Eat Me, was a bestseller here and translated into more than a dozen languages abroad. She has been a frequent guest on television and radio and wrote and presented a Radio National Earshot program on the subject of privacy called Nothing to Hide and a four-part series on the state of arts criticism in Australia, Situation Critical, for RN’s Arts Hub. As an Australia Reads ambassador, Linda proudly champions books and reading. She also mentors emerging writers through the Australian Society of Authors and is an editor of the China Story Yearbook, produced by the Australian National University Centre for China in the World and a film translator, subtitling Chinese films including Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine and Wong Kar Wai’s Grandmaster and Zhang Yimou’s Hero.
The Shortest History of China will also be published in the US, UK and in a number of translations including Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, Greek and Bulgarian.» Read more about Linda Jaivin
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
Bec Kavanagh is a writer, literary critic and academic. She has been published in a variety of publications including Overland, The Big Issue, and The Guardian, and writes teaching notes for a number of publishers. Bec is the Youth Programming Manager at the Wheeler Centre, and a sessional tutor at La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne.
https://twitter.com/beckavanagh (@beckavanagh)» Read more about Bec Kavanagh
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
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 was born in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. He grew up in a traditional setting surrounded by lively singing, drumming and dancing. The Limpopo area is rich in traditional healers, orators and storytellers, highly respected throughout Africa. These were his neighbours. Their nightly ceremonies carried songs and rhythms passed down through thousands of years. Valanga carries these influences through his songs and storytelling. He is also influenced by his travels throughout the world which were driven by his struggle against racism and his fight for freedom of the black people in South Africa.» Read more about Valanga Khoza
Anna Krien is an award-winning Melbourne-based journalist, essayist, fiction writer and poet. Her book Night Games: Sex, Power & Sport, won the 2014 William Hill Sports Book of the Year in the UK, and is being developed into a television mini-series. Other publications include Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania’s Forests, Booze Territory, Quarterly Essay 66: The Long Goodbye: Coal, Coral and Australia’s Climate Deadlock and Quarterly Essay 45 Us and Them: On the Importance of Animals.
Anna’s debut novel Act of Grace was published in October 2019 and shortlisted for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.» Read more about Anna Krien
Michelle Law is an award-winning writer and screenwriter whose previous speaking engagements include TEDx events, Woodford Folk Festival, writer’s festivals, ABC radio and The Project. Her stories and essays have been widely anthologized and her films have screened nationally at festivals and on the ABC.» Read more about Michelle Law
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
Julia Lawrinson has written more than a dozen books for children and teenagers, many of them award-winning. She grew up in the outer suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, not long after the first moon landing. She loves dogs, oceans, and sunsets, and still likes to gaze at the night sky, just in case.» Read more about Julia Lawrinson
Marathon swimmer, Tammy van Wisse has swum one-and-a-half times around the planet, setting six world records – five of which are still current. 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 – to highlight the river’s environmental importance.
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 never-give-up world champion stories are enlightening, entertaining and powerfully motivating. She shares her secrets and strategies of how to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles showing audiences that with a commitment to a goal, and a belief in oneself – anything is possible.
Chris is an Australian and British professor of Earth science and author of three popular science books. Chris is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change at the University of University of New South Wales, where he and his team are focusing their efforts on finding lessons from the past.
Chris investigates past and future climates, how people have responded to change, and recent human evolution and migration. He does this in a hands-on fashion: he digs down into the ice of Antarctica for core samples, the depths of a volcanic crater, or searches for Hobbit fossils (seriously!) across Indonesia. He has stories to tell and bring to life.
Chris has earned a reputation as scientist who can demystify and articulate, for any audience, exactly what it is that a scientist does for a living. His enthusiasm shows us not only why he pursues these interests, but points out what we stand to gain through scientific education.» Read more about Chris Turney
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
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 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
Anne Spudvilas is a multi award-winning illustrator of children’s books. Her work has been awarded the NSW and Queensland Premiers Awards, CBCA Picture Book of the Year, ABIA Award for Younger Readers, the Crichton Award for Illustration and more.
Her passion is bringing to life the characters in her books and this carries over into commissioned portraits and courtroom sketching. Her portrait of much-loved children’s book creator Leigh Hobbs was an Archibald Prize finalist. Anne is in demand for drawing workshops here and overseas and gives presentations about the process of illustrating books for primary and secondary level.
Anne’s visits include a video presentation and chat with students about the process of putting a picture book together. She brings her childhood sketchbooks, current workbooks and the concertina dummy books that are part of the design process. Students love the drawing demonstrations and group workshops creating big drawings with charcoal. An instant exhibition! These workshops are great for primary and secondary level – Anne easily adjusts her presentations to all age groups.» Read more about Anne Spudvilas
Trent Southworth is a former NSW Police Officer with over fourteen years policing experience, including eight years employed in the Youth Liaison role. In his role, Trent worked closely with numerous government and non government agencies to identify youth related initiatives such as underage drinking programs, truancy, road safety, drug programs, and bullying.
Trent assisted in the implementation and monitoring of the State Governments Young Offenders Act, which targets all young offenders aged between 10 and 18 years of age. Through his experience in the NSW Police, Trent witnessed first-hand the importance of ongoing education of young people in today’s society.
Since leaving the Police, Trent has developed and facilitated numerous seminars for students, teachers, parents and community groups Australia-wide.» Read more about Trent Southworth
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
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 is a qualified teacher, and a bestselling and multi-award-winning author of YA thrillers. Her titles include the New York Times bestseller NONE SHALL SLEEP and the Kirkus-starred sequel SOME SHALL BREAK, as well as THE KILLING CODE, the EVERY series, WHITE NIGHT, and more. Ellie has researched in mortuaries, interviewed law enforcement personnel, and talked with former spies about how to make explosives from household items, and now she lives quite sedately in the North-Central Goldfields region of Victoria with her family.» Read more about Ellie Marney
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
A shepherd boy from the mountains of Afghanistan, Najaf became a rugmaker of genius but was forced to flee his homeland under the onslaught of the Taliban. He painstakingly rebuilt his life in Australia and rescued his family from the despair of Pakistan’s refugee camps.» Read more about Najaf Mazari
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 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
Jessica Shirvington is the author of the international bestselling series:The Violet Eden Chapters (also known as The Embrace Series), a young-adult paranormal romance series that debuted with Embrace in 2010 and was closely followed by Entice, Emblaze, Endless andEmpower. The series has gone on to sell in a large number of international markets including the USA, UK, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Brazil, Czech, Hungary and Poland.
Jessica also released a stand alone novel in 2013 – Between the Lives– and has another two book series on the way in 2014. Jessica’s first picture book is also in the works with HarperCollins Australia and will be released shortly.» Read more about Jessica Shirvington
Angela Savage’s crime novels are inspired by the six and a half years she spent living in South-east Asia in the late 1990s, working for the Red Cross on HIV/AIDS programs. Her love affair with Asia continues, and in 2008 she spent the year in Cambodia with her partner and their two-year-old.» Read more about Angela Savage
Ellen has been National Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, one of Australia’s largest non-profit climate organisations. During her leadership, the organisation grew from a handful of friends wanting to change the world to a national organisation with over 80,000 members and the ear of politicians and business leaders due to it’s quirky and innovative campaigns.
Ellen has become one of Australia’s leading commentators and campaigners on the issue of climate change. Since leaving the AYCC in late 2012 she has worked in politics, as Campaign Manager for Simon Sheikh’s Senate campaign in the ACT (mobilising thousands of volunteers and just missing out on a Senate seat) and as a Senior Campaigns Advisor for Greens leader Senator Christine Milne.» Read more about Ellen Sandell
Josh Nelson (PhD) is an academic, broadcaster and filmmaker. He worked as a lecturer at The University of Melbourne in Visual Arts for a number of years and has extensive experience presenting to secondary schools across the state on film and media-related topics.
His writing has been published in two volumes of the Directory of World Cinema (Intellect Books), and in journals such as Overland, Kill Your Darlings, Screening the Past and Senses of Cinema. In 2013 Josh received the Ivan Hutchinson Award for Writing on Australian Film by the Australian Film Critics Association (AFCA).
Josh is also the former co-host of the long-running Triple R (102.7 FM) film show Plato’s Cave, and was the resident film critic on the Drive program with Rafael Epstein on ABC Melbourne. He currently works for the Melbourne International Film Festival as an education specialist within the MIFF Schools program.» Read more about Josh Nelson
Since starting on a country newspaper in 1975, Andrew Rule has worked on three metropolitan newspapers and in both radio and television production. He has written, co-written, edited and published many books, including the Underbelly true crime series and the Chopper series, which inspired the successful feature film. He hosts a regular fortnightly spot on Triple M’s Hot Breakfast called In The Rule World.» Read more about Andrew Rule
Michael Robotham is an internationally celebrated crime writer whose books have been translated into 25 languages and sold more than six million copies around the world.
Born in country NSW, he began his career as a journalist and went on to write for newspapers and magazines in Australia, Britain and America. As a senior feature writer for the UK’s Mail on Sunday he was among the first people to view the letters and diaries of Czar Nicholas II and his wife Empress Alexandra, unearthed in the Moscow State Archives in 1991. He also gained access to Stalin’s Hitler files, which had been missing for nearly fifty years until a cleaner stumbled upon a cardboard box that had been misplaced and misfiled.
In 1993 he quit journalism to become a ghostwriter, collaborating with politicians, pop stars, psychologists, adventurers and showbusiness personalities to write their autobiographies. Twelve of these non-fiction titles were Sunday Times bestsellers in the UK.
Michael’s first psychological thriller, THE SUSPECT, caused a bidding war at the London Book Fair in 2002 and was sold into more twenty languages in less than three hours. It later became only the fifth “International Book of the Month”, making it the top recommendation to 28 million book club members in fifteen countries.
In 2015, Michael’s novel, LIFE OR DEATH, won the coveted Crime Writer’s Association Gold Dagger award for the year’s best novel, beating Stephen King and Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) who were on the shortlist. He has also twice won Australia’s Ned Kelly Award for best novel and the Australian Book Industry Award for best fiction in 2018 for THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS.
A six-part TV series based on THE SECRET SHE KEEPS has been made for Channel 10 and will screen in early 2020 with an international cast.» Read more about Michael Robotham
Sally Rippin was born in Darwin, but grew up mainly in South-East Asia. As a young adult she lived in China for three years, studying traditional Chinese painting. Sally has over seventy books published, many of them award-winning, including two novels for young adults. Her work includes the highly acclaimed Polly and Buster trilogy and the popular Billie B Brown and Hey Jack! books, which became the highest selling series for 6-8 year olds in Australia within the first year of their release. Sally is Australia’s highest selling female author and her books have sold more than 5 million copies in 14 languages.
Sally is a popular presenter in schools and at literary festivals both in Australia and overseas and has a regular program on 3RRR interviewing children’s authors and industry professionals. She is a passionate ambassador for the 100 Story Building, Dymocks Childrens’ Charities and also the Australian Reading Hour. Recently, she and Hardie Grant Egmont have collaborated on a weekly program of book-based activities for kids at home at www.sallyrippin.com» Read more about Sally Rippin
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
Alice Pung OAM 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 OAM
Ben Pobjie is the author of the Reality Recap of Australian History Error Australis and Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. He is the resident satirist for Medium and TV writer for the Saturday Age, he co-hosts the comedy podcast Gather Around Me, and is a regular voice on ABC radio,Triple R and 3CR as well as writing occasionally for TV.» Read more about Ben Pobjie
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 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
Acclaimed YA author Tim Pegler is an award-winning journalist, extensively published in newspapers, magazines and online. Tim’s experience covering social issues, such as homelessness, disability and juvenile justice, provides the foundation for much of his writing for young adults.» Read more about Tim Pegler
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
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
Professor Clare Wright is an award-winning historian, author, broadcaster and public commentator who has worked in politics, academia and the media. Clare holds a PhD in Australian Studies from the University of Melbourne and an MA in Public History from Monash University and is currently a Professor of History at La Trobe University.
Her best-selling first book, Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans (Text) met with both critical and popular acclaim. Her best-selling second book, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka (Text), was based on a decade of archival research into women’s role in the Eureka Stockade. The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka won the 2014 Stella Prize and the NIB Literary Award (and People’s Choice Award) and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, the NSW Premier’s History Awards, the WA Premier’s Literary Awards, the Victorian Community History Awards, and long-listed for a Walkely Award.
We Are the Rebels, a Young Adult version of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, was published by Text in 2015 and has been shortlisted for the Australian Children’s Book Council Awards.
The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka is currently being developed into a ten-part television drama series with Ruby Entertainment and Hollywood screenwriter/producer, Anne Kenney.
Clare’s latest book is the best-selling You Daughters of Freedom (Text), published in October 2018. It is the second book in her Democracy Trilogy. You Daughters of Freedom was shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award, and is currently shortlisted for the Australian History Association’s Margarey Medal for Biography.
Clare has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant and as a broadcaster in both radio and television.
She is a popular public speaker and has presented numerous keynote addresses and dinner talks at academic conferences, AGMs, Writers Festivals, book stores and community and corporate events. Clare is a former Director on the Board of the The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas.
Clare’s thought-provoking essays, reviews and opinion writing have appeared in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, The Conversation, Overland, Crikey and Meanjin as well as leading national and international scholarly journals.
Clare researched, co-wrote and presented the acclaimed television documentary, Utopia Girls: How Women Won the Vote, which first screened on ABC1 in June 2012.
Clare created and co-wrote the four-part documentary series, The War That Changed Us, for Electric Pictures and ABC1. The series premiered on 23 August 2014 as part of the ABC’s centenary of WW1 programming. The War That Changed Us won an ATOM Award for Best Documentary and was nominated for a Logie for Most Outstanding Factual Program.
As a freelance historical consultant, Clare’s clients include Sovereign Hill Museums Association, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka and many television production companies. She runs her consultancy practice as Done Gone Productions.
For Clare’s scholarly outputs, see here.
In 2020, Clare was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours list for “services to literature and to historical research”.
Clare is currently Professor of History and Principal Research Fellow in the History Program at La Trobe University. She holds an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship for the project Red Dirt Dreaming: A New History of Australian Mining.
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. Its sequel, The Unbroken Line, was described as “a taut and intelligent thriller.” Both were optioned as a TV series. Each novel was also selected to be part of the State Library of Victoria’s Summer Read by a panel of judges in the year they were released. Alex toured regional Victoria on behalf of the Library as part of these events.
His latest novel, The Paris Collaborator, a mystery thriller set in 1944 in German-occupied Paris, is released in May 2021.» Read more about Alex Hammond
Angela Pippos is a journalist, TV and radio presenter, columnist and author of The Goddess Advantage – One Year in the Life of a Football Worshipper. It’s as much about love, loyalty, stuffed tomatoes and Greek mythology as it is about Australian rules football.» Read more about Angela Pippos
» Read more about Daniel WitthausDaniel has spent a quarter of a century challenging homophobia and working on LGBTIQ inclusion one cuppa at a time in schools, rural communities and, occasionally, developing countries like Poland, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. He has also worked with Kids Help Line, VicHealth, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and No to Violence, a national men’s family violence organisation.
Daniel 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 Human Rights Week awards for work in three Tasmanian schools. His latest book, Beyond Debate, is due for release in June 2023.
In 2013 Daniel founded Rural Pride Australia, formerly NICHE, which focuses on the needs of LGBTIQ people in regional, rural and remote Australia. For the last 7 years Rural Pride Australia has worked in partnership with the Victorian State Government and its Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities to deliver the LGBTIQ Equality Roadshow, Regional Communities of Practice and Rainbow Ready Roadmap to 29 regional and rural Victorian communities.
He is also semi-obsessed with abandoned buildings and is an international gay gold medallist in tennis.
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 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. Her latest book is Rewilding the Urban Soul, a memoir about searching for the wild in the city, set for release in June 2021.» Read more about Claire Dunn
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
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
Ursula Dubosarsky wanted to be a writer from the age of six, and is now the author of over 40 books of fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults, which have won several national prizes, including the NSW, Victorian, South Australian and Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards. She and Andrew Joyner have now collaborated on three best-selling picture books The Terrible Plop, Too Many Elephants in This House and Tim and Ed. She lives in Sydney with her family.» Read more about Ursula Dubosarsky
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 is a Ledger and Stanley Award winning comic book artist and writer best known for his work on Simpsons Comics. His other credits include; Futurama, Rick and Morty, Invader Zim, Underdog, Oggy and the Cockroaches and The Riverdale Diaries : Starring Veronica. He’s the illustrator on the Timmy the Ticked-Off Pony series – written by Magda Szubanski. He illustrated the Funny Thing Happened to Simon Sidebottom and The Stuff Happens series. And is the writer/illustrator on the new book series – Death Metal Emo Elves.» Read more about Dean Rankine
Mike is a survivor of one of the deadliest diseases on the planet. His story of courage, determination and pure resilience will inspire, educate and entertain!» Read more about Mike Rolls
Shamini Flint is an engaging, witty and inspirational speaker. She holds audiences of any age spellbound with tales of growing up in Malaysia and travelling the world in search of an identity (or at least a good curry). Her ability to discuss important issues in an accessible way is unparalleled.» Read more about Shamini Flint
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.
Luke S. Kennedy is one of Australia’s most sought after Speaker for Primary Schools, High Schools, Staff PDs, Community & Parent events, Corporate sessions, and prisons. Through his unique approach, strong ability to connect with any audience, & his thrilling story – he hits home with some deep topics & creates big mindset shifts for all demographics. After most of his talks & workshops, he’s told by organisers that it’s the best presentation they’ve seen.
Luke adapts his story and content for Primary schools and most of Luke’s schedule are re-bookings from past schools and organisers eager to have him return. Feedback received later by attendees, students, parents, and teachers has been overwhelmingly positive!
Becoming a successful business owner, mental health advocate, and one of Australia’s top motivational speakers, his purpose is to now use his experience to inspire, motivate, and enlighten others. To stop worrying what other people think. To develop personally & professionally. To shed the labels. To be free.
Luke uses his “Breathtaking” story to inspire deep, lasting change, and self-awareness, for a wide range of audiences, from primary schools, high schools, businesses, events, and even prisons. For eight years of his life, Luke was an obese alcoholic and drug addicted thug (Luke PG’s Story & Content for Primary Schools). Leading a violent street fighting crew, he was stabbed on two separate occasions; once in the lung, the other time in the head. On the outside, he looked strong and confident, even happy at times, but on the inside his thoughts would haunt him. He was incredibly scared, depressed, anxious, paranoid, and was obsessed with what others thought about him.
Through on the edge of your seat stories, Luke now connects deeply with any demographic. It doesn’t matter what the demographic is though, he’s found that all suffer from the same internal battles; worrying what people think, living up to labels/expectations, social awkwardness, anxiety, dealing with past trauma, and not knowing who they really are or where to fit in. Luke’s talks have proven to help in all of these areas.
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
Fleur Ferris spent the first seventeen years of her life growing up on a farm in Patchewollock, North West Victoria. She then moved twenty times in twenty years.
During this time, Fleur sometimes saw the darker side to life while working for a number of years as a police officer and a paramedic.
She now lives a more settled lifestyle on a rice farm in Southern New South Wales, with her husband and three young children.
Fleur’s colourful and diverse background has given her unique insight into today’s society and an endless pool of experiences to draw from. When she isn’t weaving this through young adult fiction, reading or spending time with her family, you will find her with friends, talking about art, books and travel.
Risk is Fleur’s first novel for young adults.
– See more at: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/fleur-ferris/risk-9780857986474.aspx#sthash.AcANKJDA.dpuf
Rebecca Lim is an award-winning Australian writer, illustrator and editor and the author of over twenty books, including Tiger Daughter (a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award-winner), The Astrologer’s Daughter (A Kirkus Best Book and CBCA Notable Book) and the bestselling Mercy. Her work has been shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Queensland Literary Awards, CBCA Book of the Year Awards and Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards, shortlisted multiple times for the Aurealis Awards and Davitt Awards, and longlisted for the Gold Inky Award and the David Gemmell Legend Award. Her novels have been translated into German, French, Turkish, Portuguese, Polish and Russian. She is a co-founder of the Voices from the Intersection initiative and co-editor of Meet Me at the Intersection, a groundbreaking anthology of YA #OwnVoice memoir, poetry and fiction.» Read more about Rebecca Lim
Samantha Turnbull is a children’s author, journalist, podcast producer and slam poet.
Her books include Remember the Rainbows (Five Mile), Fierce Girls (Five Mile), and The Anti-Princess Club series (Allen & Unwin). Her podcasts include Fierce Girls, Dino Dome, News Time, and Little Green Pod (all ABC). She has worked as a journalist across newspapers, magazine, TV, radio and online. And she has competed in (and won) loads of poetry slams.
Sam’s favourite thing to do (apart from writing) is visiting schools.» Read more about Samantha Turnbull
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 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
Rebecca is a committed and passionate teacher. She is also an engaging, open and refreshingly candid speaker about her debut memoir, Bad Behaviour, which explores bullying and aggression in an elite private school. Rebecca is currently an editor at Text Publishing, the co-founder and publishing director of Kill Your Darlings cultural magazine. She was also a founding member of the Stella Prize steering committee, a prize dedicated the celebration of Australian women’s writing.» Read more about Rebecca Starford
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
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
Maria is the good Greek girl who grew up above her parents’ Melbourne milk bar and shared a bedroom with her yiayia – until university when she discovered her rebellious side. She tells her story in her acclaimed memoir together with her experience of a complete mental breakdown that shattered her professional and personal identity. Maria is now a vocal mental health advocate and an ambassador for Beyond Blue.» Read more about Maria Katsonis
Leah Kaminsky is a family physician and an award-winning author of eight books.» Read more about Dr Leah Kaminsky
Sarah Ayoub is a journalist, author and academic researching intersectional literature. Her work has been published in The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, ELLE, Marie-Claire, Griffith Review, Sydney Review of Books and more. She has worked as a lecturer and tutor in journalism and writing with the University of Sydney, University of NSW and University of Notre Dame, and recently completed a PhD examining the intersections of interventionist ethnic Australian YA literature. She is the author of Hate is such a Strong Word and The Yearbook Committee, the latter of which was longlisted for The Gold Inky, Australia’s premier teen choice award. Sarah is a Schools Ambassador with The Stella Prize, has mentored the youth curators of The Sydney Writers’ Festival YA program, contributed to the anthology Arab, Australian, Other and most recently been a judge for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Sarah’s forthcoming novel, The Cult of Romance, will be published by HarperCollins in March 2022, and her first picture book, The Love that Grew, will be out in April of the same year. She is currently working on her first novel for adults as the Writer-in-Residence of Sweatshop Literacy Movement.» Read more about Sarah Ayoub
Clare Atkins wrote her first book, Nona & Me, which living in Arnhem Land, and is now based in Darwin. Nona & Me won the 2016 Book of the Year in the NT Literary Awards and was an Honour Book in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Awards. She has worked as a scriptwriter on many successful television series including All Saints, Home and Away, Winners & Losers and Wonderland.» Read more about Clare Atkins
Donna Campisi is an adventurer at heart. She’s an inspiring speaker, author, podcaster, adventurer, humanitarian, and marathoner. Donna is also an adventure & performance coach. Inspiring many people with her challenges and ‘go do it’ attitude, that those who work with her are achieving their big goals!» Read more about Donna Campisi
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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 Sharon Torpey – The Drug Education Project
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
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
Kirsty Eagar is the award-winning author of the Young Adult novels: Summer Skin, Raw Blue, Night Beach and Saltwater Vampires. She believes storytelling is a life skill, and her author talks and workshops are structured using tenets of performance psychology to ensure they are distilled, sequenced and practical.» Read more about Kirsty Eagar
Ruth Clare is the author of the award-winning memoir, ENEMY (Penguin, 2016), a three-time TEDx speaker and lived experience mental health coach. In addition to writing for publications such as The Age, Elle, Meanjin and The Good Weekend, Ruth is working on a memoir based on her late life diagnosis with ADHD. Ruth explores serious topics related to mental health, resilience, courage, identity and authenticity using humour and a knack for entertaining developed during her years as a professional actor.
She shares stories of hiding the trauma of her childhood, pretending everything was okay while she struggled alone with anxiety, perfectionism, shame and never feeling good enough, and how she finally got brave enough to share her experience with others. Weaving in polyvagal, mindfulness and breathing exercises, alongside cognitive approaches, Ruth simplifies complex ideas learnt on her own recovery journey and mental health studies, to deliver genuine insights and practical tools participants can immediately use in their own lives.
Ruth’s talks deliver a transformative experience for audiences, showing them how to stop being so hard on themselves and live with more calm awareness, self-compassion, optimism and confidence.
• Mental Health
• Resilience and overcoming adversity
• Neurodivergence and Identity
• Owning your stories and rewriting your life
Mark is an award-winning author who offers a unique insight into reading and writing – he came to both late, but has now published three books, including The Road to Winter, which is taught in schools around Australia.
The second book in the Winter Trilogy, Wilder Country, won the 2018 Australian Indie Book of The Year for YA. Mark combines his love of surfing, riding and travelling with adventure stories teens love. An experienced educator, his storytelling, humour and insights will keep students enthralled online or in-person.
Mark is also an award-winning short story writer who offers writing workshops for middle-school and senior students wanting to develop their craft.» Read more about Mark Smith
Jessica Walton is a queer, disabled writer and speaker. They co-wrote an episode of Get Krack!n focused on disability, which aired on ABC in 2019. They are the author of graphic novel Stars In Their Eyes, with artwork by Aśka (Fremantle Press 2021) and Introducing Teddy, illustrated by Dougal MacPherson (Bloomsbury 2016). Jess also has two short stories for teens and kids published in Australian anthologies Funny Bones (Allen and Unwin 2019) and Meet Me at the Intersection (Fremantle Press 2018), as well as poetry in a few anthologies, magazines and journals.» Read more about Jessica Walton
Judy Horacek is an award winning Australian cartoonist, children’s book illustrator and writer. In 2004, she and Mem Fox created Where is the Green Sheep? which became an instant children’s classic, and winner of the CBCA Gold Medal for Early Childhood. She has since done four books of her own that she has both written and illustrated, and three other books with Mem, Judy is an experienced presenter in schools, both talking about her own work and helping children to make their own drawings and stories. Her classes are always full of laughter and fun, and her enthusiasm is infectious.» Read more about Judy Horacek
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
A charismatic,engaging, intellectually adventurous, deep thinker who also makes her audiences laugh. Talks accompanied by stunning National Geographic photography.» Read more about Robyn Davidson
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
Kay Perry is a teacher and examiner with decades of experience in the teaching of Literature and English at tertiary and senior secondary levels. She is the author of several study guides and is yet to respond to the advice to “put down that book and go outside”.» Read more about Kay Perry
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 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
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
Nicki Greenberg is an award-winning author and illustrator. Her books include critically acclaimed graphic adaptations of The Great Gatsby and Hamlet (winner, CBCA Picture Book of the Year 2011). She has written and illustrated many books for children, and enjoys giving dynamic workshops and presentations for all age groups. In her past life, Nicki worked as a lawyer.» Read more about Nicki Greenberg
Matt is a born storyteller. Whether is be recounting his brutally frank time with AFL legends, or creating children’s books full of love of life, he packs colour, punch and passion into his talks, and always engages the audience.» Read more about Matt Zurbo
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
Mark Brandi is an award-winning Melbourne author who was born in Italy, then raised in country Victorian pub. He was the first Australian to win the coveted British Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger, but his road to becoming a successful novelist took a few unusual detours.» Read more about Mark Brandi
Ally Watson is the founder and CEO of Code Like a Girl, a social enterprise that provides girls and women with the confidence and tools to take on the world of code and re-imagine the future of technology.
As one who has seen first-hand how traditional gender stereotypes have limited opportunity for women across society at large, she strives tirelessly each day towards breaking these biases.
Recently decorated with an Order of Australia Medal, Watson is a multi-award winning social entrepreneur whose heartfelt motivation is to create innovative learning environments where every woman, from any background, feels included, inspired and capable in the world of technology.
Ally’s unique and refreshing insights and research on gender-diversity within the technology industry allows for the delivery of thought-provoking and action-inspiring presentations.» Read more about Ally Watson
Shabnam is a driven community development practitioner who is passionate about cultivating true partnerships between communities and structures of power to create lasting solutions and social change.
She grew up as a Hazara Afghan refugee in Pakistan before arriving in Australia at the age of 15. Inspired by her own experience of forced displacement, she is a strong advocate for meaningful participation of refugees in addressing the complex challenges of resettlement, inclusion, and belonging.
Shabnam has founded and led multiple initiatives in Australia and abroad supporting refugees and host communities. She is part of a small national team at the Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia (CRSA) working to establish a holistic community-led refugee sponsorship program in Australia, building community capacity to welcome newcomers. She is the inaugural Chairperson at the National Refugee-led Advisory and Advocacy Group (NRAAG), a refugee-led organisation creating spaces for effective elevation of voices with lived experience in key decisions, policies, and discourse about refugees.
A Director at the Centre for Multicultural Youth, Shabnam also serves on multiple government advisory boards influencing policy design and program delivery to devise unique solutions for the unique challenges and opportunities facing refugee and migrant communities in Australia. She is an emerging leader in the Afghan Australian community and since the fall of Kabul in August 2021 has been one of the leading voices behind the Action for Afghanistan campaign.
She was recently inducted to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women for her tireless work in promoting refugee rights, social cohesion, meaningful diversity and inclusion. Fun fact about Shabnam: she is also a former Karate champion with multiple national and international titles to her name.» Read more about Shabnam Safa
Sophie Jamieson is a qualified Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist specialising in food systems, nutrition and sustainability. Sophie is passionate about creating a healthy, fair and sustainable food system where people enjoy good food that makes people feel good, learn well, grow strong and succeed in sport.
Drawing on her vast experience in food, nutrition and sustainability, Sophie cuts through the noise to revel the key information and strategies her audience needs to make informed decision about what they grow and eat.» Read more about Sophie Jamieson
Bri Lee is an author, freelance writer, and speaker based in Sydney.
After graduating from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Law (Hons) and Arts (Mandarin) degree in 2014, she was admitted to the legal profession early in 2017. Bri is now completing an MPhil in Creative Writing.
Her first book, a memoir called Eggshell Skull, was published by Allen & Unwin in June 2018. It explores sexism in the legal industry and justice system, and tells the story of how many barriers women—including Bri herself—face when trying to access justice. The book won several awards including the Biography of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards. It also received several other listings, including being longlisted for The Stella Prize.
Bri is a well-known advocate for criminal justice law reform. She worked as a Research Assistant to Prof. Jonathan Crowe at Bond University where together they co-authored a paper detailing Queensland’s consent and ‘mistake of fact’ laws. After more than a year of campaigning their work was successful, and the Queensland Attorney-General referred the issue to the Law Reform Commission.
Bri’s second book, released in November 2019, is an essay called Beauty. In Beauty, Bri Lee explores our obsession with thinness and asks how an intrinsically unattainable standard of physical ‘perfection’ has become so crucial to so many.» Read more about Bri Lee
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:
Chris is the author of Scrublands– the bestselling Australian crime novel set in a drought-ravaged town – and The River – an account of his journey through the Murray-Darling Basin.
Now a full-time author, Chris was a journalist for more than 30 years, covering federal politics and travelling as a roving foreign correspondent.» Read more about Chris Hammer
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
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
Maxine Beneba Clarke delivers presentations on her short fiction collection Foreign Soil which is a 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 Masnata is an internationally acclaimed bestselling author, artist, wellness coach and speaker celebrating mindful, joyous and spirited living in a modern world.
Whilst exhibiting her artwork locally and abroad from a young age, Meredith graduated from The University of Sydney, majoring in Art History and Theory and Gender and Cultural Studies. Continuing her education as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach through IIN, New York, Meredith frequently features in the media, educational and corporate spheres inspiring wellbeing in daily life. She is a regular guest on ABC radio. Meredith’s twelve lovingly illustrated books are translated into various foreign languages and her artworks are collected worldwide.
ADY – not the confident A-Lister she appears to be.
KATE – brainy boarder taking risks to pursue the music she loves.
CLEM – disenchanted swim-star losing her heart to the wrong boy.
When St Hilda’s establishes a Year 10 Wellness Program in response to the rise of cyber–bullying, three girls are thrown together and an unlikely friendship is sparked. One thing they have in common: each is targeted by Psst, a site devoted to gossip and slander that must have a source within St Hilda’s.
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
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
Dr Lee Kofman is a Russian-born, Israeli-Australian author of three fiction books and two memoirs, including Imperfect (Affirm Press, 2019), which was shortlisted for Nib Literary Award, and The Dangerous Bride (Melbourne University Press, 2014), co-editor of Rebellious Daughters (Ventura Press, 2016) and editor of Split (Ventura Press, 2019), which was longlisted for ABIA Awards – anthologies of memoir by prominent Australian authors. Her short works have been widely published in Australia, US, UK, Scotland, Israel and Canada; her blog was a finalist for Best Australian Blogs 2014. Lee’s most recent book is The Writer Laid Bare (Ventura Press) about writing.» Read more about Lee Kofman
Jenna Guillaume is a lively and engaging author and journalist with a passion for empowering young people – and having a lot of fun along the way. She loves to talk about things like body image, social media and online toxicity, the intersection of feminism and pop culture, digital media, mental health and self-love.» Read more about Jenna Guillaume
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
Coming to Australia at the age of 7 with her family as a refugee, Sumaya and her family were settled in the suburb of Brighton East, a predominantly Caucasian suburb. She started at a nearby primary school, the only English she knew having learnt from Sesame Street. Her experiences of being bullied and ostracized in school caused her to develop social anxiety and a diminished self-worth which she wouldn’t know about until into her mid to late 20s. She connects with students from schools all over the country on topics of bullying and overcoming it, body image issues and integrating as a refugee.» Read more about Sumaya Harare
After many years spent gathering stories and tapping away in darkened rooms, Patrick has overcome his fear of public speaking and is now an accomplished performer – equal parts inspiring and entertaining – who isn’t afraid to explore the deeper motivations behind his stories. Patrick has a talent for engaging and involving his whole audience (even the kid at the back of the hall who doesn’t want to be there).» Read more about Patrick Guest
Gabriel is a dynamic and engaging speaker, giving interactive sessions on the craft of creating picture books. He’s visited educational institutions in major cities and remote regions around Australia.
Dr Jared Thomas is a Nukunu person of the Southern Flinders Ranges and the Research Fellow, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Material Culture and Art at the South Australian Museum, and an internationally recognised author.» Read more about Jared Thomas
Eleni Hale is an author and journalist based in Melbourne. Her debut novel, inspired by real life events, won the Readings Book Prize among other accolades and tells the story of one girl’s journey through institutional care.» Read more about Eleni Hale
Married couple, Fiona Harris and Mike McLeish are award-winning performers who have been working full-time in the arts industry for twenty years.
Fiona and Mike have written and acted in two series of the award-winning short-form comedy series; The Drop Off. They have also adapted The Drop Off into an adult fiction novel with Echo Publishing, due for release in 2020. They recently received funding from the ACTF to develop a young adult television series. Fiona also taught drama to teenagers at Stage School Australia for four years.
Fiona and Mike run school sessions for secondary students, as well as script and performance workshops.» Read more about Fiona Harris & Mike McLeish
Way Back When Consulting Historians is a team of four professional historians: Sarah Rood, Katherine Sheedy, Lucy Bracey and Fiona Poulton. They work with a range of clients – from schools to local councils and community organisations – on many different projects, including books, exhibitions, oral history projects and digital histories. Way Back When is passionate about uncovering and telling stories, and helping communities make connections to the past that inform and give meaning to the present.» Read more about Way Back When Historians
Fiona is driven in her work to bring the past to life and to create histories that are accessible and engaging for a range of different audiences. She particularly loves the thrill of research, digging through archives and collections, and working with communities to uncover memories and stories. Fiona is an experienced heritage practitioner and oral historian and is inspired by the potential of digital technologies to transform the way that we present history, using individual voices to add a richly personal quality to a story.
Fiona has co-authored several books, including histories of the Monash Business School, Victorian AIDS Council, and the City of Melton. Boroondara Remembers: Stories of World War I received a Victorian Community History Award in 2015.» Read more about Fiona Poulton
Katherine’s passion for making history accessible to a general audience inspired her decision to follow a career as a professional historian. She has broad experience in all aspects of professional history including commissioned histories, heritage, significance assessment and oral history. Katherine is the author of histories on educational institutions, businesses and professional bodies.
In all her work Katherine has been an enthusiastic supporter of oral testimony, in particular its ability to enable contributions from people who may otherwise be unlikely to contribute to the historical record.» Read more about Katherine Sheedy
Lucy enjoys communicating about the past across a wide variety of formats. Her co-authored books include a history of the Children’s Protection Society and a children’s book exploring the history of Boroondara during World War I. Lucy has produced two radio documentaries for ABC Radio National and created audio documentaries using oral history interviews for a range of online history projects, including websites for ChillOut in Daylesford and the Sephardi Association of Victoria. She has curated exhibitions at the City Museum at Old Treasury, Counihan Gallery in Brunswick and State Library Victoria.
Like her Way Back When colleagues, Lucy is committed to giving back to her community. She currently serves as a councillor for the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and is on the collections committee of the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute.» Read more about Lucy Bracey
In her career as a professional historian, Sarah has experience in all areas of public history, specialising in digital histories and exhibitions. She is motivated by her firm belief that the past shapes the present and the future, and enjoys working with community groups to record and document their stories. Sarah aims to produce interesting and engaging histories by communicating stories in an absorbing way and by using her narrative skills to help communities reconnect with their past, facilitating a sense of achievement and ownership.
Sarah has worked on histories of private companies, community groups, sporting clubs, schools and universities. These histories have taken the form of books, exhibitions and websites. Sarah has also curated exhibitions for MFB, Melbourne Museum, Monash Museum of Computing History, Jewish Museum of Australia, Robert Blackwood Hall and Moreland City Council, and created audio histories for Culture Victoria, VicRoads and ABC Radio National.» Read more about Sarah Rood
Alice Bishop is from Christmas Hills, Victoria. Her first book A Constant Hum, tracks the lingering aftermath of Australian bushfire. It was recently shortlisted for the 2019 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction and recognised in the Penguin Literary Prize. Alice’s work focuses on place, people and climate—often highlighting the quiet moments that make us who we are.» Read more about Alice Bishop
James, an experienced and multiple award-winning filmmaker spent 15 months in a Cambodian jail, charged with espionage. He has compelling stories to tell about his experiences and the lessons he learned from them about resilience and how happiness can be experienced in even the most difficult and horrific of circumstances.» Read more about James Ricketson
Danielle Binks is a literary agent and author of middle-grade and young-adult fiction books. She is a passionate ‘youth literature advocate’ who champions Australia’s national youth literature and writes compelling contemporary stories for young people.» Read more about Danielle Binks
Cofounders of PROJECT ROCKIT, Lucy and Rosie Thomas have dedicated their lives to making the world better for young people. The pair launched PROJECT ROCKIT when they were fresh out of school and restless for change on issues of bullying, hate and prejudice. Over a decade later, PROJECT ROCKIT is a thriving social enterprise, reaching hundreds of thousands of students and serving as a cyber safety partner to major social media platforms. Rosie and Lucy regularly appear in the media and have received numerous awards honouring their work.
Although three years apart, the Thomas sisters hold a shared vision that has translated into a strong social impact. They have both received Order of Australia medals, been named by UNICEF among 12 Digital Champions for Children’s Rights in the Digital Age and are recipients of the global Family Online Safety Institute’s award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Online Safety.’ Together the duo sit on a range of boards including Facebook’s Global Safety Board, Twitter’s Global Trust and Safety Council and the Australian Office of the eSafety Commissioner’s Online Safety Consultative Working Group.
Rosie and Lucy are able to offer online sessions during Term 2 due to the coronavirus disrupting learning in many states. Please contact us for more information.» Read more about Lucy and Rosie Thomas: PROJECT ROCKIT
Lucy Thomas is the cofounder and CEO of PROJECT ROCKIT, Australia’s youth-driven movement against bullying, hate and prejudice, Lucy has dedicated her whole life to empowering school students to improve the world around them. She has personally worked with thousands of young people all over the world, from Wangaratta to Texas, Wollongong to Auckland, Atherton to Perth.
Hear the story of how a simple idea grew into an enduring social movement and leave the session with simple, safe and socially credible strategies for challenging (cyber)bullying. As a keynote speaker, social entrepreneur and facilitator, Lucy is a mighty force of kindness, equipped with the precious ability to creatively engage young people to generate positive social change.» Read more about Lucy Thomas OAM
Rosie Thomas OAM has been hungry for creating positive change ever since she can remember. She launched PROJECT ROCKIT with her sister when she was fresh out of high school, and 15 years on it has grown into Australia’s youth-driven movement against bullying, hate and prejudice, impacting half a million young Australians. In her role as CEO, Rosie serves on the Global Safety Advisory Boards of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and is passionate about engineering a kinder digital world. Rosie is a highly experienced and passionate (brace yourselves) speaker and is committed to helping her audience realise their own unique purpose and ability to change the world for good.» Read more about Rosie Thomas OAM
Nikki is known as Australia’s most honest author. Whether it’s her provocative novel The Bride Stripped Bare; After, her non fiction book about the euthanasia death of her mother, or her highly popular column in the Weekend Australian magazine (which tackles many issues pertinent to educators and students,) she gets the nation thinking. She’s also written two series of books for primary aged school children.» Read more about Nikki Gemmell
Lisa is a Wuilli Wuilli woman from south-east Queensland, who has been surviving Canberra winters since 2006. Her debut YA novel, Ghost Bird, has won and been shortlisted in a slew of awards. She teaches creative writing at the University of Canberra, where she is also doing her PhD in creative writing.» Read more about Lisa Fuller
Astrid is a bibliophile. She is the host of The Garret: Writers on Writing and has interviewed more than 200 of Australia’s most prominent writers. In 2023 she began a PhD at the University of Melbourne exploring potential and perceived barriers to publishing and selling climate fiction in Australia.
She regularly moderates and participates in panels at literary festivals, and you can read her book reviews in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Future Women, Kill Your Darlings, The Big Issue, Australian Book Review and Australian Foreign Affairs.
She is one half of Bad Producer Productions, an independent podcast network specialising in arts and sport (she represents the Arts part). Astrid also teaches in the Associate Degree of Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT University and sometimes judges literary prizes.
Astrid is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She served on the Victorian Disability Advisory Council advising the Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers (2019 to 2022). She the former Chair of Melbourne Writers Festival (2019-2022) and the former Deputy Chair of Writers Victoria (2014-2018).
In 2021 Astrid contributed to the anthology Growing Up Disabled in Australia and made her debut appearance on Q+A in 2021. She previously received grants from the Australia Council for the Arts (2017 and 2018) and The Copyright Agency (2017 and 2019).
Before embarking on this creative storytelling career, Astrid was an economics and policy consultant for almost a decade. She specialised in climate and social policy, and to this day she is trying to figure out how stories can help to save the planet.
Astrid is a member of Mensa Australia.» Read more about Astrid Edwards
Ceridwen is a skilled public speaker who is passionate about delving into some of the complexities of the writing process. She loves to provide context and background to her own writing journey so that students (and teachers) feel empowered to engage with her books and with literature in general.» Read more about Ceridwen Dovey
Dr Jodi Richardson is dedicated to elevating the mental health and wellbeing of others. She empowers parents, educators and other professionals with practical skills and techniques for maximising wellbeing and overcoming the inattention, overwhelm and avoidance that come with anxiety.» Read more about Dr Jodi Richardson
Dip Tch, BA, BSW, MAPP, FACEL
Chris is a trained teacher and social worker who has also completed the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology. She has over three decades of experience supporting organisations in the public and private sector to enhance functioning and develop wellbeing. Her work was recognized by the Australian Council for Educational Leaders for which she was awarded a fellowship.» Read more about Chris Daicos
Gabriel Bergmoser is an award-winning author, playwright and screenwriter. His books have been translated into multiple languages and plays performed internationally» Read more about Gabriel Bergmoser
Cath Moore is an award winning author, filmmaker and academic, specializing in YA and own-voice storytelling for the page and screen. Cath also runs story development workshops for secondary students and new writers.» Read more about Cath Moore
Gary Lonesborough is a writer of young adult fiction, with experience working in the Aboriginal health, the disability sector and the film industry.» Read more about Gary Lonesborough
I found school extremely difficult, having dyslexia and other disabilities which led to failing all my subjects and being bullied a lot. After overreacting too many times, I was finally expelled for fighting too much.
It wasn’t until my last school that a counsellor took me aside to work through some of the key issues I was facing. The difference for me was from “night to-day”. I quickly turned my academic performance around and focused on my emotional well-being & set some big goals. Surprised in the difference seeing a counsellor made, I committed to doing youth work to help other students like myself for the rest of my life.» Read more about Jonny Shannon
Annie is a Global Educator, and a Teach Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Ambassador.
Annie strongly believes that we are all global citizens and wants to share the mantra of “Think Globally, Act Locally.” By thinking globally, children learn empathy and cultural diversity. From there, Annie believes children and their teachers form connections and are more likely to take ownership and invent, innovate, and campaign for change.» Read more about Annie Woollard
George is an accomplished motivational speaker with over ten years experience in inspiring young people. George details his journey from the Hip-Hop industry to finding faith and his transition to successful children’s author.» Read more about George Green
Alex Dekker is a 21-year-old impact entrepreneur and change maker, reimagining food relief in Australia through the NFP organisation started just a year ago, Alex Makes Meals.
Nominated as the Victorian Young Australian of the Year 2021 as part of the Australia Day Councils’ highly lauded Australian of the Year Awards.
» Read more about Alex Dekker
Tarang Chawla is a speaker, writer and founder of Not One More Niki, working to end violence against women. He is a gender equality, human rights and mental health advocate who was named a Young Australian of the Year Finalist and listed as one of Australia’s Top 40 Under 40 Asian Australians.
As a journalist and author with more than 40 years experience working in Australia, Asia, Europe, the United States and Middle East, David Leser is a compelling speaker, able to weave the personal with the universal in moving ways that help shift our thinking.» Read more about David Leser
Marjory Gardner’s illustration workshops encourage participants to use colour, pattern and detail to bring to life the characters of their imagination. She describes her drawing process from first roughs to finished art, the hard slog, the fun and the sometimes frustrating stages along the way.» Read more about Marjory Gardner
Dr Joanne Orlando (PhD, M.Ed, B.Ed) is one of Australia’s favourite and most trusted digital wellbeing experts. Through her ground-breaking research she provides specialist advice and solutions to today’s most pressing digital wellbeing issues for children and adults. Joanne is a popular presenter on TV, with over 10 years presenting digital wellbeing segments on Sunrise, Morning Show, Today Show and The Project. She has developed terms such as ‘sharenting’ and ‘zombie scrolling’ which have now entered everyday lexicon. Joanne is the creator of digital literacy and wellbeing education program TechClever, and her most recent book Life Mode On, was released worldwide in 2021.» Read more about Dr Joanne Orlando (PhD, M.Ed, B.Ed)
Ren is a national award-winning spoken word artist and English teacher who merges her love of both arts into active, engaging and empowering writing workshops and performances.
See more at Ren’s website here.» Read more about Ren Alessandra
Sue Whiting is an acclaimed children’s and YA author and editor who has worked in publishing for twenty years. Sue has written numerous books for a variety of age groups, including the bestselling Missing, the award-winning The Book of Chance and a number of CBCA Notable Picture Books. As a storyteller and schools’ performer, Sue has informed, inspired and entertained thousands of kids across the country.» Read more about Sue Whiting
Mirranda Burton is an artist, writer and author of graphic novels. Her work is fuelled by a passion for history, social issues and a dream of humans finding new ways to understand each other.» Read more about Mirranda Burton
Katrina Nannestad is an award-winning children’s author who writes humour, adventure, action, mystery and history. Katrina loves sharing her passion for stories, and encouraging others to read, write and find the joy in life.» Read more about Katrina Nannestad
Matthew Lin is a graphic designer and illustrator who has over 25 years experience — with the majority of that time in publishing, as well as advertising and promotional design.
Matthew began his career as a MAC operator in a small ad agency in Parramatta. After a year he moved on to be a designer and illustrator for Scholastic, then a senior designer/illustrator at Creata Promotion. He was an Art Director at Horwitz Publications and then Creative Director at Online Media Group. In 2004, Matthew decided it was time to go freelance and since then, hasn’t looked back!» Read more about Matthew Lin
Paul is an author, investigative journalist, TV and broadcaster with the ABC.» Read more about Paul Kennedy
Creativity specialist Joel McKerrow is an award-winning author, speaker, educator, and is one of Australia’s most successful and experienced performance poets. For fifteen years full-time he has toured on stages throughout world, including representing Australia at the Individual World Poetry Slam Championships. With seven poetry albums and six poetry books, as well as his first junior-fiction/Graphic novel being published in March 2024 (Urban Legend Hunters: The Dreaded Mr Snipe), Joel brings a wealth of creative experience in both poetry and story-writing sure to inspire and equip your students.» Read more about Joel McKerrow
Wai Chim is the Chinese-American-Australian author of a number of titles for kids and young adults including The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling. Her dynamic and energetic presentations focus on culture, nurturing a love for story and a passion for the human experience.» Read more about Wai Chim
Clem is an Autistic advocate, screenwriter and cultural critic who has relished getting in front of an audience ever since they were sent home from a Year 9 birthday party following a tour de force performance of twenty road safety PSAs. Clem is particularly passionate about Autism advocacy and loves to help debunk myths and misconceptions about Autistic people in the workplace, in education, and in general. With more than two decades’ worth of broadcasting and performance under their belt, Clem has extensive public speaking experience, and their screenwriting and standup comedy skills means that addresses delivered by them don’t tend to result in glazed eyes and rushes for the exit. Their various speaking engagements have covered everything from gender liberation to Autism to cult cinema. Clem is also an experienced host and emcee, having chaired panel discussions and hosted Q&As for a wide variety of events and organisations, including Melbourne International Film Festival, Cinema Nova, AFI/AACTA, Festival Of Dangerous Ideas, Melbourne Writers Festival and Amaze.» Read more about Clem Bastow
Energising, passionate, sometimes silly and forever hunting stories, Andrea turns children’s light bulbs on for their own story creations and loves inspiring text connection chats. A professional copywriter for Australia’s top charities and past media manager for Government Ministers she’s inspired teenagers to explore career opportunities in writing and communications.
Andrea’s best-selling debut picture book Jetty Jumping won the CBCA Picture Book of the Year for Early Childhood and the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year for 5 to 8-year-olds. She is also an award-winning short story writer and professional campaign copywriter for Australia’s top charities.» Read more about Andrea Rowe
Jane Harrison is descended from the Muruwari people of NSW and is an award-winning playwright and author. Her play The Visitors premiered at Sydney Festival in 2020 in a sold-out season and won the 2022 Sydney Critics Award for Best New Australian Work. Her first play Stolen played across Australia and internationally for seven years, Rainbow’s End was on the NSW English curriculum 2016 – 2021 and won the 2012 Drover Award. Jane’s YA novel Becoming Kirrali Lewis won the 2014 Black & Write! Prize and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and the Victorian Premier’s Awards. Jane writes about belonging and identity.» Read more about Jane Harrison
Harry is an energetic and engaging comic performer with a love of language. He loves performing for large audiences of children and keeps them spellbound with his poems, (interactive) chants and the magical creatures from his book covers. Harry also has a gift for inspiring teachers around poetry and creative writing in his Professional Learning workshops.» Read more about Harry Laing
Personal finance journalist, author, and mother of two teenage girls, Michelle Bowes believes the solution to overcoming the money challenges women face is for them to start learning about money – and putting good habits in place – as soon as they start earning it, in their very first casual job.
Her mission is to teach all teenage girls how to be money queens, by showing them how to avoid the gaps, traps and mishaps and giving them the tips and tools they need to rule their money.» Read more about Michelle Bowes
Sher Rill is a digital illustrator who has designed and illustrated for SaaS companies before releasing her first author-illustrated picture book Our Little Inventor (2019 Allen & Unwin).» Read more about Sher Rill Ng
Jeremy Lachlan is a best-selling, award-winning author based in Sydney, NSW. His life-long obsession with adventure (and a trip to the Cairo Museum) inspired him to create The Jane Doe Chronicles, an epic action-adventure/fantasy series about a dangerous, infinite labyrinth between worlds and the girl destined to rule it. An experienced, energetic, inspiring and down-to-earth speaker, Jeremy loves nothing more than sharing his passion for story with readers of all ages.» Read more about Jeremy Lachlan
Felicity Castagna is the multi-award winning author of books for young adults and adults, as well as several works for stage and film. She has run popular workshops on writing and creativity everywhere from universities to correctional centres and is passionate about both working with young people and using her extensive experience and research to help schools and teachers to develop creative writing pedagogy.» Read more about Felicity Castagna
Katrina Marson is a criminal lawyer, author and advocate. She is an expert in relationships and sexuality education as a means of protecting against sexual violence and safeguarding sexual wellbeing, and is an empowering and inclusive speaker.» Read more about Katrina Marson
Leanne is an Asian-Australian YA author who speaks about writing with your unique voice. She also enjoys talking about game and puzzle design, as the owner and designer at acclaimed Sydney escape room Next Level Escape.» Read more about Leanne Yong
Freda Chiu is an Australian Chinese illustrator, author and educator whose work has been published locally and internationally. As well as writing, she has illustrated children’s books and middle-grade novels for acclaimed authors. In 2022, she was shortlisted for the CBCA Award for New Illustrator and the IBBY Australia Ena Noel Award for her debut picture book as author/illustrator, A TRIP TO THE HOSPITAL. Freda works with a variety of mixed media techniques including pencil, gouache, mono-printing and digital in her cosy home studio.
As a presenter and teacher, Freda is energetic, encouraging and engaged with her inner-child. She hopes for children to go home feeling inspired to create.» Read more about Freda Chiu
Author of over 35 books for kids, Zanni Louise inspires young people to fall in love with books, as well as tell and write their own stories.
Too Busy Sleeping
Archie and the Bear
Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush
Mum For Sale
Stardust School of Dance
Paris Takes Over The World
Florence and Fox
We Are All People
I Feel the World
This Is Love
Queenie In Seven Moves
Lost Bunny (Monsties Book One)
Philip Wilcox is an awarded and published full-time poet, touring nationally and internationally. He is an Australian Poetry Slam champion and two-time New South Wales Poetry Slam champion. He believes poetry is for everyone: sleazy advertising executives, criminals, and even school students. He has made it his mission to share his poetry in the hope of sparking a passion for words and language and in the last 8 years, Philip has worked with upwards of 100,000 students in over 300 schools in 12 countries.» Read more about Philip Wilcox