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Asphyxia is the author of the magical series, The Grimstones. She is an experienced motivational speaker and loves to inspire people to be more creative and open-minded. She is an avid art-journaler and generously shares her process to help others benefit from this amazing life tool. Asphyxia is also a Deaf activist, sharing details of Deaf experience. She handcrafted her Grimstone family of puppets and their world from upcycled junk, and has since toured the world with the acclaimed, award winning theatre show, The Grimstones. Now Asphyxia is ready to inspire students to create their own art journals and miniature worlds from ordinary household rubbish. Check out her free online Auslan (sign language) course at www.asphyxia.com.au.» Read more about Asphyxia
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
Dip Teach, BA (Comm)
After completing a teaching degree, Deb went to Africa where she was caught in a desert sandstorm, harassed by monkeys and thrown in jail…twice! She produced and wrote a national kids’ TV show before leaving to become an award-winning, internationally published author. Her books include the Max Remy Superspy series and her best-selling, climate change trilogy, Grimsdon, New City and Final Storm.Teresa A New Australian was inspired by her dad, who, with a million other refugees, made the journey to Australia after surviving WW2. The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and The Most Marvellous Spelling Bee Mystery, are about a shy girl whose family encourage her to overcome her fears and was inspired by Deb’s stupendous grade 4 teacher. Her picture books are Wolfie, An Unlikely Hero and the CBCA Notable, Bear in Space. The Book of Wondrous Possibilities is her love letter to booksellers, libraries and librarians everywhere and is about the power of books to save us when we feel lost.
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
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
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
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)
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
Writer and social researcher Maggie Hamilton gives frequent talks and lectures; is a regular media commentator and a keen observer of social trends. She has held a number of senior roles in publishing and at the ABC. Her professional memberships have included serving on the Executive of the Sydney Peace Foundation.
Maggie enjoys sharing her research in a lively and engaging way with community groups, and at numerous conferences across Australia and New Zealand.
Her books, have been published in over a dozen countries worldwide, and include What Men Don’t Talk About, which examines the lives of real men and boys; What’s Happening to Our Girls? and What’s Happening to Our Boys? which examines the 21st century issues boys and girls face; and now When We Become Strangers; How Loneliness Leaks Into Our Lives and What We Can Do About It. www.maggiehamilton.org» Read more about Maggie Hamilton
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
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
David Lovegrove is a gifted artist who studied at two of Australia’s best art schools – The Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney and the Qld College of Art, Brisbane (where he gained his Master of Arts in Visual Arts). His passion is for exploring the ‘Way’ or the ‘Tao’ of the artist in the 21st Century, bringing together high skill and intuitive inspiration and freedom.» Read more about David Lovegrove
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
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
R.A. Spratt is an award winning author and television writer. Her latest book is Peski Kids: The Bear in the Woods – the second instalment of the Peski Kids series.
It is 10 years since R.A’s biographical account of the world’s most glamorous flying pig, Nanny Piggins was first unleashed upon the world. This gorgeous circus pig turned nanny now has nine books to her name and has won hearts Australia-wide. R.A. has also delighted readers with the Friday Barnes: Girl Detective series.
R.A. lives in Bowral, NSW with her husband and two daughters. Her hobbies include gardening and bellringing. She has two chickens and three goldfish, and her next-door-neighbour’s cat thinks it lives in her house.
For more information visit raspratt.com
To find out more about her latest book – The Peski Kids: The Bear in the Woods, click here.» Read more about R.A. Spratt
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
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
Melina Marchetta’s first novel, Looking for Alibrandi, swept the pool of literary awards for young adult fiction in 1993, winning the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Award (Older Readers) among many others. In 2000 it was released as a major Australian film, winning an AFI award and an Independent Film Award for best screenplay as well as the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award.» Read more about Melina Marchetta
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
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
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
Oliver Phommavanh loves to make people laugh, whether it’s on the page writing humour for kids or on stage as a stand-up comedian. He also shares his passion for writing with the kids he teaches at a primary school in Western Sydney. As a comedian, Oliver has appeared on stage, and on national TV and radio.» Read more about Oliver Phommavanh
Louise writes books for children under her own name as well as several secret identities including H. I. Larry, Mac Park and Poppy Rose. She loves writing books with action and grand adventures and is the author of the best-selling series Zac Power Test Drive, Bella Dancerella and Star Girl—soon to be a television series. She is also the co-author of Boy vs Beast.
Louise loves nothing better than taking students on huge adventures and helping them to craft action-packed stories of their own. Learn more about her at her website.» Read more about Louise Park
Dianne Todaro-Wells (Diploma of teaching), is an experienced educator and author specialising in relationship and sexual identity education. Dianne has a community radio program called ‘Speak up’ that serves communities to talk about information that inspires us all to have our ‘voice’.» Read more about Dianne Todaro-Wells
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
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.
Belinda Murrell worked as a travel writer and journalist before becoming the award-winning author of more than 35 books, ranging from junior fiction to adult non-fiction. Her presentations and writing workshops are energetic and dynamic, inspiring students from kindergarten to year 12. Belinda’s books include Meet Zoe and Zac, popular series The Sun Sword, Lulu Bell andPippa’s Island, and historical novels The Ivory Rose, The Locket of Dreams,The Forgotten Pearl and The Lost Sapphire. Accolades include Honour Book KOALAS, shortlisted nine times for YABBA (Young Australians Best Book Award), CBCA Notable 2012 and 2017 and highly commended in the PM’s Literary Awards. Her latest books include an adult non-fiction bibliomemoir, Searching for Charlotte and The Golden Tower, a timeslip fantasy. www.belindamurrell.com.au» Read more about Belinda Murrell
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
Erin Gough is a Sydney-based writer whose first YA novel, The Flywheel, won Hardie Grant Egmont’s Ampersand Prize. The Flywheel was published in the US as Get it Together, Delilah! and in Germany, and was shortlisted for the CBCA’s Book of the Year for Older Readers and the Centre for Youth Literature’s Gold Inky. It was also named a White Raven International Youth Library title. Her second YA novel, Amelia Westlake, was published in 2018 and won the Readings YA Book Prize.
Erin’s award-winning short stories have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies including Best Australian Stories, The Age, Overland, Southerly and Going Down Swinging. Erin is a past recipient of the Varuna Eleanor Dark Flagship Fellowship for Fiction and an Australian Society of Authors Mentorship.
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
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
Helen is an author and an actor. Using both her performance and writing skills, Helen brings dual knowledge and understanding to the art of expression.» Read more about Helen Chebatte
Gabrielle Tozer is an internationally published author with a background in journalism, editing and copywriting. Her YA novel, The Intern, won the State Library of Victoria’s 2015 Gold Inky Award, and its sequel Faking It is out now. Gabrielle has shared her passion for storytelling and creativity at numerous events, including the Sydney Writers’ Festival’s Children’s Festival of Moving Stories, Somerset Celebration of Literature, National Young Writers’ Festival and the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s National Conference.» Read more about Gabrielle Tozer
Jacqueline Harvey is the author of 40 novels for younger readers and a Children’s Book Council of Australia, award winning picture book. Her bestselling Alice-Miranda, Clementine Rose and Kensy and Max series are all published internationally and have garnered various short listings and awards. Jacqueline travels widely, speaking and teaching in Australia and overseas.» Read more about Jacqueline Harvey
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
Tim Harris is the bestselling author of several laugh-out-loud series for kids, including Toffle Towers, Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables and Exploding Endings. A former primary school teacher of 15 years, his stories are filled with quirky scenarios, loveable characters and plenty of imagination. Tim’s ‘humour with heart’ writing style has seen his books receive multiple awards, including two KOALA Honour Books (2017 and 2019) and a CBCA Notable (2018). His books have been published in Australia and the USA, and have been translated into numerous languages.
An advocate for creativity and short stories, Tim’s presentations and workshops are dynamic and entertaining. He is a sought-after presenter, having worked in hundreds of schools across Australia.» Read more about Tim Harris
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
Leonie Smith (aka The Cyber Safety Lady) is one of Australia’s leading Cyber Safety experts. She is passionate about empowering children, teens and adults to take positive, preemptive steps to stay safer online. She’s done the hard yards as a mum of 4. Leonie has spoken to thousands of students, teachers, parents, seniors and business, Australia wide. Her practical and sometimes technical solutions for online safety have been called life changing!
Leonie is now taking webinar bookings for 2022 to assist the parents of your school community in navigating the increase in online exposure during the current climate. We have interactive sessions developed to provide specific content to each of the following audiences:
This seminar is also suitable for anyone who is caring or working with children and young people who want an insight into digital parenting and young peoples digital world safety and balance.» Read more about Digital Families with Leonie Smith
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
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
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.
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
Nat Amoore is a kid’s writer who is passionate about encouraging kids to read and write and explore their imagination without boundaries. She is all about big ideas, big laughs and big fun.» Read more about Nat Amoore
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
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
Rawah Arja is a passionate young Muslim author from Western Sydney whose work has featured at the Sydney Writer’s Festival, SBS Voices as well as the Sydney Review of Books. She teaches creative writing workshops at schools, specialising in reluctant readers and writers.» Read more about Rawah Arja
Mary is a warm and witty speaker who talks honestly about her life and adventures as a journalist, television presenter and international tour and trekking guide. She became passionate about organic gardening in her mid-twenties and her career changed when she started writing and editing gardening books and magazines to inspire others. She spent ten years as a weekly presenter on the ABC’s Gardening Australia then, aged fifty, she ran away from her work and family to spend six months living alone in a French village. She is passionate about connecting children to the natural environment through walking and gardening.» Read more about Mary Moody
Dr Anika Molesworth is a thought-leader of food systems resilience, climate change, a researcher in international agricultural development and a sought-after keynote speaker.
Anika’s interest in agricultural resilience was prompted by witnessing a decade-long drought on her family’s sheep farm in New South Wales, Australia. From this point, she began a career in seeking how to build resilience in fragile farming systems and has worked hard at promoting and advocating for sustainable agriculture and vibrant rural communities. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science specializing in Agribusiness, a Master of Sustainable Agriculture, and a PhD with the Centre for Regional and Rural Futures.
As a young, female farmer tackling the world’s biggest challenges, Anika is smashing the status-quo and inspiring thousands through engaging and empowering conversations and actions. Her infectious optimism and inspiring message have led her to meet royalty and global political leaders, taking her around the globe, including to Antarctica.
Anika has a great interest in climate change and promoting actions to mitigate emissions and adapt to changing conditions. In 2014, she established Climate Wise Agriculture as a knowledge sharing platform, with a modus operandi to facilitate multi-direction flow of information and skill transfer regarding climate change and farming.
Anika is a Founding Director of Farmers for Climate Action, a farmer-led organisation that advocates for climate solutions which support rural communities. It is a network of over 5,000 Australian farmers and is recognised as a global exemplar of grassroots community actions having national impact.
Working for the past six years on Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research projects, Anika has developed expertise in Southeast Asian farming systems with some of the world’s poorest farmers. She translates this academic knowledge into easily understandable and relatable messages that enthuse and empower urban audiences.
Communication and collaboration have always been central in Anika’s work ethos as she endeavours to share the farming story – both the successes and the challenges. Her ability to engage and inspire others is reflected by the thousands of followers across her social media platforms (@AnikaMolesworth). Her new book is to be published in 2021. Appearing frequently on radio, in newspapers and magazines, and on television, Anika helps to spread awareness and motivation to a wide audience, engaging them with warmth, honesty and compelling storytelling.» Read more about Dr Anika Molesworth
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
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
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
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)
Mick Elliott is an author, illustrator, TV producer, screenwriter, literacy ambassador and professional mischief-maker. As well as multiple best-selling books, Mick has written and produced acclaimed children’s TV programmes for Nickelodeon, the Sesame Workshop, Channel TEN and the ABC.» Read more about Mick Elliott
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
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
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
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
Carla is a writer, a recovered lawyer and a mum of three small dictators. She loves chatting to students about ideas, humour in books and crafting stories.» Read more about Carla Fitzgerald
As someone who fell in love with writing stories when he was a young reader himself, Reece wants to help the next generation of storytellers reach into the quirkiest corners of their own imaginations too, so they might dream up characters and larger-than-life stories of their own. From choose-your-own-fright stories to spooky character workshops, Reece’s visits aim to inspire children to grow their imaginations – and to think big!» Read more about Reece Carter
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
Lisa is an award-winning writer of picture books, and novels for younger and older readers. Some of her funny, heartfelt books include The Grand, Genius Summer of Henry Hoobler, which received the 2017 Queensland Literary Award for Children’s Fiction, the 2018 Speech Pathology Book of the Year for 8–12-year-olds and was also shortlisted in the 2018 CBCA Book of the Year Award for Younger Readers. Her picture book, Hark, It’s Me, Ruby Lee! (ill. Binny Talib) was a 2018 CBCA Honour Book of the Year for Early Childhood and was also shortlisted in the 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Children’s Fiction. Her novel for teenagers My Big Birkett was published to critical acclaim in Australia, where it was shortlisted for the 2007 CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers and in the United States, where it was a 2008 New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age. Her most recent picture book for babies, the delightful Hello World (ill. Leila Rudge) won the 2022 Speech Pathology Book of the Year for Birth-3-year-olds.
Trained as an actor, Lisa is a witty, dynamic, and entertaining presenter, who loves to inspire young people to look at stories, and the world, with a vivid, new freshness.
Hark, It’s Me, Ruby Lee!
Laugh Your Head Off 4 Ever
Big Pet Day
Bear & Chook
Bear & Chook by the Sea
The Grand, Genius Summer of Henry Hoobler
My Big Birkett
The Lisa Shanahan Story Collection (Read by Claudia Karvan)
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
Dub is Australia’s Premier Indigenous Illustrator of children’s books and has taught Illustration workshops in over 200 schools across Australia and abroad. Having won numerous awards in his career spanning over 22yrs, Dub’s work is held in private & public collections around the world including The Library of Congress in Washington, DC.» Read more about Dub Leffler
Charmaine Ledden-Lewis is a proud Bundjalung woman, artist and illustrator, living on Dharug & Gundungurra Country in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Through guidance and demonstration, Charmaine shares her passion and enthusiasm for creativity and visual literacy, and encourages all those she meets to transcend inhibition and engage in artistic expression. Charmaine also takes pride in fostering conversation exploring First Nations perspective, inclusivity and diversity.
Found by Bruce Pascoe (author)
Born to Run by Cathy Freeman (author)
Charlie’s Swim by Edith Wright (author)
Growing Up Wiradjuri by Dr Anita Heiss (author)» Read more about Charmaine Ledden-Lewis
Bradley Christmas is the author of young adult novel Saltwater Boy, a coming-of-age story exploring themes of family, conservation and reconciliation with Australia’s First Nations peoples. Away from his writing desk, Brad is often found performing with bands Copperline and the Gin Palace, as well as touring with acts from Boney M to Steve Kilbey (the Church).» Read more about Bradley Christmas
Anna Fienberg’s favourite subjects are words and stories – reading them, writing them, sharing them. As she spills the secrets behind her books, she encourages her audience to search their own lives for ideas, helping them tap into the imaginative possibilities of everyday life. Interactive and inspiring, she offers inside knowledge into the book world while expanding and enriching students’ own creative powers. Her passion for books is infectious!
Works include: The Tashi series; Monsters; Wicked’s Way; Horrendo’s Curse; Louis Beside Himself; Borrowed Light; The Magnificent Nose and Other Marvels; Ariel, Zed and the Secret of Life; Minton Goes!; Joseph; Madeline the Mermaid; The Witch in the Lake (e book & print on demand); Power to Burn (e book)» Read more about Anna Fienberg
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
Sarah’s school presentations and workshops are interactive, fun and very practical. She shares writing tools she uses in her own books and takes the students behind the scenes of a writer’s life, with stories and photos.
Instagram:@saraharmstrongwriter» Read more about Sarah Armstrong
Nathan is a gifted storyteller who recounts in hilarious detail how growing up as one of five boys on a farm in rural NSW has inspired the books he writes.» Read more about Nathan Luff