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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
Deborah trained as a teacher before producing and writing children’s TV at Network Ten. She has written over 25 novels, including the Max Remy and Jasper Zammit (Soccer Legend) series, Grimsdon and New City, about kids living in a climate-changed world. Teresa: A New Australian is a migration story inspired by Deb’s dad who made the journey from Europe to Australia after the devastation of WW2. The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and the sequel, The Most Marvellous Spelling Bee Mystery is about a shy brilliant speller, whose family encourage her to enter the world’s greatest bee. Her first picture book is, Wolfie An Unlikely Hero. Deb is a proud ambassador for the literacy charity Room to Read.» Read more about Deborah Abela
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
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
Tristan Bancks tells stories for the page and screen. His books for kids and teens include Two Wolves, The Fall and the Tom Weekly series. Two Wolves won Honour Book in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. It also won the YABBA and KOALA Children’s Choice Awards, as did his latest thriller, The Fall. Detention, a gripping new novel about a daring escape and a lockdown in a school, is out July 2019.
Tristan is currently working with producers to develop several of his books for the screen. He’s excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create. You can connect with him, learn more about his books, play games, watch videos and help him try to change the world at www.tristanbancks.com.» Read more about Tristan Bancks
Bernard Caleo is a performer, comic book maker, and comic book communicator.» Read more about Bernard Caleo
Anna Ciddor inspires audiences with her passion for uncovering historical secrets and turning them into gripping narrative, and her lively presentations are filled with ‘show-and-tell’ and audience participation. In 2021, Anna was long listed for the AHA Historical Novel Prize for The Boy Who Stepped Through Time. It is a gripping adventure that immerses readers in a world filled with excitement, laughter, and amazing (and accurate) historical detail about life in Gaul in ancient Roman times. Anna has written and illustrated nearly 60 books, including the best-selling Runestone, a historical fantasy, The Family with Two Front Doors, a story based on her grandmother’s childhood in 1920s Poland, and 52 Mondays, inspired by Anna’s childhood memories of 1960s Australia.
Read more at www.annaciddor.com» Read more about Anna Ciddor
Sue deGennaro is an author and an illustrator. She has illustrated 20 picture books, and is the author and illustrator of The Pros and Cons of Being A Frog (shortlist for the CBCA 2013 Early Childhood Prize), Eddie Frogbert and her newest picture book Missing Marvin released May 2018. Sue’s illustrations are quirky and infectiously funny. Sue has worked in many careers (including confectionery, circuses and home renovations!), and now (between making books) she often teaches writing & illustration.
To watch the book trailer for Sue’s charming picture book, Missing Marvin, please click here.» Read more about Sue deGennaro
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
Brian is an award-winning international author and writing coach. He is a highly sought-after speaker in schools around Australia, the US and New Zealand. His infectious enthusiasm, humour and energy make every appearance a popular and memorable one. He is the author of more than thirteen novels for children and young adults, published in fifteen countries in seven languages. His most recent YA novel, Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo has been shortlisted for the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.» Read more about Brian Falkner
Clementine Ford’s take on social issues is bold, brave and entertaining. She inspires and challenges people of all ages in equal measure.» Read more about Clementine Ford
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 a shortlisting in the 2020 CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award with her picture book, Tilly (illustrated by Anna Walker).
Anna Walker and Jane have created seven 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, and Tilly. They are currently working on their eighth collaboration.
Jane’s most recent novel is As Happy as Here, published by Hachette in August 2019, and her most recent picture book is I’ll Always be Older than You, illustrated by Sara Acton and published by Hardie Grant.
In July 2020, Jane has a new upper middle-grade novel called When Rain Turns to Snow, to be published by Hachette. In November, Sing me the Summer, a collaboration with Alison Lester, will be published by Affirm Press.
For many years, Jane worked as the Children’s Publisher at Penguin Books Australia.
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
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
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
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
George Ivanoff is the author over 80 books for young people, including many education titles. He is best known for his You Choose books — a series of interactive books where the reader gets to make key decisions about how the story progresses. He is also author of the Gamers trilogy — teen novels set inside a computer game world. His books appear on both the Victorian and NSW Premiers’ Reading Challenge booklists. He enjoys speaking to all age levels, from primary school students through to adults.» Read more about George Ivanoff
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
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
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
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
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
Alice Pung is a writer and lawyer who loves teaching. Alice’s books are studied in secondary schools and universities in Australia as well as the United States, and she has taught writing workshops to students from the ages of 8 to 80 in Australia, China and the States. Alice is also an Ambassador for the 100 Story Building Project, a social enterprise which helps promote literature and literacy skills to young people in the Western suburbs.» Read more about Alice Pung
Michael Pryor is one of Australia’s most popular and acclaimed authors of Fantasy and Science Fiction. He has published more than thirty-five novels, more than sixty short stories, and has over one million words in print. He is one of the co-publishers of Aurealis, Australia’s longest running Fantasy and SF magazine. He has been shortlisted for the Aurealis Award eleven times, and nine of his books have been CBCA Notable books. His latest book is Graveyard Shift in Ghost Town. His website is www.michaelpryor.com.au» Read more about Michael Pryor
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
Adrian Beck is the co-author of the best-selling kids’ series Kick it to Nick, with AFL Hall of Fame inductee Shane Crawford. Part-time TV producer / part-time writer, Adrian uses both skill sets to entertain with lively, humorous and interactive sessions on writing, working in television and footy.» Read more about Adrian Beck
Nova Weetman wrote her first book at 12. A dystopian story about jelly eating, it’s predictably unpublished. From there, she honed her story writing skills in the world of film and TV, before returning to the thing she loves most – writing prose. Now she writes YA novels and middle fiction, and short non-fiction and fiction for various literary magazines and online publications.» Read more about Nova Weetman
Mariam Issa is a visionary storyteller and delivers a story of determination and strength that is uniquely inspirational.
As an author and renowned speaker, Mariam tailors her talks to the interests of her audiences, and has spoken about a wide variety subjects including leadership, community building, culture and diversity, gender issues, social justice, social inclusion and cohesion, as well as advocacy on FGM.» Read more about Mariam Issa
Ailsa Wild is a whip-cracker who ran away from the circus to write stories. She is an author, performer and community artist who loves collaboration. Ailsa is known for her Squishy Taylor series for 6-10 year olds, about the adventures of daredevil, mystery-solving Squishy (Hardie Grant Egmont), which has now been published in the US, the UK, Spain, and Brazil. The first book in her new series, The Naughtiest Pixie (Hardie Grant Egmont) published in July 2019 is about a cheeky, greedy little pixie who can’t stop getting into mischief. Ailsa is also the lead writer of the Small Friends Books series: science adventures starring microbes, molecules and mucus, where the bacteria are the heroes (co-published by CSIRO Publishing and Scale Free Network).
Ailsa’s first graphic novel The Invisible War (with Scale Free Network) was selected as a ‘Notable of 2017’ by the Children’s Book Council of Australia and won Most Outstanding Educational Resource at the 2017 Australian Educational Publishing Awards. The Invisible War was just released in the USA by Lerner Books, with Korean and Arabic versions scheduled for release in 2020.
Ailsa’s work has appeared in Meanjin, The Monthly, ABC online, #METOO: stories from the Australian movement (Picador) and on stages across Australia. She has spoken at many literary festivals including Melbourne Writers Festival, World Science Festival Brisbane, Ipswich StoryArts Festival. She has also guest lectured at several universities and presented at more than 200 schools around Australia. She has a Masters of Creative Media (creative writing) from RMIT and has collaborated with scientists, musicians, children, nurses and circus performers.
She often reads past her bedtime.» Read more about Ailsa Wild
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Adam Cece is an award-winning author of children’s books, including the hilarious Huggabie Falls series, and an SA Premier’s Reading Challenge Ambassador. His mission, which he has chosen to accept, is to travel the country and inspire children to read and write, by sharing his journey, and his world of books and words, and delving into the process of writing and the structure of stories, and, most importantly, having lots of fun in the process.
Follow Adam on Twitter and Instagram @ceceadam or at www.adamcece.com.» Read more about Adam Cece
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
Ingrid Laguna is a dynamic and engaging author, teacher and Education Advisor for the Melbourne Writers Festival. Her work has been published internationally and her fourth book, Bailey Finch Takes a Stand (middle-grade) is coming soon. She has written for numerous publications including The Monthly, The Age, Magpies Magazine and the AEU magazine.» Read more about Ingrid Laguna
Gabriel Evans is an international selling children’s book author and illustrator. In addition to illustrating his own books he’s collaborated with acclaimed Australian and USA authors to illustrate picture books and novels. He has four picture books out in 2021.
Gabriel is a dynamic and engaging speaker, giving interactive sessions on the art of creating picture books. He’s visited educational institutions in major cities and remote regions around Australia.» Read more about Gabriel Evans
Chris Kennett is an illustrator/author of picture books and junior fiction.
After writing and illustrating his first two picture books in 2011-12, Chris has gone on to illustrate for the STAR WARS franchise and a variety of Kid Lit junior novels.
His latest series “Noah and Blue’s Zooniverse”, with author Nova Weetman, is a fun and wacky adventure series for younger readers. Chris has also worked in the animation industry on and off for the past 10 years as an animator and character designer.» Read more about Chris Kennett
Dr Jared Thomas is a Nukunu person of the Southern Flinders Ranges and the Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art and Material Cultural at the South Australian Museum and an international award-winning 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
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
Caz Goodwin is an award-winning author who writes picture books, short stories, poetry and junior fiction for children. Her work has been published internationally and illustrated by Gus Gordon, Ashley King, Kerry Millard, Loo Joo Hong and others. She is also head of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in Victoria.
Caz’s latest book, Lazy Daisy, is the first in a series of picture books to be published by Little Hare, an imprint of Hardie Grant Egmont. Caz is known for her ability to engage and delight young children with her stories and puppets. She is also an entertaining speaker for adult audiences.» Read more about Caz Goodwin
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
Astrid Edwards is an interviewer, podcaster and advocate.
She is a bibliophile and hosts two bookish podcasts – The Garret: Writers on Writing and Anonymous Was A Woman. She serves as the Deputy Chair of Melbourne Writers Festival and teaches professional writing at RMIT University.
Astrid has Multiple Sclerosis and is a Member of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council advising the Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers.» Read more about Astrid Edwards
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