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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
Felice Arena is one of Australia’s much-loved children’s authors. His books have topped bestseller lists and garnered several awards, including six Australian Children’s Choice Book Awards. His works include the incredibly popular Specky Magee series, the hilarious Farticus Maximus books, Whippersnapper, Wish, the Boyz-Rule and Girlz-Rock books, the action-packed bionic-hero series Andy Roid, the Sporty Kids series and most recently his acclaimed historical adventure novels The Boy and the Spy, Fearless Frederic and A Great Escape.
Follow Felice on Twitter and Instagram @Fleech or visit his site: www.felicearena.com» Read more about Felice Arena
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
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
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
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
Lorette Broekstra writes and illustrates children’s picture books. She wrote and illustrated the best selling Baby Bear and Hugo series.» Read more about Lorette Broekstra
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
Mark Carthew is an award-winning editor and children’s author well known for his many books and literacy series, including the recent picture book, The Thing That Goes Ping! winner of the Speech Pathology Australia’s 2021 Book of the Year. Mark’s numerous titles explore wordplay, poetry, music, movement, drama and humour.» Read more about Mark Carthew
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 won the Nance Donkin Award for Children’s Literature. Her newest book, A Message Through Time is coming out in April 2023. 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 – and also brings a Roman girl into the present! It is a stand-alone companion to The Boy Who Stepped Through Time which was short-listed for the Aurealis Award and long listed for the AHA Historical Novel Prize. 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
Sherryl Clark writes stories for all ages – from picture books to verse novels and novels for middle/older readers. She loves inventing characters and doing research, and then weaving the amazing things she discovers into all kinds of stories.» Read more about Sherryl Clark
Jane Clifton talks for a living. Actor, broadcaster, panelist, guest speaker, M.C., writing coach and registered civil celebrant, Jane is a story-teller – even when she sings she’s telling a story. Her by-line is ‘here to help’ – with an entertaining speech, hosting an awards night, moderating a debate, writing a wedding or funeral or just inspiring you, by example, to get started on that book you’ve been meaning to write.» Read more about Jane Clifton
Kate Constable is the author of the acclaimed and internationally published fantasy trilogy, The Chanters of Tremaris. She has also written three realist books for teenagers as part of the highly successful Girlfriend Fiction series. Her recent fantasy for younger readers, Cicada Summer, has been short listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and Crow Country won the CBCA Book of the Year (Younger Readers) in 2012.» Read more about Kate Constable
Gallery for a Day is a travelling exhibition of the original illustrations and preliminary artwork from Australian picture books. Interactive workshops give the students an understanding of the planning and process involved in creating art for picture books.» Read more about Amanda Cooper
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
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
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
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
Kylie Dunstan is an award winning author and illustrator of children’s picture books. Her first book Collecting Colour won CBCA Picture Book of the Year in 2009. She has since written 6 more books. The most recent Nannie Loves was an Honour Book in the 2017 CBCA Early Childhood Category.» Read more about Kylie Dunstan
Adam Elliot is not only an Academy Award ™ winning Animator, but also one of Australia’s funniest, unique and most refreshing corporate speakers and entertainers. Adam has given his inspiring and motivating presentations to hundreds of groups all over the world.» Read more about Adam Elliot
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
Corinne Fenton has a passion for picture books, especially those that have a connection with history. Her picture books are read by four to ninety-four year olds.» Read more about Corinne Fenton
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
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
Lee Fox writes hilarious stories in rollicking rhyme about the things children do not like doing. She cleverly disguises literacy concepts in her stories so that young readers don’t even know they are learning.» Read more about Lee Fox
Archie is one of the most in-demand and successful presenters of author talks and workshops in Australia. Archie’s versatility means he can communicate to, and cater for, a range of abilities and interests. The fact that he was a teacher and features writer probably helps.
Archie’s latest book, Tribal Lores (2020) has won the Australian Family Therapists’ Award for Children’s Literature for the Older Readers category.» Read more about Archie Fusillo
Morris is one of Australia’s most successful and experienced children’s authors. As a speaker he uses the mix of humour and emotion found in his best-selling books. His sessions are informal, interactive and fun. Sharing the secrets of his writing room, Morris leaves students informed and inspired, as well as equipped with tools for their own adventures in literacy and creativity. And he brings his own sandwiches.» Read more about Morris Gleitzman
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
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
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
Elizabeth Honey is an award-winning author of poetry, picture books and novels. She is also an artist and illustrates her own books. Her playful humour, originality, and energy strike a chord with children everywhere. Her novels are published in many countries.» Read more about Elizabeth Honey
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
Ben Wood is a children’s book illustrator. He has illustrated over 25 books, including Blast Off! by Shelly Unwin, the Squishy Taylor series by Ailsa Wild, and the hilarious new series Real Pigeons by Andrew McDonald. He has also had several titles on the CBCA Notable list in 2016 and 2017. Ben offers interactive sessions that are a lot of fun.» Read more about Ben Wood
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
Mark Wilson is one of Australia’s most successful author/illustrators of children’s books. He currently has seventeen books in print in Australia and the USA. His picture books have won many awards including two Whiteley Awards for children’s picture books, two Wilderness Society Awards and five CBCA Notable Picture Book awards.» Read more about Mark 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
Carole speaks engagingly about her books and the research process. She shows how she finds her stories in history and how historical artifacts inspire her.» Read more about Carole Wilkinson
Stig Wemyss is Australia’s most loved narrator of audio books for children and young adults. His performances in libraries and schools around the country are wildly entertaining, cleverly irreverent and chocked full of fun.» Read more about Stig Wemyss
Gabrielle Wang is an award winning author and illustrator of novels and picture books for children and young adults. She was born in Melbourne of Chinese heritage. As a result, Gabrielle’s books are a blend of both Australian and Chinese culture with a touch of fantasy. She has conducted workshops in writing and illustrating around Australia and overseas.» Read more about Gabrielle Wang
Anna Walker has illustrated and written delightful books for young children. Her books have won awards for their design and content and are published internationally.» Read more about Anna Walker
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
Simmone Howell is an award-winning internationally published writer. She has written books, plays, screenplays, poetry, comic scripts, advertorials, speeches, shopping lists, blurbs, glossaries and legends. In addition to writing she teaches creative writing, mapping and journaling workshops for young people and adults. Her YA novels are: Notes from the Teenage Underground, Everything Beautiful, Girl Defective and Take Three Girls (September 2017 with Cath Crowley and Fiona Wood).» Read more about Simmone Howell
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
George Ivanoff is the author over 100 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. His latest book is the middle grade novel, Monster Island. He is also author of the non-fiction Survival Guides, the RFDS Adventures, Meet The Flying Doctors, the OTHER WORLDS series and the Gamers trilogy. 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
Kim Kane was born in London in a bed bequeathed by Wordsworth to…a writer, a painter or a poet. Despite this auspicious beginning, she went on to practice law.» Read more about Kim Kane
Danny Katz is a Canadian-born author and newspaper columnist who writes for The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and The West Australian. He is the Modern Guru in Good Weekend Magazine.» Read more about Danny Katz
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
David is a comedy writer/performer who has written for numerous TV shows including Hamish & Andy, Comedy Inc., TV Burp and Talkin’ About Your Generation, and accidentally became a children’s author in 2008.
His books, Anna Flowers, as well as the Fox Swift, Ball Stars and Maxi the Lifeguard series all have sporting themes and use comedy to tackle issues such as bullying and racism in schools.
David’s latest book Ruby and the Pen involves a magical ink pen and (according to Kirkus Magazine) is full of “Roald Dahl-esque hijinks”. It is the first of fun-filled series that includes Xander and the Pen and Finn and the Pen.
David is a proud Ambassador of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and works with students in remote communities to write their own stories.» Read more about David Lawrence
Steven Lochran is the critically acclaimed author of the PALADERO and VANGUARD PRIME series for young readers. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and has over 15 years experience in the publishing industry, which he draws from in teaching writing workshops and providing author talks.» Read more about Steven Lochran
Michael Wagner is one of Australia’s most popular and original writers for children. His 70+ books successfully engage readers (even reluctant ones – especially boys) with quirky humour, fast-paced action and unpredictable storytelling.» Read more about Michael Wagner
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.
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
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
Shane Maloney is a popular novelist. His books have been published in the US, Britain, Japan, Germany, France, Finland and Tasmania.» Read more about Shane Maloney
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
Marc Martin is one of Australia’s most talented new picture-book creators. Having formally trained as a graphic designer, he splits his time between his design studio and various illustration projects. His first book, A Forest, explores themes of sustainability, growth, and our relationship with the environment.» Read more about Marc Martin
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
Glenda Millard writes picture books, novels for younger readers and for young adults. Her books have been published in Australia and internationally and have won many accolades.» Read more about Glenda Millard
Tristan Miller has had an incredible story, for such a regular guy. He dealt with a number of life’s highs and lows, before finally losing his dream job at Google in the Global Financial Crisis of 2009. Instead of laying down, he turned his life into an amazing adventure by running 52 marathons in 52 weeks, in 42 countries, on all 7 continents!» Read more about Tristan Miller
Martine Murray is an acclaimed Australian author and illustrator whose work has been translated into more than 20 different languages. She has a long involvement in the arts, including dance, theatre, circus and filmmaking. Her first novel The Slightly True story of Cedar B Hartley was on the White Ravens international list of outstanding children’s books, and was shortlisted for the Victorian, NSW, QLD Premiers Awards and the CBCA Award. Marsh and Me and Henrietta and the Perfect night were both CBCA honour books in 2018.
Martine was shortlisted for the Prime Ministers Award for Mannie and the long brave day and has made appearances at literature festivals across the country and overseas. Martine also teaches writing and her new adult novel, The Last Summer of Ada Bloom, is published by Text.» Read more about Martine Murray
Craig Smith’s warm, quirky illustrations have amused kids for more than three decades. With over 360 books to his credit, the humor and pathos of home and school life, and a fondness for unusual perspectives are features of his work.» Read more about Craig Smith
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
Robert Newton works as a full-time firefighter with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. His first novel, My Name is Will Thompson, was published in 2001. Since then he has written six other novels for young people, including Runner, The Black Dog Gang and When We Were Two, which won the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and three daughters.» Read more about Robert Newton
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
Jeannette Rowe is one of Australia’s best selling preschool authors/illustrators. She has published over 100 picture books over the past twelve years and has sold nearly two million books around the world. She has also developed four Digital BookGames, including the award-winning YoYo Go Spy for iPad. Find out about these gameshere.» Read more about Jeannette Rowe
Marion Roberts is a fiction writer with four novels published for young readers. Marion has a Masters in creative writing and enjoys working with young people to embrace their creativity and enhance their writing skills.
Marion explores family life in all its forms including blended families, messy parents, the changing nature of friendships, identity, belonging, grief and loss. Environmentalism is also a theme that runs deeply through her work. Her YA novel Cry Blue Murder explores internet safety and online grooming.» Read more about Marion Roberts
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
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
Liz Porter is a freelance journalist best-known for her prize-winning books about “the real CSI” – the way forensic science is used to solve crime. Based in Melbourne, she is a former award-winning legal affairs reporter for The Sunday Age.» Read more about Liz Porter
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
Andrew trained as a zoologist before discovering he preferred painting and writing about animals rather than dissecting them! Now he loves creating books about almost any subject, and is passionate about sharing that creativity with kids. A scientific artist, or an artistic scientist!» Read more about Andrew Plant
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
Chrissie is the author of over 35 books for Children and Young Adults, including 13 books in the best-selling Go Girl series, the much-loved Penelope Perfect series and the award-winning Whisper. Her work has been published in twelve countries. A new series Blabbermouth will hit bookshops and library shelves early 2020. She lives in Southbank, Melbourne with her youngest child and husband.» Read more about Chrissie Perry
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
Born in Vietnam in 1974 Bic Walker escaped war torn Vietnam at the age of four. Bic’s experience as a refugee was the catalyst for her first Book A Safe Place to Live. This autobiographical children’s book recounts her experience in fleeing Vietnam with her family in 1979 on a tiny boat bound for freedom. The events that transpired are the stuff of Hollywood movies: attacked by pirates and left drifting in the open ocean without fuel, the family were finally rescued by a Canadian oil tanker. Bic and her family were transported to Malaysia where they waited for six months before being taken to Australia.» Read more about Bic Walker
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
Chris Miles has written a wide range of books for children and teenagers. He’s found fun and unique pathways into studying Australian history in his popular non-fiction books, thrilled reluctant readers with fast-paced adventures as an author on the mega-successful Zac Power series, and provoked LOLs and a few gasps with Spurt: a balls and all story, his outrageously naughty comedy novel for teens. His sessions explore how to engage young people with history, narrative, and humour.» Read more about Chris Miles
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
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
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
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
Maxine Mckewʼs background is in journalism and politics. For many years she was a familiar face to ABC TV viewers and was anchor of prestigious programmes such as Lateline and 7.30 Report. Her work has been recognised by her peers and she is a recipient of both Logie and Walkely awards. When she left broadcasting and made the switch to politics, she wrote herself into the Australian history books by defeating Prime Minister John Howard in the Sydney seat of Bennelong. In government she was both parliamentary secretary for early childhood, and later for infrastructure and local government.
Following the success of her political memoir, Tales from the Political Trenches, published in 2012, Maxine McKewʼs new book Class Act looks at some of the most important questions in Australian education. Maxine has been a Vice Chancellorʼs Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Located in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education she has drawn on the expertise and substantial research of the school to inform her stories of success and challenge in Australian education.
Maxine now lives in Melbourne where she continues to work on a range of activities at the University of Melbourne. She is a director of three boards, Per Capita, the John Cain Foundation and the State Library of Victoria.» Read more about Maxine McKew
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.
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
Andrew McDonald is the author of the Real Pigeons and Hello Twigs series (illustrated by Ben Wood). He loves writing books that make kids laugh, gasp and wonder about the world.
His books have been shortlisted for prizes such as the Australian Book Industry Awards, the Readings Children’s Book Prize, and the YABBA, KOALA and KROC children’s choice book awards.
Andrew lives in Naarm/Melbourne and is a passionate advocate for books, reading and engaging kids through creativity.» Read more about Andrew McDonald
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
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
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
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
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
Nicole Hayes is an award-winning author and podcaster who teaches storytelling to adults and kids of all ages. Whether for the page, your ears, or the screen, Nicole’s workshops explore all aspects of story , including: finding ideas, understanding character, building narratives, and how to bring it all together. As an award winning author of YA fiction and feature film scripts, co-author of AFL junior fiction, and founding member of the award winning AFL podcast, The Outer Sanctum, Nicole can help students find and build stories across different platforms for all different audiences.» Read more about Nicole Hayes
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
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
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
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
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
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
Davina Bell is a book editor and writer for young people. Her first picture book, The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade, won the Small Publishers category in the 2016 Australian Book Industry Awards, and she is the author of the Alice books in the bestselling Our Australian Girl series of historical fiction for middle readers. Davina was formerly a Senior Editor at Penguin Books, where she worked with some of our country’s most beloved children’s book creators.» Read more about Davina Bell
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
Alicia Sometimes is a writer, poet and broadcaster. She regularly appears on ABC radio talking books and culture and is often touring with her poetry. She has also appeared on ABC TV’s Sunday Arts, News Breakfast, Recovery and SBS’s Nomad program. Alicia was a 2014 Fellow at the State Library of Victoria and writer and director of the science-poetry show, Elemental that toured extensively in planetariums around the world.» Read more about Alicia Sometimes
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
Lucinda works as a children’s illustrator and author from her colourful, ink-splattered home studio. She loves to draw and especially enjoys improvised sketching with groups of children because – through the chaos – wonderful things can emerge.» Read more about Lucinda Gifford
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
Since publishing her first play at age seventeen, Alex (Lee) Miles has written for stage and screen, for brides, with the book Sixty Secrets for a Happy Bride, and for spys-in-waiting with eight Zac Power books. Using her background in theatre, Alex entertains with interactive workshops on writing and the Imagination Muscle. Her Starring Olive Black children’s series launched in 2017.» Read more about Alex Miles
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
Scott Edgar studied Graphic Design and Theatre Production before embarking on a career as a composer, writer, comedian and actor, primarily in the comedy band Tripod. Tripod have been regulars on the international live comedy circuit, regulars on radio and television, and have written musicals for the screen and stage.» Read more about Scott Edgar
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
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
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
With over 1 million books sold in Australia alone, Susannah is one of our most popular children’s authors, writing books kids love and parents can trust. Contagiously energetic and inspiring, Susannah’s workshops for primary school students take kids’ reading and writing to a new level of engagement and enjoyment.» Read more about Susannah McFarlane
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:
Scott Harris traveled the world solo with multiple disabilities to show us we can do anything we put our mind to. After a dirt bike accident in 2008, he spent three years at Epworth Rehabilitation learning to live with these disabilities and came out the other side with a completely new approach to life. He wrote the book Crashing Into Potential: Living with my injured brain, which tells the story of how he went from zero to hero despite being knocked down many times along the way.» Read more about Scott Harris
It took Christian White over a decade to find ‘overnight success’. Before he became a screenwriter and an award-winning author with his bestselling novel, The Nowhere Child, he slogged away at his computer on nights and weekends, relying on a long list of unusual day jobs to supplement his writing habit. As a speaker he is honest and self-deprecating, as he explains how writing for the screen helped him write for the page, he reveals the importance of letting others read your work, and shares all the things he learned from Stephen King.» Read more about Christian White
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
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
Lorna is an award-winning children’s author who has written and designed more than 17 science books, and co-wrote How to Win a Nobel Prize with Barry Marshall (who actually did win one), illustrated by Bernard Caleo. Read more about her Nobel Prize session with Bernard Caleo here. Lorna teaches writing and editing at RMIT University.» Read more about Lorna Hendry
Mary is only 10, but she has a big dream. She’s been doing experiments at home and thinks science is pretty cool, but she really wants to win a Nobel Prize. Mary is the hero of Nobel Prize-winner Barry Marshall’s hilariously informative illustrated time-travelling adventure book, How to Win a Nobel Prize. In this energetic and interactive event, the book’s co-author Lorna Hendry and illustrator Bernard Caleo take kids into the wild, weird and wonderful world of science. Along the way, they’ll meet Einstein, Marie Curie and Rita Levi-Montalcini. They (literally) draw out some of the characters from the book and get kids started on some seriously silly experiments they can do at home.» Read more about How to win a Nobel Prize
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
Ella is the author of The House on the Mountain, a gently told, beautifully illustrated account of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires from a child’s perspective (recommended for 7+). Ella also loves to share her own stories of growing up in the bush, as well as her family’s current rebuilding process in Kinglake.» Read more about Ella Holcombe
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
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
Ingrid Laguna is a multi-award-winning novelist and educator. She has published a memoir and numerous books for children. Her work has been published internationally, featured by Reading Australia and given Notable recognition by the CBCA. Ingrid’s writing has featured in various publications, including The Monthly, The Age, Teacher Magazine and The AEU Magazine.» Read more about Ingrid Laguna
Chris Kennett is a Bendigo based digital illustrator with over 20 years of experience.
Working his way from animation through to children’s books, Chris has managed to work on some truly “out of this world” projects including the beloved Star Wars series of Little Golden Books.
His most recent projects include the hugely popular first reader series School of Monsters with Sally Rippin, the Nerd Herd series with Nathan Luff and Cross Bones with Jack Henseleit.
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
Anna Zobel is an author and illustrator from Melbourne. Her middle-grade series Little Gem was a CBCA Notable in 2022, and was also shortlisted for the Readings Prize. She is the illustrator of several books including Who’s Your Real Mum?, which made the 2020 CBCA Shortlist and was chosen for the eminent White Raven Award in Europe. Her new book This Camp is Doomed will be released in August 2023. Besides writing and illustrating, Anna is also a gallery teacher with a primary background. She is passionate about fostering confidence, and helping students to discover their own unique style.» Read more about Anna Zobel
Mat Larkin is a writer of middle-grade adventure stories where the not-quite-ordinary meets the nearly-impossible, from Zac Power to The Orchard Underground and beyond.» Read more about Mat Larkin
Caz Goodwin is an Australian award-winning author who writes picture books, short stories, poetry and junior fiction. Her work has been published internationally and illustrated by Gus Gordon and Kerry Millard (Australia), Ashley King (UK), Low Joo Hong (Singapore) and others. She heads the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) in Victoria and is on the Young Australian Best Book Awards (YABBA) council. She is also an Australia Reads ambassador.
At university, Caz studied psychology, but writing has always been her passion and she now spends her time writing for children and encouraging their love of books and reading. Caz’s latest books, Lazy Daisy and Daisy Runs Wild, are fun, rhyming picture books featuring Daisy the koala. Caz is working on a new picture book series featuring a feisty kitten. The first book in the series, Little Matilda, will be released in early 2022.
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
Professor Marcia Langton is one of Australia’s most important voices for Indigenous Australia. She first became an Indigenous rights activist at Queensland University in the 1970s, and since then has worked with the Central Land Council, the Cape York Land Council and for the 1989 Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody.
In more recent times, Professor Langton has become an academic and now works at Melbourne University. Professor Langton has received many accolades, including an Order of Australia, and has authored several books. In 1999 Professor Langton was one of five Indigenous leaders who were granted an audience with the Queen to discuss the proposed recognition of Indigenous Australians in the Australian Constitution. She is also a frequent guest on the ABC’s Q&A show.» Read more about Marcia Langton AO
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
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
Fun, witty and informative, Yves Stening delights children and teachers alike with his wonderful kids series, Dinner Detectives.» Read more about Yves Stening
Tyson Yunkaporta is an academic, an arts critic, and a researcher who belongs to the Apalech Clan in far north Queensland. He carves traditional tools and weapons and also works as a senior lecturer in Indigenous Knowledges at Deakin University in Melbourne.» Read more about Tyson Yunkaporta
Justin D’Ath is the author of over 30 books for children and young adults, but is best known for his hugely successful Extreme Adventure series, which are particularly popular with boys and reluctant readers.» Read more about Justin D’Ath
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
Jacinta Parsons is a broadcaster, radio maker, writer and public speaker who currently co-hosts the Breakfast program on ABC Local Radio Melbourne with Sami Shah.
She began her radio-life at community radio station 3RRR over a decade ago, where she coordinated live music broadcasts and hosted several shows including Detour and Breakfasters.
She made the move to the ABC in 2015, working with the Double J team and as Music Director for Local Radio. As well as presenting The New Music Show on ABC Radio, she has produced and presented a number of national broadcast events.
Jacinta is an ambassador for the Crohn’s and Colitis Association and speaks and writes about the impact of living with chronic illness.
She has also be an active member of the arts and music community and is a board member for Melbourne disability theatre company, Rollercoaster.» Read more about Jacinta Parsons
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
Claire Saxby writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction for young people. She speaks (and sometimes sings) about history, humour, our environment, making stories, writing poetry and researching.» Read more about Claire Saxby
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
H. Hayek learned as an adult to embrace all the parts that make her unique. Hayek believes all children, no matter their backgrounds, can do this early and use it as a tool for success.» Read more about Huda Hayek
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.
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
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
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
Emily Gale has seen the book industry from different sides over more than twenty years. She’s worked in publishing houses, a bookshop, two school libraries and a literary agency, has chaired festival panels and is a vocal advocate for children’s literature wherever she goes. Meanwhile she has written novels for several age groups, with a particular interest in middle-grade and Young Adult fiction.» Read more about Emily Gale
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
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
Fiona Hardy knew she wanted to be an author after a terrible retelling of Alice in Wonderland in grade one garnered a very normal amount of compliments that she took far too seriously. Now, she is a bookseller, reviewer, and the award-winning author of three books on following your dreams.» Read more about Fiona Hardy
Andrew Paterson is a medical doctor and the author of Rainfish, a middle grade novel set in a small North Queensland town based on Innisfail, the real town where Andrew grew up.» Read more about Andrew Paterson
Trent is an energetic and passionate speaker who loves to excite, educate and engage kids of all ages.» Read more about Trent Roberts
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
Jess Racklyeft is an award winning illustrator (and sometimes author) of over 30 picture books. She creates work with a variety of media including watercolour, mono prints, acrylics and digital illustration – resulting in a very messy studio!» Read more about Jess Racklyeft
Jack Henseleit is a children’s author and monster enthusiast who loves writing stories about fairies, pirates, and anything that goes bump in the night. He is the author of seven books for children, including the middle-grade horror series The Witching Hours and the junior fiction series Cross Bones (with illustrator Chris Kennett).» Read more about Jack Henseleit
Jane Gilmore is an author, journalist, feminist, and consent educator. She has been researching and writing about the causes and effects of violence and poverty for over a decade and is now also involved in delivering consent and respectful relationships education in Australian schools.
Jane has a Master of Journalism from the University of Melbourne and is an award-winning journalist who has been commissioned by The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Crikey, Meanjin, News.com.au, The Daily Telegraph, SBS, Women’s Agenda, Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, Elle Magazine, Junkee, The Hoopla, Spook Magazine and the ABC.
She is a skilful keynote speaker and has extensive experience in providing engaging and expert commentary for radio, televisions, conferences, writer’s festivals, corporate events, and panel discussions. Her areas of proficiency are consent and respectful relationships, gender diversity solutions, gender pay gap, perception bias, gendered violence, media representation of women, reporting domestic and sexual violence.
Jane also provides media training and public speaking workshops, media advice, and writing for media advocacy workshops.
Jane’s first book, Fixed It, was published by Penguin Random House in 2019 and explores media’s representation of women and violence. In 2020 she wrote the work section of the book Work Love Body published by Hachette in 2021. Her latest book, Teaching Consent, was published by Body Safety Australia in 2022 and the next book in the series Teaching Respect will be published in 2023.» Read more about Jane Gilmore
Zeno Sworder is an award winning writer, artist and picture book maker. He is passionate about literacy, creativity and diversity.» Read more about Zeno Sworder
Jess is an author and illustrator from Melbourne. Drawing quite literally from a day job at Melbourne Museum, Jess loves sharing stories about nature and encouraging students to draw the world around them.
Heidi is passionate about sharing her love of story, art and creativity with children and young people.» Read more about Heidi McKinnon
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
Amelia Mellor is an award-winning author of kids’ fantasy fiction, and a former English teacher. She is an enthusiastic, theatrical speaker with a passion for all things weird and wonderful in history and nature.» Read more about Amelia Mellor
Nina Kenwood is an award-winning author living in Melbourne.
Her debut YA novel, It Sounded Better in My Head, won the Text Prize and was a finalist for the American Library Association’s William C Morris Award, a CBCA notable book, as well as being shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, the Queensland Literary Awards, the Russell Prize for Humour Writing, the Indie Book Awards and the Australian Book Industry Awards.
It Sounded Better in My Head has been published in six languages, and optioned for film. Nina’s second YA novel, Unnecessary Drama, was released in 2022.» Read more about Nina Kenwood
Emma is an award-winning and internationally published author of books for children and adults; an experienced presenter (both online and in-person); and a passionate Literacy Ambassador for the education charity, Ardoch. A vibrant new voice in Australian children’s literature, Emma’s debut rhyming picture book, Wonderful Shoes was awarded a CBCA Notable Book (Early Childhood, 2022); and featured on Play School Story Time (Series 5, ABC Kids TV, ABC iView, 2022). She is a former Occupational Therapist and has a keen interest in making storytelling props to dovetail with her picture books.
Emma has conducted sessions in Early Learning Centres, Schools, Bookshops and Libraries. She particularly enjoys speaking to Early Childhood and Primary School educators – where she shares her passion and knowledge for choosing and using quality children’s picture books in education settings.
Emma has presented to organisations such as: the School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV – Primary Branch); the CBCA Central Coast Sub-branch, NSW (Early Childhood PD Workshop); and the State Library of NSW.
To find out more about Emma and her new publications, follow her on Instagram/Facebook @emma.bowd.au or visit her website.
The Day You Were Born (illustrated by Hilary Jean Tapper; Affirm Press; August 2023) – picture book.
Wonderful Shoes (illustrated by Tania McCartney; Windy Hollow Books; 2021) – picture book.
The Shoe Princess’s Guide to the Galaxy (Bloomsbury, UK; 2009) – commercial fiction novel for adults.
Karen Comer is an author, freelance editor and writing mentor and presents writing workshops to children and adults. She teaches a ten-month online writing course and presents writing workshops to schools and holiday programs. Her work as a freelance editor includes fiction for adults and children, as well as personal development, memoir, health, wellbeing and general business books. Karen’s young adult verse novel, Grace Notes, was published by Hachette in February 2023. She wrote this during Melbourne’s six lockdowns – nowhere to go, time to write! Her middle-grade verse novel, Sunshine on Vinegar Street, was published by Allen & Unwin in June 2023. This book took her thirteen years to write and metamorphosed from a picture book to a middle-grade prose novel to a middle-grade verse novel.
Karen hopes to introduce more readers to the lyrical wonders of verse novels.» Read more about Karen Comer