Sign up to receive our regular news and events announcements – we send about one newsletter per month.

Open Right

Speaker Type: Online - Virtual Visits

Asphyxia

Author, Entertainer, Online - Virtual Visits, Storyteller/Performer

Asphyxia is the author of the magical series, The Grimstones. She is an experienced motivational speaker and loves to inspire people to be more creative and open-minded. She is an avid art-journaler and generously shares her process to help others benefit from this amazing life tool. Asphyxia is also a Deaf activist, sharing details of Deaf experience. She handcrafted her Grimstone family of puppets and their world from upcycled junk, and has since toured the world with the acclaimed, award winning theatre show, The Grimstones. Now Asphyxia is ready to inspire students to create their own art journals and miniature worlds from ordinary household rubbish. Check out her free online Auslan (sign language) course at www.asphyxia.com.au.

» Read more about Asphyxia

Deborah Abela

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

Deborah trained as a teacher before producing and writing children’s TV at Network Ten. She has written over 25 novels, including the Max Remy and Jasper Zammit (Soccer Legend) series, Grimsdon and New City, about kids living in a climate-changed world. Teresa: A New Australian is a migration story inspired by Deb’s dad who made the journey from Europe to Australia after the devastation of WW2. The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and the sequel, The Most Marvellous Spelling Bee Mystery is about a shy brilliant speller, whose family encourage her to enter the world’s greatest bee. Her first picture book is, Wolfie An Unlikely Hero. Deb is a proud ambassador for the literacy charity Room to Read.

» Read more about Deborah Abela

Luke Atkins

Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Online - Virtual Visits, Speaking Out

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

Entertainer, Online - Virtual Visits, Poet, Storyteller/Performer

Emilie Zoey Baker is an international poetry slam champion who will excite and delight all ages about poetry written for both page and stage.

» Read more about Emilie Zoey Baker

Tristan Bancks

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

Tristan Bancks tells stories for the page and screen. His books for kids and teens include Two Wolves, The Fall and the Tom Weekly series. Two Wolves won Honour Book in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. It also won the YABBA and KOALA Children’s Choice Awards, as did his latest thriller, The Fall. Detention, a gripping new novel about a daring escape and a lockdown in a school, is out July 2019.

Tristan is currently working with producers to develop several of his books for the screen. He’s excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create. You can connect with him, learn more about his books, play games, watch videos and help him try to change the world at www.tristanbancks.com.

» Read more about Tristan Bancks

Bernard Caleo

Author, Illustrator, Online - Virtual Visits, Storyteller/Performer

Bernard Caleo is a performer, comic book maker, and comic book communicator.

» Read more about Bernard Caleo

Anna Ciddor

Author, Illustrator, Online - Virtual Visits

Anna Ciddor inspires audiences with her passion for turning dry facts into gripping narrative. She has written and illustrated over 50 books, including the best-selling historical fantasy Runestone. In more recent years, Anna has created a hit with a story based on her grandmother’s childhood in 1920s Poland – The Family with Two Front Doors.

Her newest book, 52 Mondays (March 2019), is inspired by her own childhood memories of 1960s Australia. 52 Mondays has been shortlisted for the 2019 YABBA, KOALA and KROC children’s choice best book awards.

Read more at www.annaciddor.com.

» Read more about Anna Ciddor

Sue deGennaro

Author, Illustrator, Online - Virtual Visits

Sue deGennaro is an author and an illustrator. She has illustrated 20 picture books, and is the author and illustrator of The Pros and Cons of Being A Frog (shortlist for the CBCA 2013 Early Childhood Prize), Eddie Frogbert and her newest picture book Missing Marvin released May 2018. Sue’s illustrations are quirky and infectiously funny. Sue has worked in many careers (including confectionery, circuses and home renovations!), and now (between making books) she often teaches writing & illustration.

To watch the book trailer for Sue’s charming picture book, Missing Marvin, please click here.

» Read more about Sue deGennaro

Nick Earls

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

Nick Earls is the author of twenty-six books for adults, teenagers and children. Two of his novels have been adapted into feature films, and five have become stage plays. His books have won awards in Australia, the UK and US. He has a PhD in creative writing from the University of Queensland.

» Read more about Nick Earls

Brian Falkner

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

Brian is an award-winning international author and writing coach. He is a highly sought-after speaker in schools around Australia, the US and New Zealand. His infectious enthusiasm, humour and energy make every appearance a popular and memorable one. He is the author of more than thirteen novels for children and young adults, published in fifteen countries in seven languages. His most recent YA novel, Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo has been shortlisted for the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

» Read more about Brian Falkner

Jane Godwin

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

Jane Godwin is a highly acclaimed author of over twenty-five books for young people, across all styles and ages. Her work is published internationally and she has received many commendations, the most recent being a shortlisting in the 2020 CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award with her picture book, Tilly (illustrated by Anna Walker).

Anna Walker and Jane have created seven bestselling children’s picture books together – Little Cat and the Big Red Bus, All Through the Year, Today we have no Plans, Starting School, What Do You Wish For?, Go Go and the Silver Shoes, and Tilly. They are currently working on their eighth collaboration.

Jane’s most recent novel is As Happy as Here, published by Hachette in August 2019, and her most recent picture book is I’ll Always be Older than You, illustrated by Sara Acton and published by Hardie Grant.

In July 2020, Jane has a new upper middle-grade novel called When Rain Turns to Snow, to be published by Hachette. In November, Sing me the Summer, a collaboration with Alison Lester, will be published by Affirm Press.

For many years, Jane worked as the Children’s Publisher at Penguin Books Australia.

Jane often works in schools and the community, running literature and writing programs, making books and encouraging students in their own creative ventures. She is dedicated to pursuing quality and enriching reading and writing experiences for young people, whether it’s as a writer, a publisher or a speaker/facilitator in schools.

» Read more about Jane Godwin

Fiona Harris

Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Online - Virtual Visits, Speaking Out, Storyteller/Performer

Fiona has been writing and performing for Australian stages and screens for many years. She wrote and co-starred on the ABC sketch comedy show, Flipside, as well as on channel nine’s sketch comedy series, Comedy Inc – The Late Shift series 5 and on all three series of the Network Ten sketch comedy series SkitHouse.  She has also written and directed numerous shows for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

» Read more about Fiona Harris

Jack Heath

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

Jack Heath is the bestselling author of more than twenty action-packed books. He wrote his first novel in high school, and it was published while he was still a teenager. Since then his work has been translated into several languages, shortlisted for many awards and optioned for film and television. His enthusiastic presentations have helped thousands of kids get hooked on reading.

» Read more about Jack Heath

Lili Wilkinson

Author, Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker, Online - Virtual Visits

Lili Wilkinson is a reader and writer of YA literature. She is the author of nine books for teenagers, and has a PhD in Creative Writing.

» Read more about Lili Wilkinson

George Ivanoff

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

George Ivanoff is the author over 80 books for young people, including many education titles. He is best known for his You Choose books — a series of interactive books where the reader gets to make key decisions about how the story progresses. He is also author of the Gamers trilogy — teen novels set inside a computer game world. His books appear on both the Victorian and NSW Premiers’ Reading Challenge booklists. He enjoys speaking to all age levels, from primary school students through to adults.

» Read more about George Ivanoff

Toni Jordan

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

Toni Jordan is the author of four novels. The international best-seller Addition was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Fall Girl was published internationally and has been optioned for film, and Nine Days was awarded Best Fiction at the 2012 Indie Awards, was shortlisted for the ABIA Best General Fiction award and was named in Kirkus Review’s top 10 Historical Novels of 2013. Our Tiny, Useless Hearts was shortlisted for the Voss Literary Award and longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. Toni has been widely published in newspapers and magazines and teaching creative writing at Faber Academy. Her most recent novel, The Fragments, was published in November 2018.

» Read more about Toni Jordan

Melissa Keil

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Online - Virtual Visits

Melissa Keil’s young adult novels have been published around the world, and have been described as ‘humorous, heartfelt and angst-y romance with the potential to break the gender barrier’. When she is not writing, she can be found immersed in other people’s manuscripts in her day job as a children’s book editor.

» Read more about Melissa Keil

Valanga Khoza

Online - Virtual Visits, Storyteller/Performer

Valanga Khoza was born in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. He grew up in a traditional setting surrounded by lively singing, drumming and dancing. The Limpopo area is rich in traditional healers, orators and storytellers, highly respected throughout Africa. These were his neighbours. Their nightly ceremonies carried songs and rhythms passed down through thousands of years. Valanga carries these influences through his songs and storytelling. He is also influenced by his travels throughout the world which were driven by his struggle against racism and his fight for freedom of the black people in South Africa.

» Read more about Valanga Khoza

Marc McBride

Illustrator, Online - Virtual Visits

Marc McBride has illustrated over fifty book covers and countless magazines, as well as producing artwork for advertising campaigns. He has a solid design background in both advertising and film, and won the West Australian Film and Television Award for Best Art Director. Marc has had work exhibited with the New York Society of Illustrators. He is best known for his illustrations in the Deltora Quest series, written by Emily Rodda.

 

» Read more about Marc McBride

Sally Rippin

Author, Illustrator, Online - Virtual Visits

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

Michael Pryor

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

Michael Pryor is one of Australia’s most popular and acclaimed authors of Fantasy and Science Fiction. He has published more than thirty-five novels, more than sixty short stories, and has over one million words in print. He is one of the co-publishers of Aurealis, Australia’s longest running Fantasy and SF magazine. He has been shortlisted for the Aurealis Award eleven times, and nine of his books have been CBCA Notable books. His latest book is Graveyard Shift in Ghost Town. His website is www.michaelpryor.com.au

» Read more about Michael Pryor

Oliver Phommavanh

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

Oliver Phommavanh loves to make people laugh, whether it’s on the page writing humour for kids or on stage as a stand-up comedian. He also shares his passion for writing with the kids he teaches at a primary school in Western Sydney. As a comedian, Oliver has appeared on stage, and on national TV and radio.

» Read more about Oliver Phommavanh

Adrian Beck

Author, Online - Virtual Visits, Storyteller/Performer

Adrian Beck is the co-author of the best-selling kids’ series Kick it to Nick, with AFL Hall of Fame inductee Shane Crawford. Part-time TV producer / part-time writer, Adrian uses both skill sets to entertain with lively, humorous and interactive sessions on writing, working in television and footy.

» Read more about Adrian Beck

Nova Weetman

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

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

Ailsa Wild

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

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

Tim Harris

Author, Online - Virtual Visits, Storyteller/Performer

Tim Harris is the bestselling author of several laugh-out-loud series for kids, including Toffle Towers, Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables and Exploding Endings. A former primary school teacher of 15 years, his stories are filled with quirky scenarios, loveable characters and plenty of imagination. Tim’s ‘humour with heart’ writing style has seen his books receive multiple awards, including two KOALA Honour Books (2017 and 2019) and a CBCA Notable (2018). His books have been published in Australia and the USA, and have been translated into numerous languages.

An advocate for creativity and short stories, Tim’s presentations and workshops are dynamic and entertaining. He is a sought-after presenter, having worked in hundreds of schools across Australia.

» Read more about Tim Harris

Mark Smith

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

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

Nathan Strempel

Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker, Online - Virtual Visits, Personal Development

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

The Cyber Safety Lady

Education Consultant, New Speakers, Online - Virtual Visits, Well Within

Leonie Smith (aka The Cyber Safety Lady) is one of Australia’s leading Cyber Safety experts. She is passionate about empowering children, teens and adults to take positive, preemptive steps to stay safer online. She’s done the hard yards as a mum of 4. Leonie has spoken to thousands of students, teachers, parents, seniors and business, Australia wide. Her practical and sometimes technical solutions for online safety have been called life changing!

Cyber Safety is more important now than ever with the numbers of students online increasing significantly due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Large meetings and school assemblies are now not possible and students are using remote learning tools in a whole new way!

Leonie is now taking webinar and video presentation bookings for Term 2 to assist your school or business in navigating the increase in online exposure during the current climate. We have interactive sessions developed to provide specific content to each of the following audiences:

  • Students: Gr 1-2, Gr 3-4, Gr 5-6, Yrs 7-8 and Yrs 9-12
  • Parents
  • Educators
  • Seniors
  • Corporate / Business Clients

We continue to take school bookings for Term 3 and beyond so that Leonie can visit your school when social distancing restrictions are minimised.

» Read more about The Cyber Safety Lady

Adam Cece

Author, Online - Virtual Visits, Storyteller/Performer

Adam Cece is an award-winning author of children’s books, including the hilarious Huggabie Falls series, and an SA Premier’s Reading Challenge Ambassador. His mission, which he has chosen to accept, is to travel the country and inspire children to read and write, by sharing his journey, and his world of books and words, and delving into the process of writing and the structure of stories, and, most importantly, having lots of fun in the process.

Follow Adam on Twitter and Instagram @ceceadam or at www.adamcece.com.

» Read more about Adam Cece

Gabriel Evans

Author, Illustrator, Online - Virtual Visits

Gabriel Evans is an international selling children’s book author and illustrator. In addition to illustrating his own books he’s collaborated with acclaimed Australian and USA authors to illustrate picture books and novels. He has four picture books out in 2021.

Gabriel is a dynamic and engaging speaker, giving interactive sessions on the art of creating picture books. He’s visited educational institutions in major cities and remote regions around Australia.

» Read more about Gabriel Evans

Chris Kennett

Author, Illustrator, Online - Virtual Visits

Chris Kennett is an illustrator/author of picture books and junior fiction.

After writing and illustrating his first two picture books in 2011-12, Chris has gone on to illustrate for the STAR WARS franchise and a variety of Kid Lit junior novels.

His latest series “Noah and Blue’s Zooniverse”, with author Nova Weetman, is a fun and wacky adventure series for younger readers. Chris has also worked in the animation industry on and off for the past 10 years as an animator and character designer.

» Read more about Chris Kennett

Nat Amoore

Author, Online - Virtual Visits, Podcaster

Nat Amoore is a kid’s writer who is passionate about encouraging kids to read and write and explore their imagination without boundaries. She is all about big ideas, big laughs and big fun.

» Read more about Nat Amoore

Caz Goodwin

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

Caz Goodwin is an award-winning author who writes picture books, short stories, poetry and junior fiction for children. Her work has been published internationally and illustrated by Gus Gordon, Ashley King, Kerry Millard, Loo Joo Hong and others. She is also head of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in Victoria.

Caz’s latest book, Lazy Daisy, is the first in a series of picture books to be published by Little Hare, an imprint of Hardie Grant Egmont. Caz is known for her ability to engage and delight young children with her stories and puppets. She is also an entertaining speaker for adult audiences.

» Read more about Caz Goodwin

Way Back When Historians

Historian, Online - Virtual Visits

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