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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
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
Lauren Burns OAM, Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist (BHSc) Olympic Gold Medallist, Taekwondo Sydney 2000» Read more about Lauren Burns
Oslo Davis is an illustrator and cartoonist who has drawn for magazines and newspapers worldwide. As a satirist, Oslo has a particular interest in drawing the foibles and ridiculousness of modern day life.» Read more about Oslo Davis
Mary is a writer, award winning ABC Journalist and former Education Minister. She is National Director of Writing Australia and Chair of Orchestra Victoria. She was the first female solo prime time TV newsreader in Victoria, and the first female Planning Minister in Victoria.» Read more about Mary Delahunty
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
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
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
Sean aims to give parents, teachers and students greater insight and the practical tools to foster health and wellbeing along with academic and sporting achievement.» Read more about Sean Fyfe
Anna Goldsworthy is a prize-winning classical pianist and writer. She an engaging speaker and performer, and is passionate about bringing the lessons of classical music to the widest possible audience. She is Artist Director of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival.» Read more about Anna Goldsworthy
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
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
Belinda Hawkins has reported on national and international events for ABC TV and SBS TV for almost 30 years, filing from countries as diverse as Nigeria, Eritrea, Cuba, Germany and Russia. For the past twelve years she has been a senior journalist with ABC TV’s Australian Story program. Her documentary work has been recognised with a raft of awards, among them a Walkley award, seven Quill awards, four New York Festival Medals and four United Nations Media Peace Awards. She started her working life as high school teacher in country Victoria.» Read more about Belinda Hawkins
Justin Heazlewood is an award-winning triple-threat of writer, musician & comedian. As The Bedroom Philosopher he has appeared on Triple J & ABC TV, releasing three albums including the ARIA-nominated Songs From The 86 Tram. The video for Northcote (So Hungover) earning nearly half a million hits. In 2014 his first non-fiction book Funemployed, about being an artist in Australia, was an indie-hit, earning praise from artists and industry alike. In 2015 an 8-part series was commissioned for RN.
His 10-part Get Up Mum radio series based on his cassette recordings of himself as a kid was aired Radio National’s Life Matters. You can listen to the series here.» Read more about Justin Heazlewood
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
Sammy J is an award-winning comedian, author and musician.
A proud nerd, he abandoned his law degree to travel the world and sing funny songs for a living. You may have seen him on TV, at a festival, or as one half of the man/puppet duo Sammy J & Randy.» Read more about Sammy J
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
Benjamin Law is a Sydney-based journalist, columnist and screenwriter. He is the author of two books: the black comedy memoir The Family Law (2010) and the travelogue Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012). The Family Law has been translated into French and is currently being developed for television. Gaysia was published in India in 2013, with the US and other territories to follow in 2014. Both of his books were nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards, and he is currently working on his third.» Read more about Benjamin Law
David Nyuol Vincent is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. He was trained as a child soldier in Ethiopia and lived as a refugee in Kenya until he was twenty-six. Since rebuilding his life here in Australia, David has become an advocate for refugees and the Sudanese community and he is a Victorian Human Rights Youth Ambassador and a People of Australia Ambassador. He also helped to set up an all-Sudanese refugee football team, the Western Tigers, in the Brimbank soccer league. David is a true humanitarian and is committed to achieving peace for his people in Sudan.» Read more about David Nyuol Vincent
Marathon swimmer, Tammy van Wisse has swum one-and-a-half times around the planet, setting six world records – five of which are still current. She has swum the English Channel twice (the success rate is only seven percent), is the only person to have swum Bass Strait and spent three and a half months submerged in the mighty Murray River – to highlight the river’s environmental importance.
Armed with the same energy and dedication as she has put into her incredible swimming career, Tammy brings a truly unique and inspiring presentation that entertains as it informs, and inspires as it motivates.
Tammy’s never-give-up world champion stories are enlightening, entertaining and powerfully motivating. She shares her secrets and strategies of how to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles showing audiences that with a commitment to a goal, and a belief in oneself – anything is possible.
Chris is an Australian and British professor of Earth science and author of three popular science books. Chris is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change at the University of University of New South Wales, where he and his team are focusing their efforts on finding lessons from the past.
Chris investigates past and future climates, how people have responded to change, and recent human evolution and migration. He does this in a hands-on fashion: he digs down into the ice of Antarctica for core samples, the depths of a volcanic crater, or searches for Hobbit fossils (seriously!) across Indonesia. He has stories to tell and bring to life.
Chris has earned a reputation as scientist who can demystify and articulate, for any audience, exactly what it is that a scientist does for a living. His enthusiasm shows us not only why he pursues these interests, but points out what we stand to gain through scientific education.» Read more about Chris Turney
Trent Southworth is a former NSW Police Officer with over fourteen years policing experience, including eight years employed in the Youth Liaison role. In his role, Trent worked closely with numerous government and non government agencies to identify youth related initiatives such as underage drinking programs, truancy, road safety, drug programs, and bullying.
Trent assisted in the implementation and monitoring of the State Governments Young Offenders Act, which targets all young offenders aged between 10 and 18 years of age. Through his experience in the NSW Police, Trent witnessed first-hand the importance of ongoing education of young people in today’s society.
Since leaving the Police, Trent has developed and facilitated numerous seminars for students, teachers, parents and community groups Australia-wide.» Read more about Trent Southworth
Claire Madden is a social researcher, media commentator and next-gen expert, fluent in social media, youth culture, and engagement styles of these global generations, and a professional in interpreting what this means for educators, managers and marketers. Claire is in demand for her skill in effectively identifying the emerging trends and assisting business leaders to strategically respond to them.
Hello Gen Z reveals the critical importance of knowing how to engage this generation of hyperconnected, agile and adaptive digital savants as employees, consumers and emerging leaders. Hello Gen Z is required reading for any organisation wanting to future-proof and unlock the potential of the Post-Millennials.» Read more about Claire Madden
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
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
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
Since starting on a country newspaper in 1975, Andrew Rule has worked on three metropolitan newspapers and in both radio and television production. He has written, co-written, edited and published many books, including the Underbelly true crime series and the Chopper series, which inspired the successful feature film. He hosts a regular fortnightly spot on Triple M’s Hot Breakfast called In The Rule World.» Read more about Andrew Rule
Michael Robotham is an internationally celebrated crime writer whose books have been translated into 25 languages and sold more than six million copies around the world.
Born in country NSW, he began his career as a journalist and went on to write for newspapers and magazines in Australia, Britain and America. As a senior feature writer for the UK’s Mail on Sunday he was among the first people to view the letters and diaries of Czar Nicholas II and his wife Empress Alexandra, unearthed in the Moscow State Archives in 1991. He also gained access to Stalin’s Hitler files, which had been missing for nearly fifty years until a cleaner stumbled upon a cardboard box that had been misplaced and misfiled.
In 1993 he quit journalism to become a ghostwriter, collaborating with politicians, pop stars, psychologists, adventurers and showbusiness personalities to write their autobiographies. Twelve of these non-fiction titles were Sunday Times bestsellers in the UK.
Michael’s first psychological thriller, THE SUSPECT, caused a bidding war at the London Book Fair in 2002 and was sold into more twenty languages in less than three hours. It later became only the fifth “International Book of the Month”, making it the top recommendation to 28 million book club members in fifteen countries.
In 2015, Michael’s novel, LIFE OR DEATH, won the coveted Crime Writer’s Association Gold Dagger award for the year’s best novel, beating Stephen King and Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) who were on the shortlist. He has also twice won Australia’s Ned Kelly Award for best novel and the Australian Book Industry Award for best fiction in 2018 for THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS.
A six-part TV series based on THE SECRET SHE KEEPS has been made for Channel 10 and will screen in early 2020 with an international cast.» Read more about Michael Robotham
Marcus is a medical doctor and popular motivational speaker, who has addressed thousands of school children and a large number of businesses over the last ten years on a wide variety of health and personal welfare subjects.» Read more about Dr Marcus Robertson
Hannie Rayson is a multi-award winning playwright who has a reputation for topical complex dramas written with wit and insight. She is an accomplished public speaker – funny, incisive and thoughtful.» Read more about Hannie Rayson
Alice Pung is a writer and lawyer who loves teaching. Alice’s books are studied in secondary schools and universities in Australia as well as the United States, and she has taught writing workshops to students from the ages of 8 to 80 in Australia, China and the States. Alice is also an Ambassador for the 100 Story Building Project, a social enterprise which helps promote literature and literacy skills to young people in the Western suburbs.» Read more about Alice Pung
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
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. It was also selected for the State Library of Victoria’s Summer Read 2014 where it was the most borrowed title. This novel is currently under option as a TV series while its sequel The Unbroken Line is released in 2015.» Read more about Alex Hammond
A couple of decades ago, Graeme Base’s job description was distilled by his then six-year old son as “Oh, my dad just stays home and colours in.” Unable to forgive or forget this devastatingly accurate dismissal of his life’s work, Graeme has finally decided to embark on a global speaking tour to set the record straight: Sure he stays home and colours in, but he also writes the words!» Read more about Graeme Base
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
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
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
David Hunt is a writer, historian and children’s book author. He is the best-selling author of Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia, which won the 2014 Indie Award for Best Non-Fiction Book. The sequel, True Girt, was shortlisted for the 2017 Russell Prize for Humour Writing and David’s narration was shortlisted for Audiobook of the Year at the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards.» Read more about David Hunt
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
Dr Susan Carland is an academic, author, and social commentator. She has a PhD from Monash University’s School of Social Sciences, and she is the director of the Bachelor of Global Studies, also at Monash University.
Susan is a regular Friday panellist on ABC TV’s News Breakfast, and hosted the ABC Radio National Series Assumptions. She has guest-hosted on ABC Melbourne radio, and was co-creator and presenter of SBS’s Salam Café. She has appeared on the Agony series, Lateline, Q and A, The Project, 7:30, The Drum, Home Delivery, and has featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Dumbo Feather, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Sunday Life, and 200 Women. Her first book was Fighting Hislam, was published by Melbourne University Publishing in 2017, and her writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Age, The Saturday Paper, in academic publications, and numerous anthologies. In 2017, she presented on a panel at the United Nations in Geneva as a guest of The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement.
In 2018 she was named on Who magazine’s “Women Who Fight” list, and in 2017, she was named on the “Who’s Who of Australian Women” list, in InStyle as a “Woman of Style”, and in Elle as one of 17 women “To Know and Be Inspired by”. In 2012 she was named on the “20 Most Influential Australian Female Voices” list by The Age. She has also been named on the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World list, and as a “Muslim Leader of Tomorrow” by the UN Alliance of Civilisations.
Susan is an ambassador for UNICEF Australia, and is also a certified scuba diver!» Read more about Dr Susan Carland
Author, academic, broadcaster, rock musician, former human rights lawyer and AFL mascot, Waleed Aly is one of Australia’s most exciting political and social commentators. Waleed is known in the public eye as a host on The Project, and from appearances on Q&A, Meet The Press, The 7.30 Report, Enough Rope with Andrew Denton and the host of ABC’s Big Ideas. In December 2014 he finished a two-year stint as the presenter of ABC Radio National’s Drive program.» Read more about Waleed Aly
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.