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Damon Young combines a love of ideas and language with a fun, entertaining style. And lots of superhero t-shirts.» Read more about Damon Young
Jessica Walton’s picture book Introducing Teddy started as a Kickstarter project, gaining the attention of international media and eventually, Bloomsbury Publishing. Now published in 13 countries and translated into 9 different languages, the book introduces the youngest readers to understanding gender identity and transition in an accessible and heart-warming story about being true to yourself and being a good friend. Jess is a cancer survivor, amputee, queer, daughter of a trans parent, feminist, musician and teacher. They have spoken to any and every age group about their book, writing, LGBTI issues, cancer and disability.» 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
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
Shabnam is a visionary young woman who grew up as a refugee in Pakistan before she called Australia home at the age of 15. Since then she has persistently worked to positively shift the way our communities see and talk about a young, former refugee, woman of colour. Her passion to empower and motivate those around her to realise their potential, follow their aspirations and keep challenging traditional stereotypes and the status quo knows no bounds.
Having worked in Australia, India, America and Europe to promote education and global citizenship, she has co-founded two not for profit organisations helping refugees and asylum seekers in Australia and abroad. She has also earned her black belt in Karate and holds several national and international titles.» Read more about Shabnam Safa
James, an experienced and multiple award-winning filmmaker spent 15 months in a Cambodian jail, charged with espionage. He has compelling stories to tell about his experiences and the lessons he learned from them about resilience and how happiness can be experienced in even the most difficult and horrific of circumstances.» Read more about James Ricketson
Astrid Edwards is an interviewer, podcaster and advocate.
She is a bibliophile and hosts two bookish podcasts – The Garret: Writers on Writing and Anonymous Was A Woman. She serves as the Deputy Chair of Melbourne Writers Festival and teaches professional writing at RMIT University.
Astrid has Multiple Sclerosis and is a Member of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council advising the Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers.» Read more about Astrid Edwards
As a journalist and author with more than 40 years experience working in Australia, Asia, Europe, the United States and Middle East, David Leser is a compelling speaker, able to weave the personal with the universal in moving ways that help shift our thinking.» Read more about David Leser
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.» Read more about Ren Alessandra
Mick Elliott is an author, illustrator, TV producer, screenwriter, literacy ambassador and professional mischief-maker. As well as multiple best-selling books, Mick has written and produced acclaimed children’s TV programmes for Nickelodeon, the Sesame Workshop, Channel TEN and the ABC.» Read more about Mick Elliott
Sue Whiting is an acclaimed children’s and YA author and editor who has worked in publishing for twenty years. Sue has written numerous books for a variety of age groups, including the bestselling Missing, the award-winning The Book of Chance and a number of CBCA Notable Picture Books. As a storyteller and schools’ performer, Sue has informed, inspired and entertained thousands of kids across the country.» Read more about Sue Whiting