Yassmin Abdel-Magied founded Youth Without Borders, an organisation focussed on enabling young people to work for positive change in their communities when she was 16.
In 2012 she was named Young Leader in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence Awards. She graduated valedictorian of her class in 2011 with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering.
In 2007, Yassmin was named Young Australian Muslim of the Year and in 2010 Young Queenslander of the Year. She works as an engineering specialist on gas rigs.
M.J. Akbar is author of seven internationally acclaimed books on the history of South Asia, the volatile interplay of faith and nationalism on
the Indian subcontinent, and conflicts between the Muslim world and the Christian realms.
They include India: The Siege Within, an analysis of secessionist threats to India which appeared in 1984, Nehru: The Making of India, a substantive biography of India's first Prime Minister, The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity, Blood Brothers, a skillful study of the forces that created partition in 1947 seen through the life and times of an ordinary family, and Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan, which traces the origins of the Pakistan movement to the decline of the Mughal empire and explains why Pakistan will remain a toxic "jelly" state unless it cuts an umbilical cord to theocracy.
Born in 1951, Akbar began his career as a journalist in Times of India, n 1971, and moved quickly to become editor of Onlooker and Sunday in his early Twenties, before launching The Telegraph in 1982, widely recognised as India's first modern newspaper. He launched India's first international newspaper, The Asian Age, in 1994. He was Editorial Director of India Today between 2000 and 2012.
He is now a columnist for The Times of India, a second column which is syndicated across Asia, and Editorial Director of the Sunday Guardian.
He has been an elected Member of Parliament between 1989 and 1991, and has served as member of the committee set up by King Abdullah to draft a ten year charter for Muslim nations on behalf of the OIC, in 2005. He is also a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, Washington.
David Astle is a full-time word nerd. You may recognise his face (or loud shirts) as belonging to the dictionary guy on the SBS show, Letters and Numbers. Or you may know his initials, DA, from the Fairfax puzzle pages, where David compiles the hardest crosswords of the week.
When not swirling words into patterns, he’s putting them in sentences for his Wordplay column in the Sydney Morning Herald, talking about jargon or typos, new words and family words.
He’s also the author of Puzzles and Words, a book to celebrate the strange back-stories of common words, as well as converting those words into mind-games.
In the same vein, his bestselling Puzzled (Secrets and Clues from a Life Lost in Words) throws light on the cryptic crossword, plus the tangled history of wordplay, and his own verbal adventures.
David has also written a trivia/travel guide to Australia called Offbeat, a true-crime yarn (One Down, One Missing), and two novels, Marzipan Plan (shortlisted for the Miles Franklin a long time ago), and The Book of Miles.
His latest project, The Great Clue Chase, due for release in late 2013, celebrates 100 years of the crossword.
Tristan Bancks is a children’s and teen author with a background in acting and filmmaking. His books include My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up (book two out 2014), Mac Slater Coolhunter (Australia & US), Galactic Adventures First Kids in Space and the Nit Boy series (about a kid with the worst case of nits in world history).
Tristan's Young Adult novel, it's yr life (Random House) was co-written via email between Byron Bay and L.A. with actress / author, Tempany Deckert. His short films as writer and director have won a number of awards and have screened widely in festivals and on TV.
He is currently working on a crime novel for teens and an immersive cross-platform story for kids. Tristan is excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create. Check out Story Scrapbook, his free multimedia story brainstorming app at www.tristanbancks.com
Lenny Bartulin was born in Hobart. He has published novels, short stories and poetry. His books include A Deadly Business (2008), The Black Russian (2010), which was shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Award for Best Fiction, and De Luxe (2011). His criticism has been published in numerous publications and in 2009 he presented a book review program on the Ovation channel.
He currently lives in the Blue Mountains with his wife and son.
His latest novel is Infamy (Allen & Unwin).
Tony Birch is the author of Shadowboxing (2006), the short story collection Father’s Day (2009), and most recently Blood (2012).
He is a frequent contributor to ABC local and national radio, and a regular guest at writers’ festivals.
He lives and works in Melbourne, where he teaches in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne.
Steve Bisley broke into film alongside fellow NIDA graduate Mel Gibson in Mad Max (1979), and soon found himself in regular demand, appearing in films as diverse as A Town like Alice (1981), Highest Honor (1982), Squizzy Taylor, Silver City (1984) and The Big Steal (1990).
Bisley has also appeared in many theatre productions as well as starring roles in TV series The Flying Doctors (1985), GP(1989), Police Rescue (1990), the classic Frontline (1994), Water Rats (1996), followed by roles in Stingers, Sea Patrol, East of Everything among many others.
From one of Australia′s favourite actors comes a classic memoir of an Australian childhood in the sixties, Stillways: a memoir.
Jesse Blackadder is fascinated by landscapes, adventurous women and very cold places. Her novel After the Party made the Australian Book Review list of favourite Australian novels in 2010. The Raven’s Heart won the Varuna HarperCollins Manuscript Development Award and was published in Australia in 2011 and in the UK, USA and Canada in 2012. Chasing the light: A novel of Antarctica, which she wrote as part of a Doctor of Creative Arts, comes out in early 2013.
Jesse won the 2011-12 Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship and the 2012 Guy Morrison Prize for Literary Journalism. She has been a writer in residence in Alaska, Antarctica, outback NSW and Byron Bay.
Her first children’s novel Stay: the last dog in Antarctica is coming out in 2013.