Sally Sara, AM, is an award winning journalist and foreign correspondent with the ABC. She has reported from more than 30 countries including Iraq, Lebanon and Sierra Leone.
Sally spent 2011 covering the news from the frontline of the war in Afghanistan. During her career, she has broken the glass ceiling, as the first female correspondent appointed to the ABC's Africa, South Asia and Kabul bureaus.
Sally has written for The New York Times and The Boston Globe and is the author of the best selling biography, Gogo Mama.
Sally has been named South Australian Young Journalist of the Year and Queensland Journalist of the Year. She has won United Nations Media Peace Awards and medals at the New York Festival Radio and Television Awards. She has been a finalist in the Walkley Awards for Journalism, six times.
Sally received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of South Australia.
In 2011, Sally was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia, AM, for service to journalism and the community.
Moya Sayer-Jones is a novelist (Penguin, Allen & Allen), columnist and screenwriter. As the original Modern Guru for Good Weekend magazine, Moya mused on the mercurial dynamics of human behaviour. And used her own life as a typical example.
These days, as Chief Story Activist for onlyhuman.com.au, Moyais focused on helping other stories be told and heard.
When she’s not writing, blogging, keynote speaking or in pursuit of the latest app, you can find her working with government, NFPs, corporate clients and restless creatives bringing more meaning to their storytelling.
A graduate of Sydney University and the Australian Film and Television School, her idiosyncratic voice reminds us that it’s our stories that keep us human.
Professor Julianne Schultz AM FAHA is the founding editor of Griffith Review, the award-winning literary and public affairs quarterly established by Griffith University in 2003 to provide a public intellectual leadership and a platform for long-form essays and other writing addressing topical issues beyond the daily news agenda.
Professor Schultz is Chair of the Australian Film Television and Radio School and she was, until recently, a non-executive director of the boards of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and Grattan Institute. She chaired the reference group on the National Cultural Policy (2011- 2013) and Queensland Design Council, (2010-2013) and was deputy chair of the Australian Council of Learned Academies Securing Australia’s Future program (2012 – 2013). Her pro bono attachments include membership of the Advisory Boards of the Miles Franklin Award and the Music Trust; Centre for Advancing Journalism; Editorial Boards of the The Conversation and Companion of Australian Media; she has been a member of the advisory boards for the High Resolves Initiative; the leadership council of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Enterprise and ambassador for the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation.
Schultz is the author of Reviving the Fourth Estate, Steel City Blues, Not Just Another Business, co-author of The Phone Book and the librettos to two operas, the multi award winning Black River and Going into Shadows, which was produced in London and Brisbane. She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009 for her services to the community as a journalist, writer, editor and academic, for fostering debate on issues affecting society and for professional ethics and accountability. She was elected an honorary Fellow of the Australian Humanities Academy in 2010.
By chance, Greg Sheridan's early life saw him become intimate friends and colleagues with a fascinating list of people who now make up Australia's political leadership. At university Tony Abbott was his best friend; he became close to Peter Costello as well as Labor figures Michael Danby and Michael Easson. As a young journalist on The Bulletin he became friends and colleagues with Bob Carr and Malcolm Turnbull. When he first joined The Australian he was posted to China, there to befriend another future leader, Kevin Rudd.
Peter Singer is an Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University, and Laureate Professor, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne. He is the author of more than twenty books, including The Life You Can Save. Singer was born in Australia.. His most recent book is The Most Good You Can Do.
Renata Singer is a writer who conceived the idea of Older and Bolder when she realised how much she loved talking to older people. Her other books include True Stories from the Land of Divorce, Goodbye and Hello (on the experience of migration) and a novel, The Front of the Family. With her husband, the philosopher Peter Singer, she co-edited The Moral of the Story: Ethics Through Literature.
Renata likes to get things done. After working with disadvantaged women in New York, she co-founded Fitted for Work, the Australian non-profit that helps women back into the workforce. In earlier lives she was a high school teacher, a community worker, a publications officer for Oxfam Australia and a member of the Workcare Appeals Tribunal.
Renata and Peter have three children and four grandchildren. They divide their time between New York and Melbourne.
Jennifer St George writes sexy romance novels set in exotic international locations. She has four books published with Penguin’s Destiny Romance – The Billionaire’s Pursuit of Love (2014), The Love Deception (2013), Seducing the Secret Heiress (2013) and The Convenient Bride (2012). The Love Deception was nominated as a finalist in the Australian Romance Reader Awards in the Favourite Short Romance category. Prior to being published, Jennifer won the prestigious NZ Clendon award for best-unpublished romance manuscript in 2012.
Business was Jennifer’s first career. She graduated with a Bachelor of Business Communication from QUT then headed to London for an international marketing career. Upon her return to Australia, she completed her MBA at the Melbourne Business School. She was awarded the Rupert Murdoch Fellowship and the academic Award of Distinction. She also spent a semester studying at Fuqua School of Business at Duke University (USA).
Jennifer worked with McKinsey & Co, Ford Australia and established her own award-winning marketing firm for which she won The Outstanding Sunshine Coast Business Woman of the Year Award.
She’s currently the Communications Manager for the Byron Bay Writers Festival and has been the past Vice-President of Romance Writers of Australia.
In 2011 Wayne Swan was named Euromoney Finance Minister of the Year. He was federal Treasurer from 2007 to 2013 and has been the member for Lilley since 1993. He is the author Postcode: the Splintering of a Nation (2005), and the much read and hugely influential essay 0.01 Per Cent: The Rising Influence of Vested Interests.
Miguel Syjuco was born and raised in Manila. His debut novel Ilustrado was a New York Times Notable Book of 2010, as well as the winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize, the Hugh MacLennan Prize, the Palanca Award, and the Filipino Readers' Choice Award. It was also a finalist for the Amazon First Novel Award, the Grand Prix du Livre de Montreal, the Prix Jan Michalski, the Prix Courrier International, the Premio Von Rezzori, and the Commonwealth First Book Prize. It has been translated into more than 16 languages.
A journalist and freelance writer, Syjuco was most recently a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University and the Writer-in-Residence at NTU in Singapore. He has a PhD in literature from the University of Adelaide, a master's degree in creative writing from Columbia University, and a bachelor's degree in English literature from the Ateneo de Manila University.
Syjuco is currently associate editor at the Manila Review. He has written for the New York Times, Newsweek, the International Herald Tribune, the Walrus, the Globe & Mail, the BBC, the CBC, and many others. He currently lives in Montreal.
His most recent essay is published in Griffith Review 49: New Asia Now.
Hedley Thomas is The Australian's national chief correspondent. He writes across the newspaper, specialising in investigative reporting with a particular interest in legal issues, the judiciary, public administration, corruption and politics. He is the author of Sick to Death, a book revolving around surgeon Dr Jayant Patel who was tried for manslaughter and grievous bodily harm in Brisbane after working as a director of surgery in Queensland.
Hedley is the winner of the inaugural Sir Keith Murdoch award in 2005 for his body of work on Dr Patel, and he won the award again in 2013 for his investigations into fraud and a slush fund involving Julia Gillard and the Australian Workers Union. Hedley, 47, first joined The Australian in 2006 after working for The Courier-Mail, The South China Morning Post and the Gold Coast Bulletin. All of his journalism has been with News Corporation publications. Hedley has won five Walkley awards including the Gold Walkley, in 2007, for his investigations into the fiasco surrounding the Australian Federal Police investigations of Dr Mohamed Haneef.
In 2012, Hedley, who is Brisbane-based, was named Queensland Journalist of the Year for his investigations that led to a royal commission-style inquiry making adverse findings against the operators of the Wivenhoe Dam in the devastating 2011 floods. Since 2013 he has enjoyed an interesting journalistic ride with Clive Palmer.
Michael Tuahine is passionate about artistic performance and community development. He has performed on some of the country’s biggest stages and developed a reputation for hosting and performing at various events across Australia.
Samantha Turnbull is the author of The Anti-Princess Club series published by Allen&Unwin this year.
Sam’s idea for the stories was first sparked when she gave birth to a daughter in 2010 and was bombarded with princess paraphernalia.
While browsing the book aisles of major department stores and finding nothing but princess and fairy books, Sam decided enough was enough and went home to write her first manuscript. Allen&Unwin quickly signed her up and asked for three more books to turn the concept into a series.
Since the books were released, Sam has been busy visiting schools and festivals around the country. She has especially loved running creative writing workshops for students.
When she’s not writing for kids, Sam writes and performs poetry. She won the 2014 Byron Bay Writers Festival poetry slam and was selected to perform in the 2014 NSW Finals of the Australian Poetry Slam.
She is also a highly awarded journalist and works full-time as a multimedia reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation based in Byron Bay.
Sam also blogs about bringing up children as an ‘anti-princess mama’ at samanthaturnbull.com.au
Ellen van Neerven is a Murri writer of Mununjali and Dutch heritage, a Yugambeh woman with traditional ties to the country between the Logan and Tweed Rivers. Her short story collection Heat and Light (2014, UQP) won the 2013 David Unaipon Award and was shortlisted for the 2015 Stella Prize. Her writing has been published in journals such as McSweeney’s, Voiceworks and Mascara Literary Review. She has been an editor for the black&write! project at the State Library of Queensland. She lives in Brisbane.
Published in twenty languages, David Vann’s internationally bestselling books have won fifteen prizes, including best foreign novel in France and Spain, and appeared on seventy-five Best Books of the Year lists in a dozen countries. David is currently a Professor at the University of Warwick in England and Honorary Professor at the University of Franche-Comté in France. His books include Legend of a Suicide, Caribou Island, Dirt, Goat Mountain and most recently, Aquarium.
Eben Venter was raised on a sheep farm in Eastern Cape, South Africa. He read philosophy at university and migrated to Australia in 1986 when a State of Emergency was declared.
Venter has published two collections of short stories, an anthology of his newspaper columns titled Brouhaha, including his recipes, and seven novels.
His latest novel, Wolf, wolf was published to critical acclaim in March 2013 in English and Afrikaans. It was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Literary Award and won the rich KykNet-Rapport prize.
Three times he has been awarded the prestigious WA Hofmeyr Prize for best Afrikaans novel of the year. Many of his short stories have been anthologised, more recently in The New Century of South African Short Stories. His novels have also been translated into Dutch and German.
Venter has taught creative writing at UAM, Poznan, Poland and in 2006 he was writer-in residence at the prestigious Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) near The Hague. In 2012 he was writer-in-residence at the Creative Writing School at Rhodes University. He is still holds an honorary appointment as professional associate in the Institute of English in Africa (ISEA) at Rhodes University.
He set up two restaurants in Melbourne and now lives on the far east coast of Australia with his partner.
This year Wolf, wolf was published in the UK and Australia by Scribe.
Sandy is the Chair of the SA Writers’ Centre, has a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide and a deep love of all things literary. While General Manager for City Culture & Community Services for the City of Adelaide (2012-15) one of her greatest joys was to deliver the new City Library. She is currently the General Manager & Producer for Windmill Theatre
As our local Death walker, Zenith is a respected pioneer & acknowledged expert in the fields of holistic death and dying, and funerals that are transformational rites of passage. With over 20 years experience, she provides comfort, information and guidance to assist us through the natural and the sacred, the inner and outer journeying as we come to the end of our life.
With a lightness of being, compassion and integrity she accompanies many people and those that love them, through our final and ultimate experience.
Her enthusiastic and empowering approach allow for a richer exploration, whilst assisting people to reclaim their rights and their rites of passage.
Zenith lives here in Byron, celebrating life and death, seeing her work as a privilege and an important part of her life's journey, it gives her a deep love and gratitude for the wonderful mystery of which we are all a part.
Zenith is also the EO and founding member of the non-profit Natural Death Care Centre, co author of The Intimacy of Death and Dying, and subject of the international documentary, Zen & the Art of Dying.
Nury Vittachi was born in Ceylon and now lives with his English wife and three Chinese children in Hong Kong, where he has published many books including the Feng Shui Detective series that has been translated into several languages. He has had regular columns in more than a dozen publications and regular slots on several television channels. He is also noted for playing a key role in founding the Asia Literary Review, the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, the Man Asia Literary Prize, and is advisor to a number of other literary festivals in Asia.
Lisa was born in Holland, grew up in Fiji and spent her teenage years in Brisbane. She has worked as a bartender, wilderness guide, igloo builder and tertiary lecturer. She now works part-time in community relations. Unable to decide whether she likes writing or science more, she has Masters degrees in both natural resource management and creative writing.
Lisa is the author of Liar Bird and Sex, Lies and Bonsai (HarperCollins). Arkie’s Pilgrimage to the Next Big Thing (Random House) is her third novel. Her half-hour radio play Baddest Backpackers aired on ABC Radio National in 2008. She was a finalist in the ABC Regional Short Story Award and winner of the Byron Bay Writers Festival short story award. Her writing has been published in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald online and the Review of Australian Fiction.
In her spare time she reads widely and does a lot of energetic outdoor things with her husband and sons. Despite living near Byron Bay, she is yet to do a pilgrimage.
Don Watson is one of Australia's most distinguished writers. His bestselling account of his time as Paul Keating's speechwriter, Recollections of a Bleeding Heart, won several awards, as has his latest book, The Bush.
Vera Wasowski is the subject of Robert Hillman’s latest extraordinary biography. Born in Poland and a Holocaust survivor, she migrated to Australia and carved out a bold career in journalism.
Christopher Warren is the Federal Secretary of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, the union of people who inform and entertain Australia and New Zealand. As Federal Secretary, he is responsible for coordinating the industrial and professional campaigns of the organisation on issues to build a strong and independent media and entertainment sector that provides fair wages and conditions for creative workers. He has spoken and written widely on issues affecting the sector. A journalist, Chris is also CEO of the Walkley Foundation for Excellence in Journalism and a long-time trustee of the $3 billion Media Super. He is immediate past president of the International Federation of Journalists.
Paul West, host of the popular River Cottage Australia has a passion for food, self-sufficiency and sustainability. He trained as a chef at Melbourne’s renowned Vue de Monde.
Philippa Whitfield Pomeranz is a producer and director whose recent series for NBC Universal, Fashion Bloggers, has been aired around the world. Sydney-based, she has a great connection with her long-term home Los Angeles. Philippa actually grew up around the corner from her husband, Margaret’s son Josh, but spent significant time in Los Angeles where she graduated with honours from USC film school and where she developed her love of Mexican cuisine and margaritas.
She has been a significant supporter of young filmmakers through the internship program at her production company Core3 Entertainment and is passionate in mentoring girls to chase their dreams. She does not have one of 'those mothers-in-law’ that films are made of -- she has one she loves and actually likes to hang out with. And cook with!
Cathy Wilcox has drawn for the Sydney Morning Herald regularly since 1989, and more recently for and the Sun-Herald. She has received several Stanley Awards, two Walkley Awards and in 2009, the National Museum of Australia's Political Cartooning award. She has published two collections of cartoons, Throw Away Lines and The Bad Guys are Winning.
Wendy Were is a festival director, arts manager, academic and curator. A former Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sydney Writers’ Festival during 2006-2009, she also headed up the Perth Writers Festival from 2003-2005.She currently is Executive Director, Arts Development at the Australia Council for the Arts.
She is a Councillor for Voiceless: the animal protection institute and recently judged their published anthology with J.M. Coetzee and Susan Wyndham. She is an Arts Advisory Panel memberfor the Churchill Fellowship; occasional reviewer for Australian Book Review; a patron of the Fairbridge Folk Festival; and a regular judge of the WA Premier’s Book Awards. Her PhD on the novels of Toni Morrison was awarded with Distinction.
The Sydney Morning Herald listed Wendy in the top 100 of the most influential people in Sydney in 2008, and in 2009 she was listed in Artshub’s top 15 arts power players in Australia, along with Cate Blanchett, BazLuhrmann and Peter Garrett.
Clare Wright is an historian who has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster. Her first book, Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans, garnered both critical and popular acclaim. She researched, wrote and presented the ABC television documentary Utopia Girls and is currently co-writing a four-part series to commemorate the centenary of WWI for ABC1. Her most recent book, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, won the 2014 Stella Prize.
Yeldham’s work is a mapping of multiple realities. It charts the artist’s travels among the mangroves, the disused oyster leases and along the salty foreshores near Pittwater. Yeldham’s cartography moves within this world and without. He is not limited by the materiality of reaching tree limbs or the muddy matter of swamps. His paintings and photographic works move beyond the human-perceived environment. Instead, he deliberates on the fragile spaces in between, the liminal places in his heart and mind where imagination soars and intellect sings. He says, ‘the space between two lines is what connects us.’
Yeldham has been preoccupied, for many years, with the intersection of cultures. India, Malaysia, Indonesia, indigenous Australia; his influences have been a ‘world music’ version of art aesthetics. This is true in a literal sense too, as he has often incorporated musical instruments into his large scale paintings. This recent body of work was created to the accompaniment of Indian tabla music; moving in the studio along with its rhythms and syncopations.
His strength and freedom is his rejection of intellectual trends. He is more interested in spiritedness, in vital vibrations, of meridian lines within the human form and across the longitudes of the globe, and incorporating these primitive delineations into an expanded experience of nature.
Annie Zaidi is the author of Gulab, a novella, and Love Stories # 1 to 14. Her first collection of essays Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales was shortlisted for the prestigious Vodafone Crossword Book Awards (non-fiction, 2010), and was translated into Italian as I Miei Luoghi. She is also the co-author of The Good Indian Girl, a series of inter-linked narratives about young women's lives in India, and of Crus', a series of illustrated poems.
She is the editor of the anthology Unbound: 2000 Years of Indian Women's Writing (expected summer 2015). Her work has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies including Eat the Sky; Drink the Ocean, Mumbai Noir, Dharavi and Women Changing India.
A Hindi play Jaal opened at Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai as part of the Writers Bloc 3, a playwright-focused theatre festival. Her play Name, Place, Animal, Thing was short-listed for The Hindu Metroplus Playwright Award in 2009. A radio play Jam was short-listed for the BBC’s International Playwriting Competition, 2011.
Her most recent essay is published in Griffith Review: New Asia Now.
Zohab Khan is the current Australian Poetry Slam Champion, didgeridoo player, harmonica beat-boxer and a performance artist. Zohab has toured Australia and New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and Europe to sell-out crowds. Zohabwas a finalist in the 2014 International Poetry Slam in Madrid and the Mallorca State Finals.
Zohab is a 4th generation Australian of Pakistani heritage originally from rural NSW, his unique upbringing and experiences is woven into his poetry and natural comical story-telling ability. Through this, he imparts little life lessons to his audiences by confronting a range of social justice issues; from racism to gender inequality and socio-economic disparities. As Zohab’s words continue to leave countless inspired, his highly praised workshops and performances at schools across the world, from Bondi to Beijing, are being increasingly sought after.
Zohab published his first book, I Write in 2015, a collection of poetry that spans half a decade of championship winning poems and toured four major cities in China as part of the Bookworm Literary Festival. This year, he will also be performing at writer’s festivals in Auckland, Sydney, Byron, Ubud. All Zohab’s performances dates and appearances are listed on his website, www.zohabzee.com