Alan Sunderland is married with three sons and lives in Sydney. He is a Walkley Award winning journalist who is now in charge of Editorial Policy accross the ABC and is the author of seven children’s books. He has 25 years’ experience in journalism with the ABC and SBS. During that time, he has worked in the Canberra Press Gallery, reported throughout Australia and overseas, and has had management roles in both SBS and ABC's News and Current Affairs departments.
He won a Walkley Awards for covering an attack on the Iranian Embassy in Canberra in 1992, and for a series of exclusive reports from East Timor. He has also won the prestigious Council of the Deans of Education Award for education journalism three times in two years, which constitutes something of a record.
Wendy Orr is an internationally published and award-winning author of more than thirty books, ranging from picture books to adult. She was born in Canada, and grew up in France, Canada and USA. After high school she studied occupational therapy in England, married an Australian farmer, and moved to Australia. They had a son and daughter, and now live on five acres of bush on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne. Her books have won awards in Australia and around the world, and have been translated into twenty-seven languages.
When Wendy was nine, she wrote a story about an orphan girl living on an island. Many years later, she remembered the feeling of writing that story, and started writing Nim’s Island. In 2008 the book became the first Australian children’s book to become a Hollywood feature film.
Jayne Lyons is married and a full time working mother, with one daughter. She was born and raised in the UK. In 2004, while living in Aberdeen, she became very bored one day and applied for a job in Perth, Australia and four months later she was there. She has been living in Perth since January 2005. Jayne has worked for the Oil Industry as a geologist/geophysicist and most recenlty in management, for twenty years. She writes every day, on the bus, at lunchtime, in the evening and at weekends. She likes writing funny, irreverent stories for children, and especially having a very free hand with language. There is nothing she likes more than inventing new words. Jayne loves talking about books and writing to students and adults of all ages and is available as a speaker.
Adult and children’s non-fiction author
Vicki Bennett is a public speaker, training consultant to business, salesperson and author. Her Brisbane based consultancy, Vicki Bennett Training, has an impressive clientele which includes Government authorities and top corporations. She believes that success on a business level must first begin with success on a personal level.
Young Adult Author
Robyn Bavati has taught dance and English and worked as a shiatsu therapist. She is an award winning fiction and short-story writer who grew up in Melbourne and as an adult has lived in both Australia and Israel. She is the author of three novels.
Her latest book, Within These Walls was short listed in the Younger Readers Category of the 2017 CBCA Book of the Year Awards. Based on true events, this work of historical fiction is for 11 to 14 year olds.
Children’s Author and Poet
Janine Fraser lives on Phillip Island in Victoria for most of the year, and three months of the year in Manhattan, New York. She loves to travel and meet new people, and listen to their stories. She found the story of Abdullah in Malaysia, and the Sarindi stories in Indonesia.
Janine’s most recent novel for children, Sarindi’s Dragon Kite, was shortlisted for the Western Australian Premiers' Book Award, 2010. It was published in September 2010 by HarperCollins.
The Sarindi books can be used by teachers to educate children about life in Indonesia.