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 and her high school ‘A’ levels were mainly Arts based: English, History, Art/Art History, but she also studied Geology. She graduated from the University of London in 1990 with a BSc Hons and then again in 1993 with an MSc; both in Geology.
Adult and children’s non-fiction author
Vicki's latest book, The Little Stowaway, tells the story of a french orphan smuggled to Australia and will be published by Scholastic in March 2018.
Two Pennies, published in 2015, tells the story of a little boy called George, living in Victoria after World War 1. He decides to work hard and raise two pennies to help build a school in Villers-Bretonneux, France. This town had been flattened by war and the school destroyed. Illustrated by John Flitcroft, this is a powerful and poignant picture story book about a little boy who, with courage, hope and perseverance, helped to build this school across the oceans.
See this lovely book trailer for Two Pennies:
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.
For Miri and her family, life in Warsaw is full of simple joys. But when the Germans march into Warsaw with their campaign of hatred against the Jews, Miri and her family must move to the ghetto. One by one her family are taken from her, and Miri finds herself alone.
"Within These Walls is constrained in its visual detail and emotion, dealing with the observable events and reactive responses of those under threat without graphic elaboration. This in no way lessens the impact of the story; indeed it brings a deeper understanding of the pragmatism that Miri must adopt to survive within her shifting world ...
"It seems inappropriate somehow to say Within These Walls was an enjoyable read, but I learned so much of the history of Warsaw without feeling bogged down in facts and figures. As Miri's life changed, so did my understanding of the escalating terror that the Jewish people of Warsaw ... lived with during Nazi occupation in World War II."
~JENNIFER MORS, Reading Time - see the full review here.
"This book would make an excellent ... companion to Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl or John Boyne's Boy in The Striped Pyjamas as it reads in an accesible contemporary YA way despite its graphic historical content."
~EVIE MARSHALL, Magpies Magazine
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.