Abdi grew up in Mogadishu until the outbreak of Somalia’s devastating civil war separated him from his family and home. He fled Mogadishu with 300 others and headed for the Kenyan border. On the way, death squads hunted them. Abdi and a group of other boys were caught and lined up to be executed. Miraculously the bullets missed Abdi but he fell to the ground and feigned death. Of the 300 who set out from Mogadishu, only five survived to reach Kenya.» Read more about Abdi Aden
Tansel is a 3-Time Australian Memory Champion and author of ‘The Yellow Elephant’ memory book. He has amazingly memorised two Yellow Pages phone books in only 24 days. As one of the world’s foremost memory educators and mental athletes, Tansel is often seen on television demonstrating his memory skills as well as speaking at schools and conferences, nationally as well as internationally. He has coached many from students to CEOs to athletes and celebrities to be at their very best.» Read more about Tansel Ali
Linda Jaivin is one of Australia’s most versatile writers. Her work spans humour, eroticism, social issues (The Infernal Optimist is set in an immigration detention centre), China studies, literary translation and cultural commentary. She has appeared on ABC’s Q & A and was a regular panelist on the now sadly defunct Critical Mass.» Read more about Linda Jaivin
Benjamin Law is a Sydney-based journalist, Good Weekend columnist and TV screenwriter. He’s the author of two books – the black comedy memoir The Family Law (2010) and the travelogue Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012). Both books were nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards, and The Family Law is now a major TV series on SBS, which he created and co-wrote with Matchbox Pictures. Series 2 will air on SBS in 2017.» Read more about Benjamin Law
Since starting on a country newspaper in 1975, Andrew Rule has worked on three metropolitan newspapers and in both radio and television production. He has written, co-written, edited and published many books, including the Underbelly true crime series and the Chopper series, which inspired the successful feature film. He hosts a regular fortnightly spot on Triple M’s Hot Breakfast called In The Rule World.» Read more about Andrew Rule
Luke is a former AFL player. He played 133 games with the Sydney Swans including the 2005 Premiership. Since retiring from the game, he has completed a Bachelor of Arts at RMIT and has spent a year volunteering in Vanuatu, in the South Pacific. Luke is passionate about promoting gender equity and preventing men’s violence, and has extensive experience delivering education and capacity building programs on these topics to a range of different groups» Read more about Luke Ablett
Mark was born in Oxford, England in 1988 and his family immigrated to Australia by plane just one year later. His English father taught him to play cricket and football in the northern suburbs of Sydney; his Australian mother taught him manners, morals, and how to fold bed-sheets properly.» Read more about Mark Isaacs
Dr Damon Young is a philosopher and writer. He is the author of seven books, including The Art of Reading, How to Think About Exercise, Philosophy in the Garden, and Distraction. His books have been published widely in Australia and abroad, and translated into various languages, including Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Hungarian, Turkish, Korean and Chinese. Damon is also a prolific newspaper columnist and radio commentator. He recently won the AAP media prize for his work as a public intellectual.» Read more about Damon Young
Celeste Liddle is an Arrernte woman, an opinion writer, a trade unionist and public speaker. Currently serving as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Organiser of the National Tertiary Education Union, Celeste started her blog Rantings of an Aboriginal Feminist in June 2012. A mere six weeks after she started it, Celeste had a piece picked up for publication by Daily Life and since then has written for a number of publications. Along with Daily Life (Fairfax), Celeste’s work has been seen in The Guardian, New Matilda, Tracker Magazine and others, and she has contributed chapters to anthologies such as Pan Macmillan’s Mothers and Others.» Read more about Celeste Liddle
Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie is a future-oriented thinker, game designer, researcher and innovator who has been helping organisations understand and harness key technology issues and trends for nearly 15 years.» Read more about Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie
A Cross-cultural Consultant, Tasneem was named ‘One of 16 Women To Watch in 2016’ by Latte magazine. In previous years she has been listed in The Age Magazine’s Top 100 most influential ‘Movers and Shakers in Melbourne’ and The Australian Magazines ‘Top Ten thinkers’.
Through her consultancy, Tasneem speaks to issues of cultural competence, identity, leadership and intersectional discrimination- across the private and public sector.» Read more about Tasneem Chopra
Criminal Lawyer, refugee, awe-inspiring speaker.
Deng Adut is a community leader, author and internationally renowned lawyer. He has been nationally recognised for his achievements with NSW Premier Mike Baird inviting Deng to give the 2016 Australia Day Address, which drew critical acclaim home and abroad. The 2016 Australia Day address can be read here. In November 2016, Deng was named NSW Australian of the Year.» Read more about Deng Adut
Since giving up stand-up comedy by popular demand, Jonathan Holloway has spent more than twenty years as an international artistic director, chief executive and cultural leader.» Read more about Jonathan Holloway
Dr Jane Gleeson-White is a writer and speaker passionate about the natural world, literature and economics.» Read more about Jane Gleeson-White
Tara Moss is an author, journalist, TV documentary presenter, speaker, human rights advocate and anti-cyberbullying campaigner. She is currently host, co-executive producer and co-writer of Cyberhate with Tara Moss on the ABC, examining the phenomenon of online abuse.» Read more about Tara Moss
Mariam Veiszadeh is a lawyer, diversity & inclusion practitioner, advocate and a social commentator, and in 2016 was named the Fairfax Daily Life Woman of the Year.» Read more about Mariam Veiszadeh
Jason Ball is the 2017 Young Australian of the Year for Victoria, best known as the pioneering LGBTI advocate who in 2012 became the first male Aussie Rules footballer at any level of the game to publicly come out as gay in the national media. Jason used this platform to launch a campaign to challenge homophobia in sport and drive cultural change within the AFL.» Read more about Jason Ball
Eddie Perfect is one of Australia’s most diverse, respected and prolific writer/composer/performers, having made his mark in the fields of comedy, music theatre composition, playwriting, screenwriting, classical music, jazz and acting for stage and screen. Perhaps best known for his portrayal of Mick Holland on Ten’s Offspring, a judge on Australia’s Got Talent, and as the new host of Play School, Eddie has won multiple awards for his work both as a performer and a writer.
» Read more about Eddie Perfect
Brook McCarthy is a digital marketing trainer and business coach with 15 years’ experience in digital communications.» Read more about Brook McCarthy
Eddie Ayres is a musical adventurer, teacher, writer, broadcaster and transgender man. He was born on the White Cliffs of Dover and began playing music when he was six years old. He studied viola in Manchester, Berlin and London, and played professionally in the UK and Hong Kong. After a decade of performances throughout Asia, including for the Hong Kong Handover in 1997, Ed decided on a new path, literally, and travelled by bicycle from England to Hong Kong, with only a violin for company. The journey took him a year and went through Europe, Iran, Pakistan, India and China. The trip was eventually chronicled in Cadence, Ed’s first book and a national bestseller.
After immigrating to Australia in 2003, and after a character-building year scrubbing dishes in St Kilda, Ed eventually began broadcasting with ABC Classic FM. He spent many years hosting the cult hit breakfast programme and doing things like cycling to the source of the Ganges in his spare time.
After more than a decade in the ABC studios, Ed decided he needed to get out and about again and applied for a job teaching cello to street children and orphans at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul. Eddie’s second book Danger Music is about this turbulent, life-changing year, where he survived the threat of bombs, kidnappings, beginner string players and hormone-charged teenagers. It was during this year that Ed finally accepted the man within and began his transition from female to male. Emma became Ed just before his fiftieth birthday. Better late than never.» Read more about Eddie Ayres