Randa Abdel-Fattah is the award-winning author of young adult novels and has extensive experience speaking at schools, writer’s festivals, universities and conferences in Australia and overseas. She is also a human rights activist and practicing lawyer and enjoys a public profile, appearing on television programs such as the ABC’s Q & A, First Tuesday Book Club, SBS’s Insight and Channel Seven’s Sunrise.» Read more about Randa Abdel-Fattah
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
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
David Nyuol Vincent is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. He was trained as a child soldier in Ethiopia and lived as a refugee in Kenya until he was twenty-six. Since rebuilding his life here in Australia, David has become an advocate for refugees and the Sudanese community and he is a Victorian Human Rights Youth Ambassador and a People of Australia Ambassador. He also helped to set up an all-Sudanese refugee football team, the Western Tigers, in the Brimbank soccer league. David is a true humanitarian and is committed to achieving peace for his people in Sudan.» Read more about David Nyuol Vincent
Alice Pung is an award-winning author, journalist, lawyer and educator from Melbourne. Her non-fiction books Unpolished Gem, Her Father’s Daughter and Growing Up Asian in Australia have been set texts at schools and universities all around Australia and the US. She is a frequent contributor to the Monthly, Good Weekend and the Age. In 2015, Alice was awarded Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelist of the Year for her latest book Laurinda. Alice has been a judge of the Walkley Awards for Journalism as well as the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.» Read more about Alice Pung
Daniel Witthaus has spent the past two decades challenging homophobia one cuppa at a time in schools, rural communities and, occasionally, developing countries like Sri Lanka, Poland and Indonesia. He is the author of Beyond Priscilla: one gay man, one gay truck, one big idea… (2014), Beyond ‘That’s So Gay!’: Challenging homophobia in Australian schools (2010) and the Pride & Prejudice educational package (2002, 2012) – which won three Tasmanian schools Human Rights Week awards.» Read more about Daniel Witthaus
Author, academic, broadcaster, rock musician, former human rights lawyer and AFL mascot, Waleed Aly is one of Australia’s most exciting political and social commentators. Waleed is known in the public eye as a host on The Project, and from appearances on Q&A, Meet The Press, The 7.30 Report, Enough Rope with Andrew Denton and the host of ABC’s Big Ideas. In December 2014 he finished a two-year stint as the presenter of ABC Radio National’s Drive program.» Read more about Waleed Aly
Dr Susan Carland is an academic, author, and social commentator. She has a PhD from Monash University’s School of Social Sciences, where she is a lecturer and researcher at Monash University’s National Centre for Australian Studies. Her teaching and research expertise are in gender, sociology, contemporary Australia, and the modern Muslim experience.» Read more about Dr Susan Carland
Mariam Issa’s refugee experience is a powerful and positive one.
It’s a journey of inspiring resilience and strength. When she arrived in Melbourne from her Somali homeland in 1998, she had a husband, four children and a fifth on the way, with little knowledge of Australian life, other than the motivation to provide a secure, safe future with her family. In her book Mariam talks of her experiences of Integration, refugee issues, new beginnings and the power of community.» Read more about Mariam Issa
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
Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a mechanical engineer, social justice advocate, writer and petrol head. Debut author at 24 with the coming-of-age-memoir, Yassmin’s Story, the 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year advocates for the empowerment of youth, women and those from racially, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.» Read more about Yassmin Abdel-Magied
Nakkiah is a writer/actor and Gamillario/Torres Strait Islander woman. She is a co- writer/star of Black Comedy ABC and is a monthly columnist for The Australian Womens Weekly Online. She has been an artist in residence at Griffin Theatre Company (2013) and was playwright in residence at Belvoir from 2012 – 2014.» Read more about Nakkiah Lui
Michelle Law is an award-winning writer and screenwriter whose previous speaking engagements include TEDx events, Woodford Folk Festival, writer’s festivals, ABC radio and The Project. Her stories and essays have been widely anthologized and her films have screened nationally at festivals and on the ABC.» Read more about Michelle Law
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
Rabia is an Australian criminal and human rights lawyer, retired British Army officer, former terrorism and war crimes prosecutor, international humanitarian, hostage survivor, professional speaker, coach and published author.
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
Comedian, Writer and Broadcaster, Sami Shah has been profiled in the New York Times and ABC’s Australian Story, and appeared on BBC Radio 4, BBC Asian Network, TEDx, The Project, and the Soho Theatre.» Read more about Sami Shah
No one defies the computer science stereotype quite like Ally Watson with her charming Scottish accent, disarming wit and colourfully tattooed skin. Her unique and refreshing insights into the life of a female developer in a male-dominated industry allow for the delivery of thought-provoking and action-inspiring presentations that are deemed to spark positive change in the technology industry.» Read more about Ally Watson
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