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Topics: Inspirational

Randa Abdel-Fattah

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 Aden

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 Ali

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

David Astle

‘He’s the Sergeant Pepper of cryptic crosswords,’ according to award-winning Australian actor Geoffrey Rush. David Astle, best known as The Dictionary Guy on SBS’ Letters and Numbers, is a crossword maker in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, as well as Wordplay columnist with Spectrum, David Astle is a full-time word nerd.

» Read more about David Astle
Luke Atkins

Luke Atkins

Luke Atkins is one of Australia’s leading obstacle endurance athletes. In 2012 and 2013 Luke finished 14th at the Tough Mudder World Championships, a 24 hour race held in the USA in which he completed more than 300 obstacles and 120km. He is also a member of the Under Armour Australia Team for Obstacle Racing.

» Read more about Luke Atkins

Rachel Berger

Rachel Berger is one of Australia’s most highly regarded, adept, and adaptive comedic talents, working variously as a broadcaster, comic, novelist, columnist, agitator and television entertainer. Rachel’s dynamic presence and engagingly sharp observations have made her an extremely popular performer both live and on television, across Australia and overseas.

» Read more about Rachel Berger

Lauren Burns

Lauren Burns OAM, Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist (BHSc) Olympic Gold Medallist, Taekwondo Sydney 2000

» Read more about Lauren Burns

Jane Clifton

Jane Clifton is the genuine show-business all-rounder. Actress, singer and, more recently, published crime novelist, Jane is often asked if there is anything she can’t do, to which she simply replies ‘Ballet and making money.’

» Read more about Jane Clifton

Simon Coronel

Simon Coronel is one of the most skilled illusionists in the Southern Hemisphere. Using pure dexterity and no tricky props, he creates live performance art that seems utterly impossible.

» Read more about Simon Coronel

Ben Cryan

Ben Cryan achieved the unachievable. After falling from his surfboard onto a coral reef and developing a serious illness, he survived thirty-three operations, including a kidney transplant. Now back on his feet and rebuilding his life, he has an incredible story of resilience and hope to share.

» Read more about Ben Cryan

Mary Delahunty

Mary Delahunty has high level experience in Media, Government and the Not for Profit sector. A Gold Walkley Award winning journalist, former interviewer and presenter with ABC TV and commercial networks. Mary served for seven years as a Victorian state government minister in senior portfolios and was the first female Planning Minister in Victoria. A member of the Australian Institute of Australian Directors she is an experienced Board Director and runs her own communications and strategy business. Mary is a published author, her second book, GRAVITY Inside the PM’s office during her last year and final days, was published last year.

» Read more about Mary Delahunty

Sean Dooley

Sean Dooley has written for TV comedies like Full Frontal, Hamish and Andy and Spicks and Specks, is author of books such as The Big Twitch and Cooking with Baz, and is currently editor of Australian Birdlife magazine. He was also the national birdwatching champion, holding the record for seeing the most birds seen in one year. Sean Dooley is the Birdman.

» Read more about Sean Dooley

Adam Elliot

Adam Elliot is not only the Academy Award winning Animator of Harvie Krumpet, but also one of Australia’s funniest, unique, refreshing speakers and after dinner raconteurs. A classic underdog tale, he has told his witty and inspiring life story to over 500 groups here and abroad.

» Read more about Adam Elliot

Clementine Ford

Clementine Ford is a Melbourne based writer, speaker and feminist thinker. She is a columnist for Fairfax’s Daily Life and is a regular contributor to The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. Through her twice weekly columns for Daily Life, Clementine explores issues of gender inequality and pop culture. Her ability to use both humour and distilled fury to lay bare ongoing issues affecting women has earned her a huge and loyal readership amongst both women and men. Clementine’s work has radically challenged the issues of men’s violence against women, rape culture and gender warfare in Australia, while her comedic take on casual sexism and entertainment has earned her a reputation as an accomplished satirist.

» Read more about Clementine Ford

Arabella Forge

Arabella Forge is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), television presenter and food writer. She is the author of the cookbook Frugavore: How to Grow Your Own, Buy Local, Waste Nothing and Eat Well (Black Inc 2010) which has been published and distributed throughout Australia and the USA. Arabella presents a regular segment on food and gardening for Channel 10’s Love to Share Food and is a spokesperson for The Markets of Melbourne.

» Read more about Arabella Forge

Anna Goldsworthy

Anna Goldsworthy is a prize-winning classical pianist and writer. She an engaging speaker and performer, and is passionate about bringing the lessons of classical music to the widest possible audience. She is Artistic Director of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival.

» Read more about Anna Goldsworthy

Tanya Ha

Tanya Ha is an award-winning environmentalist, best-selling author, broadcaster, science journalist and sustainable living advocate. More hip than hippie, she makes sustainability and science easier to understand and is known for her TV shows, including ABC’s Catalyst and the SBS series Eco House Challenge.

» Read more about Tanya Ha

Tiffiny Hall

Tiffiny Hall is a radiant role model. Author, journalist and trainer on Channel Ten’s The Biggest Loser. She has empowered kids with anti-bullying programs and messages of health and confidence in schools for over ten years. In 2012 she added children’s author to her extensive list of talents with the debut of her series Roxy Ran. 

» Read more about Tiffiny Hall

Justin Heazlewood

Justin Heazlewood is an award-winning triple-threat of writer, musician & comedian. As The Bedroom Philosopher he has appeared on Triple J & ABC TV, releasing three albums including the ARIA-nominated Songs From The 86 Tram. The video for Northcote (So Hungover) earning nearly half a million hits. In 2014 his first non-fiction book Funemployed, about being an artist in Australia, was an indie-hit, earning praise from artists and industry alike. In 2015 an 8-part series was commissioned for Radio National.

» Read more about Justin Heazlewood

Tony Wilson

Tony Wilson has worked as a professional MC and speaker for more than fifteen years. His move into entertainment and the media occurred when he beat out thousands of contenders to win the ABCTV travel documentary show Race Around the World. Known for his quick wit and broad knowledge base, he has hosted breakfast radio (Triple R Breakfasters 2002-7) and been a regular on ABC Local Radio and Grandstand.

» Read more about Tony Wilson

Sammy J

Sammy J is an award-winning comedian, writer and musician. A proud nerd, he abandoned his law degree to travel the world and sing funny songs for a living. You may have seen him on TV, at a festival, or as one half of the man/puppet duo Sammy J & Randy.

» Read more about Sammy J

Benjamin Law

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

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

Tammy van Wisse

Marathon swimmer, Tammy van Wisse currently holds five World Records. She has swum the English Channel twice (the success rate is only seven percent), is the only person to have swum Bass Strait and spent three and a half months submerged in the mighty Murray River – just to mention a few of her milestones.

» Read more about Tammy van Wisse

Chris Turney

Chris is an Australian and British professor of Earth science and author of three popular science books. Chris is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change at the University of University of New South Wales, where he and his team are focusing their efforts on finding lessons from the past.

» Read more about Chris Turney

Tristan Miller

Tristan Miller has had an incredible story, for such a regular guy. He dealt with a number of life’s highs and lows, before finally losing his dream job at Google in the Global Financial Crisis of 2009. Instead of laying down, he turned his life into an amazing adventure by running 52 marathons in 52 weeks, in 42 countries, on all 7 continents!

» Read more about Tristan Miller

Michael Robotham

Michael Robotham began his career an investigative journalist in Australia and the UK before becoming a ghostwriter, collaborating with the likes of Lulu, Geri Halliwell and Tony Bullimore to produce a dozen best-selling autobiographies. His psychological thrillers have been translated into 22 languages and have twice won the Ned Kelly award for best Australian Crime Fiction.

» Read more about Michael Robotham

Alice Pung

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

Dr Leslie Cannold

Dr Leslie Cannold is an author, teacher, ethicist and commentator. Her books include the What, No Baby? which made the Australian Financial Review’s top 101 books list. Her first novel, The Book of Rachael, has been reprinted twice by her Australian publisher Text and has also been published in the United States and the UK.

» Read more about Dr Leslie Cannold

Luke Ryan

Luke Ryan is a Melbourne-based writer, comedian and two-time cancer survivor. His first book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Chemo, is a comic memoir about growing up and getting cancer that grew out of his critically acclaimed 2009 Melbourne Comedy Festival show, Luke’s Got Cancer.

» Read more about Luke Ryan

Anne Edmonds

Anne Edmonds is one of Australia’s most exciting new stand up, character and banjo-playing comedians. From naughty kid at school to performing at the New York Comedy Festival, Anne has a story to tell about a winding road to success.

» Read more about Anne Edmonds

Angela Pippos

Angela Pippos is a journalist, TV and radio presenter, columnist and author of The Goddess Advantage – One Year in the Life of a Football Worshipper. It’s as much about love, loyalty, stuffed tomatoes and Greek mythology as it is about Australian rules football.

» Read more about Angela Pippos

Daniel Witthaus

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
Sally Warhaft, photo by Darren James

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, The Fifth Estate, now in its third year. She is a former editor of The Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia. Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

» Read more about Sally Warhaft

Claire Dunn

Claire Dunn is a writer, journalist, educator, barefoot explorer and author of My Year Without Matches, the memoir of her extraordinary journey living in the bush for a year learning wilderness survival skills.

» Read more about Claire Dunn

Waleed Aly

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

Maxine McKew

Maxine Mckewʼs background is in journalism and politics. For many years she was a familiar face to ABC TV viewers and was anchor of prestigious programmes such as Lateline and 7.30 Report. Her work has been recognised by her peers and she is a recipient of both Logie and Walkely awards. When she left broadcasting and made the switch to politics, she wrote herself into the Australian history books by defeating Prime Minister John Howard in the Sydney seat of Bennelong. In government she was both parliamentary secretary for early childhood, and later for infrastructure and local government.

» Read more about Maxine McKew

Jesse Fink

Jesse Fink has worked in journalism and publishing for over 20 years in various capacities: editor, writer, columnist, author.

Jesse is the author of four books: Bon: The Last Highway: The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC/DC’s Back In Black, The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, Laid Bare and 15 Days in June.

» Read more about Jesse Fink

Damon Young

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

Bryan Dawe

From the grim educational pickings of working class Port Adelaide in the 1950’s and 60’s, surviving the advice of his alleged ‘Career Advisory Officer’, Bryan escaped from high school at 15 and went on to become one of Australia’s finest humorists. His journey has resembled the comment of fellow humorist, the late Spike Milligan, who said of his life ‘I have nothing organised, so nothing can go wrong’.

» Read more about Bryan Dawe

Alice Zaslavsky

Excitable, energetic and ever the entertainer, Alice In Frames is on a quest to make food fun. As author of Alice’s Food A-Z, host of popular kids’ game-show Kitchen Whiz and “Adventurer-in-Residence” at Melbourne’s iconic Prahran Market, this former Middle School teacher turns wherever she goes into her classroom.

» Read more about Alice Zaslavsky

Luke Kennedy

Luke S. Kennedy was formerly an obese alcoholic and drug addict. He was leader of a street fighting and graffiti crew. Luke came close to death numerous times and also nearly killed others in street battles. He was stabbed on two separate occasions; once in the lung and the other time in the head.

» Read more about Luke Kennedy

Samantha Gash

Authentic. Personable. Empowering. Samantha’s heartfelt story brings people on a journey of transformation, humanity and incredible will power.

» Read more about Samantha Gash

Maria Katsonis

Maria’s career has spanned the private, public and non-government sectors. She began her career in the arts where she held a number of roles as a general manager, producer and arts management consultant before joining the Victorian public service where she was responsible for arts policy and industry development.

 

» Read more about Maria Katsonis

Donna Campisi

Donna is an adventurer at heart. She’s an inspiring speaker, author, blogger, and humanitarian, crazy runner, and marathoner. Donna is also an adventure & performance coach, and workshop facilitator. Inspiring many people with her challenges and ‘go do it’ attitude, that those who work with her are achieving their BIG goals!

» Read more about Donna Campisi

Mariam Issa

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

Mike Rolls

In September 2001, at the age of 18, Mike was struck down with the deadly meningococcal virus while on a routine football trip. As a result he su­ffered extensive injuries and was given a 5 percent chance of survival.

» Read more about Mike Rolls

Tommy Dassalo

With his youthful exuberance, charming storytelling and wickedly sharp turn-of-phrase, Tommy Dassalo has fast found himself among Australia’s most sought after young stand-up comedians, television writers and podcasters.

At 10 years old, he was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, a rare and life threatening illness. He spent two years in the Children’s Hospital if Melbourne, before finally receiving a Bone Marrow Transplant.

» Read more about Tommy Dassalo

Justin Dry

Justin Dry is an Entrepreneur, Angel Investor and Co-Founder + Joint CEO of Vinomofo, one of Australia’s fastest-growing companies.

Launched in April 2011 from a little garage in Adelaide, Vinomofo has grown quickly and profitably to a run rate of over $50m revenue, 400,000 members, and a team of 100.

» Read more about Justin Dry

Kate McLennan

Kate McLennan is an award-winning comedian, actress and writer. Her recent projects include co-writing and starring in The Katering Show and Bleak: The Web Series, which launched on YouTube in 2014. Bleak  is currently in development with the ABC.

» Read more about Kate McLennan

Clare Bowditch

Clare Bowditch is one of Australia’s most successful ARIA Award-winning songwriters, a Logie-nominated actor (Channel 10’s Offspring), and the founder of Big Hearted Business, where she teaches creative people about business, and business people about creativity.

» Read more about Clare Bowditch

Esther McKay

Esther Mckay is a retired Forensic Investigator, bestselling author and social justice campaigner.  She is a passionate and long-standing mental health advocate dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the stigma around mental health issues, improving conditions and creating better support services for first responders.

» Read more about Esther McKay

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

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 Lui

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

Rosie Batty

Rosie Batty is a leader in the crusade against domestic violence and has turned her personal tragedy into a fight to help others. Her relentless work in this area lead to Rosie been named the 2015 Australian of the year and the Pride of Australia National Courage Medal recipient.

» Read more about Rosie Batty

Ruth Clare

Ruth Clare is a Melbourne-based author and speaker. Her memoir Enemy: A Daughter’s Story of How Her Father Brought the Vietnam War Home is about growing up with a violent father and an alcoholic mother, and the way Ruth faced these trials with courage and strength. Her book is also a compassionate unraveling of the psychological impact of war on veterans and their families.

» Read more about Ruth Clare

Kate James

Kate James is an author, coach and mindfulness teacher who helps her clients discover authentic, creative and purposeful lives.

» Read more about Kate James

Michelle Law

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

Frances Whiting

Frances Whiting is Queensland’s best-known and best-loved newspaper columnist. For five years her weekly column in the Sunday Mail has made readers smile, cry, tear their hair out, and on several occasions, fall out of bed laughing. Frances is also the Associate Editor of the Sunday Mail and Senior Feature Writer. When she isn’t doing all of these things she enjoys playing guitar badly and falling off her surfboard.

» Read more about Frances Whiting

Deng Adut

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 Siddique

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.

» Read more about Rabia Siddique
Tara Moss

Tara Moss

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

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

Sami Shah

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
Jason Ball

Jason Ball

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

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

Tracey Spicer

Tracey Spicer is an author, journalist and television presenter who has anchored programs for ABC TV, Network Ten, Channel 9 and Sky News over the past 30 years.

» Read more about Tracey Spicer

Jamila Rizvi

Jamila Rizvi is an author, presenter and political commentator. Described as one of the preeminent voices of young Australian women online, Jamila injects her own special brand of humour, irreverence and authenticity into the public debate.

» Read more about Jamila Rizvi