2017 KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

John Mutter

Co-founder, Shelf Awareness

John Mutter has been reporting on bookselling and the book business in general for more than 35 years. He is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Shelf Awareness, which has two e-mail newsletters. Shelf Awareness Pro appears every business day and focuses on news that helps booksellers and librarians do their jobs better. Shelf Awareness for Readers, which appears twice a week, is geared for consumers and consists mainly of book reviews and author interviews and news.

Before co-founding Shelf Awareness in 2005, John worked at Publishers Weekly magazine for more than 20 years, as a news editor, paperback review editor, then heading the magazine's coverage of bookselling, wholesaling and distribution.

Visit John Mutter Website

John Mutter

James Daunt

Managing Director, Waterstones UK

James Daunt is the managing director of Waterstones, the UK’s largest chain of specialist bookshops with 280 shops, including shops in Ireland, Brussels and Amsterdam. He was appointed in July 2011.  He is the founder and remains the owner of Daunt Books which has 9 bookshops.

James Daunt

2017 SPEAKERS

Cheryl Akle

Cheryl Akle is the founder and director of Better Reading. She has been the project director for The Australian Reading Hour for the past four years. Passionate about books and reading, she is a strong advocate for Australian authors.

 


 

Cheryl Akle

Joel Becker

CEO, Australian Booksellers Association

Joel Becker

David Berkelouw

David Berkelouw is a director and partner of Berkelouw Books, one of Australia’s leading independent booksellers. He is passionate about books and reading which is lucky given that he was born into a family that have been booksellers since 1812!

He is proud of the role Berkelouw Books provides in the communities in which they are located, in particular the creative writing competitions and story time sessions that have been undertaken with great popularity. He is very aware of the importance of books and reading in the early years of a child’s life and regularly observes how those children who engage with books and reading from an early age inevitably become readers and learners for life.

He is father of two young children and is passionate about the lifelong benefits of proper early learning.

David Berkelouw

Rachel Bin Salleh

Rachel Bin Salleh has been the Publisher at Magabala Books for over three years, and has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty-four. She is an experienced editor and has worked in various roles including Sales and Administration Manager, Marketing and Production and as a bookseller. She has previously been a director of Magabala Books. Rachel is descended from the Nimunburr and Yawuru people of Broome and the Dampier Peninsula, and is passionate about children’s book publishing and publishing in general.  Also an emerging author, her debut children’s picture book, “Alfred’s War” will be released in March 2018.

 

Rachel Bin Salleh

Alan Brough

From an early age, Alan Brough wanted to be a writer. Then he decided that he really wanted to be an actor. But there wasn't much work for a 6 foot 4 inch guy with a slightly lopsided face and thick curly hair so Alan tried broadcasting, dancing (true!), singing, and being a professional music nerd. Recently, he got around to being a writer. One day he hopes to have a bio that includes phrases like 'so successful he recently bought a solid gold toilet' but for now he's happy to look at Charlie and The War Against the Grannies and think, 'Cool! I wrote a book!' Alan's next book Charlie and the Karaoke Cockroaches is out in July.

 

 

 


 

Alan Brough

Susan Carland

Susan Carland is a lecturer and researcher at Monash University's National Centre for Australian Studies. She has been listed as one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, and as a 'Muslim Leader of Tomorrow' by the UN Alliance of Civilizations. She was a co-creator and presenter of the ground-breaking television show, Salam Cafe and is an ambassador for Possible Dreams International. - See more at: https://www.mup.com.au/items/203999#sthash.pg2QxKqz.dpuf

Susan Carland

Joel Creasey

Comedian and Author

Joel Creasey is an Australian actor and comedian. The Sydney Morning Herald wrote that "he's a confident storyteller – energetic, concise, but conversational – with a ruthless wit and an infectious oh-my-god enthusiasm."

Born in Perth, he first attempted stand-up comedy when he was fifteen years old. He later studied political science and foreign affairs at Curtin University before dropping out to focus on his career in stand-up comedy.

Joel has been a fixture on the Australian stand-up scene for many years, starring at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, as well as at the New York International Fringe Festival  and with Joan Rivers  who chose him to open for her in New York.

He sold out 23 consecutive shows in Melbourne and received Best Show nominations at both the Sydney and Perth Comedy Festivals with a sold- out National tour.  Creasey has toured his shows to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Hong Kong with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Positive reviews abound - The New York Post named his stand-up show Rock God as one of the top five events of the New York Fringe Festival. Under The Gun's review called it "a side-splittingly funny 70-minute display of stand-up that moves at a frantic pace of several laughs per minute..." Time Out  said that "the relentlessly hilarious 23-year-old has the chops of a much more seasoned performer, and the charisma of an inevitable star." 

In recent years, he has begun popping up regularly on our television screens, culminating with an appearance on I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! and recently hosting SBS’s coverage of the Mardi Gras.

He’s a rolled gold star and this memoir will be acerbically funny, as rude as you like and will sate the appetites of Joel’s huge and manically loyal following (59K followers on Twitter and 50K on facebook). Joel is guaranteed to entertain, engage and leave us all delegates rolling in the aisles!

 

 

 

 


 

Joel Creasey

Matthia Dempsey

Matthia Dempsey is general manager of the Small Press Network, a representative body for more than 130 independent publishers from around Australia. She was previously editor-in-chief of the publishing industry journals Books+Publishing and the Weekly Book Newsletter.

Matthia Dempsey

Madonna Duffy

 

Madonna Duffy has over 25 years’ experience in publishing in Australia and the UK. She has previously worked for publishers in Sydney and in London before becoming Head of Publishing at UQP. She has published authors such as David Malouf, Matthew Condon and Prime Minister’s Literary Award winners Gabrielle Carey and Sarah Holland-Batt. Madonna has been a member of many industry committees, boards and judging panels.    

 

Madonna Duffy

Robbie Egan

Robbie Egan is the manager at Readings Carlton.

Robbie Egan

Richard Fidler & Kari Gislason

Broadcaster Richard Fidler and author Kári Gíslason are good friends. They share a deep attachment to the sagas of Iceland - the true stories of the first Viking families who settled on that remote island in the Middle Ages.These are tales of blood feuds, of dangerous women, and people who are compelled to kill the ones they love the most. The sagas are among the greatest stories ever written, but the identity of their authors is largely unknown.

Together, Richard and Kári travel across Iceland, to the places where the sagas unfolded a thousand years ago. They cross fields, streams and fjords to immerse themselves in the folklore of this fiercely beautiful island. And there is another mission: to resolve a longstanding family mystery: a gift from Kári's Icelandic father that might connect him to the greatest of the saga authors.

Kári Gíslason is a memoirist, travel writer and creative writing teacher who lectures in creative writing and literary studies at QUT. He is the author of The Promise of Iceland and The Ash Burner.

Richard Fidler presents CONVERSATIONS WITH RICHARD FIDLER, an in-depth, up close and personal interview program broadcast across Australia on ABC Radio. He's interviewed prime ministers, astronauts, writers and scientists, but the program often features remarkable people who are unknown to the wider world. The program is the most popular podcast in Australia, with over a million downloaded programs every month. Richard is the author of the best-selling book Ghost Empire.

Richard Fidler & Kari Gislason

Peter FitzSimons

Peter FitzSimons is Australia’s bestselling non-fiction writer, and for the past 30 years has also been a journalist and columnist with the Sydney Morning Herald and the Sun Herald.

 

He is the author of a number of successful books, including Kokoda, Ned Kelly and Gallipoli, as well as biographies of notable Australians as Douglas Mawson, Nancy Wake and Nick Farr-Jones. His passion is to tell Australian stories, our own stories: of great men and women, of stirring events in our history. .

 

Peter grew up on a farm north of Sydney, went to boarding school in Sydney and attended Sydney University.  An ex-Wallaby, he also lived for several years in rural France and Italy, playing Rugby for regional clubs. He lives in Sydney with his wife, Lisa Wilkinson – journalist, magazine editor and currently co-presenter of Today on Channel 9 – and their three children.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Peter FitzSimons

Patricia Genat

ABA President & ALS Library Services

Patricia has 15 years management experience within the Australian and New Zealand book industry including publishing, distribution, online services and printing. Her wide experience is built on a solid business and educational base, and she runs ALS Services with an eye always on the future trends.

Patricia currently sits on the Board of the Big Book Club Inc and the Australian Booksellers Association Management Committee.

Patricia Genat

Michael Gordon-Smith

Michael Gordon-Smith has worked for more than twenty years in Australian media and communications industries, including as a director, a government regulator and the CEO of industry associations. He has led projects or policies from media ownership to mobile telephones, from copyright to digital television. He established the Centre for Screen Business at the Australian Film Television and Radio School and chaired the Australian Broadcasting Authority's inquiry into Cash for Comment. He has been the CEO of the Australian Publishers Association since 2013. He would like to be a faster ocean swimmer and a better player of Go. 

 

Michael Gordon-Smith

Alison Green

Alison is the visionary and the force behind Pantera Press. On that fateful day in 2008, Alison saw a shared bond with her father John, and realised that if she could bear his sense of humour, they could create something very special combining their passions for stories, business and philanthropy.

Ali is also a director of the New South Wales Writers’ Centre, sits on the Australian Publishers Association Trade Committee, the Australian Publishers Association’s Independent Publishers Committee and the SJWF Writers' Festival Committee, is very active in Philanthropy Australia's New Gen Program and is as unrelenting in pursuing our philanthropic aims as our business goals. 

Besides struggling with a SodaStream addiction and forcing ping pong tournaments onto the team before every meeting (it's an agenda item), Ali often wonders if the Hokey Pokey is really what it's all about.

Alison Green

Peter Greste

Peter Greste was born in Sydney and studied journalism at the Queensland University of Technology. His work as a foreign correspondent for Reuters, the BBC and Al Jazeera has taken him around the world, and he has lived in London, Europe, Africa, South America and Afghanistan. He was awarded a Peabody Award in 2011 for his documentary on Somalia, and the Australian Human Rights Medal in 2015 for his work as an advocate of a free press. In 2013 he was arrested in Cairo, along with his Al Jazeera colleagues, for reporting news that was ‘damaging to national security’. He was subsequently tried and convicted for seven years, but was released without explanation after 14 months in prison, an experience he and his family recounted in Freeing Peter.

Peter Greste

Susanne Horman

Susanne Horman took on ownership of Robinson’s Bookshop in 2007 and has modernized systems, processes and equipment to keep up with our fast paced media rich society. Robinsons Bookshop is a well trusted family run business that has grown to become one of the largest independent bookstore offers in Australia.

Susanne Horman

Sofie Laguna

Miles Franklin Address

Sofie’s second novel for adults, ‘The Eye of the Sheep’ – shortlisted for the Stella Prize – won the 2015 Miles Franklin Award. It has been optioned for both film and theatre.

Sofie’s first novel for adults, ‘One Foot Wrong’, published throughout Europe, the US and the UK, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. Screen rights have been optioned and Sofie has completed the screenplay.

Sofie’s many books for young people have been published in the US, the UK and in translation throughout Europe and Asia. She has been shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Award, and her books have been named Honor Books and Notable Books by the Children’s Book Council of Australia.

Sofie lives in Melbourne with her husband, illustrator Marc McBride, and their two young sons.

 

 

 


 

Sofie Laguna

Leesa Lambert

Co-Owner, The Little Book Room

Leesa Lambert began selling books as a teenager and neither university nor common sense has succeeded in drawing her away from the profession. She is the owner (in partnership with parents Ian and Lesley) and manager of The Little Bookroom in Melbourne, a retailer and library supplier specialising in children's books.

Leesa Lambert

Jay Lansdown

Jay Lansdown is the owner of the Constant Reader Bookshop and a member of the ABA Management Committee. 

The Constant Reader Bookshop is a village-style bookshop on the Lower North Shore in Sydney. Opened in May 1979 it is one of the oldest independent bookshops in the City. After ten years on the northern side of Willoughby Road the shop moved across the road to its current location doubling its original size. At 238 Sq metres it is also one of the larger independents, a key to its ability to stock the range it does without being overwhelming. In 2012 the original owner, Peter Kirby sold the business to his then manager, Jay Lansdown, who has continued to run the shop on the same philosophy and spirit in which it was started.

Jay Lansdown

Anna Low

Bookseller, Potts Point Bookshop

Anna Low has been a book seller for more than 20 years. Since 2007, she has been the owner of the Potts Point Bookshop in Sydney. Passionate about books and reading she has been on various industry committees - APA Design Awards, ABA Kids Reading Guide reviewer and most notable as a judge on the Miles Franklin Award from 2012 - 2014.

 

Anna Low

Sally Rippin

Sally Rippin was born in Darwin, but grew up mainly in South-East Asia. As a young adult she lived in China for three years, studying traditional Chinese painting. Sally has over sixty books published, many of them award-winning, including two novels for young adults. Her most recent work includes the highly acclaimed children’s novel Angel Creek and the popular Billie B Brown books, which became the highest selling series for 6-8 year olds in Australia within the first year of their release. In 2015, Sally was Australia’s highest selling female author and her Billie B Brown books have sold more than 3 million copies since first published

 

 


 

Sally Rippin

Kieran Rogers

Kieran Rogers is Sales & Marketing Manager at Affirm Press.

Affirm Press is a Melbourne based independent Australian publisher with a goal to influence readers by delight. Affirm publishes a range of quality biographies, social issue titles, new Australian fiction & some brilliant children's illustrated books.

Kieran Rogers

Mark Rubbo

Mark Rubbo is Managing Director of Readings. He is a past president of the Australian Booksellers Association and was founding chair of the Melbourne Writers Festival. In 2006 he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia “For service to the community through fostering an awareness of Australian literature as a bookseller, literary critic, and promoter and supporter of Australian writers.”

Mark Rubbo

Jane Seaton

Jane Seaton is the owner of Beaufort Street Books and currently on the ABA Management Committee.  Jane Seaton opened for business in 2010 and created a delightful bookstore in the heart of Mount Lawley.  The bookstore is a destination for people to gather as a community, meeting people of similar interests – all driven by the written word.

With its polished wooden floors and relaxing leather armchairs, Beaufort Street Books has become a firm favourite amongst the local community.

 

 

Jane Seaton

Louise Sherwin-Stark

Fresh out of university, Louise Sherwin-Stark left Brisbane for adventures in Europe and landed in publishing in London.  She spent over a decade in a variety of sales and marketing roles with Ryland Peters & Small, Faber & Faber and Hodder & Stoughton.  Louise returned home as Sales & Marketing Director of Hodder & Stoughton at Hachette Australia, before spending an interesting couple of years at Google Play and Bloomsbury.   She was lured back to Hachette to take on the role as Sales & Product Director and has been Joint Managing Director since 2014.  She really likes books.

Louise Sherwin-Stark

Fiona Stager

Fiona Stager is the owner of Avid Reader and Where the Wild Things Are. She has only ever been a bookseller apart from a brief and not so wondrous career as a waitress.

Fiona has been a judge of The Courier-Mail Book of the Year Award, The Australian/Vogel Literary Award and The Stella Prize.

In 2009 Fiona received the Queensland Writers' Centre (QWC) Johnno Award for her out-standing contribution to Queensland writers and writing. In 2013 Fiona was awarded a Local Legend award for her work over many years in West End. In 2014 Fiona was awarded Life Membership of the Australian Bookseller's Association for her contribution to the Australian bookselling industry. She was previously the President of the Australian Bookseller's Association (ABA).

She lives in West End with her family, three chickens and a native beehive.

 

Fiona Stager

Peter Strong

CEO Council of Small Business of Australia, and ABA Board Member

Peter Strong is the Executive Director of the Council of Small Business of Australia and has spent much of the last decade working as a supporter of the small business community. He has spent much of his career in change management at the business, community and government level through micro and macro economic reforms. He has worked for the Australian Government on national business and employment policies as well as with business and economic development projects with the World Bank and the United Nations.

Peter Strong

Jared Thomas

Jared Thomas is an Indigenous author, playwright, poet, and academic. He grew up in Port Augusta on Nukunu country, and his mother's Aboriginal family came from Winton, Queensland.

Jared has been a freelance journalist, film script editor and writer. Since 2006 he has lectured in communications, film, literature, and art at the University of South Australia. He has also worked as the Manager of the Indigenous Arts and Culture Division of Arts, South Australia, and has coordinated Nukunu Peoples Council cultural heritage, language, and arts projects.

As well as being a playwright, Thomas began to develop his skills as a fiction writer with several short stories and poems being published in anthologies. (Heiss and Minter 2009). His first novel Sweet Guypublished by IAD Press was shorted listed for both the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and the Festival Awards for Literature, South Australia. With his forthcoming novel Calypso Summer, Thomas was awarded the Kuril Dhagun Indigenous Writing Fellowship in 2013.

Jared Thomas is an ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. He has facilitated ILF writing workshops on the Tiwi Islands and in Sydney with with visiting Tiwi College students.

Jared Thomas

Tim White

Owner, Books For Cooks

Tim White, a former lawyer, is passionate about wine, food and books (not necessarily in that order) and has worked in restaurants, pubs and the food industry. He is an avid bibliophile and he has long had an interest in the history, sociology, science and literature of food. His particular passions are European peasant food and wine. Tim has also written an occasional column in The Age entitled 'Epicure on food history'.

Tim White

Gavin Williams

Established more than 30 years ago, Matilda Bookshop is owned by Gavin Williams and Joanne Hill, who  oversee a great children's section, a cleverly edited selection of fiction, an excellent gardening collection and regular author talks.

Any Hills resident will tell you life would be unimaginable without this old-fashioned bookshop that flies in the face of modern, online retailing. Set back off Stirling's main street, a lentil's toss from another Hills institution, the Organic Market and Cafe (the two fit hand in glove), Matilda's tables stacked with books have been curated with a lazy Saturday afternoon's browsing in mind.

Gavin Williams

Julie Winters

Julie began her career with Nielsen as an analyst in Sydney back in 2001. Julie then moved to the UK, where she developed her skills and expertise over the next several years for Nielsen in various roles culminating in her appointment as Business Development Director for Nielsen BookScan. In 2014 Julie moved back to her native Australia as an Associate Director working on strategic projects for key clients such as: Unilever, Nestle, P&G, Colgate, Mars, and GSK.

Julie Winters

Helen Papadimitriou
ABA Conference and Trade Exhibition Coordinator
phone: +61 (3) 9859 7322 
email: conference@aba.org.au
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