SUNDAY 12th June 2022

8:00 – 9:00: Registration 

9:00 – 9:10: Welcome – Jane Seaton ABA president and Robbie Egan ABA CEO

9:10 – 9:40: Opening Keynote – Amy Thunig

Hear from brilliant academic and writer Amy Thunig, a Gamilaroi yinarr (woman) who will challenge and inspire attendees with her deeply moving story of growing up dealing with endemic poverty and parents struggling with addiction and incarceration. Amy discusses the importance of extended family, community, connection to Country, and also education, and how life can be filled with beauty and joy even when things are in many ways terrible. Amy’s memoir Tell Me Again is also about the power of stories to shape and sustain us even when they involve hardship and struggle.

Sponsored by the University of Queensland Press

9:45 – 10:30: Second keynote – Angela Meyer

Angela Meyer is an author, editor, publisher and bookseller, who completed the Climate Reality Leadership training in 2021 and became inspired to help her industry become greener. Angela is preparing a report for the ABA on sustainability in our industry and will present her findings to date, and more broadly on the imperative of living sustainably.

10:30 – 10:50 Affirm Press Morning Tea 

Sponsored by Affirm Press

10:50 – 11:30: Nielsen report – Bianca Whiteley

Always a must-see at the ABA conference, Bianca will present the annual Nielsen state of the industry report, analysing trends and breaking outperformance by channel.

Sponsored by Nielsen BookData

11:30 – 11:45: Indigenous Literary Foundation presentation

The ILF will share an overview of their upcoming activities and how booksellers can continue to engage with the foundation’s purpose.

11:45 – 3:00: Trade Exhibition

12:00 – 1:00: Lunch – served during the trade exhibition

3:00 – 3.40: Author panel – When all is not what it seems.

Three of our finest literary authors talk about their new books, the writing process, and how booksellers have buoyed their spirits. What makes great Australian authors tick? You’ll find out in this session featuring Stephanie Bishop, Inga Simpson and Sarah Schmidt, in conversation with publisher Vanessa Radnidge.

Sponsored by Hachette Australia

3:40 – 4:00: Afternoon Tea

4:00 – 5:00: ABA member forum

Robbie Egan and the ABA management committee will discuss and take questions on ABA initiatives and plans. Member-only session.

5:00 – 5:15: Annual General Meeting

Member-only session

6:30 – 7:30: Pre-dinner drinks

Special guest speaker Holly Ringland joins us pre-dinner to talk about her upcoming novel The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding (October). Holly is a special soul and a favourite of indie bookshops.

Sponsored by HarperCollins Australia

7:30 – 10:30: Gala dinner and awards night – Celebrating Bookselling

Dinner menu by special guest chef Karen Martini from her highly-anticipated COOK: The Only Book You Need in the Kitchen (8 August).

Our MC for the evening is stand-up comedian, radio broadcaster, and television host Lawrence Mooney. Lawrence will publish his first book Embrace Your Limitations in October.

The dinner speaker is Wil Anderson who could well be Australia's most prolific comedian. Wil is a Helpmann award winner, six-time MICF People's Choice and 2022 Director’s Choice winner and host of ABC-TV’s Gruen. Wil joins us to talk about his new book Wilosophy, (November). Insightful and entertaining, Wil offers an alternative way of viewing ourselves and the world, which is a tonic in these uncertain times.

Sponsored by Allen & Unwin

MONDAY 13th June 2022

8:00 - 8:30: Registration

8:30 - 9:00: Special guest speaker Gabrielle Wang

The 2022-2023 Australian Children’s Laureate address 

9:00 – 9:40: Children’s bookselling session

A session focusing on ways our booksellers can maintain their relevance and stay abreast of current trends to engage and encourage younger readers. The discussion will cover reading cultures such as BookTok, the growth and changing perceptions towards graphic novels for children plus the importance of reading diverse authors and fostering imagination. 

Panellists:

  • Bronwyn Reddan - Deakin University, Teen Reading in the Digital Age
  • Anna McFarlane - Publisher Allen & Unwin

Sponsored by Kids Reading Guide

9:45 – 10:25: Panel session – De-centring whiteness and traditional forms of western storytelling

A panel session discussing the concept of decentring whiteness and traditional forms of storytelling with a practical focus on how we can promote and sell diverse stories in our bookshops. Chaired by Reem Sweid, The Chestnut Tree Bookshop

Panellists:

  • Brooke Blurton - HarperCollins
  • Sarah Malik - Hardie Grant Explore
  • Dani Solomon - Readings Kids

10:25 – 10:45: Morning Tea

10:50 – 11:30: Author panel – To the Ends of the Earth: how our stories connect us all

Ultimo Press authors Pirooz Jafari, Alex Sarkis and Sophie Cunningham speak about their work and the way stories span time and place across universal themes. Family, love, displacement, the value of art and the meaning of home are approached from multiple perspectives, showing the power of story in connecting us all. Chaired by author Shankari Chandran

Sponsored by Ultimo Press

11:30 – 12:20: Bookseller panel – The business of bookselling

Hear from your bookselling peers in a session covering best practices. We are asked about what the most important measurements are for bookshops, and it is time we discussed what metrics you should consider, what growth really means, and whether endless growth is desirable, or even achievable?  Chaired by Robbie Egan ABA CEO

Panellists:

  • Meryl Halls - British Booksellers
  • Anna Low - Potts Point Bookshop
  • Tim Jarvis - Fullers Bookshop

12:20 – 1:20: Lunch – Join your colleagues for a sit-down lunch in the hotel’s Feast restaurant

1:20 – 1.55: Author Panel - Setting the Place to Rights

Historian, columnist and speechwriter Don Watson and comedian and podcaster Tom Ballard look at the major injustices in the last seventy years of our national history – from race to climate, war veterans to future generations – to diagnose the problems and search for hope. In conversation with publishing director Ben Ball. 

Sponsored by Simon & Schuster

1:55 2:15: Australia Reads

Australia Reads is a unique cross-industry initiative that seeks to promote the benefits of books and reading. Head of Communications at the Australian Publishers Association, Anna Burkey, will tell us about plans for Australia Reads in 2022, from industry research to Australian Reading Hour.

2:15 – 3.00: Industry Forum – Panel session

The annual book industry forum chaired by Robbie Egan ABA CEO

Panellists

  • Cat Colwell – TitlePage & Supply Chain Manager APA
  • Olivia Lanchester – CEO ASA
  • Louise Stark – CEO Hachette Australia and head of the APA's Trade Publishers Committee

3:00 – 3:20: Afternoon Tea

3:20 – 4:00: Marketing session – Andrew Ritchie

Digital strategist and ABA management committee member Andrew Ritchie will follow up his 2021 digital strategy presentation with another highly informative and practical marketing session. Feedback about Andrew’s 2021 session was extremely positive so we’ve asked him back, this time in person.

4:00 – 4:30: Closing keynote – Anna Funder

Not to be missed, acclaimed and celebrated writer Anna Funder will speak for the first time about her long-awaited upcoming book Wifedom: The Visionary Writer, the Invisible Wife.  Eileen Orwell’s life, all but excised from written history, is revealed in this incredible investigation that holds grim parallels for creative women today, and throughout history.

Sponsored by Penguin Random House

4:30: Conference wrap and close