In case you missed it below is the recent 2019 conference program.


REGISTRATION - Level 1, The Pullman Melbourne on the Park

Sponsored by Circle Software 




Welcome - Robbie Egan and Patrica Genat




Keynote: Meryl Halls - Managing Director of the Booksellers Association of the UK and Ireland
Meryl Halls, new to the MD role but not to the organisation, will talk to the current revitalisation of the UK bookselling industry and building a progressive future with a focus on diversity and inclusion; green initiatives, benchmarking and professional development.

Sponsored by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund




Nielsen report
Julie Winters will present a snapshot of overseas and local consumer trends and how this data can translate to your shop floor category mix. Julie will also present the results of the ABA's benchmarking survey.

Sponsored by Nielsen




Morning tea
Guest author Anna Krien Act of Grace (October)

Sponsored by Black Inc




Keynote: James Kellow - Chief Executive Officer of HarperCollins ANZ

What does the perfect industry look like? How does the present compare with the dream, and are we moving in the right direction?  A publisher’s perspective on what matters most.




Indigenous Literacy Foundation presentation: Shelley Ware

Shelley Ware, Yankunytjatjara and Wirangu woman and ILF Ambassador, shares the Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s highlights in celebration of the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages.




Trade exhibition and lunch commences




Trade exhibition concludes




Author Panel - Having the courage to change the world

In this thought provoking and engaging session, Diane Armstrong, The Collaborator, (September) Grantlee Kieza, Macquarie, (November) and Andrew Ramsey, The Basis of Everything, (August) will chat with HarperCollins publisher, Jude McGee and discuss how the subjects in each of their new books have somehow found the courage to make a decision that would ultimately change the world.

Sponsored by Harper Collins Australia


Australian Reading Hour - Louise Sherwin-Stark

The Australian Reading Hour is a unique cross-industry campaign to promote the benefits of reading. Louise Sherwin Stark, MD of Hachette will talk about the 2019 campaign.




Afternoon tea

Sponsored by Barcode Solutions




Member Forum








Close of day's session




Pre-dinner drinks
Tyson Yunkaporta (Text Publishing)

How can Indigenous thinking can save the world? Let’s start with tonight’s menu...

Sponsored by Text Publishing




Gala Dinner and Awards Night:
Special Guest Archie Roach (Simon & Schuster) will perform with Paul Grabowsky AO
MC Benjamin Law

Sponsored by Simon and Schuster


Award presentations:
Nielsen Booksellers Choice Award
ABA Baker & Taylor Elizabeth Riley Fellowship, Children’s Bookselling
ABA Penguin Random House Young Bookseller of the Year
ABA Text Publishing Bookseller of the Year


 REGISTRATION - Level 1, The Pullman Melbourne on the Park

Sponsored by Circle Software


Welcome Back - The new ABA president and CEO




Teen reading in the digital age

YA author Anna Morgan, bookseller Michael Earp (The Little Bookroom), Associate Dean, Deakin University Katya Johanson and Associate Professor, Deakin University Leonie Rutherford will discuss how teenage reading habits continue to change and how we as an industry can rise to the challenge.

Sponsored by Kids' Reading Guide




Thriving in a small workplace – insights from an HR practitioner

Rosemary Guyatt has spent her 30 year+ career as an HR professional in the retail, technology and associations sectors. Having worked in diverse sized organisations she brings a pragmatic approach to delivering “good HR” to business and the benefit these practices have on its employees and in turn the business. Rosemary will share her insights on practical approaches to improving employee engagement and its impact on the customer experience.




Morning tea

Sponsored by Affirm Press




My brilliant career in books
What does a professional bookseller look like today? A panel session including bookseller Kate McFadyen (The Avenue), author, editor and bookseller Kate O'Donnell (The Younger Sun) and author, editor and bookseller Jaclyn Crupi (Hill of Content) will discuss professional bookselling, now and into the future.




Not all communities are built the same
We talk about community to the point of homogenisation but, like demographics, not all communities are built the same.  A panel featuring booksellers Megan O'Brien (Brunswick Bound), John Mitchell (The Book Room at Byron) and publicist Kasi Collins (Hardie Grant Books) will be discussing the ways they work to reach their communities.




Let's talk about sales!
Hear Fiona Stager (Avid Reader) and Kate Adams (Better Read Than Dead) describe how various activities and marketing initiatives including Love Your Bookshop Day, Kids' Reading Guide and a focus on experiential products can transform into sales.




Lunch - With guest author
Sally Rugg, Executive Director (Hachette) 

Sally will talk about why she decided to write How Powerful You Are, (September) the importance of activism in society today and how to use your voice to make change.

Sponsored by Hachette




Industry Forum 

Driving efficiency is a goal we all share. In this forum we hear perspectives on different aspects of our industry, with Dan Pilkington (Sales Director Hachette) presenting data on the relationship between buying and return rates, Michael Gordon-Smith (CEO APA) sharing APA initiatives including ongoing investment in Title Page, and Matt O’Brien (Operations Director UBD ANZ) giving us an insight into the realities of book distribution in Australia. Meryl Halls will round out the session with comment on UK BA’s work in improving business ‘fitness’ and ‘greening’ initiatives.

Sponsored by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund




Author Panel - Making the Rules & Breaking the Rules

Featuring Kitty Flannagan, 488 Rules for Life, (October) and Clare Bowditch, Your Own Kind of Girl, (November) with Tim Jarvis (Fullers Bookshop) in a mostly lighthearted session about life and how we live it. Rules, real and imagined, desired and unnecessary, this session promises to be hilarious, moving and thought provoking.

Sponsored by Allen and Unwin




Afternoon tea with Love Your Bookshop Day




Why we love VM
A practical session demonstrating the use of window, instore displays and Instagram to cement your store’s identity and build an online audience. Panellists include ABA CEO Robbie Egan, passionate visual merchandising bookseller Kasia Janczewski (Where The Wild Things Are) and the highly successful bookstagramer Kate Lloyd (Lilytales).




Closing keynote:
Special guest author Elliot Perlman (Penguin Random House)

What the hell happened to us? Internationally acclaimed bestselling author, Elliot Perlman, looks at the precariousness of work in the 21st Century, the cruel absurdities of white collar sweatshops, sexual harassment in the workplace, corporate corruption and the combined corrosive effects of all of these on marriage, families and friendship.  Tapping directly into the pulse of our times in his new novel, Maybe the Horse Will Talk (October) he examines all of this and, miraculously, finds something funny. 




Conference finish


    BOOK NOW!  ABA members book via the  members-only online store     Non-members can book on the  Australian Booksellers store  
Australian Booksellers Association
phone: +61 (3) 9859 7322
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