Janet DeNeefe: Janet is the Founder and Director of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival and an award-winning author. Janet earned a degree in Arts and Crafts at Burwood State College in Melbourne, before travelling to Bali in 1984 where she established her home, married and raised a family. Her award-winning books are: Bali: The Food of My Island Home which was nominated for Best Asian Cuisine Book of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for “Best in the World” 2012;
Antoine is a Maltese poet whose iconic work, Passport, is embraced by so many on his international tours. He is the founder of the Facebook page Spread Poetry, Not Fear launched in reaction to the 2015 Paris bombings; a translator, cultural organiser and a creative activist for migrants’ rights and universal freedom of movement.
Herb Wharton is an internationally acclaimed Aboriginal author, poet, oral historian, novelist, short story writer and storyteller who left school at the age of 12 and began droving. He has possibly seen more of outback Australia from horseback than most of European explorers combined.Herb has experienced more than 40 years of living a bushman’s life; a drover, stockman, rodeo rider and all-round bush worker. He was awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal 2003 for service to Australian society and literature.
Sean is one of Australia’s best Aboriginal comedians and a huge inspiration to the youth of Australia. He is in constant demand as an MC, comedian, dancer, Hip Hop didge player and Traditional workshop performer. Sean is a vibrant, dynamic and captivating performer.
Zohab Zee Khan
Hailing from country NSW, Zohab is Australia’s 2014 Australian Poetry Slam champion and the founder of the inaugural 2016 Pakistan Poetry Slam which launched with huge success in February. Zohab is a fourth-generation Australian of Pakistani heritage.
Victorian science writer Lynne Kelly discusses the traditional Aboriginal memory technique that unlocks the secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island and ancient monuments the world over in her new book, The Memory Code. Lynne has discovered that a powerful memory technique used by the ancients can unlock the secrets of the Neolithic stone circles of Britain and Europe, the ancient Pueblo buildings in New Mexico and other prehistoric stone monuments across the world.
With an infectious blend of roots, reggae and hip hop in tow, The Lyrical commands a strong stage presence as Karl Smith spits his politically charged and socially conscious expressions.
Lynette Noni is the author of the five-part young adult fantasy series, The Medoran Chronicles, described as a combination of Harry Potter, Narnia, and X-Men. Her first book, Akarnae, was released in 2015, with the second, Raelia, in April 2016, and the third, Draekora, coming out soon. A regular panelist at national and local events, Lynette has featured at Sydney Writers' Festival, Emerging Writers' Festival (as part of the National Writers' Conference), Supanova Pop Culture Exhibition, GenreCon, the National Young Writers' Festival, Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival, Voices on the Coast, and the Australian National Speculative Fiction Convention.
Ray Kerkhove is a professional historian, researcher and writer. He conducts and compiles research into source texts, secondary sources, maps and museum items for various Indigenous and multicultural/ multi-faith projects (historical & cultural). His area of expertise is Indigenous southern and central Queensland history and culture. Occasionally he does projects on faith histories and religious culture. Ray has decades of experience working with Indigenous community groups in southern Queensland. He also has much experience in the disability sector, and in working with arts projects. Ray will be appearing with Lyndon Davis and Robin Wells in a special Dreamtime Stories conversation in the Dreamtime Stories marquee on Saturday, September 10.
Simone Day is one of the pioneers of the Sunshine Coast’s 1970s and 80s surf scene. An elite competitor in her youth, Simone went on to a teaching career which she combined with surf coaching becoming one of the first of either sex to gain accreditation in the early 1980s.
Women's surfing began in earnest here in the late 1970s with the formation of the Sunshine Girls Surfriders Club driven by the likes of Lisa Perry, Lyn Jones, Simone Day, Kate Perry and the shark-catching water-woman Kym McKenzie. The influence of the late Helen Ewing and the formation of the Australian Women's Surfriders Association in the early 1980s were also powerful. Simone is speaking at our festival's Our Acclaimed Surfing Culture and History discussion panel on Sunday, September 11.
Mark Heyward is a Tasmanian writer, researcher, musician and education consultant. He has been based in Indonesia for 25 years. He writes for various newspapers and magazines, and is the author of ‘Crazy Little Heaven, an Indonesian Journey’ and ‘Looking for Borneo’. Mark is married with four children, two grandchildren, and a golden Labrador. He currently divides his time between Jakarta and The Studio, an eco-resort he established with his wife in the coastal hills of Lombok.
Robert Macklin has carved out a unique place among Australia’s literary biographers and historians. Queensland born, he has been a journalist at the highest level, a confidant and biographer of two Australian prime ministers; a documentary filmmaker in 32 countries of Asia and the Pacific; and is also political columnist and commentator in the nation’s capital. Robert has written 27 respected and popular works of fiction and non-fiction. His latest work, Hamilton Hume, tells the story of our unsung Australian explorer Hamilton Hume.
Noel David is a first-time, self-published author who hails from a background as a project manager in the building industry in Adelaide. Noel recently moved to the Sunshine Coast to pursue his dream of full-time writing inspired by our beaches and beautiful ocean.
Emma Middleton is passionate about children's literature and illustration. She believes all her life experiences have led her full circle back to her love of picture books; from dancing in The Vienna Ballet, teaching children, having a family of her own and exhibiting art in galleries. She loves to interact with her audience through book readings, small plays and pantomimes and book-based craft activities. She believes the theatrical presentation of children’s books brings literature to life, and is currently involved in school and library presentations.
Mary Atkins is a speaker, author, writer and coach who reckons she ‘retired’ seven years ago. Next year her non-fiction book, Anatomy of a Remarkable Healing, will be published. In 2014, she published her fiction work, Losing You, on Kindle and in 2005 she published Finding Your Voice – Ten Steps to Successful Public Speaking.
Bazza the Bush Balladeer
Better known as Bazza the Bush Balladeer, Barry Betts is an iconic figure in the Sunshine Coast region as he performs at festivals, fairs and markets with his heart-felt renditions of Australian bush poetry classics from Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson, Dorothea Mackellar and more.
Gondor Writers’ Centre’s Ron Day holds a PhD from Central Queensland University and is a published author of a series of computing text books for use in primary, secondary, and tertiary schools and colleges. He has had more than 30 years’ experience in teaching and writing. He has worked as a school teacher and with many organisations and companies, writing text books, user manuals, technical reference documents, and learning materials. He is working on his family history, writing it as historic fiction.
Peter Carnavas is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator. He grew up in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, with lovely parents, two brothers, one sister and, from the age of 13, a big white dog called Floyd. Peter was a quiet kid who did things slowly most of the time. He spent a lot of time drawing little pictures and writing stories. Things haven’t really changed.