Suzanne Leal is the author of novels The Teacher’s Secret and Border Street. A lawyer experienced in child protection, criminal law and refugee law, Suzanne is a former legal commentator on ABC radio and a regular interviewer at Sydney Writers' Festival and other literary events. www.suzanneleal.com You can also read more about Suzanne on our blog.
Alice Addison graduated from the Australian Film Television and Radio School with a MA in Screenwriting in 2000. Her credits include the mini-series The Silence for the ABC, RAN for SBS, as well as multiple episodes of the award-winning ABC kids’ TV series My Place. Her adaptation of Julia Leigh’s novel The Hunter was nominated for 14 AACTA awards, including that for Best Adapted Screenplay, and was the recipient of the Screen Queensland award for Film Script at the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards in 2011. Her most recent credits are the 2014 Foxtel mini-series The Devil’s Playground, The Principal for SBS (2015) and the upcoming television adaptation of Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock, to air on Foxtel and Amazon Prime in 2018.
Betty Roland Panel
Since 1980 John has been extensively involved in developing drama for the screen. His writing highlights include co-authoring the landmark mini-series Brides of Christ, The Leaving of Liverpool, Bordertown, My Brother Jack, Remote Area Nurse as well as contributions to the ABC’s children’s series My Place as a multi-episode writer and Script Producer (Series II). He is the co-recipient of two AFI Awards for Scriptwriting; plus two shared and two individual Australian Writers’ Guild Awards. He is the Recipient of a Foxtel Fellowship; an Asialink Fellowship; a MacDowell Colony Fellowship (USA) and is currently developing television projects with Blackfella Films and a feature script funded by Scripted Ink.
Sunil Badami is a writer, broadcaster and academic. He has an MA (Distinction) in Creative and Life Writing (Goldsmiths, University of London) and a Doctorate of Creative Arts (UTS). Sunil has written for publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, Good Weekend, The Australian, The Monthly, The Australian Literary Review, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Southerly, Westerly, Island and Meanjin. His work has been published in Australia and overseas, including in Best Australian Stories and Best Australian Essays. He has appeared on stage at writers’ festivals and theatres around the country. He presented the national ABC Local Radio show Sunday Takeaway, and continues to appear regularly on ABC Local Radio, ABC TV, Double J and Radio National.
Indigenous Writers' Prize Panel
Daniel Browning is an Aboriginal journalist and radio broadcaster. A descendant of the Bundjalung and Kullilli peoples of far northern New South Wales and south-western Queensland, Daniel presents and produces Awaye!, the Indigenous art and culture program on ABC RN which surveys contemporary cultural practice across the arts spectrum. A visual arts graduate, Daniel is also a widely-published arts writer.
Kenneth Slessor Panel
Eileen Chong is a poet who was born in Singapore of Chinese descent. She is the author of eight books. Her work has shortlisted for several awards, including the Anne Elder Award, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, and twice for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. She lives and works in Sydney, Australia.
Delia Falconer is the award-winning author of two novels, The Service of Clouds and The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers. Her most recent book is the nonfiction Sydney, part of New South's Australian cities series. She was a finalist for the 2017 Walkley-Pascall award for literary criticism. She is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney.
Multicultural NSW Award Panel
Osman Faruqi is a writer, journalist and broadcaster currently working as an investigative reporter and editor at the ABC. He presents The Mix, an arts and culture program on ABC News. He has been published in The Monthly, The Guardian, The Australian, Meanjin and Overland.
He was previously the News and Politics Editor at Junkee Media, Australia’s largest digital youth publication. He hosted Backchat, FBi Radio’s flagship news and current affairs program for three years and currently sits on the board of FBi.
Kenneth Slessor Panel
Jamie Grant has worked as a publisher, bookseller, proof-reader, and journalist. He has published eight books of poetry, and has edited five literary anthologies, including The Longest Game, a collection of cricket writing, and 100 Australian Poems You Need to Know, which is issued as a new edition in 2016. He has been a judge of the Waverley Library Literary Awards for seventeen years, and has also been a judge of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. His latest book Lasting Lines was published in 2018.
Ethel Turner Panel
Nette Hilton has been an author of children and young adult literature for the past twenty-eight years. Her work has been short-listed and listed as Notable books in CBC list, short-listed for NSW and Queensland Premier’s awards and long-listed for Prime Minister’s Awards. Her books have been translated and are available world-wide with two titles still in print after twenty-six years. Her newest picture books, The First Adventures of Princess Pe, (In Which She Might Meet A Bear, But Doesn’t, But Still Could) and The Second Adventures of Princess Pe (In Which She is Turned Into a Troll But Not Forever), are contracted to Walker Books for release late 2018.
Multicultural NSW Award Panel
Fiona Katauskas is a cartoonist, illustrator, TV producer and author. Her cartoons have appeared in a wide range of books, newspapers, websites, magazines, anthologies and exhibitions. Fiona is the author of the bestselling The Amazing True Story of How Babies Are Made (HarperCollins/ABC Books 2015) which was shortlisted for a Children’s Book Council of Australia award in 2016. If she had a dollar for every time someone asked if her surname was Greek, she’d be able to afford waterfront property in Sydney. (For the record, it's Lithuanian).
Patricia Wrightson Panel
Joy Lawn is a freelance reviewer and columnist for The Weekend Australian and Books+Publishing (poetry). Her writing has also appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Book Review. Joy has experience in judging state and national literary awards, including the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. She has an MA in Children’s Literature & Literacy. Joy blogs about literary fiction, young adult and children’s literature for PaperbarkWords Blog. She has worked for indie bookshops as a literature consultant and has chaired sessions at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.
Douglas Stewart Panel
Tim Low is a Brisbane biologist, environmental consultant and best-selling author of seven books. His latest, Where Song Began, won the ABIA for Best General Non-fiction in 2015. It also won People’s Choice at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and was shortlisted for other awards. An earlier book, Feral Future, inspired the formation of a conservation group, the Invasive Species Council. The New Nature won the inaugural Nib prize for excellence in research. Tim has served on the Australian environment minister’s advisory committee and has written for a wide range of publications including Australian Geographic, The Weekend Australian, Wildlife Australia and Vogue.
Melissa Lucashenko is an award-winning novelist who lives between Brisbane and the Bundjalung nation. Melissa’s most recent novel, Mullumbimby, was awarded the 2013 Deloitte Queensland Literary Award for Fiction, won the 2014 Victorian Premiers Prize for Indigenous Writing, and was longlisted for both the Stella and Miles Franklin awards. Mullumbimby was also longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Prize 2015. Melissa is a Walkley Award winner for her non-fiction, as well as a founding member of Sisters Inside. www.melissa-lucashenko.com
Ethel Turner Panel
Paul Macdonald is the owner of The Children's Bookshop, established in 1971, the oldest specialist children's bookshop in NSW. Paul has a Master of Education, working almost 20 years as a teacher of Upper Primary and Secondary. He has won numerous awards in teaching such as a Quality Teacher Award, The Premier's English Scholarship and awards for his co-ordination of Regional Shakespearean Festivals. Paul won the inaugural Maurice Saxby Award in 2012 for his contributions to raising the profile of teen fiction and was the winner of the 2016 Lady Cutler award for services to children's literature and literacy in Australia.
Douglas Stewart Panel
Deirdre Macken started her journalism career at The Australian, was Sydney Bureau Chief for The Age, then columnist and feature writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Good Weekend and then writer and columnist at The Australian Financial Review. She is currently a regular columnist and freelance writer for The Australian, among others. She won the EU Journalist Award in 2002. Two works of non-fiction have been published – Smoke (1996) and Oh No, We Forgot to Have Children (2005).