Stef Hodgson

Photo of presenter Stef HodgsonPreferred audience: high school students and adults

Work with prominent national charities has seen Stef featured on TV, radio, in newspapers, magazines and a Youtube video that received more than 30,000 views. Her experiences with medical conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a hair loss disease called alopecia, have forged the belief that challenges in life are merely opportunities in disguise.

With a skill for spinning personal experiences into insights, Stef explores self-esteem and overcoming adversity with a powerful honesty. Her workshops and talks aim to inspire people with her story, engage them with wellbeing information and create a practical toolbox of skills for participants to take away with them.

Stef teaches modern skills for a modern world.


Sunshine Herbert

Preferred Audience: All primary, even early secondary and adults.Sunshine Herbert

Sunshine is a fantastical, whimsy inspired artist. Inspired by people and the world around her.

She is a self-taught artist and illustrator and her collection of illustrated children’s books is steadily growing. She’s becoming obsessed with character development in her art and allowing her little people to live their own lives.

Character Illustration Workshops

Sunshine has three workshop plans for different ages. Learning outcome: To develop and Illustrate a character. She likes to use practical, hands on activities, which gets everyone involved.

Students do not need to be good drawers to participate in her workshops. Each class goes for 60 mins, but can be shortened.

Sunshine is also interested in developing workshops for kids with special needs.

Jeannette Rowe

Photo of author/illlustrator Jeanette RowePreferred audience: all ages

Jeannette is one of Australia’s best selling preschool authors and illustrators. She has sold over four million books worldwide, and is published throughout Australia and 25 other countries. Her books are available online in 15 different languages.

Jeannette’s work as a writer has grown from a strong educational base and her illustrations are warm, bright and funny. Currently Play Group Victoria’s Literacy Ambassador, Jeannette is passionate about promoting young children’s literacy development and encourages reading to children everyday. Jeannette considers BookPlay to be vital for all preschoolers.

She holds workshops and presentations for preschoolers through to parents and teachers. Topics include story writing, the gift of reading, literacy, encouraging reluctant readers, getting published and how to make a book.

Marie Alafaci

Preferred audience: preschool – grade 6, teachers and parentsPhoto of Marie Alafaci

Marie is a former science and English teacher and corporate trainer who has written for as long as she can remember.

However, it was when she completed a professional writing and editing course that she realised she wanted to be a full-time writer.

Marie runs memoir workshops for community groups as well as critical and creative thinking workshops for adults. She also runs workshops on writing picture books for primary school children of all ages and does kindergarten visits.

She is learning to play the ukulele so she can encourage young children to sing the thousands of hilarious and educational songs out there.


Patrick Guest

Photo of author Patrick GuestPreferred audience: primary and secondary students; adults

A born storyteller-come-overnight success, Patrick has had five picture books signed with Little Hare over the past two years. His stories are heartfelt explorations of courage, kindness and the joys of being a kid.

Patrick’s visits are interactive and fun, but he is always willing to bare his soul and discuss the deeper motivations behind his books. His first book, the best-selling That’s What Wings Are For, was inspired by his son’s battle with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and provides a perfect vehicle for celebrating diversity. His heart-on-sleeve Q&A session was very well received at the Eltham New Voices Festival last year.

With his latest book, Patrick challenges the audience to feats of daring and kindness en route to joining The Ricker Racker Club.

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