Bernard Caleo

Photo of author/illustrator Bernard CaleoPreferred audience: primary and secondary students

Bernard writes, draws, edits, publishes, broadcasts and teaches comic books. He made his first comic in 1990, and has been making them ever since.

He also writes and performs shows, in recent years using the Japanese form of storytelling called kamishibai, or 'paper theatre'.

His talks focus on the story of the evolution of comics, from comic strips to comic books to graphic novels. They can include some discussion about the language of comics and a demonstration of kamishibai storytelling (Japanese 'paper theatre' from the 1930s), a precursor to manga (Japanese comics) and anime (Japanese animation).

His workshops are: 'make a comic strip' (30-40 minutes); 'make a page of comics' (50 - 90 minutes);and make a kamishibai story (50 -90 minutes).

Virginia Lowe

Photo of editor Virginia LowePreferred audience: all ages

Virginia runs a manuscript assessment agency, Create a Kids’ Book, which has launched many successful writers and illustrators. She has been a municipal and school librarian, a judge for the CBCA Awards and an academic writer on children and books. Her published works include Stories, Pictures and Reality: Two Children Tell.

Virginia also has a PhD in children’s literature.

Virginia conducts workshops on making picture books (writing and illustrating; plot and character development; consistency of illustrations; locating and approaching publishers); history of children’s books; the children’s book publishing market; and writing autobiographies or biographies.

She also gives talks to parent groups, would-be writers and illustrators, creative-writing classes and writers’ groups.

Margaret Clark

Photo of author Margaret ClarkPreferred audience: teachers and parents

Margaret has written over 100 books about relationships, friendships, and social issues under the guise of humour. Margaret’s books include Pugwall (1987), which was made into a TV series, and The Chickabees series. Her latest book is an Aussie Nibble called Blast Off!

Margaret has a Doctorate in Education, with a major in children's literature, which adds authenticity and understanding to her workshops.

Margaret mostly conducts workshops for teachers and parents to demonstrate fun and unique ways of getting kids to write and read. She also speaks at big conferences on controversial topics to parents and teachers. Margaret prefers festivals, conferences and teachers’ curriculum days to pass on her skills and knowledge to teachers.

Julie Davey

Photo of author Julie DaveyPreferred audience: community groups, parents and teachers 

Julie is a best-selling author and illustrator of positive attitude resources for children. She is also the CEO of the Attitude Books Foundation Inc.

As a former nurse she knows that of course prevention is better than cure, and loves to show people innovative ways to reduce anxiety and build resilience in their children.

Julie offers two presentations: 'Possibility thinking – how to focus on creating what you want in life, rather than what you don't want', which includes tips for parents and teachers that they can use in the home and in the classroom; and 'Positive thinking for health and happiness', an upflifting workshop for grown-ups of any age.


Michael Connell

Photo of comedian Michael ConnellPreferred audience: ages 14 yrs +

Michael began his comedy career after winning a comedy competition in high school. Since then he has appeared on TV shows such as Australia’s Got Talent, given countless high school motivational talks, and performed in all of Australia’s best comedy clubs.

“… genuinely funny and not in need of bad language or shock tactics to raise laughs …****” – Herald Sun.

Michael Connell explains how his high school education helped him become a successful comedian.

Using hilarious stand-up comedy, Michael encourages students to not let the negative aspects of school such as bullying and peer pressure stop them from reaching their goals.

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