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Plenary – Panel Sessions – Concurrent Sessions – Special Events – Social Events


Libby Gleeson AM: Libby Gleeson’s accomplishments are broad and far-reaching in the sphere of Australian literature for children and young people. She has worked as a teacher, lecturer, picture book author, children’s novelist, non-fiction writer, literacy ambassador, a writer-in-residence and mentor. Her books have featured in the foremost national and international literary awards. Her stories range from family and friendship to others that address social justice and social inclusion issues and how they affect children.

Jeannie Baker: an author and illustrator of children’s picture books, the most notable of which is perhaps Where the Forest meets the Sea. She is celebrated for her use of mixed media to create detailed and elaborate collages. She has developed a very individual style that is distinctly recognisable. These collages are considered works of art in themselves and are displayed in exhibitions that travel Australia wide. Her work focuses on a diverse range of issues including: family, society, sustainability, the environment, car-free urban spaces, Australian outback and wildlife. Look out for Jeannie’s magnificent new book Circle at the conference.

Graeme Base: Graeme is one of the world’s leading creators of picture books. His madly detailed alphabet book Animalia received international acclaim when it was first published in 1986 and has now sold over three million copies. The book has also inspired an animated TV series, has its own app and is the first offering in a detailed digital education program called The Graeme Base Educational Suite. He has won numerous awards for his many titles.

Margrete Lamond: Margrete is an editor at the award-winning publisher Hardie Grant Egmont. She has expertise in producing quality picture books and will present how an understanding of the neurobiology of visual processing provides fresh insights into how we view images, and offers explanations for aesthetic response to picture-book illustrations. Emotional processing, in particular, occurs early in the visual process, colouring, supporting and modifying the overall narrative in ways that text alone cannot achieve. Fundamental visual properties inherent in illustrations can intensify the quality of the reader’s aesthetic experience, and identification of these same properties—or absence thereof—can provide a framework for determining the aesthetic or literary quality of a particular picture book.

Panel Sessions

Young Adult chaired by Will Kostakis

Will Kostakis: In 2014, Will won the Gold Inky Award, and was shortlisted for both the Prime Minister’s Literary and the Children’s Book Council: Book of the Year awards for The First Third. His new novel is The Sidekicks.

Melissa Keil: Her debut YA novel, Life in Outer Space, was the winner of the 2013 Ampersand Project and in 2014 The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl was a CBCA shortlisted book.

Gabrielle Tozer: Her debut novel The Intern won the 2015 Gold Inky Award and her second novel Faking It is out now.

Ellie Marney: Her short stories for adults have won awards and been published in various anthologies. The Every series has gone on to receive international acclaim.

Younger Readers chaired by James Roy

Developing readers is an important aspect of CBCA and assisting the community in knowing how to hook kids into a book is vital. James Roy, Jack Heath, Deb Abela and George Ivanoff will explain how their series of books for this age group does just that.

James Roy: James Roy has written over thirty books for young people, including the CBCA Honour Books Captain Mack and Billy Mack’s War. His short story collection Town won the Ethel Turner prize in the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and was nominated for the German Youth Literature Prize. His latest book One Thousand Hills, with Noël Zihabamwe, is an account of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Jack Heath: From his first publishing contract when he was 18, Jack is now an internationally bestselling author. He’s known for his action-packed, heart-thumping thrillers for young people and he is author of the SCREAM series.

Deb Abela: Deb’s latest book Teresa, A New Australian, was inspired by her dad, who, with a million other refugees, made the journey to Australia after the devastation of WW2. She has written over twenty novels and mostly hopes to be as brave as her characters.

George Ivanoff: George has written over ninety books, including the YOU CHOOSE series, The RFDS adventures, his first book Life, Death and Detention, and numerous education titles. Put him in front of an audience and it’s hard to shut him up. He’s a stay-at-home dad, drinks too much coffee and eats too much chocolate.

Picture Book partnerships chaired by Margaret Hamilton

Picture Book Partnerships will showcase 3 examples of established and emerging collaborations, providing fascinating insights into how picture books develop.

Susanne Gervay & Anna Pignataro: Elephants Have Wings. Inspired by the strength, courage and endurance of mythological and spiritual elephants, Elephants Have Wings is a magical story of two children embarking on the great journey of discovering the humanity in all of us.

Janeen Brian & Ann James: I’m a dirty dinosaur. From award-winning author Janeen Brian and award-winning illustrator Ann James, comes this gorgeous rhyming picture book about a naughty little dinosaur who loves to get dirty. Bright simple illustrations and rounded corners perfect for the very young.

Mark Greenwood & Terry Denton: Boomerang and Bat. The first Australian cricket team to tour England was a group of Aboriginal stockmen. In 1868 they set off on a journey across the world to take on England’s best. Led by star all-rounder Johnny Mullagh, and wearing caps embroidered with a boomerang and a bat, they delighted crowds with their exceptional skill. From the creators of Jandamarra, this is the remarkable story of the real first eleven.

Diversity and Culture chaired by Nadia Wheatley

Diversity and culture are important in today’s society. Books can showcase the myriad possibilities for a better world and award-winning author Nadia Wheatley, whose moving new picture book Flight will be at the conference, will discuss this topic with Sarah Ayoub, author of Hate is such a strong word and Dub Leffler, author/ illustrator of Once there was a boy.

Sarah Ayoub: Sarah’s debut novel, Hate is Such a Strong Word was the number one most searched book on the Harper Collins website three months before its release and quickly became a favourite supplementary text for students in NSW studying the English units of ‘Identity’, ‘Belonging’ and ‘Journeys’.

Dub Leffler: Dub is descended from the Bigambul and Mandandanji people of southwest Queensland. He began his visual arts career as an animator and has worked as a muralist and art teacher. He has illustrated several children’s books and has collaborated with internationally recognised illustrators such as Colin Thompson, Shaun Tan and Banksy.

Information Books chaired by Sarah Foster

Since the advent of the Internet and the very easy access that everyone has to information, is there still a need for non-fiction books?  Award-winning authors Mark Norman, Carole Wilkinson and Claire Saxby will discuss:

Has the Internet Killed Non-Fiction or Created Myriad Possibilities?

Mark Norman: Dr Norman is Head of Sciences at Museum Victoria where he leads the large and active natural sciences research team. He has won numerous awards for his children’s books.

Carole Wilkinson: well known for her award-winning Dragonkeeper and Ramose series, she has brought history roaring to life using first-person accounts and factual events.

Claire Saxby: Claire Saxby writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry for children. Her work is published in Australia and internationally. Her picture book Emu was shortlisted in CBCA Awards 2015

Concurrent Sessions

Story to Screen: Children’s author and one of the forces behind the development of Wakakiri, Nathan Luff, will inspire delegates with the ‘myriad possibilities’ that young creative readers and writers have, if they wish to adapt books to the screen. Adapting a text as a method of learning the art of script writing and using technology within an educational environment, is the focus of his presentation. Understanding the copyright processes for using original images and music will also be covered.

Graphic Novels: The emergence of this genre as an art form will be demonstrated by the partnership between Julie Hunt and Dale Newman in their new graphic novel Kidglovz.

Self-Publishing Vs. Mainstream: The publishing landscape in Australia is changing. Steven Herrick will compare the options and their impacts on creators.

Poetry: In this age, Linsay Knight discusses the possibilities for publishing poetry and why this genre needs to be published more.

Folk and Fairy Tales: Sophie Masson from Christmas Press will showcase its beautiful picture books for children, featuring traditional tales: folk tales, fairy tales, legends, myths retold by well-known authors and stunningly illustrated in classic styles that reflect the cultures from which the stories come.

Singular Possibilities will showcase the way Trace Balla, an author and illustrator works. Trace Balla is often found sketching in nature, riding her bike with her son, dancing, and growing vegies in her garden in central Victoria. Her books have a strong environmental theme and her Illustrations have been described as ‘quirky’ and often documentary in content.

Special Events

Music: Renowned conductor/ composer George Ellis has been commissioned by the CBCA to create a musical presentation to showcase a body of work from an Australian award-winning illustrator and various authors.

Drama: A short dramatic presentation that will support the Keynote address  ‘Literature and Drama: Play, Imagination and Possibilities’ by Professor Robyn Ewing, from the University of Sydney at the Welcome Event.

Celebrate 100 hundred years of The School Magazine at the special birthday celebrations.

Social Events

Welcome Reception: Join us and guest speaker, Professor Robyn Ewing, at the Welcome Reception on Thursday May 19, 6pm for 6.30pm-8pm.

Barnet Long Room,
Customs House,
31 Alfred Street

This event is sponsored by Dymocks, Sydney, with venue support by the City of Sydney.

Conference Dinner: James Valentine will speak at our Conference Dinner on Friday May 20, 7pm for 7.30pm.

Australia Ball Room,
The Menzies Sydney
Level 2, 14 Carrington Street

This event is sponsored by Harper Collins Publishers.