Guest Authors 2017

Saturday 18th March 2017

Stan Grant Di Morrissey Gabrielle Chan Karen Viggers Kate Anderson
Prof. Bill Gammage Pip Courtney Carrington Clarke Sonya Heaney  CARTOONIST
Margareta Osborn Sulari Gentill Vivien Thomson Brian Allen
Alice Campion Arthur Charles Deb Stevens
Phil Kettle Tracey Holmes

di-morrisseyDi Morrissey

Since the publication of The Heart of the Dreaming in 1991, Di Morrissey has sold millions of books – all bestsellers. A remarkable and unique achievement. Di’s novels provide her with a platform to subtlety weave awareness of Australian people, history, politics and culture in an entertaining yet informative style without being polemical. Di is a tireless advocate for female education, not only in Australia but internationally. Five years ago Di established a primary school in a village outside Mandalay in Myanmar. The school provides education to girls who, in that region, have a difficult time achieving even a basic level of education. The school is flourishing with over one hundred students learning English and Burmese, music and art, alongside the government curriculum taught by the school’s specially trained monks and Buddhist nuns. Di maintains regular contact with the school and plans more fundraising activities to establish scholarships at the school for further education. Di believes it is women and girls who transform our society and this belief is reflected in the strong female characters in all her novels. Through her 24 novels, Di has inspired generations of women and girls who write to thank her for helping them have belief in themselves to achieve dreams and goals. Women write to her saying her novels have given them strength and courage, and helped them to escape in hard times. Di is an inspiration to her readers, and she has a large male readership, as well as generations of women. Her readers’ demographics range from 15 to 90s.

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stan-grantStan Grant

Stan Grant is a Wiradjuri man. A journalist since 1987, he has worked for the ABC, SBS, and the Seven Network and, since 2013, as the International Editor for SKY News.  From 2001 to 2012 he worked for CNN as an anchor in Hong Kong, before relocating to Beijing as correspondent. As a journalist, he has received a string of prestigious international and Australian awards. In 2015, he published his bestselling book Talking to My Country, and also won a Walkley award for his coverage of indigenous affairs. In 2016 he was appointed to the Referendum Council on Indigenous recognition. In July 2015, as the debate over Adam Goodes being booed at AFL games raged and got ever more heated and ugly, Stan Grant wrote a short but powerful piece for The Guardian that went viral, not only in Australia but right around the world, shared over 100,000 times on social media. His was a personal, passionate and powerful response to racism in Australian and the sorrow, shame, anger and hardship of being an indigenous man. ‘We are the detritus of the brutality of the Australian frontier’, he wrote, ‘We remained a reminder of what was lost, what was taken, what was destroyed to scaffold the building of this nation’s prosperity.’ Stan Grant was lucky enough to find an escape route, making his way through education to become one of our leading journalists. He also spent many years outside Australia, working in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, a time that liberated him and gave him a unique perspective on Australia. This is his very personal meditation on what it means to be Australian, what it means to be indigenous, and what racism really means in this country. His book TALKING TO MY COUNTRY is that rare and special book that talks to every Australian about their country – what it is, and what it could be. It is not just about race, or about indigenous people but all of us, our shared identity. Direct, honest and forthright, Stan is talking to us all. He might not have all the answers but he wants us to keep on asking the question: how can we be better?

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bill-gammage Professor Bill Gammage

Bill Gammage is a historian and adjunct professor in the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University. He is best known as author of the ground-breaking The Broken Years: Australian Soldiers in the Great War. His book The Biggest Estate on Earth Bill Gammage Explodes the myth that pre-settlement Australia was an untamed wilderness revealing the complex, country-wide systems of land management used by Aboriginal people. Across Australia, early Europeans commented again and again that the land looked like a park. With extensive grassy patches and pathways, open woodlands and abundant wildlife, it evoked a country estate in England. Bill Gammage has discovered this was because Aboriginal people managed the land in a far more systematic and scientific fashion than we have ever realised. For over a decade, Gammage has examined written and visual records of the Australian landscape. He has uncovered an extraordinarily complex system of land management using fire and the life cycles of native plants to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year. We know Aboriginal people spent far less time and effort than Europeans in securing food and shelter, and now we know how they did it. With details of land-management strategies from around Australia, The Biggest Estate on Earth rewrites the history of this continent, with huge implications for us today. Once Aboriginal people were no longer able to tend their country, it became overgrown and vulnerable to the hugely damaging bushfires we now experience. And what we think of as virgin bush in a national park is nothing of the kind.

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Pip CourtneyPip Courtney

The JWF Committee are delighted to announce that Landline presenter and host
Pip Courtney will be a very special guest at his year’s festival.
At school Pip tossed up between two careers – wool classing and journalism. With assorted aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins on the land her interest in agriculture led her to study ag science, but when it came to choosing a career journalism won out. In 1993 she combined her two interests when she joined Landline.
In 2007 Pip and former Landline presenter Sally Sara were named Queensland Journalists of the Year for a feature on depression called “Black Dog”. In 2009 Pip won the Queensland Rural Press Club’s Excellence in Rural Journalism Award. The prize was a trip to the USA to attend an international agricultural journalism conference. A blog about her trip called “Saddle Up” was the ABC’s most popular online blog for three months.
In 2011 Pip’s two-part feature on the coal seam gas industry in Queensland won her the Queensland Media Award’s Excellence in Rural Journalism Prize, the Rabobank Star prize for rural broadcasting (Qld), the National Rabobank Star prize and the International Star Prize for Rural Broadcasting, and in 2012 Pip was appointed host of Landline.
At this year’s festival Pip will be in conversation with moderator Deb Stevens from Canberra on Saturday 18th March, as well as participating on a panel with Stan Grant, Tracey Holmes, Di Morrissey and Gabi Chan talking about journalism and writing today.

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 margareta-osbornMargareta Osborn

We are delighted to welcome back Margareta Osborn, a fifth-generation farmer, and a wife, mother and lover of all things country, who has lived and worked on the land all her life. She holds a Diploma of Conservation and Land Management specialising in Community Coordination and Facilitation. Home is a beef property overlooking a beautiful lake in the Gippsland high country, where she lives with her husband and three children. She is the author of Bella’s Run – a no.1 bestseller – Hope’s Road, Mountain Ash and Rose River, her new book Lake Hill is due for release in May 2017.

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sulari-gentillSulari Gentill

Award-winning author Sulari Gentill set out to study astrophysics, ended up graduating in law, and later abandoned her legal career to write books instead of contracts. When the mood takes her, she paints, although she maintains that she does so only well enough to know that she should write. She grows French black truffles on her farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains of NSW, which she shares with her young family and several animals. Sulari is author of award-winning Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, a series of historical crime fiction novels set in the 1930s about Rowland Sinclair, the gentleman artist-cum-amateur-detective. Under the name S.D. Gentill, Sulari also writes a fantasy adventure series called The Hero Trilogy.  All three books in the trilogy, Chasing Odysseus, Trying War and The Blood of Wolves.

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 Alice Campion Alice Campion

Want to write a book? Alice Campion explains.

So what happens when four members of a bookclub want to write a book? Instead of writing four separate works, they decided to work together, challenging themselves to write a ‘21st Century Thorn Birds’ type novel and created ‘Alice’ in the process.
The Alice Campions (aka Jenny Crocker, Jane Richards, Jane St Vincent Welch and Denise Tart) have all been profoundly shaped by their knowledge and experience of working and living in rural NSW.
Alice Campion’s The Painted Sky and The Shifting Light have both been hailed for their strong sense of place. Both books are set near Bourke in far west NSW, an area the writers visited as part of a fact-finding trip when they were writing The Painted Sky.
It was on this second trip out west that ”the Alices” met women from remote stations who had driven for hours to attend a talk. They had been inspired by the story of writing a book collaboratively and they were in the process of starting such a project themselves with women from ”neighbouring” properties (hundreds of kilometres away from each other), using email to write.
Their second book, The Shifting Light will be released by Penguin Books on the 28th February, just before the Jugiong Writers’ Festival, and is a great opportunity for any budding authors, or people wanting to write collaboratively, to come and listen and chat on the 18th March with these four remarkable women about their journey to being published.                                                                                                                    Back to Top


Tracey HolmesFor the past 25 years Tracey Holmes has worked in journalism and communication. She worked for some of the world’s most respected media platforms – CNN International, CCTV News International China, Arirang TV Korea and the ABC.
An award-winning interviewer, Tracey has sat down and drawn the best out of a collection of the world’s most interesting people – from Prime Ministers to Presidents, Kings and Sheikhs, from awe inspiring athletes to challenging and thought provoking academics, from legendary entertainers to the most ordinary men and women in the street.  Tracey joined ABC NewsRadio as a senior reporter and presenter.

Carrington Clarke

Carrington Clarke is a business journalist with the ABC, working across television, radio and online. He previously worked at SKY News as a reporter and presenter. Before making the transition to journalism he worked as an economist. You can follow Carrington on twitter @carringtonAU                           Back to Top





 Karen Viggers  

Karen Viggers is the award-winning internationally best-selling author of three novels: The Stranding, The Lightkeeper’s Wife and The Grass Castle. She writes contemporary fiction set in Australian landscapes, and her work explores connection with the bush, grief and loss, healing in nature, death, family, marriage and friendship. Her books also tackle contentious issues including choices at the end of life, whale rescue, kangaroo culling and scientific research on animals. Karen is a wildlife veterinarian who has worked and travelled in many remote parts of Australia, from Antarctica to the Kimberley. Her novels are known for their evocative portrayal of Australian people and landscapes.                                                          Back to Top


Gabrielle ChanGabrielle Chan

I am a journalist and author, a political tragic and rural resident. I live on a farm but float between The Paddock and The Parliament, specifically the Canberra press gallery.
I am excited to be on board The Hoopla as political correspondent. Most recently, I wrote The Sketch for The Australian newspaper, where I did my cadetship 28 years ago. I have also worked for the ABC, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and the good old arvo tub thumper, Daily Mirror, which has since closed down.
My books as author/editor include Australia Through Time, Flickers of History, War On Our Doorstep and FEAST.                                                                                                        Back to Top

Vivien ThomsonVivien Thomson is a local farmer, author and past president of Australian Women in Agriculture.  We are delighted to once again have Vivien join us as one of the moderators at this years’ Jugiong Writers’ Festival. As written in Good Weekend Magazine ‘Jane Cadzow meets a woman, who, as both a farmer and a firefighter, has more skin in the climate-change game than most.’   Back to Top


Deb Stevens

Deb Stevens is an energetic sales rep with publisher Allen and Unwin covering Canberra and southern New South Wales, and any lucky enough to know her, know of her passion for reading and great books. She is a remarkable lady and a terrific interviewer and we look forward to welcoming her to this year’s festival as a moderator.                                                        Back to Top


Sonya Heaney


Sonya Heaney is a book and history blogger from Canberra who has been published across a variety of genres for the past fifteen years.
She has won a number of national writing awards, including for her work on the Australian experience of the Vietnam War.

 Small Schools Day – 10th March 2017

Arthur Charles

Banker, businessman and now author. Creator of Poucher for his grandchildren living in America. His own childhood, growing up in country NSW is the well from which he has plumbed the background information and added the colourful characters – Poucher and his friends. Truthfully he was sent away to a ‘posh’ school for his teenage years, many of the incidents are drawn from life and the rest played out in his amazing imagination.

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Phil Kettle
Phil Kettle

I’m Phil Kettle and I’m an author. I spend a lot of my time writing books for children and visiting schools to talk about reading and writing. The first series of books I wrote was the TOOCOOL series. There were 8 books in Series 1, another 8 books in Series 2, and then another 8 books in Series 3. I got sick of the number ‘eight’ so I wrote 10 books for Series 4. That makes 34 TOOCOOL books! I hope you’ve read them all. Every time I finished a TOOCOOL story with SPIKE, WONG and MARCY, there was this voice that seemed to follow me around. “Hello … Mr Kettle. Are you there? Are you listening to me? Hello … Is there anyone there?… Come on Mr Kettle – it’s MY turn for a book series – me MARCY! … Hello …” MARCY now has her own series of 10 books – and there are more on the way. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the MARCY books. I hear from lots of boys and girls who have read these books and it seems like they all know that MARCY is in charge, and that TOOCOOL is a legend in his own lunchtime! There are also 36 BOYZ RULE books and 24 GIRLZ ROCK books, 8 BILLY KOOL books and the TOOCOOL and MARCY Jarvis Walker Kids Fishing books. I have written 20 GET REAL books recently, and I’m sure you’ll laugh until your tummy hurts reading about Harry and Jesse and their wonderful time machine. Get laughing with GET REAL! I have also had a great time writing the OUR AUSTRALIA series for Australian Geographic. You’ll love the beautiful photographs and the great illustrations. We launched 8 books in 2010, and there will be more books in 2011 and 2012. Each book is a journey of discovery as Taha and his mum explore special places around Australia. The books provide you with an opportunity to feel like you too are visiting these special places and getting to know OUR AUSTRALIA better. AS FOR ME – I was born in Mildura, which is in northern Victoria. I grew up on a farm a few kilometres away from Mildura, in a small town called Cardross. This town was so tiny there was only one shop, one garage, one school and a town hall. Our post office address was PO Box 1 and our telephone number was 12.

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Kate Anderson:

Visual artist and now children’s book illustrator. Matching the personalities of the characters to the watercolour illustrations was the major challenge. Having a background which included guiding children at the Art Gallery of NSW, her own children and now grandchildren Kate’s interpretation is one that has appeal.                       Back to Top

Brian Allen
Brian Allen
Brian Allen
brian allen cartoon

Brian Allen grew up on a farm where he attended a nearby small bush school. From a young age his favourite pursuits were sport, horses and art.  His interest in art continued throughout his school days and he studied art until the end of Year 12, winning a number of art and design awards throughout this time.  His mother had previously recognised his artistic interests and abilities and enrolled him in lessons with renowned local artist Halley Boyer at the Young Technical College.

Upon leaving school, although encouraged to pursue an artistic career, Brian chose other career paths, but always retained an interest in art; doodling and sketching work colleagues in amusing situations in shearing sheds, on farms, stock camps and in offices etc. During this time Brian completed a Diploma of Cartooning and Illustration and started a tourist venture on his farm which included an art gallery.  He produced pencil, ink, pastel, acrylic and oil art works which he sold in his gallery.  In his travels as an entertainer/bush poet, Brian produced and sold numerous works featuring the Australian outback.
Brian still obtains commissions to produce cartoons, Christmas cards and other personalised art works, mainly through word of mouth. His move to Jugiong twelve months ago has inspired him and presented the opportunity to concentrate more on creative artistic pursuits.