Chair of Geelong Arts Centre, a former Director of Heide Museum and Director of Arts Victoria. Lesley is currently completing a Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage at the University of Melbourne.
Robyn Annear is the author of six books of history and hosts a popular podcast Nothing on TV which presents stories from Trove historical newspapers. Her newest book, Adrift
in Melbourne, contains a series of walks she created to showcase the hidden histories we might scurry past every day, the buildings now gone and the extraordinary characters who inhabited them.
Van Badham is a writer, theatre-maker and novelist, occasional broadcaster, critic, trade unionist and feminist. She is the author of Qanon And On, writes columns for the Guardian and her interests include gardening, baking and dialectical materialism.
Emily’s poetry has been published widely in Australia and internationally, in journals as well as in three Penguin anthologies, Yours Sincerely, Airmail and Between Us. Her Chapbook She Wore the Sky On Her Shoulders published by Hit&Miss as well as Bombora and Pixellations. She's also had her work translated into Russian and published in the Moscow Times. Emily is also the author of 14 children's books and her most recent, Dear All The Women Who Ever Existed Over The Entire Span Of Human History.
Paul Barclay is a Walkley Award winning journalist and broadcaster with an appetite for ideas and in-depth analysis and discussion. He is presenter/producer of Big Ideas, on Radio National, but you will also hear him pop up on other programs from time to time.
Tony Birch is the author of three novels including the bestselling The White Girl, winner of the 2020 NSW Premier's Award for Indigenous Writing and the 2016 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Indigenous Writing. In 2017 he was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award. In 2021 Tony a poetry collection, Whisper Songs, and a short-story collection, Dark as Last Night. He is also an activist, historian, and essayist.
Emily Bitto’s debut novel, The Strays, won the 2015 Stella Prize and her second novel: Wild Abandon (2021) is being hailed as a new classic. She is a creative writing teacher and is currently a tutor at the Faber Writing Academy. She lives in Melbourne and is co-owner of Carlton bar Heartattack and Vine.
Julia Busuttil Nishimura is a Melbourne-based cook, author of two best-selling cookbooks: Ostro and A Year of Simple Family Food. She is the creator of Ostro - a beloved online space where she shares her food, photographs and stories and is a regular contributor to publications, such as Country Style Magazine, The Design Files and ABC Life. Julia lives in Melbourne with her husband, Nori, and two children.
Michael Cathcart has been an ABC Radio National presenter since 2000, hosting Arts Today, Bush Telegraph, the RN Quiz, Books & Arts, and the Stage Show. He’s also presented history shows for ABC TV and is an award-winning historian.
Damien Cave has worked for the New York Times since 2004. Australian Bureau Chief since 2017, he’s travelled the country and covered many stories. Into the Rip recounts his life in Sydney, where he discovered a completely different approach to risk that changed the way his family lived their lives.
Katherine Collette is a novelist, podcaster and engineer living in Melbourne. Her hilarious debut novel, The Helpline, was published in the US, UK, Germany and Italy. Her latest book, The Competition is set in ‘the very weird world of competitive public speaking.'
Samala Thakialee Cronin is a proud Woppaburra, Butchulla and Lardil saltwater woman from Queensland.
Raised in a strong cultural grassroots environment that had a core focus on language revival and maintenance, culture, song, and dance, she was instrumental in the successful Woppaburra People's Native Title Claim in the Federal Court of Australia and has represented Australia as an Ambassador on multiple international engagements. Her story: Magpies Talking was selected to be published in the 2022 Hardie Grant Anthology from the SBS Emerging Writers Competition 2021.
Christine is a playwright, lyricist and novelist. Her play Underground, inspired by Nancy Wake was produced at Gasworks in March 2019 and is now published in French. Christine works as a tutor for the ITAS program at The University of Melbourne and runs playwriting workshops.
Sophie Cunningham is the author of seven books including and is also a teacher, mentor, climate change activist, wildlife advocate. She posts an image of a tree on her Instagram @sophtreeofday every day. Her novel, This Devastating Fever, will be published in September 2022 and she has also begun researching a non-fiction book, The Time Machines: In search of ten of Australia’s oldest and most remote trees.
Christine is artistic director of Skin of our Teeth Productions and has written many plays for performance both in Australia and the UK. Her adaptations of My Brilliant Career and Jane Eyre are on the VCE drama syllabus. She is the winner of various awards such as the Wal Cherry Play of the Year, Bundanon Trust Residency, Wheeler Centre residency and the 101 New Plot Award. Her plays are published through Australian Plays Transform.
Twice winner of the Miles Franklin award, Michelle de Kretser was born in Sri Lanka and emigrated to Australia when she was 14. Educated in Melbourne and Paris, her books include The Rose Grower; The Hamilton Case, The Lost Dog, Questions of Travel and The Life to Come, all of which won a swag of awards. Her latest book, Scary Monsters, is a profound and darkly funny exploration into racism, misogyny, and ageism. Michelle now lives in Sydney with her partner, the poet and translator Chris Andrews.
Anna Downes is a former actor and the author of two best-selling thrillers: The Safe Place and The Shadow House. Raised in Sheffield, she studied drama at Manchester before winning a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Anna now lives on the NSW Central Coast with her husband and two children.
Duncan works as a Support Coordinator and Psychosocial Recovery Coach in the Aged & Disability sector. Duncan has worked in a variety of fields including on boards of the Platform Arts, Geelong Dance Network and the Regional Advisory Committee of the Australian Dance Council and he developed the Geelong region's first Live Music Action Plan. Anamorphia is his first work to be developed for live theatre.
Kerry Gardner is chair of Australia at the Venice Biennale and a documentary film maker with a passion for art history and museum practice. She was Deputy Chair of Heide Museum of Modern Art , and a Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. She was awarded an Order of Australia in 2018 for contributions to the culture, environment, and equality sectors.
Helen Garner is a Melbourne based writer. In 2006 she received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature, and in 2016 she won the prestigious Windham–Campbell Literature Prize for non-fiction and the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award. In 2019 she was honoured with the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. How To End a Story is the latest addition to her diary series.
Jane Godwin is an Australian children’s book publisher, and also the highly acclaimed author of over twenty books for children, across all styles and ages. Her work is published internationally and she has received many commendations, including the Queensland Premier’s Award (Children’s Books), the Aurealis Award and the Animal Welfare Award.
Lisa Gorton lives in Melbourne and writes poetry, essays and fiction. She was awarded the John Donne Society Award for Distinguished Publication in Donne Studies. Her awards include the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal, the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry, the Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize, the NSW Premier’s People’s Choice Award for Fiction, and the Prime Minister’s Prize for Fiction. Her two most recent publications are the novel The Life of Houses and a poetry collection, Empirical.
Duane Hamacher is Associate Professor of Cultural Astronomy in the ASTRO-3D Centre of Excellence at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of The First Astronomers and has appeared on TEDx, The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, and many other programs. He serves as a consultant for UNESCO and works for Indigenous elders in the Torres Strait and around the world to document traditional star knowledge for educational programs and public understanding.
Chloe Hooper’s The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island won the Victorian, New South Wales, West Australian and Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, as well as the John Button Prize for Political Writing, and a Ned Kelly Award for crime writing. She is also the author of two novels, A Child’s Book of True Crime and The Engagement. Her latest book is Bedtime Stories.
David Hunt is an unusually tall and handsome man who likes writing his own biographical notes. He is the author of the bestselling Girt, True Girt and Girt Nation as well as two books for children. David is also a television presenter and podcaster.
Barry's career has taken him around the globe, catering for celebrity events in Denmark, Holland, UK, Asia & New York
In Melbourne he made a name for himself cooking for the top end of Collins St. Moving to the Mornington Peninsula, he set about creating the award winning restaurant Bamboo, operating the food and beverage service at the prestigious Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club, then setting up Elk Restaurant at Falls Creek before moving across the bay and making his mark in Queenscliff at 360Q.
Dr Alison Inglis is an Honorary Fellow in the Art History and Curatorship program at the University of Melbourne. Her experience in the field of curatorial studies is reflected in her past membership of several museum boards and her appointment as an Emeritus Trustee in 2010 of the National Gallery of Victoria. In 2020, Alison was made a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to education and to the museums and galleries sector.
Linda Jaivin has been studying Chinese politics, language and culture for more than forty years. She has been a foreign correspondent in China, and is co-editor of the China Story Yearbook, associate of the Australian Centre on China in the World at the Australian National University and the author of twelve books.
Grace Jennings-Edquist is the author of The Yes Woman. She writes articles on issues including gender equality and wellbeing for the ABC and as a former senior editor at Mamamia Women’s Network and co-founder of feminist website To Her Door, Grace has written extensively about women’s mental health for an audience of millennial Australian women. She currently lives in Melbourne with her husband and two children.
Sarah has over a decade of experience in arts and literature broadcasting at RN. She was a producer on RN's Books and Arts and most recently on The Book Show.
She has made features for The History Listen and Hindsight and produced and presented the series, Animal People on RN.
Kate Langbroek is one of Australia’s most beloved media personalities. Her ferocious wit, playfulness and irreverence have made her an audience favourite in a career that has spanned television, radio, acting, scriptwriting, and journalism. While juggling a career, marriage and parenthood, Kate and her husband Peter decided to make life more interesting by packing up their four kids and moving to Bologna in Italy. The result is Kate’s first book, Ciao Bella! Six Take Italy.
Graci is a performer, director and singer with a vast amount of theatrical experience both in Australia and the US. Graci has been involved in a variety of Skin of our Teeth productions and has also directed an award- winning play Sudan. She is thrilled to direct for Hysterica and celebrate women from the margins of history.
For more than 50 years, Wendy McCarthy has been at the leading edge of feminism and corporate and public life in Australia and her trail-blazing advocacy and leadership have made her a widely respected figure. Her inspiring memoir, Don’t Be Too Polite, Girls is the story of how her generation of women changed Australia and what still needs to be changed.
Michael McGirr is the bestselling author of four books. His short fiction is widely published here, and he has been publisher of Eureka Street and fiction editor of Meanjin. McGirr’s latest book, Ideas to Save Your Life follows Books that Saved My Life, and shares his love of philosophy, focusing on the works of twenty-plus eminent thinkers across history.
After living and working in Sydney and New York, performing artist, Kirsty Montgomery returned to Regional Victoria to teach, write, and produce local theatre. in 2019 she was able to see her idea of Porchlight, a community storytelling event, come to life, thanks to the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Arts Collective.
Kylie Moore-Gilbert is a scholar of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies who speaks several Middle Eastern languages and has extensively travelled and conducted academic research in the region. She was falsely charged with espionage and imprisoned in Iran from September 2018 to November 2020 before being released in a prisoner exchange deal negotiated by the Australian government. Uncaged Sky is her memoir.
Tess is part of Hysterica with SooT and staged her original musical Pinkies Up! in Melbourne at the MC Showroom. In 2017, she was part of Electronic City at the Malthouse Theatre. Alongside studying at the Arts Academy, Tess has also trained in acting and music theatre at NIDA and Centrestage Performing Arts School.
Favel Parrett is the author of three acclaimed novels: Past the Shallows, When The Night Comes and most recently, There Was Still Love. Wandi, the remarkable true story of an alpine dingo dropped from the sky by an eagle, is her first novel for children.
Matt Preston is an award-winning food journalist, radio presenter and TV personality. He was a judge on international TV sensation, MasterChef Australia for eleven seasons. He writes a weekly column for Stellar and is a senior editor for delicious. and taste magazines and a contributor to taste.com.au. Matt Preston’s World of Flavour is his eighth cookbook.
Hannie adapted her 2015 memoir Hello, Beautiful as a one-woman show which she performed in 37 theatres throughout Australia.
She is currently head writer on an international TV series.
Matthew Ricketson is an academic, author, and journalist. He is head of the Communication group at Deakin University. He assisted former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein QC in the Independent Media inquiry that reported to the federal government in 2012. His book written with Patrick Mullins, Who Needs the ABC?, charts how the ABC arrived at its current predicament: doing the most it ever has, with less than it needs, under a barrage of constant criticism.
Megan’s poetry and plays explore identity, belonging, truth and power and social justice. An award-winning spoken word performer and collaborative theatrical director, Megan directed The Carer (Hobo Playhouse), The Sum of Us (Creswick Theatre Company) and Medea (Ballarat National Theatre), and five original plays with Tripwire Theatre Inc.
Melbourne based writer, Harry Sadler writes about the interactions between people, animals, and the environment. His book The Eastern Curlew was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards in 2019 and his latest book, Questions Raised by Quolls, is an eloquent examination of extinction and conservation set against the backdrop of global climate change.
Diana Sawyer is an historian whose books contribute to the meticulous recording of local history. She currently manages research and publications at the Queenscliffe Historical Museum. Her latest book is The Point Lonsdale Story.
Jock Serong is the author of five novels and has been awarded the Ned Kelly Award for First Fiction, the Colin Roderick Award, and the inaugural Staunch Prize (UK). He lives with his family on Victoria’s far west coast.
Stephanie Skinner is a digital artist and the language teacher at the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation.
Mark Smith is the author of four novels plus award-winning short fiction, with credits including the Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize and the Alan Marshall Short Story Prize. Mark lives on the Surf Coast.
Mary studied drama at the University of Melbourne. She has performed with SooT in several productions and hopes you leave Hysterica with your interest piqued and a desire to tell the stories of many more women from the past and present.
Maria Takolander is a prize-winning fiction writer and poet. Her most recent book of poems, Trigger Warning, won the 2022 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. Her short-story collection, The Double, was a finalist in the Melbourne Prize for Literature in 2015. Her words can also be found in bronze plaques in the Geelong CBD and at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.
American-born Renée Treml moved to Australia in 2007, where she was immediately captivated by the unique wildlife in this country. Drawing on her background in ecology, Renee’s began writing stories and creating illustrations that focused on animals and the environment.
Renee works in her Surf Coast studio and has written and illustrated several picture books including award-winning Once I Heard a Little Wombat, and Wombat Big, Puggle Small. She is also the creator of the hilarious graphic novels featuring Sherlock Bones.
Jane’s first book, Paris or Die, was published in 2019 and developed into a solo theatre piece in 2021. Raised in Melbourne, Jayne moved to Paris in 2004 to study at the Lecoq Theatre School and remained there to work as a writer, actor and translator. Jayne co-owns The Bookshop at Queenscliff.
Michael Wagner is a children's author, speaker and storyteller. He writes for early childhood and for older children and his recent books include Why I Love Footy illustrated by Tom Jellett.
Prior to becoming a children's author, Michael played in a band that almost became famous, spent ten years working as a radio broadcaster with the ABC, wrote and produced award-winning animation for television, and wrote and performed comedy. He is the author of the Maxx Rumble series, the Undys series and the Ted series. He also runs the publishing venture, Billy Goat Books.
Christian White is an Australian author and screenwriter whose projects include feature film Relic and #1 Netflix series Clickbait. His first book The Nowhere Child was one of Australia’s bestselling debut novels ever. Christian’s second book, The Wife, and the Widow, became an instant bestseller and his latest novel, Wild Place, is set on a place reminiscent of the Mornington Peninsular where he grew up.
Charlie Wilson is a cybersecurity consultant with a passion for history who has been coming to Point Lonsdale his whole life. As an intern at the Queenscliffe Historical Museum he undertook a research project into the Borough’s WWII history. Charlie's research uncovered some previously glossed over aspects of the Borough's past — none more so than the Flight of Fujita.
Charlotte Wood is the award-winning author of six novels, a collection of interviews and a book about cooking. She has won the Stella Prize, the Prime Minister's Literary Award, the Indie Book of the Year, and most recently the ABIA for Literary Fiction. Her latest book, The Luminous Solution is about creativity, resilience, and the inner life.
Alice Zaslavsky is the ABIA award-winning author of the international best-seller In Praise of Veg. She is the cookery columnist for The Weekend Australian Magazine, Culinary Correspondent for ABC News Breakfast and ABC Radio nationally, and host of Saturday Breakfast on ABC Radio Melbourne.