Authors & Illustrators

Aleesah Darlison

Aleesah Darlison writes picture books and novels for children. She also works as a reviewer for The Sun Herald. Aleesah’s books include Bearly There (to be released by Windy Hollow in Sep 2012), Puggle’s Problem and Warambi (picture books), Little Good Wolf and her junior series Totally Twins: The Fabulous Diary of Persephone Pinchgut and Unicorn Riders. Aleesah has won numerous awards for her writing including an Australian Society of Authors (ASA) mentorship. Aleesah’s short stories have appeared in the black dog books Short and Scary Anthology, Chicken Soup for the Soul, The School Magazine and Little Ears Magazine. When Aleesah isn’t working on her next manuscript, she’s usually chasing after her three energetic children and her two frisky dogs.

Youtube Channel: Sahsie 72:

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Amanda Niland

AMANDA NILAND grew up in Sydney, where she spent most of her childhood reading. She studied music at university, and then decided to be an early childhood teacher, so that she could share her two passions – books and music – with young children. Inspired by children’s enthusiasm, she began to write her own stories and songs.

Amanda’s first picture book is “I wish there were dinosaurs”, illustrated by Christina Booth (2012). When she is not writing, Amanda works at a university, sharing her passion for books and music with trainee teachers. She also runs music groups for young children and their families at an early intervention centre.

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Anna Pignataro

Winner of the Crichton Award for Illustration in 1998, Anna Pignataro has created over forty books for children. Shortlisted by the Childrens Book Council of Australia for picture book of the year and the Young Australian Best Book Awards, many of her books are CBCA Notables. Her best selling picture books have had international success and are published in eleven countries and enjoyed in seven different languages.

When Anna isn’t painting and writing she enjoys old movies, looking at trees, reading and collecting things.

Anna lives near the beach in Melbourne Australia with her husband Mark, their daughter Isabella Rose and a bunny called Nibbles. Often her back yard is visited by ducks and a very special blackbird she calls Ravencroft May.

Visit her and write to Anna on

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Annie Louise Channon

Anne-Louise Channon lives in the beautiful south-west of Western Australia. In previous lives she has been an industrial chemist and a research assistant at university. Currently she works as an early childhood teacher, where she finds the joy and spontaneity of young children a constant source of delight and inspiration.

When not singing and dancing the day away with her students, Anne-Louise enjoys creating stories, drinking coffee with friends and playing contract bridge.

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Annie White

Annie White is based in Melbourne, Australia. She grew up in Geelong and spent her childhood on the beaches along the Great Ocean Road.

Annie has illustrated over 50 books for children and her work has appeared in many places, from jigsaw puzzles to murals.

After studying Art and Design, Annie worked in Advertising before surrendering to her love of drawing and moving into illustration on a full time basis.

She particularly enjoys working in the field of children’s literature and likes to communicate her ideas clearly and simply using expression and movement.
Annie has shown her paintings and illustrations in several exhibitions.

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Beatriz Martin Vidal

Beatriz Martin Vidal is a Spanish fine artist and book illustrator. Her illustrations are magical and sometimes dark which lend themselves perfectly to the fairy tale genre.





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Belinda Elliot

Belinda is an illustrator who lives and works in Sydney Australia. She has studied the traditional fine arts and has also studied illustration and design. She has worked as an illustrator/designer creating images to be used in books, murals, clothing and other unexpected places. She has also worked as a nurse and a tour guide. She is currently illustrating a book for Windy Hollows called Mate and Me.




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Ben Redlich

Ben Redlich has been drawing for as long as he can remember. Much of his childhood was spent watching cartoons, reading comics, and doing lots of things requiring subsequent tetanus shots. When he wasn't doing these he spent his every waking hour drawing dinosaurs and monsters. Ben continues to doodle for a living. In his spare time he collects Joker cards and plays the Banjolele. He currently lives with his wife and their dog "Foo" in Brisbane, Queensland.

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Bruce Atherton

Bruce Atherton was born in 1964 and grew up in Melbourne, Australia, risking life and limb with his sister and four brothers on a billycart called Lightning Runner - later to be the subject of his first picture book, The Billycart Ride. In primary school his report cards were all similar: Bruce can do better. Bruce is easily distracted. Bruce is a disturbing influence in class (in grade five, his teacher tied him to a chair and put half a dozen teaspoons in his mouth to stop him talking). His favourite subject was English. His favourite author was Colin Thiele. His favourite books were Blue Fin and The Fire in the Stone. In secondary school he continued to talk too much. When he was 14 his English teacher, Wally Wintle, ordered him to go to the library and not return until he had read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. To this day, Bruce is grateful to Wally. Throughout his working life, Bruce has held a number of positions ranging from sheep-drench salesman to journalist. In 1988 he started work on The Billycart Ride - a rambling, rhyming text which was roundly rejected by publishers. Twelve years later he cornered international author Bryce Courtenay at a book launch and showed him the manuscript. Bryce thought it had potential - it was eventually illustrated by Keith McEwan and published in 2006. In 2007 it was shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award. Since then, Bruce has written a junior fiction novel, Al Dentay and the Incredible Spaghetti Machine, and three more picture books - Tough Ol' Teddy, illustrated by Elise Hurst, The Pumpkin Eater from Pondicherry, illustrated by Ben Redlich, and COWZAT!, also illustrated by Ben Redlich. Bruce is currently undertaking post graduate studies in professional writing. He lives in Melbourne with his wife, Kate, and his daughters, Darcey, Grace and Emerson. They all talk a lot.

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Catherine Meatheringham

Catherine Meatheringham is a children’s author. Her first picture book, My Possum Plays the Drums, was published by Windy Hollow Books in March 2020 and is a shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year 2020. Her second picture book, also with Windy Hollow Books, is planned for 2021. She writes books that are full of imagination and noise to encourage children to join in with the story. Catherine is on the ACT Committee for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Canberra with her husband, two children, dog and a noisy possum that keeps her awake at night.


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Catriona Hoy

Catriona Hoy was born in Scotland and moved to Australia at the age of seven. She has family all over the world and loves travelling. Catriona juggles being a childrens author, chemistry teacher and mother. She began writing after the birth of her second daughter and her first picture book, My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day, has become an iconic book for Australian children. Catriona's books have been published in Australia, the UK, Korea and Israel. Nominated twice for the CBC (Australia) notables list, Catriona continues to write about things she loves, finds interesting or funny. Her family often features in her books or are a source of inspiration. Growing up, Catriona constantly had her nose in a book and she has passed this love of reading on to her two daughters.


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Celia Bridle

‘The Black Swan’ is dedicated to all those who help children. Melbourne-based artist, Celia Bridle, spent the first twenty years of her life in tropical Africa, then studied and taught art as well as working as an illustrator in the U.K, Papua New Guinea and Australia. She once lived beside a volcano. A fascination with the splendour and terror of the natural world has been an inspiration for her art, as has her admiration for the poise and beauty of our black swans. Her original story, ‘The Black Swan’ is the first picture book Celia has both written and illustrated.

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Cheryll Johns

Cheryll Johns is an artist, an illustrator and a johnny-come lately writer. Based in adelaide, in a little, messy, hot-pink studio, she enjoys making something out of pretty much anything. She can’t catch ball, but can wield a mean paint brush and whip clay into shape like you wouldn’t believe.

Cheryll was a regular contributor for many years to several children’s magazines. She's worked on numerous advertising campaigns and illustrated 3 children's books. She's run sculpture workshops with primary school children and taught uni students how to illustrate. She is never bored.

Now she has finally written and illustrated one of her many ideas...

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Christina Booth

Christina Booth, children’s author/illustrator lives on the island state of Tasmania. She has illustrated for many Australian greats such as Colin Thiele, Max Fatchen, Christobel Mattingley and Jackie French.

Christina has won awards for both her illustrations and her writng, with CBCA Notable awards for In The Deep Blue Sea and In The Deep Green Jungle (Angie Lionetto-Civa, Windy Hollow Books) and Purinina, A Devil’s Tale (Lothian Books). Her picture book Kip (Windy Hollow Books) was awarded as a CBCA Honour Book in 2010.

Christina works from her bush studio overlooking wallabies, echidnas and many colourful feathered visitors.

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Claire Richards

Claire shares a studio with four other painters near the beach at Brighton in South Australia. Her favourite technique is layering watercolour over crayon, pencil and ink. Her recipie for making picture book illustrations involves drawing from books, acting out the poses, drawing on the computer and mountains of storyboards. Since finishing her art studies in 2004 Claire has illustrated half a dozen books, articles for Child magazine and created a range of quirky cards.




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Claire Saxby

Claire has been writing for children for about 15 years. She has been inspired by her own children, memories of childhood and by the children around her. She became an author because she loves playing with words. She will happily talk about books and writing with anyone who asks.

Claire lives in Melbourne and loves it, despite what people say about the weather.




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Danny Parker

Danny Parker lives in WA with his wife and two young children. At present he is a drama teacher at a big independent boys school. In the past Danny has worked as a nurse, an actor and for a brief spell as an assistant undertaker! Danny has a passion for picture books and for those little stories that have a big heart.

No Kind of Superman is Danny's first title with Windy Hollow - and 2011 will see the release of his second publication. Danny and his family moved to Australia seven years ago, and have recently become citizens.

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Dean Gorissen

Dean Gorissen lives in Melbourne Australia. After an early love of Dr Seuss, Richard Scarry’s Golden Books and Miroslav Sasek’s City series, his life was forever altered following a close encounter with 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968, followed by Warner Brothers animation, Get Smart and Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

His editorial illustration work has been published in The Age, Sunday Life, The Big Issue, Boss, Child Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Law Society Journal and many other publications. Among other awards, his work has appeared in Communication Arts Illustration Annual, 3x3 Illustration Annual and The Australian And New Zealand Illustration Awards.

He Illustrated both the best selling ‘Deadly!’ and ‘Wicked!’ series by Paul Jennings and Morris Gleitzman, (adapting his own character designs for the ‘Deadly!’ animated series) and has has illustrated several children’s books, ‘I got a Rocket!’ written by Matt Zurbo, ‘Ten Little Elvi’ (a counting book based on the lives of Elvis Presley), ‘My Dad’s a Wrestler!’, also written by Matt Zurbo, and his very own ‘The search for Bigfoot Bradley!’ Dean also adapted his ‘I got a Rocket!’ character designs for the Emmy Award winning animated series, produced by SLR. His design work for Affirm Press ‘Long Story Shorts’ series has been acclaimed internationally.

His interests are illustration, comics books, film, politics, landscaping, architecture, and procrastination. Mainly procrastination.

You can visit his website at and

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Deb Gilmartin

My passion for drawing and painting in both a serious and whimsical way fired my passion to be a children's book writer and illustrator. Another great joy in my life is living with and drawing my three cats. So, to be able to combine these passions together in the form of my first children's picture book The Gift, is truly a dream come true. I have always drawn and painted ever since I was a child but I also had a passion for biology. I qualified as a biologist specialising in insects in my early career. After leaving the UK I went to work as a medical entomologist in South Africa. Here I studied among others spiders, scorpions, lice and bedbugs! I then emigrated to Australia where I retrained and worked as a high school teacher, teaching science and art for many years.

For the last 9 years I have gone back to my first love, art and I have been practising as an artist, ever since. I have been a finalist in the prestigious Kedumba Drawing Award twice, a finalist in the Hans Heysen Landscape Prize, and regularly exhibit both locally and internationally.

One of the more unusual ‘jobs’ that I have had as an artist was as the Artist in Residence for Australian Aerospace out at the Army Aviation Training Centre in Oakey. I was very privileged to draw and document the men working on the new Tiger ARH helicopters resulting in a solo exhibition Tigers, Rotors & Blokes.

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Donna Gynell

Donna Gynell is an Illustrator living in Adelaide. Born and raised in country South Australia where her first important role model (besides her parents) was a high school art teacher. She studied Graphic Design and Illustration in Adelaide at TAFE and Uni SA in the 1980's, where the second role model, another teacher, introduced her to the world of children's books and narrative illustration. She has worked as a freelance illustrator for graphic designers, advertising agencies, and publishers.

Her current role models are her three children, who teach her everything about everything and have all made guest appearances in her books.

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Elise Hurst

Elise Hurst has been writing and illustrating for children for over ten years and has published fifty books to date. Her work ranges through many styles and media, most lately taking her back to the fine pen work that began her on the path of illustration.

With detailed compositions and an old-fashioned sensibility, she grants us a unique view into her imaginary worlds - peopled by odd characters,fantastic landscapes and captured moments that hint at a full and peculiar story.




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Elsie Munro

Elsie Munro is a printmaker and gardener. The birth of her granddaughter inspired Elsie to make books for children and to hand print the ‘sweet bird of happiness’ cards. She lives and works in her small garden studio perched over the old volcano country of central Victoria.




Emma Bowd

Emma Bowd is a Melbourne-based author and children’s literacy advocate. She worked in London for many years as an Occupational Therapist, before channelling her life-long love affair with shoes into an exciting and successful international publishing journey, with her fiction (The Shoe Princess’s Guide to the Galaxy, Bloomsbury, UK) and non-fiction (A Passion for Shoes/Mad About Shoes, RPS, UK/US) books for adults. She has been a guest author on ‘BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour’ and featured widely across print and online media.

A vibrant new voice in Australian children’s literature, Emma is delighted that her debut children’s picture book Wonderful Shoes – illustrated by the award-winning Tania McCartney and published by Windy Hollow Books – pays homage to all the small children of the world, who think shoes are just as wonderful as she does.

An experienced speaker and classroom presenter, Emma has a strong interest in writing stories for children with humour, candour and positive themes, which will appeal to reluctant and enthusiastic readers alike. A graduate of the Faber Writing Academy, Emma has been shortlisted in the 'Scribbles Creative Writing Awards' (sponsored by HarperCollins Children’s Books Australia) for her picture book and middle-grade fiction two years in a row.

A passionate advocate of children's literacy in disadvantaged communities in Melbourne for over a decade, Emma became a ‘Literacy Ambassador’ and ‘Writer in Residence’ for the National education charity, Ardoch in 2016. She is an active member of the children's literature community in Australia and enjoys engaging in social media, as well as running her own small business. Her other passions include fashion, family, travel, sewing, design, home renovation, Australian history, nature and the environment (especially reducing plastic waste).

You can visit Emma’s website at:

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Heidi Goh

Heidi Goh was born in Braidwood on the NSW Southern Highlands where she gained an appreciation for the Australian countryside. When she was eight she moved with her family to the mid-north NSW coast where she fell in love with the ocean and coastal life. Upon finishing High school she moved to Sydney to study fine arts at The National Art School. She later obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Communications. She also studied Astronomy at UNE, followed by a Diploma of Education in English and Drama. Heidi created York’s Universe as an ode to her three loves: Writing, Art and Astronomy. She is currently working on a novel, illustrating a new children’s picture book and conducting workshops in illustration, art, writing and astronomy.

Visit her Facebook page at:

Jess Racklyeft

After working in the publishing industry sales world for many years, Jess jumped ship a few years ago to follow her dream of illustrating rather than selling books. She's illustrated eight picture books including Crystal Kite and CBCA Notable Smile Cry, and several titles with Windy Hollow including If Baby Could Talk, Merry Everything and Love Was Hiding.  
Working with watercolours and digital illustration, she also creates work for greeting cards, prints and portraits, and more work can be seen at
With two young children if she's not drawing she's either constantly reading picture books,  visiting the library or book shop, usually with a coffee in hand. Her kind of heaven!

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James Stead

James Stead grew up in the Garden City of Toowoomba and he now resides in the coastal town of Mackay in North Queensland with his wife Maree. As a child he didn’t read much because he was too busy playing sport or getting into trouble.

James is a qualified chef, worked as a primary school teacher for 11 years and now consults and advises in health and safety. He first became interested in writing children’s books after introducing his students to the great children’s author Roald Dahl. Some of his favourite Australian children’s authors include Paul Jennings, Morris Gleitzman, Tim Winton, Matt Dray and Mem Fox.

He has always been inspired by his family and most of his ideas come from his childhood. When it comes to writing stories, ‘You’re only as good as you dare to be’. In his spare time he reads, writes, runs, cooks and catches fish (sometimes).

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Jill Carter Hansen

Jill Carter Hansen is a writer and illustrator who has also written, designed and directed several animated films. Her work has won a number of international awards.






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Karen Blair

Karen Blair grew up in Perth, Western Australia, enjoying a childhood of playing, drawing and imagining. With regular visits to her family farm, she was always on the lookout for small, hidden creatures in streams and under rocks. She now lives in Fremantle and works from her home studio, painting and drawing and watching the birds visit her garden.




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Kerryn Pascoe

Kerryn Pascoe lives in South Gippsland with her family and loves to daydream the hours away writing stories for children and the young at heart! Kerryn has one published picture book, "My Boots in Season". Her second picture book is due to be launched late 2012.




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Krista Bell

Krista Bell is an award-winning Melbourne author and an established ABC Radio childrenʼs book reviewer. Kristaʼs 23 popular titles for children include her picture book Peeking Ducks published by Windy Hollow Books in 2010 with illustrations by Sally Rippen. Also set in China, Warriors to Die For will be published by WHB in late 2012.

Krista travels around Australia sharing her passion for books and giving writing workshops and talks to both children and adults. She is an entertaining and enthusiastic presenter for primary school children, her target audience.

Krista now spends two months each year in Italy, studying the language and culture, as well as researching two junior novels which will be set in Tuscany and Sicily respectively.

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Kylie Dunstan

Kylie Dunstan is an award winning author and illustrator of children’s picture books. Her first book Collecting Colour won CBCA Picture Book of the Year in 2009. She has since written and illustrated three more books and is working on her fifth.

Kylie now lives in Melbourne with her partner and two girls.
You can visit her website at

Published Books

  • Collecting Colour (written and illustrated) 2008 Lothian (Hachette Livre Australia)
    Winner CBCA Picture Book of the Year 2009
    Shortlisted Queensland Premiers Literary Award
    Shortlisted CBCA Picture Book of the Year 2009
    Shortlisted Crichton Award 2009
    Shortlisted Western Australian Premiers Book Award 2008
  • Because you are with me (written and illustrated) July 2010 Lothian Books
    Published in Australia and Korea
  • The Red Bridge (written and illustrated) a Helen Chamberlin Book published by Windy Hollow Books June 2011
    2012 CBCA Notable book
  • Same, but little bit diff'rent (written and illustrated)
    a Helen Chamberlin Book published by Windy Hollow Books June 2012

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Laura Peterson

Laura graduated from the University of South Australia in 2001 with a Bachelor degree in Visual Communication, majoring in Illustration Design. Since then she has been working as a freelance illustrator. Among her clients are ERA Publications, Benchmark Publications, UWA, Lothian Books, Omnibus Books and Windy Hollow Books.

In 2005 she received an Honour Award in the Crichton Award for the illustrations of Eyes in the Night picture book. The book also received the Environment Award of The Wilderness Society.

She also hold a lecturer position at TAFE SA teaching various drawing and illustration subjects. Presently Laura lives in Adelaide with her handsome husband and her gorgeous pets.

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Lea Dunstone

Lea Dunstone studied Graphic Design and Illustration. She loves naïve art, modernism and the art of chance. The few childhood keepsakes she has are some drawings she did when she was young, and a few of her favourite books. Over the years her collection of children’s picture books has grown (which makes moving much heavier than it used to be). Her much-loved picture books are from the '60s and '70s, as well as some current books. One of her favourite places to visit is the library.

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Madeleine Meyer

I have painted and drawn and made objects all my life. My formal training began at City art institute in 1978, a diploma in education at Sydney teachers college was followedby a diploma in ceramics and further post graduate studies at Canberra school of art.

I have been a primary craft teacher, a high school art teacher, a TAFE lecturer in that order. I have been an exhibiting ceramic artist nationally and internationally for the last twenty five years I have participated in international workshops in Poland and Latvia and have been the recipient of Australia council grants to conduct ceramic workshops for aboriginal women in Tennant Creek. I have had solo ceramic shows in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and showed in Spain and Japan. I taught and regularly exhibited at Stuart workshops at mittagong. For the last four years I have spent more time drawing, drawing obsessively in planes, trains, airports, hospitals, Cafes, as my families needs dictated. This takes courage as you have to weigh up the embarrassment factor as it seems everyone feels free to comment. I received a Varuna writers retreat fellowship in 2010. Carpet is my first book to be published.

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Mal Webster

Mal has loved drawing and being creative since he was very young. His school reports often said, 'Mal is a dreamer,' as he preferred to gaze out the window and let his imagination drift, instead of concentrating in class. His schoolbooks were often filled with plans for creative inventions like the 'Homework Machine.' As a boy, Mal loved collecting boxes... He is yet to grow out of this habit. The Box Boy is Mal’s third picture book.



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Mark Wilson

Mark lives in Frankston, Victoria, with his wife Ros, two dogs called Kouta and Toby, and seven fish (at last count). He loved drawing from a very early age and also loved comics, especially The Phantom. He spent his teenage years drumming with the rock band Centerfold. Finding a 'real job' eventually led Mark into song writing and magazine illustration. He began writing his own books in 2004. Mark's many award winning picture books include My Mother's Eyes-The Story of a Boy Soldier (CBCA Honour book, 2010 and Eve Pownell Honour book, 2010); Angel of Kokoda; Young Murphy (CBCA Honour Book, 2006); The Extinction Series (Wilderness Society Award and Whitley Award, 2004); Journey of the Sea Turtle; The Last Tree (Whitley Award in 2007); Rodeo Darcy (W.A. Premier's honour book, 2005); The Penguin Shore (CBCA Notable Book, 1996); Yellow-eye (Wilderness Society Award, and CBCA Honour book, 2002).

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Max Hamilton

Max Hamilton is an award-winning illustrator, graphic designer and most enthusiastically a maker of children’s books. She enjoys noticing the little details in things, loves to get lost in the world of illustration and stories, and through her art aims to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our Australian fauna.

Max lives in Sydney with her partner, two young daughters and a couple of guinea pigs named Dumpling and Noodles.







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Matt Zurbo

If Matt Zurbo had one thing to say to kids, it's that "Stories are everywhere!". If he had another, it would be "Live life and stories will follow!"

He believes in them as a form of entertainment, history, humour, romance, healing, communication, bonding... and fart jokes. He tells them in novels, kids books, YA books, poetry, footy yarns, blogs, and music reviews. If he was allowed just one more thing to say, it would be "A story is a tattoo for your heart!"

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Meredith Costain

Meredith Costain is a versatile writer whose work ranges from picture books through to poetry, novels and non-fiction for young readers. Her books for younger readers include Bed Tails, No Noise at Our House and Musical Harriet, which was adapted for television by the ABC. Doodledum Dancing, a collection of verse for young readers illustrated by Pamela Allen, was an Honour Book in the 2007 Children’s Book Council of Australia awards. Her poetry for children has appeared in several anthologies and magazines. Meredith is a regular presenter of writing workshops in tertiary institutions, libraries and schools. Find out more at

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Michael Wagner

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.

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Ochre Lawson

Ochre Lawson grew up in country Australia, where she roamed the wetlands and hills, drawing and painting the natural landscape from a young age. Her love of the Australian bush led her to become an environmental activist throughout her 20’s, and this time spent protecting native flora and fauna has informed Ochre’s art work ever since. The wilderness is at the heart of everything Ochre creates especially being interested in portraying old growth forest, landscapes and native animals. Ochre strives to travel to untouched wilderness places to record what is increasingly being lost from the world forever.

Ochre completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at National Art School in 2007 and attained a Diploma of Fine Arts at the Southbank Institute of Tafe in 2001. She has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in Sydney, Brisbane and Alice Springs and has been awarded sculptural commissions for NSW Transport (2014) and ‘Pamille Berg consulting’ in Canberra (2009).

Ochre has been an artist in residence at the ‘Bilpin International Ground for Creative Initiative’ in the Blue Mountains in 2012/2013 and 2014. She has also been a finalist in the Defiance Small Sculpture Prize, the Northbridge Art Prize, the Gosford Regional Gallery Art Prize and the Waverley Woollahra Art Prize and has won awards in different categories for painting, drawing and sculpture.

Ochre teaches painting, drawing and sculpture at the Art Gallery NSW, Artest in Leichardt and Waverley Woollahra Art School in Bondi.

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Paul Humphries

Paul was born in Adelaide, spent several years in Europe as a child and went to high school and university in Melbourne. He did post graduate studies in zoology in Tasmania and Western Australia, has worked as a research scientist and currently lectures and researches in environmental science. He has always loved books and writing, animals and art. His stories are inspired by his children and the child within us all. Paul Humphries currently lives in NSW.

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Phil Cummings

Phil Cummings has written over sixty books for children. He is an ambassador to the Premier's Reading Challenge in South Australia and has been named South Australia's National Literacy and Numeracy Champion three times. He was also South Australia's Ambassador to Canberra for National Literacy and Numeracy Week in 2008. In 2009 Phil had the honour of being asked to write the Wang Wang and Funi picture book for the pandas now residing at the Adelaide Zoo. More recently The Adelaide Festival of Music has commissioned John Schumann of Redgum fame to write a suite of songs based on Phil’s novel Danny Allen was here to be performed by primary school choirs in over 300 schools in the 2012. Phil will also be opening the National Children's Book Council of Australia Conference in May 2012. He will also be an ambassador for the National Year of Reading in 2012. Phil has received a number of honours and awards in Australia and overseas for his work including the Carclew Fellowship at the Adelaide Festival of Arts in 1998, Children's Book Council of Australia Notable Book honours and his novel Danny Allen was here was shortlisted for the prestigious children's literature awards at the Adelaide festival of Arts in 2008.

Phil's website is:

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Rina Foti

Rina Foti was born in Perth, Western Australia in 1966. She earned a Bachelor degree in Education, specialising in Early Childhood Studies. Rina believes that early childhood is a crucial time for ‘planting the literacy seed’ so that children can develop a life-long love of language and literacy.

Rina is the author of 5 children’s books and her acclaimed works have received excellent reviews. Her work has been described as ‘delightful, inspiring’ and ‘fast paced!’ When she is not writing, Rina enjoys visiting schools and conducting Author Presentations, in the aim of inspiring young children. Her first picture book story was rejected 13 times, so Rina’s message to her young readers is to believe in themselves and their dreams. Rina’s other hobbies include cooking delicious food for her husband and three children, swimming in the Indian Ocean and collecting sea shells on the sea shore!

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Ruth Waters

Ruth Waters has written and illustrated four picture books (Not So Scary Bear, Not So Quiet Mouse, Not So Busy Bee (out 2021) and Love from Australia (Little Hare Books). She also illustrated There's a Tiger Out There written by Sophie Masson. Ruth creates her illustrations using collage. Made by hand, she paints, cuts and layers paper to make unique, colourful and fun pictures.  She has been long-listed for the World Illustration Awards 2020 and was short-listed for the World Illustration Awards 2019, Children's Book New Talent category.  


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Sally Gould

Sally Gould grew up in Sydney where she spent lots of time creating imaginary worlds at the beach and in Ku - ring - gai Chase National Park. She lost her way and became a corporate lawyer, but at least realised she liked playing with words. Since having children, she plays with words by writing stories in particular, picture books and junior novels. Most of her stories are inspired by her two sons. Sally and her family now live in Melbourne.




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Sally Rippin

Sally Rippin was born in Darwin, but grew up mainly in South-East Asia. As a young adult she spent three years in China studying traditional brush and ink painting in Shanghai and Hangzhou. Now Sally lives in Melbourne, where she writes and illustrates for children of all ages. She has had over forty children’s books published, many of them award winning, including two novels for Young Adults. Her most recent books include the popular Billie B Brown series and Angel Creek. Visit her website at



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Sandra Kendell

Sandra Kendell grew up on a farm in the Riverina, riding horses, rearing orphaned lambs, playing with sheepdog puppies and exploring the bush. She also spent a lot of time on her own making pictures that told stories.

Sandra now lives in Darwin, The Northern Territory with her partner and two girls and works in her studio under their troppo house making pictures with oils, mixed media and digital montage to tell stories. She retains her childhood love of animals and fascination with nature and draws inspiration from the local environment and ecology.



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Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan was born in 1974 and grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. He graduated from the University of WA in 1995 with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature, and currently works full time as a freelance artist and writer in Melbourne. Shaun began creating images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since become best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through surreal, dream-like imagery. Books such as The Red Tree, The Lost Thing and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival have been widely translated throughout the world and enjoyed by readers of all ages. His most recently published book is Tales from Outer Suburbia, a collection of short illustrated stories. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer, and a concept artist for animated films, including Pixar's WALL-E, and directed the short film adaptation of The Lost Thing in association with Passion Pictures Australia.


  • The Viewer, (with Gary Crew), 1997, Lothian Books, Melbourne
  • The Rabbits, (with John Marsden), 1998, Lothian Books, Melbourne
  • Memorial, (with Gary Crew), 1999, Lothian Books, Melbourne
  • The Lost Thing, 2000, Lothian Books, Melbourne
  • The Red Tree, 2001, Lothian Books, Melbourne
  • The Arrival, 2006, Lothian Books, Melbourne
  • Tales from Outer Suburbia, 2008, Allen & Unwin, Melbourne
  • Eric, 2010, Allen & Unwin, Melbourne

Film Credits

  • WALL-E (2008), Pixar Animation Studios: concept artist 
  • Horton Hears a Who, (2008) Blue Sky Studios: concept artist 
  • The Lost Thing (2010), Passion Pictures Australia: director 

Selected International Awards

  • 2001 World Fantasy Best Artist Award, Montreal Honourable Mention for The Lost Thing at the Bologna Children's Book Fair, Italy 
  • 2002 International Centre for Youth Literature Prize for The Red Tree, Paris 
  • 2007 Honourable Mention for The Arrival at the Bologna Children's Book Fair, Italy World Fantasy Best Artist Award, New York Angoulême Festival, "Best Album" award for The Arrival (ou vont nos peres), France 
  • 2008 Special Citation, Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards for The Arrival, US 
  • 2009 World Fantasy Award, Best Artist, San Jose California Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, Best Picture Book for Tales from Outer Suburbia Tales named one of the New York Times top ten illustrated books of the year 
  • 2010 Adelaide Festival Literature Awards Premier's Prize for Tales from Outer Suburbia shortlisted for the LA Times Book Awards

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Steve Wide and Michelle Mackintosh

Steve Wide and Michelle Mackintosh are a creative duo working out of Carlton in Melbourne. They have released 5 children's books since 2002.

Steve Wide is a writer, DJ and promoter living in Melbourne. Steve runs a popular music show on 3RRR FM and runs a indie music night “Weekender”. His knowledge of culture blended with his witty and humorous writing style have made him a favourite with Children's Book audiences, appealing to adults as well as children. He wrote the official "story" for the M2006 Commonwealth Games Mascot "Karak", and is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Writing at RMIT.

Michelle Mackintosh is an award winning graphic designer and illustrator. She has had over 10 years experience in the design publishing. Both Rock Starfish (2002) and Two Peas in a Pad (2003) have been nominated for best Children's Fiction book of the year at the Australian Publisher's Design. Her crime series for Lothian “Crime Waves” and her illustrations for Hardie Grant Egmont’s “Fairy School Drop-out” have also been nominated for design awards. She has designed books for John Marsden, Margaret Fulton, Kerry Greenwood, Stephen Downes, Barry Dickens and Stephenie Meyer’s German covers for Twilight and New Moon.

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Tania Cox

Tania Cox writes from her North Qld home where she lives with her young family. The idea for being a writer was first planted when she wrote a children's story for a class project. She just loved being in the imaginary world that writing created. As an adult, she still loves being in that imaginary world. Some of the books she has written have included a plucky young penguin (Alberta), a walk of discovery in the bush (With Nan), a frightened feathered dinosaur (Millie's Special Something) and a baby's lullaby (It's Bedtime).

When not writing, Tania seriously considers herself as a chauffeur, referee, bedtime party pooper, bath time patrol officer, champion piggy-backer, combat medic etc etc.


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Tania McCartney

If she could, Tania McCartney would live inside a book, and as an author, illustrator and editor, she kind of already does. The founder of Kids’ Book Review and the 52-Week Illustration Challenge, she has almost three decades’ experience in the publishing industry, including magazine/book editing, and layout and design. Tania’s latest books include This is Banjo Paterson (NLA Publishing), and Merry Everything! (Windy Hollow) and her books have been published in Australia, New Zealand, China, Canada, the US and the UK. She has received various awards including two CBCA Notable books, the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award (for Smile/Cry) and the CBCA Laurie Copping Award for Distinguished Service to Children’s Literature (2017). In 2016, Tania’s first self-illustrated book, Australia Illustrated, was released, and she is now working on an illustration commission for the National Library of Australia (a collaboration with Jackie French). In December 2017, her first large scale children’s map of Australia will be published (Hardie Grant Travel). An ambassador for the Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge and other literacy initiatives, Tania is an active juvenile literacy advocate. She has lived in almost every Australian state and territory, as well as France, England and China, and currently lives in Canberra with her family, a forest of artwork and a mountain of books.


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Trudie Trewin

Trudie Trewin grew up on a farm in South Australia. She loved reading and loathed the cold weather, so she usually spent the winter months curled up inside with a good mystery or thriller. One frosty winter's day when she was twenty-five, she put her book down, jumped in her trusty car and headed north. A week later in Cairns, the trusty car broke. She took this as a sign and decided to stay in the tropics.

Now she lives just north of Cairns with her husband, three boys, two beagles, one budgie and a cat, and can read stretched out by the pool instead of huddled inside. After nearly twenty years of working with numbers in various financial jobs, she switched to working with words. One of the things she likes best about working with words is that she can make up a word to fit a particular situation if she needs to – whenever she did that with numbers she got into trouble!

When she’s not writing or reading, she enjoys swimming, running, bushwalking and watching scary movies.

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Vincent Agostino

Vincent Agostino is a freelance illustrator/designer with ten years experience who works from his studio in Melbourne. His main focus since receiving the Crichton award in 2007 has been in children’s book publishing.

He is currently working on writing and illustrating his very own first children's book, while working in the design industry and teaching Illustration and Design at Northern Metropolitan Institute of TAFE.

Vincent likes to work in all traditional media as well as Digital.


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Whitney Stewart

Whitney Stewart was born an adventurer. At 14, she hung off ice-cliffs, summited the Grand Teton, and dreamed of climbing the Himalaya. A sports injury led her to a yoga class where she learned to meditate. At 27, she trekked in Tibet, Nepal, and India where she met meditation masters, including the Dalai Lama. From them she learned more about mindfulness practice. Now she teaches mindfulness to children and college students in the United States.

Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of and present in each moment. Through it, you can relax your mind, improve your health, and develop kindness to yourself and others. Mindfulness training is for anyone, no matter what age or background. It is not tied to any specific religion or cultural tradition, and requires no special equipment. The method is simple, but the mind is tricky. With practice, and attention, you can find your Big Sky Mind in every day life.

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