Jane Caro is a woman known for saying what's on her mind. Her low-boredom threshold level has seen her embrace many careers; she is a novelist, lecturer, mentor, social commentator, columnist, workshop facilitator, speaker, broadcaster and award-winning advertising writer.
Andy Griffiths is one of Australia’s most popular children’s authors. Andy is best known for The Treehouse series and the JUST! books. Over the last 20 years, Andy’s books have been New York Times bestsellers, adapted for the stage and television and won more than 50 Australian children’s choice awards. Andy joins Own a Word as an Ambassador because he is a passionate advocate for literacy.
Joe Hildebrand is the co-host of Channel Ten's morning show Studio 10 and a columnist for The Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun as well as Sunday Style magazine. Joe grew up in Dandenong, outside of Melbourne. He went to Dandenong High School and Melbourne University and is a proud product and supporter of public education.
Joe says, "Words are the most important thing in the world. They enable us to understand each other, to love each other, to communicate ideas and to inspire action. They are the bricks by which civilisation is built.”
“I have dealt in words my whole life and Ardoch’s Own a Word campaign is a beautiful and fun way of harnessing the power of language to generate real change.”
Susannah McFarlane is a successful children’s book author who, after many years working as a publisher, now spends her time writing and creating stories that kids love to read.
Susannah’s says her favourite words are "discombobulate – it is almost onomatopoeic, like "whoosh", which I also like a lot."
James O'Loghlin is the author of six books, including two novels for children. The Adventures of Sir Roderick the not-very-Brave won the 2014 Speech Pathology Australia award for best book for 8 to 10 year olds, and Daisy Malone and the Blue Glowing Stone was published in 2015. James has also been a criminal lawyer, a stand-up comedian, an ABC radio broadcaster and hosted over 300 episodes of The New Inventors on ABC-TV. James also speaks and writes about innovation.
Chrissie Swan is one of Australia’s most popular broadcasters, as well as an author, columnist, fashion label ambassador and mother of three. Chrissie is passionate about education, making her the perfect spokesperson for Ardoch's work with children and young people living in disadvantaged communities. Co-host of Channel 10’s The Great Australian Spelling Bee, featuring some of Australia’s brightest child spellers, Chrissie understands the importance of developing a love of language and learning in children.
Fiona Wood is the author of young adult novels, Six Impossible Things and Wildlife. Her third book, Cloudwish, will be out in 2016. Before writing YA fiction, Fiona worked as a television scriptwriter for twelve years, writing everything from soap, and one-hour adult drama, to children’s drama.
Fiona says her favourite word is “connect because the word sounds like two things clicking together and fitting perfectly.”
Ben Pobjie is a Melbourne author and comedian known for his television reviews in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, and his satirical writing for New Matilda, The Drum, Crikey, The Roar and many others. He is also the author of the books Surveying the Wreckage, Superchef, and The Book of Bloke. He co-hosts the Gather Around Me podcast and has written for the TV shows The Unbelievable Truth and Reality Check. He blogs at Benpobjie.blogspot.com.au
Ben says his favourite word is "eldritch because it not only describes something that is unearthly or eerie, but in its very construction and sound it conjures up visions of a setting that it might be describing. It is a word that fuels the imagination".
Brian is a performer, writer and producer. He was a primary teacher who fled the classroom to become a waiter at theatre restaurant, The Last Laugh. He was a writer/performer on the hospital soap opera ‘Let The Blood Run Free’ and was a regular on ‘Hey Hey It's Saturday’ as the tortured street poet Raymond J Bartholomeuz.
For the last eleven years, Brian has been writing, producing and co hosting the SBS music quiz show, ‘RocKwiz’. In 2013, Brian narrated and acted in ‘Vandemonian Lags’ for the MONA Gallery in Hobart. In 2012, Brian hosted a series for the Working Dog team on Channel Seven, ‘Pictures Of You’.
Brian does studio warm ups for television shows, contributes to The Age, 774 ABC Radio and Three Triple R. He is an experienced MC for a wide variety of public events and corporate
Teacher-on-leave and proud mum-of-two, Deborah is the founder and author of play-based learning blog, LearnwithPlayatHome.com. She is passionate about education for all and believes firmly in the importance of learning through play. Debs likes to make learning fun by creating and sharing hands-on, accessible activities, with lots of handy tips for parents, teachers and carers.