Mandy Bishop is grateful to be here, as an Upper Hunter descendant. Scone was always where she came as a child when something a bit more important was up!! Excited to be supporting the Literary Festival, Mandy comes from The Wharf Revue: A Can Of Worms, current Australian tour to partake in this event. She gained a Bachelor of Music at UNE in Armidale, and then trained in Perth at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Mandy has been living and working in Sydney and New York, as an actor, singer and writer.

Recent credits include many years of the Wharf Revue for Sydney Theatre Company, where she learnt to portray Julia Gillard. She has also toured Australia with Bell Shakespeare and appeared in TV shows such as Drop Dead Weird, A Zoom With A View, Law & Order SVU, Maximum Choppage, Wednesday Night Fever and Rake.

Hattie is an emerging director, producer and writer originally from Scone, NSW who graduated from AFTRS in 2019 with a Master of Arts: Screen in Directing. Her major project, comedy-drama web series Gut Feeling won several awards internationally, including Audience Choice awards at Melbourne WebFest and Minnesota WebFest, and was picked up by ABC iview in 2020.

Since graduating, Hattie has written and directed branded content for a range of clients and agencies. She has a slate of comedy and drama projects in development with different partners and has recently established a production company, Staircase Productions. Hattie has continued to grow through attachment opportunities with directors Nash Edgerton on Mr Inbetween Season 3 and David Gould on Home & Away. She is represented as a director by Cameron’s agency.

Hattie also works as an assistant director and was the 1st AD for feature film Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt) and CJZ film Rocky & Me, which she also helped produce. Recently she
worked as 2nd AD on The Moth Effect and Limitless with Chris Hemsworth. Hattie also has 10 years experience as an impact producer for feature documentaries.

Corey is a Kamilaroi man from Nowra on the New South Wales south coast. As a kid, he dreamed of becoming a zookeeper and in high school he developed a love of STEM subjects. But unlike the arts and sport, he found there was little encouragement for Aboriginal people to pursue careers in STEM. In 2018, while working as a research assistant for the University of Sydney, Corey founded DeadlyScience, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to provide science books and telescopes to remote schools in Australia, and connects young Indigenous people with mentors to encourage their participation in STEM subjects. In 2020, Corey was named the NSW Young Australian of the Year, and a Human Rights Hero by the Australian Human Rights Commission. He continues to work tirelessly to send STEM resources to Indigenous communities, and show First Nations kids that STEM is for them. The organisation has even attracted international attention, with Corey presenting at Harvard and Oxford universities.

Amanda Woods started working life as broadcast journalist and producer at the likes of the BBC, ABC, and SBS. In a classic ‘do what you love’ move, she then shifted gears to become a travel writer and has shared tales from around the world in a range of national and international titles including Escape, Mindfood, Vacations & Travel and The Telegraph (UK).

Amanda has her own travel site, Adventures All Around, and also helped to create the Rock Pools of Sydney book, providing the words to go with photographer Vincent Rommelaere’s images.

Michael Burge is an Australian journalist, author and artist who lives at Deepwater on Ngarabal Country in the New England region of NSW.

His debut novel Tank Water is a coming-of-age crime thriller set in the bush. His non-fiction debut Questionable Deeds: Making a stand for equal love lifted the lid on familial, institutional and government homophobia in Australia.

Michael is director of the annual High Country Writers Festival at Glen Innes.

Lucy Bingle is the CEO of, Australia’s leading LinkedIn agency. Lucy’s team of experts help clients harness the power of LinkedIn.

They work with CEOs, Directors, and industry leaders connecting organisations to their target audience through thought leadership.

Lucy is also the Founder of LinkedInduction (, an on-demand LinkedIn training program for employees. Lucy is passionate about aligning employees to their brand and giving them the tools and training to help attract top talent and support the brand strategy on LinkedIn.

David W. Cameron is a Canberra based author. He has written several books on Australian military and convict history and human and primate evolution including over 50 internationally peer reviewed papers for various journals and book chapters. He received 1st Class Honours in Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Sydney and later went on to complete his Ph.D. in palaeoanthropology at the Australian National University. He is a former Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian National University (School of Archaeology) and an ARC QEII Fellow at the University of Sydney (Department of Anatomy and Histology). He has participated and led several international fieldwork teams in Australia, the Middle East (Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates); Europe (Hungary) and Asia (Japan, Vietnam and India) and participated in many conferences and museum studies throughout the world.

Jonathan Biggins is an actor, writer and director, perhaps best known as one of the creators of the long-running political satire The Wharf Revue.

His other writing credits include seven years as a columnist for Fairfax’s Good Weekend Magazine and the books As it Were, The 700 Habits of Highly Ineffective People, The 700 Habits of Highly Ineffective Parents and iKevin. His plays and musicals include Australia Day, Talk, The Republic of Myopia, Living in the ‘70s, The State of the Tasmanian Economy, Three Men and a Baby Grand and his one-man show The Gospel According to Paul. He also co-wrote an adaptation of the libretto of Orpheus in the Underworld for Opera Australia. Directing credits include Talk, Australia Day, Noises Off, Jospehine Wants to Dance, Orpheus in the Underworld and Avenue Q, for which he won a Helpmann Award.

Acting credits include Travesties, Essington Lewis: I am Work, The White Guard, Summer Rain, The Importance of Being Ernest, Ying Tong, The Venetian Twins and the film A Few Best Men.

Jonathan was awarded an OAM for his services to theatre in 2021.

Zanni Louise has been writing stories since she was little, growing up in Inverell, NSW. Six-year-old Zanni used to get in trouble for staring at people and making up stories about having a donkey. Grown-up Zanni has turned her love for people and make-believe into a writing career.

Author of over twenty kids’ books, including bestselling picture book series like HumanKind and Errol, Zanni writes and draws every day and hopes she will keep going until she’s too old to hold a pen. Zanni teaches picture book writing at the Australian Writers Centre and tours schools and festivals across Australia inspiring kids to write.

Zanni is proud to be a Room to Read ambassador.

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We are grateful for the support of our generous partners and sponsors.

Upper Hunter Country
Upper Hunter Shire Council
Paradice Investment