List of presenters for Ex Libris 2015:
Clive Blazey- Being a self-taught gardener, Clive acquired knowledge by private study and extensive overseas travel.
Clive and his wife Penny founded The Diggers Club in 1978 and the family purchased Heronswood in 1983. They set about creating a cottage garden that would complement their mail order seed and plant list.
Diggers pioneered the rescue of heirloom vegetables in 1991. Diggers’ campaign for the preservation of heritage vegetable seeds was acknowledged with a ‘Food Legend' award by Melbourne Food And Wine and the Sustainability award by the Age Good Food Guide.
The Diggers Club today has 75000 club members and manages three gardens and four retail shops.
Tim Cope - Tim Cope - who hails from Drouin South in Gippsland - has spent his life following his childhood passion for adventure and exploration, including training as a Wilderness Guide in Finland, riding a bicycle for 10,000 km across Russia and Mongolia, and a world-first river expedition rowing a wooden boat 5000km through Siberia to the Arctic Ocean. Tim has combined his experiences with a fascination for traditional cultures and history, and a love for writing, photography and film.
Joshua Funder - Joshua Funder lives in Melbourne with his wife and two daughters. Watson's Pier is his first novel.Joshua Funder lives in Melbourne with his wife and two daughters. Watson's Pier is his first novel.
Jo Grant - Jo currently works for Regional Arts Victoria in a role that covers the south west region. Jo has a Bachelor of Arts (Photography) and a Master of Visual Art. Her photographic work is represented by M.33 Melbourne. Jo has expanded her art practice to include fibre arts, painting and installation.
Tom Guthrie - Tom Guthrie is a fourth generation sheep farmer who with his wife Sarah run Corriedale sheep for prime lambs as well as the Grampians Estate wine business.
In July 2014, The Longest Drive was launched at the family’s 150 year celebrations of the Guthrie family’s continuous occupation of Rich Avon at Donald.
Cate Kennedy - Cate Kennedy is an Australian writer who has published two short story collections, a novel, three poetry collections and a memoir. Her stories have appeared in many publications. She was the Established Writer in Residence in Vietnam in early 2015 as part of RMIT's WrICE Fellowship, and joined the faculty at Pacific University in Portland, Oregon, in June of this year to teach in the low-residency Masters of Arts Writing Program. As well as writing and teaching, she works as an editor and occasional mentor.
Hoa Pham - Hoa Pham, a psychologist by day, is the author of six books. Vixen was awarded the Best Young Writer award by the Sydney Morning Herald, and The Other Shore won the Viva La Novella Prize. Her play Silence was on the VCE Drama list in 2010.
She is also the founder of Peril Magazine, an Asian-Australian online arts and culture magazine (www.peril.com.au). She has received funding from the Australia Council of the Arts, been on an Asialink residency in Vietnam, fellowships at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and the Goethe Institute Berlin. She has a doctorate in creative arts and holds masters degrees in creative writing and psychology.
Matt Porter - Philosopher, lecturer and intellectual … just some of the things Matt Porter definitely isn’t! He is however, an author of hilarious children’s books, including four books in his Crazy Relief Teachers series. Matt is passionate about sharing writing tips and activities with students, teachers and adults.
Graeme Sparkes - Graeme Sparkes was born in Launceston in 1951, but grew up and went to school in Portland.
He is the author of two travel memoirs, Beyond Tijuana (Text Publishing, 1995) and The Red Island (Text Publishing, 1997). His most recent book, You Never Met My Father (JoJo Publishing, 2014), is a memoir about growing up with a parent who suffered a lifelong mental illness.
He lives in Melbourne and works in the TAFE system, teaching English to young adult migrants and refugees. For a time, he lived at Rosebrook, just outside Port Fairy.
Patricia Sykes - Patricia Sykes is a poet and librettist. Her poems have won the John Shaw Neilson, Tom Collins, and Newcastle Poetry Prizes. Wire Dancing, her first collection of poetry, arose out of her experiences as a performer with the Women’s Circus and was commended in the Anne Elder and Mary Gilmore awards.
Judy Vanrenen - Judy Vanrenen has spent forty years involved with tourism businesses around the world and fifteen years ago her love of both gardens and business resulted in her founding Botanica World Discoveries in partnership with APT.
Growing up on a farm in western Victoria, Judy fell in love with the country and gardening at an early age. Although she now spends 2 to 3 months of each year travelling around the world, it is to her own Wiltshire garden that she longs to return.
It was here that she took inspiration as a writer and began the recently published coffee table book, Beyond the Garden Gate, written primarily for her own travellers, as a celebration of 15 years of Botanica.
In her worldwide travels she has seen amazing gardens that have inspired both designers and home gardeners through the ages.