Allison grew up on a farm in a small Victorian town, fostering her love of animals, collecting vegetables and shearing the sheep. Now based in Queensland, Allison is the author of Anzac Sons: The Story of Five Brothers in the War to End All Wars and the children’s version, Anzac Sons: Five Brothers on the Western Front, which made the 2016 Australian Book Industry Awards longlist and was a CBCA notable book as well. Her interest in the service of her ancestors began when she was studying to become a teacher. She used a selection of the letters which her grandfather and his four brothers sent from the Western Front to complete an assignment. The dream to honour their courage and sacrifice was ignited.
Allison is a proud 2017 recipient of a May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Creative Time Fellowship, which resulted in the securing of a contract for her first historical novel for young adults, Follow After Me – released in 2019.
Allison has created a series of information books for children called Australia Remembers. The first of these – Australia Remembers: Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and War Memorials was released in October 2018. The second title, Customs and Traditions of the Australian Defence Force, was recently published in March 2021.
She has written other children’s books, Granny’s Place and Shearing Time, with another; I Wonder, being released in August 2021.
Allison now works full-time as a writer and presenter in schools.
Ashling Kwok lives in Sydney’s North Shore, a magical place with lush green landscapes, beautiful flowers, and kookaburras that wake her up every morning at the crack of dawn.
Ashling has been writing books for as long as she can remember. She feels there’s nothing more satisfying than finding the right combination of words to bring my ideas to life. She spends her days dreaming up new ideas, working on my latest manuscripts, and browsing local bookstores, marvelling at all the wonderful books created by talented children’s authors.
After graduating from University, Ashling went on to become a journalist and magazine editor, before setting up her own freelance writing company. Over the years, Ashling’s work has appeared in a number of newspapers and magazines, and she is a regular contributor to a variety of online publications.
When she’s not writing you’ll find her taking her very energetic border collie, Jed, for a walk or hanging out with her husband and two children. Ashling also enjoys spending time with friends and making the most of every single moment.
Please follow Ashling at these links:
Shae Millward is the author of picture books A Boy and a Dog, Koalas Like To and The Rabbit’s Magician. Her short story, The Vampire Roses, is published in Spooktacular Stories: Thrilling Tales for Brave Kids.
Shae is an enthusiastic advocate for literacy. She aims to inspire through a love of books, the joy of reading and writing, and the art of storytelling. Shae enjoys writing picture books, poetry, song lyrics, inspirational quotes, short stories and more.
Busy Izzy and Friends a multi-media initiative comprising:
Picture books – Audio books – Songs – Interactive music videos – and an all-New Stage Show.
Promoting friendship, fun and healthy food, the series is for children aged 3-8 years.
Centred around the adventurous world of Izzy, a 12-year-old girl and her diverse group of friends, her rescue puppy, Newly Truly, and her life in Green Grass Grove where she has a store called Nix & Nax.
“Busy Izzy always knew exactly what to do” and never too busy for her friends.
Why Busy Izzy is Special –
• Inspired by emotional and educational developmental drivers.
• Strong values – manners, kindness, generosity, patience, honesty, sharing, respect, love, open-mindedness and anti-bullying.
• Characteristically multi-cultural Australian.
• Multi-media approach
o Rhythm & rhyme is a key part of every book
o Shares healthy recipe snacks
o Outdoor fun, veggie gardens and trees
o Includes sing-a-long songs and music
o Live shows and performances for schools and events
o Interactive website and videos
o Digital picture/audio books
o Absence of any form of aggression
o Endorsed by World Literacy Foundation
The tenor of the stories from the series is upbeat, happy and considerate whilst building and reinforcing the expectation that positive attitudes will achieve great results.
Two years running, Roxanne and Stephen won first, second and third places for their children’s songs in the Australian Songwriters’ Association’s Song Competition.
Book 1: Busy Izzy and Friends – Busy Izzy and Friends includes: important elements of early education, introducing the alphabet through song and simple spatial and interactive concepts, which are further developed on the online portal.
Book 2: Busy Izzy and Newly Truly – The Big Surprise! is about the adventures of Busy Izzy and her adopted puppy, Newly Truly. Izzy has never had a pet of her own. She visits the SPCA and meets a cheeky little stray, who is looking for a home. It’s a heart-warming story which will engage the hearts of children everywhere.
Book 3: Busy Izzy and Talkative Tess: Busy Izzy’s talkative friend, Tess, learns, through a series of amusing, but educational scenarios, the importance of listening, friendship, kindness and co-operation. “When things go wrong unexpectedly, sometimes a friend is all you need to be”
“The Busy Izzy and Friends books are full of phonological fun and clever wordplay. We have been studying the Busy Izzy books within our literature unit for the past two years. The books have been so rich in rhythm and rhyme. The children love exploring the world of Izzy through interactive opportunities such as the read long CDs, songs, the website and the videos. Not only did the books do well in complementing our English learning outcomes, but also integrated beautifully with our key learning areas such as the creative arts, PDHPE content, interpersonal relationship skills and communication. We had so much fun reading the books and can’t wait for the next ‘Busy Izzy’ book to come out.” – Nazile Bright – Head Teacher Junior School Amity College Prestons Sydney Australia
“I am delighted to be associated with the Busy Izzy books and highly recommend them to you. Children across the globe enjoy the characters, songs, music and games, as well as the rhythm and rhyme. As a result, the Busy Izzy books help develop a love for reading that will last a life time.” –
Andrew Kay – Founder and CEO World Literacy Foundation
“So excited to be the voice of Talkative Tess! She is so vivacious, likeable and talkative! A beautiful story about acceptance and reminding us how polite it is to take turns.” – Bec Hewitt Australian Actor
“Beautifully illustrated, ‘Busy Izzy and Friends’ is book one in a series of children’s books that promotes a caring, fun-filled and busy lifestyle for kids. It is full of fun recipes, sensible advice about safety, and exciting adventures about Busy Izzy and her friends to follow. There are songs to sing, recipes to try out, and fun facts to learn.
Busy Izzy provides a great role model for children to follow by promoting an active lifestyle that is filled with cooperation and caring.” – Sandra Graudins, Clinical Psychologist
“From the moment I read this book and listened to the content I loved it. It engages children of all ages immediately. It’s bright, vibrant, innovative characters are instantly popular and interesting with readers.
The use of rhythm and rhyme of the text is terrific and can be used as an example for students to use in their own writing.
This is an excellent resource for teachers as it incorporates many areas of literacy and integrated other Key Learning Areas such as music. Teachers will be able to use this to encourage and build on students’ writing techniques; rhyme, rhythm and music; learn the letters of the alphabet (26 BFFS song) with a catchy tune to remember; learn to spell and read; and show children how to be with one another in an engaging story line. What an awesome resource that incorporates so much! Invaluable!” – Sandra Santoro – BA Ed BA Teach – Teacher K-6/Assistant Principal
“Dear Roxanne and Stephen, thank you for the wonderful incursion earlier this week. Our students and teachers loved it! The Busy Izzy and Friends show was highly engaging and interactive, and many meaningful messages were given in the story line. Thank You again” – Nazan Polat – Principal – Amity College, Prestons Primary
About the Creators:
ROXANNE KIELY – Author – Producer – Songwriter – Musician
Prodigiously creative, Roxanne has used her talent in a variety of fields including song writing, poetry writing and children’s stories. Roxanne has released two albums of original music, has had songs featured on international television programs and, more recently, on a popular ABC radio compilation.
Born and raised in a musical family and writing songs, stories and poetry from the age of seven, Roxanne has made a significant contribution to the Australian music industry.
Roxanne is the Director of ScoopFX Music and President of the not-for-profit song writing organisation, Songsalive! Australia: as well as “Singing Teacher to the Stars of Today”. Roxanne’s stellar list of students includes Delta Goodrem, Bec Hewitt, Hayley Warner and Marlisa, to name just a few.
As passionate as she is about all her activities, there is a special place in her heart for children and children’s stories, which is why she has created the Busy Izzy series. Now the much loved story books come alive from page to stage promoting; friendship, resilience, inclusivity, anti-bullying, mindfulness, healthy food, exercise, music and fun.
STEPHEN KIELY: Creative Director – Producer – Songwriter – Musician
Stephen is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and performer who writes and produces film soundtracks, advertising jingles and songs covering genres as diverse as rock and country, through to swing and jazz.
Beginning his professional music career at age eighteen, Stephen has worked on stage with many of Australia’s top-ranked performers. He was an early adopter of computer sequencing software and is comfortable producing on any number of recording applications on both Mac and Windows platforms.
Working in the ever-expanding studios at ScoopFX Music, Stephen has written, performed and produced songs for many of Australia’s rising stars, while creating the complete recordings of the Busy Izzy project, co-written and produced with Roxanne Kiely.
Book Live Stage: https://busyizzy.com/pages/the-busy-izzy-show-live
Cameron Macintosh is an author and editor based in his home town of Melbourne. He studied Psychology and Italian at Melbourne University, and Professional Writing at RMIT. He has worked in educational publishing since 2001, editing hundreds of primary literacy books and teaching materials for teachers and students.
Cameron has now written more than 80 books for primary and early secondary students. In 2017 he crossed over into trade publishing with the release of the first book in his Max Booth Future Sleuth series – a humour-filled sci-fi series for 7 to 10-year-olds. Titles in the series include Tape Escape, Selfie Search, and Stamp Safari, which was released in August 2018 (illustrated by Dave Atze, published by Big Sky Publishing).
In the few minutes per week that he isn’t wrestling with words on the laptop, Cameron loves playing the guitar, reading music biographies and drawing angry-looking owls.
Carolyn Denman grew up in suburban Melbourne but always liked to pretend she was in the country by hiding out by the tiny creek behind her house. Many worlds were invented there. She never, however, expected to write about them. She became a science geek, completing her Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne and then came to the awkward realisation that she didn’t actually want to do research in a lab for the rest of her life. So she found work in the finance industry. Story-writing wasn’t even a consideration until the day she had a Super Mum moment and gave her teenage daughter a lecture that went something like ‘of course you are capable of writing a story. Never think that you need to be naturally gifted at something to give it a go. Here, I’ll give you a hand. We’ll write one together.’ Addictions can begin so innocently sometimes…
Carolyn now lives on a hobby farm on the outskirts of Melbourne with her husband, two daughters, and her parents. The fact that she always has at least three of her pets following her around at any one time in no way means that she is the fairest in the land. They probably just like her taste in music.
As well as writing stories for Aurealis and Andromeda Spaceways magazines, Carolyn is also the author of the YA Australian fantasy series The Sentinels of Eden.
South Australian-born Catherine Bauer is a journalist and awarded children’s writer who grew up in the suburbs of Adelaide. She has worked as a news and political journalist and features writer for various newspapers and publications, as a media and communications adviser and is now working with the State Theatre Company South Australia.
While she has written and published children’s plays and had two picture books published in 2018, Catherine lists her three sons as her life’s greatest work.
She grew up reading the classics that lined her parents’ well-stocked home library. She wrote, illustrated and submitted her first picture book at the age of eight and received a gently worded rejection letter – thus igniting her love for writing and determination to one day see her creative work in print.
Apart from joy and delight, Catherine aims for her stories to spark all or one of the following three reactions in readers: ‘that’s me’; ‘I wish that was me’ or ‘I’m glad that’s not me’.
Her parents were both great story tellers and among her favourites were the ones in which her father recounted wonderful stories about finding joy in small things, his enthralling adventures and often hardships of a childhood growing up in WWII Germany.
Following the first two titles in the series, Australia Remembers (Australia Remembers 1 with Allison Paterson, Australia Remembers 2 with Allison Paterson), Australia Remembers 3: Len Waters, Boundless and Born to Fly, has been released in 2021, and published by Big Sky Publishing.
Chrissie Davies is a child behaviour expert, trauma informed educator, consultant, writer, guest speaker, loving mama of two, and passionate advocate for understanding neurodivergent children. She is committed to empowering and supporting families to live their life with radical acceptance, curiosity, playfulness and a bucket load of love. She lives with her husband and young family on the Surf Coast of Victoria.
Chrissie’s first picture book is Love Your Brain, followed by her recent release, Love My, Love My ADHD.
Chrissie can be found at her website: https://www.chaostocalmconsultancy.com/ and on social media at Facebook & Instagram
Published by Chaos to Calm Consultancy.
Debra’s debut picture book, When I See Grandma, illustrated by Leigh Hedstrom and published by Wombat Books, has been met with critical acclaim, shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Book of the Year awards in 2014 and awarded the CALEB prize for children’s picture book the same year. Debra’s other writing, both flash fiction and narrative non-fiction, has been highly commended and published in various industry magazines and journals. Debra has a Bachelor degree in Social Work and an MA in Children Literature. She reviews books for Reading Time and Creative Kids Tales, blogs for Just Write For Kids and is on the committee of her local CBCA sub-branch in Sydney. Debra is a dynamic and energetic speaker and is available for author talks and story-time sessions for schools, libraries, playgroups and festivals.
Elizabeth Mary Cummings is a British author and poet based in Sydney, Australia. She is a member of the American Psychology Association and studied psychology and business studies at The University of Edinburgh in Scotland before training to be a Primary School teacher (with a Masters of Education) and travelling around the world with her family. Her work has taken her to many schools across the UK, New Zealand and Australia.
Elizabeth’s stories often take a child’s perspective to explain the world and reflect on important life experiences. Her picture books and junior fiction titles include themes on resilience, grief, empowerment, anti-bullying, and she writes, advocates and speaks on storytelling and health matters for families and youth.
The topics within Elizabeth’s books are of both local and global significance. She travels globally to talk about family and mental health matters as well as creative writing.
Her first book ‘The Disappearing Sister’ has gained attention for its simple explanation of eating disorders aimed at siblings and families of sufferers. Elizabeth also enjoys writing poetry and won the HARP Writers’ Prize in 2015 for a poem about gender and identity.