Journalist Speakers

Bill Birtles

Bill Birtles was the ABC's China correspondent in Beijing from 2015 to 2020, his posting coming to a sudden end when he was rushed out of the country by Australian diplomats in an unprecedented diplomatic standoff. Reporting from both major cities and remote provinces throughout the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, he covered an era-defining period of change, upheaval and diplomatic tension as China asserted itself on the world stage.

Gaby Natale

Gaby Natale, a triple Emmy-winning journalist and bestselling author, is an industry leader in entertainment, uniquely owning her media content and television studio. She's known for breaking barriers, becoming the first Latina author published by HarperCollins's leadership division in 2021. Her debut book, The Virtuous Circle, instantly topped Amazon's charts in Business, Inspiration, and Self-Help. Named one of the “25 Most Powerful Latinas” by People magazine in 2018, she's the only Latina to win three consecutive Daytime EMMYs. She's also a successful entrepreneur, founding AGANARmedia, which serves Fortune 500 companies with a focus on Hispanic audiences. Holding degrees from the University of San Andres and Columbia University, Gaby once taught Communication and Journalism at the University of Texas.

Jacinta Tynan

Jacinta Tynan is a renowned TV journalist and news presenter, columnist, five times published author and speaker. Jacinta is regarded as a commentator for her generation with her popular and candid columns and regular TV, radio and podcast appearances. She has been a regular columnist with Sunday Life Magazine and Body+Soul and contributes to various publications on motherhood, life and the meaning of life.

Maria Ressa

Maria Ressa is the co-founder, CEO, and executive editor of Rappler.com, an online news organization in the Philippines. Maria, one of TIME’s Person of the Year for 2018 and TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in 2019, has been honored around the world for her courageous and bold work in fighting disinformation, “fake news”, and attempts to silence the free press.

Mark Readings

Mark Readings is one of the state's most respected journalists, presenters and MCs, having spent 35 years in the media industry.

In 2003 Mark was presented with a Logie Award and a Walkley Award for his coverage of the Bali bombings. He was one of the survivors, having been in the Sari Club and inside Paddy's Bar during the first explosion. It's a remarkable story nearly 20 years later.

Peter Van Onselen

Peter van Onselen is Network Ten’s political editor and a contributing editor for The Australian. He is also a professor of public policy and politics at the University of Western Australia. Peter hosts The Sunday Project on 10, appears as a panellist on ABC Insiders and writes a weekly column for Perth’s Sunday Times. He has won Walkley and Logie awards for his broadcast journalism on Sky News where he worked for nearly ten years, and a News Award for his feature and opinion writing in the Australia. Dr van Onselen is the author or editor of six books, including a biography of former Prime Minister John Howard, rated by the Wall Street Journal as the best biography of 2007. He has a PhD in political science and a masters of policy studies and a masters of commerce.

Samantha Brett

Samantha Brett is the Founder & CEO of Australian brand, Naked Sundays, one of Australia’s leading Millennial sunscreen brands with world-first multitasking skincare-makeup benefits for the face and body.

Samantha, a former national TV news reporter and anchor, spent her days on assignment as a Breaking News journalist for Channel Seven, Sunrise, outside all day in the blazing sun with a full face of makeup. Despite the prevalence of skin cancer in Australia, Samantha quickly found very few sunscreens on the market, if any, catered specifically to be able to top up her sunscreen doing the day.

After witnessing two colleagues have to get skin cancer removals and alarmed by the statistics (70% of 16-30 year olds are at high risk for melanoma, yet only 70% wear SPF everyday), Samantha knew something needed to be done. Born out of necessity, she created the first-ever SPF designed to be applied over makeup.

Samantha Brett is a familiar face on global television screens, having been a national TV news reporter and anchor for over a decade, appearing on Australian networks including, Sky News, CBS, CNN and Australia’s #1 breakfast television show Sunrise.

Samantha is also a bestselling author of 10 books.

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