Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

Whenever the announcer gives out the phone number for Karl Kruszelnicki's famous Science Talkback show on Triple J, on Thursday mornings - so many calls come in that the ABC switchboard crashes!

Karl's media career began in 1981, when he started presenting 'Great Moments In Science ' on Double J to pay his way through medical school. Since then, his media career has exploded from radio to include TV, books, newspapers, magazines, scripting, professional speaking, and of course, the Net. Karl made his TV debut in 1985 as the presenter of the first series of Quantum. Since 1986 he has reported science on the Midday Show, Good Morning Australia (including a full-time stint in 1991-2 as the TV Weatherman and science reporter), the Today Show and Channel 7's breakfast program Sunrise. In 2008 he completed a series for ABC TV with Adam Spencer called 'Sleek Geeks' - the pair have teamed up again to produce a second series which will go to air on ABC 1 in the second half 2010. Karl also popularises science on ABC radio stations across Australia and, on the BBC, for several hours each week.

Karl has written (so far) 34 books, beginning with 'Great Moments In Science' in 1984, and includes such titles as 'It Ain't Necessarily So...'Bro' (2006), which was launched, quite literally, via rocket at Sydney's Bondi Beach (a world first).

November 2009 saw the simultaneous release of Karl's 28th book, 'Never Mind The BULLocks...Here's the Science', board game ('Fact OR Fishy'), and first ever music single, 'Get Fact'. In August 2010 Karl's 29th book, 'Dinosaurs Aren't Dead', was released. In November 2010, Karl's 30th book, 'Curious & Curiouser', was released into the adult non-fiction market. His latest book, ‘Game of Knowns’ was released in October 2013.

In 1996 Karl was invited by the United States Information Agency to be a Distinguished Foreign Guest in their International Visitor Program. Previous Alumni of this program include Julius Nyere, Anwar Sadat, Indira Ghandi and Margaret Thatcher. As part of this program he visited NORAD, Dryden Air Force Base and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory - and got to sit in the front seat of an SR-71 Blackbird.

In August 2000 Karl was one of first eight Australian Apple Masters to be announced (there are fewer than 100 in the entire world). The Apple Masters Program celebrates the achievements of people who are changing the world through their passion and vision, while inspiring new approaches to creative thinking.

In 2002, Dr Karl was honoured with the prestigious Ig Nobel prize awarded by Harvard University in the USA for his ground-breaking research into Belly Button Lint and why it is almost always blue.

In September 2003, Dr Karl was bestowed with the great honour of being named 'Australian Father of the Year'.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki received the Member of the Order of Australia Award in the 2006 Australia Day Honours list. In 2007 the Australia Skeptics Society awarded Dr Karl the Australia Skeptic Of The Year Prize.

In March 2012, Dr Karl joined a rather exclusive list, when he was declared one of Australia’s 100 National Living Treasures.

Karl has degrees in Physics and Maths, Biomedical Engineering, Medicine and Surgery and has worked as a physicist, tutor, film-maker, car mechanic, labourer, and as a medical doctor at the Kids' Hospital in Sydney.


Dr Karl is currently the Julius Sumner Miller Fellow at Sydney University, where his 'mission' is to spread the good word about science and its benefits.

Wayne Bennett

Well known and well respected throughout Australia, Wayne Bennett is in demand as a conference and keynote speaker on leadership and teamwork. His presentation style and honesty is one that will not be forgotten by any audience.

Wayne is known as “The Greatest Coach Ever”. He was awarded this title after coaching the Brisbane Broncos to another victorious win in the 2006 Rugby League Grand Final. The 2008 season was Wayne's 21st and final year of coaching at the Brisbane Broncos, and in 2009 he moved to New South Wales to commence coaching with the St George Dragons. In 2010, Wayne Bennett guided the St George Illawarra Dragons to a Grand Final victory taking his impeccable record to 7/7 Grand Final successes.

Wayne took on another challenge coaching another NSW club the Newcastle Knights in 2011.  They made it to the semi finals for 2013.   At the end of the 2014 season, Wayne returned to the Brisbane Broncos. Wayne was inducted in to The Australian Sport Hall of Fame in 2012 and said he was very humbled by recognition given to him by SAHOF.

Wayne started his coaching career in 1976 in Ipswich, Queensland. In 1987 he moved to Canberra where he coached the Raiders to their first-ever grand final appearance and was subsequently named Coach of the Year. He joined the Brisbane Broncos as their inaugural coach the following season and guided the club to six Premierships from as many grand final appearances between 1992 and 2006.

In 1998 Wayne created history by becoming the first coach to steer his club, state and country to victory in their respective series.

Wayne is recognised in Rugby League circles as one of the most influential and innovative of our modern day coaches. He is the longest serving coach of a single club in the history of the game in Australia and has one of the best winning percentages in Rugby League.

Wayne has also achieved considerable success as an author, with his books “Don’t Die with the Music in You”, “League’s A Lot Like Life” and his latest book "The Man in the Mirror" which is a candid story of his unprecedented 21 years as coach of the Brisbane Broncos; the story of a remarkable man who helped to launch a new rugby league club and turned it into a powerhouse.


The insight into Wayne Bennett and his family on the popular ABC series Australian Story was another outstanding success and it was, and is still the most requested story ever to be repeated

Alison Fairleigh

Alison Fairleigh is a passionate advocate for rural mental health and farming communities. In 2013, Alison was chosen as the RIRDC QLD Rural Woman of the Year for her advocacy in improved rural mental health services and suicide prevention, and it is her mission to ensure that mental health is seen to be just as important as physical health within the agricultural sector. Alison has successfully used social media to shine a light on life in rural and remote Australia and is passionate about empowering others to find their voice through this powerful medium. Alison sits on the Friends Advisory Committee for the National Rural Health Alliance as well as being an associate member of the Rural Doctors’ Association of Qld. Alison is currently the Townsville Area Manager at the Mental Illness Fellowship of North Qld where she is working to deliver drought assistance programs in north and west Qld. Alison is also an Australia Day Ambassador representing the Australia Day Council in outback communities.

Maree Crawford

Maree Crawford is passionate about ensuring Australia has a sustainable agricultural industry. She is an inspirational and engaging speaker with a practical down to earth persona. Her mantra is “the value of agriculture will be measured by the success of our ability to feed our people sustainably and the adoption of innovation for the future growth of our nation”.

She also advocates the role and value of women in Australian agriculture regardless of position. With a strong rural background, Maree brings with her solid insight, knowledge and hands on practical experience in the agricultural industry along with strong drive to ensure the future success and longevity of the Australian agricultural industry.

Her work with the grains, horticulture and livestock industries especially in the areas of practice change through the adoption of new technology has been recognized Australia wide.  In 2013 Maree was listed in the Top 100 Women in Australian Agribusiness Awards for her contribution to success in agriculture. Currently she holds a position as the zone Technical Services Manager with Elders, leading agronomists to provide quality outcomes for Elders clients through a robust technical platform involving R&D of new chemistry, products and agronomy practices.

Maree was elected as the Chair of the successful national Australian Summer Grains Conference in 2013 and again for the current conference and a representative of various Australian grains industry bodies.



Jim Pratley

Jim is Strategic Research Professor of Agriculture at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga. He was the Foundation Dean of Science and Agriculture at CSU for 16 years. His research career commenced with doctoral studies at the University of NSW studying plant and soil factors affecting the selenium nutrition of grazing livestock. Jim has devoted attention to long term studies of tillage systems and in recent times his activities have been extended to include research into herbicide resistance and to allelopathy of weeds and crops. His resistance work identified the first worldwide incidence of evolved resistance to the herbicide Roundup. Jim has published three books, more than 90 refereed research papers, 22 book chapters and over 90 conference papers.


Awards: In 2008 - the Molisch Award from the International Allelopathy Society for research excellence in the field of allelopathy. 

               In 2010 - the Council of Weed Societies (CAWS) medal for leadership in weed science


He has been a member of the Boards of:

CRC for Plant-based Management of Dryland Salinity,

CRC for Sustainable Rice Production,

              CRC for Weed Management Systems and

              CRC for Viticulture


He is a member of the NSW Minister for Primary Industries Ministerial Advisory Council, a Member of the Research Committee of the Australian Farm Institute, Member of the National Committee on Agriculture Fisheries and Food (Australian Academy of Science), Member of the expert panel of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia (ABCA) and Secretary of the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture.


In 2013 he produced a Ministerial Review into Agricultural Education and Training in NSW