Author: Sagaland (co written with Richard Fidler)
Published by Harper Collins
Associate Professor at QUT School of Creative Practice
Saga Land is an exploration of heritage at multiple levels. Kari Gislason is Icelandic by birth, but moved to Australia at the age of 10 with his mother, and was kept from his father, who already had a wife and five children. He yearned for a relationship with not only his distant family, but also with his home country, and through that yearning he found the Icelandic sagas – the real stories of the Vikings who settled on the island in the Middle Ages. At 27, while studying for a PhD in Icelandic literature, he received a small travel grant to get him to Iceland. There, he reconnected with his father, and through one innocuous comment a seed was sewn that what would eventually become Saga Land. Gislason’s father told him it was no surprise that Kari was so drawn to literature – after all, he was a descendent of Snorri Sturluson, one of the greatest of the Icelandic saga authors.
Dr Kari Gislason is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Literary Studies in the Creative Industries Faculty at QUT. He has previously taught in Writing and Literary Studies at the University of Tuebingen, the University of Queensland, the University of Iceland, and Bond University, as well as at senior secondary colleges. His PhD, a study of authorship in medieval Iceland, was completed at the University of Queensland in 2003, and was included on the UQ Dean’s Commendation List for Outstanding Research Higher Degree Theses. He has worked in a research capacity on projects that investigated the teaching of Shakespeare in Australian universities, environmental law, and practices of translation and language training. Dr Gislason has published internationally on a range of topics in literature and cultural studies, as well as creative writing pieces in the local and national press, and in Australian literary journals. He currently serves on the editorial advisory board of Australian Book Review.
Author: Being 14
Published by Hachette
Journalist and Commentator
Madonna King is an award-winning journalist, author and commentator. She has long been known as the voice of current affairs in Queensland, heading the top rating current affairs program on the ABC for six years, and winning several national ABC awards for her journalism. She has regularly appeared on breakfast television, as well as having spent many years in the Canberra press gallery reporting and interpreting politics. With her more than 20 years’ experience across newspapers, radio and television. Her experience in the media and politics allows Madonna to provide a fascinating yet entertaining keynote about what goes on behind-the-scenes in politics and the decision-making process. A fellow of the prestigious World Press Institute, Madonna has served as a visiting fellow at the Queensland University of Technology, and on the Walkley Advisory Board for Journalism. She has completed a Diploma in Company Directorships, through the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is on three not-for-profit boards.