Judges


Tara June Winch

Tara June Winch is an Aboriginal Australian writer based in France. Her first novel, Swallow the Air (2006), was critically acclaimed. In 2008, she was mentored by Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Her short-story collection After the Carnage was published in 2016, also to critical acclaim. In 2018 she wrote the script for the Indigenous dance documentary Carriberrie. Her current novel, The Yield, was published in 2019 and won the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Anna Krien

Anna Krien is the author of the award-winning Night Games and Into the Woods, as well as two Quarterly Essays, Us and Them and The Long Goodbye. Anna’s writing has been published in The Monthly, The Age, Best Australian Essays, Best Australian Stories and The Big Issue. In 2014 she won the UK William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, and in 2018 she received a Sidney Myer Fellowship. Act of Grace, her debut novel, is out now.

Nam Le

Nam Le’s first book, The Boat, was translated into 14 languages and received more than a dozen major awards in Australia, America and Europe, including the Australian Prime Minister's Literary Award, the Melbourne Prize, the PEN/Malamud Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize. The Boat was selected as the best debut of the year by New York Magazine, and a book of the year by more than 30 venues around the world. Its stories are widely anthologised, adapted and taught. Nam's second book, On David Malouf, was published in May 2019.

Maddison Connaughton
Editor, The Saturday Paper

Maddison Connaughton is editor of The Saturday Paper. She has been nominated twice for the Walkley Award for Young Australian Journalist of the Year, for her reporting on the Syrian War and the Australian criminal justice system. Her work has appeared in VICE News, SBS, Monocle, Vox, The Australian, The Age and more.

Suzanne Santos
Chief Customer Officer, Aesop

Suzanne Santos began her role at Aesop in 1987 and has been actively involved in critical aspects of the company’s development, in international as well as Australian markets. Suzanne travels the world as an ambassador for Aesop, overseeing its introduction into new markets, working with and tutoring representative agents in Aesop products and standards, and visiting stores to work with both clients and consultants.

Kate Torney (Independent moderator)

Kate Torney has been CEO at State Library Victoria since 2015. Prior to this, she spent six years as the Director of News at ABC, capping off a 20-year career there. A testament to her passion for creativity and knowledge, Kate is the Chair of National and State Libraries Australia, and serves on the boards of Circus Oz, The Conversation and the Judith Neilson Institute of Journalism and Ideas. In 2020, she was awarded an Order of Australia for her services to broadcast media and to the cultural sector.