Our Ambassadors

Phil Cummings, Author
Phil Cummings has written over sixty books for children in a career that has spanned over twenty five years. He is an ambassador to the Premier’s Reading Challenge in South Australia, for the Dad’s Read campaign with the Public Libraries of SA and was an ambassador for the National Year of Reading in 2012. Phil has received a number of honours and awards in Australia and overseas for his work.  Phil’s books ANZAC BiscuitsBoom Bah! and Night Watch were presented to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as a gift to their son Prince George to commemorate their visit to Australia in 2014.

Janeen Brian, Author
Janeen Brian had never thought of becoming a writer. She was a teacher who loved reading, and reading to her classes and her own two daughters. Then she began to write little poems for her girls. After that, she tentatively attended a weekend writing course and her interest in writing grew. Janeen was lucky enough to get a beginning with writing books and readers for an educational publisher. She is thrilled that 80 of her books have now been published; they include picture books, poetry, short fiction, novels and non-fiction. Many books have been translated and won awards, including CBCA Honour Awards for Where does Thursday go?, Hoosh! Camels in Australia and Pilawuk- When I was Young. She has poems in 16 anthologies and also over 200 poems, stories, articles and plays in national and international children’s magazines. In 2017, Janeen’s manuscript Little Chicken, Chickabee will be published by The Little Big Book Club and given out free to over 23,000 preschoolers in SA.

Annie Maynard, TV and Theatre Actor
Annie appears as the lead role, Bess, in the high rating comedy Upper Middle Bogan, a sitcom screening on ABCTV. In 2011 Annie was nominated for an Inside Film “Out of the Box Award” for her work in television as Annie Woodham in Cleo; Birth of the Paper Giants and Jennifer in Spirited. Other credits include roles on All Saints, Tricky Business, A Moody Christmas, Rake and Annie in Puberty Blues seasons 1&2.  After graduating from NIDA in 2004 Annie appeared in two BSharp productions; The Eight Reindeer Monolgues and Handbag. She then appeared in the Company B Belvoir productions Capricornia and The Maralinga Project both directed by Wesley Enoch. For South Australia Theatre Company, Annie has appeared as Marya Antonovna in The Government Inspector and Brooke in Noises Off both directed by Adam Cook, before returning for a tour with the Queensland Theatre Company as Sybil in Private Lives, directed by Michael Gow. Annie also loves her work as a professional voice artist (since 2007) and as a corporate actor and facilitator since 2009.

Mike Dumbleton, Author
Mike Dumbleton is a writer and a Literacy Consultant who came to Australia with his wife, Linda, in 1972. Although he was always interested in writing, a young family and many sporting activities kept him fully occupied until his three children were old enough to allow him some uninterrupted time.  Eight of Mike’s titles have been selected as ‘Notable Books’ by the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA). His picture book Passing On, was shortlisted for the CBCA 2002 awards and Muddled-up Farm was selected as ‘Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year’ and the ‘National Simultaneous Storytime book for 2004’. He also received a 2005 Minister’s Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Improving Literacy’ as an educator and a writer.  Mike’s picture book Cat was developed into a play and selected as an Honour Book in the CBCA 2008 Awards. He has also written a range of junior novels including One Cool Kangaroo, and Jet-bike, the final story in the Jet trilogy. Mike’s latest books are Santa’s Outback Secret and the nonfiction picture book Meet Douglas Mawson, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Crichton Award for New Illustrators.  After many years of teaching in South Australia, Mike enjoyed the chance to work as a Literacy Consultant in New York. He is now pleased to be back in Australia, closer to family and friends. In his spare time he enjoys reading, travelling, trying to keep fit, listening to jazz and watching sport.

Rosanna Mangiarelli, Journalist, Channel 7 News Adelaide
Rosanna Mangiarelli joined the Seven Network in 2004 as a reporter, presenter and producer. Rosanna started her role as host of Today Tonight in August 2007. After completing her Journalism degree at the University of South Australia, Rosanna cut her teeth at Southern Cross Television in Port Pirie in 1997. Rosanna reported and presented for the nightly news service, becoming one of the country’s first video journalists. Rosanna’s career took a leap forward in 1999 when she joined the ABC in Tasmania, fulfilling a number of roles for the national broadcaster including reporting, presenting and producing for both radio and television. Rosanna then returned to her home town of Adelaide where she joined the ABC newsroom as a reporter in both news and current affairs, before moving on to present the Australia Network’s national news from Perth, to an impressive audience of millions in the Pacific, Asia and India from 2001. Rosanna joined the Seven Network in 2004 – her versatility allowing her to fulfill a broad range of tasks both on and off camera. Rosanna feels privileged to have interviewed a number of international, national and state identities – some of her highlights include: boxing great Muhammed Ali, Anzac hero Alec Campbell and award-winning writer Max Fatchen.  Away from work, Rosanna dedicates her time to an array of charities. She also enjoys holidaying around the state with husband Andrew, two daughters and her young son.

Katrina Germein, Author
Katrina Germein writes stories that delight children and adults alike. Her work is published around the world and has been described as “love-filled” and “goosebumpling”. Katrina’s first three books received Notable Commendations from the Children’s Book Council of Australia and subsequent titles have appeared on popular children’s television shows such as Play School. Her book My Dad Thinks He’s Funny was Highly Commended in the Prime Ministers’ Literary Awards and shortlisted for children’s choice awards across Australia. It is an Australian best seller, as is Katrina’s well-loved title Big Rain Coming. Katrina has been shortlisted multiple times in the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards, most recently for her book My Mum Says the Strangest Things. Katrina’s latest title, Thunderstorm Dancing, was published in April 2015 by Allen and Unwin. When Katrina is not writing she keeps busy with her twin son and daughter and their older brother. Katrina works part time as a teacher and holds a master’s degree in early childhood education. She likes swimming in the sea, bushwalking with friends, and napping the sun. Summer is Katrina’s favourite season.

Kate & Jol Temple, Authors
Kate and Jol have a lot in common, two small boys, a mutual dislike of tomatoes and five children’s books. They are the authors of  ‘Jimmy Cook Discovers the Third Grade’ series.  Their picture books include I Got This Hat, which was this year’s National Simultaneous Storytime Book and Mike I Don’t Like, awarded Best Designed Children’s Book by the Australian Book Designed Awards and shortlisted for Book of the Year by Speech Pathology Australia.  They have also received funding from the Australia Council to turn their books into digital companions, which have been recognised for their creativity internationally. When Kate and Jol are not writing books for kids, they like talking about writing books for kids.

Dr Rob Morrison OAM, Scientist
Rob is a freelance science communicator and broadcaster, and Professorial Fellow at Flinders University of South Australia.  He has written more than 40 books, mostly on science and natural history for children, which form part of the reading programs designed for Australian schools. His A Field Guide to the Tracks and Traces of Australian Animals was the first on this topic and led to his involvement as an expert witness in the Lindy Chamberlain trials. A science and environment broadcaster for forty five years, together with Dr Deane Hutton, he co-hosted the national children’s television science program Curiosity Show, which won many awards and screened in 14 countries.  He has won many national and international awards, including two Eureka Prizes, one being the Australian Government Eureka Prize for the Promotion of Science, the Michael Daley Award for Science Journalism, and the inaugural SA South Australian Government award for Excellence in Science Communication.  He has been and remains chair or board member of many science and conservation bodies, including Patron of National Science Week SA, Chair of SciWorld, South Australia’s interactive science education organisation, President of Zoos SA and National Vice-President of Friends of Science in Medicine and the Australian Science Communicators. He was awarded an OAM in 2004 for services to conservation, science education and science communication and he was the 2008 Senior Australian of the Year for South Australia.

Mandy Foot, Illustrator
Mandy Foot’s obsession with drawing animals and giving them an abundance of personality began when she was around 2, with chalk, on her grandparents pavement. Only then they didn’t look like animals or anything much for that matter. Now as a best selling children’s book illustrator of over 20 books, her canvas has evolved from the pavement and her studio is shared with her joined-at-the-hip border collie companion, Arty. Arty makes a guest appearance in Mandy’s first book with Raising Literacy, ‘Hush Say the Stars’ written by Margaret Spurling, to be published by Little Book Press in 2018 and given out free to over 21,000 preschoolers in SA (she often draws her own animals into her books).  With a Bachelor of Design specialising in Illustration from the University of SA, her career to date has also included such highlights as a lengthy relationship with the Adelaide Zoo Education Service, drawing enough animals to fill an encyclopedia, having her artwork chosen by students statewide to represent the SA Premiers Reading Challenge 2015 and having the number 1 best selling children’s book for Hachette Australia in 2013 with ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’ (number 4 within Australia).  Mandy is thrilled to be able to now share her passion of literacy, creativity and drawing with thousands of school students each year via energetic workshops and presentations, particularly throughout Book Week.

Jessica Trengove, Athlete
Jessica started running at Primary School in Naracoorte, where she lived until the age of sixteen before commencing Boarding School in Adelaide. Competing at the Olympics had always been a dream of hers and in 2012 that dream came alive, earlier in her career than anticipated. In the fastest debut marathon by an Australian female, Jessica achieved an Olympic A-qualifying standard in March 2012 in Nagoya, resulting in her selection for the London 2012 Olympics. She has since won two Commonwealth Games bronze medals in 2014 and 2018, placed 21st out of 156 in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and 9th at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. Through her profession as a physiotherapist, her running pursuits and public speaking, Jessica enjoys inspiring others and encouraging people to get the most out of life through a balanced lifestyle, physical activity and healthy living choices. Jessica is characterised by her natural, honest and motivating personality. She is grateful for the values she gained during her upbringing in the country town of Naracoorte, South Australia. She maintains strong relationships with her family, friends and support team and believes that these close networks are imperative. One of Jessica’s key messages to athletes is to “dream big and enjoy the process of chasing your goals”.