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The ACLF team

The Australian Children's Laureate Foundation relies on the skills, passion and abilities of many individuals in order to achieve its goals and meet its objectives.


On this page you can find out more about partners and friends of the ACLF, the ACLF Board, and ACLF office staff.

Partners & Friends of the Australian Children’s Laureate Initiative

The ACLF would like to thank our funding partners, sponsors, donors, and friends for helping us make the Australian Children’s Laureate initiative a reality.

Major funding has gratefully been received from the Federal Government via Creative Australia, the Copyright Agency Ltd Cultural Fund, Gourlay Charitable Trust, Bolinda Audio and the Australian Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia. Previous support from The Costello Foundation and the Cages Foundation was also vital to the ACLF's development.

Other financial support has been received from the Children’s Publishing Committee of the Australian Publishers Association (APA), Australian Society of Authors (ASA), Children's Book Council of Australia and its branches, State Library NSW, State Library Queensland, State Library Victoria, State Library WA, National Library of Australia, MONA, Book Links (Qld) Inc, and the Department for Education and Early Childhood Development (SA).


Publisher support has been received from Penguin Random House Australia, Allen & Unwin, HarperCollins Publishers Australia, Working Title Press, and bookseller Mark Rubbo.

In-kind support has been received from Zart Art, University of Sydney, Somerset Storyfest, Hill of Content, Printgraphics Printgreen and Feathers of Australia.

If you would like to support the Australian Children's Laureate Initiative by offering financial, in-kind or volunteer support, please contact the ACLF via email on


The Laureate Patron: Noni Hazlehurst AM

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Meet the ACLF Board


Bruce Ellis

ACLF Chair


Bruce is a Partner at PWC in Melbourne with over 30 years’ experience in advising a broad range of clients with a focus on providing independent advice to financially successful individuals, families and business owners. Bruce is a Fellow and Accredited Financial Planning Specialist of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Business degree (with distinction) from RMIT.

Bruce joined the Board of ACLF in 2017.


Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright

ACLF Deputy-Chair


Robyn operates a writing and publishing consultancy service and has published widely on children’s and young adult literature. Robyn has judged several awards and was the inaugural chair of the judging panel for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (Children and YA). Robyn began her career as a children’s librarian who went on to co-found a small children’s imprint. She was inaugural Executive Director of the Queensland Writers Centre and is currently President of IBBY Australia Inc. Robyn was recipient of the 2011 CBCA (Qld) Dame Annabelle Rankin Award, the 2012 CBCA Nan Chauncy Award, and the 2014 QWC Johnno Award. 

Robyn holds a PhD from Griffith University (Gold Coast) and a Master of Letters(Distinction) in children’s literature from the University of New England. Robyn joined the board of ACLF in 2012.


Bill Hanlon

ACLF Treasurer


Bill Hanlon is a CPA accredited accountant and began his professional life working in commercial organisations including Tabcorp. Bill has also spent 17 years working in the not-for-profit sector in positions including: Finance Manager, SIDS and Kids Victoria; Project Accountant, the Alannah and Madeline Foundation; and Manager Business Services, Orana Family Services. Bill was also a volunteer director on the board of First Option Credit Union for ten years, ultimately holding the position of chair. Bill has been on the board of the ACLF since 2017. 


Emily Banyard


Emily is a marketing, publicity and digital communications specialist. After completing a combined BA (history & Journalism) at The University of Sydney, Emily began her career as a publicist in the UK where she worked at Simon & Schuster, Random House, Michael O'Mara Books and arts consultancy FMcM Associates. Her clients included authors and illustrators, publishing houses, magazines, literature festivals, books fairs, prizes, charities and arts organisations. Emily returned to Australia in 2017 and worked in communications at the Australian Society of Authors for four years before joining Echo Publishing in 2021. She joined the ACLF Board in 2018.


Lindy Batchelor

Lindy Batchelor has always been an enthusiastic participant in the world of Australian children's literature. Lindy holds a Diploma of Education, a Bachelor of Education, and a Graduate Diploma of Education [Teacher Librarianship]. She has worked as a primary teacher; a librarian in schools and public libraries as well as Taronga Zoo; author; reviewer; bookseller, and event coordinator for a children's bookshop. Lindy was the founding President of the Children's Book Council of Australia Northern Sydney sub-branch. She has been involved with the ACLF since 2015 and held the role of Program Manager from 2018–2020 before joining the Board.


Laurine Croasdale

Laurine has worked in a range of jobs in publishing and the arts industry. She began writing for newspapers and magazines, then transitioned into publishing working as a commissioning editor and book packager both overseas and in Australia. Laurine has also written fiction and non-fiction books for children, with fifteen published by mainstream publishers in Australia, as well as scripts for children’s television. Laurine reviewed books for ABC Radio Sydney, Tasmania and Canberra for many years, and managed the audiobook departments for the ABC and Vision Australia. Laurine’s most recent role was at the Australian Society of Authors, where she managed their mentorship and professional development programs.  
Laurine joined the Board of ACLF in 2012.


Ron Gorman

Ron is the former Deputy Director of the Australian Independent Schools Western Australia (AISWA) where he managed innovative programmes and university partnerships. He has extensive experience in teaching and leading a diversity of schools in WA and Victoria. Ron has made outstanding contributions to the study and practice of educational leadership at state, national and international levels and has presented widely on innovation, learning and school reform. Ron has edited and contributed to numerous publications. Ron was awarded the 2019 Pre-Eminent Leader of WA by the Australian Council of Educational Leadership as well as being awarded a National Fellowship. He is a member of the Global Educators Leaders Partnership.

Ron joined the Board of ACLF in 2013, holding the position of Chair from 2016 – 2018. Ron advocates for Australian authors and illustrators, and is committed to supporting emerging authors in remote Indigenous communities.


Kim Kane


Kim is the author of over 25 books for children and young adults, published in Australia and overseas. Before she commenced writing full time, Kim was an intellectual property and commercial lawyer. Kim joined the board of ACLF in 2015 Prior to ACLF, Kim was the Vice Chair of Express Media Inc. She also sat on the board of the Australian Teachers of Media (Vic) (ATOM). Kim completed a Law(Hons)/Arts (Hons) degree from Melbourne Uni with honours in German and Fine Arts. She also completed RMIT’s Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing. Kim joined the board of ACLF in 2015.


Mandy van den Elshout


Mandy is a senior media lawyer who has worked with a number of major players including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation where she assisted program makers and journalists with defamation, contempt, contract, intellectual property, privacy and consumer law advice. Mandy has also acted as Legal Services Manager at the Australian Society of Authors and provided copyright advices for the Australian Copyright Council.  Mandy provides advice to authors and illustrators in relation to publishing through the Arts Law Centre of Australia's pro bono service. Mandy holds a Bachelor of Arts/Law and Masters of Laws (LLM) both from the University of Sydney. Mandy joined ACLF in 2016.

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Meet our talented office team


Kristin Darell 

ACLF Program Manager 

Kristin is a children's author and has been writing in some form or another for more than 25 years. Since graduating from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Laws degree and receiving a Diploma of Journalism from Macleay College, Kristin has worked at the Seven Network, Australian News Channel and the ABC as a reporter, a writer and producer of news, sport and current affairs. Kristin has also worked as a copywriter, writing in a range of subject areas across digital and print mediums. Kristin is an active member of the Australian Children’s Literature community as an author and through the CBCA (NSW)

and SCWBI. The ACLF was delighted to welcome Kristin to its fold in 2019.


Justine Burton

ACLF Marketing & Administration Officer

Justine is an experienced marketing, administration and events manager. She has worked across a number of industry areas for organisations including Trivett. AMP, Adcorp and Air Media. She has been responsible for running large corporate events, coordinating advertising and marketing campaigns and developing social media strategies. Justine spent the past decade in the United States and is now excited to be back in Australia and bringing her skills to supporting the Laureate program. The ACLF was thrilled to welcome Justine to the team in 2022.

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