Official Guest

Tara MossThe Henry Lawson Festival Committee would like to welcome Tara Moss as the 2017 Henry Lawson Festival of Arts Official Guest.

Tara Moss is an author, journalist, TV documentary presenter, human rights advocate and anti-cyberbullying campaigner. She is currently executive producer, co-writer and host of Cyberhate, coming to ABC TV in 2017, examining the phenomenon of online abuse.

Since 1999 she has written 11 bestselling books, published in 19 countries and 13 languages, including the acclaimed Mak Vanderwall crime fiction series and the Pandora English paranormal series. Her first non-fiction book, the critically acclaimed The Fictional Woman, was published in 2014 and became a number one national non-fiction bestseller, and her iconic cover design, featuring her face labeled with ‘fictions’ or stereotypes about women won Best Non-Fiction Book Design at the Australia Book Design Awards in 2015 with HarperCollins Publishers. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Sydney, and has earned her private investigator credentials (Cert III) from the Australian Security Academy. Her latest book is Speaking Out: A 21st Century Handbook for Women and Girls. Her next fiction novel is due for release in 2018.

Moss is an outspoken advocate for the rights of women and children. She has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2007 and as of 2013 is UNICEF Australia’s National Ambassador for Child Survival, and has visited Australian hospitals, maternity wards and schools as well as Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon in her UNICEF role. Moss has spoken at numerous schools on cyberbullying and online child safety, and in July 2015 was announced as the Norton Family Ambassador on these issues. In 2015 she was announced as Patron of the Full Stop Foundation for Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia and launched the foundation at Parliament House, and in 2016 she was named an ambassador for Our Watch. In 2015 she received an Edna Ryan Award for her significant contribution to feminist debate, speaking out for women and children and inspiring others to challenge the status quo.

Her in-depth novel research has seen her tour the FBI Academy at Quantico, spend time in squad cars, morgues, prisons, the Hare Psychopathy Lab, the Supreme Court and criminology conferences, take polygraph tests, shoot weapons, conduct surveillance, pass the Firearms Training Simulator (FATSII) with the LAPD, pull 4.2 G’s doing loops over the Sydney Opera House flying with the RAAF, and acquire her CAMS race driver licence. She has hosted the true crime documentary series Tough Nuts – Australia’s Hardest Criminals on the Crime & Investigation Network, ‘Tara Moss Investigates’ on the National Geographic Channel and the author interview show Tara in Conversation on 13th Street Universal. In 2014 she was recognised for Outstanding Advocacy for her blog Manus Island: An insider’s report, which helped to break information to the public about the events surrounding the alleged murder of Reza Barati inside the Australian-run Manus Island Immigration Detention Centre.

Moss also writes about vintage, sewing, craft and body positivity at her vintage-focussed blog

She is a dual Australian/Canadian citizen.

Recent Awards and Accolades:

  • 2012 Australia’s 20 Most Influential Female Voices
  • 2013 Australia’s Most inspiring Women ‘who push boundaries, create change and motivate’
  • 2014 Outstanding Advocacy Award for Manus Island: An insider’s report
  • 2014 Cosmo’s The Women Who Made 2014 Better for The Fictional Woman
  • 2014 Influential Women of 2014, alongside Malala, Laura Bates, Angelina Jolie and more
  • 2014 The Hoopla‘s The Female Eunuch Award for The Fictional Woman
  • 2015 Best Designed Non-Fiction Book Award, for The Fictional Woman designed by Tara Moss and Matt Stanton
  • 2015 Part of the University of Sydney’s Leadership for Good
  • 2015 Edna Ryan Award – ‘Grand Stirrer Award’ for making a feminist difference by speaking out for women and children, for a significant contribution to feminist debate and inciting others to challenge the status quo
  • 2016 Champion of the West award for community service
  • 2017 Order of Lambrick Park, ‘recognizing and honouring Lambrick Park alumni who have made significant contributions or achievements since graduation.’

Photo by Berndt Sellheim


Past Official Guests

2016 Vanessa Grimm - News Presenter
2015 Roy Billing - Actor & Writer
2014 Mark Grentell - Director/Writer/Producer
2013 Chris Coleman - Broadcaster
2012 Dick Smith - Entrepreneur
2011 Gregory Bryan - Historian
2010 Juliettre Palmer-Frederick - Author
2009 Max Cullen - Actor
2008 Sandy Fussell - Author
2007 Hon Ian Armstrong OBE - National Party
2006 David Foster OAM - Wood Chopper
2005 Don McAlpine - Cinematographer
2004 Her Exec. Prof Marie Bashir AC - NSW Governor
2003 Alan Jones AO - Broadcaster
2002 Jan O'Neill (Lehane) - Tennis Star
2001 Colin Buchanan - Country Singer
2000 Peter Bensley - Actor
1999 Judy Nunn - Actor
1998 Paula Duncan AM - Actor
1997 Garry McDonald AO - Actor
1996 DrHilarie Lindsay OAM - Author
1995 Carol Willis - Camp Quality
1994 Geoff Lawson OAM - Cricketer
1993 Alan Moir - Cartoonist
1992 Leon Becker AM - Broadcaster
1991 Mike Hayes - Journalist
1990 Briget Goodwin - Film Maker
1989 Eric Rolls AM - Author
1988 Slim Dusty - Country Music Singer
1987 Di Morrissey - Author
1986 Thomas Keneally AO - Author
1985 Peter Lawson - Artist
1984 James Dibble AM - ABC News Reader
1983 Jennifer Murphy - Actor
1982 Peter Summer - Actor
1981 Malcolm Thompson - Actor
1980 Leonard Teale - Actor
1979 Steve Liebmann - Television Presenter
1978 Lorraine Bayly - Actor
1977 Clive Evatt QC - Labor Party
1976 Ted Roberts - Author
1975 John St Vincent Welch - Past Festival President
1974 Patrick White - Author
1973 Dr Hilarie Lindsay OAM - Author
1972 Hon George Freudenstein MLA - NSW Country Party
1971 Harold Goodwin - Founder of the Henry Lawson Festival
1970 Chuck Faulkner - Actor
1969 Leonard Teale - Actor
1968 Bill Peach - Television Personality
1967 Bertha Jago (Lawson) - Daughter of Henry Lawson
1966 Michael Sawtell - Author
1965 Neil Hutchison - ABC Television
1964 John Thompson - ABC Broadcaster
1963 Ald Harold Jensen - Lord Mayor of Sydney
1962 Eric Baume - Journalist
1961 Sir Eric Woodward KCVO - NSW Governor
1960 Olav Nordland - Norwegian Consul
1959 Hon Ray S Maher MLA - Labor NSW
1958 Prof Colin Roderick CBE - Author