Airling (Hannah Shepherd), singer-songwriter
Airling (Hannah Shepherd) is fast becoming one of the most talked about young artists in the Australian music industry with her own twist on pop music. In just her first 18 months, her career has a fantastic grounding: the release of her debut EP Love Gracefully, the successful track “Forces” (co-written with Japanese Wallpaper and featuring Airling’s own vocals), and already gracing the stage across many of the major music festivals and venues in the country (Laneway, Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival, Sydney Opera House, The Forum). Now with the release of her bare-all, soulful pop debut album Hard to Sleep, Easy to Dream Airling is set to capture the hearts of all music lovers across the globe.
Mel Buttle, comedian and columnist, QWeekend
Mel Buttle is a hilarious bundle of contradictions, and she’s a package that is rapidly making herself felt in all mediums, right across the country. Originally from Brisbane, she has been performing on the live comedy circuit across the country for years. As well as live performance, she is a seasoned writer with a weekly column in The Courier-Mail, writing on ABC2 and Pivot TV’s award winning Please Like Me, and Network Ten’s This Week Live. You may have seen Mel appearing on Network Ten’s The Project and This Week Live or on ABC TV’s Tractor Monkeys, Back Seat Drivers or It’s A Date. In 2015, Mel found out she could have her cake and eat it too scoring the job of co-host on The Great Australian Bake Off for Foxtel’s LifeStyle Channel alongside her friend Claire Hooper and judges Maggie Beer and Matt Moran. Bake Offwill be returning in 2017 with its third season.
Jerath Head, assistant editor, Griffith Review
Jerath Head is assistant editor at Griffith Review, and co-editor of Griffith Review 56: Millennials Strike Back. He’s also a research assistant and content contributor for Griffith University’s Policy Innovation Hub. His writing has been published in New Philosopher and Kill Your Darlings, and numerous arts and culture publications in Australia and Ireland.
Patience Hodgson & John Patterson, The Grates/Southside Tea Room
With more than 15 years’ experience at the forefront of the music industry —both in Australia and internationally— and 5 years experience owning & operating a bar/cafe, Patience Hodgson, together with her partner John Patterson, brings a unique and charming perspective to both indie rock music and hospitality alike. Known for their catchy pop songs, adventurous and gamboling live shows—complete with costumes, life-sized, hand-made backdrops and fun, creative attitude—Patience and John have, through their band The Grates, been unwittingly integrating music, art and entertaining throughout their music career. The Grates have four studio albums, five EPs, and countless hours of national and international touring under their belts. In 2012 Patience and John opened Southside Tea Room, a cafe in Morningside, which slowly expanded to include a bar (Death Valley), a food truck (Red Robin Supper Truck) and a boutique festival (Death Valley Fun Camp). Like all they embark on, the business has strong community values, providing a warm home away from home for the diverse clientele that occupy the space. As The Grates’ frontwoman, Patience has proved her mettle as a natural TV and radio host, having hosted the new music program with James Mathieson on the Nova Network, co-hosted Video Hits, appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone, Yen Magazine and countless newspaper and street mag covers. Not to mention her world-famous dance moves. John Patterson has not only music nous, but technical know-how and unstoppable creative drive. The Grates are renowned for their playful aesthetic and DIY attitude—largely thanks to John’s prowess as a graphic designer and tech nerd.