Patience Hodgson (she/her) is a singer, songwriter and performer, best known as the bold and energetic lead singer for ARIA-nominated and much loved Meanjin (Brisbane) indie-rock band The Grates. The band enjoyed much success, touring nationally & internationally, over a period of 15 years. They consistently received high rotation and support from Triple J and graced the main stages of every major contemporary music festival in Australia. Adored by audiences for her dynamic and engrossing performance style, Patience still takes to the stage, regularly performing as a part of cult music trivia night Not On Your Rider. While her list of creative endeavours is long, some highlights outside of her time in The Grates include: Collaborations with multidisciplinary artist Rachel Burke The Minutes podcast she co-produced with comedian Melinda Buttle Her work with John Patterson creating and operating Southside Tea Room, Death Valley and Red Robin Supper Truck Hosting and facilitating Splendour In The Craft for 5 years Multiple national tours with Rockwiz Countless one-off appearances on stage.
Nick Earls is the author of 28 books, most recently the novel Empires. Two of his novels have been adapted into feature films and five into stage plays. His writing has won awards in Australian, the UK and US.
Samuel Johnson OAM is a much-loved Australian actor, best known for his work on The Secret Life of Us, Crackerjack, Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities, Rush and as the star of the hit biopic Molly. In recent times he is more proud of his work as a breast cancer advocate and determined unicyclist. He won a Gold Logie in 2017 for his work on Molly and was named the 2018 Victorian of the Year for his charity work to vanquish cancer. So far the charity he set up with his sister Connie, Love Your Sister, has raised over $15M. Samuel is a bestselling author, with his and Connie's book Love Your Sister and his endearing Dear Santa both hitting the bestseller lists and both shortlisted for an ABIA award. His winning stint on Dancing with the Stars reminded all of Australia how much we love Samuel Johnson. Samuel continues to dedicate most of his time to the charity and doing what he can to raise funds for cancer research. The Dear series is part of that fundraising.
Stephanie Johnson MNZM is the author of many novels, several collections of short stories and verse. Her non-fiction book West Island: Five Twentieth Century New Zealanders in Australia was published in 2019. She is a well-regarded critic and the co-founder of the Auckland Writers Festival. In 2022 Stephanie received the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement (Fiction).
Matt Brown, is a New Zealand born Samoan and an author, communicator, an internationally acclaimed barber and hair artist; known for ‘giving great cuts’ and ‘inspiring great men.’ He is a survivor of family violence and childhood sexual abuse and shares his story with the men who frequent his busy Christchurch barbershop, My Fathers Barbers, as a way to foster vulnerability, healing, and connection. He has facilitated multiple programs inside Christchurch Men’s Prison, Te Puna Wai O Tuhinapo, a Christchurch youth justice facility and was named a Corrections NZ patron in 2020. Matt has cut everyone from All Blacks to the Wu Tang Clan but his true calling; he believes lies in his work to redefine societies view of masculinity and to help end the cycle of domestic violence affecting whānau all over New Zealand; hosting free men’s anti violence support groups from locations like his barbershop, construction sites, prisons and on marae.
Since 2018, Matt and Sarah have partnered with the Ministry of Social Development as ambassadors for their ‘It's not OK Campaign’ and are currently funded to develop an app to promote healing for indigenous men. The couple are proud ambassadors for the work of Aviva Families, afamily violence service centre in Christchurch and for a domestic violence research department in Griffith University in Australia. Together they co-founded She Is Not Your Rehab and launched the concept in Matt’s 2019 TEDx talk. He says the movement is an invitation for men to acknowledge their own childhood trauma and to take responsibility for their healing so that they can transform their pain instead of transmitting it on those around them. A New Zealand Māori (Ngāpuhi/Te Rarawa) wāhine, Sarah is a writer, celebrant and producer who is passionate about the mandate of ‘creating violence free communities’ and has worked alongside Matt since his brands began.