Visiting International Publishers Program – Committee

The Australia Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Annabel Barker to the committee of industry representatives for the 2019 Visiting International Publishers (VIPs) program. Annabel is the Rights and Business Development Director at Hardie Grant Egmont, one of Australia's largest independent children's publishing houses, and has also held roles as Managing Director and Publishing Director.

Delivered by the Australia Council, the VIPs program strengthens relationships between Australian publishers and agents and their international counterparts, showcases Australia’s literary talent, and promotes the sale of Australian titles in international markets. 

The committee members are selected on the basis of their extensive industry expertise and international market knowledge, representing a range of skills and experience across the Australian publishing industry. Having worked in independent publishing houses, multinational publishing houses, literary agencies across the industry; they have strong connections internationally, and most importantly are passionate about Australian writers and writing.

Australian children's books are experiencing strong demand in international markets, and the VIPs committee welcomes Annabel’s extensive experience in this area to further develop relationships between Australian children's publishers and agents and their international counterparts.

Responsibilities of the committee include:

  • Selecting the 2019 VIPs;
  • Assistance with planning and events for the program, including the industry forum;
  • Hosting the VIPs throughout their time in Sydney; and
  • Promoting the program internationally to encourage applications from potential VIPs.

The new committee members are:

Anne Beilby – Rights Manager

Anne Beilby – Rights Manager, Text Publishing

Anne Beilby is the Rights Manager at Text Publishing. She is responsible for all contracts—acquisitions, sales, film and audio. She has attended numerous international trade Fairs including Frankfurt, Bologna, Taipei & London Book Fairs since joining Text in 2004. 

Gaby Naher – Director, The Naher Agency

Gaby is the director of The Naher Agency and represents a range of quality fiction and non-fiction for adult readers. Her clients include Stella-prize-winning Heather Rose, and New York Times #1 bestseller, Candice Fox. Prior to establishing The Naher Agency in May 2008, Gaby worked as a literary agent, publicist and bookseller in Sydney, London and New York. She is the author of four books and has a Doctorate of Creative Arts.

Annabel Barker– Rights and Business Director, Hardie Grant Egmont

Annabel Barker– Rights and Business Director, Hardie Grant Egmont

Annabel Barker is a children’s publishing professional whose career has spanned 15 years across companies including Hardie Grant, Hachette and Pan Macmillan, both in Australia and UK. Most recently Annabel has been Managing Director of Hardie Grant Egmont, where she managed the Australian joint venture children’s publishing partnership between Egmont UK and Hardie Grant. Annabel’s background is in international rights and she has worked across many territories and attended book fairs across the globe. She has worked with many of Australia’s best-selling and award winning children’s and YA book authors and illustrators. 


The Australia Council would like to sincerely thank outgoing committee member, Fiona Henderson, Publishing Director at Simon & Schuster, for her hard work, enthusiasm, and contribution to the program over the last two years.

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