TEDxCanberra MOMENTUM – The Highlights In Pictures.

Seventeen speakers and three performers. It’s a lot to squeeze into one day. A lot to take in, in one day. You want to remember the best bits but it’s not like you have someone taking notes and sketching the talks live, as they happen, is it?

You may not have been taking notes (yes really some people do!) and that’s totally OK. We hope you were relaxing and taking it all in, ready to reopen those ideas and conversations sometime in the future.

We, on the other hand, were taking notes. Of sorts. We had the wonderful creative genius that is Gavin Blake, taking his version of notes. Gavin scribed every single talk. That’s a lot of ideas and a lot of drawing.

So, now you can relive our TEDxCanberra2017 talks with this fresh recap. In pictures. Enjoy:)


Download the TEDConnect App

TEDConnect is a FREE app, available on iOS and Android that helps you keep in touch with other conference guests, keep track of the program, meet new friends, and learn about your favourite speakers. (OK that blurb was for attendees)

To get started with TEDConnect:
  1. First, you need a TED.com account. If you don’t have one, sign up here using  the email you used to register, it’s free.
  2. Download the TEDConnect app (available in iOS App Store, or in the Google Play Store).
  3. Log into TEDConnect with the same login info as your TED.com account.
  4. Update your profile, meet other attendees, and explore the program!

Food, Glorious Food! 5 Minutes with Swirl Catering’s Lachlan Exton

TEDxCanberra is in for a delicious treat at this year’s flagship event Momentum. Serving up crowd pleasers like tasty Thai Beef and scrumptious home made Anzac biscuits, Swirl Catering has planned a special menu that is sure to keep the momentum going and feed our hungry attendees.

We caught up with Swirl Catering’s charming 24-year-old Director Lachlan Exton to find out more about his work and the delicious food the company is serving Canberra’s top businesses.

How long has Swirl Catering been in business?
Swirl Catering has been around for 7 years now and I transitioned into the family business straight from school.

What is Swirl Catering’s Philosophy?
We want to make our customers feel comfortable, welcomed and that they are our number one priority. We pride ourselves in serving our customers freshly prepared food with professional and personal service.

How have you kept the momentum going in your business?
In regards to the team, we keep busy in order to grow and keep the momentum going. If its not providing high quality service and food, we find other things to do whether that’s checking our equipment, stock, maintenance or reaching out to our customers.

Swirl Catering uses momentum to grow our business. I try to keep momentum going when we are quiet to prepare ourselves for when the clients come to us. We stay up to date with hospitality trends to streamline production and make the business more efficient. We’ve also recently updated our equipment and have a state of the art food and beverage management system that takes control of our food costs and supply increases. If we invest money in equipment that gives us more time to spend with our customers, then we’re doing better.

What are some of the food menus on offer?
We have a range of packages available for our customers and we can also create tailored menus to suit different needs. The ACT Government has recently implemented a new healthy eating initiative where catering companies have to align with the green light system so we’ve developed specific menus that have been approved by Nutrition Australia. ACT Government agencies can only order from these approved menus. We’ve also implemented a food safety program to minimize any risk to our customers.

Type of events catered for?
We cater for every kind of event from corporate, government, social to private events including celebrations.

How about businesses that Swirl Catering has worked with?
We’ve worked with hundreds of private and corporate sector organisations including locals, educational institutions and property groups.

We don’t want to be seen just as a catering company, we want to grow to be Canberra’s offsite food, beverage and events service. We have big things planned going forward and want to shake up the industry so watch this space.

TEDxCanberra Momentum is on this Saturday, 16th September at the Canberra Theatre. We can’t wait to see you there!


Written by: Sallie Rodriguez

TEDxCanberra’s adventure at TEDGlobal in Tanzania

Left to right Cristina from TEDxVitoriaGasteiz in Spain, Ingrid Tomanovits from TEDxCanberra, Gemma from TEDxVancouver; Yusuke from TEDxTokyo and Kristin Boag from TEDxCanberra.

Organising a TEDx event isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s hard to not focus on the minutiae and the detail and forget what we’re really doing here.

We’re a grassroots, locally organised event that spreads inspiring and innovative ideas through our community, and that’s enough for us. It’s a big deal. Yet, at the same time, we’re part of something so much bigger – a media empire creating space for meaningful dialogue for more than 30 years.

This week, two of our team Ingrid Tomanovits & Kristen Boag have been at TEDGlobal in Arusha, Tanzania. Not only did they hear four days of the best in international TED talks – they also got to attend the global TEDxOrganiser workshop. With 150 organisers across 60 countries, this full day event was a masterclass in bring the best of TED home.

Here are our favourite insights we’re packing in our suitcases, and bring back to Canberra:

Building an event is an achievement in itself

A few years ago, this event was just a dream. Now we’re in the biggest room at the Canberra Theatre, with more than 25 volunteers and 17 speakers we are SO excited about. Sometimes we need to give ourselves a pat on the back (or a pinch!)– and look at how far we’ve come.

Don’t focus on catering instead of curation

We spend a lot (and I mean A LOT) of time coming up with ways to make the complete end to end experience just right. It’s not simply about to securing the presenters, patting ourselves on the back and showing up in a cool tshirt on the day – we spend a lot of brainpower on the entertainment, the break outs, the goodies, the food, and the surprises! We also spend time finding and working with our amazing Partners who make this all possible.

So the reminder that the catering isn’t as important as the curation is always an important reminder for us. Focus on the core excellence of finding that idea that is truly worth spreading.  Of course, we know hearing all those talks and using all that brain power makes our audience hungry, and we know we need to provide a well designed, tasty and nutritious menu to give you brain food (tick, tick and tick this year – more on that another time). But the core of our events will always be ideas.

Embrace the FOMO (fear of missing out)

There’s going to be people who didn’t buy their tickets on time, people who made excuses and left it too late.

And it’s completely their fault.

Show them what they’re missing out on. Capture the moments and show the experience of what we were all part of – show them the builders, truth tellers and catalysts. Make sure they don’t make this mistake again.

There’s still time if you’ve got FOMO – we’ve saved you a seat at TEDxCanberra. Tickets are still available for Saturday September 17. 

Blog by Rebecca Warton, TEDxCanberra comms team.


P.S you may not be aware – but we have a TEDGlobal level facilitator in our midst! Ingrid facilitated the two breakout sessions at the TEDx workshop about partnerships. 


Where to grab a drink or a bite to eat after TEDxCanberra

TedxCanberra Momemtum will be a day filled with talks from incredible, inspiring people where you will meet new friends, learn about new technologies and initiatives, and so much more…. If you want to keep the ‘momentum’ going, check out our recommendations in New Acton, the CBD and Braddon about where to go for a drink or a bite to eat after the event.

Parlour Wine Room

Parlour Wine Room has been an institution in Canberra for many years. Based in New Acton, they have become a staple cocktail location for locals and interstate travellers alike. The vibe is sophisticated and elegant – large plush armchairs tucked into corners with paintings; service staff offering classic cocktails with a twist matched with an extensive bar and dining menu.  My recommendation is the Emma Stone, a refreshing cocktail with sweet ginger, strawberries and lemon served with a dry Australian prosecco.

Bar Rochford

This gorgeous wine and cocktail bar is hidden away in the iconic Melbourne Building. It can get pretty noisy later in the night so I would recommend going there early and select a few good eats and drinks from their menu. Their menu features a selection of dishes including Red Snapper with Black Eyed Peas, Chorizo Oil, Coriander Yoghurt, fresh oysters and a range of cheeses. Gourmet Traveller has also nominated them for Bar of the Year in Australia!


Lazy Su

Situated on Lonsdale St in Braddon, you’ll find a range of tasty Korean/Japanese/American fusions eats at Lazy Su. Think wagyu cheesesteak spring rolls, ramen, bao-gers and Korean fried buffalo wings. They also have lots of Japanese drinks on the menu and the interior is like nothing I’ve seen in Canberra (make sure you go to the toilet)!


Sanya Bar

This funky little Beijing tapas bar in Braddon offers a selection of drinks including unique cocktails at a great price. Grab a drink and choose from a selection of their Beijing-inspired tapas – the banana chicken wings are a ‘must try’.



Akiba is one of our favourite spots in Canberra to grab a drink and a bite to eat. They really tick all the boxes for us in terms of food, atmosphere, drinks and service. They offer a good Asian fusion menu with eats like baos, dumplings, sashimi and more. If you’re feeling really hungry you can go with the ‘Just feed me’ option. For $49 you get 8 of their favourite dishes.


Capitol Bar and Grill at QT Canberra

There are so many options on the menu at Capitol Bar and Grill, you will be spoilt for choice. They were recently awarded the best steak in Canberra and their range of sides are incredible – do yourself a favour and try the Paris Mash Potatoes and the Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese (if it’s still one the menu)! The bar and dining space is really quirky, they have a fireplace near the bar and it has a great atmosphere.



Kokomo’s is a new bar in Canberra, only opening in June 2017.  The theme is tropical and casual – with fresh, light cocktails served in the downstairs bar, or in the upstairs dining booths.  We went on a Sunday evening, and the vibe was really cool – music pumping while groups and couples enjoyed cocktails and light snacks.  It may be the new kid on the block, but Kokomo’s is certainly making waves in Canberra city.


By Eat Canberra

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Why Do Our Veterans Keep Coming Back to TedxCanberra Events? [Q&A]

Here at TedxCanberra we absolutely love getting feedback from our veteran attendees. We want to know what keeps you coming back and what makes a live TedxCanberra event so amazing! So we asked one of our loyal TedxCanberra attendees Jessica Hawkes about her experiences at our events.

Please share with us how many live Ted events you’ve attended?

Three. All In. Empower. And the women’s event at the vibe. (Where I made two friends!!)

Which of those TedxCanberra events was your favourite and why?

They’re all good for their own reasons. I’ve been to three unique events. One with no participation. Two with workshops and one aimed at women.

What was your favourite thing about being an event?

Meeting people. Since moving to Canberra, I’ve found people very personable and approachable. TEDxCanberra is no different.

Who was the most interesting/memorable speaker or attendee that you were able to speak with at an event and why?

Brad Carron-Arthur was extremely personable after All In. I contacted him to discuss corporate talks for my office as I read his bio which stated he did this. We met for a beer and talked for hours. He was great to bounce ideas off of and I find his honesty refreshing.

I also met Brook Dixon at the Empower event. He introduced himself during one of the breaks and again he was someone I contacted outside the TEDxCanberra event to discuss all things public speaking.

I thoroughly enjoyed my workshop with Katrina Howard. Amazingly it was timed perfectly as I was preparing for a presentation I gave at work. I still often think of my key take away from her workshop.

What made this talk special or meaningful to you?

For me, having that human side gives me confidence about one day doing my own talk. I’m just not sure on what yet! It also reminded me that anyone can do it and that embracing your own personal style is key.

How do you feel after attending a TEDxCanberra event?

Usually inspired. I’m an out of the box thinker so I love to hear so many different stories and points of view. It gives me a sense of confidence and assurance about my life.

Who do you think TEDxCanberra events are for?

Anyone. Why pigeon hole it!? It’s hard not take something away from these talks. Even when I gave a presentation to my colleagues about the All In event, I inadvertently provided take away points for them. That’s special.

Finally, in three words can you describe the overall atmosphere at a live Ted event?

Friendly. Enjoyable. Resourceful

If you too would like to experience a live TedxCanberra event, get your tickets today.


Article by Danielle Tattam.

Five Minutes With Dr. Jane Frost [Momentum Speaker Profile]

As an experienced educator, endorsed nurse practitioner and an exceptional nurse academic, Dr. Jane Frost is one of the most impressive speakers on our line-up for TEDxCanberra Momentum.


We were lucky enough to spend five minutes with Dr. Jane to talk about her extensive clinical career and her strong passion for improving patient care. Here is what she had to say.   


Q; Tell us a bit about your work and why you love it.

I am a nurse practitioner, nurse educator and nurse academic. I am passionate about teaching the nurses of the future to care about patients. I want my students to understand the importance of putting together the art and science of nursing. to learn that communication is such a powerful tool and that kindness and compassion are the things that distinguish a good nurse from a great one.


I am passionate about nursing roles and the difference nurses can make to patients lives. I am an innovative educator who tries to make learning engaging and relevant. My research into patient enablement, relates to giving patients the ability to cope, manage and understand their illness so they can make informed decisions that are right for them.


Nursing is about people, it is about noticing, and responding to people and recognizing that everyone is different.


Q: What’s something you are working on right now that you can share with us?


I am currently working on ways to use Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology to create immersive teaching environments in health.


Q: What does MOMENTUM, our TEDxCanberra2017 theme, mean to you?


Momentum to find new ways to teach communication, compassion and kindness in a digital age.


Q: What can our TEDxCanberra audience expect to hear from you? (without giving away too much!)


The value of communication, kindness, compassion and empathy.


Q: What do you like most about Canberra?

It is a wonderful place to bring up a family.


Q: Fun Fact. What’s one thing you can share that people don’t know about you?

I ran the London Marathon in 2006

Don’t miss out on Dr. Jane Frost’s incredible talk this September 16 at the Canberra Theatre.


Written by: Sallie Rodriguez

Five Minutes With Professor Susan Scott [Momentum Speaker Profile]

Professor Susan Scott is a Professor of Theoretical Physics in the Research School of Physics and Engineering at the ANU, and one of the exciting speakers lined up for TEDxCanberra Momentum.


Her love of science, exceptional research expertise, and deep passion for women’s participation in science and policy making is not only inspiring but critical in determining the future health of our planet.


We sat down with Professor Susan for a quick chat. Here is what she has to say.


Q: Tell us a bit about your work and why you love it.


I am a mathematical physicist. I love trying to understand how the laws of physics work and how they apply to every aspect of our Universe … I am inspired by the big questions which we are still on a quest to answer – what is dark matter, what is dark energy, are we alone, how did the Universe begin?


Q: What’s something you are working on right now that you can share with us?


So currently we are absorbed with trying to probe how gravitational waves which may be detected from neutron stars in the future will enable us to unlock the mysteries of the physics of neutron stars, the densest objects in the Universe.


Q: What does MOMENTUM, our TEDxCanberra2017 theme, mean to you?


MOMENTUM is central to my talk as the black holes in a binary system of two large black holes have a massive amount of momentum as they get closer and closer together in a cataclysmic death spiral whizzing around each other at half the speed of light!


Q: What can our TEDxCanberra audience expect to hear from you? (without giving away too much!)


They will hear about the 100-year quest to directly detect gravitational waves here on Earth… [and] learn of the mysterious nature of the event which caused the gravitational waves that were measured in the first detection in 2015, involving objects which are so exotic that they cannot be detected by any other means.


Q: What are you most looking forward to sharing at the event?


I am most looking forward to sharing the excitement of my journey of scientific discovery with the audience. I am also really looking forward to taking in all the other talks and entertainment at the TEDxCanberra day.


Q: What do you like most about Canberra?

I love the fact that Canberra is not too big and it’s not too small. It has all the facilities of a larger city but the feel and community spirit of a country town. The open spaces throughout Canberra and the wild places nearby make it a very attractive place to live.


Q: Fun Fact. What’s one thing you can share that people don’t know about you?

I am passionate about wilderness. I love to experience it as often as I can and I am keen to assist in its preservation while we still have a window of opportunity.


See Professor Susan Scott join our incredible speaker line up on 16 September at Momentum. Tickets still available here.


Written by: Sallie Rodriguez

Five Minutes With Wayne Herbert [Momentum Speaker Profile]

Wayne is fearless and unapologetic in his commitment to raising the profile of people with disability and people of the LGBTIQ community. He too has a disability, but is well-known for forgetting about it. ‘Is it wrong that I forget I have a disability? I just get on with things; I’ve got shit to do.’


Tell us a bit about your work and why you love it.

I work as a leader in Disability Employment Services. I get to work with an incredible team of people who are deeply committed and invested in people with disabilities. Through accessing all that the community has to offer, and by experiencing both success and failure, people with disabilities are able to live the life they choose and become the greatest version of themselves.

What’s something you are working on right now that you can share with us?

I’m currently working as a member of the Chief Minister’s LGBTIQ advisory council and as a member of the ACT government disability reference group. I am also actively campaigning to ensure that people vote “Yes” for marriage equality in Australia.

What does MOMENTUM, our TEDxCanberra2017 theme, mean to you?

 Momentum means many different things to me. I’m especially interested in how my momentum reflects and influences others in our diverse communities. Momentum has the potential to transform people’s lives in so many different ways.

What can our TEDxCanberra audience expect to hear from you?

 Audience members can expect to see momentum like they’ve never seen it before! Using humour, wit and charm, I will challenge the audience members to think about the social labels we commonly use and the impact that they can have on people’s lives. I will also show the audience that I am not afraid to laugh at myself.

What are you most looking forward to sharing at the event?

I’m most looking forward to sharing the day with the other speakers and having the opportunity to engage with as many audience members as possible. I want to share my unique insights and perspectives to challenge the way people think and feel about people like me.

What do you like most about Canberra?

 I like that Canberra is a vibrant, growing, ever-changing and inclusive city. I’m also a huge fan, of the now world-famous, “freak shakes” and would love one day to have one named after me.

Fun Fact. What’s one thing you can share that people don’t know about you?

I love art and have many pieces in my house, including a very large self-portrait.


Not long now until you’ll get to see Wayne perform at TEDxCanberra2017 – Don’t forget to get your tickets.

Five Minutes With Dr Lynore Geia [Momentum Speaker Profile]

Dr Lynore Geia has an undeniable passion for Indigenous health, for building family strength and for Indigenous led community development. When she’s not teaching midwifery students on best practice care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families, she’s busy leading a research study on psychosocial issues that affect them while teaching them the methodology to conduct their own research in the future.

We’re thrilled to have Lynore join as a speaker at TEDxCanberra Momentum on Saturday 16 September at The Canberra Theatre.


Q: Tell us a bit about your work and why you love it.

I work in tropical north Queensland as a university academic and my work involves providing leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues, including teaching and learning, research and community engagement. The tropics have a dynamic urban, regional, rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community that brings a rich learning experience to health students and staff.

My home community is a discrete Aboriginal community that has survived the decades of punitive past practices of government control of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people. Now, communities are rebuilding and exerting political and social agency – it is an exciting time and a challenging one.

Our communities have a young demographic population compared to the rest of Australia and this is where my job intersects with the community and university. I love working in this space because I can bring community and university work together which benefits both parties. I love working with youth and young people in my health profession and in the community setting.

My work provides a great opportunity to break down barriers, and build bridges in areas that keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and wider Australian people apart.

My aspiration is to see more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people succeeding at university and working in the health profession.

Q: What’s something you are working on right now that you can share with us?

I am currently teaching undergraduate and postgraduate midwifery students on midwifery care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families. This is an important subject because it provides students with the knowledge and skills to engage in culturally safe maternal and child care in the hospital and community setting.

I am also leading a research study within my own community, working with youth 14 – 24-year old’s on psychosocial issues that impact on their lives, the aim is to build a locally driven strategy to address some of these identified issues. This is a first for the community and we have been building research capacity in the young people so that in the future they can conduct their own research in partnerships with others.

Q: What does MOMENTUM, our TEDxCanberra2017 theme, mean to you?

The word momentum brings up many images in my mind, but the most outstanding two is timing and moving forward. I believe that there is always a right time to do things and when you step into the right time it brings with it its own rewards.

With the current national political and social developments in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, the MOMENTUM theme provides a timely space to talk about these issues to a wider audience of people and provide insight, understanding, and it challenges us to move forward to build together.

Q: What can our TEDxCanberra audience expect to hear from you? (without giving away too much!)

Some information about my life, Indigenous leadership, and aspirations as First Nations people.

Q: What are you most looking forward to sharing at the event?

I look forward to sharing some of my future hopes and vision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Q: What do you like most about Canberra?

Canberra is the seat of representation for all things political and social that impacts all our lives. I like Canberra because everytime I come here I think about the giants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders whose shoulders I stand on and step out to follow their footprints towards building the momentum to our future.

Fun Fact. What’s one thing you can share that people don’t know about you?

I like to think about myself as an Espresso shot – short, black and can pack a punch – despite the seriousness of our lives I aspire to have a good sense of humor.


Purchase your tickets for September 2017’s TEDxCanberra Momentum today.


Article by Bec Warton, TEDxCanberra