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

“My story is a personal account of survival. Grief and loss of people and possessions has been a big part of my life. I have a comfort level talking about it that others can find confronting.”

I’ve worked with young homeless people and some of the most vulnerable in our community for decades. When my house burnt to the ground my appreciation for the lived experience of vulnerable people became louder and clearer.

I use honesty and humour to negotiate life.


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

I’m busy trying to find ways to spread the word about my personal experiences – knowing that they have commonality of the lived experience of many humans.


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

“Without Momentum would I even be alive? I rely on the energy of life to help me negotiate the challenges. What fuels my momentum is something that I continue to discover.”

This TEDxCanberra experience is contributing to my healing and I’m ready to share it with you the audience.

“My story isn’t unique, there’s nothing special about me. I’ve experienced the good, the bad and the ugly in life. Grief and loss has given me gifts for life.”


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

I will take you on an emotional journey, my presence on the TEDxCanberra stage is proof I survived but how and why? That’s what I share.


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

“This is the first time I will reveal parts of a very personal story. I’m sharing to tell people they are not alone and that where they are right now is ok.”


Q: What do you like most about Canberra?

I was born here, I grew up here. Canberra is a place I feel I belong.


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

As a child I danced for 12 years. As a ballerina I was like a sack of potatoes but as a jazz performer I had rhythm and movement! To this day if there’s music or a beat I’m the one dancing!


Are you ready to travel on this journey with Melanie?


Hear her full story and that of many others at Momentum, September 16. Register here.



Article by Helen Roe

When she’s not leaving skidmarks and a trail of smoke behind her, Lynda is fascinating to listen to. She squeezed in five minutes with the TEDxCanberra team. Here’s what she has to say. Although there is more, plenty more, which she brings to the stage at Momentum, 16 September.

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

“I enjoy being a “dido” – drive in drive out contractor, records management specialist, business speaker, all which fund my very expensive hobby, rallying. I really love when all these elements come together – talking about rallying or records. (Yes I have a gig talking about records management of a rally event.)”


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

“I spoke at a records and information conference last week…. who said that record managers are boring.”


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

“Learning how to drive faster without fear. My metaphor for life and rallying.

This middle aged profoundly deaf woman didn’t know how to drive a manual until two years ago now competes in international rally events.

Motor sport is the only sport where men and women compete against each other at the same time.”


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

I am woman, hear the squeal of my wheels!


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

Having a conversation with every single person at the event.


Q: What do you like most about Canberra?

The National Portrait Galley – when I’m feeling small, lost and upset. It’s my safe place. Every portrait is someone who “lived their life”. Someone who probably felt exactly the same as I do, at sometime in their life and moved forward.


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

I wanted to be a horticulturist when I grew up….


Catch Lynda’s talk at Momentum this September 16, Canberra Theatre.

Article by Helen Roe


In the lead up to his TEDxCanberra talk, Steve Jackson takes time out to talk with the TEDxCanberra team. He gives us a sneak peak into what he’ll be covering in his Momentum talk on September 16. Without giving too much away, we promise.


Q: What’s your work all about?

“As the Chief of Security for the Qantas Group, I have overall accountability for the safety and security of Qantas employees, our facilities, aircraft and other assets around the world.

I spend much of my time working with Government departments and agencies in Australia and overseas and with Industry Associations to influence the direction of aviation security laws and policy so they are as practical and sustainable as possible.”

“What energises me most about my job is the unique contract

I have with the community to help keep people safe.”

I can think of no other important promise to another person than to do all I can to make sure they will be safe and secure when traveling on one of our aircraft.


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

“Much of my work at the moment is focused on building national security strategies for the future where our cross sector relationships are good for today, but most importantly are institutionalised for the future.”


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

MOMENTUM for me means a wonderful opportunity to help people energise and give themselves a moment or two of reflection to consider ways in which they can in turn help others energise.

“We all have reservoirs of resilience. The challenge we have when dealing with adversity is to understand the ways in which you can unlock those reservoirs of resilience.


“Perseverance and tenacity when times are tough will get you through.

Look up. Aim up. And never give up!”


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


“The TEDxCanberra audience will hear my reflections on leadership in adversity over my 38 year career. I’ll provide examples of where I’ve found ‘golden rules of leadership’ to help me throughout my working life in the armed forces, police and most recently the private sector when dealing with adversity and indeed personal challenges.


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

I’m looking forward to sharing my story and what I’ve found works for me throughout my working life. Everyone has a story to tell and it’s important that we take the time to share our individual stories so that others can draw from them.


Q: What do you like most about Canberra?

Remembering the memories when I joined the Australian Federal Police in the early 80’s and the wonderful friends I made over the following 15 years.


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


I have a soft spot for building model ships. Well, I should say a soft spot for building one ship. In 1978, I was given a lovely timber model of a French trading schooner. It’s accompanied me around the world and I still haven’t finished building it!

Don’t miss out on Steve’s talk, join us September 16 for Momentum at the Canberra Theatre Centre. Tickets are available here.



Article by Helen Roe

Who goes high up in the air, twists and turns, and mystifies audiences with her strength and flexibility? That’s Cher Albrecht, the amazing stuntwoman and acrobat taking TEDxCanberra Momentum to new heights on Saturday 16 September 2017.


Cher Albrecht started her professional career as a performer at the age of 17, where she sang, danced, acted and performed acrobatics at local theme parks in her hometown Los Angeles. Cher then moved on to performing in live stunt shows, TV and films including “Bruce Almighty” and “Starship Troopers.”


After spending time studying yoga, rock climbing and playing on her trapeze at the picturesque Yosemite National Park, Cher moved to Australia to pursue an opportunity in her trade of graphic design. She has since moved to Canberra and continues to share her passion for aerial arts with the Canberra local community.


In 2015, Cher made her dream of creating an adult playground come true by opening Aerial Sports, a dedicated aerial acrobatics studio that aims to make aerial acrobatics accessible for all who want to partake in the sport.


She also co-founded Solco Acro, Canberra’s first women’s aerial acrobatics and dance troupe. The women of Solco Acro use choreography, aerial dance and circus arts to create a stunning visual and emotional experience for all.


Be prepared to watch Cher Albrecht take on the Canberra Theatre stage and showcase the physical power and beauty of Momentum. Learn more about our speaker line up and other performers here.


For more information about Cher visit Solco Acro.

And you can learn more about Aerial Sports here.


Written by: Sallie Rodriguez

TEDxCanberra are very excited this year to be able to provide Auslan interpreting for our annual event Momentum.

We welcome the DeafACT community and friends to join us in September for an unforgettable day of inspiring talks and thought-provoking ideas that will leave you thinking and feeling differently about our world.

Check out our short inspiring video.

Next on our line-up of performers for TEDxCanberra Momentum is a charming folk band called The Gypsy Scholars. Comprised of James Kelly, Conagh McMahon Hogan, Joel Shapero and Alec Brinsmead, The Gypsy Scholars promise to bring inspired song writing, beautiful harmonies, and dance inducing music to the Canberra Theatre stage on Saturday 16 September.


After meeting in late 2014 at the Australian National University, The Gypsy Scholars have created wonderful songs that blend Aussie folk and indie influences. Since they first stepped onto the Australian music scene in 2015 with a performance of “Air’s A Little Cooler,” The Gypsy Scholars have charmed Australian listeners with their highly successful debut single “The Looking Glass,” sold out headline shows, and performed at festivals like Lost Paradise and Cream. They have also supported Polish Club, Slow Turismo and the iconic Andrew Farris from INXS.


Though their songs are a definite nod to the folk music genre, The Gypsy Scholars have also incorporated an interesting indie twist to their music. As multi-instrumentalists playing guitar, drums, trumpet, mandolin and more, each member brings something exciting to the table, creating a sound that is full of life and a whole lot of fun. Fitting to their name, The Gypsy Scholars seek inspiration for their music from their travels with songs like “Turtle” and “Paris” inspired by adventures overseas.


Though The Gypsy Scholars move between Sydney and Canberra, they still consider the nation’s capital as their spiritual home. What better way to see these youthful lads in action than at TEDxCanberra Momentum.


Treat yourself to an incredible performance by The Gypsy Scholars and purchase a ticket for TEDxCanberra Momentum. Click here for ticket info.


To find out more about The Gypsy Scholars, please visit their website.


Written by Sallie Rodriguez


Meet Tessa Devine, an incredible one-woman band, multi-instrumentalist and international touring artist. On Saturday 16 September, Tessa will grace the Canberra Theatre stage and share her incredible music with the TEDxCanberra audience at our flagship event Momentum.


Tessa’s music is filled with soulful lyrics that paint a beautiful and unique picture of adventure, heartbreak, love, and self-discovery. Aside from her music, Tessa’s quirky personality makes her an absolute joy to watch on stage.


While covers of popular songs like Florence and the Machine’s You’ve Got The Love and Justin Bieber’s Cold Water showcase her diverse musical repertoire and penchant for making every song her own, it’s in her original work where Tessa’s music truly shines.


Her debut EP “Wild” released in March 2017 features four incredibly written and produced songs about the unpredictable life of an adventurer. In “Wild”, Tessa sings of stories that are profound, honest and uniquely her own. Accompanied by percussive guitar rhythms, incredible harmonies and impressive looping techniques, her songs blend indie folk pop with surfy tribal roots, producing a sound unlike anything heard before.


Tessa has performed in an impressive array of shows and festivals including the Cygnet Folk Festival, Bendigo Blues, Mount Beauty Music Festival, Roots Festival right across to EUR to play throughout the UK and Slovenia. We are very excited to welcome Tessa to the TEDxCanberra stage in September.


Don’t miss out on a spectacular performance by the talented Tessa Devine at TEDxCanberra Momentum on Saturday 16 September 2017.


Tickets for Momentum go on sale from 24th July 2017. Click here for ticket info.

To learn more about Tessa Devine, please visit her website.


Article by Sallie Rodriguez