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. 


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

Five Minutes With Steve Jackson [Momentum Speaker Profile]

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

Momentum Performer Spotlight, Tessa Devine

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