Cher Albrecht brings her dazzling style of aerial performance to our stage in this stunning and original piece. Accompanied by Ruth O’Brien on vocals, Cher challenged herself to push her own physical limits as a performer.
Cher started her professional career as a performer at age 17 in her hometown, Los Angeles. Her performances included singing, dancing, acrobatics and acting at local theme parks and other venues. For a number of years she was the resident Cat Woman and Wonder Woman, and performed in a variety of live stunt shows where she was “getting paid to run around and beat up boys”. The thrill of superheros led to Cher’s career as a stuntwoman for TV and film. She then spent a few years in Yosemite National Park, studying yoga, rock climbing and playing on her trapeze, until an opportunity arose to work in Australia.
Since moving to Canberra, Cher has immersed herself in the aerial arts as well as various community performance projects. She opened Aerial Sports in late 2015, where she has been teaching aerial acrobatics classes and managing the studio. Cher is also the co-founder of Solco Acro, Canberra’s first women’s aerial acrobatics and dance troupe.
The story behind the detection of gravitational waves
In this talk, physics pioneer Professor Susan Scott offers some insights, both professional and personal, into one of the greatest and most remarkable journeys of scientific discovery.
On 11 February 2016, the 1,000 strong international collaboration of scientists and engineers, of which Susan is a member, announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves on Earth. This was a scientific achievement which ranks right up at the top of the pile in the annals of human scientific endeavour. Watch on to find out how this groundbreaking moment in human history unfolded.
Professor Susan Scott is Professor of Theoretical Physics in the Research School of Physics and Engineering at the Australian National University. Her research expertise is in gravitational physics, general relativity theory, cosmology and gravitational waves.
Professor Scott is a member of the international team which announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves on Earth in 2016. She became the first female Professor of Physics (with one other woman) at the ANU in 2009, and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and of the European Academy of Sciences. She is a Program Leader in the new Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery and an enthusiastic Ambassador for Business Events Sydney.
Professor Scott is passionate about science, and as a woman and the proud mum of two daughters, cares deeply about the participation of women in science and policy making which will determine the future health of our planet.
Words without egos
Have you ever thought about writing as an act of service? In this thoughtful and thought provoking talk, Matt Fenwick reflects on how ego can prevent good writing, and what we can do about it.
Matt Fenwick has been working with words for most of his life. He’s interested in what happens when words collide with actual humans. Across his career, he’s been a highly-regarded content strategist and a poorly-regarded commercial cleaner.
Driven by an interest in what happens when words collide with actual humans, Matt writes, trains and thinks about making writing better.
Let’s rethink our approach to grief
In this emotional and inspiring talk, Melanie Greenhalgh explores our relationship with grief. Drawing on her own experience, she questions the validity of some commonly held views about the five stages of grief and suggests a better way for us to support each other through this very human process.
Melanie Greenhalgh is a passionate people person. She is a youth worker by trade and used these skills over a 21 year career in the community sector to fight for the rights of people in the community to be heard, respected and responded to.
Along the way Melanie has experienced grief and loss of people and property – sometimes she refers to her life as the good, the bad and the ugly. Melanie developed an understanding that happiness like all the other emotions we experience is never a constant state of being.
A mother of four, Melanie is at the coal face of raising children to become people of passion. Some days it’s great, some days it’s good and other days it’s all truly awful. She is an honest woman who believes that people need each other to navigate the human experience called ‘life’. Her honesty makes her an “Askable Adult” and this is something she is proud of.
Connecting to your creative truth through personal story
In this inspiring and often funny talk, artist Grace Costa talks about her most challenging – and most successful – project to date, and what she learned about herself and her art along the way.
Grace Costa’s natural ability to capture expressive images has earned her success over a 17 year career in contemporary and corporate photography. She has built a multi-award- winning portfolio in this time.
In 2014, “Portrait of Minika” ensured a finalist position for Grace in the prestigious National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition. Grace’s heart lies with contemporary portraiture. Her latest conceptual portraits have developed from her history with horses. “HORSE” has captured the hearts and admiration of many being her most successful exhibition. Grace brings horses into the urban world, standing unbridled and statuesque.
Grace has featured in numerous respected Australian publications. She exhibits in both solo and group shows in galleries around Australia, with work acquired for private collections worldwide. Grace is very active in her local community. She enjoys sharing her photography journey and industry knowledge. She mentors students learning the art form, hosts camera master classes and is a guest lecturer at the local TAFE and resident schools.
Leadership, life and legacy
Recently diagnosed with lung cancer, senior leader Steve Jackson is now using his position and influence to challenge some of the misconceptions about lung cancer, and lobby for greater research and understanding.
Steve Jackson has a long and distinguished history of service to his country. Throughout his career in national security and law enforcement, he has stared down some confronting situations.
As Group Head of Security for Qantas, Steve has Group-wide accountability for aviation security; facilitation strategy and policy; business resilience, business continuity and crisis management strategies; and cyber strategy and governance. Steve is one of a small number of Crisis Chairs charged with responsibility for leading, managing and coordinating the Qantas Group’s response to a crisis or emergency situation which threatens the interests of the Qantas Group, its customers or its employees. Before
joining Qantas, Steve enjoyed a career with the Australian Federal Police spanning some 21 years during which time he played key command roles across a wide range of policing functions. Steve was the AFP’s operational commander for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the AFP’s Field Commander during the joint AFP/Indonesian National Police investigation following the Bali bombings in 2002. Steve was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his work in Indonesia. Between 1979 and 1982, Steve served as a Commissioned Officer in Royal Navy (UK).
As he approaches the end of his working life, Steve is contemplating his legacy.
In this rollicking performance, the Gypsy Scholars play three original songs interspersed with stories about the band and their approach to song writing. See for yourself why they had our entire audience and everyone backstage on their feet and dancing.
The Gypsy Scholars
The Gypsy Scholars comprise of four youthful lads who are out to make thought-provoking and dance-inducing music.
With a unique blend of Aussie folk and indie influences, their joyful sound will stay with all who hear them. Formed in Canberra towards the end of 2014, The Gypsy Scholars met at the Australian National University and are made up of James Kelly, Conagh McMahon Hogan, Joel Shapero and Alec Brinsmead. With Conagh hailing from Bathurst and the remaining three from Sydney, the group move base between Sydney and Canberra with the nation’s capital remaining the spiritual home of the band.
The Gypsy Scholars bring a unique blend of Aussie folk and indie influences to their music. Their joyful sound will have you dancing in the aisles.
Learning through experience and compassion
Evidence shows that kindness and compassion in medical staff leads to faster healing, reduced pain and anxiety, and shorter hospital stays for patients. In this enlightening talk, Jane Frost shares her research and approach to nursing education to demonstrate the value of learning through experience, but in a way that does not jeopardise patients.
Dr Jane Frost is an experienced educator, endorsed Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse academic. She is an innovative educator and has an extensive clinical career.
In 2017, Jane was the first person in Australian to be conferred as a Doctor of Nurse Practitioner. Jane has had an extensive clinical career and is passionate about the role of the nurse in improving patient care. Jane works at the University of Canberra as an Assistant Professor in Nursing. She enjoys teaching and employs innovative techniques to prepare students for the realities of clinical practice. She understands the importance of responding to individual patient needs and endeavours to develop the art of therapeutic communication in her students. Jane’s use of the Mask-Ed technique, developed by Kerry Reid Searl from the Central Queensland University, is critical in this approach.
Digital technology, democracy and revolution
Digital of the people, by the people, for the people. How can the digital revolution changing democracy? And how can we be more actively engaged in the process? In this lively and enlightening talk, Brook Dixon challenges us to be more active and deliberative in our democracies, and to demand more of our elected representatives while also demanding more of ourselves.
Economist, writer, speaker, classicist, business owner, public policy expert and Churchill Fellow, Brook Dixon is driving smart city transformation across Australia and around the world.
Brook is Managing Director of Delos Delta, driving smart city and digital transformation for clients around the world. He is also Vice President of the Australian Smart Communities Association, working with counterparts across Australia to promote smart city solutions that improve liveability, sustainability and productivity in our communities.
Brook has visited and studied the drivers of digital transformation in leading global cities. As part of this study, Brook visited cities in Asia, Europe and the Americas in 2016. Brook has a degrees in Economics (Hons), Commerce, and Arts (Ancient Greek) from the Australian National University. He is passionate about literature, social, economic and democratic reform, education, participation, history, music and football.
Drive like a girl
Why is it considered an insult for men and boys to be told you ‘drive like a girl?’ In this entertaining talk, Lynda Leigh demonstrates how driving like a girl could improve driving across the world and, in particular, reduce the alarming rates of fatalities in young men aged 17-25.
Records and information specialist by day, rally driver by, er, weekend, Lynda Leigh has often been told ‘you can’t do that’ and she loves to prove the naysayers wrong.
Sydney born with an interesting 20 odd year career in Canberra, Lynda recently created her tree change in the Bega Valley. Being female with a disability was often told ‘you can’t do that’ so she proved them wrong by doing so! She’s determined to spend her savings on red wine, cheese, cars and she’d love a latte with one sugar, thank you very much.
Bridging cultural divides through business innovation
Julie Okely’s courageous and remarkable story shows how entrepreneurship, innovation, profitable business and social justice can work together.
Julie Okely is a proud Kamilaroi woman and successful business woman who is using her position of influence to build bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures in Australia.
Julie Okely began her business journey at 19, with the purchase of her first salon. Over 28 years she has evolved from a trade-based hairdresser to be a leading manufacturer of Australia’s most unique Indigenous beauty brands.
Being part of “The Lost Generation” of Indigenous Australians has fueled the passion behind her need to succeed, and the identification of her heritage has made her a proud Kamilaroi entrepreneur. She’s been awarded and recognised many times including the 2017 Supply Nation Indigenous Business Woman of the Year, 2016 Emerging Exporter and Best New Business ACT, and four-times finalist in the Telstra Business Awards. She is leading innovation in her business by incorporating Indigenous knowledge in all her practices.
What is the true cost of work?
We’re 60% more productive than we were a mere 30 years ago. It’s certain that we’re generating more and more activity into more and more wealth, but is there a benefit? There is a cost. But what is it, and how do you measure it? In this thought-provoking and often funny talk, Chris Endrey invites us to think about the role of work in our lives and ask what the real costs of work might be – and if it’s worth the trade.
Chris Endrey is a musician, writer and comedian who has performed sold-out shows at festivals around Australia.
He is well known as a passionate advocate of community arts and first appeared on TEDxCanberra’s stage in 2013 as a member of the band, Fun Machine. Well known to Canberra audiences, talented musician, writer and comedian Chris Endrey is renowned for his sharp wit and passionate support for Canberra’s arts community.
The myth of ‘us’ and ‘them’ – why we all need the welfare state
Peter Whiteford has spent much of his life studying the economics of the welfare state. In this talk, he shows why Australia, and all other high-income countries – need a welfare state and why it’s important. Along the way, he challenges the stereotypes commonly associated with welfare recipients and challenges the notion of a welfare system of ‘us’ and ‘them.’
Peter Whiteford is a Professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University, Canberra. He has previously worked at the University of York in the United Kingdom, at the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, as well as in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, and for the Australian government.
His work has encompassed pension and welfare policies in OECD countries, as well as on income inequality, child poverty, family assistance policies, and welfare reform. He holds several academic posts and is recognised as an expert on Australia’s tax system.
Living an awake life
Since 2015, Kate Seselja has been working tirelessly to break the tide of despair around addiction and claw back a society that is addiction proof. In this talk, she shares some key insights into how she broke the cycle of her addiction, and how we can and should approach the struggle of addiction collectively.
Kate Seselja is a voice in the darkness for people struggling in isolation with issues like addiction. She’s on a mission to change the way society judges and stigmatises our struggles.
When Kate Seselja revealed publically that she’d had a twelve-year struggle with a gambling addiction, that drove her to almost take her life, no one had expected this revelation from the well-spoken, married mum with six children. Kate knew she had to be a voice in the darkness.
Kate is passionate about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and her recent partnership with the United Nations Association of Australia highlights Goal #3 of Good Health and Wellbeing.
Gamification is key to nudging collective behaviour
Games hack your brain. They activate your limbic system and release feel-good hormones. This is what makes games so popular, so engaging and so powerful. In this talk, gamification and design expert Kerstin Oberprieler explores how we can add play to parts of our lives and what the psychological, physiological and social impacts might be.
Kerstin Oberprieler is passionate about using gamification to help individuals and organisations achieve their goals.
As a leading gamification and design thinking academic and practitioner, Kerstin is pushing the boundaries of what is possible with gamification, building gamified solutions that are intuitive, highly effective, and fun. Kerstin is currently completing her PhD.
Twenty seconds of spooning could change your life
Can 20 seconds of spooning change your life? Kal Ientile thinks it can. In this talk, Kal demonstrates a beautiful life hack that could make a big difference to you.
Dr. Kal Ientile (TCM) is an AHPRA-Registered Acupuncturist, a member of the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association and Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine.
Kal Ientile was led to a career in Chinese medicine through a desire to make a meaningful difference to the lives of others, and loves his work more with each year. He is also the founder of an online community for sharing and discussing acupuncture research.
Uncovering Canberra’s modernist soul
In this talk, Darren Bradley uses photographic images to challenge the way we see our built environment, and questions whether we’re losing important elements of our city’s history in our haste for growth and progress.
Darren Bradley is passionate about modern architecture, which led to an award-winning career as a photographer.
To Darren, architecture is the most interesting medium for artistic expression as it must nearly always serve a function, solve a specific problem, and speak to the context of its environment. The source of Darren’s inspiration is finding new and creative ways to capture the architect’s vision through imagery, and causing others to see and understand what’s special and unique about the buildings he photographs.
Darren originally started to photograph architecture as a hobby, a way of documenting the work he most admired during his travels and around town. His work has now appeared in large-format art books, academic and professional architecture journals, and lifestyle magazines around the world. He also regularly accepts commissions from architects, builders, and developers for new projects. His awards include the 2013 Paris Prix de la Photographie photography competition for the Advertising / Architecture category.
Anecdotes of a disabled gay
In this moving and often funny talk, Wayne Herbert challenges some common myths about disability and sexuality. He explores the power of social labels and how they can affect one’s life in both positive and negative ways.
Wayne Herbert is fearless and unapologetic in his commitment to raising the profile of people with disability and people of the LGBTIQ community.
Wayne knows there is much work to be done to improve the employment of people with disability. He knows all too well that as a country, Australia cannot let the skills and talents of people with disability go to waste. Wayne has a unique, humorous, thought-provoking, and challenging insight into the issues facing people with disability. He too has a disability, but is well-known for forgetting about it.
Wayne now embarks on the journey as a writer with his first book Anecdotes of a Disabled Gay, a collection of the shit people say to a thirty-something- year-old disabled gay man.
He can be regularly seen wearing magic shoes.
One woman band and international touring artist Tessa Devine’s unique percussive guitar style and haunting vocal harmonies will delight you. Her songs weave a lyrical web of evocative imagery and beautiful music. And as she demonstrated in this performance, she’s an experienced and versatile musician with real presence and stagecraft. She’s toured around Australia and overseas.
Hearing your place in nature
Andrew Skeoch believes the way we listen is the way we live. In this talk, Andrew explores the sounds of nature and what we can learn if we take the time to listen.
Andrew Skeoch is a naturalist and one of Australia’s best-known nature sound recordists. He works from a desire to address the fundamental question of our human relationship with the living biosphere.
Together with his partner, photographer Sarah Koschak, Andrew established the independent label Listening Earth in 1993 to publish authentic, natural soundscape recordings. This work has now taken him around the world, documenting the sounds of iconic landscapes and threatened ecosystems.
Walking with community as they lead
In this moving, lyrical and evocative talk, Indigenous leader Lynore Geia invites Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike to embark on a new journey of shared leadership. Indigenous people are raising their voices: can non-Indigenous Australia listen?
Dr Lynore Geia is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman born and raised on Palm Island. A nursing and midwifery academic Lynore has a passion for Indigenous health, building family strength and Indigenous-led community development.
Lynore’s work with community has extended into the use of social media for public health activism and advocacy such as #IHMayDay an annual 15 hour Twitter event convened and moderated by Lynore in collaboration with public health journalist Melissa Sweet and other health professionals.