2 April 2024

Marian Catholic College to host inaugural Griffith TEDx forum as speaker applications open

| Oliver Jacques
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Dr Penny Ludicke in empty theatre

Marian principal Dr Penny Ludicke in the theatre that will host the Griffith TEDx event. Photo: Supplied.

The black box theatre at Marian Catholic College has been chosen as the venue for the inaugural Griffith TEDx forum and applications for prospective event speakers opened today (2 April).

TED [Technology, Entertainment, Design] Conferences are international talks posted online for free distribution under the slogan “ideas worth spreading”. TEDx is a grassroots offshoot of this concept whereby locals run forums in their towns independently.

Event producer Adam Bannister launched the Riverina’s first-ever TEDx forum in Wagga in November 2023; businesswoman Sara Pixley is organising the inaugural Griffith forum, scheduled for Thursday 29 August.

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Ms Pixley asked Marian Catholic College principal Dr Penny Ludicke if the theatre at her school could host the event.

Marian business manager Helen Brill confirmed the offer was accepted just before Easter.

“I am happy to confirm on behalf of our principal we would be able to provide you with a premises … and look forward to working with you and your committee to bring this event to fruition,” Ms Brill said.

Dr Ludicke said some Marian students could also help with the organising and catering for the forum.

Ms Pixley was delighted at the principal’s generosity.

“The organisers of TEDx Griffith are committed to showcasing the talent and resources from the community,” she said.

“Marian offers an amazing space suitable for an event like this, and to be able to offer students the opportunity to be involved felt very important to the team.”

Speakers for TEDx Wagga on stage

The Wagga TEDx event featured Dr Rachel Hogg and Bernard Higgins as speakers (far left) and was organised by Adam Bannister and Scott Howie (far right). Photo: Jarryd Rowley.

The businesswoman said that, under TEDx rules, a first event could only cater to an audience of 100 people. Therefore, the 120-seat venue at Marian would create a perfect, intimate setting.

She added that there was now plenty more work to be done by her and her organising committee.

“We will be approaching businesses who may be keen to support the event and have also launched our expression of interest (EOI) to apply to become a speaker. Both are going to be great opportunities to be involved with the event, either by supporting us financially to bring the event to light, or by being brave and applying to be a speaker.”

The most popular TED talk of all time was a 2006 presentation titled “Do schools kill creativity?” by the late British author Ken Robinson. It was viewed more than 76 million times and instantly turned him into a worldwide celebrity.

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The Griffith TEDx forum is seeking presentations of 12 minutes or less on any topic that provides a great idea, with preference given to local voices and themes.

Talks will be broadcast online. If a speaker gets 50,000 views or more, their talk may get showcased on the main TED page, which has more than 17 million followers.

“We’d like to give you some idea what we at TEDx Griffith are looking for in a prospective TEDxTalk,” Ms Pixley said.

“We want to hear an idea that has never been shared before. We are interested in stories that show your curiosity and enthusiasm for your subject. We are looking for a talk, not a speech, lecture or lesson. Failure is as important as success and is warmly welcomed in any TEDx talk.”

Once EOIs are received, they will be shortlisted by the organising committee, who will invite the top applicants to pitch talks to them in early May, after which the best six to eight will be chosen for the August event.

A guide on how to give a TEDx talk and an EOI form to apply be a speaker can be found on the Griffith TEDx website. EOIs are due 19 April. Follow the event Facebook page for updates and all the latest information.

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