TEDx provides cities around the world with the opportunity to present their ideas and creativity on a global scale.
This weekend, thanks to the initiative of Adam Bannister, a man adopted by Wagga nine years ago, Australia’s biggest inland city will have its own chance to showcase its ideas to the world.
Kicking off at 6 pm on Saturday night (18 November) at the CSU Riverina Playhouse, spectators will have the opportunity to tune in either in person or online at the TEDx Wagga Facebook page and listen to presentations delivered by eight of the region’s most passionate individuals.
“I arrived in Wagga nine years ago and I was blown away by the creativity and passion of this community,” Adam said.
“The things that I heard externally before I arrived didn’t match up with my experiences; I found it so easy to make friends, people were so passionate, and the community supported me and gave me so many opportunities.
“I had been a fan of TED talks for a while and I did some research into getting a TEDx licence so we could have a talk here in Wagga.”
The Saturday night expo will be the first TEDx event ever in Wagga and will feature eight talents handpicked by Adam and the event’s curator Scott Howie.
“Initially we had over 100 people apply to talk at this event,” Scott said.
“After hours and hours of deliberation, we whittled it down to about 45. From there we invited people to come in and give a three-minute pitch about what they wish to talk about and got it down to the eight people we have now.”
The eight speakers are:
Dr Sarah Verdon
Dr Rachel Hogg
Dr Jonathan Ho
Dr Yazdan Mansourian
Prof. Shokoofeh Shamsi
Local psychologist Dr Rachel Hogg and proud Wiradjuri man and animator Bernard Higgins are just two of the fantastic speakers who will take to the stage to present talks. Dr Hogg’s presentation will focus on domestic violence in regional settings, while Mr Higgins will talk about the teaching of First Nations languages through animation.
“The night will be full of intellectual and fruitful conversations,” Dr Hogg said.
“Wagga has proved they’re open to conversation, they’re open to hearing about different topics that may be personal or confronting. Having an event like TEDx allows places like Wagga to display ideas on these topics and make them accessible to everyone.”
Bernard Higgins has been working with First Nations people across the Riverina for a number of years and admitted he took some convincing to apply for TEDx.
“Personally, I didn’t think what I do was that interesting,” Bernard said.
“I do animation work every day. I work with council and First Nations communities every day. At some point I realised that this is important, especially off the back of the referendum, this is a form of voice for local Indigenous people and I can’t pass up the chance to use this platform.”
Tickets for the event sold out within one hour of becoming available and despite it being the first event of its kind in Wagga, Adam and Scott weren’t shocked by the response.
“With the amount of applicants who showed interest just to speak, we honestly weren’t shocked by the quick response of people who wanted to attend,” Adam said.
“It shows that Wagga is ready to listen to ideas and ready to voice the ideas. It’s going to be a fantastic night for all and I want to encourage those who can’t attend in person to check out the live stream to be a part of it.”
The live stream will begin at 6 pm on Saturday (18 November) and can be viewed here.