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New speakers added to All About Women line-up

AAW 2018 Highlights_Yaya Stempler_-4049

Sydney Opera House made a second line-up announcement for the seventh annual All About Women festival, taking place on Sunday 10 March 2019 to coincide with International Women’s Day.

In a Sydney Opera House first, three female senior Federal Members of Parliament will appear together on a panel titled ‘Leading While Female’ moderated by Jacqueline Maley (Sydney Morning Herald journalist). Julie Bishop (Liberal Federal Member for Curtin); Linda Burney (ALP Federal Member for Barton); and Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens Senator for South Australia) will discuss what life is like for women in Australian Parliament and how we can encourage greater female representation in political life.

Tina Tchen, former Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama and Special Assistant to President Barack Obama, will appear at the festival to talk about her stellar career in law and politics with author and political commentator, Jamila Rizvi. During her eight years at the White House, Tina Tchen served as Executive Director of the Council on Women and Girls and led the first White House Summit on Working Families as well as the first United State of Women Summit. Ms Tchen will also appear on the ‘Me Too, Year Two’ panel moderated by Lenore Taylor (The Guardian Editor) alongside Emily Steel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist who investigated sexual assault allegations against former Fox News host, Bill O’Reilly and Sohaila Abdulali, a writer, former rape crisis centre worker and the first woman to publicly speak out against her sexual assault in India. Tchen is a partner at Buckley, LLP, where she leads the firm’s cultural compliance practice, and a co-founder of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund.

Additional speakers, workshop presenters and artists announced join a strong and diverse line-up, including Clementine Ford, Osher Günsberg, Joan Morgan, Gemma Hartley, Carolin Emcke, Leta Hong Fincher, Soraya Chemaly, Sarah Smarsh and many more, who will give voice to a range of issues impacting women in 2019. These include female anger and desire; ‘toxic masculinity’; consent and sexual assault; feminism outside the Western world; problems with ‘wokeness’; ‘hip hop feminism’; class; and gender politics in the home and workplace.

New speakers and events at All About Women 2019 include:

  • Comedian Zoe Coombs Marr returns to All About Women with a partly devised, partly improvised talk exploding the inherently macho nature of stand-up comedy, exploring what a non-patriarchal style of comedy might actually look like, and in doing so completely burying the myth that women aren’t funny;
  • A panel on the Future of Feminism moderated by Maddison Connaughton (The Saturday Paper Editor) will spotlight emerging voices on the cusp of making major feminist waves including Aretha Brown, a young Aboriginal activist, current Prime Minister of the National Indigenous Youth Parliament and model; Aya Chebbi, a Tunisian feminist who was the first African Union Youth Envoy and the youngest diplomat at the African Union Commission Chairperson’s Cabinet; and Ayishat Akanbi, a South London celebrity stylist and cultural commentator;
  • A panel on Feminism in the Arab World has been curated by Sara Saleh, an Arab-Australian human rights and refugee advocate, grassroots activist and creative artist. Looking beyond stereotypes, this globally sourced panel offers invaluable insight into the underground of feminist activism across the Arab world, with speakers including author, lawyer and human rights advocate, Randa Abdel Fattah; Lebanese storyteller Dima Matta; and Aya Chebbi;
  • A panel titled ‘Bad with Money’ featuring Melinda Howes, General Manager Superannuation, BT Financial Group; Vanessa Paterson from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency; and Rebecca Huntley, a social researcher and broadcaster, aims to combat economic disadvantage among women by providing practical advice to demolish debt, save smarter, earn more, crack the share market and secure women’s financial future; and
  • A special All About Women edition of SMH Live moderated by Sydney Morning Herald Editor Lisa Davies will interrogate the prevalence of domestic violence in Australia.

Alongside female carpentry and flower arranging, new workshops have been added featuring traditional Te-Kopere Maori healers. Participants can experience the Rongoa tradition of healing, focused on oral transmission of knowledge, diversity of practice and the spiritual dimension of health, including ‘Hono’ (spiritual healing), ‘Waiata’ (vibrational healing through song and prayer), ‘Rakau’ (physical exercise), ‘Mirimiri’ (massage), and ‘Rongoa Rakau’ (herbal medicine).

#Thisis18, an outdoor photographic exhibition celebrating girlhood around the world will be displayed along the Opera House Western Broadwalk offering a look at girls’ lives through girls’ eyes. This series of portraits by young women photographers originally commissioned by The New York Times captures what life was like for girls turning 18 in 2018 across 12 time zones and 15 languages around the globe.

Event Partner Westpac will once again enable every All About Women session to be Auslan interpreted or captioned. Westpac’s contribution will also enable highlight sessions to be broadcast into regional venues across Australia as part of the All About Women Satellite Program. Currently confirmed venues include:

  • Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra, ACT
  • Byron Writer’s Festival, Byron Bay, NSW
  • Capital Venues and Events, Bendigo, NSW
  • Community Activities Lake Macquarie, NSW
  • Griffith Regional Theatre, NSW
  • Joan Sutherland Theatre, Penrith, NSW
  • The Music Lounge, Town Hall, Wollongong, NSW
  • Museum of the Riverina, NSW
  • Maitland Town Hall, NSW
  • Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, NSW
  • Taree Library, NSW
  • Alice Springs Public Library, NT
  • Darwin City Library, Darwin, NT
  • Tanks Arts Centre, QLD
  • Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, QLD

Source: Sydney Opera House

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