From Antarctica to the gender divide, the third TEDxUWollongong held on 29 October presented a diverse mix of talks and entertainment based on the global TED philosophy of ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’.

TEDxUWollongong in 2016 was timed to coincide with the international TEDWomen conference, held in San Francisco. The theme of TEDWomen was ‘It’s About Time’, which was also kept as the theme for TEDxUWollongongWomen.

At the same time entertaining and confronting, TEDxUWollongong included a full broadcast of one session of the TEDWomen conference: ‘It’s About Our Time’. 

The event’s second session featured five live speakers, and two entertainment acts. The speakers were from the UOW academic community, and our entertainers from the local Wollongong community.

Faculty of Social Sciences PhD student Ika Lestari Damayanti showed her passion for teaching and student engagement in her talk Time for sharing stories in an English literacy class of a faraway land. Ika was the winner of the UOW final of the Three Minute Thesis competition, and also was awarded the People’s Choice at the Asia-Pacific final of Three Minute Thesis.

Ika’s talk was followed by Associate Professor Julia Quilter, from the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts. Australia’s foremost expert on so called 'One Punch Laws' and 'Lockout Laws', A/Professor Quilter’s talk was titled When is criminal law the answer?

Wollongong acapella group, Out of the Blue Singers, then performed three songs for the audience. This inclusive, diverse group come together to sing  once every week in a fun, social environment and their performance was uplifting and energetic.

Recently appointed Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business, Professor Charles Areni, then gave his talk titled Equal work, equal pay: In the office…And at home. An extremely engaging speaker, his anecdote of his “PhD in laundry” entertained the crowd.

For a change of pace, Professor Sharon Robinson then gave a talk on her decades-long work investigating what Antarctic terrestrial plants can tell us about climate change, and her work with academic and industry partners to map Antarctic moss health for future preservation.

Then, in a stunning performance, recently arrived Syrian refugee Sako Dermenjian played two classical guitar pieces and also provided a short perspective of his own on time.

“It has taken me a while to realise that now I have time because I think the time you enjoy wasting is not time wasted. I have time to be flexible with my life direction; to develop connections and be active in the community. This has led me to be here in front of you today which I am very proud of,” Sako said.

The final TEDxUWollongong talk was given by Dr Lyn Phillipson: ‘It’s time we got serious about dementia’. Dr Phillipson made a plea to change our discourse on dementia from one that is negative, and fear driven, to one that is positive and celebrates success.  

“We need to reframe dementia, not as something to be feared, but something that motivates us all to a collective effort to reduce the impact and create a better society…for ultimately a dementia friendly community will be a community that is friendlier for us all.”

Photos from the event are on the TEDxUWollongong facebook page
Other TEDxUWollongong information is available on our website