All the talks from TEDxNewy are now up on the TEDxTalks YouTube Channel.
View all the talks, performance and videos in a playlist in order of appearance at TEDxNewy below:
Thank you to Enigma Digital for the post production on the film.
TEDxNewy videos will begin upload to YouTube this week – thanks for your patience.
In the meantime, attendee Robert Watson kindly sent me his review of TEDxNewy and it was such a great recap I thought it worth posting. Thanks Robert.
The Twittergallery afforded an eyrie view of the black backdrop, boldy subtitled “TEDxNewy”. On the scheduled time, Welcome to Country acknowledged the Aboriginal inhabits who lived here for 38800 years before European settlement.
As if reprising Oswald Ziegler’s 1962 Newcastle book Symphony on a City, last Saturday involved an orchestra of 11 sponsors, 18 crew and 18 volunteers, while the 16 invited speakers performed the captivating movements.
Tap tap tap went the Conductor’s baton. No – the tap tap tap came from the yellow sandals of the Maestro – Siobhan Curran.
From Sydney, Siobhan landed in Newcastle last year and on Day 4 dropped in at the #NewcastleCoffee Friday tweet-up. She was out and about, enquiring and exploring our town for the quirky and the quaint – people, places, events; the ecological, the sustainable, the literary, the culinary, the photographic, the artistic; the present for sure, but never missing the backstory.
Someone from the Big Smoke who was not telling and selling? That’s a fresh change!
With camera and notebook, Siobhan squirreled around Newcastle, The Hill, Cooks Hill, Merewether Beach, The Junction, Hamilton, Islington and Adamstown, gathering friends, learning and writing.
Whatever possessed her to apply for a TEDx licence we may never fully know, but she did. From her Newcastle contacts, Siobhan methodically went about her business, harvesting thoughts, testing ideas. Where are the most appropriate venues? Can video streaming be done? How can I get a website? Who are the Novocastrians to be showcased? What about promoting the event? Will sponsors be willing to come on board?
“Do you think I should go to the races and bump into Nathan Tinkler?”
Siobhan found guidance, experience, advice and answers to each question; the challenges dissolved one by one.
Last Saturday, everything came together. TEDxNewy started on time, ended on time. Excellent. The handover from one presenter to the next went with the precision of an Olympic relay team. Glissando. Volunteers, outfitted in black, worked the shadows with cameras, mics, soundboards, lighting, projectors and lecterns. Discrete.
The banner “Shock of the New” provided the thread woven through the day.
From human fertility to dying
- John Aitken – researching to bring our whole approach to fertility into the 21st Century
- Peter Saul – understanding how, in a single generation, modern medical practices have radically altered the ways in which Australians are likely to die
Our view of living and learning
- Bernie Curran – lifelong learning built around sport, music, the arts and poetry
- Gerry Bobsien – relishing the joy, terror and challenge of being a novice
- Conor Ashleigh – a visual teller of stories gathered from his immersion in struggling communities across Asia, Africa and the Middle East
Involvement in our local area
- Mark Jackson – musically engaging Novocastrian retirees using ukuleles
- Ukestra – Australia’s pre-eminent example of communal ukulele fun
- Julie Baird – the museuming of action, emotion and belonging, drawing questions and provoking answers from the visitors themselves; not to mention extracting pickles from “experts”
The causes that make us passionate
- David Lubans – designing programs to raise the levels of physical activity and healthy eating among adolescent girls
- Dave Robertson and Silas Moss, the Naked Runners – urging us to discard the techno-gadgets and run like children having fun
- Liz Mullinar – healing those whose lives have been shattered by childhood trauma
- Alli Hammett – a survivor promoting social dialogue to raise awareness of stroke
- Tim Silverwood – his Take3 program is the new Emu Parade
- Sarita Koushik – working to overcome stuttering through early intervention
And rules that were worth breaking
- Marcus Westbury – revitalising vacant city buildings using people, not capital
- Jason van Genderen – he ditched the fancy camera, made a movie using a mobile phone and won International awards.
TEDxNewy filled everyone with awe, inspiration and even best of all, pride in the achievements of Novocastrians – the whole notion of “ideas worth spreading” was proven beyond measure last Saturday.
As a word, “awesome” is now inadequate. Separate from the actual content, my reactions as the day progressed provide some explanation:
- The first speakers presented on unrelated topics. Considered alone, each was wonderful; taken together, the variety was fascinating. At the break I sought out Siobhan to congratulate her on pulling together an event far exceeding my expectations.
- After the next four presenters, the lunch break was announced. I thought, “Lunch? At 11:30 a.m.?” But my watch said 12:40 p.m. Somehow my brain had stopped listening to my rumbling stomach. That’s a first.
- In the evening, at home, I walked my wife through the Program – an hour and a half it took to recount the highlights.
And this was the inaugural TEDxNewy.
What’s a better word than “awesome”?
TED audiences expect to experience things they weren’t expecting. That’s part of the attraction. Solo or in pairs, people arrived with an inner glow of excitement. Concealment was simply not possible, since the layout of the Civic Playhouse contributed to unbridled mixing and sharing.
The Foyer was perfectly crowded. There was just enough free space to allow attendees to weave from one end to the other. In doing so, sometimes little groups would be temporarily dislodged, promoting new interactions. People would stop to join strangers when they picked up on a key word. Had the space been larger, the buzz and interactions would not have happened.
The auditorium was a tiered arena seating around 150 people. Well-designed, everyone had a clear and fully focused view down to the presenters. Not crammed, not wastefully spacious, just right. Being a playhouse, the black walls meant no distractions.
And a very welcome touch – the provision of powerboards to the Twittergallery.
For me, I have bought a ukulele and signed up for Mark Jackson’s Ukestra – I mean, how can an instrument that size be anything other than fun?
And, I will be museuming at 10am on Saturday 3rd December, if anyone wants to come along.
Many, many thanks to the sponsors, the volunteers and the speakers – your involvement, support and efforts were truly appreciated.
And Siobhan, you know that bit about needing to live in Newcastle for ten years before you can call yourself a Novocastrian? You have just advanced yourself 8½ years – Welcome.