TEDxUWollongong 2016

When: 1pm – 5.30pm, Saturday 29 October, 2016
Where: iAccelerate, Innovation Campus, Squires Way, North Wollongong
Tickets: SOLD OUT. Live-stream available on our facebook page, and via this website.

We are pleased to announce the following speakers and performers will feature at TEDxUWollongong 2016:

Our speakers

Ika Lestari Damayanti

Time for sharing stories in an English literacy class of a faraway land
Storytelling has been part of Indonesian tradition to pass on its cultural values. As such, it can also function as a powerful tool to engage Indonesian students in English literacy class. Through storytelling, students are immersed into interactive activities and rich linguistic resources that can help them make meaning of foreign words. Most importantly, incorporating storytelling into English literacy classes does not only motivate the students to learn English, but also to learn and identify with their own culture.

Associate Professor Julia Quilter

A/Prof Julia Quilter
When is Criminal Law the Answer?
Is the creation of more criminal laws a solution to ‘new’ harms and risks? The evidence tells us that new offences, higher penalties, and greater imprisonment are not the answer to what are often complex social problems. The challenge of how to respond to the tragedy of alcohol-related fatalities provides a powerful recent illustration. The creation of a new form of homicide law for ‘one punch’ fatalities highlights the flaws of over-reliance on criminal law solutions. Associate Professor Julia Quilter is the nation’s foremost legal expert on these laws, and will propose alternative, less punitive, approaches.

Professor Charles Areni

Equal work, equal pay: In the office … and at home
It’s now widely accepted that the ‘glass ceiling’ does exist. The recent exposé of a large salary gap between two high-profile TV hosts reflects data showing women being paid less while performing the same duties as men. Although not always the case, women are often disadvantaged professionally by extended periods out of the workforce, or in part-time work, to raise children. What if we were to challenge the status quo and make it more realistic for men to stay at home with young babies and children while women went back to full-time work? Are mothers ready to give up their positions as chief domestic officers for a spot in the C-suite?

Professor Sharon Robinson

Professor Sharon Robinson
Antarctic plants in a time of change
Antarctica is completely devoid of trees and shrubs, with terrestrial vegetation mostly consisting of slow growing mosses and lichens. Among their shoots live hardy insects which have also evolved to freeze and thaw in sync with the long, harsh winters and the short, warm summers. It is a teeming ecosystem of life surviving in one of the most impenetrable environments on Earth. Biologist Professor Sharon Robinson has spent more than two decades studying these communities. Using cutting-edge technologies, Robinson and her team are creating maps of moss health, dating their age using isotopes, and building a brief of evidence to inform conservation and ensure their ongoing survival.

Dr Lyn Phillipson

Dr Lyn Phillipson
It’s about time… we got serious about dementia
Every day in the news we hear dire predictions associated with population aging and the increasing number of people living with dementia. However, Dr Lyn Phillipson will posit that ‘it’s about time’ we embrace the challenges as an opportunity for positive social change and listen closely to the voice of those with dementia about how we can create a more dementia-friendly society.

Our Master of Ceremonies

Nieves Murray
IRT Group CEO, Wollongong 2016 Citizen of the Year

Nieves Murray

As one of the Illawarra’s premier businesswomen, Nieves knows a thing or two about the value of time. Balancing the competing demands of leading one of Australia’s largest community-based providers of seniors Lifestyle & Care with her volunteer work and family commitments takes a deft hand. Named one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence in 2013, Nieves takes a results-driven, but flexible and supportive approach to her work. In her decade as CEO, Nieves has led IRT to new heights, growing its asset base to over $1 billion, employing more than 2200 people and supporting more than 8000 customers. All this while remaining true to her passion for ‘giving back’ — serving as Director of the Illawarra Credit Union and the South Eastern NSW Public Health Network (Coordinare), a Member of the University of Wollongong Council, and volunteering with local charities. Prioritising time with family and for creative pursuits and wellbeing is important to Nieves. She’s an accomplished pianist, is learning the harp and regularly dons the boxing gloves for a high energy workout. As MC of the TEDxUWollongong ‘It’s About Time’ conference, Nieves looks forward to exploring how we use and value our time with our TEDWomen speakers and guests.

Our performers

Sako Dermenjian

Classical guitarist

Out of the Blue singers

Wollongong a capella group



Past events

2014 | TEDxSydney Satellite Event

A local Illawarra crowd shared in the experience of TEDxSydney 2014 as part of the live audience on UOW main campus.

UOW Alumni Jihad Dib took to the stage of Sydney’s Opera House to share the story of one public school’s remarkable transformation. As Principal of Punchbowl Boys High School, his determination to reconcile the school with its local community has resulted in powerful change for those growing up in Sydney’s South West.

“My whole role as the Principal at Punchbowl has all been about creating a sense of community,” Jihad said.

“I really think that when people are communicating with one another and there is a sense of belonging, you get the best out of people and people give the best of themselves as well,” he said.

The University of Wollongong (UOW) graduate completed his Bachelor of Arts, and then Graduate Diploma of Education in 1995. By the time he had arrived at the gates of Punchbowl Boys, he was one of the youngest principals in the state and with his work well and truly cut out for him. By the 90s the local area, developing an unsavoury reputation for drive-by shootings and an active network of drug dealers by the late 90s, had begun to influence the culture and conduct of the pupils at Punchbowl Boys. The school was literally at the mercy of its crime-afflicted surrounds.

569x379 Jihad DibJihad Dib TEDx

2013 | TEDxUWollongong – Liveability

Liveability advocates

Planning for and designing more liveable cities is becoming one of the most important challenges of the 21st century. Although the notion of liveability has attracted much attention in recent years it is fair to recognise that several misconceptions have hindered its coming into practice.

Watch our speakers in action | Check out our Flickr feed


Prof. Pascal Perez

Professor Pascal Perez – “Modelling urban liveability”


Rasmus Frisk – “Designing Liveable Cities – Its okay to think big, just remember that people are small”

Lloyd Niccol

Lloyd Niccol – “Retrofitting our way to China and back”

Gordon Waitt

Professor Gordon Waitt – “Keeping it all together”

Sara Adhitya

Dr Sara Adhitya – “Musical Cities”

Brian Collins 2

Professor Brian Collins : “Cities in Context: Policy and Governance Issues”


2012 | TEDxUWollongong – Medical Bionics

How close is the bionic eye? Are we on the brink of a cure for spinal cord injuries? What are the ethical implications of medical implants? Will we start microchipping people? These big questions and more were explored at the inaugural TEDxUWollongong 2012.

Watch our speakers in action


Prof. Gordon Wallace
Prof. Gordon Wallace

Prof. Mark Cook
Prof. Mark Cook

A/Prof. Katina Michael
A/Prof. Katina Michael

Prof. Rob Shepherd
Rob Shepherd

Sue Young
Sue Young

Vance & Latukefu
Lotte Latukefu & David Vance