First round of TEDxSydney speakers revealed

The first announcement features an eclectic group of 10 speakers and three performers.


TedXSydney has revealed its initial line-up of Australian speakers who will be sharing their bold ideas under the theme of ‘unconventional’ which will be held at the new International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney).

The first announcement features an eclectic group of 10 speakers and three performers including a self-made billionaire; an Aboriginal elder, actor and preformer; an expert on male eating disorders; a radiation oncologist who’s waging an unprecedented battle with the global tobacco industry and some of Australia’s most highly acclaimed musicians.

Fenella Kernebone, TEDxSydney’s Head of Curation, says “TEDxSydney is about providing a platform for ideas that have the power to create a palpable change in attitudes and ultimately, our lives. Whether they’re an artist, academic, author or activist, each one of these speakers brings their unique perspectives and ideas to the TEDxSydney stage.

“I’m so excited about every one of our speakers this year. It is an amazingly diverse and dynamic line up – and many of them are approaching their talks in an unconventional way.”

TesXSydney will be held on 16 June.

The keynote speakers for 2017:

Mike Cannon-Brookes

Mike is the co-founder and co-CEO of the software company Atlassian. Mike often carries the epithet of accidental billionaire after he and his business partner Scott Farquhar founded Atlassian with the simple aim to replicate the $48k graduate starting salary typical at the big corporations without having to work for someone else.

Uncle Jack Charles

An award-winning actor, Aboriginal elder, actor and performer, the 73-year-old has tasted the bitterness of drug addiction, homelessness and stints in prison.  Uncle Jack will be sharing tales from his inspiring journey on the TEDxSydney stage.

Jordan Raskopoulos

A comedian, actor, singer, and most famously, the co-creator of internet comedy rock legends, The Axis of Awesome.  Since coming out as transgender in a viral video called “what’s happened to Jordan’s beard’, she has become an inspiration to young LGBTQIA+ people by using her platform and profile to promote awareness and understanding through humour.

Tom Griffiths

An Australian Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Berkeley University, Tom spends his time trying to understand how human minds work by looking at the computer science of the human decision making process.

Bronwyn King

As an Australian radiation oncologist, Bronwyn discovered to her astonishment that she was invested in several tobacco companies via her superannuation fund Instead of just simply switching funds, she decided to try to change the system.

David Hunt

An award winning Australian historian, satirist and author of Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia, David will talk about Australia’s relationship to its history.

Scott Griffiths

Scott is a PhD Graduate of the University of Sydney, a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, and secretary of the US-based National Association for Males with Eating Disorders. His primary research interest is male body dissatisfaction and eating disorders that arise from the desire to be more muscular.

Judy Atkinson

Judy’s heritage derives from the Jiman people of the Upper Dawson in Central West Queensland, and the Bundjalung of Northern NSW. Judy has focused most of her community and academic life working in the field of violence, trauma and healing.

David Power

Over the course of his career at the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, David has helped lead efforts to end the threat of illegal fishing and overfishing to Pacific Island communities who are reliant upon fishing for survival.

Sarah Houbolt

She’s a former Paralympic swimmer, has a political degree, is a circus performer and has described herself as ‘a natural-born freak’.  Sarah designs her life around creativity, deep understandings of accessibility, and the need to question what we can actually see.

2017 Musical Performances

Sarah Blasko

Sarah is a highly-acclaimed, multi-award winning singer, songwriter, musician and producer.  As a solo artist, Sarah has released five studio albums, with three reaching the top ten on the ARIA Albums Chart.  Sarah’s second album won Best Pop Release at the 2007 ARIA Music Awards and her third album As Day Follows Night, was named Album of the Year by Triple J.


Yolngu singer-songwriter Stanley ‘Gawurra’ Gaykamangu has been called one of Australia’s most important new Indigenous voices, drawing from the Gupapuyngu language in his music.  His debut album received high accolades from Rolling Stone magazine and was named Album of the Year and New Talent of the Year at the 2016 National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMAs).


Ngaiire is a Papua New Guinea-born singer/songwriter who has been described as one of Australia’s most unique and fearless musicians, sweeping the inaugural Australian National Live Music Awards in 2016, winning state and national Live Voice of the Year.  She has played at Glastonbury and has supported soul and R&B heavyweights Alicia Keys and John Legend.



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