The Unmissable Faces at This Year’s TEDxSydney

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Take your seats, Sydneysiders.

TED Talks seems to be at the centre of everything that’s informative and inspiring: we’ve been pushed into action thanks to Casey Gerald’s ‘The Gospel of Doubt’, marvelled at the insight of Curtis ‘Wall Street’ Carroll and literally disappeared into a whole new world with Jordan Nguyen, all thanks to the careful gathering of some of the world’s most unique minds.

This Friday, the team is set to welcome a new group of TED stage alumni: daring, diverse and downright fascinating, the line-up for one of the year’s most highly anticipated thought-provoking event is the stuff of TEDxSydney dreams.

Here are the speakers we’ll be taking a seat for.

Mike Cannon-Brookes: cofounder and co-CEO of Atlassian

Anyone who can manage to top Australia’s Young Rich List for five years running is someone we’d want to hear from. Along with cofounder Scott Farquhar, the duo has taken its post-uni idea to a globally disruptive software business, all while creating an enviable company culture rooted in innovative thinking and team playing. Mike isn’t just a start-up idol, however – he’s also had hunkered-down chats with visionary Elon Musk over South Australia’s energy crisis, and been a fierce campaigner against Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s changes to the 457 visa.

Mariam Veiszadeh: lawyer, social commentator and diversity and inclusion practitioner

Mariam’s public advocacy against Islamophobia and xenophobia is the unfortunate result of her own personal experience of it: in 2015, the Afghani-refugee experienced a wave of abuse following anti-bigotry comments, but rather than driving her to quit, the fear of others fuelled the fire.

As an official ambassador for Welcome to Australia – and an unofficial ambassador for inclusion and acceptance – Mariam’s message is one we desperately need to hear in increasingly pressured political times.

Uncle Jack Charles: actor, musician, potter and performer

The award-winning actor and Aboriginal elder may be an icon of the Australian arts scene, but it’s his fascinating personal history that is sure to give his appearance on the TEDxSydney stage all the more impact. From the founding of the country’s first Aboriginal theatre company, Nindethana, in 1972 to more recent headlines that further highlight the continuing plight for equality of Indigenous Australians, Uncle Jack’s time on stage is certain to be memorable.

Peter Greste: foreign correspondent

In an era of intense media scrutiny, the work of this award-winning journalist proves the indelible importance of a fierce and focused reporter. Not only has Peter spent his 25-year-long career working for prestigious news organisations, such as the BBC, Reuters, CNN and Al Jazeera, but his work has also taken him into many an unfamiliar territory.

In 2013, Peter was arrested on terrorism charges in Cairo while working for Al Jazeera. His defiance in the face of personal injustice prevailed: smuggling letters out of his confinement that described his arrest as an attack on media freedom, a global media campaign was subsequently launched, Peter was released after 400 days in prison and he earned numerous deserved awards from the Walkley Foundation, the Australian Human Rights Commission and the International Association of Press Clubs.

Bronwyn King: founder and CEO of Tobacco Free Portfolios

Do you know where your super is being invested? Neither did oncologist Bronwyn, who discovered that it was several tobacco companies that were benefiting from her portfolio. In answer to her findings, Bronwyn decided to found Tobacco Free Portfolios, and has since contributed to the implementation of more than 40 per cent of pension funds implementing tobacco-free mandates. Her company also works with more than 100 financial organisations to combat the investment in tobacco companies.

TEDxSydney takes place on Friday 16 June at ICC Sydney. Book now at tedxsydney.com/2017

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