WOW Australia

About WOW



Jude Kelly CBE, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre London, launched WOW London in 2010 to mark the centenary of International Women’s Day, as a major global festival that celebrates women and girls and looks at the obstacles they face, where hundreds of women’s stories could be shared, feelings vented, fun had, minds influenced and hearts expanded. In response to an overwhelming demand, it has become an annual flagship event at Southbank Centre, and has grown to become a global movement.

Past speakers in London have included Malala Yousafzi and her father, Ziauddin, Christine Lagarde, Gordon Brown, Baroness Patricia Scotland, Baroness Shami Chakrabati, Nimco Ali, Vivienne Westwood, Patrick Stewart, Annie Lennox. In Australia, speakers have included Quentin Bryce, Jane Turner, June Oscar, Kirsty Sword Gusmao, Kathy Lette, Laura Geitz, and Senator Malarndirri McCarthy.



WOW was first staged in the Sydney Writers’ Festival in 2013. It has since taken place in Katherine in the Northern Territory in 2013, 2014 and 2016, in Brisbane in 2015 and in Melbourne in 2017.

Brisbane-based non-profit company Of One Mind works in partnership with Southbank Centre to facilitate the delivery of WOW Festivals, either alone or through other Australian venues and arts organisations. Of One Mind’s mission is to develop and support cultural activities that address or communicate pressing social issues. Of One Mind creates and delivers events, builds networks and partnerships to support its goals and assists the development of individual artists and arts organisations.



The most recent WOW in Australia took place in March 2017 at Footscray Community Arts Centre, and focused on the lives of and stories from women in the western suburbs of Melbourne.