WOW Australia

Program Calendar



Songs That Made Me
Apr
8
7:00 PM19:00

Songs That Made Me

Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre - Buy Tickets

Staged for Queensland Music Festival 2017, Songs That Made Me will once again bring together Australian powerhouses Deborah Conway, Clare Bowditch and Hannah Macklin 

for the closing night of WOW at Festival 2018.Featuring voices from across our diverse Commonwealth, they will be joined by Fiji’s “Queen of Pop” Laisa Lualala Vulakoro, ShoShona Kish from Juno Award winning Canadian duo Digging Roots, proud Wannidilyakwa songstress Emily Wurramara, and vocal ensemble The Verandah ChiX alongside a stellar all-women band: Jess Green (guitar), Helen Svoboda (bass guitar) and Myka Wallace (drums). In celebration of women in music, they will share stories of their influences, artistic journeys and the landmark songs that have sound-tracked their lives. The evening will also feature a special announcement of the 2018 Carol Lloyd Award winner, an award that was established in honour of the late Carol Lloyd — Australia’s original rock chick. 

This event has been made possible with support from QSuper.

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The Future is Female
Apr
8
4:00 PM16:00

The Future is Female

Powerhouse Theatre

Young people (29 years or younger) make up sixty percent of the population in Commonwealth member countries. In one of the final sessions of WOW at Festival 2018, young women from Australia and around the Commonwealth have a chance to shape the agenda for the future. In a conversation with the Founder of WOW Jude Kelly and The Secretary-General Commonwealth, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland qc, they will present many of the ideas that have emerged from consultations and the WOW weekend on what has to happen for all our futures to build a world in which gender equality is truly recognised as a basic human right, in the home, in the community and in society as a whole.

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Accidental Activists
Apr
8
2:45 PM14:45

Accidental Activists

Visy Theatre

Some of our most extraordinary and influential activists are people who did not set out to gain the public eye, but who were driven by a personal encounter or experience, an injustice, or the plight of a loved one, to speak out and build a campaign to change things. Meet some of the Commonwealth’s surprising ‘accidental activists’ including creator of the One Million Stars to End Violence project MaryAnn Talia Pau (Samoa/Australia) advocate and activist Starlady and Mariana Katzarova founder of RAW in WAR (Bulgaria/UK).

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WOW Bites
Apr
8
2:45 PM14:45

WOW Bites

Rooftop Terrace

Big gender issues, new thinking:

  • Anne Goslett on SHIFTing perspective of and for women at risk of homelessness through the creation of a sense of belonging; a wellbeing approach to homelessness.  
  • Eriko Fufurefa and Umba Peter from Kafe Women’s Association in Goroka, Papua New Guinea will share insights into “Yumi Sanap Strong — Lets stand strong together: Human Rights Defenders addressing violence related to sorcery accusations in Papua New Guinea”
  • Domino Pateman, (UK) Head of Programmes for WOW, on why toilets are no joke for women and what can toilets can tell us about gender equality.
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Learning Circle
Apr
8
2:45 PM14:45

Learning Circle

Riverbend Terrace

An interactive participatory process for people to express their learnings from WOW through dialogue and reflection, creating a foundation for action. Led by Denise Hagan CEO & Founder, Puuya Foundation and Bernadette Rutyna, Director Human Ingredient

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Leading for change – What do great women leaders do
Apr
8
2:45 PM14:45

Leading for change – What do great women leaders do

Powerhouse Theatre

There are women who hold and exercise power in pretty much every field — in science, sports, arts, politics, business, the community. Some — but not all of them — also seek to use their power and influence to make change on behalf of women and girls. In this session, outstanding women leaders talk about their work and consider some of the conversations that have taken place over the WOW weekend to help us work out what we need from our women leaders today. 

Participants will include Natasha Stott Despoja founding chair of Our Watch Australia, former politician and former Australian UN Ambassador, Dr Sandra Phillips Associate Professor, at Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, UTS, Jasvinder Sanghera founder of UK charity Karma Nirvana, Sri Lankan Gender Equality specialist Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala.

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Doing Dancing
Apr
8
2:00 PM14:00

Doing Dancing

Turbine Studio

Famous feminist Gertrude Stein asks ‘What are the personal and cultural histories of your body?’   Doing Dancing brings together Stein’s text with seven Australian dancers and the real-time digital projection of the dancers in the space. Walk around the performance to view the motion and multiple interpretations of the text. Sit still and view the sculptural formations of the accumulating bodies. This durational performance reflects on feminist lineages and the power and diversity of the moving body. We are doing dancing. Featuring Rhiannon Newton (dancer, choreographer and recipient of the Create NSW Emerging Performing Artist Fellow) and Benjamin Forster (acclaimed visual artist) performing with local Queensland dancers.

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Speed Mentoring
Apr
8
1:15 PM13:15

Speed Mentoring

Rooftop Terrace

A WOW favourite — join experts from across many fields — artists, scientists, architects, journalists, entrepreneurs, WOW speakers and women with no label at all for four 10 – 15 minute mentoring sessions over an hour long session. Share your challenges, exchange ideas and stories and potentially identify a new mentor. If you have purchased your day pass sign up for the sessions through our website or when you register on the day.

Also Friday

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African Dance
Apr
8
1:15 PM13:15

African Dance

Stores Studio

A vibrant, fun and highly energetic African dance workshop suited for all levels. This is an opportunity for people to experience a little taste of African culture. Led by Yenenesh Nigusse, a passionate exponent of dance — not just African styles, but also Latin, hip hop, and contemporary genres, Yen will share some Ghanaian & Guinean dance from West Africa and a taste of South African gumboot dancing. The dancing will be accompanied by live drumming with a djembe and doun doun drums.

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No More Prisons
Apr
8
1:15 PM13:15

No More Prisons

Visy Theatre

The numbers of women criminalised and incarcerated in the world’s prisons continues to rise at a time when male rates of imprisonment are relatively stable. Why is this happening? What does the community gain by locking women up? And what would the consequences of abolishing prison for women be?  Will we allow ourselves to imagine a world without prisons? The leading women campaigners from Canada Senator Kim Pate, New Zealand, Professor Tracey McIntosh, and Australia lawyer and founder of Sisters Inside Deb Kilroy will discuss.  This session will be facilitated by Dr Chelsea Bond.

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Grandmothers Know Best — Celebrating the Wisdom of our Elders
Apr
8
1:15 PM13:15

Grandmothers Know Best — Celebrating the Wisdom of our Elders

Powerhouse Theatre

Wise-women and matriarchs, or witches, hags and crones? The position of older women, and how they are treated in the family and community varies across cultures. But whether they have lived their lives on the global stage, or tended their families on a farm or in a village, they have worked for better lives for their daughters and grand-daughters, and have amassed a life-time of insights in the process. 

In this session, former Governor General of Australia and WOW Australia Patron Quentin Bryce speaks with some remarkable elders and grandmothers about the place of older women in their communities — and why it is that grandmothers really do know best. Facilitated by the Director of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation Virginia Haussegger AM and including from Bougainville leading human rights advocate Agnes Titus, and Jawoyn leader and traditional owner from Katherine in the Northern Territory Lisa Mumbin.

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Kardajala Kirridarra
Apr
8
12:20 PM12:20

Kardajala Kirridarra

Turbine Platform

The descendants of a mysterious bush woman from the Northern Territory, these compelling women are from the communities of Marlinja and Kulumindini (Elliott) and together with Melbourne based producer Beatrice they form Kardajala Kirridarra, or ‘Sandhill Women’. Singing in both Mudburra and English, they tell the story of the connection between Aboriginal women and country as a reminder about the importance of women as creators.

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Word Mothers - Women in Publishing
Apr
8
11:15 AM11:15

Word Mothers - Women in Publishing

Turbine Studio

Getting women’s stories — and culturally diverse ones — onto the page has always been a challenge — think of the women writers who hid their identity behind male pseudonyms! In this session we meet some enterprising women publishers who have been leaders in this field; Margaret Busby (UK) pioneered publishing African stories and ensuring they reached a global audience; Kateri Akiwenzie Damm (Canada) has led the way in publishing the stories of First Nation people from many different parts of the world; and India’s leading feminist and publisher Urvashi Butalia. What led them to publishing, and how can we ensure that more women and girls get the opportunity to tell their stories? This session will be facilitated by Jane Camens, founder of Asia Pacific Writing Partnership which seeks to build networks of publishers, academics and writers in this region.

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Henna Hands
Apr
8
11:15 AM11:15

Henna Hands

Graffiti Room

An introduction to the beautiful sacred body adornment called “henna” by GBS. This workshop is designed to give the necessary tools and knowledge to begin using henna for body art for friends and family. All henna material will be provided. From cone control to creating simple designs, you’ll know it all by the end of the class! You can also take home the henna cones you work with & practice with it on your friends and family.

Also Friday and Saturday.

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The Rules of the Game
Apr
8
11:15 AM11:15

The Rules of the Game

Powerhouse Theatre

It’s a long time since Billy Jean King beat Bobby Riggs, and proved that a woman could beat a man at tennis. This is the first Commonwealth Games in which the same number of gold medals are up for grabs for women and men. New professional women’s competitions in Rugby Union Sevens, Australian Rules Football, Twenty-Twenty Cricket and more have been established and are thriving. So what’s next on the sports agenda for women? Join Dr Louise Martin CBE President of the Commonwealth Games Federation and leading sports women including from the Queensland Firebirds Caitlyn Nevins and Australian and Brisbane Heat and Queensland Fast Bowler Holly Ferling, Brisbane Lions player Sabrina Frederick- Traub, facilitated by Deputy Chair of the Brisbane Lions Sarah Kelly.

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WOW Bites
Apr
8
11:15 AM11:15

WOW Bites

Rooftop Terrace

More outstanding short stories from women across the Commonwealth leading change in their communities. 

  • Ashleigh Smith, (New Zealand) — Why young people are the experts on providing solutions for young people.
  • Gulalai Ismail, (Pakistan) — on Aware Girls, working for the empowerment of young women in Pakistan.
  • Sam Morris, ‘If you can’t beat the media, be the media’ and the launch of Blank GC magazine.
  • The women of Murakosker helping women and families across the Torres Strait.
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Skateboarding with Evie
Apr
8
11:15 AM11:15

Skateboarding with Evie

Powerhouse Plaza

Skateboarding is about fun, enjoying yourself and progressing at your own pace, and with positive encouragement. Part of Evie’s personal philosophy and interests are in encouraging people who may not think they fit the profile of ‘typical’ skaters. From teaching a broad range of people, Evie knows with the right encouragement that anyone can start skateboarding today. 

Her students include female skaters, queer people and people who identify as transgender, mature age skaters, skaters of all backgrounds and body types, and youth from a range of backgrounds. Most importantly, it is a priority to Evie that all students feel supported and encouraged to have fun and to just be themselves. 

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Women and Children First — Why Climate Change is a Feminist Issue
Apr
8
9:30 AM09:30

Women and Children First — Why Climate Change is a Feminist Issue

Powerhouse Theatre

Wherever you live in the Commonwealth — sub-Saharan Africa, the delta in Bangladesh, the coral atolls of the Pacific or regional Australia — climate change is making itself felt in communities, and especially in the lives of women and children. But women are also at the forefront of responses around the world. These amazing women will bring a gender lens to climate change and its impacts, to suggest how this can be changed. Speakers will include from Fiji Sharon Bhagwan Rolls founder of femLINKpacific, Mayor Vonda Malone of the Torres Shire Council and from Griffith University Research Scientist Esther Onyango.  Facilitated by former Australia Greens Deputy Leader and Queensland Senator Larissa Waters.

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Stretch! A Mindmap for Good Decision Making
Apr
8
9:30 AM09:30

Stretch! A Mindmap for Good Decision Making

Graffiti Room

Every day we make major decisions which impact our emotional, physical and financial well-being. Who is in charge of making major decisions for you? Many women tend to delegate decision-making to other important people in their lives — decisions which satisfy or place other people’s needs above their own. In this workshop Balveen Ajimal will help place you at the heart of the decision.

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Show us your Balls and Hoops
Apr
8
9:30 AM09:30

Show us your Balls and Hoops

Powerhouse Theatre

Run away with the circus for a moment in a challenge-by-choice class for all fitness levels to try juggling, hula hoops, partner acro-balance, a touch of aerials and more! This basic skills workshop from Vulcana Women’s Circus will be presented everyday at WOW.

Also Friday and Saturday

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The Regional Voice
Apr
8
9:30 AM09:30

The Regional Voice

Turbine Studio

Women in five regional and remote communities in Queensland and the Northern Territory (the Torres Strait Islands, Channel Country, Lockhart River, Bundaberg and Katherine) have been working with the WOW team in the lead up to the Festival, to help shape the Festival, and to bring something of the Festival to their own communities. Join WOW Executive Producer Cathy Hunt to hear about their work, and the challenges for women and girls in these unique, and vastly different communities.

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WOW Bites
Apr
8
9:30 AM09:30

WOW Bites

Rooftop Terrace

Four women speak about transcending their different personal challenges.

  • Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, a First Nation artist from Quandamooka country sharing her story behind designing the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Medals.
  • Donna Thistlethwaite on the perfect storm that took her to the brink of death and her strategies to move from surviving to thriving.
  • Mikhara Ramsing, answers the question ‘Can I be Indian and gay?’, shares her personal story and what drove her to set up Ethnic LGBT+.
  • Madeleine Buchner — on turning big dreams into reality — a better world for young carers.
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For God’s Sake
Apr
8
9:30 AM09:30

For God’s Sake

Visy Theatre  

They say love is blind, so is faith blind? Women of all faith traditions say their faith inspires, supports and gives them courage. They also acknowledge that religious institutions can be challenging and sometimes sexist, but they continue to be among the faithful. That faith then impacts their relationships — friends and families — and the communities in which they live and work. Are the benefits greater than the challenges or is faith simply blind? 

Zainah Anwar the founder of Musawah (Equality) in conversation with Scott Stephens Editor of the ABC’s Religion and Ethics website, and specialist commentator on religion and ethics for ABC radio and television delve into Islamic tradition to unpack the challenges that women as followers face, and why they do, indeed, remain faithful.

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Laugh Out Loud Funky Yoga
Apr
8
8:00 AM08:00

Laugh Out Loud Funky Yoga

Performance Lawn/Healing Space

Join Sadhna and Roushini to kick off your daily WOW experience by starting the day in the right way — feeling happier, healthier, focused and grounded. Limber up as they lead you through a combination of simple stretches, yogic breathing and movement, and stimulated laughter to help change mindsets and improve general health and wellness. No yoga experience? 

Also Friday and Saturday

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Up Late — Femioke
Apr
7
8:30 PM20:30

Up Late — Femioke

Turbine Platform

Feminism + Karaoke = FEMIOKE
Are you going to tell us what you want, what you really, really want? Is it R-E-S-P-E-C-T and no scrubs? Will you survive, do it for yourself (standin’ on your own two feet) or do you just wanna have fun? Are you ***FLAWLESS and do you run the world? Then c'mon people let's get loud!   The event is a space to celebrate, by both singing favourite feminist anthems and taking back misogynist songs. Emceed by local karaoke desperate and avid feminist, Amy-Clare.  Hai Si Ja, hold tight! Originally premiered at Metro Arts.

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Thoda Dhyaan Se (Be Careful)
Apr
7
7:45 PM19:45

Thoda Dhyaan Se (Be Careful)

Visy Theatre
Ticketed performance. Free with WOW Pass. Limited availability - Book Saturday
Also Sunday 8 April, 11.30am - 12.00pm. Limited availability - Book Sunday

“Caution” is a central part of women’s life experience in India. It is an ordered and assimilated condition that is practiced with rigor. Only in this way can women feel “safe”. 

Thoda Dhyaan Se (Be Careful) is a satirical work that challenges this notion of “security.” The performance confronts the sad bond between the way women dress and the atrocities committed against them, as if the former begets the latter. With irony and lightness, but also precision and a provocative spirit, sole performer from Delhi Mallika Taneja faces her audience and offers them a text denouncing the hypocrisy.

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Ghosts of a Goddess — Vulcana Women’s Circus
Apr
7
7:00 PM19:00

Ghosts of a Goddess — Vulcana Women’s Circus

The Wall — Powerhouse Plaza

An exhilarating vertical performance on the front wall of the Brisbane Powerhouse at dusk, using abseiling and dancing in harnesses.  What does it mean to be an icon? Lifted up, looked up to and imitated, then pulled and pushed and devoured as they crack and fall. Be enthralled as the ghosts fly, swing, sail and seduce us.

Also Friday

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Ruckus Slam — Who Run’s The World?
Apr
7
6:10 PM18:10

Ruckus Slam — Who Run’s The World?

Turbine Platform

Ladies to the front. What can you do with two minutes on the mic? A slam is an open mic competition where anyone with a poem, rap, story, or grocery list they want to share get their time to shine. Judged by randomly selected audience members it is a rowdy and high energy event, where anything can happen and everyone gets a say. Only original material. Just your voice and a stage. One of the largest slam events in Australia, come and watch Brisbane’s wildly popular Ruckus Slam run this female-only edition.

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Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) Securing our Rights, Securing our Future
Apr
7
5:30 PM17:30

Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) Securing our Rights, Securing our Future

Rooftop Terrace

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar AO, warmly invites Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls to take part in a national conversation as part of the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project.

Commissioner Oscar and her team are travelling around the country to hear directly from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women (18+) and girls (aged 12 – 17) about their needs, aspirations and ideas for change. You can find out more information at wiyiyaniuthangani.humanrights.gov.au.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls are encouraged to join in on this important conversation. Please note you do not need a ticket to WOW to participate, however numbers are limited so please register

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Fan Girls
Apr
7
5:15 PM17:15

Fan Girls

Turbine Platform

A 13-year-old girl told Yve Blake that she would ‘slit someone’s throat to be with the man I love’. She was talking about Harry Styles.  Award winning Theatremaker Yve Blake will present a selection of songs from ‘FANGIRLS’, a brand-new musical inspired by interviews with hundreds of teenage fangirls. It’s a story of young women, the stories we tell them, and the ways we underestimate them — with a sound world that is best described as a ‘Beyonce Concert meets Rave meets Church’. Yve’s here to tell us what she found, what a twelve year old girl taught her about womanhood, and why Fangirls are her heroes.

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