WOW Australia

Program Calendar

 

The following are examples of sessions scheduled across the weekend (note: days will be subject to change until the final program release early March 2018) However in planning your weekend many of our international guests will be with us for the duration of the Festival appearing on panels, telling their personal stories in a WOW Bite session and offering advice in Speed Mentoring.

 

Welcome to Country and Opening Ceremony
Apr
5
5:00 PM17:00

Welcome to Country and Opening Ceremony

WOW at Festival 2018 will kick off with a Traditional Blessing and Welcome To Country for all guests by custodian, Song-woman Maroochy Barambah of the Turrbal People.  Songwoman Maroochy will then welcome our guest artists from First Nation communities of the Commonwealth of Nations in a call and response to join her on stage with dance and song. This special welcome will be followed by a concert of strong female First Nation voices produced by Aunty Ruth Ghee, an Aboriginal (Kabi Kabi), Torres Strait Island (Mer Island) and South Sea Island (Ambrym Island) woman. Including Emily Wurramara, a Wanandilyakwa woman from Groote Eylandt and ShoShona Kish from the Batchewana First Nation in Northern Ontario Canada.

Full details of the event will be available before Christmas

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Femocracy – Are our Democracies failing Women?
Apr
6
9:00 AM09:00

Femocracy – Are our Democracies failing Women?

Is the ‘noblest’ form of government - democracy - in the midst of a crisis? It is defined as ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’. But look at any democratically elected parliament, and what you see is – middle aged, middle class (white) men. What can we do to make our system of government both more representative of, and more accountable to, the 52% majority in all its diversity. WOW Founder Jude Kelly will lead an international panel including those elected to represent us to discuss.

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The Story-Tellers – Cultural Leaders Speak Out
Apr
6
10:00 AM10:00

The Story-Tellers – Cultural Leaders Speak Out

Who gets to tell stories? Where does control of the narrative in contemporary storytelling really lie? And with the fallout of the avalanche of sexual assault allegations in Hollywood and beyond, how does the cultural and creative economy of the 21st century need to change? In this conversation you will hear the views of leading women cultural leaders and creators including Vice Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts Lee-Ann Buckskin, award winning writer Michelle Law.

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Open the Envelopes
Apr
6
10:00 AM10:00

Open the Envelopes

We don’t like talking about money. In fact, even more than religion, sex and politics – personal finances are THE most difficult thing to talk about. So it is fair to say that it is helpful to have a financial friend. This workshop presented by the experts from QSuper provides an open and comfortable opportunity to talk with objective experts. Get hands on to understand your financial situation, and take away practical strategies to be confident for life. Because discussing money matters to us all.

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The Web We Want
Apr
6
10:30 AM10:30

The Web We Want

With more of our lives exposed every day to the mystery and magic of new technologies and the internet, what are the steps we can take to be safe and savvy users, and not hapless victims?  Who are the women working in cyber security and the technologies of the future looking to make our world a safer place?  And how have those who have had to deal with the derogatory and threatening abuse spread online dealt with the issue? Australian ESafety Commissioner Julie Inham Grant will lead a conversation with local and international guests on how we make our brave new world a safer place for all including Ashleigh Smith founder of the New Zealand bullying prevention organisation Sticks ‘n’ Stones.

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Under whose Law?  
Apr
6
1:00 PM13:00

Under whose Law?  

Across the Commonwealth, colonial governments enforced British law, government practices and culture, overruling customary laws, traditions and systems of governance that had been fine-tuned on Country and in Community through centuries. This session examines how  women of the First Nations throughout the Commonwealth are working for their communities and families in the face of this colonial power and its ongoing legacies, and share their hopes for the future, Facilitated by Dr Sandra Phillips, and including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO, leading First Nation women from Australia, Canada and New Zealand tell it like it is.

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Bollywood Dance
Apr
6
1:00 PM13:00

Bollywood Dance

A unique cultural experience combined with fun and fitness. An Interactive workshop, where audiences are taught popular Bollywood moves by Choreographer, Asha Shah.  People of all ages, shapes, sizes, and fitness levels are welcome—come prepared to have fun, shake your shoulders and swing your hips to this contagious fusion style of dance!

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Financial Feminism – Entrepreneurs for change
Apr
6
2:30 PM14:30

Financial Feminism – Entrepreneurs for change

Across the Commonwealth, women are using their creativity and business skills to build cultural and social enterprises that deliver more than a financial return. Others are investing their own dollars in that change. Be inspired by the stories and projects from across the Commonwealth including Winnifred Selby (Bamboo Bike Company Ghana) and Alanna Bastin Byrne and Jade Collins from Femeconomy (Australia).

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Shame
Apr
6
4:00 PM16:00

Shame

According to psychologists, shame is the most destructive emotion in the human kitbag. It has been used for centuries to control the behaviour of women and girls, and people who do not conform to society’s gender assumptions. This panel discusses how we can list the burden of shame and will include author and advocate Jasvinder Sanghera founder of UK charity Karma Nirvana that supports both men and women affected by honour based abuse and forced marriages, together with award winning Australian author and campaigner Jane Caro.

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The Politics of Hair
Apr
6
4:00 PM16:00

The Politics of Hair

Are women defined by their hair? From short hair to Afro hair, from grey hair to no hair, from body hair to ‘Brazilian’, loose, plaited or covered – why does hair matter so much? Who decides what ‘natural’ is? We hear from women who are redefining age-old stereotypes about how hair is related to femininity and womanhood. Expect laughter, personal stories and questions of identity.

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Speaking Truth to Power - High Impact Advocacy
Apr
7
9:00 AM09:00

Speaking Truth to Power - High Impact Advocacy

You may be interested in advocacy but do not have the information and skills to plan and implement an effective advocacy campaign.  This workshop will address this problem directly, and build people’s knowledge, motivation and confidence. It is designed to help attendees develop advocacy skills that they can implement straight away, at an individual and group level. Presented by Soroptomists International South East Queensland.

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Passion, Profit + Purpose
Apr
7
10:00 AM10:00

Passion, Profit + Purpose

Is the spark of inspiration in your heart a business, a hobby or something else? Explore the things you love, the things you are good at, and the skills you have picked up from being a human in everyday life. Discover whether they are for passion, profit or purpose.  Presented by Asja Svilans of Global Sisters, this session is perfect to connect back in with who you are, and what you love, and explore all the possibilities. 

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Who Cares?
Apr
7
10:00 AM10:00

Who Cares?

Overwhelmingly it is women who carry the responsibility for caring for the young, sick, injured, frail, elderly, and often for communities and country too. There are health, economic and social consequences which reach deep into the lives of the carer. Across the cultures and traditions of the Commonwealth, are there better ways to support carers, and to share responsibility for these roles? Facilitated by Belinda Drew CEO of the Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) and including the award winning Madeleine Buchner founder of Little Dreamers (Australia).

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Refusing to be Silenced
Apr
7
10:30 AM10:30

Refusing to be Silenced

Women take an active part in conflict everywhere – in combat roles, providing medical support, reporting on conflict as journalists and photographers, and in a thousand other ways. But they experience the consequences of war very differently from men. With their children, they are the most vulnerable refugees. And while more men than women die as a consequence of conflict-related violence, according to UN Women, rape is often used as a weapon of war and violence perpetrated by intimate partner usually increases in post-conflict situations. This session will include the founder of the platform 'Refusing to be Silenced' Mariana Katzarova and one of the winners of this year's Anna Politskovskaya award activist Gulalai Ismail from Pakistan.

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Henna Your Hands
Apr
7
10:30 AM10:30

Henna Your Hands

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 designing 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.

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Commonwealth Now
Apr
7
10:30 AM10:30

Commonwealth Now

Outstanding writers from around the Commonwealth will be featured in a special edition of Australia’s leading literary journal Griffith Review published to coincide with the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Join some of the women contributors from across the globe, who will reflect on their work and on the future of the Commonwealth and its enduring legacy. What might the Commonwealth of Nations become in a post- Brexit world? And what voice could this global association of 52 Nations have in the future? Join Griffith Review Editor Julianne Schultz and contributors including Margaret Busby (UK) and Annie Zaidi (India).

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Changing the Story – Ending Male Violence against Women and Girls
Apr
7
1:00 PM13:00

Changing the Story – Ending Male Violence against Women and Girls

What is the true picture of gender based violence across the Commonwealth? Where can we gain the most momentum for change and where are the legal and cultural solutions to the issue of gender based violence. Natasha Stott Despoja founding chair of Our Watch Australia, former politician and former Australian UN Ambassador for women and girls will lead this conversation around government and community led approaches to changing the story for our daughters and sons.

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Examining the Gender in Parenting - Home, School and Play
Apr
7
2:30 PM14:30

Examining the Gender in Parenting - Home, School and Play

In this workshop, local parent and artist Lenine Bourke will share some ideas on a growing approach to parenting without reinforcing gender stereotypes. Join an interactive environment for those with children, those who care for children and those who work with children to share experiences, ideas, tips and pitfalls for creating gender non-confirming environments.

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Not So Grand Designs
Apr
7
2:30 PM14:30

Not So Grand Designs

So much time and attention is spent photographing, televising, glorifying, writing and talking about extravagant glamorous housing design for the ultra-privileged few – while so many basic needs are crying out for design solutions such as universal sanitation, homelessness, housing for crisis situations, and an umbrella that won’t turn inside out! What would make your life better/safer/simpler? Hear about some of the real design solutions for women and girls across the Commonwealth including Graphic Designer Millicent Barty (Solomon Islands), and challenge our design-savvy panel to find a solution to your design challenge.

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Lets Talk about Sex
Apr
7
4:00 PM16:00

Lets Talk about Sex

For many years and in many cultures talking about our sexuality has been considered a taboo. Women and those on the feminine spectrum have borne the brunt of this silence. Their bodies have been objectified, policed, governed, shamed and sites of violence.  It is now 2018, and how much have things really changed? We now have a sex positive movement, ethical feminist pornography and intersectional feminism, but how far have we really come?  What are the current issues? What is still missing from the conversation?

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Big Data, Blockchain and Bots
Apr
7
4:00 PM16:00

Big Data, Blockchain and Bots

The worlds of commerce and work are being transformed by new technology, instantaneous global communications and artificial intelligence, in a series of changes heralded as ‘the fourth the industrial revolution’. Disruptive technologies including artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT Internet of Things), blockchain and big data are already creating transformational change.  New forms of democracy are emerging. What does this mean for women’s voice, economic participation and empowerment across the globe? What are we getting ready for and where could it take us? This conversation will be led by Brisbane business woman Dr Jane Thomason, commentator and blogger on blockchain technology and social impact and include leading Australian entrepreneur and founder of Everledger Leanne Kemp building a global verification system for high-value assets (such as diamonds) to mitigate risk and fraud in global marketplaces.

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Women and Children First - Why Climate Change is a Feminist Issue and what Women and Girls are Doing About it
Apr
8
9:00 AM09:00

Women and Children First - Why Climate Change is a Feminist Issue and what Women and Girls are Doing About it

Climate change has different consequences, for example drought in Sub-Saharan Africa; disastrous flooding in the delta in Bangladesh; rising sea levels threatening whole communities in the coral atolls of the Pacific; loss of farm lands from drought in Australia. In spite of their different origins, the impacts are felt most by women and children, who make up two thirds of the world’s poor, are most dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods, and often have limited mobility, access to decision-making, and alternative possibilities.

Our speakers including Sharon Bhagwan Rolls founder of femLINKpacific bring a gender lens to climate change and its impacts, to suggest how this can be changed.

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African Dance
Apr
8
9:00 AM09:00

African Dance

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. Lead 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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Stretch! - A Mindmap for Good Decision Making
Apr
8
11:00 AM11:00

Stretch! - A Mindmap for Good Decision Making

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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For God's Sake
Apr
8
11:00 AM11:00

For God's Sake

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 its 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? This panel delves into different religious traditions to unpack the challenges that women as followers face, and also reminds us why they remain faithful. Zainah Anwar co-founded two ground-breaking women’s rights groups – Sisters in Islam (SIS) in Malaysia and Musawah, a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family.

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The Rules of the Game
Apr
8
11:00 AM11:00

The Rules of the Game

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 to discuss.

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Labour of Love
Apr
8
12:00 PM12:00

Labour of Love

Who is Minister for Emotional Affairs at your place?  And what remuneration does that attract? How does your salary and superannuation compare to that of your male colleague? In the family, in the workplace, and in the broader economy, emotional labour  (aka women’s work) frees men up to make money, oils the wheels of transactions and relationships, and delivers a fortune in unremunerated work into the world we live. This session is about how we value of women’s work.

Join Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins and leading experts xxx to discuss the changes we need today

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Word Mothers - Women in Publishing
Apr
8
1:00 PM13:00

Word Mothers - Women in Publishing

Publishing has a particularly important role in telling women's stories and female publishers have been at the forefront of this movement. Margaret Busby (UK) pioneered publishing African stories and ensuring they reached readers around the world. Kateri Akewenzie-Damm (Canada) has led the way in publishing the stories of First Nation people from many different parts of the world.  This session will be facilitated by Jane Camens founder of Asia Pacific Writing Partnership to build networks of publishers, academics and writers in this region. How can we ensure that more women get the opportunity to tell their stories, reach local and international audiences and learn from shared and different experiences. What are the obstacles and opportunities in the digital world?

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No More Prisons
Apr
8
1:00 PM13:00

No More Prisons

The numbers of women criminalised and imprisoned in the world’s prisons continues to rise at a time when male rates of imprisonment are relatively stable. Why are the number of women criminalised and imprisoned increasing?  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.

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Leading for change – What do great women leaders do
Apr
8
2:30 PM14:30

Leading for change – What do great women leaders do

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 account for how they are using their power to create a more equal world, and help us work out what we need from our women leaders today including Sri Lankan Gender Equality specialist and Rock Climber Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala.

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Accidental Activists
Apr
8
2:30 PM14:30

Accidental Activists

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).  

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

The Future is Female

In one of the final sessions of WOW at Festival 2018, young women from around the Commonwealth will lead a conversation 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. Young women and girls from WOW 2018 present their Elders with some solutions.

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Who Cares?
Apr
9
10:00 AM10:00

Who Cares?

Overwhelmingly it is women who carry the responsibility for caring for the young, sick, injured, frail, elderly, and often for communities and country too. There are health, economic and social consequences which reach deep into the lives of the carer. Across the cultures and traditions of the Commonwealth, are there better ways to support carers, and to share responsibility for these roles? Facilitated by Belinda Drew CEO of the Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) and including the award winning Madeleine Buchner founder of Little Dreamers (Australia)

View Event →
Refusing to Be Silenced
Apr
9
10:30 AM10:30

Refusing to Be Silenced

Women take an active part in conflict everywhere – in combat roles, providing medical support, reporting on conflict as journalists and photographers, and in a thousand other ways. But they experience the consequences of war very differently from men. With their children, they are the most vulnerable refugees. And while more men than women die as a consequence of conflict-related violence, according to UN Women, rape is often used as a weapon of war and violence perpetrated by intimate partner usually increases in post-conflict situations. This session will include the founder of the platform 'Refusing to be Silenced' Mariana Katzarova and one of the winners of this years Anna Politskovskaya award activist Gulalai Ismail from Pakistan.

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