20 March 2024

Deadly Dialogues: Joe Williams and Alethea Beetson

A campfire alight with a starry night sky in the background

Deadly Dialogues: Joe Williams and Alethea Beetson is on Wednesday 17 April at 6 pm. Image: National Library of Australia.

Join Joe Williams and Dr Alethea Beetson in conversation as part of the National Library’s Deadly Dialogues series.

Entry is free to this event but bookings are essential.

The talk will be available to view live online via the Library’s Facebook and YouTube pages. You do not need to book a ticket to watch the event online.

About Deadly Dialogues

Deadly Dialogues celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their journeys through in-conversation style events.

About Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a Wiradjuri First Nations Aboriginal man born in Cowra, raised in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Joe has been involved with professional sport for over 15 years. He played in the National Rugby League for South Sydney Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers and Canterbury Bulldogs before switching to professional boxing in 2009. As a boxer, Joe was a two-time World Boxing Federation World Junior Welterweight champion, and also won the World Boxing Council Asia Continental title. Although he forged a successful professional sporting career, Joe has battled the majority of his life with suicidal ideation and bipolar disorder. After a suicide attempt in 2012, Joe felt his purpose was to help people who struggle with mental health and wellbeing.

Joe is also an author, having contributed to multiple books as well as his own autobiography titled Defying The Enemy Within. Joe was also named as finalist for the Courage Award in the 2017 National Indigenous Human Rights Awards, and in 2018 he was awarded the Suicide Prevention Australia Life Award for his work in communities across the country. In 2019 Joe was awarded Australia’s highest honour in the mental health field, announced as a co-winner of the National Mental Health Prize presented by the Australian Prime Minister. Since founding the The Enemy Within organisation in 2014, Joe has delivered wellbeing programs to over 200 communities across Australia and in multiple countries around the globe. His programs aim to alleviate the mental and traumatic distress of individuals from all pockets of the community. Joe is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland.

About Dr Alethea Beetson

Dr Alethea Beetson is a Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi and Wiradjuri storyteller and dreamer. She has worked extensively with Indigenous communities across multiple art forms to inspire new works responding to societal issues, cultural heritage and colonisation. Alethea has worked as a First Nations Music Curator and Producer across Brisbane Festival, BIGSOUND, Horizon Festival, Yonder, Festival 2018, Brisbane Street Art Festival and Jungle Love, and she is currently working with Spotify as their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program Lead.

Alethea founded Digi Youth Arts (DYA), an Indigenous led youth arts organisation sharing the stories of our young people. DYA delivers a range of initiatives including BLAKSOUND; a completely First Nations led music conference held in strategic alignment with BIGSOUND. In 2020, Alethea founded Blak Social, a multi-arts company that will hold a residency at The Tivoli from 2022 to 2023.

As a writer and director, two of her works premiered at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in 2022, COOKED (Digi Youth Arts and The Good Room) and Queen’s City (Brisbane Festival, Blak Social and Screen Queensland). Her film work includes Losing It, a short film best described as a Blak teen movie, and a visual album as part of Blak Narrative Music Videos called Red Desert Dream (Blak Social and Selve).

The details

What: Deadly Dialogues: Joe Williams and Alethea Beetson
When: Wednesday 14 April, 6 pm to 7 pm
Where: National Library of Australia
Cost: Free, bookings are essential.

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