2 August 2022

Young revolutionaries to inspire change at Canberra TEDxYouth event

| Katrina Condie
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The TEDx Youth team

TEDxYouth organisers are excited to bring the event back after five years. Photo: TEDx Canberra.

A bunch of inspiring young Canberrans will stand up and share their passion for change at a revived TEDxYouth@Canberra event.

A non-binary schoolteacher, a touring dancer and an Indigenous entrepreneur will be among 10 young innovators who will share their views on the world.

Event manager Amy Nguyen said the “Revolutionary”-themed youth event encouraged change-makers under the age of 25, including high school and university students, to present their powerful ideas and “generate waves and innovation”.

“It provides an opportunity and a platform for young individuals in Canberra to be heard and to inspire others with topics that they are passionate about,” she said.

“We, as young people, are the catalysts of social change and, to be a revolutionary person, we must fearlessly advocate radical change, challenge the status quo, and explore how we can grow, learn and exercise resilience.”

TEDxYouth@Canberra is being revived after a five-year hiatus, and Amy said organisers were expecting an enthusiastic audience for the showcase, to be held from 9 am until 3 pm on Sunday, 7 August at the Manning Clarke Hall in Kambri at ANU.

“People will be introduced to innovative and daring ideas, which will inspire them to think critically and also to expand their perspectives as they apply what they learn to their own circumstances and worldview,” she added.

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“This is a great learning opportunity that has the ability to fuel academic and personal growth.”

Amy said the ”Revolutionary” theme would showcase youth who have taken action against the status quo with “great ideas worth spreading”.

Among those inspiring speakers is Han Worsley, CEO of the Country to Canberra charity, who will talk about how the organisation empowers rural women and non-binary students through leadership.

Han recently graduated from the University of Canberra with the Chancellor’s Commendation Award for the Bachelor of Primary Education (STEM) and now works as a primary teacher on Ngarigo country in Jindabyne.

Han Worsley

Han Worsley will speak about gender equality at the TEDxYouth event. Photo: Han Worsley.

They are passionate about young voices, and especially those of rural and remote women and non-binary people.

“The more we lift people up and loosen the strict view of what it means to be a man or a woman, the better off we all are. If I can be a part of that, and elevate other voices, then I feel I have done my bit,” Han said.

Han is non-binary, which means neither a man nor woman, and their TEDxYouth talk will reveal how, by breaking down the binary way we view men and women, society can move closer to gender equality.

“Our strict view of gender roles contributes to issues like the devaluing of caring jobs, and men’s poor mental health and suicide rates,” they said.

“I hope that people leave (the talk) with a sense of freedom. A view that women can have short hair, or drive trucks, and that men can be sensitive, or do ballet, or be a nurse.

“I also want them to get a small window into what it can be like to live beyond the binary entirely, to help foster more understanding of diverse identities.”

Han said growing up on a rural property at Nullamanna in northern NSW had driven them to speak about identity diversity.

“When your closest town has just 40 people, and you travel 45 km to school, sometimes your worldview just isn’t as broad and the opportunities aren’t as great,” they said.

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“Since then, I’ve felt that the opportunities I have had have been such a privilege, and where I can, I want to play a part in extending that knowledge and community to others.”

Han said it was difficult to develop a sense of self and a passion when you didn’t know who you were.

“When I left high school, I changed degrees and jobs and suffered mentally as I tried to grapple with how I felt about my gender and sexuality,” they explained.

“Finding a community of kind, loving, open-minded people, and stepping into a teaching career that I love, has allowed me to find my passions and truly commit to them. ”

A touring dancer and film director nominated for the Australian Young Achievers award, Ethan Hart, will talk about how his experiences have shaped his resilience and growth as a person and as a creative.

After completing tours across the country with Kulture Break, Ethan is passionate about the importance of everyone recognising their unchanging self-worth and having hope during the trials that life brings.

Ethan is dyslexic, so the challenges of life have not escaped him, yet, as a young person in a country where 20 per cent of its community has disabilities, this has not held Ethan back.

As well as the awesome line-up of speakers and performers, a series of workshops will be hosted by ANU, Questacon, Canberra Youth Theatre, and Breathe.

Tickets for the event and a full program are available from the TEDxYouth@Canberra website.

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