11 September 2019

Get your brain and heart ready for the Festival of Open Minds

| Ian Campbell
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As winter turns to spring South East NSW will gather for a conversation about change.

About Regional presents – The Festival of Open Minds on Saturday, September 1 at the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre.

This day-long event will inspire your toolkit for change, with ideas and stories that promise to be out of the box.

Whether we like it or not change is a constant, our world is being reshaped on a number of fronts, The Festival of Open Minds provides a stage for people experiencing change, people advocating for change, and people who have led change. Change across a range of interests and experiences.

What will you learn from these people of heart and soul?

Running loosely on the successful TEDx format, this day of conversation and ideas features a growing program of local and visiting speakers…

Catherine McGregor. Photo: Australia Day Council.

Catherine McGregor. Photo: Australia Day Council.

Catherine McGregor was a military officer for nearly four decades. She graduated from the Royal Military Duntroon and served as an Infantry officer overseas. She has held a wide range of strategic policy and operational roles including serving on the personal staffs of four Chiefs of the Army and two Chiefs of the Air Force.

She has also served as a speechwriter and adviser to some of Australia’s most senior political leaders including Bob Carr, Kim Beazley, Tony Abbott, and Barry O’Farrell.

She is an engaging and powerful speaker on cricket, global strategic affairs and her own poignant story of gender transition.

Catherine’s is compelling and inspiring.

Linda Burney. Photo: Supplied.

Linda Burney. Photo: Supplied.

Linda Burney is the first Aboriginal woman to serve in the House of Representatives. She was also the first Aboriginal person to serve in the New South Wales Parliament.

From 2007 to 2011 she served as a Minister in the NSW Labor government in a range of portfolios, including Community Services.

She began her career as a teacher at a public school in western Sydney in 1979.

In 2016 Ms Burney resigned as Deputy Leadership of the NSW Labor Party and from the NSW Parliament after she was preselected as Labor’s candidate for the federal seat of Barton, a seat she went on to win.

She currently serves as the Shadow Minister for Human Services in Bill Shorten’s opposition.

Gabbie Stround. Photo: Angie High Photography.

Gabbie Stroud. Photo: Angie High Photography.

Gabbie Stroud and her powerful and moving memoir ‘Teacher’ has captured Australia’s attention and is part of the current news cycle.

In 2014, Gabbie was a very dedicated teacher with over a decade of experience. Months later, she resigned in frustration and despair.

Her ground-breaking essay ‘Teaching Australia’ in the Feb 2016 Griffith Review outlined her experiences and provoked a huge response from former and current teachers around the world. That essay lifted the lid on a scandal that is yet to properly break – that our education system is unfair to our children and destroying their teachers.

In her powerful memoir ‘Teacher’, Gabbie tells the full story; how she came to teaching, what makes a great teacher, what our kids need from their teachers, and what it was that finally broke her. A brilliant and heart-breaking memoir that cuts to the heart of a vital matter of national importance.

Stand by for more announcements in the coming weeks as the program develops, and as this new festival gathers momentum.

Everyday SouEasters will also have the opportunity to present their ideas and share their experience through the Change Bites program – highlighting bite-size stories of change.

Change Bites will be mixed through the speaker’s program giving locals 3 minutes to share their story or make their pitch.

Focused around three themes people from across the region are invited to submit an expression of interest now and claim their 3 minutes on stage.

Change Bites themes:

  • The day my life changed and how I responded;
  • My pitch for change;
  • Change – I just can’t take it any more!

Submit your expression of interest now via [email protected] outlining your idea in 50 words or less, spaces are limited, the Change Bites program will look to represent a range of ideas and experiences.

The Festival of Open Minds is your chance to keep up or catch up with some of the change taking place in our community.

Come and engage in the conversation and share your wisdom.

Tickets for The Festival of Open Minds are on sale now via southcoasttickets.com.au

Thank you to Bega Valley Shire Council, University of Wollongong – Bega Campus, Tathra Beach House Appartments, Bega Valley Regional Gallery, and RiotACT for your support.

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