11 September 2019

High schoolers FREE at Festival of Open Minds with $500 prize to win

| Ian Campbell
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The region’s future leaders, movers and shakers, are invited to attend the Festival of Open Minds on us.

A limited number of FREE tickets are available for students 12 to 19 years old. As an added incentive, Region Media, The Sapphire Coast Regional Science Hub, and Inspiring Australia are offering a $500 prize to one of our student guests.

The program for Open Minds 2019 has real depth, heart and humour and we want to make that easy to access for the region’s young people, but more than that, we want their/your perspective to be part of the conversation on the day.

Running with the theme ‘People with Oomph’ on Saturday, September 14, the Bega Civic Centre plays host to:

  • Tim Costello, Chief Advocate, World Vision;
  • Nas Campanella, blind Triple J newsreader;
  • Pastor Christie Buckingham, spiritual counselor to executed Bali 9 drug smuggler Myuran Sukumaran;
  • Aly Khalifa, entrepreneur focused on harvesting plastic waste from our oceans;
  • Emma Booth, para-equestrian competitor, represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Paralympics;
  • Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall, comedian, joke writer, grew up in Tathra;
  • Sassi Nuyum, aka Meaghan Holt, rising Aboriginal writer, performer;
  • Corrine Gibbons, songstress and choir director;
  • Jonathan Kenna, Australia’s Ambassador to Sweden;
  • Captain Phil Holliday, Sydney, Port Kembla and Eden Harbour Master;
  • Damon Davis, long singer-songwriter and the original man of oopmh;
  • A local panel of leaders including Erica Dibden – Tilba Milk, Louise Brand – road safety campaigner, Kate Toyer – Moruya vet and transgender advocate, Warren Foster Jr – Aboriginal artist and leader.

The night before this day of discussion, we launch the festival with a FREE community celebration – Parklight in the heart of Bega. Littleton Gardens will light up with magical occurrences and happenings, a celebration of our community with a focus on the contribution and talent of youth and Indigenous culture.

Adult tickets for Saturday’s event are $40, but people 12 to 19 years get in FREE, but you do need to reserve your place, the number of student tickets is limited. Rush to Eventbrite now to claim your place.

Students there on the day will also be in the running to win $500 to put towards a science education experience of their choice thanks to The Sapphire Coast Regional Science Hub and Inspiring Australia.

Jackie Randles. Photo: Supplied.

Jackie Randles. Photo: Supplied.

Jackie Randles, NSW Manager for Inspiring Australia will be there to announce the winner on the day.

Jackie is on a mission to connect science and technology to big audiences. Working with diverse communities, she’s developed interesting and creative ways to connect scientists with community members through collaborative projects and lasting partnerships that promote the relevance of science and innovation to everyday life and enable greater access and participation.

Jackie will also share her joy in working with diverse communities and talk about how she finds and keeps ‘people with oomph’.

Hope to see you there! With just two weeks to go, tickets are selling.



The Festival for Open Minds opens on Friday, September 13 with the free community celebration in the heart of Bega – Parklight. The speakers and ideas program follows on Saturday, September 14 at the Bega Civic Centre.

The full program and run down for the day will be announced shortly, stay in touch via the festival website.

Tickets and Saturday lunch options are on sale now via Eventbrite. High schoolers 12 to 19 years are FREE.

Thank you to our Festival partners –

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