Pain killing is a massive industry because we want our lives to be filled with pleasure and free of all pain, but is this approach to pain and happiness really working? In this talk Social Psychologist Brock Bastian asks us to reflect on the nature of pain, pleasure, and happiness. He urges us to reconsider what really makes us happy, and tells us why we need pain to experience any happiness in life at all.
Brock Bastian is a Social Psychologist from the University of Melbourne. In his search for a new perspective on pain and happiness he has published widely and his work has received significant recognition, including prestigious awards and prizes. Brock is known for his tendency to take a novel approach to old problems and his work has been recognized as highly innovative. The findings from his research have received significant media attention, covered in outlets such as The New Yorker and The Economist, and will be the focus of a book soon to be published with Penguin, UK.
After suffering a massive near-fatal burst brain aneurism, I faced a long hard road of recovery – and the challenge of finding meaning to my remaining life. I had brain-injury induced depression, and felt totally overwhelmed and lost. I did not know how to keep going. And then I gained the most valuable, precious insight in a very unexpected way. In a single moment I saw a way to help me through life – and it was wonderfully simple. It was so instantly attainable that I knew it should not have taken me so many years and three near-death experiences to see it.
An award winning film producer (The Jammed) scriptwriter and storyteller, Andrea has led a wildly dramatic life, and faced death more than once. After surviving a massive burst brain aneurism Andrea set out to reimagine and recreate her life and herself, with what was left of her. Retaining her language centres, telling her stories was an option – so she set herself on a journey to find the as-yet elusive happy endings that would make her stories worth telling.
Andrea has lived and made films in Africa, Hollywood, South East Asia and Australia. She has two children and a whirlwind history of adventure. She has also completed a Masters degree in Screen Art and Business as brain rehabilitation.
Creating a unique nexus between drugs, culture and the brain, Sheree Cairney has worked as a Neuroscientist in remote Aboriginal communities for 17 years. Her research has shed light on the transformation of brain and behaviour that happens-with petrol sniffing, alcohol and other drugs-and led to ground-breaking clinical evidence the brain can repair itself if substance abuse stops early enough. She established culturally relevant assessments of brain function, mental health and wellbeing among Aboriginal people, and her research has been translated into interactive multimedia tools that communicate health and education messages to diverse demographics. These include the ‘Brain Stories’ suite of flipcharts and animations and the highly successful ‘No Smokes’ multimedia campaign. She now leads a national longitudinal study on wellbeing in remote Aboriginal communities, ‘The Interplay Project’. A dedicated change-maker, Sheree is passionate about using knowledge, innovation, humour and empowerment strategies to impact policy, culture and humanity. She is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Remote Health, Flinders University in Alice Springs, and a Principle Research Leader at Ninti One Ltd.
It takes a special combination of curiosity and passion to lift up the most common rocks and see something quite new underneath. Or, in the case of our next speaker, explore what lay beneath the waves of Port Philip Bay.
Dr Kate Charlton-Robb is the Founding Director and Head of Research at the Australian Marine Mammal Conservation Foundation. With over 14 years experience researching dolphins across southern Australia, Kate achieved a Bachelor of Science (Hons) with a double major in Freshwater and Marine Ecology and Zoology and a Doctor of Philosophy (Genetics). Her research led to the formal description and naming of a new Australian species of dolphin, the Burrunan dolphin, Tursiops australis. Kate is currently an Honorary Fellow at Deakin & Monash University and a Research Associate at Museum Victoria. Kate has been involved with major media coverage from international agencies such as BBC’s History Channel, National Geographic and BBC The World; and featured in numerous Australian multimedia pieces from print to major TV networks. As Head of Research at AMMCF, Kate has instigated and supervised numerous applied marine mammal research projects covering robust population modelling, population genetics, phylogenomics, geospatial mapping, social structure and alliance, and toxicology studies. Kate has numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications aimed at informing positive conservation and management outcomes of marine mammals.
All of the films are made in one day and the very next day, they get their movie.
Many of them are comedies and they cover issues like drug addiction, alienation and even a comedy about self-harm. It’s a dark sense of humour, but it’s what they want to do, no judgements.
For a lot of the kids, it’s the first thing they’ve ever finished. It seems strange to say that but in a world that is upside down, working in a short comedy seems to lift a lot of them from this malaise they’re in. You’re working in a team, you’ve got something to do, you’re moving around, you’re thinking and talking and best of all, it’s funny!
30 odd years ago, Australian comedy was delighted to announce the arrival of Andrew Goodone. His parents were worried he didn’t have an alternative career “in case things didn’t work out”. Completely ignoring their concerns, he dedicated himself to the dark arts of comedy. The comedy Gods have richly rewarded him with work all over the world, several film awards and the adoration of millions …. did I also mention he’s an outrageous liar?
In January 2002, Cathy arrived in St Kilda, ready to start her new role at Sacred Heart Mission. Thinking she had the experience to work in an inner city suburb, instead what Cathy found was a complex community, with the current services unable to meet people’s needs. Cathy describes this as the revolving door of homelessness, and it comes at a cost, with significant monies being spent on managing a system that is not ending homelessness.
Through the experience of working with people like Mary, Cathy and the team at Sacred Heart have grown a body of evidence that shows the link between exposure to trauma and long term homelessness, and have piloted a program called Journey to Social Inclusion. This program not only addresses long term homelessness, but also supports peoples recovery from the impact of trauma and to re-connect them back into community life.
Cathy Humphrey has been working in the areas of community housing and homelessness since 1993. Initially working with people with intellectual disabilities, and since 1996 working in roles specifically focused on people experiencing homelessness. Cathy’s has worked within organisations such as Bethany Family Support (Geelong), Wesley Central Mission (Ringwood), Department of Human Services and has been working at Sacred Heart Mission In St Kilda since 2002.
Appointed as CEO of Sacred Heart Mission in 2011, Cathy has accumulated over 14 years of service to an organization that is leading the way in transforming people lives. Cathy’s passion is driven by an interest in people, human rights and a desire to make a difference. That passion continues to burn brightly through leading the development of innovative solutions to ending chronic homelessness, the Journey to Social Inclusion.
Back-up Vocals – Mele Tu Taleva Napaa
Hailing from Burundi, in Africa, Fablice’s story is a testament to human resilience and optimism.
From a dusty Tanzanian refugee camp to the prestigious stage of the Sydney Opera House, it has been an intriguing and inspirational journey for Fablice, who lost his parents at the age of eight was and forced to become a child soldier in Burundi.
Since arriving in Australia in 2007 from Tanzanian Refugee Camp, Fablice has established himself as a creator of influence in the Australian arts and leadership scene, working as a rapper, MC, festival producer and curator. Fablice is currently studying International Business at RMIT. He is an icon amongst Australian youth and has performed workshops across Australia.
Fablice, who’s also known as FLYBZ, has recently released a debut single ‘Child Soldier’ in collaboration with legendary Australian songwriter, Paul Kelly.
Fablice is also the 2016 Victorian Young Achiever Award winner.
He hopes to change the world one song at a time.
Even with an ambitious transition towards renewable energy we will still be facing catastrophic climate change of up to 6 degrees of warming by the end of the century. There’s an elephant in the room of climate action – and it looks suspiciously like a cow.
Find out what a climatarian diet is, and how it can help solve the biggest existential crisis currently facing humanity.
Mark Pershin is the founder and CEO of start-up non-profit, Less Meat Less Heat. Coming from a background in advertising and marketing, Mark brings a unique and fresh perspective to solving the climate crisis. Mark cut his teeth as an activist campaigning with local and global climate action groups Beyond Zero Emission and 350.org. His postgraduate environmental studies and experiences as a delegate at the UN COP21 climate talks drove home both the gravity of the climate crisis and the political gridlock in our global attempts to solve it. Always a systems-thinker and pragmatist, Mark knew there had to be another way.
Less Meat Less Heat was founded in early 2015 and is dedicated to addressing climate change through diet change by promoting the climatarian diet. In mid-2016, Less Meat Less Heat will launch the app based ‘Climatarian Challenge’.
Adam’s talk walks us through a journey that starts with a common desire to succeed and ends with the realization that the word success is in desperate need of a new definition, the role of passion is not what most people think it is and there is a direct link between humanity and happiness.
Adam’s life has been an ongoing search for what whatever lies at the summit. He started with nothing and founded a company that completed an $50M IPO, created a reconciliation event featuring Nelson Mandela that attracted tributes from Morgan Freeman, Samuel Jackson and Henry Kissinger among others, created a health center for a village in West Africa and eventually found himself confronted with the questions – what was the point of it all and will I ever reach the summit?
Matthias Schack-Arnott explores the quivering resonances of massed Chinese cymbals. Rich in harmonic and timbral detail, the overtones of the cymbals resonate through the drums beneath them to create expansive musical textures.
Matthias Schack-Arnott is a Melbourne based percussive artist working in contemporary classical and exploratory musics as a performer, composer and improvisor.
Matthias’ solo work explores unique and ambitious approaches to percussive performance, often involving the development of new instrumental set-ups built in collaboration with architects, engineers and technicians. His work has been presented by Melbourne Festival, Arts House, Supersense – Festival of the Ecstatic (Arts Centre Melbourne), MPavilion, Spor Festival (Denmark), Spot Festival (Denmark) & Next Wave (2012 & 2014). He won the 2014 Green Room Award in the category ‘Outstanding Work by an Emerging Artist’ for his work ‘Fluvial’.
Matthias is also the founding member & co-director of two leading new music ensembles in Melbourne, Quiver Ensemble (2009-2014) and CATHEXIS (2013-present).
Steve Ward – Conductor, Vocals, Keys & Drums
Joy Sparkes – Vocals
Lewis Reed – Cello
Annabelle Plahuta – Violin
Bridgitte Dias – Violin
Javier Calzada – VJ / visuals
Dan Barrie – Video creation
Cartesian Spheres is a new project by Steve Ward in collaboration with an array of Australia’s most exciting vocalists, horns and string sections. It couples the emotion of traditional classical with the rich textures of modern day electronica, a concept that has gained excitement from a list of festival promoters, media, radio and music enthusiasts.
The message behind this project conveys a dark yet realistic expression of the current struggles we are facing as a society and how an individual can utilize raw emotion to empower and educate oneself.
In the short time this project has existed, Cartesian Sphere’s has headlined at the Ormond Hall (Melbourne Music Week), several of Australia’s best festivals (Rainbow Serpent, Subsonic & MEMF), supported UK music legend Giles Peterson (BBC Radio 1) and is in the final stages of a debut album, which is in negotiation with one of the most exciting record labels in Europe.
“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.” ― George Orwell, 1984
Steve Ward is an Australian born DJ, producer, label owner and radio host who has been considered one of the nation’s most respected musicians since the late 90s. Over many years, Ward’s sound has evolved into an unmistakable blend of tough house grooves coupled with the power of techno and the euphoria of Detroit, a perfect package which has been proven to work on dance floors from New York to Tokyo, Amsterdam to Ibiza.
Throughout his colourful career Steve has written music with A-list artists like Carl Cox, Nile Rodgers, Dj Pierre & Secret Cinema, with many of his tunes hitting the Beatport top 10. He also hosts one of Australia’s most successful weekly radio shows (now syndicated through every continent around the world).
In 2008, Steve launched his own record label Chameleon Recording with the labels debut EP “The Window Between Us and Them”. Chameleon is regarded as one of the top labels in the southern hemisphere.
Kaeng is an outstanding member of the TedX team who introduced our speakers, performers and entertained our audiences at the same time!