Unravelling humanity

Passion before motivation and humanity before happiness

Adam Radly

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.


Zen and the Art of Making Comedy

Andrew Goodone

My talk concerns what I have learned from making 151 short films with teenagers at risk. All of the films are made in one day and the very next day, they get their movie.



Challenging the myth of the Happy Ending

Andrea Buck

After suffering a massive near-fatal burst brain aneurysm, 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.
I am finally ready to share this story. 

Secrets of the Bay

Dr. Kate Charlton-Robb

Sometimes the most extraordinary discoveries are right under our noses. 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.

Reclaim Our Future with the Climatarian Diet

Mark Pershin

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.

Why we need pain to feel happiness

Dr. Brock Bastian

Pain is bad, but is it all bad? 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.

What Aboriginal knowledge can teach us about happiness

Sheree Cairney

Sheree has spent her adult life working in remote Australia, deep in sacred Aboriginal country, where the sky is blue and the earth burnt-orange. She has a deep respect for the Aboriginal communities who live within that landscape, and her current research hopes to answer some profoundly human questions – How do we define success? What makes us happy? And what can we learn from our ancient brothers and sisters.

The power of education

Fablice Manirakiza

Fablice, who’s also known as FLYBZ, has recently released a debut single ‘Child Soldier’ in collaboration with legendary Australian songwriter, Paul Kelly. Winner of the 2016 Victorian Young Achiever Award; 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.


Throwing coins won’t stop the homelessness

Cathy Humphrey

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 people’s recovery from the impact of trauma and to re-connect them back into community life.


Mer Sol: Percussion Artist

Matthias Schack-Arnott

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.