TEDxStKilda – When Dark Meets Light

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Written by Alexandra McKean from TEDxStKilda

Photography by Marj Vain & Arun Munoz


We can confidently call TEDxStKilda a success! On March 28th our speakers explored the theme of ‘When Dark Meets Light’ at the St Kilda Town Hall.

The late March sunshine was a perfect beginning. The celestial-themed ceiling seemed the perfect setting for a day of discussion varied from ‘ranga’ etymology to colour-changing lizards. Our speakers inspired us, made us laugh, helped us think and taught us something new.

Our women in science educated us on high-tech materials and biomedical science. The darker side of our community was revealed in presentations on male violence and gender disparity. The music and culture from our nearest neighbours was a joy to experience. The art of teaching was unraveled, and the reclamation of an insult elicited some giggles. The importance of community was a highlighted, both in terms of motherhood and sustainable living. The healthcare system was revealed to have an attitude problem.

We had ten unique presentations from ten marvelous speakers. But perhaps we will just mention a few to give you an idea of the breadth and caliber of their brilliance:

We started with architect Jeremy McLeod. Our audience was forced to re-examine our current building/development model. We all have expectations for how we want to live; traditionally that has been the quarter acre block. But times are changing. Jeremy argued that smarter architecture, with a stronger focus on the owner-occupier (rather than developers and investors), community and sustainability can create more affordable and more rewarding living.

Inspiring awe amongst us all, Dr Jeanette Pritchard told us all about the incredible research on the bionic eye. The Monash Vision Group is soon to begin human trials with the bionic eye. This technology has the potential to grant a form of vision to many blind people. We were also lucky enough to see images the bionic eye is capable of producing. It was a great insight into cutting-edge technology.

A darker side of St Kilda was presented by Sally Tonkin. The ‘she is someone’ campaign that followed on from the awful murder of Tracy Connelly was at once inspiring and devastating. Sally’s story allowed us to identify and empathise with the women she works with. These women have endured hard times and circumstances that have turned them towards the dangerous sex work industry. Hearing about Sally’s work at the St Kilda Gatehouse was an uplifting reminder that everyone is worthy and that ‘everyone is someone,’ regardless of their situation.

Obviously many of you who were looking forward to TEDxStKilda were unable to attend; our tickets sold amazingly fast. Never fear though, you have not missed out completely! All of the presentations were recorded, and we’re expecting the event to be online in May for your viewing pleasure –keep up with us on social media so that you can be first in the know!

So thank you to everyone who made this remarkable event actually happen! Thank you to our speakers, who spoke with such enthusiasm and expertise! Thank you to our volunteers, who created a seamless and engaging event! Thank you to our wonderful sponsors! And thank you to all of you, who have supported our event from day one. Your engagement with us on social media, your enthusiasm (and quick ticket-buying skills) and passion for ideas worth spreading has been appreciated.

Much love from us all at TEDxStKilda.




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