Ideas most certainly worth spreading: my TedX Sydney experience

It is hard to find the words for the rare opportunity of a day of TED. If you have not yet heard of the joy that is a TED talk, please by all means take a look and get ready for your world to change, I think for the better.

I certainly have favourites, but not until last week was I fortunate enough to see a TED talk live.

TedX means that the event was organised by someone other than the mothership organisation, though is still led by the same principles and values of the original idea and is overseen by the originals. TedX Sydney 2014 was held on April 26 and hosted a range of national and international speakers. The Opera House was a wonderful venue for it, being itself an expression of the highest architectural ideals of Utzon, its designer. A full live stream of the event can be found here.

The speakers and performers were representative of a wide range of things from beautiful indigenous music to a refugee’s documented story of his trip here. There were so many highlights, it is difficult to choose favourites. I loved Marlon Williams, the young kiwi crooner who made the whole audience swoon with his voice and his country sensibility well beyond his years.
I loved the work of Tim Sharp, a young world-famous artist based on his work on a super hero named Laser Beak Man with a fantastic sense of humour who also happens to be autistic. The overall experience was one that filled me up with inspiration and ideas. Each presenter brought a very human story and shared with us personally. It was really quite humbling and lovely.

Being a student of teaching at present, it was excellent to see the principal of a Sydney school speak about how he had transformed a troubled school community into a thriving one. In his own words: “if you work with your heart and you open your arms, others will join you”. I found these words so wonderful to hear. So few people mention ‘heart’ in the context of education and yet the relationships we have with our students and with our colleagues and the wider community of parents an local families most surely must inform the way we teach. I vowed to think of a name for this – communagogy perhaps? Will have to do some work on that one.

I came out of the day with a huge amount of gratitude for the opportunity to share in such an event, brilliantly organised by an army of volunteers who fed us (with amazing food grown and made by asylum seekers and refugees coordinated by the wonderful Jill Dupleix) and watered us (with home made wine) and filled us up with inspiration. I certainly hope they’ll have me back next year.


Alena Turley is an Australian mentor for mothers. Founder of the pioneering blog, the Soul Mama Hub, her wellbeing membership offers a powerful pathway for mothers ready to go from over-extended, stuck in the daily grind, to empowered, inspired and energised so they can become the CHANGEMAKERS they dream of being.

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