2019 Speakers

Paul Abood

Paula Abood is a creative producer, educator, community advocate, writer and director. Over the past 30 years, she has sustained a commitment to critical practice with marginalised communities

Ien Ang

Distinguished Professor Ien Ang is one of the leaders in cultural studies worldwide, with interdisciplinary work spanning many areas of the humanities and social sciences

Evelyn Araluen

Evelyn Araluen is a poet born, raised and writing on Dharug country, and a descendent of the Bundjalung nation. She is official poet for The Big Anxiety festival. Evelyn Araluen’s contribution is generously supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

Vanessa Bartlett

Vanessa Bartlett’s current research explores how digital art can help to illuminate the psychological impact of living in a digital culture. She has edited two volumes for award-winning academic publisher Liverpool University Press (UK) and has curated exhibitions that have been seen by over 40,000 people

Jill Bennett

Scientia Professor Jill Bennett is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow who researches lived experiences of mental health and ageing at UNSW’s feltExperience & Empathy Lab (fEEL). She is founding director of The Big Anxiety and is a Chief Investigator on Curating Third Space: The value of art-science collaboration

Adrian Collette

Adrian Collette is Australia Council’s Chief Executive Officer. Adrian has enjoyed an extensive career in the arts, publishing and education fields


Megan Davis

Megan Davis is an Aboriginal Australian activist and human rights lawyer. She  currently serves as a United Nations expert with the UN Human Rights Council’s Expert Mechanism on the rights of Indigenous peoples based in UN Geneva

Bec Dean

Bec Dean is a curator, writer, educator and consultant with a background in photomedia and performance art. She is currently Postdoctoral Research Fellow at NIEA and Senior Curator for The Big Anxiety – festival of arts + science + people

Jonathan Dunk

Jonathan Dunk is a widely published scholar, poet and essayist, he has been awarded the A.D. Hope prize, and the Dal Stivens award, and lives on Wangal Country. Jonathan Dunk’s contribution is generously supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund

Bonney Djuric

Bonney Djuric is an artist, historian, adjunct lecturer NIEA, UNSW and co-founder of Parragirls Female Factory Precinct Memory Project

Claire Doherty

Claire Doherty, MBE is a producer, writer and curator and was founder Director of Situations, the UK international producing company

Katie Dyer

Katie Dyer is Senior Curator, Contemporary, at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences where she leads and develops creative cross-disciplinary contemporary curatorial programming

Honor Eastly

Honor Eastly is an artist, mental health activist and presenter of The Big Feels Club podcast. Due to unforeseen circumstances Honor Eastly is no longer able to travel to Sydney. The Big Feels Club will be represented by co-founder Graham Panther

Nina Ernst

Nina Ernst is the Associate Director, Programmes for ArtScience Museum Singapore. Her work at the museum spans public engagement through tours, talks and workshops

Mehreen Faruqi

Mehreen Faruqi is the Greens Senator for NSW. Mehreen is a civil and environmental engineer and life-long activist for social and environmental justice

Nathan Filer

Nathan Filer is a qualified mental health nurse. His novel, The Shock of the Fall: Finding and losing Schizophrenia won several major awards, including the Costa Book of the Year

Lynn Froggett

Lynn Froggett is Professor of Psychosocial Welfare at University of Central Lancashire and an expert on cultural impact and new model cultural institutions. She is a Chief Investigator on Curating Third Space: The value of art-science collaboration

Lisa Havilah

Lisa Havilah is the CEO of the Powerhouse Museum. She took up this role in January 2019 following her role as Director of Carriageworks

Shona Illingworth

Shona Illingworth is a Danish Scottish artist who is known for her research-led practice in which she explores the dynamic processes of memory and construction of histories in situations of trauma 

Muireann Irish

Muireann Irish is a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Sydney, specialising in how we remember the past and imagine the future

Debra Keenahan

As an artist, psychologist and academic, Debra’s work focusses upon the personal/social impacts of disability

Uti Kulintjaku

Uti Kulintjaku is an NPY Women’s Council project that is Anangu-led by artists and traditional ngangkari healers addressing the trauma of youth suicide through practices of deep listening

Rene Kulitja

Rene is from the Northern Territory community of Mutitjulu and is a Director of NPY Women’s Council. She is well known as an artist; her most famous design is ‘Yananyi Dreaming’, which covers a Qantas Boeing 737

Leigh Ledare

Leigh Ledare’s projects in photography and film raise questions of agency, intimacy and consent, transforming the observer into the voyeur of private scenes or situations dealing with social taboos

Lizzie Muller

Associate Professor Lizzie Muller is a curator specialising in audience experience and collaborative cultures. She researches the future of cultural organisations as sites of participatory knowledge creation. She is a Chief Investigator on Curating Third Space: The value of art-science collaboration

John O'Shea

John O’Shea is a cultural leader, creative producer and exhibition-maker committed to exploring the boundaries of art and science. He is Associate Director (Creative) at Science Gallery London, a new gallery (part of King’s College London) where artists work in relation to emerging science and technology research.


Clive Parkinson

Clive Parkinson is the Director of Arts for Health and convenor of the Manchester Institute for Arts, Health and Social Change. He believes that the arts help us make sense of the world and challenge the inequalities that grind us down

Renata Salecl

Renata Salecl is the author of ‘On Anxiety’ and ‘The Tyranny of Choice’. She is Professor of Psychology and Psychoanalysis of Law at the School of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London and Senior Researcher at the Institute of Criminology at the faculty of Law in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Jeremy Smith

As Director — Community, Emerging and Experimental Arts, Jeremy oversees the Australia Council’s engagement with these two dynamic interdisciplinary arts practice fields

Karen Therese

Karen Therese is the Artistic Director of PYT Fairfield. She is also an interdisciplinary artist, creative producer and cultural activist

Alex Davies

Alex Davies is an award winning Australian media artist whose practice spans a diverse range of media and experiments with interaction, technology, perception, mixed reality and illusion.

Graham Panther

Graham Panther was co-writer on the ABC’s award-winning No Feeling Is Final podcast, and runs mental health initiative The Big Feels Club.