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Brilliant Minds ready to Talk

Brilliant Minds ready to Talk


TEDx Talks have long been renowned for their thought-provoking ideas and world class perspectives that ignite global curiosity. Now Townsville is having its turn to shine, with eight of the region’s most formidable minds set to present their innovative ideas for both a local and global audience at the TEDx Townsville event.

Assistant Events Producer, Ellise Ryland, says they were inundated with quality applications, making the selection process extremely competitive. 

“The influx of applications received was remarkable, speakers from all over Queensland applied to participate in our event,” she explains. 

“Townsville is full of brilliant minds, and TEDx is the opportunity for those minds to express their greatness.

“Overall, it was a lengthy process, however the TEDx Townsville Team are certain that the speakers chosen will ensure a brilliant evening of conversation, entertainment, and inspiration to make a difference.” 

TEDx Townsville will take place on October 17th and will provide an opportunity to share the stories of our region. Meet the eight speakers who are driving change and pushing the boundaries with their revolutionary ideas. 

Kate Quigley

Reef restoration in a changing ocean: crossbreeding corals that can survive warming

Kate Quigley is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian Institute of Marine Science specialising in genomics and coral reproduction. Her primary research aims to assist corals in becoming more thermally tolerant to bleaching conditions through facilitated movement and interbreeding.

Through TEDx, Kate hopes to communicate and engage with the North Queensland community to promote a better understanding of science and inspire others to take action to protect our natural wonder. 

“I want to communicate the ‘Why’, ‘What’, and ‘How’ behind the potential of using genetic technologies like Assisted Gene Flow on the Great Barrier Reef,” explains Kate. 

“I also want to present this information to inspire people to take action to protect the Reef, whether that be engaging with local community groups, being involved politically, or getting young people into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths careers.”

Maurice-Harvey Hall

Equanimity & Emptiness: the vehicle of calm in the chaotic world

Maurice Harvey-Hall is a Mental Health Nurse, and a certified life coach. He is also the owner of Skilful Thinking, an educational and coaching based business that utilises the ancient Buddhist concepts of Equanimity and Emptiness to improve wellbeing. 

Through TEDx, Maurice hopes to share how to translate ancient Buddhist teachings into modern day practices, and help others create more ease, peace, and calm in the uncertainty of our current COVID-19 environment. 

“The purpose of the speech is to share ancient knowledge in a modern context, allowing people to recognise the power that ultimately resides in them,” he continues. 

“I want to reignite the hope that we as a human species do have choice, which promotes meaning and ultimately purpose in one’s life.” 

Brendan Jacobs

Children as content creators 

Brendan Jacobs is a widely published academic who works in teacher education at CQUniversity. Through his research, Brendan says he has found imperial evidence showing that children are capable of making their own educational content for the sake of their own learning. 

Brendan hopes to utilise TEDx as a platform to start a conversation surrounding the mutual informative benefits of learning and technology, a topic which has never been more relevant thanks to the rise of online learning during the pandemic.

“Online lecturers use learning management systems with the functionality to deliver content and manage assessment tasks seamlessly in this online environment,” he explains. 

“My point is that the higher-level thinking that I do as I prepare, and curate online content involves the very same skills that we want our children to have.

“It is my hope that the children caught in the middle of this transitional phase become the new generation of instructional designers.”

Max Robson

The life of a sexist simp

Speaking at TEDx has been a long-time dream for Pimlico State High School captain Max Robson. The Year 12 student is a passionate advocate for gender equality who hopes to facilitate a conversation around the polarisation of toxic masculinity and encourage others to question traditional gender standards.

Max says he will draw on personal experiences in his talk to encapsulate what it is like to be a young man in today’s feminist driven era and hopes to break the mould surrounding traditional societal expectations of men. 

“I want to encourage young people to actively think about their role in society – too actively question the standards that have been set,” he explains. 

“While I will be speaking about my experiences as a young man, in my speech, I won’t be picking the side of men or women. Instead, I’ll be questioning why that’s a choice we have to make.

“I hope to inspire both men and women with the confidence to stand up and say what they believe, and to engage in a discussion before it’s too late.”

Peace Mitchell

The Connection economy: How resonance, reciprocity and relationships are changing the world

Peace Mitchell has dedicated her life to creating a Connection Economy. The speaker, author, CEO and co-founder of The Women’s Business School and AusMumpreneur says human connection is the heart of every business.

Through TEDx, she hopes to share with others the value and power of a world based on the values of the Connection Economy and inspire others to follow their dreams. 

“Connection literally has the power to change the world,” she explains

“When our actions come from a place of genuine desire for collaboration and generosity instead of a drive for profit and individual gains the outcome is better for everyone.

“I believe this message is one that needs to be shared with the world right now and what better platform than TEDx to share that message.”

Shane Harris 

Community Services – Volunteering 

Shane Harris has 20 years of experience working in the not-for-profit sector in a diverse range of roles. As a volunteer engagement lead, Shane supports services and programs across North and Central Queensland to help connect new volunteers with great opportunities. 

Through TEDx, Shane hopes to prompt a “paradigm shift in the mind of the listener about volunteering to unlock the potential to discover a richness in life through volunteering.”

“Volunteering, even when viewed in a positive light for all its benefits, can too easily be overlooked as something that you do to get a job, if you don’t have a full-time job, or when you retire to fill in time,” he explains. 

“Our pursuit of the perfect job may actually be hampering our ability to find it and the hidden culprit for inaction when it comes to volunteering.” 

Stewart Lockie 

Prepping for the alien invasion 

Professor Stewart Lockie began his research career investigating the evolution and impacts of environmental policy in agriculture. His current work is focused on critical issues associated with global social and environmental change. 

Through TEDx Stewart wants to encourage a more sophisticated and multidisciplinary approach to education and regional development. He hopes to provide an insight into the importance of humanities and social science and explore what technological and environmental change means for the future of humanity.

“There is a lot we know with certainty about technological and environmental change,” he explains. 

“In this presentation I will explore what technological and environmental change means for all of us (but for young people especially), how we can take charge of it, where jobs are really likely to emerge, and why we need the insights of humanities and social sciences.”

 Kerstin Pilz

The Healing Power of Writing 

Kerstin Pilz is a highly experienced writer, who has 20 years of university teaching experience and a PHD in literature.

Kerstin’s goal is to spread the word about the effectiveness of personal expressive writing and to illustrate the many benefits writing can bring to people’s physical and mental wellbeing. Through TEDx, she hopes to promote writing as a helpful tool that builds resilience, especially in the current COVID-19 environment.  

“Personal expressive writing is a simple and powerful self-care tool, freely available to all of us, that promotes healing, stress reduction, personal growth and inner peace,” she explains. 

“The purpose of my talk is to encourage the TEDx Townsville audience to pick up pen and paper next time life feels difficult and overwhelming.

“I will share examples from my own practice as well as simple, practical tools that the audience can use immediately to experience the transformative power of writing.”

TEDxTownsville will be held Saturday, 17th of October at 6pm at the School of Arts Building. Tickets are on sale now, and recent COVID restrictions have further restricted capacity, so ensure you get in quick, so you don’t miss out!

To purchase tickets for TEDxTownsville head to https://tedxtownsville.com.au/tedx-tickets/

By Georgie Desailly for BDmag



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