Disrupted Festival of Ideas 2022

Disrupted Festival of Ideas 2022

Check out some of the highlights you can expect at the State Library of Western Australia’s 8th annual festival that seeks to open minds

Celebrating eight years of having important conversations that challenge and inspire is the State Library of Western Australia’s (SLWA) Disrupted Festival of Ideas, a two day festival jam packed with panels and keynote speakers, here to challenge the status quo and make you question your reality.

Over the weekend of June 18 & 19, the free Disrupted Festival of Ideas will explore themes of honesty and truth, with speakers including Tom Tilley of Triple J fame, Kado Muir an Aboriginal artist, anthropologist and Indigenous rights activist, comedian Peter Rowsthorn, writer Liz Byrski and Veena Sahajwalla, a leading expert in the field of recycling science.

The two-day Festival will also include panel discussions on gender equity; talking about death; fast fashion and a sustainable revolution; and ageing disgracefully.

With so much going on at the festival, we caught up with Catherine Clark, CEO and State Librarian of the SLWA, and Rebecca Bell, SLWA Manager Heritage and Engagement, to find out some highlights and key talks you won’t want to miss.

Catherine’s Top Picks:

It’s going to be really hard to select which sessions to attend during Disrupted and, in some ways, it would fit better with the ‘Disruption’ to choose those which look like they will be of interest and attend the others!  However, I’ve identified a couple that I know will broaden my thinking.

Kado Muir, Wealth Creation in Australia

Kado Muir 1

I’m looking forward to hearing Kado’s thoughts on a broader or alternative view of wealth and how an approach that doesn’t link wealth to property rights might have more positive outcomes for broader society.  

Who Run da World: What Stands in the Way of Gender Equity?

As an avowed (and somewhat impatient!) feminist, this panel session which will discuss Australia’s fall in rankings reported by the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report (all the way down to 50th) will be really interesting to me.  I’m looking forward to hearing the panel’s views on why Australia has slipped relative to other countries and, most importantly, what can we all do to make our society more inclusive.

Young Changemakers

I observe the capability, compassion and commitment of young people on a daily basis and am delighted that we have Elizabeth Knight and Chey Henderson-Watkins joining us for Disrupted.  Their shared experience and tips on making change in communities will provide me with some great new learnings to follow through long after the Festival concludes. CEO and State Librarian, Catherine Clark, State Library of Western Australia.


Rebecca’s Top Picks:

I’ve really struggled to decide which parts of the program to highlight, but I’ve managed to narrow it down to the following:

Speaking in Tongues, Tom Tilley

Having read his book, I’m really looking forward to Tom delving into his life experience. Growing up immersed in a world where one wasn’t supposed to question or challenge the dogma, and emerging from that world with nothing but questions. His journey is fascinating!

Ageing Disgracefully and Talking About Death Won’t Kill You

These two panel sessions will delve into taboo subjects, with speakers who have lived experience, expertise or just very strong opinions. Frank and open discussions about death and ageing often make people uncomfortable, but the fact is, we all age, and we will eventually all die, so why is it that these topics are still considered off limits? I love the idea of them being discussed in such an open forum for everyone to hear.

Sociopaths Don’t Burn Out, Dr Yumiko Kadota and Dr Jenny Brockis

Two published authors, who also happen to be medical practitioners, will openly discuss their experiences and what they learned from their medical careers, and they won’t hold back.

Creativity as an Essential & Innate Quality of Human Wellness, Claudio

Claudio Head Shot

This session will be fascinating as Claudio explores the power of the subconscious in enhancing creativity and humanity, incorporating her music into the session through improvised composition. I think it will make us question how creative we are personally, and hopefully help us embrace it.

Code Crackin’ the Noongar Places, Len Collard and Geri Hayden and Wangkiny Nyungar (the language of the Nyungar), Len Collard

A workshop that takes participants on a deep dive into Noongar language and place names and will open our eyes to original place names in and around the Perth CBD, closely followed by a Nyungar language workshop where participants will have a chance to learn and use Nyungar language thanks to Len’s conversational approach. I’m hoping to gain an understanding of what came before, how this language has continued, and why it’s important we embrace it.

There is so much more to see and hear, so making choices on the day will be a challenge, although knowing the Discovery Lounge sessions will be available to watch later, perhaps the sessions in the Theatre will take priority for me.

Disrupted Festival of Ideas, June Saturday 18 - Sunday 19, State Library of Western Australia

Head here for more information and the full program.

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