Great Southern on international stage as TEDxKinjarling event spreads ideas about future

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Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
TEDx Kinjarling organiser Albany's Kristen Pyrz-Brown.
Camera IconTEDx Kinjarling organiser Albany's Kristen Pyrz-Brown. Credit: Karen Timmins

The culture of Kinjarling will be shared with the world at the weekend at Albany’s first TEDx event.

TEDxKinjarling, an independently organised event based on the tradition of TED Talks, will feature nine Great Southern speakers at Albany Town Hall, sharing ideas about how our world can “evolve” from COVID-19.

The event came to fruition when Albany resident Kristen Pyrz-Brown secured a TEDx licence.

“TEDx events are about sparking deep discussions and connections,” she said.

“When I settled in Albany after living in very different towns and cities around the world and began meeting some truly inspiring people, it became evident there were more than a few ideas worth spreading in this community.

“I met some of the most incredible people doing their thing that was out of the ordinary and I got this huge urge to put it on the big stage. Why not show the rest of the world what’s going on here?”

Ms Pyrz-Brown approached the City of Albany who reached out to local Indigenous community members, with the event named TEDxKinjarling, after the Menang name for Albany.

“I’m so pleased that so many people have been supportive of this idea and that local Noongar people are keen to share elements of their culture for such a high-calibre, collaboratively planned speaking event,” Ms Pyrz-Brown.

TEDx Kinjarling will be held at the Town Hall from 12.30pm to 5.30pm on Saturday and will include live webcast contributions and inclusion in the TEDx global online network.

“I’m just so honoured that people turned out, got behind and supported it,”Ms Pyrz-Brown said. “It could be on its way to make this a yearly thing — have several TED events here and put it on the map.

“I’m so proud of the fact we are the only event in Australia with an Indigenous name, so I’m very grateful to the elders who allowed us to use Kinjarling.”

The speakers will discuss the theme “evolve” and what our future could look like in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The speeches will cover a range of topics including mental health, sustainability and biodiversity.

Speakers include Menang Gnudju elder Carol Pettersen, The Albany Shantymen founder and nurse Gary Greenwald, Kendenup farmer Penny Goodwin, Pivot Support Services chief executive Ian Neil and Great Southern Grammar teacher Keiran Bailey.

UWA Albany’s Alison Lullfitz, Menang artist Shandell Cummings, artist Ben Beeton and Denmark-based writer Martha Barnard-Rae will also speak at the event.

Ms Pryz-Brown said regional areas were often overlooked.

“Putting together a forum like this puts Great Southern ideas not only on a national stage but also on the TEDx YouTube channel, on an international stage,” she said.

For tickets, visit events.humanitix.com/tedxkinjarling.

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