Artists impacted by TEDxSydney

TEDxSydney has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of artists and performers. We have produced a video below highlighting a selection of the wide variety of artists we have showcased over the years. You can also read three testimonials from artists who have identified the direct impact of TEDxSydney’s global exposure on their arts practice and careers.

Highlighted Artists and Performers

A compilation from the talks and performances of artists and arts & cultural practitioners who have been on the TEDxSydney stage. (4:58)

Artist Testimonials

Megan Washington

Meg Washington is a much loved and award winning Australian musician and songwriter. Originally performing jazz music, her style shifted to indie pop and alternative rock. Her music has been described by I-D as “sexy synth-laden pop”. She has won three ARIA Music Awards.

In 2014 we invited Meg along to perform at our flagship TEDxSydney event in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House. Millions of people have now viewed and been inspired by what happened that day.

Instead of just singing, Meg gave a frank and funny talk about her speech impediment that altered the trajectory of her career. To quote Meg speaking at a 2022 event in Sydney:

“Eight years later, I can connect a lot of dots back to that day. Giving that speech didn’t magically cure my stutter, but it did magically make me stop caring about it. I realised how much my fear of revealing my weakness was keeping me locked in a role, in my own idea of myself, what I allowed myself to do. After that, I started doing a lot of voice over work. I grew confident in my stutter, seeing it as something to be included, rather than suppressed. Then, when my friend Daley asked if I’d like to read for a show he was making about cartoon dogs, I said yes. That’s how I ended up as the voice of Calypso the kindy teacher on three seasons of Bluey. These last few years, I have also become a screenwriter. My TED talk wasn’t really “supposed” to happen. But it did. It was a chaotic move but it was definitely the right way to go. It taught me that authenticity is power.”

(For your interest, you can watch Megan’s 2014 talk here (13:14))

Tom Thum

Tom Horn aka Tom Thum is a Brisbane-based performing artist and musician who can lay claim to having given the most watched TEDx “talk” of all time.

He first took to the TEDxSydney stage in 2013 with a performance entitled “Beatbox Brilliance,” which since being released has racked up over 120+ million views across the TEDx and TED channels.

To quote Tom:

“Without a doubt that specific performance changed my life. The amount of opportunities that opened up before me that I had never had access to was incredible. That one talk saw me touring the world performing with orchestras and choirs in festivals from Hungary to Norway and gracing stages for more TEDx talks in Costa Rica, Mumbai and even a return to TEDxSydney in 2018 for a collaboration with world renowned ENT surgeon Matthew Broadhurst.

TEDxSydney helped me grow from an underpaid-over-touring musician to a fully fledged financially free artist who has built a career and a steady following from the opportunities that TEDxSydney has afforded me. Thanks to my TEDxSydney success, I am able to deliver keynotes about my creative line of work and the impact that music can have on an individual life.”

(For your interest, you can watch Tom’s 2013 performance here (11:39))

Darren Percival

Darren Percival is one of Australia’s most accomplished vocalists, a Gold record selling recording artist, a gifted musician, a dedicated song-writer and renowned vocal coach. Millions of Australians remember him as the runner-up on the first season of The Voice in 2012.

Darren credits his performance at TEDxSydney in 2010 as “a brilliant moment that changed my life and established me financially”.

Quoting from a 2021 letter of support, he goes on to say:

“My invitation to perform at TEDxSydney propelled my career on to a new path. It opened up opportunities for me to share my gift with corporate clients that I had tried for many years to connect with directly. What I was able to share with them to begin the conversation was the footage of my TEDxSydney performances. For over a decade I have been working with many businesses and clients encouraging them to sing out loud and I know that it is aligned to my exhilarating involvement with TEDxSydney. I’m a big fan of what TEDxSydney brings to the arts and cultural space in Australia and will do everything I can to support them.”

(For your interest, you can watch Darren’s 2010 performance here (10:43))