Inspiring Minds Bring Stories of Legacy To The Stage At TEDxSydney 2019

Today, Friday 24 May, TEDxSydney 2019 returned to ICC Sydney to celebrate its 10th anniversary, bringing an incredible lineup of speakers and performers to explore the theme of Legacy to a crowd of over 4,500 people.

For the first time in TEDxSydney history, a speaker couldn’t be on stage in person. Award winning Journalist, Writer and Refugee Behrouz Boochani delivered his powerful talk reminding us about the power of words via video from prison in Manus Island. We learned the powerful role of journalism in confronting the realities of a refugee refused entry to this country. 99-year-old Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku shared his journey from being imprisoned in Auschwitz to becoming the happiest man alive.

Yve Blake took us from laughing at the ‘craziness’ of fangirls to challenging this perception and Tom Nash explained the advantages of having disabilities and how it can challenge you to re-look at the world for the better.

Tech optimist Ros Harvey shed some light on the ways we can use digital power to create a positive impact on sustainability. Cryptographer Craig Costello explained his role in safeguarding our secrets and how the introduction of quantum computers will change everything on data security.

Eco-entrepreneur Kim Graham-Nye explained her solution to the millions of used diapers ending up in landfills every day and the necessity to move towards a circular economy. Albert Wiggan spoke about the importance of integrating indigenous knowledge and science to stabilise our planet and our existence.

Former refugee Hedayat Osyan asked us to open our networks and rethink our ideas on inclusion, and Hollywood star David Wenham explained the importance of storytelling in defining us as human.

Joining the above were other inspiring speakers and performers who presented their ideas and explored the theme of Legacy.

Watch the 10 year anniversary TEDxSydney 2019 video here, and all images and b-roll for TEDxSydney 2019 can be found here.



  • Bridget LoudonBridget is a passionate leader on a mission to create simple technology products that change our working lives for the better. She is one of the co-founders of Expert360, APAC’s leading marketplace and management platform powering the freelance economy. She has won numerous accolades such as Forbes 30 Under 30, Top 100 Women of Influence in Australia, FutureMakers list of Australia’s top 25 Emerging Entrepreneurs under 25, Shoestring’s Top 50 Australian female entrepreneurs under 40.
  • David Wenham: Australian Actor and Producer who, after growing up in Sydney’s Inner-West suburb of Marrickville, has gone on to appear in blockbuster Hollywood films Lord of The Rings Trilogy, 300 and Pirates of the Carribean franchise
  • Eddie Jaku: 99-year old Jewish-German Holocaust survivor and self-proclaimed ‘the happiest man on Earth’ who has made a vow to himself to smile every day.
  • Hedayat Osyan: An Afghan refugee and socially conscious tradie who created a tiling company, Nick Tiling Services, to empower refugees with skills and employment. A social enterprise designed and run by refugees helping to significantly improve the lives of refugees in Sydney.
  • Kim Graham-Nye: Determined to shift the global nappy industry from oil-based to renewable based, Kim and her husband Jason founded gDiapers in 2005 – introducing the world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified nappy and created the “hybrid” nappy category globally. In 2011, Kim was named as one of Fortune Magazines “Top 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in America” and in 2015 the World Economic Forum named their new gCycle project– as one of the top five disruptive technologies leading the Circular Economy.
  • Monkol Lek: Assistant Professor of Genetics at Yale University who has dedicated his life to improving the genetic diagnosis of rare diseases after being raised in Western Sydney as a Cambodian refugee.
  • Sharonne Zaks: Dr Sharonne Zaks is not your average dentist/musician, with a special focus on trauma informed care. Combining her passions, Sharonne created the dental cabaret ‘Gobsmacked; a celebration of the mouth’ to help make flossing more sexy and appealing to teenagers and adults.
  • Tom NashAustralian DJ, Music Producer and Public Speaker who lost both his hands and most of his legs at the age of 19 who has rebuilt his life using prosthetics to master tasks and make waves in the Australian music scene as DJ Hookie.
  • Tara Djokic: PhD Candidate at the Australian Centre for Astrobiology whose work focuses on the geological setting and ecology of some of Earth’s oldest evidence of life close to 3.5 billion years old.
  • Yve Blake: Award-winning writer, Composer, Musical Comedian whose theatre production FANGIRLS is now being adapted into a series.
  • Behrouz Boochani: Recently awarded Australia’s richest literary prize, Behrouz Boochani is a Kurdish Iranian writer and asylum seeker who has been detained on Manus Island since 2013.
  • Albert Wiggan: Young indigenous leader who co-produced Undermined: Tales From the Kimberley, a new documentary which explores how mining companies plan to exploit the Kimberley region for economic benefit while disregarding Indigenous communities’ connection to Country.
  • Ros Harvey: Entrepreneur and experienced global executive in the field of technology with a particular commitment to creating public good with private effort through innovative uses of technology. Named in 2018 as Australia’s Emerging Female Technology Leader by Women’s Agenda and one of the Australian Financial Reviews 100 Most Influential Women.
  • Peter Stutchbury: Awarded Australia’s highest honour for architecture the ‘Gold Medal’ in 2015, Stutchbury’s work is widely known for its striking geometric design with sustainability at its core.
  • Maxine Beneba Clarke: Widely published author of eight books and slam poet, her award-winning memoir The Hate Race is currently being adapted for the Australian stage.
  • Craig Costello: Researcher in the Security and Cryptography group at Microsoft Research and is part of a team of researchers who claim to have developed secure, quantum computing-proof encryption that could potentially be implemented today.
  • Sara Morawetz: A multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores intersections between art, science, philosophy, and methodology.



  • Joyride: Australian DJ, Producer and comedian whose musical talents and outspoken, a comedic commentary is taking the Australian music scene by storm.
  • Deep Sea Astronauts: a multi-artform collective who create strange and wonderful performances. Combining visual arts, music, sound design, dance and theatre to empower, excite and amaze!
  • Eric Avery: Proud Indigenous musician and composer whose practice includes violin, dancing and musical compositions, Eric Avery creates new contemporary music which expresses his Koori (NSW Aboriginal) heritage.
  • Asha Jefferies: Winner of Triple J’s NIDA Unearthed competition in 2018, Asha Jefferies is a Brisbane-based singer-songwriter who tells stories and memories through punchy and beautiful indie Pop music.
  • HANDSOME: Sydney based singer who crafts a mix of Tomboy pop and brooding electronica to share a sound that’s distinctive and brand new.
  • Genesis Owusu: This 20-year-old rapper from ACT brings a unique sound, blending jazz with hip-hop while embracing the weird in both himself and his music.
  • 320: Winners of 2018 YouthRock Battle of the Band, 320 are four high school students from Sydney’s Punchbowl Boys’ High School.