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TEDxKatoomba Speakers

On 30 June 2023, 17 speakers and a performer took the stage at Katoomba Community Hall, presenting different perspectives to inspire and get you thinking.

Talks are now available to watch on TEDx YouTube. Watch, re-watch and share.

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Walking with Parkinson's

Will was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2010 and told that his life would deteriorate slowly but dramatically. Being a person who strongly believes in confronting issues, he responded by donning a ‘Walking for Parkinson’s’ sign on his back and conquering the Camino de Compostela.

Will Boag raises money for Shakeitup, a Parkinson’s Research charity founded by Clyde Campbell. Will and his wife Corrie have been doing this for 10 years raising over $60,000.


The consequences of head impacts

Michael produced the first reports of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in Australia. His research poses important questions about our relationship to sports that may endanger our children.

Michael Buckland is a neuropathologist who has dedicated his career to the diagnosis of brain disease. He established the Australian Sports Brain Bank which is shining a light on a previously unrecognised disease in Australia.

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School Principal

Is education fit for purpose?

Steven is a passionate educator interested in remodelling education for the rapidly changing world. His concern is that the current school system is not setting students up for success.

Steven Coote works with innovative educators and the latest research to create new learning models for the future. His track record of success in educational leadership, building cohesive and high-performing teams, and promoting student-centred schooling led him to be recognised as a Commonwealth Innovative Educator.

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Couples & Family Counsellor
Creative love & intentional parenting

Zoe is a psychotherapist with a particular interest in the evolution of love. She has worked extensively with couples throughout parenthood to gain valuable insights into intentional parenting. Can we sustain love under the pressures of parenting?

Zoe Cox is the founder of Blue Mountains Counselling, leading a team of therapists in supporting individuals and families. She has lived and travelled across 6 continents; she is fascinated in understanding how individuals thrive within relationships from a cultural perspective.


The stars we share

Dimitri is a leader in the new field of cultural astronomy. He is fascinated by the skies shared across cultural traditions. He will take us into the past and up to the skies to re-discover what we all have in common.

Dimitri Douchin has a PhD in Astronomy & Astrophysics and co-founded Blue Mountains Stargazing in 2020. He is a researcher at Western Sydney University collaborating with Aboriginal communities in the Blue Mountains to relearn local traditional astronomy.

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Social Worker
A new approach to mental health in schools

Sarah is a social worker who utilises a process called ‘Open Dialogue’ adapted from Finnish Community Health workers to support children, educators and parents. She highlights how its implementation could benefit the school system in Australia.

Sarah Farrell-Whelan has worked in the domain of Child and Youth Mental Health for over 20 years. She currently works as a Wellbeing Coordinator in an Independent K-12 school.

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Lessons from my ethnic lunchbox

Theo is a lawyer, speaker, and communication expert. He also happens to be Greek and addresses the sensitivities around ethnic identity in today’s world through a humorous look back at his childhood in Hobart.

Theo Kapodistrias has been recognised for his work in legal, governance and not-for-profit. In the communications space, Theo works with individuals to speak up, show up and make an impact through their voice and words. He contributes to the community as the director of Business Events Tasmania and the Association of Corporate Counsel Australia.

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Connecting with creative flow

Corinne is a visual artist from the Lower Blue Mountains. She talks to creativity and explores the discipline of artistic flow through images and personal stories.

Corinne Loxton paints landscapes that are imbued with human stories of loss, longing, joy and hope. She exhibits regularly, teaches workshops and writes a blog sharing her life as an artist.

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Trail Runner
Protecting our wild places

Hilary is an accident-prone outdoor enthusiast and environmental activist. Through trail running and exploration, Hilary aims to increase awareness of the threats that face our natural world and inspire action in others to protect our wild places.


Hilary McAllister is the co-founder of For Wild Places, a non-profit organisation focusing on empowering the trail running community to become wild place advocates. 

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Health & Life Coach
Becoming the navigator of your own life

Tracey is a mum of 5, author, health coach and coach mentor. She is passionate about showing people how to change their lives by bridging that gap between knowing and doing.


Tracey McBeath runs the Low Carb Lifestyle Hub and is known globally for her work through the Nutrition Network.


Permaculture educator
Transforming lives through permaculture

Rosemary has been shaped by her decision at the beginning of her permaculture life, to work with victims of war, civil war and more recently as a result of her earlier work, refugees. She has seen permaculture impact positively and transform landscapes and people.

Rosemary Morrow's work as a teacher has brought permaculture directly into the lives of thousands of students for nearly 40 years. As an author, she has touched innumerably more.

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Singer songwriter 

If you were an alien

Little Green developed a sense of storytelling and musicality in tandem with nature around her. The self-taught local musician plays flute, sax, guitar, piano, bass, and voice, noting she wrote songs from when she could speak as her way to process the world.

Little Green garnered attention across the globe by writing a song a day on social media during the lockdowns of 2021. She has released a new album in 2023 and continues to be a creative force with music and message.


Creating a health break

Faraz makes a convincing case for a cultural shift in work practices as a route to altering the seemingly unwavering heart disease epidemic.

Faraz Pathan is a cardiologist with a demonstrated history of working in cardiac units across Australia and in Germany. He is also Director of Cardiovascular Imaging and Heart Research at Nepean Hospital, a Senior Lecturer at Sydney University and a passionate researcher.

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Co-founder of Farm it Forward
Growing community

Emmanuela's passion for socially engaged food growing was born in 2014 when she overcame postnatal depression through growing and restoring her home garden, and reconnecting to place and community. She is a permaculture educator and an advocate for community entanglements.

Emmanuela Prigioni is an artist, regenerative grower, co-founder and coordinator of Farm It Forward, a social enterprise linking residents with unused land to young people passionate about growing local food in the Blue Mountains.

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The business of refugees

Zac addresses the employment crisis in Australia and overseas, proposing a surprising new way of viewing refugees and what it could mean for future Australia.


Zac Quinn is the founder of RoseyRavelston Books, a social enterprise bookshop supporting and advocating for refugees. In 2013 he worked in the Offshore Detention Centre on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, having previously worked as a banker for ten years and specialty green coffee buyer for five years.

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Broadcast Journalist

Beating burnout

Sophie specialises in maximising human potential, mental health and mindset. She opens up about work pressures, being overloaded and unpacks the ever-growing malaise of career burnout.

Sophie Scott is an award-winning broadcast journalist, international speaker and educator. She has written two books, Live a Longer Life and RoadTesting Happiness, and won numerous awards for her journalism including the prestigious Eureka Award for science and medical journalism.

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Darug Musical Educator
I have a dream for a future for Darug Country

Jacinta believes when we speak or sing in language, we are messaging Country and feels that there is an old science of knowledge that needs re-awakening for her Songlines in Country and to regain a healthy environment for all.


Jacinta Tobin is a proud Darug woman of mixed race from the Boorooberongal and Cannemegal (warmuli) freshwater clans. Currently she is writing her PhD “Nura barayagai Song belonging to Country” at University of Sydney.

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Modern dysfunction & disease

Pranavan's strong interests lie in the field of human nutrition. He discusses the gut, modern diseases, and potential solutions to many current epidemics.

Pranavan Yoganathan is a gastroenterologist and gastrointestinal endoscopist based in Sydney. He practises an approach to healthcare that assesses the lifestyle of the patient to see how it impacts on their gastrointestinal and metabolic health.

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