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Tasmanians take centre stage as world-renowned TEDx event comes to Hobart

In a major coup for Tasmania, the world-renowned TEDx event is headed to Hobart this Saturday.

TEDx is a platform for the world’s leading speakers to share inspirational ideas based on their own personal experience. This takes place in front of a live audience and then a global online audience of millions of people.

TEDx Hobart will feature speakers from a range of backgrounds – from marine science, to small business to philosophy. What all speakers have in common is a desire to communicate inspiring ideas about the things that Tasmanians hold dear and that make us who we are.

The event is the brain-child of award-winning Hobart lawyer Theo Kapodistrias, who was determined to take Tasmanian-born ideas to the world stage.

Theo studied at the University of Tasmania and since graduating has worked in cybersecurity, small business and tourism.  He was also recognised as Tasmania’s Young Lawyer of the Year in 2017 and 2018.

“Living and working in Tasmania I realised that there are so many amazing stories to tell and so many amazing opportunities, especially at the University of Tasmania,” he said.

“I’m lucky to be able to work on the TEDx project with incredible people such as University alumna Dr Kate Cashman and my former colleague Sam Wilson to name a few.  It has been quite an adventure and a journey.

“We have a variety of speakers lined up; it’s very exciting how diverse they are and how passionate they are about Tasmania and the opportunities we have here in Tasmania. Everyone comes with their own experience, research and ideas. Hopefully it makes a huge difference to anyone who attends or listens later.”

IMAS scientist and keen photographer, Dr Lokman Norazmi, fell in love with Tasmania’s unique natural environment when he arrived for his university studies in 2012. He will be speaking about his determination to save Tasmania’s aquatic environment from alien fish such as Gambusia holbrooki (mosquito fish), a pest that is invading freshwater ecosystems across Australia.

“We have been doing a lot of work at the University of Tasmania in safeguarding Tasmania’s natural resources,” Lokman said.

“I’m hoping by sharing the group work we’ve been doing at the University since 2012 we can encourage the public to be involved in our research as part of citizen science projects.”

Entomology PhD student and University of Tasmania alumna Shasta Henry grew up in Launceston but completed an internship at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, where she had a species of Amazonian beetle named after her.

Shasta hopes to dispel the ivory-tower view of scientists and show that they are as human as the rest of society.

Ariane Moore is doing her PhD at the University of Tasmania on the philosophy of religion and atheism, exploring the behaviour of those who do and don’t believe.

“The landscape of belief is changing in Australia and it’s important to recognise that it’s still important for people to have meaning in their lives – something they might achieve through a connection with nature,” Ariane said.

Other speakers include co-founder and director of the Good Car Company Anthony Broese Van Groenou, developer of the From Hero to Zero water sports for migrants program Nadia Azizabadi, plastics researcher Dr Qamar Schuyler, PhD candidate in conservation and ecology Yee Von Teo, independent funeral director Rebecca Lyons, performers Risa Ray and Emily Sanzaro, and novelist and founder of Story Engine and The Absolute Pitch and CEO of Brand Tasmania Todd Babiak.

TEDx Hobart will be held on 12 February 2022 at the Studio Theatre in the Hedberg. Discussions will focus on the theme ‘Of Land and Sea’ and the central role of innovation in our island society.

Published on: 10 Feb 2022 1:08pm