Four provocative speakers

Each keynote speaker will ignite our democratic instincts with some massively big ideas. In the spirit of practising democracy, the General Assembly will be asked to vote on a rule, law or protocol proposed by these four provocateurs.


Julian Assange

Julian Assange is the world’s first true internet radical; a publisher and activist who used the internet to transform the relationship between the weak and the powerful. He is the face of WikiLeaks, famous for releasing secret information of corrupt governments, unaccountable corporations, and occupying militaries. Julian Assange is presenting his keynote via live video link from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Image: Allen Clarke


Van Badham

Van Badham is a Melbourne-based feminist writer, theatre-maker, critic, trade unionist, activist, occasional broadcaster and one of Australia’s most controversial public intellectuals.

Van is a political columnist and culture critic for The Guardian Australia and is Vice-President of MEAA Victoria as well as being the award-winning writer of more than 30 internationally produced plays for stage, music theatre and radio.


Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro

Hiroshi Ishiguro is not your usual scientist. As one of the world’s foremost experts on robots and androids, when he was growing up in Japan he wanted to be an oil painter.

“I believe that we have to have an artistic mind as scientists. The foundation of what we do is reading a lot of papers, gathering information and doing experiments, but intuition and feeling the way forwards is something that has been an advantage for me.”

Image: Osaka University


Kyle Slabb

Kyle Slabb is often found sifting through the wreckage at the collision point of two cultures. Creativity as well as pragmatism is needed for reframing and building solutions for going forward in modern multicultural communities. With ancestral ties crossing Gudjinburra, Bundjalung and Yugambeh (and a few others you’ve probably never heard of), Kyle credits Indigenous cultural frameworks and intelligences as being at the heart of his successful initiatives, business and practice. Kyle believes that art has always been the voice of Aboriginal people and is currently enjoying the exploration of this conversation in its many forms. Applying and translating ancient knowledge and systems for relevant applications finds Kyle in front of many audiences from Government to grassroots.

Six Citizen Respondents

Two citizens will respond to each keynote and the rule, law or protocol that the keynote proposes.

The dialogue created by these responses and the keynotes form the basis of roundtable discussions by the General Assembly culminating in a vote.


Robyn Archer

Robyn Archer is a singer, writer, artistic director and public advocate for the arts. She is the Chair of the Arts Centre Gold Coast as well as being an internationally celebrated speaker on humanities and the arts. Robyn is an Officer of the Order of Australia, Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France) and Officer of the Crown (Belgium), as well as holding honorary doctorates from Flinders University, Griffith University , and the Universities of Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide.

Image: Claudio Raschella Photography


Mara Bún

Mara Bún’s interest in deliberative democracy emerged at the 1998 Food Gene Technology Consensus Conference, as part of a citizen’s jury that transformed Australia’s GMO regulatory settings. She is Chairman of the Board of Gold Coast Waterways Authority, and holds board appointments with Ethical Investment Ltd Enova Community Energy.


Philip Follent

Philip Follent is a lifetime Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects; applauded for exemplary contribution to the architectural profession, in the area of social, environmental and heritage advocacy, design expertise and an inspired approach to urban development. He was the inaugural Head of the Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University on the Gold Coast.


Leila Gurruwiwi

Leila Gurruwiwi is a cultural awareness advocate and mentor. She has combined a successful media career, including 10 years as a reporter and newsreader on The Marngrook Footy Show, with community pursuits such as mentoring young girls in the Wirrpanda Foundation's Deadly Sista Girlz program and tutoring at the Pavillion School, a school for young people who have been disengaged or excluded from mainstream education.


Yasmin Khan

Yasmin Khan is a tireless community campaigner; breaking down barriers, standing up for women who don't have a voice and campaigning against domestic violence in multi-cultural communities. With an Australian heritage stretching back 130 years, Yasmin creates connections to show how Muslims have made a great contribution to Australia. She is the 2017 Australian of the Year (Qld) Local Hero Award winner.


Professor Nikos Papastergiadis

Professor Nikos Papastergiadis is the Director of the Research Unit in Public Cultures, at The University of Melbourne. He has provided strategic consultancies for government agencies on issues relating to cultural identity and has worked in collaborative projects with many artists and theorists of international repute.


Skilled moderators will lead the roundtable discussions by the General Assembly. These discussions will culminate in a vote in response to the rule, law or protocol proposed by each keynote.


Pippa Bailey

Pippa Bailey started her career as a reporter/producer with SBSTV and had leading roles in UK Arts organisations The Museum Of on London’s South Bank and The World Famous - a company of pyrotechnicians. Pippa’s BiDiNG TiME project is a participatory theatre experiment responding to economic and environmental crisis. In 2013 Pippa joined Performing Lines as Senior Producer and is currently an Artistic Associate at Barangaroo, Sydney and on the Advisory Board of IETM international performing arts network.


Professor Adrian Carter

Adrian Carter is Professor of Architecture and Head of Discipline at the Abedian School of Architecture (Bond University, QLD) and an expert on the work of Jørn Utzon. Adrian has Nordic and International architectural and urban design experience. Adrian’s teaching and research is grounded in a humanistic, tectonic and phenomenological architectural understanding; with a particular focus on the creative use of analogy, metaphor and precedent, as a means to design humane, aesthetically satisfying and technically innovative architecture.


Angela Conquet

Angela Conquet is the artistic director of Dancehouse, Australia’s centre for independent dance. Her strongest current interests are in new cultural policies and alternative economic models that value the arts as a viable indicator in defining wealth and wellbeing. She is founder and co-editor of the Dancehouse Diary, a print and online publication focused on connecting the moving body to wider societal issues. Angela is also a translator and interpreter.

Image: Alfred Mrozicki


Shanene Ditton

Shanene Ditton is a sociologist and cultural practitioner. Shanene currently lectures at Griffith College where she also convenes: Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arts and Communication, Design, and the Masters Qualifying Program. Shanene’s research looks at the cultural politics of paradise. Her work is deeply embedded in the local context. With a strong background leading arts and cultural initiatives on the Gold Coast, Shanene is an advocate for social change.


Darren Paul Fisher

Darren Paul Fisher is an award-winning film writer, director, producer and educator. Darren's most recent feature FREQUENCIES won a raft of awards on its festival run before being released internationally to rave reviews. Darren made his feature film debut writing, producing and directing Inbetweeners. Released by Universal, it became the first fully digital film ever to play the UK multiplexes. He is currently Head of Directing at Bond University.


Lawrence Harvey

Lawrence Harvey is a composer and design researcher in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT. He is director of SIAL and SIAL Sound Studios and leads the spatial sound stream in the Master of Design Innovation and Technology (MDIT). He has led three ARC Linkage and Discovery projects in music, spatial sound and design and also curates and composes for a range of spatial sound events.


Jordan Lacey

Jordan Lacey is a practicing sound artist and musician. He is presently a vice-chancellor's fellow at RMIT University, researching the interface of the sonic arts and urban design. His recently published book Sonic Rupture (Bloomsbury 2016) describes a new approach to urban soundscape design. He has created numerous sound installations both for the purposes of public art, and the provision of restorative spaces.


Todd MacDonald

Artistic Director and CEO of La Boite Theatre Company, Todd has worked extensively across the theatre, film, television and voice-over industries. Todd was the Artistic Associate at QTC from 2011-2014 and has worked as associate producer and company member with David Pledgers’ company NYID, touring internationally. In 1999 he co-founded the award winning venue and production company The Store Room Theatre in Melbourne.


Michael McCartney

Michael is known for being a clear and thoughtful communicator. A musician first, he has found space within the community sector for his innovative thinking, advocacy and programming for vulnerable people. Michael's focus on the social, economic and emotional issues of our communities are at the forefront of his practice. He is able to synthesise these issues and deliver unique insights and ideas through conversation and his musicality.


Rebecca Ross

Rebecca Ross is as an artist, an academic at Queensland College of Art Griffith University, and Artistic Director of The Walls Art Space which she founded in 2013. Rebecca has undertaken public art commissions locally, exhibited nationally and participated in group exhibitions and international artist in residence programs in Malta, Italy, New Zealand and USA. Rebecca's recent works navigate and map out images of leisure, culture, fashion and architecture.


Kristy Seymour

Kristy Seymour is a circus artist and emerging scholar with over 18 years experience in the Australian circus sector as a performer, trainer, artistic director and administrator and more recently, as a researcher. Kristy has her own circus school, Circus Stars, solely dedicated to children with autism, which was the topic of her recent TEDx talk (June 2017). Kristy is currently completing her doctoral research titled “Bodies, Temporality and Spatiality in Australian Contemporary Circus” at Griffith University Gold Coast.


With a background in the arts, law and the academy, Eleanor Jackson is the perfect fit for 2970° to be the glue that helps stick together the provocations, the responses, the conversations and the artistic endeavour.


Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson leads the Oxfam-Monash Partnership, a research collaboration that brings together the resources of the NGO and academic sector to empower communities and support positive change. An accomplished writer, arts producer and community radio broadcaster, she uses creative approaches to support and build community resilience and well-being, and has over 15 years’ international and in-Australia experience in the areas of maternal and child health; sexual and gender based violence; and gender mainstreaming.