Alright ladies (and allies), let’s get in formation. The Sydney Opera House has dropped the line-up for the biggest All About Women festival yet – and for the first time, there’s three whole days of talks, ideas and workshops to get amongst.
If, like us, you’ve been deep-diving into the New York Times best-selling memoir I'm Glad My Mom Died, you’ll be stoked to know that Jennette McCurdy (she/her) is making an appearance. In an Australian exclusive event, McCurdy will speak on growing up in the spotlight, triumphing over trauma, and finding humour and resilience on her road to independence.
Neurodivergent folks of all strokes will want to book in for Actually Autistic, a panel chaired by noted badass Grace Tame (she/her), Heartbreak High star and disability activist Chloe Hayden (she/her), and research psychologist and activist Dr Jac den Houting (they/them), with festival co-curator Dr Amy Thunig. They’ll be discussing taking control, masking and mimicry when you’re actually autistic in a world only just beginning to recognise neurodivergence in women and gender-diverse people.
Elsewhere, irreverent American essayist and author of Cult Classic, Sloane Crosley (she/her) is bringing her wit and effervescent satire to the stage in conversation with journalist Maddison Connaughton about the indignities of modern dating.
Listeners of the Just the Gist podcast will be stoked to see Rosie Waterland (she/her) out and about, in a fun discussion about our voyeuristic search for love and obsession with reality TV with Australia’s first Indigenous and bisexual Bachelorette Brooke Blurton (she/her), and Gamilaroi and Torres Strait Islander writer and actor Nakkiah Lui (she/her).
The inspiring Opening Night Gala will be hosted by ARIA award-winning musician and author Clare Bowditch (she/her); and features acclaimed actor, writer, theatre maker and the star of STC’s The Picture of Dorian Gray Eryn Jean Norvill (she/her) giving voice to our ongoing rage, passion, and hope; the “mother of African contemporary dance” Germaine Acogny (she/her), Iranian-Australian singer and instrumentalist Gelareh Pour (she/her), and Fatima Bhutto.
Dr Yves Rees (they/them), who spoke to us about the game-changing all trans and non-binary panel they curated for last year’s festival (read that discussion here), is back for Who Made Me A Spokesperson? With returning festival favourite Clementine Ford (she/her), Indigenous rights activist and Bundjalung author Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts (she/her), this conversation led by performer Milo Hartill (she/her) is about the burden of being declared a unofficial spokesperson and the limitations of movements led by a single voice.
There’s also an in-conversation with the legendary Wendy Whiteley, a talk and one-night only concert from legendary riot grrrls and feminist icons Bikini Kill, and too darn many exciting events and speakers to list here in full.
All About Women will close out the week of International Women’s Day, running from Saturday, March 11 to Monday, March 13. For those of us who have agonised over this annual feminist fest clashing with “Gay Christmas” in previous years, you’ll be pleased to know that it is not running on the same weekend as the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade in 2023. Which is especially great, because the Sydney WorldPride festival means we’re in for a supersized Mardi Gras this year. (Psst, here’s our evolving guide of the best Sydney WorldPride events.)
Tickets for All About Women are on sale here from noon on Thursday, January 19. Tickets start from $33 + booking fee for on-site events (multipacks also available), and from $15 for digital livestreams (multipack of nine talks also available).