10 March 2024
What is the relationship between trauma and the chance of ending up in prison. Expert thinkers shed light on what life is really like behind bars and the long-term impact it has.
Co-curated by Bri Lee
|Sunday 10 March 2024
|3.30pm - 4.30pm
$8.95 booking fee applies per transaction
Prices correct at the time of publication and subject to change without notice. Exact prices will be displayed with seat selection.
The only authorised ticket agency for this event is Sydney Opera House. For more information about Authorised Agencies, see the frequently asked questions below.
Sydney Opera House Insiders pre-sale
8am, Wednesday 17 January 2024
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What’s On e-newsletter pre-sale
9am, Wednesday 17 January 2024
General Public tickets on-sale
9am, Thursday 18 January 2024
This event will run for 60 minutes.
Event duration is a guide only and may be subject to change.
Age guidance: 15+
This event contains adult themes and may include strong language. Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Justice and the gendered gaol
Our justice system is not working as it should. Over 90% of women in prison have faced domestic violence, sexual assault or abuse. One-third of women inside are on remand - which means they haven't yet been found guilty of a crime. First Nations women are over-represented in incarcerated populations. And then there's the issue of mothers and pregnant people behind bars.
The prison system is making many people suffer unnecessarily, and it's criminalising mental illness, homelessness, and poverty. So is abolition the answer? Or is the solution better funding for legal services? Could there be more support post-release? Join these expert thinkers in this agenda setting conversation.
Presented by Sydney Opera House
Ashlee Donohue, a proud Aboriginal woman from the Dunghutti nation, born and raised in Kempsey, NSW. An Author, Educator, and Advocate for topics specifically surrounding anti-violence, anti-racism, and Aboriginal women, Ashlee has created a platform to share lived experiences, as well as a safe place for many Aboriginal women.
As CEO of Miss Ashlee Enterprise, Educator, and advocate, Ashlee has become an inspiration and support network for many women which has led to becoming a media commentator and panellist appearing on television programs such as ABC's The Drum, NITV, SBS, and writing for publications such as Mamamia, IndigenousX, The Guardian, and more.
A highly sought-after facilitator, speaker, consultant, and powerful advocate Ashlee has presented at the UN Status of Women Forums in NYC, been the lead writer and co-creator for numerous anti-violence campaigns and anti-racism education materials, adaptations, and reviews of a variety of work. Ashlee is also a published author, her memoir Because I love him a personal account of love, motherhood, domestic violence, and survival.
Ashlee is currently the CEO of Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Women’s Centre, sits on the City of Sydney’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory panel, and DVNSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.
Frances wasted years of her life going in and out of prison. Finally in 2015 after she wrote to Women's Justice Network from prison and her life did a 180 degree turn. She made up her mind that her life had to change. In 2018, on her release with her Mentor by her side, she did community services at TAFE and studied criminal psychology, then joined the Advisory Panel, an advocacy group section of WJN. Frances has appeared on the Four Corners episode of Criminalising Women, also on the Drum, advocating for the women still in prison. It was a no brainer when Gloria Larman, CEO of Women's Justice Network, asked her to work for WJN as a Mentor Coordinator and Case Worker, more recently as facilitator of fREADom INSIDE book club, bringing reading skills and confidence to women in prison.
Tabitha Lean is an abolition activist, poet and storyteller who seeks to disrupt the colonial project and abolish the prison industrial complex and the colonial carceral state. Having spent almost two years in Adelaide Women’s Prison, 18 months on Home Detention and 3 years on parole, Tabitha uses her lived prison experience to argue that the criminal punishment system is a brutal and too often deadly colonial frontier for her people. She believes that until we abolish the system and redefine community, health, safety and justice, her people will not be safe. She appears on behalf of the National Network of Incarcerated & Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls.
Eleni Psillakis never imagined that experiencing prison would be part of her life. She was diagnosed with severe clinical depression towards the end of a 21-year marriage, where she experienced domestic violence but did not recognise it as such as it became ‘her normal’. With the help of a forensic psychologist before being sentenced, Eleni had a lightbulb moment where she saw the dominant thought pattern that kept her bound for decades from anorexia to imprisonment. She is now the Executive Officer of Success Works, a for-purpose organisation that supports women with a criminal record to rebuild their lives through purposeful sustainable employment.
Kirsten Gray is a proud Muruwari and Yuwaalaraay woman and works at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is a graduate of Sydney University Law school and is due to complete her law PhD later this year.
Kirsten has represented families in the child protection system and worked extensively in First Nations policy. She recently lead the First Nations policy and engagement teams at the Royal Commission into the Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with disability and was an adviser on the Don Dale Royal Commission. She has worked in the office of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner as senior adviser for many years and holds board positions on the National Justice Project, Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Create Foundation.
Our foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars.
All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to all foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer.
The Sydney Opera House Car Park, operated by Wilson Parking, is open and available to use. Wilson Parking offer discounted parking if you book ahead. Please see their website for details.
Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a six min walk to the Opera House.
The health and wellbeing of everyone attending the Opera House is our top priority. We’re committed to making your experience safe, comfortable and enjoyable, with a number of measures in place including regular cleaning of high-touch areas, air conditioning systems that maximise ventilation, and hand sanitiser stations positioned in all paths of travel. We remind our audiences and visitors to please stay home if you feel unwell. If you need to discuss your ticketing or booking options, contact our Box Office team on 02 9250 7777.
The health and wellbeing of everyone attending the Opera House is our top priority. We have a number of safety measures in place including regular cleaning of high-touch areas, air conditioning systems that maximise ventilation, and hand sanitiser stations positioned in all paths of travel. While face masks are no longer required, we ask all our patrons and visitors to practise good hygiene. Please stay home if you feel unwell and read more about our flexible ticket options.
The Sydney Opera House no longer requires patrons to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Frequently asked questions
Ticket purchases and collection at our Box Office is discouraged and eTicket or postal delivery methods should be used, wherever possible. However, if you are collecting your tickets from the Box Office, we recommend doing this at least 60 minutes before the event starts. If you have already received your tickets, the venue doors will be open 45 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Please take your seats as soon as you arrive.
If you are late, we will seat you as soon as we can and, where possible, in your allocated seat. However, to reduce movement in the venue as well as minimise disruption to the performance and other patrons, ticketholders may be seated in an allocated latecomer’s seat. Please be aware that some events have lock-out periods. In these cases, latecomers will be admitted at a suitable break in the performance. On occasions, this may not be until the interval, or at all where there is no interval.
Details of our right to refuse admission can be found in our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Events.
In accordance with our venue security procedures, Opera House security will be scanning and checking bags under the Monumental Stairs, prior to entering the building. Bags will be scanned by an x-ray machine, and staff will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling your belongings, such as gloves. Cloaking facilities will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 60 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. However it is strongly encouraged that you travel lightly to minimise contact and queuing. Any bags larger than an A4 piece of paper will need to be checked into the Cloak Room.
The authorised agency for this event is the Sydney Opera House.
Only tickets purchased by authorised agencies should be considered reliable. If you purchase tickets from a non-authorised agency such as Ticketmaster Resale, Viagogo, Ticketbis, eBay, Gumtree, Tickets Australia or any other unauthorised seller, you risk that these tickets are fake, void or have previously been cancelled. RESALE RESTRICTION APPLIES. For more details, please refer to our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events.
Please contact Box Office on 9250 7777 as soon as possible to advise if you can no longer attend.
Foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars.
The venue doors will be open 45 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances.
Please bring a credit or debit card for any on site purchases to enable contactless payment. You’re welcome to bring your own water bottle but no other food and drinks are permitted inside our venues. Opera Bar, Opera Kitchen and Portside are also available for you to enjoy.
The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at the Sydney Opera House is our top priority. In line with this commitment, the Opera House became a smoke-free site in January 2022. Read our Smoke-free Environment Policy.
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