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Ideas at the House podcast

Ideas at the House

Talks and conversations from the Sydney Opera House featuring the world’s greatest minds and culture creators

Pasi Sahlberg, Evalyn Fechner & Michael Rich | In Conversation

20 Mar 2022

Finnish educator, author, and scholar, Pasi Sahlberg, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, at Harvard Medical School, Michael Rich and High School Student Evalyn Fechner discuss the latest research on the impacts of screens and the digital world on young people and strategies to strike the best balance between screen time and other activities.

This talk was recorded live at Sydney Opera House in 2021 as part of a 3 part series of urgent conversations about the Australian Education System.

Pasi Sahlberg, Fiona Kelly & Dr Chris Sarra | In Conversation

13 Mar 2022

Finnish educator, author, and scholar, Pasi Sahlberg, Barkindji/Ngiyampaa woman and executive Principal of Menindee Central school and chairman of the Stronger Smart Institute Dr Chris Sarra discuss first nations education in Australia. The three examine the changes in thinking and schooling that need to be made for all students to be afforded equal education opportunities while maintaining their connections to their community and country.

This talk was recorded live at Sydney Opera House in 2021 as part of a 3 part series of urgent conversations about the Australian Education System.

Pasi Sahlberg, Eddie Woo & Nalini Joshi | In Conversation

6 Mar 2022

Finnish educator, author, and scholar, Pasi Sahlberg, High school teacher and “WooTube” star Eddie Woo and Mathematician from the University of Sydney Professor Nalini Joshi, speak together about the challenges we face within maths education in Australia. The three discuss urgent changes that are required in the way we teach mathematics and represent it to young people as well as what makes maths beautiful and at the same time essential for Australia's modern life.

This talk was recorded live at Sydney Opera House in 2021 as part of a 3 part series of urgent conversations about the Australian Education System.

Sound and Silence: Deaf Stories | Antidote 2021

20 Feb 2022

Deafness is a culture, not a liability.

With Fiona Murphy, Jackie Leach Scully & Alex Jones

One in six Australians have some hearing loss, and our Auslan-speaking community numbers at more than 30,000. Deaf culture is thriving. Yet in the construction of spaces and social environments, deafness is often overlooked. How do we overcome stigma and exclusion?

Watch this talk on Stream, Sydney Opera House's dedicated streaming platform. Sign up for free and start watching. 

“No Lebs”: Anti-Arab racism since 9/11 | Antidote 2021

13 Feb 2022

Standing against Islamophobia in Australia.

Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Randa Abdel-Fattah & Ghassan Hage moderated by Sara Saleh

The 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks on New York City gave rise to bigotry, hate speech, and violence against Arab and Muslim communities around the world. Twenty years after the event, how much have things changed for Arab-Australians and Muslim-Australians?

Watch this talk on Stream, Sydney Opera House's dedicated streaming platform. Sign up for free and start watching. 

The Myth of the Fair Go | Antidote 2021

6 Feb 2022

Privilege and disadvantage: confronting systemic injustice

With Bri Lee, Sheila Ngoc Pham & Rick Morton, moderated by Laura Murphy-Oates

Racism, family trauma, poverty - social disadvantage comes in many different and often intersecting forms. How do we dispel the idea of "lifters and leaners" to build a society where everyone truly gets a fair go?

Watch this talk on Stream, Sydney Opera House's dedicated streaming platform. Sign up for free and start watching. 

End of Empire | Afua Hirsch at Antidote 2021

30 Jan 2022

When will we outgrow the mother country?

With Afua Hirsch moderated by Daniel Browning

It's been more than 200 years since the British laid claim to our country and called it Australia, but the legacy of colonialism lives on. Who gets included and excluded from the privileges of citizenship, and how can we move towards a truly inclusive, decolonised Australian identity?

Watch this talk on Stream, Sydney Opera House's dedicated streaming platform. Sign up for free and start watching. 

Soul Searching in a Post-Truth Age | Antidote 2021

23 Jan 2022

What does it mean to be a believer?

Amal Awad & Sarah Krasnostein moderated by Fenella Kernebone

In times of uncertainty, we humans look for answers, and today's seekers have a well-stocked spiritual marketplace at their disposal. From healers to spirit guides to yoni eggs, is the continued appeal of alternative practices pointing to a more fundamental need?

Watch this talk on Stream, Sydney Opera House's dedicated streaming platform. Sign up for free and start watching. 

The Moral High Ground | Antidote 2021

16 Dec 2021

The good, the bad, and the halls of power. 

With Jacueline Maley, Julia Baird & Osman Faruqi moderated by Edwina Throsby

 Morally bankrupt, moral challenges, a moral vacuum - commentary on politics often circles around right and wrong. What role does morality play in contemporary Australian politics? 

Watch this talk on Stream, Sydney Opera House's dedicated streaming platform. Sign up for free and start watching. 

Racing to te End of the World | Elizabeth Kolbert at Antidote 2021

19 Dec 2021

Finding environmental solutions at the brink of extinction.
With Elizabeth Kolbert moderated by Paddy Manning.

Acclaimed environmental writer Elizabeth Kolbert's latest book investigates science's cutting-edge fight against the effects of climate change. After doing so much damage, have we left it too late to save our world?

Watch this talk on Stream, Sydney Opera House's dedicated streaming platform. Sign up for free and start watching. 

Alternative Futures | Yanis Varoufakis at Antidote 2021

13 Dec 2021

It doesn't have to be this way - it's time to imagine something new.
With Yanis Varoufakis moderated by Scott Ludlam.

From the GFC to global warming to the global pandemic, the world economy and environment has suffered some major knocks. Governments around the world are reluctant to make the sorts of major reforms that many are calling for. So what do we do about it? What radical new ideas can turn us towards a better future?

Watch this talk on Stream, Sydney Opera House's dedicated streaming platform. Sign up for free and start watching. 

Uluru Statement from the Heart | Antidote 2021

5 Dec 2021

Voice, Treaty, Truth: Indigenous rights and structural change
Pat Anderson AO, Megan Davis & Thomas Mayor

On the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 referendum, the Uluru Statement from the Heart called for Australians to stand for real change. Join two of its authors for an urgent discussion about the future of Indigenous rights.

Watch this talk on Stream, Sydney Opera House's dedicated streaming platform. Sign up for free and start watching. 

Yumi Stynes | Ideas at the House

8 Sept 2021

From her breakthrough role as a VJ on Channel V in the early 2000s to her wildly popular podcasts and best-selling books, Yumi Stynes has been a pop culture fixture on Australian screens and airwaves for the past two decades. Here, she chats with Edwina Throsby about her rich and varied career: moving from country Victoria and into the media spotlight, the heady days of the early millennium music industry, and that time she called out Kerri-Anne Kennerley on national television. Buoyed by her hard work, fierce wit and sense of justice, Stynes emerges as an inspiration, whether it’s as a parent, podcaster, or someone who isn’t afraid to speak the truth to Australia’s racism.

Watch this talk on Stream. The new streaming service from the Sydney Opera House. Register for free now and start watching.

Lillian Ahenkan (aka Flex Mami) | Ideas at the House

24 Aug 2021

Entrepreneur, author, TV host, DJ, model, social media superstar: is there anything that Lillian Ahenkan can’t do? In this lively, inspiring conversation, Edwina Throsby speaks with Ahenkan – better known as Flex Mami – about her path to modern stardom, delving into her unique life philosophy, indomitable business smarts, and relationship to online celebrity. From her unlikely childhood as the daughter of single Ghanaian parent in Sydney’s mostly white Eastern Suburbs to her fearless, self-motivated rise through fashion, PR and the club scene on her way to building a social media fanbase, Ahenkan reveals the secrets behind her remarkable journey – and her thoughts on the future of social media’s influencer phenomenon.

Watch this talk on Stream. The new streaming service from the Sydney Opera House. Register for free now and start watching.

Tilly Lawless | Ideas at the House

17 Aug 2021

In this candid conversation, sex worker, activist and author, Tilly Lawless opens up about her often complex feelings towards sex work, her early childhood in coastal NSW, and negotiating her queer identity in a largely straight business model.

Watch this talk on Stream. The new streaming service from the Sydney Opera House. Register for free now and start watching.

Ione Skye | Ideas at the House

9 Aug 2021

A Generation X icon, actress Ione Skye has spent a lifetime inside the world of music and celebrity – and has the stories to show for it. Edwina Throsby sits down with the vibrant star of Say Anything, River’s Edge and Gas, Food, Lodging for a conversation about her life and career, including her unusual relationship with her father, the ’60s pop superstar Donovan, her rocky romances with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis and Beastie Boy Adam Horowitz, and her experience standing up to sexism as a young, aspiring performer in the industry. She also reflects on finding peace with her current partner, musician Ben Lee, raising her own children, and making Sydney her current home. 

Watch this talk on Stream. The new streaming service from the Sydney Opera House. Register for free now and start watching.

Mary Hoang & Christine Jackman | Life: A Survival Guide

28 July 2021

Life is messy - especially during a pandemic. How do we survive? Our expert panellists are here to help us build a toolbox for mental wellbeing and a stronger, calmer life. Mary Hoang, psychologist, founder of The Indigo Project and journalist Christine Jackman bring us practical, real-life tips and insights into finding strength in times of hardship. Hosted by Linda Marigliano.

Koa Beck | White Feminism

20 July 2021

White feminism is an ideology that seeks individual power over community wellbeing. Join author Koa Beck for a look at the racism embedded in much of the movement's history, and learn how we can all make feminism truly inclusive. Moderated by Fauziah Ibrahim

Tilly Lawless, Jules Kim & Chantell Martin | Sex Work and Feminism

13 July 2021

In this disarmingly funny chat Tilly Lawless, Jules Kim & Chantell Martin discus the complexities of a frequently misunderstood industry, and its place within the women's movement. From emotional and physical labour, economic realities, and the fight to protect sex workers' rights in the age of COVID, these voices need to be heard.

Uncle Vic Simms, Jeanine Leane & DRMNGNOW | Yarning Country curated by Rachael Hocking

6 July 2021

Join some of our most creative voices, brought together from across the country, as they share stories, memories and songs. Curated by Warlpiri woman Rachael Hocking; this is a night for dance and laughter, spirit and survival, community, creation and love. Welcome to country by Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor, music from DRMNGNOW, readings by poet Jeanine Leane and words from Uncle Vic Simms.

Isabel Allende | The Soul of a Woman

28 June 2021

Isabel Allende's books centre female experience in all its joy and hardship. And at 78, the legendary Chilean has seen first-hand what feminism has accomplished in her lifetime. In this talk at All About Women in 2021, Allende muses on decades of writing and reflects on her marriages, sex, ageing, and the evolution of feminism.

Caitlin Moran | More Than A Woman

20 June 2021

Caitlin Moran is the UK’s funniest feminist. Her memoirs, columns and essays tackle all of the things we care about... sex, family, politics and dismantling the patriarchy. This event was recorded live at All About Women in 2021, where she joined us from London in a wild, occasionally angry, and extremely fun conversation with broadcaster, Yumi Stynes. 

Kate Crawford | How Smart is Artificial Intelligence?

11 June 2021

We all know that Artificial Intelligence is here to stay. But how many of us know the full extent of what this means? What about the deeper issues, like the impacts on our legal systems, our politics, our economies and our environment?

This episode features an on stage discussion with Professor Kate Crawford, one of the world’s leading researchers into the social and political implications of AI. In conversation with Rae Johnston, as part of All About Women 2021. 

Laura Bates | Men Who Hate Women

7 June 2021

This year, the All About Women festival took place amid a string of revelations involving women in Australian public life, including the poor treatment of assault survivor Brittney Higgins, and the emergence of historic rape allegations against the then Attorney General.

This timely conversation with British feminist Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and author of Men Who Hate Women, highlights the deadly dangers of extreme online misogyny. Laura appeared in the Joan Sutherland Theatre via video link in March 2021.

Bill Birtles, Yun Jiang & Richard Fidler | The China Puzzle

31 May 2021

Against the context of growing hostilities between President Xi Jinping's government and the west, nationalist agendas across the board, shocking stories about the abuse of the Uyghur population, trade wars and diplomatic flare-ups, this tightening of the flow of information sparked international alarm. But with unacceptable racism against Asians in the west on the rise, and China's global influence and economic power growing ever stronger, how do we think about the complicated China question? Listen to former ABC China correspondent Bill Birtles and China specialist Yun Jiang for this timely discussion recorded in the Playhouse and moderated by Richard Fidler.


Maria Ressa | Living for Journalism

24 May 2021

In 2012, Maria Ressa founded the social media network Rappler, in her home country of the Philippines, as a way for citizens to communicate and share news. Her high profile as a journalist, and her fearless reporting on her government, has led to her being the target of endless legal attacks. But also, the recipient of an extraordinary array of honors and awards. She was included in Time Magazine’s most influential people list in 2019, and more recently, she won the UNESCO Press Freedom Prize for 2021.

Azadeh Moaveni | Iran Awakening

17 May 2021

Working between two cultures is something that this weeks' guest has grown up with. Born in America to a family of refugees from the Iranian revolution, Azadeh Moaveni has split her life between the middle east and the west. As a journalist, she has worked for publications like Time Magazine and the LA Times in cities like Tehran and Cairo, and her books range from memoirs to deep investigations. In this episode, she shares her knowledge of the politics of the Arab world, especially as it pertains to women.

Melissa Lucashenko | Too Much Lip

10 May 2021

Indigenous writer Melissa Lukashenko has been writing poetry, essays and novels for decades. Her work has been nominated for pretty much every Australian literary prize there is. Most recently, she has won the Miles Franklin award for her novel Too Much Lip. In this conversation, she’s speaking with Benjamin Law.

Gina Rippon | Gendered Expectations

3 May 2021

Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. Bet you’ve heard that before. The idea that men’s brains are wired for logic, while women’s brains excel at emotional intelligence is deeply culturally embedded. And, it’s complete garbage. Join Professor Gina Rippon in conversation with Edwina Throsby, as they dispel this cultural myth and discuss her latest book The Gendered Brain

Tea Uglow | Pathology of Identity

26 Apr 2021

Tea Uglow has built her career exploring the space between technology and art, looking for unexpected ways they can interact. She has written about doubt, about being transgender and her book Loud and Proud is a collection of the most influential and inspiring LGBTQI speeches of all time. Listen to Tea, in conversation with Head of Talks and Ideas Edwina Throsby. 

Shanna Whan | Getting Sober in the Country

19 Apr 2021

Shanna is the founder of national alcohol awareness charity 'Sober in the Country', a grassroots organisation designed to open up discussions in rural Australia about alcohol. When hospitalisation forced Shanna to acknowledge that her own drinking was out of control, she discovered that getting sober was no easy feat.

Shanna talks with Edwina Throsby about the way she transformed her life, and in the process, transformed the lives of countless others.

Clementine Ford | Becoming a Feminist Icon

12 Apr 2021

Clementine Ford has been writing columns and books about gender issues for more than a decade. Her books Fight Like a Girl and Boys Will Be Boys have become bestselling feminist bibles, and she has built a huge online community of women and girls who take inspiration and comfort from her honest and personal posts. In this conversation, she chats to Edwina Throsby about body image, sex, death and dating … all the big things. 

Michael Pollan | How to Change Your Mind

6 Apr 2021

Michael Pollan is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, but it was his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which interrogated the way we eat and our food production systems, that really brought him to global attention.

More recently he has shifted his focus from food to psychedelics. In his latest book, How to Change your Mind, Pollan puts his body and brain on the line to properly explore their benefits and dangers of psychedelics. In conversation with Edwina Throsby. 

Fintan O'Toole

29 Mar 2021

Dublin born and bred, Fintan O'Toole has written a twice-weekly column for the Irish Times since 1988. He has also written an astonishing fifty eight books about politics, poetry, philosophy, theatre and Irish culture. Here he is speaking with Edwina Throsby, Head of Talks and Ideas whilst appearing at ANTIDOTE in 2019. 

Deborah Lipstadt

22 Mar 2021

Benjamin Law interviews iconic Jewish historian and internationally recognised defender of the truth of the Holocaust Deborah Lipstadt. Listen to Deborah speak on her life, the trial and her latest book Anti-Semitism: Here and Now.

Reasons to be Cheerful | Antidote 2020

8 Mar 2021

Doomscrolling can convince us the world is full of bad news, but that is only part of the story. Curator and councillor Jess Scully's new book, Glimpses of Utopia, highlights stories from around the world where people respond to crises with hope and compassion. Dutch popular historian Rutger Bregman reveals that humans are not destructive and selfish, but innately communal and cooperative. What new possibilities can we imagine for our future? Enjoy this conversation between two radical optimists who look to a sustainable and inclusive future.

Queerstories Comes Back Out | Antidote 2020

22 Feb 2021

Maeve Marsden hosts the biggest-ever Queerstories event at Antidote 2020. Confessions, obsessions, love, loss and fierce resistance – you never know what will happen at Sydney's legendary LGBTQI+ storytelling night. 

Resetting the World | Antidote 2020

15 Feb 2021

2020 was a chaotic and transformative year. Beginning with the catastrophic bushfires that incinerated any last doubts around the impacts of climate change, to international fury at structural and violent racism, to a devastating global pandemic; 2020 was a year like no other. 

This panel, as part of Antidote, discusses what we hope to rebuild from the wreckage and the radical paradigm shifts that need to take place in order to move forward. Featuring Jefa Greenaway, Rebecca Huntley and Jessica Irvine. Hosted by Tom Tilley.

Such a Fun Age | Antidote 2020

8 Feb 2021

It's rare that a debut novel makes the sort of impact of Kiley Reid's book Such a Fun Age. It has quickly become a favourite of book clubs world wide, engendered much debate, and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. In this session as part of Antidote 2020, Kiley is joined by journalist and television presenter Jan Fran for a discussion about privilege, class and race in a world that is never black and white. 

The End of America? | Antidote 2020

2 Feb 2021

Listen to this riveting talk from historian, academic and The New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore from Antidote 2020.  Hosted by Damien Cave, Lepore details the escalating and increasingly polarised political climate; debating if we are witnessing the end of modern America.

Hot Flush Living - All About Women 2020

15 September 2020

Darcey Steinke was furious nobody warned her about the true experience of menopause. Her book, Flash Count Diary, is a powerful exploration of the changing gender landscape and transforming desires of the post reproductive years of women's lives.  Tune into this raw, honest and intelligent conversation, hosted by Jane Caro, as part of All About Women 2020. 

Rethinking Beauty - All About Women 2020

9 September 2020

What does it mean to be beautiful and how can we change our own definitions? Deep dive into how we think about appearance, beauty and the female body with critically-acclaimed author Bri Lee (Eggshell Skull, Beauty) and writer, speaker and appearance activist Carly Findlay, recorded at All About Women 2020. Hosted by Flex Mami.

No Men, No Meat, No Machines - All About Women 2020

26 August 2020

In the 1970s, a group of women decamped to Amazon Acres in northern NSW, with a policy of no men, no meat, no machines. They were part of a global trend where women around the world were creating their own, idealistic societies. Take this rare opportunity for a glimpse into a sequestered world, as part of All About Women 2020. 

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Sydney Opera House Talks & Ideas presents ideas, conversation and debate from leading thinkers and culture creators, extending the reach of live events online with unique content.