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It Happened to Me

Dai Le, Nardi Simpson, Dinesh Palipana OAM, Antoinette Lattouf and others, hosted by Steph Tisdell

Can someone else's story change your life?

Join us and hear these people tell the stories that had a profound impact on them, made them see the world differently, or even changed their lives entirely.

Live in-person event | Utzon RoomTalks & Ideas

COVID-safe and event information

The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at the Opera House is our priority. When you return to the Opera House, you will notice some important changes that have been implemented to keep the community safe, which are regularly reviewed and updated in consideration of the Public Health Order prevailing at the time. Please follow our conditions of entry at all times:

  • Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask;
  • As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage; and
  • Within venues, always take your allocated seat.

Please refer to our updated General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events for detailed information about our ticketing policies. These conditions may change between the time of purchase and the event date. Ticketholders will be contacted directly regarding any changes to their event.

Please check our plan your visit page prior to attending the Opera House for the most up-to-date information.

Pre-sale and on-sale information

Multipacks

Insider Member Priority – 9am, Tuesday 28 June

Single Tickets 

Insider Member Priority – 9am, Tuesday 28 June
What's on Priority sale – 9am, Wednesday 29 June
General public on sale – 9am, Friday 1 July

Sunday 11 September 2022, 4pm

Session runs from 4pm - 5pm

Standard tickets from $33 | $8.50 Booking Fee applies per transaction Save up to 15% with a festival Multipack | Livestream tickets from $15

Ticket Unreserved Seating
Standard
$33
Insider (Save 20% on this performance) $26.40
Multipack Buy 3 - 4 events and save 10%  $29.70
Multipack Buy 5+ events and save 15%  $28.05
Livestream $15
Livestream festival pass $55
Babes in arms $10

Prices correct at the time of publication and subject to change without notice. Exact prices will be displayed with seat selection. Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times

The authorised ticket agency for this event is Sydney Opera House and Vimeo. For more information about Authorised Agencies, see the FAQ below.

Enjoy a selection of talks online with a Festival Pass ($55), or purchase an individual livestream ($15). Purchase here.

This talk runs for approximately 60 minutes (no interval)

Event duration is a guide only and may be subject to change.


“Starting from scratch allowed me to think about who I was and who I wanted to be.”

Dinesh Palipana

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Five storytellers draw back the curtain on their worlds

Placing a personal story in the public sphere is a powerful and transformative act, liberating the storyteller and also giving the listener a deeper, more empathetic understanding. A doctor, a journalist, a politician, a writer and performer, and others take the stage to tell us what happened to them, stories that are tragic, hilarious, engaging, and life-changing. We will learn not just what happened to them, but how it shaped who they are and who they have become.

Presented by Sydney Opera House

Speakers

Dai head shot

Dai Le lives and breathes diversity and inclusion. Her mission is to help build an inclusive society where the leadership of mainstream institutions and organisations genuinely reflect the diverse community we live in.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Dai spent many years in refugee camps in South East Asia before being accepted for resettlement in Australia. Her childhood experiences and growing up with a dual identity – being Vietnamese in Australian and western cultural surroundings, helped to shape her perception of life. It has also made her a passionate advocate for refugees and migrant communities. She was recently re-elected to Fairfield City Council and also elected Deputy Mayor – the first Vietnamese woman with a refugee background to be elected to the role in NSW. 

Dai had served as an Advisory Board Member to Multicultural NSW, a Government statutory body; as a director on the Local Government NSW Board. Dai was a former Ambassador for Fairfield Relay for Life and NSW Cancer Council Greater Western Sydney. Dai is also a councillor on Fairfield City Council, one of the most culturally diverse Councils in Australia.

A former award-winning journalist, filmmaker and broadcaster with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Dai was named one of AFR-Westpac's Top 100 Influential Women in Australia in 2014. With over 20 years of change-making experience, Dai is a strong believer in the use of storytelling to inspire, educate and inform. Dai is also a breast cancer survivor.

 

Nardi Head Shot

Nardi Simpson is a Yuwaalaraay writer, composer, playwright, and educator, as well as a musician and performer in the Stiff Gins. Song of the Crocodile (Hachette Australia) was the 2018 winner of a black&write! writing fellowship and became Nardi’s masterful debut novel. It is highly awarded – longlisted for the Miles Franklin award and has also been shortlisted for major state and national awards.

Nardi continues to perform with Stiff Gins, works with student ensembles and directs cross-cultural choir Barayagal at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and is currently undertaking a PhD with the ANU School of Music. Heavily involved in the making and sharing of culture in both her Sydney and Yuwaalaraay communities, Nardi lives in Sydney's Inner West with her partner and teenage son.

 

Dinesh head shot

Dinesh Palipana OAM is a doctor, lawyer, disability advocate, and researcher. He has a spinal cord injury with quadriplegia affecting the use of his fingers, parts of the arms, and everything below the chest.

He became the first medical graduate with quadriplegia in Queensland, then the first graduate doctor with quadriplegia to begin work in the state. He was the second graduating doctor with quadriplegia to start working clinically in Australia.

Dinesh works at the Gold Coast University Hospital and Griffith University. He was the 2021 Queensland Australian of the Year. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2019. He was the third Australian to receive a Henry Viscardi achievement Award in New York, awarded in 2019.

 

Antoinette head shot

Antoinette Lattouf is a media personality, diversity advocate, author, mum of two girls and terrible at reverse parking.

The multi-award-winning journalist is the co-founder of Media Diversity Australia — a not-for-profit organisation working towards increasing cultural and linguistic diversity in the media.She’s worked in television, online and radio at Network 10. SBS, ABC and triple j. She’s been a guest commentator on ABC’s Q&A, The Drum, SBS Insight, Sky News, Network 10’s The Project, Studio10 & The Feed and The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, Women's Agenda and Mamamia.

In 2022, Antoinette became a co-host of Listnr’s daily news podcast ‘The Briefing’.Antoinette’s first book How to Lose Friends and Influence White People was published by Penguin Random House in May 2022. It is a witty and approachable anti-racism guide and an honest exploration of the modern manifestations of systemic racism in Australia today, and how we, as a collective, can take steps to make change. Providing practical tools, using warmth, humour, and research to share evidence-based solutions that can be used by anyone - from a seasoned advocate who is a person of colour, through to a suburban white teenager.

In 2019, Antoinette was named among AFR’s 100 Women of Influence. In 2021 she was awarded a Women’s Agenda Leadership Award. In peer-selected awards at her year 10 high school formal, Antoinette was awarded Most Likely To Die A Virgin. 

 

Steph head shot

Steph Tisdell is one of the brightest stars to explode on the Australian comedy scene in recent years. A luminescent presence on stage, her warmth and wit have been a hit with audiences ever since she won the Deadly Funny National Grand Final in 2014. Her award-winning shows sell out wherever she performs and she is fast becoming a ubiquitous presence on mainstream television, having appeared on Ten’s Stand Up for Christchurch Benefit, Just for Laughs

Australia on the Comedy Channel, Hughesy We Have A Problem, and on multiple occasions as both an interviewee and presenter on The Project.

 

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Venue Information

Performances are being sold to 100% capacity in line with the NSW Public Health Order. This includes all shows in the Concert Hall, Joan Sutherland Theatre, Studio, Playhouse, Drama Theatre, Utzon Room and Forecourt. Please note that you will be seated directly alongside other ticketholders.

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. Please remember to maintain physical distancing whilst consuming drinks in our foyers.

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 consistent with COVID-safe rules.

Transport options

  • We encourage you to use private transport options to minimise crowding on public transport (in line with NSW Government advice). 
  • 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 and COVID-19 safety measures. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 min walk to the Opera House. 

Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Safety Measures

What safety measures have you implemented?

Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of everyone on site, and we are closely following NSW Health guidelines and advice. The Sydney Opera House is registered as a COVID Safe business with the NSW Government. For detailed information about our COVID-19 safety measures and what’s required of you when visiting, please see our plan your visit page.

What am I required to do as an audience member?

Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask.

As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage.

Within venues, always take your allocated seat.

For detailed information about our COVID-19 safety measures and what’s required of you, please see our plan your visit page.

Do I need to be vaccinated to visit the Sydney Opera House?

The Sydney Opera House no longer requires patrons to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Am I required to wear a mask?

Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask.

How are you managing contact tracing? 

Contact information is required when making a booking with us and upon arrival at the Opera House, as set out in our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events and our Customer Privacy Statement.

As the ticket purchaser, you are responsible for recording the contact details of your guests. Contact information will only be used for the purposes of contact tracing, if required, and will be deleted at least 28 days after your event.

Frequently Asked Questions - Performance and Venue

What time do I need to arrive before the event?

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 Concert Hall and 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.

Will there be bag checks, and is cloaking available?

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.

Can my baby sit on my lap?

Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times. Babies aged 0-2 years old at the time of a performance may be seated on an adult’s lap. Children 2 years and older will need to hold a standard ticket.

Does my child need to wear a face mask?

Children under the age of 12 are not required to wear a face mask.

Who are the authorised ticket sellers for this event? 

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.

What if I can't come to my performance?

Please contact Box Office on 9250 7777 as soon as possible to advise if you can no longer attend. If you can no longer attend because you are unwell, or have been in contact with someone displaying COVID-19 symptoms, the Opera House has introduced flexible ticketing options to help you, find out more information here.

Will there be food and beverages available for purchase in the venue?

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.

Will there be pram parking at kids performances?

All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to the 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 consistent with COVID-safe rules.

Can I smoke at the Opera House?

  • The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at the Sydney Opera House is our top priority. In line with this commitment, the Opera House will become a smoke-free site from Saturday 1 January 2022.
  • By becoming a smoke-free site, the Opera House seeks to reduce exposure to harmful second-hand smoke, as well as minimise the impact of smoking on the environment, including litter and pollution of the surrounding marine environment.