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Thaw Talk


A Climate Change Soapbox

Climate leaders and action-taking members of the public come together to deliver a series of ten-minute speeches that exhort, provoke and inspire climate action. 

Have your say - register to speak at this event

In the Drama Theatre Foyers | Sydney Opera House Presents | Talks & Ideas

14 Jan 2022 - 16 Jan 2022
Suspended 20 metres above the Harbour, a colossal iceberg melts away before your eyes. On it, a woman alone.

Answering THAW's Climate Call

Alongside Legs On The Wall's performance THAW - part art installation, part slow-drip suspense thriller, a selection of climate action leaders along with members of the public will come together in a series of ten minute thought-provoking soapbox-style speeches.

Get motivated to take action as this collective discuss the urgency of our situation, provide actionable solutions and share in collective hope for our future. 

Want to participate in the event? Tell us what we can and should be doing about climate change. Registrations close at 5pm on Friday the 24th of December 2021. 

Register to speak at this event

Presented by Sydney Opera House

Images by photographer Shane Rozario

Speaker line-up

Steph Tisdell - MC

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 has 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.

Steph Tisdell

Dr Rebecca Huntley 

Dr Rebecca Huntley is one of Australians foremost researchers on social trends. She has a background in publishing, academia and politics, and holds degrees in law and film studies and a PhD in Gender Studies.  

For nearly 9 years Rebecca was the Director of The Mind & Mood Report, Australia's longest running social trends report. She currently heads Vox Populi research, as part of the CIRCA research group. She is the author of numerous books including Still Lucky: why you should feel optimistic about Australia and its people (Penguin 2017) and Australia Fair: Listen to the Nation, the first Quarterly Essay for 2019. Her book published in 2019 by Murdoch Books is on climate change and emotion.

Rebecca has researched the social and political dimensions of food and cooking throughout her career and has published on these topics in books and articles. She has written and presented two episodes of RN’s Future Tense, on climate change and food and aging and food. She presented at MAD Syd in 2017 with Rene Redzepi and David Chang. She is on the Advisory Group of MAD Sydney.

Rebecca Huntley

Jean Hinchliffe 

Jean Hinchliffe is a 16-year-old student and climate activist.  As a lead national organiser within School-Strike-4-Climate, she campaigns for legislative action against the sourcing and usage of fossil fuels, along with pushing for Australia to become fully carbon neutral.  Her activism started at age 13 with the Vote Yes campaign, and has since volunteered with organisations such as Get Up and Stop Adani.  She has appeared widely in the Australian media, including on The Project and Foreign Correspondent.

Jean is also an actress and has recently appeared in ABC’s Les Norton and the Netflix/ABCMe original The Unlisted.

Jean Hinchliffe

Danielle Celermajer 

Danielle Celermajer is a Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney, Deputy Director of the Sydney Environment Institute and lead of the Multispecies Justice project. A longtime human rights scholar and activist, in recent years she has turned her attention to injustices and violence against the more than human. Through the experience of living through the black summer bushfires with a multispecies community, she began writing about a new crime of our age, Omnicide. Her latest book, Summertime (Penguin Random House, 2021) was written in recognition of the critical urgency of conveying the complex conceptual recognition of the multispecies harms of the climate catastrophe in ways that can provoke affect and hence action.

Danielle Celermajer

Kim Loo

Kim Loo is Chair of Doctors for the Environment Australia (NSW) and on the Council of the Australian Medical Association (NSW). The child of Buddhist parents, GP Dr Kim Loo learned early to tread lightly on the earth. Now, in addition to working with patients in communities in Western Sydney, she actively advocates for a sustainable future. Her environmental advocacy is grounded in her background as a primary health physician and her concern for the impact of climate change on health.

Kim Loo

Nicki Hutley

Nicki Hutley is a highly experienced economist, with broad-based expertise in both macroeconomics and microeconomic policy, gained over more than three decades.  

After many years in the corporate world, Nicki is now an independent economist, focussing on the intersection of economy, society and environment. She is also a Councillor with the Climate Council.

Nicki holds an Honours degree in Economics. She is President of the Economics Society of Australia (NSW branch) and a Board member for One Million Women and the Financy Women’s Index.

Nicki is a frequent commentator in the media and is a regular guest on both The Drum and The Project.

Nicki Huntley

Lesley Hughes

Lesley Hughes is Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Integrity & Development) at Macquarie University. Her principal research interests have been the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems and the implications for conservation. She is a former Lead Author in the IPCC’s 4th and 5th Assessment Report, a former federal Climate Commissioner, a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, and a founding Councillor with the Climate Council of Australia. 

Lesley Hughes

Venue Information

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

Our foyers will be open 60 minutes pre-show for 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 six min walk to the Opera House. 

Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Safety Measures

Frequently Asked Questions - Performance and Venue

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