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Pasi Sahlberg and his son, Otto

Pasi Sahlberg Conversation Series

A series of talks about the Australian education sector

Influential writer, practitioner and researcher of global education trends, Pasi Sahlberg presents a series of conversations with passionate national and international education thought leaders discussing the Australian education sector.

In the Utzon Room | Talks & Ideas, Creative Learning

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.

Three events in March, June and October 2022

Thursday 10 March 6.30pm
Tuesday 7 June 6.30pm
Thursday 20 October 6.30pm

Standard tickets from $25 | $8.50 booking fee applies per transaction 

Ticket description Price
Standard $25

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 agencies for this event are Sydney Opera House. For more information about Authorised Agencies, see the FAQ below.

Each event runs for approximately 90 minutes, with no interval

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

Suitable for all ages

We welcome teachers from the primary to tertiary sector, colleagues from the cultural and arts industries, and those interested in unpacking how and why we learn.

Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied at all times, and children under the age of 12 are not required to wear a face mask.

“If we all think the same way, none of us probably thinks very much.”

Pasi Sahlberg

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Imagine if health was a 21st century skill taught in every school

Thursday 20 October 6.30pm

Healthy students make better learners. The links between student health and educational achievement are well known. Despite this, access to health and allied health care is limited in many Australian schools. There is a chronic shortage of speech and language therapists. Health care where it is embedded as part of the work of the school is only offered to those already in need of care rather than aiming at preventing health failures. In rural and remote areas the situation is often worse. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. Shouldn’t the children of this country which is one of the wealthiest also be the healthiest?

In this Conversation, Professor Sahlberg will talk about health as an essential 21st century skill that we could practice and learn in school. But schools can’t do that alone, good health starts at home. 

In conversation with Professor Sharon Goldfeld and special guests, Professor Sahlberg asks what the future school could look like if it valued health in the same way it values literacy and numeracy. The conversation will explore recent findings in youth health, digital wellness, and the consequences of the ongoing pandemic on children’s wellbeing and learning. 

Professor Sharon Goldfeld 

Professor Sharon Goldfeld is a paediatrician and Director of the Royal Children’s Hospital’s Centre for Community Child Health and Theme Director for Population Health at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.  She has a decade of experience in state government as a senior policymaker in health and education, including holding the inaugural role of Principal Medical Advisor in the Victorian Department of Education and Training.  Her unique career has seamlessly straddled research, policy and practice with her cross-sectoral approach (including health, education and social care)  ensuring her equity focussed research is robust and of high policy and practice utility for greater translation success.  Over the COVID-19 pandemic, Prof Goldfeld has led the public advocacy effort at MCRI leveraging existing and new studies to provide a unique understanding of the experiences of children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring we can inform its aftermath. She was recently awarded the inaugural Marles Medal for excellence in original research that led to outstanding achievement in research impact.

A series of conversations about the Australian education sector 

Influential writer, practitioner and researcher of global education trends, Pasi Sahlberg presents a series of conversations with national and international thought leaders sketching the rationale and urgency for reform of the Australian education sector.

Sahlberg believes that while we may boast some of the best schools in the world by international standards, we equally tolerate a system that enables some students to experience significant disadvantage. Professor Sahlberg wants to initiate a conversation with the Australian community about how this can be addressed.

In these conversations, Sahlberg will lead dialogues on the role of wellbeing, equity, policy and the importance of play for children. These conversations will be directed by audience participation and will actively engage guests in thinking deeper and broader about the current problems of education.

Presented by Sydney Opera House

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The education conversation Australia has to have

Finnish educator and author Pasi Sahlberg writes on the chasm of inequality that exists in the Australian school system.

More about Pasi Sahlberg...

Pasi Sahlberg is an author, scholar and educator who has worked as a mathematics and science teacher, teacher-educator, research and policy-maker in Finland. He has studied education systems and advised on education system reforms around the world, publishing over 170 academic and professional articles and 22 books on the topic. His most recent book is Let the Children Play! How more play will save our schools and help children thrive (with William Doyle, 2019). He has held numerous advisory roles in international organisations like the World Bank, the European training Foundation, and has been education policy expert to the OECD, European Commission and Finnish Governments Foreign Ministry and numerous others. 

His research concludes that Australia has schools that are up there with the best in the world; but we tolerate a system where some students experience significant disadvantage. As part of his work as Professor of Education Policy at the Gonski Institute, Pasi Sahlberg, along with former NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli, wants to initiate a conversation with the Australian community about how this disparity can be addressed, leading dialogues on international standards, policy and the importance of play for children.

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 Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and 30 minutes pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. It is encouraged that you 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. 

Ticketholders must comply with the directions of Opera House ushers to assist with contact tracing.

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 line 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 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.

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 to be purchased in the venue?

  • 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, and should be consumed while seated in designated foyers spaces. 
  • Drinks purchased at our theatre bars can also be taken into venues for most performances. 
  • 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. It is encouraged that you take your seats as soon as you arrive.
  • 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.

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