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Values

all about women is the annual centrepiece of the Opera House’s Talks & Ideas program. Each year the event welcomes an outstanding line-up of international and Australian artists, thinkers and storytellers, exploring the ever-evolving big ideas important to women, non-binary people and allies.

Since it opened in 1973, the Sydney Opera House has promoted creativity, diversity, environmental sustainability, cultural rights and respect for heritage, both on and off its stages. As we approach our 50th anniversary, we remain as committed to these values as ever and are setting out the positive change we want to drive over the next 50 years, and beyond

For thousands of years, Tubowgule, the land on which the Opera House stands, has been a place of gathering and belonging for the Gadigal people. The Opera House carries on this legacy by embracing and celebrating the culture of Australia’s First Peoples. In 2011, the Opera House became the first performing arts organisation in Australia to launch a Reconciliation Action Plan commiting to a range of actions and initiatives that aim to safeguard these traditions and adapting cultures for future generations. 

Woman running a workshop

In 2019, the Opera House joined a growing collective of global and Australian companies, governments and community organisations becoming the first major Australian arts institution to announce its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a roadmap to address the world’s most pressing challenges by 2030.

To align with our core mission to inspire and strengthen the community through everything we do, the Opera House recently launched our 2021-23 Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging strategy.

All About Women wholeheartedly embodies these values, both within the program and through a number of accessibility and inclusion initiatives.

Four Aboriginal women speak on a panel

First Nations Community

Tubowgule, the land on which the Opera House stands, has always been a place of gathering and belonging. The Opera House carries on this legacy by embracing and celebrating the culture of Australia’s First Peoples and First Nations globally.

This year’s festival is co-curated by Gomeroi/Gamilaroi/Kamilaroi yinarr (woman) and mother Dr Amy Thunig (B.Arts, M.Teach, PhD). A full-time academic in the field of education, Amy is also an author, with her first book 'Tell Me Again' released in November 2022 via UQP. Amy is a Director at Story Factory in Redfern, on various committees and councils including the AECG, and a media commentator and panellist, regularly appearing on television programs such as ABC’s The Drum.

A festival highlight, Matriarchies & Movements, co-curated by Dr Amy Thunig (she/they), features Wiradjuri and Wailwan lawyer and storyteller Teela Reid (she/her), Bidjara and Birri-Guba Juru author and academic Dr Jackie Huggins AM FAHA (she/her), and Yuin academic and researcher Dr Marlene Longbottom (she/her), in a multi-generational panel examining women’s activism through a First Nations lens. 

Three non-binary people speak on a panel

LGBTQIA+

Since opening in 1973, the Sydney Opera House has celebrated and supported the diversity of our rainbow communities, including presenting brilliant work featuring many queer artists and their stories. Reflecting its mission “to inspire, and strengthen the community, through everything we do”, the Opera House is also a regular in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, with a sparkling float to celebrate its LGBTIQ+ staff and their allies.

All About Women is proud to continue this tradition by ensuring the program features gender diverse voices. As in previous years, the festival will provide all-gender bathrooms for staff and patrons.

A group of people form part of an art procession in front of Sydney Opera House

Accessibility

The Sydney Opera House is committed to inclusivity by removing barriers for audiences, artists and staff. We place consultation with people who are deaf and disabled at the centre of our plans for our site, venues, stages, public spaces and the performances and experiences we offer. We are committed to ensuring that creatively we provide a platform and safe space for artists with a lived experience of disability, whether it be through development and mentoring, the selection of stories that are told on our stages and digital platforms or the choice of artists that perform.

We have live captioned and Auslan Interpreted talks at All About Women. A ‘quiet space’ will also be included this year, providing an environment for anyone who needs to take time out from the day and for those who have sensory sensitivities. The festival includes a Digital Education Stream that gives students access to talks in schools and a Satellite Program that gives people in regional areas access to the program. If you prefer to watch the talks online or on demand later, select sessions are available to purchase on our digital streaming platform, Stream.

This year's program includes Actually Autistic, featuring 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame (she/her), Heartbreak High star and disability activist Chloe Hayden (she/her), and research psychologist and activist Jac den Houting (they/them). Hosted by Dr Amy Thunig (she/they), they will discuss taking control, masking and mimicry when you’re actually autistic in a world only just beginning to recognise neurodivergence in women and gender-diverse people. 

More information on accessibility at the Opera House, including the best ways to travel to the site, can be found here.

We actively encourage feedback to continue to improve access.
Phone 02 9250 7777 or email accessibility@sydneyoperahouse.com

Two woman take part in a natural dyeing workshop

environmental sustainability

The Sydney Opera House has committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a roadmap to address the world’s most pressing challenges by 2030, including climate change, inequality and education. 

All About Women supports these goals through minimal printed materials, recycling signage, and offering sustainable merchandise that is printed in small quantities using sustainable materials. 

For more information about sustainability at the Opera House click here.