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all about women 2023

Sydney Opera House's centrepiece talks festival about gender, justice, and equality

Sydney – Tuesday 17 January, 2023. The Sydney Opera House today announced an extraordinary line-up of 25 events featuring more than 60 international and Australian artists, thinkers, and storytellers for the 11th All About Women festival, its centrepiece talks festival about gender, justice, and equality. Expanding to a three-day program for the first time, the vibrant annual festival will feature lively in-person and online conversations and events across Saturday 11, Sunday 12, and Monday 13 March.

Closing the week of International Women’s Daythis year’s festival is co-curated by Jamila Rizvi (she/her), Dr Amy Thunig (she/they), Jane Caro AM (she/her), and the Opera House’s Head of Talks & Ideas Chip Rolley (he/him). Through inspiring conversations, panels, workshops and performances, the big ideas important to women, gender diverse people, and their allies will be explored, from justice and power, to the place of feminism in pop culture, and the expanding lens of intersectionality in the movement towards true equality.

The All About Women 2023 line-up includes:

  • Author of The New York Times best-selling memoir I'm Glad My Mom DiedJennette McCurdy (she/her) in an Australian exclusive event on growing up in the spotlight, triumphing over trauma, and finding humour and resilience on her road to independence;
  • Irreverent American essayist and author of Cult ClassicSloane Crosley (she/her) bringing her wit and effervescent satire to the stage in conversation with journalist Maddison Connaughton about the indignities of modern dating
  • 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame (she/her), Heartbreak High star and disability activist Chloe Hayden (she/her), and research psychologist and activist Dr Jac den Houting (they/them), with festival co-curator Dr Amy Thunig on 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; 
  • Advocate for sexual assault law reform Saxon Mullins (she/her), criminal lawyer, author and sexuality education advocate Katrina Marson (she/her), and Yorta Yorta woman and survivor advocate Amanda Morgan (she/her), alongside lawyer and author Bri Lee (she/her) in a session examining whether justice can ever really be served in sexual abuse claims when the system itself retraumatises complainants;
  • Award-winning Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy (she/her), Pakistani author and journalist Fatima Bhutto (she/her), Mununjali Yugambeh and South Sea Islander Professor Chelsea Watego (she/her), and Dharug lawyer Karen Iles (she/her) in an exploration and celebration of women fighting for their rights and their lives across the world;
  • Nyungar and Yamatji woman and Australia’s first Indigenous and bisexual Bachelorette Brooke Blurton (she/her), comedian, author and Just The Gist podcaster Rosie Waterland (she/her), and Gamilaroi and Torres Strait Islander writer and actor Nakkiah Lui (she/her), in a fun discussion about our voyeuristic search for love and obsession with reality TV;
  • An inspiring Opening Night Gala of storytelling, poetry, dance, and music featuring acclaimed actor, writer, and theatre maker Eryn Jean Norvill (she/her) giving voice to our ongoing rage, passion, and hope, the “mother of African contemporary dance” Germaine Acogny (she/her), Iranian-Australian singer and instrumentalist Gelareh Pour (she/her), and Fatima Bhutto. Hosted by ARIA award-winning musician and author Clare Bowditch (she/her);
  • Gelareh Pour will also join multi-award-winning scholar and poet Dr Saba Vasefi (she/her), and author and journalist Shokoofeh Azar (she/her) in an inspiring panel hosted by Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies scholar Kylie Moore-Gilbert (she/her) on the women-led revolution in Iran, the power of protest, and personal experience of Iran’s morality police;
  • Wadjanbarra Yidinji, Jirrbal, and African-American former model Sasha Kutabah Sarago (she/her), fashion editor, author and queer rights activist Deni Todorovič (they/them), comedian and broadcaster Tanya Hennessy (she/her), disability rights campaigner Elly Desmarchelier (she/her), and body love activist and podcaster April Hélène-Horton aka The Bodzilla (she/her), sharing personal stories of fetishization, fads, and the failure of the body positivity movement to be genuinely inclusive;
  • Author and proud feminist Clementine Ford (she/her), writer and historian Dr Yves Rees (they/them), and Indigenous rights activist and Bundjalung author Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts (she/her), in a conversation led by performer Milo Hartill (she/her) about the burden of being declared a unofficial spokesperson and the limitations of movements led by a single voice;
  • Clementine Ford will also explore the demonisation of single women, covering 1,000 years of history in one hour, in a celebration of ‘Spinsters’ that inspires laughter and fury in equal parts;
  • 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), with Butchulla and Gubbi Gubbi community engagement specialist Courtney Fewquandie (she/her), in this multi-generational panel examining women’s activism through a First Nations lens;
  • Gamilaroi journalist and television presenter Brooke Boney (she/her), editor, author, and journalist Gina Rushton (she/her), and gynaecologist and fertility specialist Dr Natasha Andreadis (she/her), led by award-winning podcaster and ABC journalist Sana Qadar (she/her), exploring the mindfield of baby making in the modern world;
  • Author, commentator, and disruptor of the patriarchy Mona Eltahawy leading a vibrant conversation inspired by her FEMINIST GIANT newsletter, about how feminism can and should benefit all, with special guests including writer, filmmaker, and historian Santilla Chingaipe (she/her), and Gunai/Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri, and Yorta Yorta television writer Nayuka Gorrie (they/them);
  • Author, podcaster and Professor of social inequities, behavioural and data scientist Pragya Agarwal (she/her) with social psychologist and Associate Professor at UNSW Sydney Lisa Williams (she/her) unpacking the role gendered emotions play in our lives;
  • Founder of Doctors Against Violence Towards Women and psychiatrist Karen Williams (she/her), Pragya Agarwal, and Karen Iles (she/her), with festival co-curator Jane Caro, on shedding the shame so often imposed on women and girls;
  • Entrepreneur, TV presenter, author, and podcaster Lillian Ahenkan aka FlexMami (she/her) and festival co-curator Jamila Rizvi, joining Walkley-winning journalist and TV presenter Jan Fran (she/her) to discuss the Girlboss movement, empowerment and the joy of saying no;
  • Legendary Australian artist Wendy Whiteley (she/her) with acclaimed journalist and author of A Year with Wendy Whiteley Ashleigh Wilson (he/him) in conversation about her life, art, passions, and late husband Brett Whiteley;
  • Presenter and acclaimed podcaster Linda Marigliano (she/her) hosting a special live experience around her podcast Tough Love, exploring the tough decisions and big transitions we face in life with her trademark irreverence and humour, featuring special guests including journalist Kumi Taguchi; and
  • The recipients of the All About Women 2023 mentorship for diverse emerging writers Margretta Sowah (she/her) and Uppma Virdi (she/her) in a live reading with mentors critically-acclaimed editor and writer Winnie Dunn (she/her) and esteemed journalist and young adult author Dr Sarah Ayoub (she/her).

All About Women will also feature interactive workshops:

  • Bindi Bosses Dance – a fun session for 8 to 12 year-olds that encourages self-empowerment and body positivity through movement and dance. Parents and guardians can drop kids off at this inclusive workshop, while they attend another session at the festival;
  • Play with Clay  – an opportunity to create, sculpt, and connect in a hand building ceramics workshop led by Clay Sydney; and
  • Introduction to Printmaking – learn how to print greeting cards and art motifs with a linocut block in a fun and hands-on class run by SilvesterArt’s Sara Buchner.

As previously announced, All About Women is headlined by legendary riot grrrls and feminist icons Bikini Kill, who will speak on Sunday 12 March ahead of their one-night-only concert on Monday 13 March in the Concert Hall.

On Sale and Event Details

What:      All About Women
Saturday 11 – Monday 13 March 2023
Where:    Various venues, Sydney Opera House
On Sale:  12pm, Thursday 19 January 2023
Price:       From $33 + booking fee for on-site events (multipacks also available)
                 From $15 for digital livestreams (multipack of nine talks also available)

For media information, please contact:

Amity Harrold
Senior Communications Manager
0487 573 797

Kelly Geater
Communications Specialist
0452 289 930