Banner Image: Fran Lebowitz (Photo:Brigitte Lacombe)
Image Above: CN Lester (Photo: Helen Bartlett)

 The Sydney Opera House today announced the line-up for its sixth All About Women festival on Sunday 4 March 2018. For next year’s ALL ABOUT WOMEN a stellar cast of international and local storytellers, thinkers and game-changers will explore the issues and ideas important to women in 2017, including:

  • Contrarian, humourist and Vanity Fair Contributing Editor, Fran Lebowitz who makes her first visit to Australia to discuss cultural nostalgia and lead a panel on Women in the Age of Trump, which will examine resistance to the erosion of women’s rights and discrimination against communities of colour;
  • Barbara CaineAnne SummersRebecca Walker and Nakkiah Lui – each representing the different waves of feminism – take stock a century after women achieved suffrage and discuss what’s left to fight for, and how we can all fight together;
  • Dissecting #MeToo with Tarana Burke (US-based founder of the #MeToo movement) and Tracey Spicer (veteran journalist working to unmask sexual harassment in the Australian media);

Curated for the first time by Edwina ThrosbyHead of Talks & Ideas at the Sydney Opera House(formerly the TEDxSydney Head of Curation and founder and producer of ABC TV’s Big Ideas), the 2018 program goes way beyond talks. Next year’s festival offers live podcasts and lessons in pickling and gin engineering, exploring the ability of food and ideas to bring like-minded people together.
Edwina Throsby said: “In five years, All About Women has become the festival that no self-respecting feminist can afford to miss. I have loved the challenge of bringing together this amazing collection of people to talk about some of the biggest issues that face us. At this spectacularly unique moment in our history, these conversations have never been more important. Plus, there’s gin!”

Miranda Tapsell (Photo: Johnny Diaz Nicolaidis)

Held in the lead up to International Women’s Day (8 March), All About Women 2018 spans 20+ events including six solo talks and seven panel discussions, including:

  • Bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver (whose novel The Poisonwood Bible tops Oprah’s list of favourite books), discusses her prolific writing career spanning 14 books and her advocacy for the ‘eat local’ movement;
  • Kate Bolick, bestselling author of Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own and ‘All the Single Ladies’ (The Atlantic), examines the steep decline in male employment and life prospects that now narrow a marriage-minded woman’s options;
  • Mandy Len Catron, whose book How to Fall in Love with Anyone draws on 36 laboratory-designed personal questions, inspired by psychologist Arthur Aron’s study about accelerating the intimacy of strangers;
  • Rebecca Walker, author, activist and daughter of radical feminist Alice Walker (The Color Purple), who coined the term Third Wave Feminism, turns her incisive mind to reclaiming the notion of beauty beyond physical conformity;
  • Saudi-born Manal Al Sharif, who led the successful campaign for the right to drive in 2017, and is now championing other basic civil rights for Saudi women;
  • Former political prisoner and human rights campaigner Wai Wai Nu on the Rohingyan refugee crisis in Myanmar and women as collateral damage of war;
  • Ursula Rakova and Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner, warriors for climate justice, who are fighting for almost 6000 islanders facing forced evacuation as their low-lying Pacific homelands disappear under rising seas;
  • Harriet Leigh from Archie Rose runs a workshop to design your own gin, while Alex Elliott-Howery from Cornersmith shows you everything you need to know about pickling; and
  • Dance/hip-hop collective, Haiku Hands curate a  Block Party to shake off the patriarchy on the dancefloor and close out the Festival with a bang.
Yumi Stynes

All About Women presents live recordings of several podcasts, including BuzzFeed’s Pretty For An Aboriginal, hosted by Nakkiah Lui and Miranda Tapsell; ABC’s Ladies We Need to Talk hosted by Yumi Stynes; and Deborah Frances-White’s The Guilty Feminist. Two of Australia’s pioneering women in audio, Kate Montague and Jess Bineth from Audiocraft, will present a podcasting masterclass on storytelling techniques, technical knowledge and networking.

A complete list of events and the festival calendar can be found at: