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21 March 2019
Today is Harmony Day 🧡


This Thursday 21st March, it’s more important than ever to come together and celebrate the richness that multiculturalism brings to our schools, workplaces and communities.

Check out our Facebook and Twitter, where we’ve been sharing our speaker’s thoughts about identity and belonging, or head over to the official Harmony Day Twitter to see how Australians are celebrating today.

Image via Zoya Patel.
Zoya Patel No Country Woman

19 March 2019
Welcoming Khadija Gbla


We’re proud to announce Khadija Gbla as the newest addition to our roster! A cultural consultant, anti-FGM campaigner and human rights activist, there’s plenty more to learn about Khadija here.

Khadija Gbla

13 February 2019
Everyone Belongs 🌏

Join us in celebrating Cultural Diversity Week and Harmony Day from 16th–24th March!

Browser our full list of Harmony Day speakers here, or read more about the event in our latest eNews.

Sign up to our newsletter to hear about the upcoming events and awareness dates your organisation should be celebrating in 2019.

We are proud as punch of Bri Lee, who has won the People’s Choice Award for her debut memoir, Eggshell Skull, in the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards! Daniel Andrews has great taste – read the full list of award winners here.

The VPLA is administered by the Wheeler Centre on behalf of the Premier of Victoria each year. Categories include fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, writing for young adults, and the biennial Prize for Indigenous Writing, with prizes ranging from $15,000 all the way up to $100,000 for the overall Victorian Prize for Literature – the most valuable literary award in the country.

Bri Lee Eggshell Skull VLPA 2019

It’s an observation that certain state and federal political parties are lacking a representative balance of women in their leadership… we don’t have that problem at Speaking Out.

We are lucky to work with some of the brightest and bravest women across the media, business and STEM – and even luckier for you, many still have room in their schedule to attend your International Women’s Day celebrations.

Read more in our latest e-News. Have you signed up? Be the first to hear about new speakers, upcoming events and more.

International Women's Day speakers 2019

Journalist ✍️ Broadcaster🎙️ Diversity Champion 💪

Get to know Beverley Wang, the newest addition to the Speaking Out line-up! To learn more, head to her profile, or read/listen to these interviews from the The Guardian, Peril and Liminal.

Beverey Wang

15 January 2019
Hello 2019! 👋

Hello 2019! Though it’s only January, it’s never too early to start planning your next event – download our handy guide to the biggest celebration and awareness dates coming up this year. From Harmony Day to IDAHOBIT, we have the perfect speaker to bring your event theme to life 🎉 http://bit.ly/celebrations2019

2019 Celebration & Awareness Dates

We’ve been looking back on some of our favourite books published by our speakers in 2018 – from the personal to the political, there’s something for everyone on this list. How many have you read?

  • Always Another County (Text), Sisonke Msimang
  • Happy Never After (Scribe), Jill Stark
  • The Motherhood (Penguin), Jamila Rizvi
  • Eggshell Skull (Allen & Unwin), Bri Lee
  • Boys Will Be Boys (Allen & Unwin), Clementine Ford
  • The Football Solution (Penguin), George Megalogenis
  • No Country Woman (Hachette), Zoya Patel
  • Ditch The Dead Weight (Murdoch), Mike Rolls
Speaking Out's Year in Books 2018

Following up her 2016 manifesto #FightLikeAGirl, Clementine Ford‘s new book explores how patriarchal society is as harmful to boys and men as it is to women and girls.

Watch below to learn more!

We are so excited to announce that Nyadol Nyuon has joined our speaker list – welcome aboard!

A lawyer and community advocate, you might have seen her recently in The Age, The Saturday Paper or on ABC The Drum.

Visit her profile to find out more.

Nyadol Nyuon Speaker Refugee Lawyer Community Advocate

This Mental Health Week, it’s all about challenging ourselves to see mental illness in a more positive light. Make it your #MentalHealthPromise to start a conversation in your workplace.

Our experts on mental health can open up the dialogue with warmth, compassion, and a touch of humour. Find out more.

Speaking Out Mental Health Speakers Wellbeing

A new book from George Megalogenis‘ examines how football might help to resolve our political impasse, and Angela Pippos‘ new podcast series is kicking goals for gender equality in sport – and there’s plenty more in this special footy-themed edition of the Speaking Out newsletter!

Not signed up to our mailing list yet? Click here to stay in the loop with all things Speaking Out (and more).

George Megalogenis Speaker Australian Politics Government Policy

Author and sports journalist Angela Pippos has been a leading voice for women in sport. Tonight, she appeared on The Project to talk about a new campaign to recognise one of our greatest cricketers, Betty Wilson #BettyInBronze. Watch below!

At Speaking Out we are always on the lookout for new voices and fresh ideas. This month, we are thrilled to welcome Zoya Patel, along with the release of her debut book, No Country Woman, a collection of essays on race, identity and the diaspora (available now!).

Zoya is a Canberra-based writer, editor and communications professional with an impressive resume – founder and editor of Feminartsy, former Editor-In-Chief of Lip Magazine, and 2015 ACT Young Woman of the Year, awarded for her commitment to raising the profile of women’s voices in the media.

Over the next month she’ll be making appearances across Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, including a number of events alongside other Speaking Out faces at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival – click here for the full schedule.

Zoya Patel

It’s that time of year again! The Melbourne Writer’s Festival is almost upon us again, and there’s a whole swag of Speaking Out friends in this year’s line up. If you have been considering one of these change-makers for your next event, heading along to see them speak at the MWF is a great way to see what all the fuss is about – click here to see our program highlights.

Speaking Out faces at the Melbourne Writer's Festival

ICYMI: the immensely talented Nakkiah Lui profiled in Good Weekend Magazine.

Melbourne folks – her latest play, Blackie Blackie Brown has been extended till August 3rd at the Malthouse Theatre – catch it while you can!

Image by Jessica Hromas.
Nakkiah Lui by Jessica Hromas

Cross-cultural consultant Tasneem Chopra delivers the keynote address on inclusive leadership, diversity and unconscious bias for Multicultural Affairs Queensland’s Speaker Series – watch below!

The incredible Georgie Stone has been announced as ambassador for the 2018 AFL Pride Game – the game kicks off at 7:25pm on Saturday 9th June.

Georgie and Rebekah tell their story below:

Video via St Kilda Football Club.

Eggshell Skull is a courageous account of one woman’s experience with the legal system; detailing Bri Lee’s journey from daughter of a policeman to judge’s associate, and eventually, complainant in her own case.

It’s difficult to put into words just how important this story is at this moment, but we feel that our good friend, Clementine Ford, said it best:

“This is not an easy read. But it’s a reflection of the reality we live in. I cannot recommend this book more highly, particular to those who are not fully aware of just how unfair the legal system is for complainants. If you struggle to understand what rape culture is, this book will give you a clarity that might shock you. How can there be justice for people in a system mostly designed and prosecuted by people for whom sexual assault and rape will never be more than a theoretical equation?

If you have ever uttered the phrase, ‘There’s no such thing as a rape culture’, you need to read this book. If you believe that ‘women lie all the time’ just to get revenge or out of guilt over sex, you need to read this book. If you think men are being unfairly accused by women and that the system is predisposed against them ‘because feminism’, you need to read this book.”

Listen to Bri discuss her journey with Life Matters’ Amanda Smith here.

Eggshell skull cover

Looking for a show to binge this week that won’t interfere with your bedtime? Look no further than Homecoming Queens, a new project from multi-talented Michelle Law.

The web series has 7 episodes, each running between 10-15 minutes, meaning you can feasibly feast on the entire season in one evening without sacrificing your 8 hour sleep – yes please!

Head over to SBS On Demand to start watching.

Image via Screen Australia.

Today is International Women’s Day, so of course, let’s shout it out!

This year’s theme, #PressforProgress, demonstrates that across the world women are making positive gains day by day. From moving towards equality in sport, to championing the brilliant work of women in literature, we are thrilled to add the Speaking Out voice in supporting all women to live freely and wholly.

Today we would also like to especially shout out to our friends at #codelikeagirl  who are working with Vodafone to help girls advance in STEM.

We would also like to acknowledge the efforts of women past to #PressforProgress. We can never forget the efforts of our forebears (including the Suffragettes pictured) in bringing us to the point we are at now.

As per previous years, Speaking Out has organised women to speak today across the country, and we with them, the event organisers and all who hear them speak, the best.

To all our speakers, clients and friends who are championing International Women’s Day today, we salute you!

A huge congratulations are in order for Ruth Clare who has taken out the 2017 Asher Literary Award for her memoir, Enemy.

The $12,000 prize is awarded to biennially to a female author whose work carries an anti-war theme. This year there were two winners, with Libby Hathorn’s A Soldier, a Dog and a Boy, sharing the honour.

To read more about this year’s winners, head to the Australian Society of Authors.

23 October 2017
Introducing Eddie Ayres


We are so excited to introduce our newest speaker Eddie Ayres, a musical adventurer, teacher, writer, broadcaster and transgender man.

Read more about Eddie here.

Have you spotted the one of the art trams yet? We’ve been lucky enough to spy one from our office window in Brunswick St!

The Melbourne Festival is underway and there’s still plenty of events to check out! Head to the website for the full program: www.festival.melbourne/2017/whats-on/see-all-events/

Speaking Out’s very own Jonathon Holloway is this year’s artistic director – to learn more about the man behind the magic, visit his profile: www.speakingout.com.au/find-a-speaker/author/jonathan-holloway/

Speaking Out strongly supports Marriage Equality. We encourage everyone to have the conversations that will help achieve a YES vote in the upcoming postal survey. #VoteYes

We can’t believe how many Speaking Out faces are in the line up for the 2017 Melbourne Writers Festival!

Keep an eye out for:

  • YassminAbdel-Magied
  • Abdi Aden
  • David Astle
  • Clare Bowditch
  • Dr Susan Carland
  • Sean Dooley
  • Clementine Ford
  • Judy Horacek
  • Anna Krien
  • Benjamin Law
  • Celeste Liddle
  • George Megalogenis
  • Sian Prior
  • Alice Pung
  • Jamila Rizvi
  • Sami Shah
  • Tracey Spicer
  • Sally Warhaft

Check out the full program here.

In need of some mid-week inspiration? Check out this clip of the lovely Tanseem telling her story on the web series Her Words.

27 July 2017
Introducing Jamila Rizvi


Jamila Rizvi is an author, presenter and political commentator. Described as one of the preeminent voices of young Australian women online, Jamila injects her own special brand of humour, irreverence and authenticity into the public debate. Jamila’s first book Not Just Lucky, which is a career manifesto for millennial women, was published by Penguin in June 2017. Welcome to the team!

See Jamila in action at her recent appearance on ABC’s Q&A:

Tracey Spicer is an author, journalist and television presenter who has anchored programs for ABC TV, Network Ten, Channel 9 and Sky News over the past 30 years. Renowned for the courage of her convictions, passion for social justice, and commitment to equality, she also has a wicked sense of humour.

Tracey’s essays have appeared in dozens of books, including Women of Letters, She’s Having a Laugh, and Bewitched & Bedevilled: Women Write the Gillard Years. Her first book, The Good Girl Stripped Bare, was published by HarperCollins in April.

We are thrilled to have Tracey on board and look forward to sending her to your next event!

We cannot wait for the return of Benjamin Law’s hilarious #TheFamilyLaw on SBS Australia! Season 2 drops Thursday, 15 June at 8:30pm. Save the date!

Sammy J has the perfect cure for your mid-week blues – tune into ABC iview at 5pm today to catch the first episode of his new series, ‘Sammy J’s Democratic Party’!

We are always on the look out for talented and interesting speakers, and we could not be more pleased to welcome these two on board!

Eddie Perfect is one of Australia’s most diverse, respected and prolific writer/composer/performers, having made his mark in the fields of comedy, music theatre composition, playwriting, and screenwriting – just to name a few!  Perhaps best known for his portrayal of Mick Holland on Ten’s Offspring, a judge on Australia’s Got Talent, and as the new host of Play School, Eddie has won multiple awards for his work both as a performer and a writer.

Jason Ball is the 2017 Young Australian of the Year for Victoria, best known as the pioneering LGBTI advocate who in 2012 became the first male Aussie Rules footballer at any level of the game to publicly come out as gay in the national media. Jason used this platform to launch a campaign to challenge homophobia in sport and drive cultural change within the AFL.

We look forward to sending these two your way very soon!

After many years of hard work, Dr Waleed Aly has completed his PhD, with the paper titled Towards a structuration theory of global terrorism.

Waleed is a politics lecturer at the Monash School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, and working primarily within the Global Terrorism Research Centre (GTReC).


Image credit: Monash University
Dr Waleed Aly. Image credit: Monash University

We love sending speakers out into the world to share important messages. To all our Speaking Out friends, Happy International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia, and thanks Daniel Witthaus for the pic! 💛💚💙💜#IDAHOT

A great read from news.com.au on Susan Carland and her new book, Fighting Hislam: Women, Faith and Sexism:

“I want young Muslims — boys and girls — to know there is no contradiction between being attached to your faith and wanting to fight sexism. Sexism doesn’t need to be a part of our religious identity and history and the texts show that and you need to know that too”.

To read the full article, click here.

At Speaking Out we are have the privilege of working with some fearlessly fab women – catch up on the latest in our newsletter – We love women who Speak Out!

To stay in the loop on all things Speaking Out, subscribe here.

The Speaking Out team went along to see the inimitable Sami Shah perform his fantastic show, ‘Punching Down‘ last night – and we would absolutely recommend you do too!

Sami is new to the Speaking Out website. As a writer, comedian and broadcaster, Sami’s talents are varied and seemingly never ending.

His Melbourne International Comedy Festival show is witty, political, a bit cheeky, and laugh-out-loud hilarious. Get down to the always- fabulous Malthouse Theatre and catch it before it ends on the 23rd of this month.

Visit the MICF website to secure your spot. Speaking Out also recommends shows bysome of our favourites, Anne Edmonds, Tommy Dasalo, and Sammy J. 


Did you all catch this great piece by Jill Stark on standing with our LGBTIQ children? We couldn’t agree more, Jill.

Safe schools for ALL Australian kids.


A glorious read from one of our fantastic speakers, Melbourne Festival Artistic Director, Jonathan Holloway on his recent trip to Chile. What a treat!


A fantastic article by our Dr. Susan Carland on the media’s response to Yassmin Abdel-Magied and her Q&A appearance last week – click here to read.



Yassmin has teamed up with Junkee following last night’s heated Q&A discussion to further explain her perspective on Islam and Sharia:


In case you missed it, here’s the must-see moment from last night’s Q&A – Yassmin Abdel-Magied serving some truths to Senator Jacqui Lambie about the difference between faith and culture:

Our fabulous Angela Pippos just released her book, Breaking the Mould – Taking a Hammer to Sexism in Sport. We are really looking forward to reading this one, plus it’s perfectly timed with the recent women’s footy that we have all been loving.

Buy your copy from our friends at Readings.

Welcome back to 2017! Catch up on what’s new at Speaking Out via our monthly newsletter.

Click here to subscribe!

Did you all catch Waleed Aly’s Trump breakdown on The Project on Friday night? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us!

Our hearts are with all those being affected so far, as well every person currently seeking asylum here in Australia #stopthemuslimban

25 January 2017

Our offices will be open this Thursday, 26th January to stand in support of the movement to Change the Date. We recognise that Australia can not celebrate as one country until our National Day is held on a date that does not mark the dispossession of our First People. #changethedate

Speaking Out acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.


Here at Speaking Out we are always adding fresh and fabulous speakers to our list.

We are very pleased to now be working with the following women, who are all high-achievers within their respective fields. From feminism and well being to science and technology – we have the perfect speaker to fit your next event or program.

Dr Kate Raynes-Goldie

Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie is a future-oriented thinker, game designer, researcher and innovator who has been helping organisations understand and harness key technology issues and trends for nearly 15 years.

 Kate will be in NSW in late November for ACS’ Digital Disruptor Awards as a finalist for the ICT Professional Achiever of the Year, and will be available for workshops and speaking engagements on the following topics:

  • Virtual, augmented and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR)
  • Diversity and women in STEM/STEAM
  • Innovation and disruptive technologies
  • Using games for education and social impact
  • Understanding gamers and the games industry

To see Kate in action, click here.

Judy Horacek

Judy Horacek is an award winning Australian cartoonist, children’s book illustrator and writer, known for her wonderful sense of humour and her strong sense of equality and social justice.

Topics include:

  • Do feminists have a sense of humour?
  • The simplicity of cartoons versus the complexity of ideas
  • You have to laugh or you’d cry – the serious business of being funny
  • Cartoons for social justice
  • Trying to change the world
  • Laughing on the left
  • My life as a freelancer
  • Where is the Green Sheep? The making of a children’s classic

Judy recently ran a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign on Pozible, which saw her raise $20,000 towards publishing her next book. We can’t wait!

See a preview of some of her gorgeous illustrations here.

Jill Stark

Jill Stark is an author, award-winning journalist and social commentator. Her best-selling memoir High Sobriety: My Year without Booze (2013), was shortlisted for the Kibble Literary Awards and was a finalist in the Walkley Book of the Year.

Jill’s speaking topics include:

  • High Sobriety: My Year Without Booze
  • Binge drinking culture in Australia
  • Alcohol-free dating
  • LGBTI issues
  • Gender equality and feminism
  • Sex education and teen sexual health
  • Mental health
  • Body image and eating disorders
  • Public health
  • Media

Welcome aboard!

Here at Speaking Out we are thrilled by the release of Clementine Ford’s fierce debut, Fight Like A Girl!

Her following boomed after calling out Channel Seven’s Sunrise for victim blaming on Facebook, and Clementine has since become known for her fearlessness in the face of trolls, unapologetically exposing online misogynists wherever they lurk and for championing the right for women to take up space, both online and in real life.

Launched at Melbourne’s Athenaeum to a sold out crowd on Monday night, Fight Like A Girl is set to become an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be. Described as a call to arms for all women, Clementine urges her readers to rediscover the fury suppressed by a society that still considers feminism a threat. Let’s join the fight!

To read Clementine’s in conversation with the ABC’s Julia Baird, click here.

In case you hadn’t noticed the Olympics are on! Children and Adults alike are glued to the TV cheering on their favourite athletes to push themselves that little bit further to achieve their dreams.  We’ve seen some highs, we’ve witnessed lows, but what does a gold medal actually mean at the end of the day?

Lauren Burns, the winner of the first Olympic gold medal for Taekwondo, was recently interviewed by Peter Wilmoth for The Weekly Review, about her life post winning gold at the 2000 Olympics. Lauren hadn’t really thought about how the win would affect her life.

“When Lauren Burns won gold in taekwondo at the Sydney Games in 2000, people told her it would change her life forever. ‘But I never really thought what that might mean,’ she says.

It didn’t take long to find out, and it was all good. The win supercharged her career speaking in schools and in the corporate world. Her bookings increased 100-fold.

‘I retired straight away, which meant I could speak anywhere, anytime,’ says Lauren, 42. ‘I was running around the country. I reckon it took about five years until I slowed down and took a breath.'”

It’s an impressive achievement and one that Lauren speaks passionately about as a motivational and keynote speaker. She is down to earth, yet driven and her story will inspire teams to achieve and learn how to effectively goal set.

Get in touch if you’d like further information on booking Lauren to speak at an event.

To read the article in full, visit: http://www.theweeklyreview.com.au/meet/australian-olympic-champions-how-gold-changed-their-lives/#sthash.GqvU1IFh.dpuf

Sammy J’s has us in stitches with his new show Playground Politics. His quick wit, teamed with the skills gleaned from all his school visits, through our sister agency Booked Out, lends for the perfect mix. We don’t know whether to laugh or cry – perhaps we’ll laugh until we cry.

Staff pick so far is this fantastic episode with Adam Bandt!

9 May 2016
Gold for Waleed!


Congratulations to Waleed Aly on the well deserved win last night. The Best Personality on Australian Television, and his speech last night really showcased that! It was funny, on point and thought provoking – every thing we have come to love and expect from Waleed Aly.

Buzzfeed have compiled a great list of some of his best work on the Project, but of course his abilities extend well beyond this.


23 March 2016
Fantastic Feedback!


We love receiving feedback and it’s even better when it’s so glowing. This is in response to Clementine Ford’s talk during the week of International Women’s Day, for the Transport Workers Union in QLD.

“The event was very simply a raging success. Over 180 people attended, a majority of women but some good men as well, from the ALP but also surprisingly to those who have organised ALP events before – over a third of the attendees were not ALP members.

The significance of this should not be overlooked. We have established networks to whom we  promote our events and for special events we might attract a handful of non ALP members.

Such was the appeal of Clementine that we had extraordinary interest in our online event (over 800 people were interested) and approx 60 people not affiliated with the ALP chose to attend an ALP event – quite unheard of.

Clementine is simply fantastic – gracious, warm, genuine, funny, fierce and intelligent. Her insights were striking, her message was clear and the audience could not get enough of her with some waiting over 45 minutes after the event for a chat or a photo.

Thank you for help in bringing Clementine to Brisbane.”

We are very excited to announce our newest speaker: Justin Dry, Co-founder and CEO of Vinomofo.

A multi award winning entrepreneur, Justin is a vibrant and inspirational speaker. He shares the many lessons he has learned in the building of Vinomofo. Launched in April 2011 from a little garage in Adelaide, Vinomofo has grown quickly and profitably to a run rate of over $50m revenue, 400,000 members, and a team of 100.

Justin is passionate about providing his team with a great working environment. He is experienced in cultivating positive workplace cultures and management strategies, based around the driving principals of being human. He is also a strong believer in the importance of outstanding customer service and harnessing the power of your customer base to promote your product, by developing your consumers into a community of prosumers.

Head over to Justin’s profile page to find out more about his session topics.

Maggie Hamilton appeared on Four Corners last night to contribute to a conversation about Australian teenagers, and how one in four of them say they worry about the future constantly.

When anxiety and depression rates in young people is so high, Four Corners asked, why are our teenagers so stressed ?

Essential viewing for teachers, parents and any one who works with teens.
Click on this link to view the program.

Missed Dr Arne on Insight last week? Never fear, below is a link to the program and an article Dr Arne wrote on the subject. The program took a look at the transition from boy to man, and the many diverse, fascinating, dangerous and sometimes painful rituals which mark this transition.

Jenny Brockie spoke to a range of males, including Dr Arne Rubinstein about what helped shape their identity as a man, and whether boys need rituals to successfully transition into manhood.

Check it out here.


Alice Zaslavksy AKA Alice In Frames Joins Speaking Out.

Kitchen Whiz, MasterChefer and believer in the power of ‘yes’ Alice Zaslavsky, dropped by Speaking Out HQ and within minutes we knew it was meant to be!

Alice’s passion is contagious. As a former Middle School teacher and current TV host, she is able to entertain, encourage and enthuse any audience as a keynote or MC.

Alice’s ultimate mission is to use food to engage and excite the next generation of eaters, turning them into curious cooks and even curiouser individuals. Hosting popular children’s game-show Kitchen Whiz, founding teachers’ reference hub FOOD-ED.com, continuing her residency as “Edible Adventurer” at Melbourne’s iconic Prahran Market, and traversing the country as food-fest-MC-extraordinaire means that Alice is making this Mission Quite Possible.