WOMADelaide, the four day open-air festival set in Adelaide's lush Botanic Park (8-11 March 2019), have announced the full programme for its 2019 Planet Talks Program, hosting some of the world’s most innovative and inspiring thinkers, activists, scientists, and leaders.
Selected as the keynote speaker is Natasha Stott Despoja AM. The Friday of WOMADelaide, Natasha will deliver her address celebrating International Women's Day. As the youngest woman to enter our Federal Parliament, Natasha is a very worthy advocate.
She led the Democrats during her tenure, and since then has become Australia's Ambassador for Women and Girls and the Chair of Our Watch – two organisations instituted to balance gender equality and combat violence against women and children.
Her keynote will be followed by a conversation between Natasha and journalist, politics commentator and media identity, Annabel Crabb.
WOMADelaide Planet Talks officially open on Saturday with national radio identities, Fran Kelly and Patricia Karvelas. They'll swap studio for scenery as they take to the stage to analyse the latest political issues from Canberra affecting our world.
Also featured on Saturday are Brian Pickles, Monica Gagliano and Alex Gaut. They will delve into the secret world of trees: communication, cognition, health, alms and war. Sounds like an episode of 'Game Of Thrones', doesn’t it?
Brian’s study of the mycelium communication networks (coined the term ‘Wood Wide Web’) has revealed new dimensions to these green giants, “a world where plants and trees share, trade, care for family, display altruism and even wage war”. Monica’s research has uncovered what she dubs ‘thinking plants’.
To read about WOMADelaide's 2019 musical programme, click here.
This is followed on Sunday with a discussion about the magic of mushrooms (no, it’s not what you’re thinking!). Gavin McIntyre, Brian Pickles, Alison Pouliot and Mike Hornblow will dissect the properties of the mushroom and explain how they could potentially save the world. No biggie.
WOMADelaide Director Ian Scobie says the “growing appeal and appetite” of audiences for Planet Talks’ discussion forum, has instigated moving the set from Speakers’ Corner into a new, purpose-built venue - Frome Park Pavilion. It’s estimated to seat around 500 patrons comfortably.
Monday will introduce what is a particularly divisive topic these days: climate change. The Planet Talks will question whether climate change can be solved without first acknowledging and catering to its tumultuous relationship with meat consumption and, as a result of that, the livestock industry.
Discussing what needs to be done and how to do it are three authorities from differing backgrounds: Less Meat Less Heat CEO Angie Plummer, CISRO Food Systems scientist Cecile Godde, and farmer/ documentary maker Matthew Evans.
Professor Quentin Beresford, author of 'Adani And The War On Coal', and David Ritter, Greenpeace CEO and author of 'The Coal Truth”' will lead an impassioned talk on the Adani mine and what has morphed into an entire saga.
Rounding off WOMADelaide’s 2019 Planet Talks is the issue of oil drilling. Norwegian oil company Equinor has proposed oil drilling and it is largely opposed. People, councils, businesses, industries, environmental and scientific organisations are all concerned about the issue.
Though the drilling would create jobs and subsequent economic benefits for the state, there’s the counter argument that presents catastrophic consequences for fisheries and tourism industries, estimating to be worth more than $1.5 billion per year. And the additional fact is it threatens The Great Australian Bight, one of the most pristine ocean environments left on Earth.
The Wilderness Society’s Peter Owen will be joined by Mirning Elder and Coloured Stone frontman Bunna Lawrie and marine scientist Jodie Rummer.