Featured News TEDxJCUCairns – Tropovation

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Mon, 28 Aug 2017

TEDxJCUCairns – Tropovation

Tropovation is the theme for this year’s TEDxJCUCairns, featuring short presentations by James Cook University researchers and community members, about innovation in the tropics.

TEDxJCUCairns will be hosted by The Cairns Institute at James Cook University in Smithfield to be held on Saturday 2nd September.

“Each year TEDxJCUCairns brings together inspiring speakers to share their ideas, expertise and insight from the tropics,” Cairns Institute Director Professor Stewart Lockie said.

“What this year’s speakers have in common is that they are working innovatively and passionately with the challenges and resources presented by life in the tropics.”

Under the TED guidelines, the live audience is limited to 100 people, but organiser Jennifer McHugh says there are still some tickets available, and all the presentations will be recorded and made available online after the event.

“Hosting a TEDx event is a two-step process – first we aim to create a great day, where the audience can hear from local thinkers and doers. Then we work online, showcasing our speakers, local ideas and achievements to the global online audience,” she said.

Those attending this year’s event will enjoy local produce for lunch and at tea breaks, and will be entertained by harpist Natalia Mann and the Yarrabah Brass Band.

This year’s speakers are:

·      Gugu Yalanji singer-songwriter Deline Briscoe, a principal artist in the Black Arm Band.

·      Slam poet, writer and passionate language teacher Brenton Clutterbuck.

·      Amy Eden, who works towards positive change in the ‘M suburbs’ of Cairns, helping the community to overcome tragedy and disadvantage.

·      Drone expert and founder of She Flies, Karen Joyce.

·      Dan Kaggelis, a teacher with a passion for reforming education to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

·      Advance Queensland Community Digital Champion Julie-Ann Lambourne.

·      Andreas Kupz, whose research career has taken him from Berlin to Melbourne, and now to Cairns, where he is working on tuberculosis.

·      Poet, songwriter, singer, actor and high school student Zoe Pertiwi.

·      Michael Smout, whose research focuses on both the positives and negatives of our relationship with parasites.

·      Nine-year-old Molly Steer, who is campaigning to keep straws out of tuckshops, and out of the ocean.

·      Krista Watkins, whose family business is based on scientific research, farming knowledge, innovation and banana power.

Tickets are $99 for the full day and meals, and are available at


About TED

TED is a non-profit organization devoted to ‘ideas worth spreading’. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com.

About TEDx

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. These are branded TEDx, where x = independently organised TED event.


Jennifer McHugh