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Speak Up! I Can’t Hear You

A panel discussion on storytelling in LGBTQIA+ communities

Presented by: Switchboard Victoria

For the past 28 years Switchboard Victoria has been listening to the stories of LGBTQIA+ communities. This panel digs deeper into the stories we tell and how they shape who we are. Featuring Lou Bennett, Christos Tsiolkas and Carolyn D’Çruz and hosted by community activist and gender transcendent diva Mama Alto. All monies raised go to Switchboard Victoria.

Panelists include:

Dr Lou Bennett: Yorta Yorta Dja Dja Wurrung, Dr Lou Bennett is a former member of the internationally acclaimed trio Tiddas. Bennett is a consummate performer, playing audiences worldwide. Bennett is a prolific songwriter/composer and during her ten years with Tiddas (1990-2000) penned some of the group’s signature songs. Bennett’s work stretches over a vast area within the Arts industry throughout the past twenty-nine years including her various roles as performer, songwriter, musical and artistic director, composer, actor, soundscape and music designer and educator. In 2006 Bennett was one of the co-founders of the Black Arm Band and contributing to all productions by the company. Bennett (Artistic director/Co-CEO) was an instrumental force in the company’s transformative journey from being a one-off ‘special project’, becoming an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander governed, not for profit major performing arts company. In Bennett’s time at the company (2006-2014) she was involved in the touring of five major productions both nationally and internationally. Bennett was a major contributor to the establishment of the company’s community engagement workshop program. Bennett completed her PhD by project at RMIT Melbourne in October 2015. Bennett’s dissertation discusses the importance and relevance of Aboriginal language retrieval, reclamation and regeneration through the medium of the Arts to community health and wellbeing and explores the importance of Indigenous epistemology, methodology and pedagogy in artistic and academic contexts. Bennett uses her own languages of Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung, extending to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages that can be retrieved, reclaimed and regenerated through songs, stories and performances. Bennett continues to research the obstacles and ethical issues related to retrieving and transmitting Aboriginal languages cross-culturally and across different generations as the McKenzie Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

Christos Tsiolkas: Christos Tsiolkas is the author of novels: Loaded, which was made into the feature film Head-On; The Jesus Man; Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award and was made into a feature film; and The Slapand Barracuda, both made into mini-series by Matchbox Productions and the ABC. He co-authored the book, Jump Cuts: An Autobiographywith Sasha Soldatow, and his short stories were published in the collection, Merciless Gods. Merciless Gods was the basis for the award-winning stage production by Little Ones Theatre Co. Christos is also a playwright, scriptwriter and essayist, and he is the film reviewer for The Saturday Paper. He is a Patron for Writers Victoria and an Ambassador for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. His new novel, Damascus, is to be published in 2019.
Christos’s monograph on Patrick White, part of the Writers on Writers series, came out last year.

Dr Carolyn D’Çruz: Carolyn has been working in gender, sexuality and diversity studies since 2007 at La Trobe University. She is author of Identity Politics in Deconstruction: Calculating with the Incalculable and is co-editor of the anthology, After homosexual: The legacies of gay liberation.

Tickets: $15 conc. / $25 full / $50 solidarity

Proudly supported by Nous, Victorian State Government and Midsumma festival.

A fundraiser for Switchboard as part of the Midsummer festival.