Australian Blogger Constance Hall, My Fathers Barbers' Matt Brown kick off TEDxChristchurch’s stellar 2019 lineup

Key Points

  • TEDxChristchurch and TEDxYouth@Christchurch 2019: Tūrangawaewae to be held Saturday 24 August and Sunday 25 August at the Christchurch Town Hall

  • First wave of speakers announced

  • Early bird tickets for both events expire Friday, 12 July


9 July, 2019, Christchurch, New ZealandConstance Hall: You’ll know her as the Australian blogger and Dancing With The Stars finalist whose often-viral Facebook posts are read by 1.5 million of her “Queens” around the world. 

Her books— Like a Queen and Still a Queen—give frank and soul-baring glimpses into the trials and tribulations she’s experienced as a mother of seven, wife, and social media sensation in a world that often labels women as used goods and failures. 

Matt Brown: You’ll recognise him as the Christchurch-based, internationally acclaimed barber and hair artist, author, and father of three who founded the hugely-successful My Fathers Barbers as a safe space for men to speak openly and without judgement.

Both of them have built incredible engagement within communities of their own gender in the hopes of promoting the same values for all genders: compassion, acceptance, vulnerability and healing. 

Both of them want to end to toxic masculinity, domestic violence, and sexual abuse.

And both of them are confirmed to take the stage at the much-anticipated TEDxChristchurch 2019: Tūrangawaewae event this August.

This year, the event’s organising team has joined forces with TEDxYouth@Christchurch to take over the Christchurch Town Hall for two events on 24-25 August. Over 40 speakers and performers will deliver powerful, uplifting, and emotional talks to 2,400 people across both events.

“If there was ever a year to travel to Ōtautahi for TEDxChristchurch, this is it,” says event curator and licensee Kaila Colbin. “Tūrangawaewae has been two years in the making. We’ve gone all in to make this year our most high-calibre and captivating experience ever.”

Included in the first batch of speaker announcements are two from overseas: David Clifford, a California-based educator who specialises in designing accessible, equitable learning environments at Stanford’s d.school, and Joshua Chu-Tan, a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer with a focus on age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the developed world.

From closer to home, the speaker lineup includes Aucklander and award-winning performance poet Carrie Rudzinski; New Zealand scientist and biochemist Dr Susan Kessans, who is working on what we’ll eventually eat on Mars; and the Southern Cross Irish Dancers.

Christchurch’s own born-and-raised radio and television journalist Jack Tame is the event’s master of ceremonies.

At the TEDxYouth@Christchurch event on Saturday, 24 August, attendees 25 and under will hear from the talented comedian, poet and 2019 Billy T Award nominee Ray Shipley; the young entrepreneur and Crimson Education co-founder Jamie Beaton; and Kirstie Amadio, the founder and CEO of Recovered Living, an online provider of treatment and support for eating disorders.

More speaker announcements for both events are still to come over the next month.

The events’ Tūrangawaewae theme has been woven into everything from the content of the talks to the catering to the visual identity, which has resulted in a beautiful tukutuku panel borne from the collaboration between Creative Partner Strategy Design and Cultural Partner Matapopore.

Early bird tickets are selling fast—$37.50 for the youth event on Saturday and $169 for TEDxChristchurch event on Sunday—and prices increase on Friday 12 July, when general admission tickets are released. Tickets are available at www.tedxchristchurch.com, www.tedxyouthchristchurch.com and through Eventbrite.com

Thanks to partners like Computer Concepts Limited, Davis Ogilvie, Hamilton Jet, Orbica, Environment Canterbury and Go Media, both events are set to be spectacular; tickets include all catering for the events, including a steady flow of barista coffee from Hummingbird throughout the day. Also included in tickets to Sunday’s event is the afterparty and the world-famous-in-Christchurch goody bag.

Gwen Hooper