Dr Kate at TEDx St.Kilda

Dr Kate at TEDx St.Kilda

TED…Ideas Worth Spreading, is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. TED believes passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. TEDxStKilda is our very own locally organised TED-style event, creating an opportunity to stimulate dialogue. This year’s theme was Unravelling Humanity – Passion, Fear and Failure.

The experience of sharing my ‘Journey of Discovery’ was a journey in itself. It is much more involved process than I had thought to give a TEDxTalk. Whilst I’m used to giving lectures to university students or community presentations to numerous groups around the state, the TED style was, to be honest, a little out of my comfort zone. Being vulnerable, giving people an insight into emotions and taking them on my journey was very different!

From the very first session, where we met the other presenters and heard of their amazing and unique stories, to the actual TEDx day, was a huge learning experience. We were given mentoring about the kinds talks that received huge interest on TED. For my scientific brain, there was a formula to a successful presentation, how to engage and tell your story… but each were very different. We were paired up with an amazing mentor to coach us one-on-one throughout this experience.

So, for my very first run through, months before the actual TEDx day, I went in armed with numerous slides, which I spoke to, as I would in a lecture, but tried to make it more of a story! It was clear after this run through I had a lot of work in front of me to take people on the journey, which began in my early 20s, in just 10 minutes! With the help of my amazing mentor, Kate, and my ‘story telling’ husband we workshopped and workshopped until I could synthesize this journey that I had lived, but had never really expressed in this manner.

The TEDx crew were amazing with their comments, passion and dedication to producing such a professional event. I was very blessed to be invited to talk alongside some amazing people, all with different life stories, but each incredible. From Dr Brock Bastian talking about why we need to feel pain, Associate Professor Sheree Ciarney on empowering Aboriginal world views, to Fablice Manirakiza who told of his journey from a Tanzaniian refugee camp to the stage of the Opera House …each story was insightful and inspirational.

For me this Journey continues. I experience many ups and downs, sometimes on a daily basis! The ups… being able to share my journey via TEDx, meeting Sir David Attenborough and nurturing the next generation of amazing marine biologists… To the downs of wondering where our next funding is coming from to keep our dreams at AMMCF alive. Sure my life may be easier and less stressful if I got a ‘normal job’ but there’s no way I could achieve what I want to achieve the ‘normal’ way…. so I take the good with the bad, put positive vibes out there, keep working hard, keep producing good science, keep nurturing the exceptional next generation and try every day to make a difference…

I’ll finish off with the quote from my TEDx talk “My legacy is more than just discovering a new dolphin species, it’s to take the science and all the things we’ve learned about the Burrunan to better protect them, to talk, and educate people and the uniqueness of the dolphin, the ones living right out here under our noses, here in Port Phillip Bay. So I’ll leave you with a final thought, which happens to be the mantra of my conservation foundation…. Together we can ensure what we do today, creates a very tomorrow…so… let’s create a better tomorrow”.

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