Best of 2015: Ideas, discussions & octopus videos

My 2015 was full of really interesting ideas & thought-provoking talks. Here’s some of my favourite presentations, videos and discussions from the year (+ me freaking out about an octopus armageddon).

Feminism & gender equality

48 subtly sexist things women hear in a lifetime
I really like this video because it shows the invisible side of discrimination, the injustice that often go unnoticed because it’s not “real sexism” (aka something in your face like someone yelling abuse at a woman).

This kick-ass Facebook post
Love this one too for similar reasons. It captures all the contradictions and messed up things that are said without a second thought, because it’s all a ‘normal’ part of society.

If Hermione were the main character in Harry Potter
Hermione: The girl who gave literally zero fucks. A clever re-imagining of Harry Potter (with a fair bit of creative licence).

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin
Love these two in Grace & Frankie and it was a treat to find out they’re great friends in real life. They chat about the importance of women friends, gender norms within our society and Jane Fonda goes off on a tangent about fossil fuels.

I really like the observation of female friendships as face-to-face and male friendships side-to-side  and the related commentary about a patriachal culture that teaches men that emotions are girly and how that’s super problematic.


Racism, multiculturalism and migration

One of the hot button topics of 2015 was Islam and terrorism and there was plenty of bullshit on the internet linking the two together. So much confusion as to whether Islam is a country, race or the religion that it is. On the other hand I saw some EXCELLENT comments kicking these assumptions to the curb and addressing the seriousness of the issue. Like this one by Sofia Ali-Khan.

2015 was also the year that EVERYONE had an opinion on Adam Goodes, but it seemed like nine times out of ten a higher priority was placed on preventing bruised egos rather than addressing the discrimination and racism that exists within Australian culture. Thankfully there were some great pieces that called this out. See here and here.

Reconciliation Week lecture with Dr Ros Kidd
This talk made me quite angry. I had no idea that stolen wages was a thing and hearing about the completely unacceptable and unjust underpayment of Aboriginal people that is still unresolved was a shock. Disgusting.

Professor Hilary Charlesworth on human rights and citizenship
This was an excellent, excellent talk about citizenship, counter terrorism, human rights, democracy and law. Prof Charlesworth discusses complex issues in a way that makes sense… and she’s not afraid to share her opinion. So good.


People & society

Johann Hari: Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong
I love TED talks and this was one that stuck in my mind. Such a fascinating look at drug addiction: how the current approach of criminalising drug users doesn’t work and why there’s a need to talk both about individual recovery, and more importantly, social recovery.

Designing deliberation showcase 
This was a really interesting line up of speakers talking about community engagement and public participation. Lots of theory and examples and certainly lots of food for thought.

  • Dr Will Friedman – President of Public Agenda (USA).
  • Professor Thad Kousser – Professor of Political Science at the University of California and 2015 Fulbright Flinders University Distinguished Chair in American Political Science (USA).
  • Dr Fiona Kerr – Systems and Neural Complexity Specialist at the University of Adelaide.


Things to listen to 

I’m late to the game, but oh my gosh podcasts are so good! It’s not so much a best of 2015 list, rather a ‘best of December’, but I’m loving Chat 10 Looks 3 with Annabel Crabb & Leigh Sales and Wilosophy with Wil Anderson.

I’ve also, at the old age of 25, started listening to Radio National on my drive to and from work. I love it. Such interesting discussions.


Things to read

Confession: I didn’t read for pleasure in 2015. Not a single book. Despite signing up for Goodreads at the start of the year and filling my book shelf with the best intentions, the closest I got to reading was uni textbooks.

That being said, I did attend my friend Manal Younus’ wonderful book launch. Rest assured, my signed (yay!) copy of Reap is already being enjoyed in 2016. She has an incredible ability to transform words into powerful poetry – find it here.



Dog unwraps his human for Christmas
Best present everrrr. This dog loves life.

Octopus = bad ass
So, I’m slightly obsessed with octopuses. Long story short, I watched a doco about them whilst very jet-lagged in Hong Kong a couple of years ago and now I’m convinced they’re going to take over the world.

They’re incredibly intelligent creatures and what’s really freaky is that they have no way of passing down knowledge from generation to generation because Mama Octopus dies while protecting her eggs.  Just imagine what would happen if they a) could pass on info and b) worked together.


I’m quite allergic to cats, but when my friend’s cat had kittens even I wanted cuddles.


And that’s 2015. Let’s see what 2016 has to offer.

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