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Soheil Abedian

Chairman, Sunland Group

Soheil Abedian is founder and chairman of listed company the Sunland Group, based in Queensland. Established in 1983, Sunland has become a pre-eminent property company in Australia with operations in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.

Born in Persia in 1949, Soheil's upbringing and contact with a variety of cultures and philosophies have contributed to his inspirational outlook on life. After graduating from the University of Graz in 1979 with a Masters Degree in Architecture, Soheil immigrated to Australia in 1981.

His first project under the Sunland banner was to design a luxury home in Surfers Paradise. His unique design abilities became obvious later in the 80s with the design of Sunland?s first high rise Malibu and later on in many landmark developments such as Palazzo Versace, Q1 The World?s Tallest Residential Tower and Circle on Cavill in Queensland, and Yve and Balencea in Victoria.

High on his priority is his philanthropic involvement with the community. Soheil is involved with many charitable organizations, including the Leukaemia Foundation, the Salvation Army education support.


Chris Eigeland

Australian Young Innovator of the Year

A serial entrepreneur and internationally focused lawyer. At the age of 24 Chris has founded and run three international enterprises, each addressing a unique social challenge. In the wake of the devastating Haiti earthquake, he founded The Schoolbag, a not-for-profit that has distributed thousands of primary education supply kits to Haiti, South Africa and Vietnam, and now contributes to micro-financing local supply chains.

Currently, Chris is the co-founder and Director of GO1 ? a technology company that produces the award winning Aduro elearning solution, and GoCatalyze data management platform for enterprise and social impact clients. Finally, he is a founding non-executive Director of Global Voices, a not-for-profit that provides pathways and fellowships for young Australians to contribute to international diplomacy.

Chris graduated in 2013 from Griffith University with First Class Honours in Law, holding a position on the University Council. He has been recognised as a `Global Shaper? by the World Economic Forum, is an ambassador for the international youth leadership network One Young World, and has been a regular contributor at international forums such as the G20 and United Nations on issues relating to innovation and global challenges. In 2014, Chris was named Australian Young Innovator of the Year, and has previously been acknowledged as a Prime Minister?s Australia-Asia Scholar, Queensland Young Volunteer of the Year and one of Queensland?s 50 Best and Brightest.


Tim Gibson


Born in Melbourne and raised in Brisbane, Australia, Tim Gibson has many loves. Drumming, skiing, body surfing, exploring, reading, sharing a smile. But one has been at the forefront of his mind since being a little boy; flying. Getting his solo pilot?s licence before he could drive a car, Tim always set his sights on flying for the Australian Defence Force. Born with long-sightedness, this dream, the only thing he ever wanted to do, was turned upside down. Five appeals to the defence force, even after passing all other military tests, couldn?t help him achieve his dream. Though unsuccessful with his life long ambition, his preparation for flying for the air force plus a rush of luck has Tim now preparing to go beyond what he thought was never a possibility; a trip into space as the youngest astronaut in Australia's history.


Mark von Itzstein

Director, Institute for Glycomics

Professor Mark von Itzstein is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and a joint recipient of the prestigious Australia Prize (1996). He is one of the leading scientists responsible for the design and synthesis of the anti-influenza drug, Relenza?, which has been approved for the treatment of influenza worldwide since 1999. This discovery is considered to be a significant outcome and flagship in glycotherapeutic drug development in the last century and has further consolidated the world platform of using carbohydrates as drugs and carbohydrate-recognising proteins as drug discovery targets.

Professor von Itzstein is the Director of Griffith University?s Institute for Glycomics which is the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere and only one of a few in the world. The Institute?s researchers collaborate with leading scientists around the globe to build a critical mass around carbohydrate-based research in areas of clinically significant diseases. Professor von Itzstein has a major research effort in the area of drug discovery focused on influenza and other viruses, drug-resistant bacteria and cancer. He has international standing in glycoscience and drug discovery particularly in the area of anti-infective drug discovery.


Wendy Moyle

Director, Centre for Health Practice Innovation

Professor Wendy Moyle is the Director of the Centre for Health Practice Innovation (HPI), a research program in the Griffith Health Institute. She leads an evidence-based practice for the older people research agenda and is internationally renowned for her research on the use of social robots and assistive technologies to assist people living with dementia and their carers.

She is also a research leader in a National Dementia Collaborative Research Centre ? Consumers and Carers, where the focus of her work is on the impact of social engagement and quality of life for people with dementia, families and carers. Her focus on people with dementia and families can also be seen in her role on the management board in the Queensland Dementia Training and Study Centre. She is a member of the World Health Organization Consultation Group on the Classification of Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms in Neurocognitive disorders for ICD-11 and a Board of Directors member of the International Psychogeriatric Association.


Sarah Richmond

Researcher and Documentary Maker

An obsession born from fear and fascination gives way to an unexpected TV persona in Sarah Richmond. Born on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria Sarah?s fascination with sharks began when she was just 10 years old. Fast forward 15 years and she finds herself in Queensland where she completed her Bachelor of Science with a major in Marine Biology and a First Class Honours.

By day Sarah?s research sees her exploring the deep unknown parts of our ocean with suspended cameras. Come the weekend, Sarah?s hobby takes her below the surface where she seeks some face-to-face time with some of Australia?s resident sharks. She does this under the alias of `Sarah Shark?. Sarah Shark is a series of six documentaries filmed around Australia focused on the natural history and public perception of sharks, the issues that they face and their ultimate conservation. With the worlds media only really telling a one-sided story of attack and fear Sarah feels deeply driven to give a different account. One that embraces fear, and transforms it into respect.

This independent production screened on Channel 9?s GEM and repeated on Channel 9. To date, Sarah Shark has reached over a million people internationally and has won numerous awards.


Tristan Schultz

Convenor, Visual Communication Design

Tristan Schultz is Lecturer and Convenor of Visual Communication Design in the Design Futures Program at QCA, Griffith University Brisbane. He is an interdisciplinary designer and strategist with a Master of Design Futures (Hons) and Doctoral Candidate.

His recent research has focused on how design has been, and still is implicated in ongoing colonialism, particularly in relation to Aboriginal cultures in Australia.

Considering the structural unsustainability of modern western society, he believes there is an increased need for other ways of knowing, living and being to be re-created, re-found and re-valued. Looking at the production of design, knowledge and thinking in Indigenous cultures, he focuses on opening ways to re-value and recode the potential of these cultures, by design, as being skilled in repair, resilience and resourcefulness; all futuring attributes needed to contribute to sustainment for all of humanity.

Tristan co-founded the `Sold Coast Project?; a group of young cultural activists and practitioners working towards social change on the Gold Coast through rupturing common ideas of the city and offering alternative visions. From 2014-2016 Tristan has been appointed a panel member of the Australia Council for the Arts (a council of the Australian Government) as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Strategy Panel Member.


San Thang

World-leading Organic Chemist

San Thang came to Australia as a refugee from Vietnam in 1979. He completed his BSc (Hons) and PhD in chemistry at Griffith University in 1983 and 1987 respectively.

He has published over 120 papers which have to-date received over 13,000 citations. In 2014 San won the ATSE Clunies Ross Award which focuses on the application of Australian technological science and engineering for the benefit of the community.

Currently, he is an Honorary Fellow at the CSIRO Manufacturing Flagship and an Adjunct Professor at Monash University. San?s research in the area of controlled/living radical polymerisation, particularly the Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT) process has earned him the title of 2014 Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate and tipped him to be a contender of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.


Mary Walshok

Associate Vice Chancellor, UC San Diego

Mary Walshok, PhD is an author, educator, researcher, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs and Dean of Extension at the University of California San Diego.

She is the author of more than 100 articles and reports on aligning workforce development with regional economic growth.

An industrial sociologist studying the dynamics of regional economic transformation, with a particular focus on how globalisation and rapid changes in technology are affecting the social dynamics and economic challenges of regions across America, Walshok has researched various communities with support from the US Department of Labor, NSF, and the Lilly Endowments. She is currently engaged in research on binational innovation dynamics.

She oversees a $45 million, 250-employee division that annually serves more than 65,000 enrollees through innovative local and online programs, as well as provides access to a vast array of intellectual resources through the award-winning UCSD-TV and nationwide through UCTV, which reaches over 22 million households and millions more around the globe on the web. The Division also serves more than 3,000 foreign students annually.

A co-founder of the San Diego Dialogue in the 1990s, a program focused on opportunities in the San Diego-Tijuana region, she currently serves on the boards of San Diego CONNECT (which she helped found in 1985), the United States-Mexico Foundation for Science, the International Community Foundation, La Jolla Playhouse, Olivewood Gardens and the Girard Foundation.


Dan Ware

Coastal Specialist

Dan is a coastal specialist working on a PhD in coastal management at Griffith University. His research focuses on the implications of coastal management policy for distribution of political power between coastal user groups such as surfers, developers and property owners. Dan also teaches environmental economics and environmental policy development and works as a researcher on climate change adaptation and coastal management projects.

An active contributor to the development of Australian coastal management policy and practice, as a researcher and with leadership positions with stakeholder groups. Dan is currently a director of Surfrider Foundation Australia, a member of the Queensland Committee of the Australian Coastal Society and President of Gold Coast Surf Council. Dan has strong networks and understanding of current adaptation issues for Australian coastal settlements and environments.

Dan holds an applied science degree in coastal management, a multidisciplinary program which covered Oceanography, Hydrology, Geomorphology, Ecology and Planning and an MBA. Prior to commencing his PhD, Dan worked with State and Local Governments on coastal management policy development and climate change risk and adaptation projects.


William Barton and
Aunty Delmae Barton

Collaborative Performance:
Leading Didgeridoo Player & Songwoman/Poet

William Barton is known as Australia?s leading didgeridoo player. He has played didgeridoo for over 20 years working with traditional dance groups, fusion/rock jazz bands, orchestras, string quartets and mixed ensembles. He has toured internationally since the age of 15 years and in 2012, won an ARIA award for best classical album, Kalkadungu.

Aunty Delmae Barton was born in Emerald, central Queensland, a descendant of the Bidjara tribe on her mother's side. Aunty Delmae, who is William?s mother, has had a long life journey of performance including a vast array of collaborative projects in regional Australia and national arts centres. She has represented Australia on the international stage from Canada to UK, Italy, France and China and is widely recognised as Australia's Dreamtime Opera Diva.


Jared Porter

Performance: Award Winning Country Music Star

At Toyota Tamworth Country Music Festival 2014, 26-year-old Jared Porter was announced the 35th Toyota Star Maker winner. The competition has launched the careers of people such as Lee Kernaghan, Beccy Cole and Keith Urban.

Since winning Toyota Star Maker, Jared has performed at the CMA World GlobaLive Concert, in downtown Nashville. He has toured with Australia?s biggest names in Country, recorded his debut album ? East to West, and played at the biggest festivals in Australia. He was also announced as a Golden Guitar finalist for New Talent of the Year, and a finalist for CMC (country music channel) New Oz Artist of the Year.


Gold Coast 18 February 2015

Gold Coast 2015

TEDxGriffithUniversity would like to thank everyone who attended our inaugural event held at the Gold Coast and those who watched the stream via our satellite events and website.

We have been inspired by our speakers and by the support of our community. To view photos of the event please visit our Facebook page.

Theme: Knowledge is...

The pursuit of knowledge drives humanity. In science, in medicine, in creative arts, in sport, in relationships, in all things we do, we want to gather, share and implement knowledge. The 2015 TEDxGriffithUniversity event explored what motivates us to seek this knowledge and how it can manifest at the personal, local, regional and global levels.

Recorded broadcast

If you missed out on watching the live stream, you can watch a recording of the event, or view the individual presentations on youtube.


What is 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. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. 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 speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast event in nearby Whistler. The annual TEDGlobal conference will be held this October in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. TED's media initiatives include, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter, or on Facebook.

Organising committee

Dean Gould Organiser

Anna Scheuringer Co-Organiser

Kylie Robinson Social Media Coordinator