Back to All Events

Turn Me On - Festival Opening


Launching this Festival Muse we want the backstory on how these prominent locals got turned on to politics or passionate about their field of work. Was it a person, a book, an incident, or a moment? We're exploring the lightbulb moments and hidden drivers behind being personally and politically engaged with Zoya Patel (Feminartsy), Michael Brissenden (ABC), Roland Peelman (Canberra International Music Festival) and Jacob White (Australian Marriage Equality ACT Field Director).

Michael Brissenden, Elizabeth Lee MLA, Zoya Patel, Roland Peelman, Jacob White

Michael Brissenden, Elizabeth Lee MLA, Zoya Patel, Roland Peelman, Jacob White

Plus - join us for post event launch drinks and canapés!

Tickets: $20 (includes entry to 2018 Festival Muse opening drinks)


Zoya Patel founded Feminartsy in 2014, following four years as Editor-In-Chief of Lip Magazine. She has been writing about feminist issues since the age of 15, with her work published widely. Zoya was Highly Commended in the Scribe Publishing Non-Fiction Prize 2015, was the 2014 recipient of the Anne Edgeworth Young Writers' Fellowship, and was named the 2015 ACT Young Woman of the Year. Her debut book, No-Country Woman, will be released by Hachette Australia in August 2018.

Michael Brissenden has worked for the ABC for more than thirty years. He began his career covering federal politics and has been a correspondent in Moscow, Brussels and Washington. Michael covered many of the biggest international stories of the 1990s and early 2000s from all corners of the globe. He was the political editor for the 7.30 Report in Canberra from 2003 to 2009, the ABC's Defence and National Security Correspondent and most recently he has worked as host of AM national radio program. A two-time Walkley Award winner, Michael has recently joined the ABC’S 4 Corners.

Artistic Director of the Canberra International Music Festival since 2015, Roland Peelman maintains his many activities as conductor, pianist, commentator and mentor on a broad musical scale. Suitably lauded for his commitment to the creative arts in Australia, including 25 years at the helm of the Song Company, his musical (and political) awakening goes back to his country of birth, Belgium.

Jacob White has been an activist since he wrote to his local council at the age of 7. He became member of the ALP as soon as they would let him shortly thereafter. His interests vary widely from urban planning and the environment, to LQBTIQ+ politics and social policy. Jacob has been involved in progressive advocacy in Australia and abroad for many years, and has been closely involved with organising a number of territory and federal elections. In 2017 he became the Field Director for the Marriage Equality campaign in the ACT. He currently works for Andrew Leigh MP.

Elizabeth Lee MLA is Assistant Speaker, Shadow Minister for Education, Shadow Minister for Disability, Shadow Minister for the Environment and Liberal Member for Kurrajong in the ACT Legislative Assembly. Prior to her election in October 2016, Elizabeth was a law lecturer at The Australian National University and the University of Canberra and has previously practised as a lawyer in government and private practice. Elizabeth migrated to Australia from South Korea when she was seven and remains involved with the Korean-Australian community. Elizabeth is also a registered fitness professional and on random occasions will teach Sh’Bam and Body Balance at various gyms around Canberra.

Earlier Event: March 4
Literature Real and Imagined
Later Event: March 10
The Long Table - Jack Heath