M/OTHER is a weekend of fearless conversation about the ways ‘motherhood’ is experienced, portrayed and labelled by those who mother, have been mothered, wish they were mothers, do not identify as mothers, cannot or do not want to mother, and by society at-large.
Featuring a line-up of international and Australian writers, thinkers and creators, M/OTHER acts as a conversation starter for complex topics such as the birthing body, maternal figures, the perinatal health system, and gendered roles in parenting. By bringing these often overlooked or taboo topics into the public sphere, the series seeks to challenge, offer comfort, and value the myriad experiences of people, without presuming any easy answers.
M/OTHER centres audacious and frank discussion on the immense joy, exhaustion, creativity, fury, and strength that mothers derive from their roles, and interrogates the word ‘mother’ itself.
Join the conversation at the Wheeler Centre from 3 to 5 March 2023.
Hear from the programmers,
Bec Kavanagh and Jamila Khodja
Read a conversation between Bec Kavanagh and Jamila Khodja here
Can I bring my kids?
Of course! We want M/OTHER to be a space where both grown-ups and their kids feel welcome. We are offering free tickets to all children under the age of twelve to ensure that cost isn’t a barrier. Children under the age of two don’t require a ticket, but make sure to book a free ticket for those between the ages of two and twelve so that we can reserve them a seat.
The Wheeler Centre Performance Space will be set up with room for people to stretch their legs, and a small activity area for young people with colouring sheets and books.
Several of our bathrooms will be equipped with baby change facilities, and we will have a small quiet space set up for breastfeeding and anyone needing a break. We will have some space available at the venues for pram parking.
Please note that guardians are responsible for their children at all times, and children must be supervised in both the event space and our quiet area.
M/OTHER will feature events exploring complex questions, mature themes and likely strong language. Many of our events carry a content warning for discussions around mental health, childbirth and loss. The content is aimed at an adult audience, and we encourage parents and guardians to consider whether they feel it is appropriate for their children to attend. If you are unsure about whether or not the content is suitable for your child, please contact us at email@example.com.
All sessions at M/OTHER will take place in a relaxed environment.
Can I breastfeed?
Yes! There will be comfortable chairs in the event space reserved for breastfeeding people. If you would like more privacy, there will be a quiet space at the Wheeler Centre which audience members are welcome to use during or between sessions to breastfeed or take a moment to rest. A microwave and kettle will be available in the space. Ushers will be available to direct audiences to the quiet area.
Can I bring food and drink into the events?
For events in the Wheeler Centre Performance Space, guests are welcome to bring drinks, but we request that you refrain from bringing snacks, as we don’t want to risk any allergies. If you or your young people get peckish before or after events, there are several good, cheap snack options available across the road from the Wheeler Centre in the QV building (including a Woolworths), or downstairs at the Moat. The lawn outside the State Library is also great for a picnic!
For events at the Moat, drinks and food can be purchased and consumed at the venue.
For Mum’s the Word Gala at The Edge, Fed Square, there will be a bar available for patrons to purchase drinks and bar snacks.
Will the events be livestreamed?
Most events will be livestreamed for free on the event page on the Wheeler Centre website. These livestreams will remain available on the Wheeler Centre YouTube page afterwards.
Are the events accessible?
Accessibility information for each event is available on the event page. A number of events are Auslan interpreted. All events are wheelchair accessible.
You can find full access information about the Wheeler Centre here, about the Moat here, and about The Edge, Fed Square here.
Please let a staff member at the Wheeler Centre or the Moat know if you require the use of the lift to access the Moat.
If you have an access request or a question about a specific event, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who is M/OTHER for?
We hope that this series is for everyone!
Motherhood is a conversation that everyone should be a part of, whether you’ve experienced it as a mother, a child, an observer or anything in between. It’s an experience that affects us all, and we hope that this programme has something for everyone.
The purpose of the programming is to explore questions relating to motherhood, the experience of mothers, those who care for children and those who don’t. Anyone is welcome to attend, and you do not need to be a mother or a parent to engage with the content.
Please note that Life Drawing with Frankie van Kan is open to women and nonbinary attendees only.
Difficult topics: A note on event content
We know that some of these topics are difficult to discuss. If you would like to access support, you can learn more and seek advice below:
This series may include reference to topics such as mental health, reproductive rights, and childbirth. If you need assistance with any of these issues, you can learn more and seek advice via the Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE), Perintal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) and Beyond Blue.
Skin in the Game: Mothering and Bodies
April Hélène-Horton, Eleanor Jackson, Lefa Singleton Norton, Frankie van Kan
Baby Blues: Exploring Perinatal Mental Health
Nicole Highet, Antoinette Lattouf, Laura McPhee-Browne, Eleanor Jackson
Mum's the Word Gala
Pragya Agarwal, Sophie Beer, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Tony Birch, Monica Dux, Clementine Ford, Jan Fran, Esther Freud, Mali Hawke, Eliza Hull, Patricia Karvelas, Libby O’Donovan, Ronnie Scott, Rachel Yoder
Modern Family: Reimagining the Domestic Ideal
Bridget Caldwell-Bright, Alexandra Collier, Casey Jenkins, Hilary Harper, Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts
Labour of Love: Examining Birthing and Health Care
Natalie Kon-yu, Ruth De Souza, Karinda Taylor, Karen Pickering