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Who Gave You Permission?: Speaking Up and Speaking Out


Event Status

When we’re described as ‘speaking out’, what people really mean is we’re ‘speaking out of turn’ – and that we do not have the authority to do so. Behaving well means accepting things as they are, and sticking your neck out if you’re not a white guy requires the knowledge that you may be seen as difficult, and unlikeable.

Many of us have to actively work at claiming the right to occupy space, jobs, or make noise that others simply take as their entitlement. Opposition and rebellion is necessary and invigorating, but bending the world until it breaks can come at a great personal cost, which is divided unevenly amongst us. So how do we blaze a trail without losing our own way?

Hosted by Michelle Law.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.


Curtis Sittenfeld

‘Sometimes, there can be a slightly condescending assumption that anything unlikable about a female character is a mistake, as if they’re a contestant in a beauty pageant and have to seem charming and upbeat all the time.’ Curtis Sittenfeld is the bestselling author of five novels – ... Read more

Nayuka Gorrie

Nayuka Gorrie is a Gunnai/Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta essayist and screenwriter.

Ariel Levy

‘I wanted what we all want: everything. We want a mate who feels like family and a lover who is exotic, surprising. We want to be youthful adventurers and middle-aged mothers. We want intimacy and autonomy, safety and stimulation, reassurance and novelty, coziness and thrills. But we can’t have... Read more

Raquel Willis

‘As we commit to each other to build this movement of resistance and liberation, no one can be an afterthought.’ Raquel Willis is a Black queer transgender activist, writer and speaker dedicated to inspiring and elevating marginalized individuals, particularly transgender women of color. She is... Read more

Michelle Law

Michelle Law is a writer and actor working across print, theatre and screen. Her work includes the play Single Asian Female and the SBS show Homecoming Queens, which she co-created, co-wrote and starred in. Her latest play, Miss Peony, will be staged at Belvoir St Theatre. ... Read more


Melbourne Town Hall

90-120 Swanston Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.