Movement leaders feature at Radical Ideas conf

Issue 
Radical Ideas participants in 2014, Geelong.

Radical Ideas is a 3-day conference of discussion, debate and ideas for radical change, from December 4-6 in Sydney.

We are lucky to have a number of guest speakers confirmed so far, including well-known campaigners involved in various movements and Socialist Alliance and Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance activists.

Ken Canning is an Aboriginal activist, poet and playwright from the Kunja Clan of the Bidjara Peoples of South West Queensland. His language name is Burraga Gutya. He has worked for many years in Aboriginal education and was a founder and former academic and cultural advisor at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning. Ken has played an instrumental leadership role in crucial Aboriginal struggles such as the recent victory of the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Sydney.

Lydia Shelly is a human rights lawyer, activist and member of the NSW Council of Civil Liberties.
Lydia co-founded the Islamophobia Register last year to record incidents of anti-Muslim violence and discrimination in Australia.

Aran Mylvaganam is a refugee rights advocate and union organiser from Melbourne. He is the founder of the Tamil Refugee Council. He was born in northern Sri Lanka and between 1995 and 1997 lived in a refugee camp in Udayarkaddu. Aran came to Australia as a 13-year-old unaccompanied refugee in 1997, and was detained in Villawood detention centre in Sydney for three months. He is currently an organiser with the Finance Sector Union and spokesperson for the Tamil Refugee Council.

Mich-Elle Myers is a militant unionist and the national women's liaison officer of the Maritime Union of Australia. She has been an instrumental leader in the Hutchison dispute and ongoing community assembly organised following the sacking of 97 workers — including 95% of the port's female workers — by Hutchison Ports management in August.

Sue Bolton is a councillor on the City of Moreland Council, a long-term community activist and a National Executive member of the Socialist Alliance. Sue was a prominent leader in the campaign against the East-West tunnel, and she helps organise Melbourne's refugee rights movement.

Vivian Messimeris is a political journalist and artist. Vivian reported from Greece for Green Left Weekly during the historic January elections where SYRIZA was elected to government. Vivian has recently won awards for her “Women of Kobane” series of screen prints, which depict Kurdish freedom fighters. Selected artworks from the series will feature in the Radical Art Exhibition.

Mia Sanders is a national co-convener of Resistance, and a co-convener of the Sydney branch of the Socialist Alliance. Mia played a leading role in the campaign against former education minister Christopher Pyne's university fee deregulation legislation, including convening the NSW Education Action Network. She was elected to the University of Western Sydney Bankstown Campus Council as the women's and queer officer.

Angus McAllen is an activist at the University of Queensland, where he studies political science and history. He is a contributing author to the Socialist Alliance's introductory Marxist literature. Angus was a leading youth organiser of the Peoples' Summit and March against the G20 Summit in Brisbane last year.

Gemma Weedall is an eco-socialist activist from Adelaide. She has been a leading member of Climate Emergency Action Network (CLEAN) for the last 7 years and helped start the Repower Port Augusta campaign in South Australia that is campaign to build a solar thermal power plant in the area. She is also a co-convenor of the Adelaide branch of the Socialist Alliance and a member of the Socialist Alliance national executive.

Benjamin Kurzman has been a political activist in both Australia and Scotland. He became involved in radical politics after the 2010 election victory of the Conservatives in Britain. He has previously been a member of the Scottish Greens, inspired by their pro-independence stance. Benjamin joined Resistance and the Socialist Alliance last year.

Liam Flenady is a long-term activist and former convener of Resistance. He is a PhD student and a GLW correspondent based in Brussels last year. Liam was a Socialist Alliance candidate in the 2013 federal elections.

Click here to see the Radical Ideas conference program and purchase tickets.

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