WOW to celebrate women during GC2018

One hundred incredible speakers and artists from countries of the Commonwealth of Nations including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO, the first Sri Lankan to climb Mount Everest Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala, founding chair of Our Watch and former leader of the Australian Democrats Natasha Stott Despoja AM, and Canadian First Nations folk duo ShoShona Kish and Raven Kanetakta of Digging Roots, will join forces for Women of the World (WOW) Festival as part of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (GC2018).

WOW Festival was founded by the Artistic Director of London’s Southbank Centre Jude Kelly to celebrate women and girls and look at the obstacles that stop them from achieving their potential. It has become a global phenomenon with events taking place in more than 23 cities across six continents.

WOW at Festival 2018 will be an energetic three days of panels, talks, workshops, performances and more, bringing together fun and laughter with serious reflection on what it means to be a girl or woman in today’s world. While hard-hitting issues such as economic security, gender-based violence, leadership and health and wellbeing will be explored, the festival also offers opportunities for celebration and inspiration.

Australian stars, including Clare Bowditch (pictured), Deborah Conway, Emily Wurramara and Hannah Macklin, will join with some of the greatest voices from across the Commonwealth of Nations to celebrate women in music when WOW at Festival 2018 and Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) present ‘Songs That Made Me’ on Sunday 8 April.

Staged as part of Queensland Music Festival (QMF) 2017, ‘Songs That Made Me’ asks each performer to also share stories of their personal influences, artistic journeys and landmark songs that have soundtracked their lives.

The evening will also feature the special announcement of the 2018 Carol Lloyd Award winner. The $15,000 annual grant was established by QMF in honour of Australia’s original rock chick to support Queensland’s emerging female singer-songwriters.

WOW at Festival 2018 will take place at Brisbane Powerhouse from 6 to 8 April 2018, and will run alongside GC2018. Tickets are on sale now. For more information and to book visit

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