Kiama to host Melissa Doyle, Professor Alan Duffy at Institute of Interesting Ideas

STAR STUDDED: The Institute of Interesting Ideas will host a series of speakers in Kiama including Melissa Doyle, Professor Alan Duffy, Rosie Waterland, Maggie Dent and Lucy Bloom.
STAR STUDDED: The Institute of Interesting Ideas will host a series of speakers in Kiama including Melissa Doyle, Professor Alan Duffy, Rosie Waterland, Maggie Dent and Lucy Bloom.

Kiama is about to host an inaugural series of "interesting ideas" this winter, with speakers from astronomer Professor Alan Duffy to journalist and author Melissa Doyle.

Founder of the Institute of Interesting Ideas Naima Brown said the aim was to spark provocative and stimulating conversations about wide and varied topics.

"I myself - and everybody I know - is a multi-faceted person with lots of different interests," she said.

"We didn't want to just have a speaker on parenting or just an astronomer or science speakers we wanted everybody across the board, a really rich array."

The program will begin on June 28 with Doyle at The Pavilion. Seven other key speakers will present at the venue on subsequent Fridays.

The Sunday Night host will have an intimate conversation with her audience about the people she has met through her career - the survivors, the mavericks, the champions and the trailblazers.

Being in a room with other curious, like-minded people is good for the soul.

Founder, Naima Brown
Naima Brown is the founder of the Institute of interesting ideas-the first of its kind to be held in Kiama . Picture: Sylvia Liber

Naima Brown is the founder of the Institute of interesting ideas-the first of its kind to be held in Kiama . Picture: Sylvia Liber

Forensic anthropologist and criminologist Xanthe Malle will answer questions about the nature of psychopaths (like Eric Bana's character in Dirty John) and why the world needs them, on July 12.

Parenting experts Maggie Dent and David Gillespie will discuss raising teenagers in the digital age, on July 19.

Lofty Fulton will speak about overcoming a troubled childhood and living with a genetic disorder to now being one of Australia's most recognisable voices, on July 26.

Subsequent speakers in this series include former advertising executive Lucy Bloom; "anti-cool girl", irreverent comedian Rosie Waterland; and lead scientist of the Royal Institution of Australia, Professor Alan Duffy.

Each session will be recorded for future podcasts, while the greater plan is to run ongoing seasonal series'.

"I really hope people come away feeling that they've seen the world through a different lens and their mind has been opened in some way," Brown said.

"Being in a room with other curious, like-minded people is good for the soul."

After spending a decade working as a journalist and television producer in news and current affairs, Brown moved to Kiama "for love" and reexamined her life and what she wanted to do.

She missed community interaction - especially in real life - and loved how stories could connect people.

"It really came down to stories," she said. "That sense of the privilege of being in the room with someone with an extraordinary story to tell and I thought that's something I can do."

Tickets and more details via: www.instituteofinterestingideas.com.au

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