The Big Ideas Forum is a new quarterly event at Glen Street Theatre that engages the local community in the robust exchange of ideas. The Big Ideas Forum is an opportunity to engage with people you might not otherwise meet, hear opinions you might not otherwise hear, and come away from the experience an active participant in democracy, rather than a passive observer.

Keep up to date with upcoming events, provide feedback and receive extra links and resources to help you get involved.

Next event

Big Ideas: The Ageing Revolution
22 November, 6.30 - 8.30pm

Glen Street Theatre

The Big Ideas forum is all about engaging the community in a robust exchange of ideas. Big Ideas brings major issues to a local audience, combining speakers with national profile with those with local expertise.

This November, the conversation turns to ageing. The Hon Susan Ryan AO will open the evening with a keynote address about the challenges of Australia’s ageing population and why we need to change how we talk about ageing. This will be followed by a panel discussion with our local champions and an audience Q&A.

Add your voice to a conversation with:

The Hon Susan Ryan AO

Susan is a former Age Discrimination Commissioner with the Australian Human Rights Commission, a role she held between 2011 and 2016. She served as a cabinet minister in the Hawke Government, including as the inaugural Minister for the Status of Women, and was integral to the passing of the landmark Sex Discrimination Act in 1984. In May, Susan was appointed a Distinguished Fellow of the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University.

Wendy Harmer

Wendy is a comedian, author and broadcaster, who currently hosts the Breakfast show on ABC Radio Sydney. She is a former political journalist, has written eight books, including the best-selling Farewell My Ovaries, and been columnist for the Good Weekend and The Sunday Telegraph. Wendy was a member of the National People with a Disability and Carer's Council from 2008 to 2014.

Peter Watson

Peter is the coordinator of the Forest Men's Kitchen, a local initiative aiming to provide an environment for older men to gather and prepare a meal together. Forest Men's Kitchen members are empowered to have a more active, connected and rewarding life, through learning new skills, making healthier choices, and reducing social isolation.

Paula Trood

Paula is the Chief Operations Officer at the RSL ANZAC Village at Narrabeen. The Village is known for its innovative inter-generational approach and was the subject of the ABC documentary series Old People's Home for Four Year Olds.

Tickets available from Glen Street Theatre from 11 October.

Past events

Big Ideas: Riding the Fourth Wave
Gender Politics in 2019 
21 August


  • Jane Caro AM, author and social commentator
  • Eva Cox AO, sociologist and feminist advocate
  • Jan Fran, journalist and TV presenter
  • Andrew King, author and men's community services specialist
  • Jenny Huxley, lawyer and women and children's services specialist




Big Ideas: Mental Health
Conversations We're Not Having
19 June





Big Ideas: Why Neighbourhoods Matter
An Evening with Hugh Mackay
6 March 




Opinions expressed by speakers should not be interpreted as being held or endorsed by Northern Beaches Council.

What's your Big Idea?

Big Ideas is your forum, not ours. So if you have any idea for what you want the next Big Ideas forum to look like, we'd love to hear from you!

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