In conversation with Brydie-Leigh Bartleet

Daring To Drive

Manal al-Sharif

The Edge, State Library of Queensland

Biography / Culture/Social Equity / Feminism



#About the event


Manal al-Sharif

Manal al-Sharif

Manal al-Sharif, named by the TIME as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and by Newsweek as one of the 10 tech-revolutionary in the world, she is a prominent voice advocating for women's rights & empowerment in the Muslim and the Arab world. She is known to be the first Saudi women to specialize in Information Security with a career started back in 2002 with ARAMCO, the largest oil company in the world.

In 2011, Manal started the #Women2Drive campaign, to challenge the ban on women driving in her country. She was arrested and imprisoned for "driving while female". She was released on the condition that she never drives again on Saudi lands, never to speak about it or do any interviews. Despite all, she continued campaigning for #Women2Drive and #IAmMyOwnGuardian to end male guardianship in her country. She started #Faraj, to help domestic helpers leave jail and #IAmLama that resulted in codifying the first anti-domestic violence law in Saudi.

For her activism, she won the first Vaclav Havel award for Creative Dissent. She was also loaded by Foreign Policy, NewsWeek, and Vital Voices.

She is a TED speaker and also spoke at Harvard, the United Nations, UNESCO, Google, Oslo Freedom Forum, WIRED, Trust Women, The Arab Institute in Paris, the Center for International and Strategic Studies, Clinton Initiative, Women in the World, Dallas World Affairs Council, and many others. Manal is a blogger and a regular contributor to international media. She wrote for the NewsWeek, the  NY Times, Alhayat based in London, and now she will be a regular columnist in Democracy Post by Washington Post.

Her memoir, Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman Awakening, is an intimate story of her life growing up in one of the most masculine societies in the world.


Prof Brydie-Leigh Bartleet

Prof Brydie-Leigh Bartleet

Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet is known worldwide for her work in community music and community engagement. She has been a key catalyst in the creation of research projects that explore the social impact of music making, and connect students, educators, industry and community partners both inside and outside university walls. 

She has worked on a range of leading national and international projects in community music, arts-based service learning with Australian First Peoples, arts programs in prisons, music and social justice, health and wellbeing and global mobility. Many of these projects have been realized in partnership with a wide range of NGOs, arts and community organizations, and colleagues across Australia and the Asia Pacific. 

Brydie has worked on four successive ARC Linkage projects (two of which she is currently leading), led a major OLT Innovation and Development project, secured over a millions dollars in research funding, and produced well over a 100 research outputs. In 2014 she was awarded the Australian University Teacher of the Year. 

She has also worked at the forefront of new and interdisciplinary developments in music research that intersect with health and wellbeing, corrections and criminology, Indigenous and cultural policy, social justice and regional arts development. 

She is on the Board of Australia’s peak music advocacy body, Music Australia, and has served as Chair and Commissioner of the International Society for Music Education’s Community Music Activities Commission. She is the co-founder of the Asia Pacific Community Music Network, and is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Community Music.

She is regularly in demand as a keynote speaker across Australia and overseas (most recently Japan, Germany, Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand), and is known for giving dynamic speeches about the role of the arts and music in addressing some of the most pressing issues of our time.

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