Breadth and depth in TEDx talks

Indian-born twins Nungshi and Tashi Malik at the South Pole.  They will  speak at the...
Indian-born twins Nungshi and Tashi Malik at the South Pole. They will speak at the TEDxQueenstown event on Sunday. Photo supplied.
A skateboarder-turned-environmental educator, a musician, social activists and world record-holding mountaineering twin sisters from India will be among the speakers at TEDxQueenstown this Sunday.

Now in its fourth year, the half-day "Connexions'' themed event champions ideas worth spreading, inviting "thinkers'' and innovators to deliver talks of 18 minutes or less on an area of their expertise.

Speakers will include 24-year-old sisters Tashi and Nungshi Malik, originally from India but now studying at the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) in Invercargill, the first female twins to climb Mt Everest and the first siblings to scale the Seven Summits - the tallest peaks on each of the seven continents.

They were also the youngest people to complete the Explorers' Grand Slam, successfully reaching all Seven Summits and the North and South poles in two years and one month.

The twins are now studying exercise and sports science at SIT and hope to encourage other young women in India and around the world to get involved in outdoor sports.

Also included in the line-up is Ken Clearwater, an experienced public speaker and social activist promoting greater awareness and understanding of male sexual abuse.

Mr Clearwater, a member of the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust, has spoken at conferences around the world, including at the United Nations, and was keen to talk about the issue.

"This is a huge opportunity to talk about this kind of stuff. This is a human rights issue, not a gender issue, and it has to be addressed.''

Peggy Oki, the only female member of the Z-Boys, a competitive skateboarding team that took the world by storm in the 1970s with its skateboarding style based on surfing, will also speak on Sunday.

Ms Oki went on to pursue other passions, including protecting marine life, and is now an environmental educator and founder of the Origami Whales Project, raising awareness about commercial whaling.

The fine artist also developed the Whales and Dolphins Ambassador Programme and led campaigns like "Let's Face It'', which petitioned to save New Zealand's critically endangered Maui and Hector's dolphins.

Other speakers include Queenstown-born musician Holly Hoogvliet, Healthy Food Guide editor-in-chief Niki Bezzant, Otama Homestead chief executive and farmer Neil Gardyne, performance poet Liz Breslin and Ken Dodson, who has spent the past 25 years in more than 30 countries working as a chef, photographer, writer, public speaker and organiser, whose talk will be based on an idea "your career need not be defining''.

TEDxQueenstown will be held at the Queenstown Memorial Centre from noon on Sunday.

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