NSW Events | Vivid Ideas | Keeping it Real in the Age of Curated Perfection

One of the most highly anticipated events on Australia's cultural calendar, Vivid Sydney, have recently launched their 2018 festival of Light, Music and Ideas program, which features an exclusive PRIA showcase 'Keeping It Real in the Age of Curated Perfection'.

PRIA NSW President Samara Kitchener said "Vivid Ideas provides a brilliant opportunity for us to explore social issues, and how we as communicators can positively drive social change. Our panel of experts, thought leaders and brands will take a fresh look at the communication landscape through a curated perfection lens".

This special event will feature a dynamic, soon-to-be-announced panel of speakers, however, we are delighted to confirm that ReachOut CEO Jono Nicholas will be among them.

“Social media has opened us up to a new world of possibilities, but we’re now grappling with the impact on our younger generations," said Nicholas.

"Young people admit that being their ‘true self’ can be challenging, as the pressure to fit into a picture-perfect curated world is over-whelming. I look forward to exploring with the panel how we can all have the courage to keep it real in an age of curated perfection.”

We hope you'll join us for this special event as part of the Vivid Ideas program this June.



We are living in an age of picture-perfect curated worlds and yet people are searching for authenticity and purpose. Join our panel to explore the concept of curated perfection, the effect of influencers and role models that shape us in different ways, and why it is worth striving for authenticity.

Come armed with all your questions. How has the quest for perfection changed our sense of contentment? Why is there now a growing consumer demand for purposeful brands that stand for something bigger? What role do influencers play in how we choose breakfast cereals or deodorants? Are we now seeing a rise in powerful athletic female role models? What does all of this mean for brands and organisations trying to engage audiences? Where is the line between aspirational, inspirational and self-confidence?

Hear from thought leaders, brand experts, influencers and role models on how to have the courage to keep it real in the face of curated perfection.


Jono Nicholas was a founding member of ReachOut when it launched in 1998 as the first digital mental health service in the world and has gone on to become one of the most passionate advocates for the mental health of young people. Jono spent the early part of his career developing and leading the ReachOut service before establishing ReachOut in Ireland in 2009.

Since his appointment as CEO of ReachOut Australia in 2010, ReachOut has gone on to become the digital entry point to the mental health system for young people and their parents and is now accessed by over 1.58 million Australians per year for everything from exam stress, relationship difficulties to suicidal thoughts. By 2020 ReachOut plans to help a further one million people per year.

Jono holds an Honours Degree in Psychology and a Masters in Public Health and is a father of three young boys.

Jono is a director of Mental Health Australia and the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education. He is co-chair of the Telstra Technology and Wellbeing roundtable, member of the Federal Department of Health’s Digital Mental Health Advisory Committee, and the NSW Mental Health Commission’s Suicide Prevention Advisory Group.

Lisa Portolan is a senior consultant at N2N communications, and has worked on many large-scale advertising campaigns and industry rebrands. Her novel, Happy As, was released on the 1st June.

Happy As examines how the concept of happiness is constructed. Starting off with the Greeks and Aristotle, who first generated the notion, to today's shiny #happy presence on social media. What is it exactly, and do we have any chance of actually experiencing real fulfilment within our lifetime?

She has a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) / Bachelor of International Studies and Masters of International Studies from the University of Technology Sydney. She has also studied at the Universita degli studii, Bologna (where she developed a dissertation).

She is a qualified yoga and meditation instructor, and her interest in happiness began as a result of a personal quest for purpose. She embarked on a doctorate on the link between happiness and its construction in 2015, and from there became interested in the links between happiness and identity. Since then she has progressed her doctorate's focus to the study of socio-cultural paradigms, including happiness, love and success - examining the construction of these through communications, religions, dominant narratives and culture.

She is also a freelance journalist whose articles have been widely published in magazines and blogs, including Huffington Post, Mamamia, Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, Rebelle Society and HerCanberra. Her novel, Happy As, is due out on the 1st June. Her first script, Pretty Girls, is in production. She lives in Sydney with her husband and daughter.

Clare McMeniman is a former Australian Diamond & Queensland Firebirds netballer and Suncorp #TeamGirls Ambassador. After debuting for the Queensland Firebirds in 2007, she became Vice-Captain of the Firebird's inaugural ANZ Championship team and was involved in the team’s three ANZ Championship Premiership victories. In 2014, following a 2 year hiatus from netball, Clare returned to the elite level and debuted as the 163rd Australian Netball player and was appointed as the Diamonds Captain in 2016. Away from the court, Clare completed a Graduate Entry Masters of Speech Pathology at the University of Queensland and worked periodically during her sporting career.

Since retiring in 2016, she has remained actively engaged in the Australian netball community as a Suncorp #TeamGirls ambassador and is a passionate advocate for investing in the self-development and growth of our next generation of netballers, both on and off the court. Clare and former team mate Laura Geitz, continue to educate, enlighten and inspire girls and their parents about the integral role that sports participation plays in building healthy, confident and well supported young women through their program Fuel2Fly presented by Suncorp.

Jessica Madruga is a research professional specialising in insights around teens and young adults. As the Research Manager of MTV, Comedy Central and Spike in ANZ, understanding the mindset of millennials, particularly around their media habits is at the core of what she does.

With 8 years’ experience in the media and research industries, Jessica is a member of the Australian Market & Social Research Society and has previously spoken as a guest lecturer at Sydney University.

Kate Russell spent over five years at n2n communications (Sydney Public Relations firm) where she led strategy and execution of public relations and events across Telco, IT, Government, Business and Consumer. Kate has experience working with government and ministerial stakeholders, and large lobbying groups, giving her a truly broad spectrum of experience. Her strong media relations landed her large clients including the National Broadband Network roll-out and the Digital TV switchover.

After years in the corporate sector, Kate decided to chase her love for fitness and health, which brought her to lululemon and landing her dream job as Regional Community Manager (now renamed Sydney Maven) in 2014.

At lululemon, Kate drives grass roots marketing through community. She creates, manages and executes collaborations with local and national business, identifies and builds partnerships across many industries and creates experiences that have an impact to remember. She is responsible for identifying new markets to build brand awareness in and create the community strategy for new store openings. She supports the stores in her region to elevate communities with authentic relationships and inspired leadership.

Kate achieves satisfaction from building and maintaining relationships, collaborating and coaching. She’s got energy that’s infectious, a passion for all things health and fitness and loves nothing more than providing a platform for like-minded people and brands to connect!


Date: Wednesday 6th June

Time: 8:00am - 10:00am

Venue: Vivid Ideas Exchange, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia,

Level 6, Terrace Entrance (Circular Quay West Side)

Price: Members $69 | Non-Members $89

*Please note above prices don't include GST which is added at time of booking

Event Location: Vivid Ideas Exchange Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Level 6, Terrace Entrance (Circular Quay West Side)
Registrations Open: 20th Mar 18 9:00 AM
Registrations Close: 5th Jun 18 2:30 PM
Early Bird Price: AU $ 79
Price: AU $ 89


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