Stepping onto the stage for the first time to share their stories and thought-provoking ideas on a diverse range of topics are eight inspirational speakers taking part in the first-ever TEDx Wagga event.
TEDx (technology, entertainment, design x- meaning local) is a program of local events showcasing speakers and performers.
It is the first time the event will be held in Wagga, with it proving so popular that tickets to the Saturday show sold out within an hour.
More than 120 residents applied to speak at the event, 40 of them being selected to pitch their ideas and of those eight were chosen to take to the stage.
Organiser and licensee Adam Bannister said hosting a TEDx event in Wagga was a passion project that took 12 months of work.
"I thought by bringing this brand and using it as a platform to show off what is here I get to show to the world without a filter what it is that I love about Wagga," he said.
"It's a very pure event, everyone is just here to be here."
When choosing the speakers, Mr Bannister said he wanted to find people who had understandable stories and ideas that were thought-provoking, change-driving and that hadn't been commonly heard before.
Event curator Scott Higgins said they worked hard to find a mix of voices and a diverse range of ideas.
"We have things which range from Wiradyuri nation-building to influencer culture to trauma, some really fun science stuff, digital agriculture and some basic storytelling," he said.
"We wanted to bring together ideas from different parts of the community so when we leave at the end of the night we have this thought-provoking mindset around fields that we might not even know about or that we didn't think we would be interested in.
"We have eight really interesting stories around eight really diverse ideas and what I like about this is it's bringing out the stories you don't normally hear."
Among the speakers is Bernard Higgins who will speak about nation-building through animation and visual effects.
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Mr Higgins is a proud Wiradjuri man who was born in Wagga and was raised in Leeton.
Mr Higgins said he hadn't thought of himself as someone with a grand story to tell, but after being identified as one of the speakers and getting a range of praise for taking part in the event he realised that by speaking out he has the ability to drive change.
Wagga-based psychologist Dr Rachel Hogg will also speak at the event with an aim to challenge the audience.
"For me, the hardest decision was whether or not to apply," she said.
"I think there's a lot of vulnerability that is going to be on that stage because this isn't acting - none of us are behind a character and even though I've done a lot of guest speaking this cuts to the bone in a different way.
"The regional issue that I tapped into and pitched is domestic violence, so what I'm talking about is domestic violence, but it's a lot bigger than that.
"What I'm looking to do is challenge some of the rules that sit around how we are expected to talk about the worst things that have happened to us whether those things concern bereavement, trauma - and it may be domestic violence as a form trauma, but there are a lot of touch points to that conversation."
Wagga comedian Dane Simpson, forensic medical practitioner Dr Jonathan Ho, AgriTech researcher and innovator Jonathan Medway, speech pathologist Sarah Verdon, parasitology teacher and researcher Shokoofeh Shamsi and senior lecturer in the School of Information and Communication Studies at CSU Yazdan Mansourian have also been identified as speakers.
The event will be held at the CSU Riverina Playhouse on Saturday from 6pm.
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