Community, Connection and a Me-Made Parade: PepTalks Was One for the Ages


Stellar speakers, delicious food and flowing drinks, a fantastic fashion parade, prizes and goodie bags galore, and a finale that saw the whole room on their feet singing Joni Mitchell’s ‘Big Yellow Taxi’… We’re just going to say it: PepTalks 2023 was a vibe! 

Held on Thursday 1 June – the first PepTalks since 2019! – the evening saw the relaunch of our signature event with a fresh feeling but the same focus: a positive event to inform, inspire and uplift. 

Guests were welcomed to the beautiful Food Connect Shed – decorated with greenery, herbs and flowers foraged from the gardens of the Peppermint team – to enjoy opening drinks from our exclusive wine partner Yalumba (with wines from their organic range, Yalumba Gen) as well as beer from the award-winning and solar-powered Helios Brewing and refreshing sparkling water from Dash. The happy crowd then sat down to share platters from First Nations-owned caterers Three Little Birds Brisbane for a gorgeous vegetarian meal with a focus on native ingredients.

The night officially opened with a moving Welcome to Country from Chris Tosh Dawson – an emerging Turrbal leader and nephew to Turrbal Elder, Songwoman Maroochy – who shared stories and language and performed the welcome song ‘Gari Gynda Narmi’.

The wonderful Bonnie Hislop steered the happy crowd through the night with efficiency, joy and warmth (we could not believe it was her first time being an MC – she made it look effortless!) 

And the speakers? From sewing to social justice, sustainable fashion to compost and the life-changing power of creativity, these five amazing women brought the pages of Peppermint to life.

Daile Kelleher, CEO of Children by Choice, gave a powerful and eye-opening history of the decriminalisation of abortion in Queensland and offered tangible advice for us to be allies to pregnant people. 

Use your platforms! Whatever you have! Shout about your support for reproductive rights.

Sewing influencer and author Daisy Braid spoke about her journey to becoming DIY Daisy and finding her community, and also about the balance between getting that stable day job your parents always wanted you to get, and chasing your creative dreams.

Finding my community helped me find my purpose. 

Dr Anna Hickey, who holds a PhD in fashion – which, as she confirmed in her speech, is a real thing – asked us to consider the complex and personal relationship we all have with fashion, which goes far beyond catwalks and couture. 

Fashion is not all models and runways; it is special and personal. It is a community. And, sometimes, it is dressing up and being joyful with your friends and strangers.

Ashley Baxter, CEO of Monty Compost, gave us a clear-eyed explanation of the importance of composting in the fight against climate change – asking the whole room to become composters, and giving us every reason to try. 

It has never been easier, more efficient and more engaging for everyone, everywhere, to be a composter. With compost, you can use your waste to change the world.

Our final speaker Hillary Wall – artist and founder of Cork & Chroma, who stepped in at the last moment for the wonderful Rachael Sarra – took the audience through a breathing and singing exercise that led to a whole audience rendition of Joni Mitchell’s classic ‘Big Yellow Taxi’. The first-ever PepTalks Choir! A big shoutout to PepTalks guest Emma who got up and rocked out on the Cajon drum too! 

And it wouldn’t be a PepTalks without celebrating our stitchy friends! 

The Peppermint team wanted to acknowledge what the sewing community means to us, so the Me-Made Parade was born! We invited everyone who had made their outfit to show it off in a fashion parade with a difference. Clearly, they brought the house down: twirling, boogying, jumping and voguing their way across the stage to thunderous applause. 

Goodie bags have always been a beloved part of the PepTalks experience, and 2023 was no exception. Handmade, natural, sustainable, beautiful… guests took home over $300 worth of products from our partners! 

We can’t thank these makers, businesses and brands enough for their generous gifts to our audience.

Under the golden glow of festoon lights, we said goodnight to our guests but not goodbye to PepTalks. We’re hoping this is just the beginning!

Want to see more photos? Head to our Facebook page!

The Peppermint team would like to extend a huge thank you to our PepTalks 2023 partners and sponsors, including the team at Food Connect and Three Little Birds, our wonderful friends at The Finders Keepers and The Fabric Store, Yalumba, Helios Brewing and Dash Water, plus our goodie bag and lucky door prize donors: Opty.NC, ZERO, Seed & Sprout, Pablo & Rusty’s, Weleda, Sama Nail Polish, Khanun by Mimi, Luk Beautifood, Uncle Charlie’s Tastes of Country, Ministry of Handmade, Jade and May and Smitten Merino.