Brooke Farmer is the producer of Generation Women, a monthly storytelling night held at Giant Dwarf in Redfern.
I spoke with her about what the show entails, how she got involved and why these kinds of events are so important.
Could you give a quick explanation of what Generation Women is?
Basically, the show's been running in Sydney for about a year now. It was originally started over in New York and shows still run there regularly once a month.
The show was originally created by a woman named Georgia Clark, who is an author. She's written a couple of books and she's actually from Sydney herself, but she lives over in New York now. She runs the show over there and we've got the shows here in Sydney. Basically we're all about diversity, empowerment and kind of providing a space for women to tell their stories and have their stories shared.
Every month we invite one woman in her 20s, 30s, 40s, all the way up to 70s. We've got six different age categories and each woman shares a personal story based on the month's theme.
How did you get involved in the program?
I attended the first show that Georgia did over here. It was the first show in Sydney, and she kind of just did it because she was over here on holidays visiting her family and she wanted to see how the Sydney audience would find it.
It was a huge success. The show did really well. I think that first show sold out, and at the end of the show she said, "Look, I'm based in New York, this is where the show started. If you would like to get in touch and help out with the Sydney show, let me know."
Myself and another woman, Donna, got in touch with her. We both had never met each other before and we got in touch and said, "Yeah, look, we'd love to be involved," explained our backgrounds, kind of did a bit of a pitch to her. We were able to come on board at the end of last year and start running the shows over here in Sydney.
What did you study and how does it help in this role?
I graduated from UNSW in 2016. I studied a Bachelor of Media (PR & Advertising). Generation Women is kind of my after-hours side hustle, if you will. I'm currently working in marketing full time, but those skills are very transferable. When you're producing a show, you need to have that marketing background and PR knowledge to be able to get the show out there and make sure you're getting as many people as possible, so I think my course has kind of carried through in that way.
What can someone expect when they attend the event? What do you want people to take away from it?
The show is in Redfern, at Giant Dwarf Theatre. It's a great little space. We usually see around 150 people coming along, both men and women, though the men in the audience are probably around 5%. We're trying to build that male audience. And all ages of women, so we'll get moms bringing their daughters, daughters bringing their grandmothers etc. All different ages, lots of families, lots of close friends coming along.
The night is super relaxed, there's a bar at Giant Dwarf, and we've also got an organisation called Two Good on board as our caterers. They're a not-for-profit, and what they do is every meal that's bought, they will supply a woman who is a refugee in Australia with a meal. It's a great program. They've been with us for the last couple of months of shows as well.
In terms of what you can expect, grab a drink, grab some food, come and enjoy some stories from women of all ages. You'll get some stories that are really funny and some that are a little bit more heartfelt. It kind of depends on the theme a bit as well.
In February the theme was 'My Biggest Secret', so there was a lot of humour in that show and a lot of sexual reveals, which was fab. The show's a little bit risqué as well, which is awesome because you get a really diverse audience talking about a whole range of things from transitioning to becoming a woman to how they met their husband. All sorts of stuff.
Why do you think these kinds of events are so important?
I think these events are super important for all audiences. I think that our event is really unique in that we do have such a diverse range of ages. That’s something really special and it's something that's quite unique as well. You do get to hear from a massive range of times, so you're hearing a story from the 1950s, but you're also hearing a story from last week about Tinder. I think these nights are really important.
Obviously there's still a lot of discrimination when it comes to gender and age, and I think that it's really important that we have these kind of events to showcase people of all backgrounds and ages and sexualities. That's something that our show does really well. It provides a really safe and comfortable space for people to come in and have their stories heard. Also for the audience - it gives them a chance to understand different perspectives.
I think it's really relevant at the moment with everything that's been happening in the last couple of years to take a moment to reflect and listen to stories from women whose stories may not have been told or heard before.
April's instalment of Generation Women will be held at Giant Dwarf, Redfern on 18 April. The theme is 'The Skin I'm In' and you can purchase tickets here.
Georgia is the Managing Editor of Blitz. She is a Journalism/Law student with a passion for all things music and culture. When she’s not at a gig, you can find her watching NCIS and tagging her housemates in memes. Her go-to coffee is a skim mocha. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.