What's On

Refuge Talks Series: Preparing for a Pandemic

21 May 2020

Presented in Virtual Season 2020

Presented by Arts House

Preparing for a Pandemic
Thu 21 May, Midday AEST

60 mins

Event live-streamed on Zoom

This episode will commence with a live Wurundjeri Welcome to Country.


Image result for auslan symbol
All sessions will be live captioned and Auslan interpreted.

This series will be recorded for re-stream with closed captions.

Terms and Conditions:
PDF version
Word version

Preparedness is the long game. It doesn’t end once the unthinkable is underway.

The first instalment of this three-part series dives into the minds of thinkers who knew this was coming.

From the insights gleaned during the fictional pandemic of Refuge 2018 to the fascinating things disease experts get up to behind closed doors, episode one will help you to feel prepared during the catastrophe, separating the knowledge from the noise.

Hear from artist Latai Taumoepeau, whose practice connects the realities of today with the deeper conditions of our past; learn how the translation of data is crucial to how a crisis unfolds with Health Informatics Specialist Priyanka Pillai; and uncover what levers community can pull to enact political change with Beth Eggleston of Humanitarian Advisory Group.

Interspersed with live music by Allara, sonic artwork by Ellen van Neervan and lessons from Jen Rae’s Future Proof Survival Guide, this instalment will equip you with a new kit of ideas to prepare you for tomorrow.

Hosted by: Lee Shang Lun
Latai Taumoepeau, Refuge Lead Artist
Priyanka Pillai, Health Informatics Specialist, APPRISE, the Doherty Institute
Beth Eggleston, Humanitarian Advisory Group
Ellen van Neerven, Writer
Jen Rae, Artist
Live music by: Allara


Preparing for a Pandemic is a session of Refuge Talks Series, happening live every Thursday 21 May – 4 June, midday on Arts House’s website. From practical survival skills to tips from pandemic and medical experts, this three part series takes you beyond the headlines and into the worlds (and living rooms) of those who know what counts most in a time of crisis.


About the Host

Lee Shang Lun
Lee Shang Lun is an antidisciplinary artist, playful designer, independent game maker and community organizer. His interests include Christian theology, ecological economics, freestyle wrestling, speculative architecture, a cappella vocal ensembles, water polo, and tea.

About the Speakers

Latai Taumoepeau
Latai Taumoepeau makes live art. Her body-centred performance practice of faivā centres Tongan philosophies of relational space and time; cross-pollinating ancient and everyday temporal practice to make visible the impact of climate crisis in the Pacific. She generates environmental movements and actions that are urgent to Oceania.

Priyanka Pillai
Priyanka Pillai is the Health Informatics Specialist for the Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Disease Emergencies (APPRISE) based at the Doherty Institute. Priyanka’s role supports data holders and researchers and provides expert strategic advice to facilitate national and international information sharing. Priyanka also works as a Research Data Steward for the Melbourne Data Analytics Platform (MDAP) to support the uplift of data management capabilities at the University of Melbourne.

Beth Eggleston
Beth Eggleston of Humanitarian Advisory Group has held key humanitarian coordination roles in a range in peace operations and humanitarian response contexts. For 20 years, Beth has worked in the humanitarian sector specialising in civil-military coordination and humanitarian reform. Beth has field experience in Afghanistan, Liberia, Tonga, Costa Rica, Laos PDR, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.

Ellen van Neerven
Ellen van Neerven is an award-winning writer, editor and educator of Mununjali Yugambeh and Dutch heritage with strong ancestral ties to south east Queensland. Van Neerven writes fiction, poetry and non-fiction, and plays football on unceded Turrbal and Yuggera land.

Dr Jen Rae
Dr Jen Rae is a Narrm (Melbourne)-based artist-researcher of Métis-Scottish descent. Her 15-year practice-led research is focused on cultural responses to climate/everything change, specifically the role of artists. Her work is engaged in discourses around food in/security, disaster preparedness and speculative futures predominantly articulated through multi-platform creative projects, transdisciplinary collaborative methodologies, and community alliances.

About the Musician

Allara is a creative entrepreneur whose Yorta Yorta culture inspires her work on every level. A skilled musician, composer, amateur film maker and involved in the climate justice movement, Allara strives to create space for cultural, spiritual and environmental healing on a global scale in every aspect of her life.

Presented by Arts House

Preparing for a Pandemic
Thu 21 May, Midday AEST

60 mins

Event live-streamed on Zoom

This episode will commence with a live Wurundjeri Welcome to Country.


Supported by – Supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts and funding and advisory body, Emergency Management Victoria, State Emergency Services, Resilient Melbourne, University of Melbourne, Red Cross Australia, The Peter Doherty Centre and The City of Melbourne through Arts House.
Image – Ready, Steady, Go (detail) by Jen Rae and Emma Byrnes (2020)