Nerd Nite Melbourne is back with its 51st show, featuring 3 captivating talks that will take you on a journey through the lives of remarkable individuals pursuing their passions in unique fields. We will explore endangered small Australian marsupials, back yard wine making, and being a paralympian at the tokyo olympics during the COVID lockdowns! Be there. Be square.  

Wednesday, 9th August 2023
Howler (7-11 Dawson Street, Brunswick)
Doors: 7 pm
Show: 7:30 pm
Tickets: $15 – Available now!!!

A day in the life of a Paralympian

Bree Mellberg

Ever wondered what it would be like to reach the pinnacle of sport? To represent your country at the highest level? Bree delves into the life of a Paralympic athlete and the challenges, supports, sacrifices and elation that elite sport can give you. Bree reached her childhood dream of qualifying for the Paralympic Games, but not just any games, the Covid-delayed and seriously altered 2020 Paralympic Games. Bree shares insights into her experiences and what sport had taught her as she tackles the balance between sport, PhD and life. 

Bio: Bree Wright is a PhD candidate at LaTrobe university completing research in the evolutionary development of cell polarity genes (a cells capacity to orient themselves in space) under Prof. Patrick Humbert. Bree is an advocate in the space of disability and access for those who have physical impairments. In her spare time she loves to wander along St Kilda beach with her husband, crochet and travel. 

Twitter: @bree_mellberg

Suburban backyard winemaking – ritual and transcendence.

Laki Sideris

Explore of the practice of suburban winemaking through the voices and photographs of a group of first and second-generation migrant makers. Backyard wine maker Laki exhibited the series as part of the Darebin FUSE festival in 2021 and since then he has reflected upon his own experiences of winemaking as a means of connecting. This talk will allow you to peek over the fence to witness the care, love and joy their neighbours are putting into their craft and how it defines their sense of self.

Bio: Laki Sideris is a Melbourne-based award-winning photographer and backyard winemaker. He romanticises about his ancestral connection to village winemaking and is exploring how traditional and ritualistic practices such as winemaking can be applied to contemporary suburban ways of being.

Instagram: @lakisideris


Fat-tailed dunnarts of the Victorian grasslands: Threatened with extinction.

Emily Scicluna

As of May 2023 the fat-tailed dunnart is now recognised as a threatened species in Victoria, thanks to influential research by Emily during her PhD! As part of her PhD research, Emily observed the population decline of this species, which catalysed her application and recommendation for fat-tailed dunnart Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act statutory inclusion and increased conservation status. Emily will discuss all things fat-tailed dunnarts: ecology, conservation status, skulls, behaviour, threats… and how to help conserve them!

Bio: Emily Scicluna is a Research Associate at The University of Melbourne, specialising in carnivorous marsupial conservation. Her passion is investigating a number of key aspects of threatened species captive breeding, ecology, characterization of personality, cognitive ability, skull morphology and reintroduction success of the fat-tailed dunnart. 

Twitter: @SciclunaEmily