Robyn Davidson On Adaptability

In most areas of modern life, we are increasingly required to be agile and to adapt to change. Our workplaces, relationships, environment and technology are moving faster and faster, requiring us to continually adapt. This September, join us for an intimate conversation with writer and adventurer Robyn Davidson, as we explore how to embrace change, motion and uncertainty in our lives.

Robyn Davidson is still known as ‘the camel lady’– a reference to her journey as an ambitious and confident young woman who crossed the Australian desert with four camels and a dog in 1977. The story is compelling: it speaks to our inner desires for freedom, self-sufficiency and adventure. Today, Robyn feels like a different person, with less of the confidence of her youth and a far more urban existence. Yet there is one quality that has remained constant in her life: her ability to adapt to change.

In conversation with Berry Liberman, publisher of Dumbo Feather magazine, we ask Robyn how important it has been to embrace uncertainty and adapt to change throughout her life. How can we be more comfortable with the unknown? Should we get better at listening to our instincts? Is it important or even possible to create a narrative in our lives? Should our sense of self always be in flux? 

Photograph by Marion Williams Photography.

The School of Life and Dumbo Feather partner to help realise their joint mission in facilitating meaningful conversations that can guide, console and nurture our communities. Together we run a series of programs themed around impactful storytelling and living with passion and purpose.



18.30     Doors Open
19.00     Welcome & Introduction
19.10      In Conversation with Dumbo Feather Magazine
20.10     Audience Q&A 
20.30     Event Concludes

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'Life isn’t simple – it’s not just one thing causing another thing, and really to try and reduce things, this need to reduce everything, somehow to me, it makes more sense to keep it all moving.'
– Robyn Davidson


Robyn Davidson is a writer whose first book, Tracks, an account of her journey alone, with camels, across Australia, won many awards, and has been published in twenty languages over forty years. It has never been out of print. She has been travelling ever since, and has written a second award winning travel book, Desert Places, an account of two years spent on migration with Indian nomads. Her interests are nomadism, ancient and modern, and the effects of modernity on indigenous peoples. She is also interested in current research in the neurosciences, and occasionally writes science articles.


Berry Liberman is the co-founder and creative director of Small Giants, a family office based in Melbourne, Australia that invests in and nurtures businesses working towards a more just, sustainable and compassionate world. She and her husband Danny Almagor started the company in 2008, growing the portfolio with a holistic view of how to effect change across our environment, the economy and many of our socio-cultural institutions. The Small Giants family of business includes Impact Investment Group, Tom Organic, B Lab Australia, Peace Factory, Mossy Willow Farm, The School of Life Australia and Dumbo Feather among others.

Berry is also editor and publisher of Dumbo Feather, a multi-platform media company that publishes long-form conversations with extraordinary thinkers and doers across the world. A quarterly print magazine, online resource, podcast series and community, Dumbo Feather seeks to inspire its audience with stories and ideas for leading more conscious and meaningful lives.


Leading writers, economists, historians, philosophers, psychologists, artists and other thinkers offer provocation, inspiration and consolation in the form of advice for living better. Speakers for this strand have been invited by The School of Life to present their own material. Session formats will vary depending on the subject.

Buy tickets for
Robyn Davidson On Adaptability


Special Event
When and where:
  • Wednesday 6 September 2017 7 – 8.30pm,
    Clemenger Auditorium National Gallery of Victoria (Entry via North Court), 180 St Kilda Road Melbourne VIC 3000


Full price: $35.00
Concession: $25.00
(+ $2 booking fee and 1.5% CC fee) 

Please note there is no allocated seating for this event. 

Valid concession cards include a Health Care Card, Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and current student cards.

Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers with less than 7 days cancellation notice before the original class date.

For ticketing and box office enquiries please call 0434 492 669 or email

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Clemenger Auditorium
National Gallery of Victoria
(Entry via North Court)
180 St Kilda Road
Melbourne VIC 3000 

This venue is wheelchair accessible.

Please note that this event will be photographed and audio recorded.