Event: 5pm – 9pm
Talk: 6.30pm – 7.30pm
DJs: 7.30pm – 9pm
Sandra Pankhurst is the renowned Trauma Cleaner. A transgender woman, Sandra has lived many lives – child abuse survivor, drag queen, sex worker, Australia’s first female funeral director, trophy wife, a local government candidate, forensic cleaning specialist and CEO of Trauma Cleaning Services. She has picked herself up from rock bottom and can teach us all a few tricks about resilience, empathy and respect.
In any normal workday, Sandra is confronted with blood splattered walls, mountains of rubbish, the sickening stench of death, and worse. With mental health problems on the rise, Sandra and her hazmat clad team are busier than ever.
Perhaps Sandra can face these nightmare scenarios and win the trust of her clients because she’s overcome the most harrowing of upbringings and built-up reserves of inner strength? She will talk us through her journey from early days as the young ‘Peter’ who was abused and neglected by his family through her transformation into the glamorous and successful Sandra, who is also an outspoken advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights and the need for more kindness in the world.
Expect a truly revealing tale of resilience that will make you appreciate that life is precarious and remind you to never judge those who walk a different path.
After this fascinating talk, stick around for the DJ, have a drink at the bar and explore the newly transformed spaces of the Australian Museum until 9pm.
This event is part of a special event series celebrating Unorthodox thinkers happening at the Australian Museum throughout August. These nights fuse ideas with music and science – everyone is welcome and the best part is – they are free.
*Please note there is limited seating available in Hintze Hall for the talk and will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Standing room will also be available. Our permanent galleries and current exhibitions will be open throughout the night.
Sandra Pankhurst is now CEO of one of Australia’s most successful trauma cleaning businesses, transforming the filth and squalor of murder, suicide, drug dens, crime, mental illness with no-nonsense practicality and genuine compassion in equal doses. The idea for her trauma cleaning business emerged when she was a funeral director. There were no death/crime scene specialist cleaners, Sandra saw a gap in the market and created a business that combined her ‘neat freak’ CSI stain-removing genius with her next level ability to relate and connect to people in difficult situations, in trauma. She has a unique ability to treat her clients with unpatronising dignity and respect, transforming properties back to their former glory.
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