‘Celebrate Local’ Closing Event

Join us to welcome a new era in Sydney’s nightlife

Panels – Future Proofing Sydney’s Nightlife
In conversation with the NSW 24-Hour Economy Commissioner
Performances and live music

Friday 26 March, 2021 | 7:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Maton: Australia’s Guitar, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

GCAD Sydney 2021 is a week-long capacity building and resilience focussed program of keynotes, sector-specific workshops, think-tanks and a  ‘Celebrate Local’ closing event, co-designed with local NTE sector leaders.

The program during the week is focused on the following sectors within Sydney’s Night-Time Economy:

  • Hospitality
  • Live Music and Entertainment
  • Major Events and Tourism
  • Transport and Health & Safety

The Global Cities After Dark Sydney 2021 program concludes with the ‘Celebrate Local’ closing event – a live music, performance and culinary experience. It is the first opportunity since the pandemic that brings the key stakeholders and actors within Sydney’s Night-Time Economy together. ‘Celebrate Local’ highlights the roadmap ahead in 2021 as Sydney embarks on the implementation of the NSW 24-Hour Economy Strategy. Please join us to celebrate this new chapter in Sydney’s life after dark.

Ticket price includes:

– Welcome drink, three course dinner with paired wines;
– Official welcome from Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney Jess Scully;
– In-conversation between Michael Rodrigues, NSW’s inaugural 24hr  Economy Commissioner and VibeLab’s Mirik Milan discussing Mike’s priorities for 2021 and what this new role needs from the stakeholders and actors within Sydney’s Night-Time Economy. * Michael formally commences the role on 29 March 2021.
– Performances from Barkaa, Kyva and Sarah Houbolt;
– Panel: Future Proofing Sydney’s Hospitality, Live Music and Entertainment sectors: Kathy Savill; (A Bite at a Time) Paulette Long OBE; (London) Riyaaz Almani; (Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality, Mumbai) Tanya Ali. (FBi Radio)
– Panel: Future Proofing Sydney’s Major Events, Tourism and Transport sectors: Carla Theunissen; (City of Parramatta) Mark Curran; (Transport for London) Stephanie Strilakos; (Transport for NSW)Vince Kadlubek. (Spatial Activations/Meow Wolf, Santa Fe)
– Hosted by Robbie Buck, ABC Radio



Acting Director Parramatta Artist Studios and City Animation, City of Parramatta

Carla Theunissen

Carla Theunissen is the Acting Director, Parramatta Artists’ Studios and City Animation. Carla manages Parramatta Artist Studios’ residency and public programs, the Public Art and City Animation teams and the brokering of new cultural infrastructure, programs and partnerships for City of Parramatta. Carla has extensive creative sector experience as a curator and manager including prior roles as Associate Director of Sydney Festival; Head of Music for Sydney Opera House; Director of Q Theatre, NZ; The Concourse Precinct Place Manager for City of Willoughby and Interim CEO / Director of Urban Theatre Projects.

Director, A Bite at a Time

Kathy Savill

Kathy is the Director of A Bite at a Time, a Hospitality Consultancy and Business Coaching practise. Kathy’s Hospitality career began over 35 years ago and she has worked for a variety of organisations in both the corporate and private enterprise space as well as running her own businesses. Prior to starting A Bite at a Time, Kathy had an 11 year tenure with the Merivale group in a variety of roles including Chief Sales Officer.

Inaugural NSW 24-Hour Economy Commissioner

Michael Rodrigues

Mike believes in the inspirational power of cities and spends a good amount of time encouraging anyone in his orbit to get out of the house, to know their city and to have more fun. While working as a lawyer in the Middle East, he spotted an opportunity to launch global lifestyle brand Time Out in Sydney in 2007 to achieve these aims. In 15 years at the helm of Time Out Australia he has grown the brand across print, digital, event and social channels, which now reaches 1,000,000 Australians monthly.

Time Out’s contribution to our cities was most recently recognised in 2020 where Time Out was awarded the Mumbrella Publish Awards Publishing Company of the Year, and Mike himself was awarded Publish Leader of the Year. Since 2017 and prompted by the challenges facing Sydney’s night time economy, Mike has focussed his efforts on aligning and empowering industry to actively engage in the political process in order to effect change. This saw him take a leading role in launching an independent bars association for Sydney in May 2018, followed by the launch of a Night

Time Industries Association (NTIA) in November 2018 which he is the outgoing chair. The NTIA has been at the forefront of the development of the NSW Government strategy for a 24 Hour Economy, and in February Mike was announced as the State of NSW’s first 24 Hour Economy Commissioner, a role that commences formally on 29 March 2021.

Mike is also co-host of leading hospitality podcast Back of House.

Rail Closures Planning Manager, formerly Night Tube Sponsor - Transport for London

Mark Curran

Mark started his career in 2001 with a transport planning consultancy in Birmingham, England. He joined Transport for London in 2007 responsible for planning long term closures/blockades on the Underground. In 2009 he moved on to oversee operational planning and demand management on the Underground for the London 2012 Olympics. Following a successful Olympics, as a result of a broader transport planning exercise Mark identified the business case for operating Underground trains over night at weekends. This became ‘Night Tube’ and Mark was employed as the project sponsor through to the phased implementation of the service in 2016. In 2017 Mark returned to closures as TfL’s Rail Closures Planning Manager. Mark is particularly driven by customer handling and customer service in unusual or perturbed environments.

OBE, London

Paulette Long

Paulette Long OBE has worked within the music industry for over 35 years beginning her career in music PR and artist management. Moving on to work for independent music publisher Westbury Music (where she became a director) Paulette worked within all areas of publishing from licensing, artist development and business affairs to royalty accounts and distribution. Also finding time to work for an advertising agency on their music accounts and an independent record label before setting up her own management company.

A previous long standing board director for The Music Publishers Association (16 years) and a previous director of PRS For Music where she held the post of Deputy Chair (the first Black person to sit on both Boards), Paulette is also an Ambassador for the PRS Foundation and a trustee of the PRS Members Fund.

A founding member of ADMM who successfully created the UK music industry’s first Diversity Charter (formally adopted by UK Music), Paulette currently sits as deputy-chair of the UK Music Diversity Task Force and co-chair of the BPI Equality and Justice Advisory Group.  In 2016 Paulette was added to Music Week’s ‘Women In Music Roll Of Honour’ and later that year received an OBE for services to the music industry. 2017 saw Paulette receiving the prestigious Gold Badge Award from The Ivors Academy and more recently in 2019, held the role of Jury President in the Entertainment Lions for Music category at the renowned Cannes Lions Festival. Paulette is also a qualified Peer Reviewer on the CLOCK Your Skills programme and also manages the very talented  singer, songwriter, cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson. She has more recently extended her diversity work into the recruitment arena with the setting up of ‘Zero81’ an agency for specialist recruitment and championing and improving ethnic diversity at senior management level within the UK music industry.

CEO & MD, Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. (Mumbai, India)

Riyaaz Amlani

Riyaaz Amlani is an entrepreneur and restaurateur based in Mumbai, India. He is the CEO and MD of Impresario Handmade Restaurants and the former President of National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) from 2014 to 2017. Over the years, Riyaaz has expanded Impresario’s hospitality footprint by establishing 58 restaurants across 16 cities in India. Its umbrella of brands includes SOCIAL, antiSOCIAL, Smoke House Deli, Salt Water Cafe, Flea Bazaar Café, Ishaara, Slink & Bardot, Souffle S’il Vous Plait, Mocha, Prithvi Café, and The Tasting Room.

Senior Service Designer - Future Transport Digital Accelerator, Transport for NSW.

Stephanie Strilakos

Stephanie Strilakos is a Senior Service Designer at Transport for NSW, in our Future Transport Digital Accelerator. Stephanie works with the public and private sectors, connecting teams from the NSW Transport cluster with industry, researchers, entrepreneurs and start-ups in the digital space, to solve some of Transport’s biggest problems. Stephanie played a lead role in Transport’s engagement in the Safety After Dark initiative and in Transport’s City Revitalisation program. Stephanie has expertise in working with clients to build solutions that meet customer’s needs. A key part of her role is to champion innovative services at the executive level.

The Future Transport Digital Accelerator facilitates direct collaboration between the public and private sectors, connecting teams from the NSW Transport cluster with industry, researchers, entrepreneurs and start-ups in the digital space. The Future Transport Digital Accelerator supports and fast-tracks a series of initiatives designed to practically enhance the way Transport customers interact with services.

Program Manager, FBi Radio

Tanya Ali

Tanya Ali is a Pakistani-Australian broadcaster, freelancer and DJ living and working primarily on stolen Gadigal land. She is the Program Manager at Sydney youth community radio station FBi Radio, and has a decade of experience working in the music industry – from written journalism, to partnerships, and now programming. She is particularly passionate about the live performance landscape, and making it as accessible and welcoming for as many people as possible.

Founder, Meow Wolf

Vince Kadlubek

Vince Kadlubek is a Founder of Meow Wolf, an art collective that has transformed into an award winning Art and Entertainment Production Company that specializes in immersive, open-world walk through experiences. Vince acted as leader and CEO for Meow Wolf though its formidable years, having created the business plan for Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return and leading the team towards the project’s completion in March of 2016. In January of 2017 Kadlubek formed Meow Wolf, Inc as a full fledged arts production company and creative studio positioned to create the largest, most innovative and audacious monumental art exhibits in the world. After raising series A funding he announced two new Meow Wolf exhibits in Las Vegas and Denver opening in 2021. Kadlubek has been a force of vision in the realm of experiential art, and in 2020 launched a creative consulting agency called Spatial Activations as a platform to usher in a new era of experiential art in modern developments and everyday life. Vince is most passionate about co-creating fully-realized alternative realities that bring paradigm-shifting transformation and inspiration to the world.