Sector Specific Keynotes and Workshops,

November 15 – 18, 2021

Global Cities After Dark was created in 2017 to build a worldwide network of experts within nightlife, and to harness this shared knowledge to support the growth of local night-time economies. 

Global Cities After Dark fosters and promotes the reform journeys of cities – celebrating local success stories in context with international case studies.

The first Parramatta edition of Global Cities After Dark will be held this November as a part of Parramatta Lanes. Each night of the program from Monday 15 November to Thursday 18 November will have a different sector focus. These specific workshops aim to harness and rapidly exchange the collective knowledge of a range of different actors and experts from the following sectors within Western Sydney’s night-time economy: 

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

For more info on each workshop please select below. Please note these workshops are invite only.

Hospitality Sector Workshop
Monday 15th November


International guest Zaran Vachha, (Mandala Masters Director, The Mandala Club, Singapore) in conversation 

From Singapore’s wildly successful membership-based The Mandala Club, Zaran Vachha in conversation will highlight:  

  • His pivot from the music industry to the hospitality industry and how Zaran applies his skillset from the music industry to the sold-out pop-ups Mandala Club hosts; 
  • Working through his philosophy of collaboration over competition, how The Mandala Group has managed cross-continental collaborations during the pandemic; 
  • The key trends Zaran is seeing across Asia, how should hospitality businesses be thinking and what 3 things businesses should be doing now to set themselves up for future success. 


Hospitality sector workshop with Andrew Levins + Arthur Tong

DJ and famous food critic Andrew Levins joins the Co-Founder of Tea Craft Arthur Tong to host this 2.5 hour workshop, that includes:

  • The future environment the Western Sydney hospitality sector will navigate in 2021 and 2022 and new, innovative ways that the local sector can rebuild; 
  • How businesses within the sector can learn to be agile by thinking out of the box; 
  • Challenges within hospitality – outside of just the pandemic – and ways the sector can work together to address these;
  • How other cities have approached hospitality at night, identifying Western Sydney’s nuances and articulation of best practice examples from other cities.

Global Cities After Dark Parramatta is supported by the NSW Government and City of Parramatta.


Mandala Masters Director, The Mandala Club, Singapore

Zaran Vachha

Zaran is the personification of a spectacular promoter pivot. Born and raised in Hong Kong, he cut his teeth in London for 10 years, then returned to Asia when the opportunity to run a music festival with Pharrell Williams in Hong Kong came knocking. He brought his company ‘The Little Black Book’ – a full range events consultancy and talent agency – from London to HK.

The next decade saw Zaran working within the spectrum of producing extravagant events for luxury brands (Prada, Cartier and Louis Vuitton) to underground boat parties for his ‘Fresh Off The Boat’ series, booking acts like Ms Dynamite, Goldie, Breakbot and Gilles Peterson. 

He founded Collective Minds Asia in the late 2010s with the purpose of addressing the problem of promoters working against each other in the region. “Collective Minds was born out of a desire to fix this. The main philosophy is to collaborate not cannibalise.” By the end of the decade, Collective Minds had run over 300 events in nine cities across Asia, touring the likes of Kamasi Washington, Anderson Paak, Daniel Caesar, Lauryn Hill, Mac Ayers, Breakbot, Gilles Peterson and Craig David

2020 was shaping up to be Collective Minds Asia’s biggest year yet – with sold out February tours for Stormzy and Gilles Peterson. Then COVID his lifelong career path was desimated overnight. 

Fast forward to 2021 and Zaran is now approaching hospitality in the way that he has approached endless music festivals and tours. Now working with SE Asia hospitality behemoth The Mandala Group, Zaran has pivoted from touring the world’s biggest music artists to the world’s biggest chefs and restaurants. The Mandala Club launched in April this year – a membership based pop-up that curates and produces chefs and restaurants three-month residences. First pop-up was Restaurant Mirazur from the French Riviera – winner of the world’s number 1 restaurant in 2019. On November 2, The Mandala Club welcomed Gaggan Anand – Indian chef, author, TV host and a regular feature in the top 5 of Asia’s top 50 restaurants – for its second three-month pop-up. The Gaggan Anand pop-up sold out in two hours. 

With Singapore’s live music industry still closed down, food is the new entertainment, and Zaran is at the forefront of this new approach in hospitality in Asia. 

DJ, Food Writer and Restaurateur

Andrew Levins

Andrew Levins has been a DJ since he was a teenager, and a food writer for almost as long. He cut his teeth as one of the inaugural DJs on FBi radio, plays most major Australian music festivals and hosts the longest-running hip-hop night in Sydney.

His articles have been published by the Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Life, VICE, SBS, Good Food Guide and Time Out. In 2007 he co-founded the youth music charity Heaps Decent (with Diplo and Nina Las Vegas), and in 2009 he was named one of Sydney’s 100 Most Influential People by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Since then he’s had two kids, run a successful restaurant, released a cookbook and started no less than five podcasts. The Nelson series are his first books for children.

Co-founder of Tea Craft

Arthur Tong

Arthur Tong is the co-founder of Tea Craft, a business with a 15-year history supplying tea to the top-tier of the Australian hospitality industry.

Over the years, he has garnered an appeal amongst chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, baristas alike – his advice well-sought after when developing recipes, pairings and tea service. Recently to pivot out of lockdown, he created Asian Staples, an online Asian grocer. As a trusted industry-insider with a penchant for Asian flavours, food journalists and editors also look to him as a guide.

He has featured in Gourmet Traveller, Broadsheet, Sydney Morning Herald and SBS Food, with further articles personally contributed to the latter two.

Live Music & Entertainment Sector Workshop
Tuesday 16th November


International keynote with Ruby Savage, London

This London based Music & Culture Curator, DJ and Creative Director will present a keynote highlighting:

  • Case studies that highlight innovation in Ruby’s local sector navigating the impact of the pandemic and the reopening journey;
  • Best practice examples of new ways of doing business and how businesses within the UK are learning to be agile; 
  • Outside of COVID, the other pressure points on businesses within Ruby’s local sector such as equity and environmental challenges – and how these challenges are being approached;
  • Best practice examples of new ways of doing business;
  • How businesses within the UK have pivoted during the pandemic and examples of diversified operations/trading that have remained during/after reopening;
  • Best practice example of businesses and individuals in Ruby’s local sector building resilience to enable rebuilding;
  • Best practice examples of other cities outside of her local sector that have served as a reference or guide for survival;
  • What are the key trends Ruby is seeing in live music, how creative businesses should be thinking and what 3 things should they be doing now to set themselves up for future success?


Live Music and Entertainment sector workshop with Vyvienne Abla + Türkan Aksoy

Founder of Vyva Entertainment Vyvienne Abla joins Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant Türkan Aksoy to host this 2.5 hour workshop, that includes:

  • The future environment the live music and entertainment sector in Western Sydney will navigate in 2022 and beyond, and new innovative ways that the local sector can rebuild; 
  • How individuals, businesses and organisations within Western Sydney’s live music and entertainment can learn to be agile as we navigate the road out of the pandemic and into the implementation of the NSW 24-Hour Economy Strategy;  
  • Challenges within live music and entertainment sector – outside of just the pandemic – and ways the sector must work together to address these; 
  • How other cities have approached live music and entertainment at night, identifying Western Sydney’s nuances compared to best practice examples from other cities;
  • What are the actionable steps that need to be taken in 2021 and 2022 for the live music and entertainment sector in Western Sydney to flourish in the years ahead.  

Global Cities After Dark Parramatta is supported by the NSW Government and City of Parramatta.


London based Music & Culture Curator

Ruby Savage

Raised on a mantra of “freedom, healing, peace and power in music,” Ruby Savage is a London based Music & Culture Curator who brings a special kind of affirmative energy to creative projects she gets involved in. 

Ruby has a BA in Production Design at the Dutch Film & Television Academy and an MA in Photography and Urban Culture at Goldsmiths University + a stellar dancefloor track record, granting her a unique compass that lets her connect the spiritual dots between music, culture, community and art. 

Ruby has worked with record labels Honest Jon’s and Sound Signature and founded Wildheart Recordings. Her stewardship as label manager and primary creative director at Brownswood Recordings has been instrumental to the label’s growing success by taking charge of the label’s creative direction earning her a ‘Best Vinyl Art’ nomination in 2020.

She went on to launch the Artist Recovery Club at the tail end of 2020, as a response to the pandemic’s relentless ripple stretching across creative communities leaving many lost for inspiration, connection and hope. The club facilitates creative healing, artistic discovery plus support network through an online course based on Julia Cameron’s cult classic self help book The Artist’s Way. The club has since grown into a wider platform also taking place in real life for like minded people to connect, inspire, and gently challenge and unblock their inner artist. 

Ruby is also the creator of Don’t Be A Creep – an arts initiative that spreads a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment in music and nightlife culture through provocative poster and installation campaigns. Previous collaborators have been Worldwide FM, She Said So and Dice Ticketing. Summer 2021 sees her collaborating with UK clubs and festivals such as Gala, We Out Here, Brainchild and a continued conversation with Resident Advisor.  

2021 Ruby was co-curator of online exhibition for MODA – Museum of Design Atlanta taking on a huge role in both the concept and curation of the project that set out to present the intersection of art and design as a means to create change and make the world a better place. Hand selecting two dozen projects to the exhibit and shaping a deeply emotive design and ethics narrative.


Artist Recovery Club:

Social Work:

Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant

Türkan Aksoy

Türkan lives and works on Darkinjung Country, pays her respects and thank Elders and community for care of people, culture and country.

Her experience is in government and non-government sectors and includes building the capacity of small and emerging communities, cultural diversity training, employment skills development, women at risk, collaborating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and youth mentoring.

Her efforts are centred on diverse communities encompassing mental health, employment and social cohesion particularly around inclusion/equity. As Welcoming Cities Coordinator she is currently supporting local councils throughout NSW. The social, cultural, economic and civic challenge lies in how communities embrace diversity and harness its strengths. Of all tiers of government, local government are best placed to understand the complexity and diversity of their communities and facilitate a whole-of-community approach. Welcoming Cities works with local councils and their communities in the advancement of Australia as a welcoming, prosperous and cohesive nation.

Over the last 7 years, I have been running interactive and engaging workshop designed to assist in building resilience to help identify anti-social behaviours and aim to prevent engagement into violent extremism, we aim to increase awareness and understanding about processes of anti-social behaviours that can lead to forms of criminal activity including violent extremism using The Behavioural Indicators Model, developed by Monash University. The workshop unpacks how to dispel some of the misconceptions and misinformation about radicalisation and also cover how to engage with the community, religious leaders, police and government to ensure that the information and format are relevant and useful. These complex issues require a whole of community approach, the training provides tools and a deeper understanding of our unique role in safeguarding our community to maximise our collective impact.

Founder, Executive Producer Vyva Entertainment

Vyvienne Abla

Vyvienne Abla has been working in the music and creative industries for 18 years locally and across the globe. In 2007 she founded Vyva Entertainment, using HipHop and music culture to empower others, with a focus on integrating industry, education and community to create unique pathways for youth, artists and professionals. In 2015, she launched 4ESydney – the only festival and conference of its kind in Australia, specialising in HipHop culture and multi-artform, interdisciplinary practice. For the community, by the community, 4ESydney continues to gradually build a global infrastructure and platform for HipHop in Australia. 

Over the years Vyv’s work has gained international attention, being invited to speak in NZ, USA, UK, Europe and Middle East as a result of her initiatives and work in Western Sydney and Australia more broadly.

Vyv is Artist & Tour Manager for DOBBY, BARKAA and Luke Currie-Richardson as well as, Acting Manager for Áine Tyrrell and Emily Wurramara. She also Executive Produces all of artist Luka Lesson’s major HipHop theatre productions, including ‘Agapi’ and ‘Odysseus’, and an Industry Advisor for his music strategies and campaigns.


Member of

– HipHop Advisory Committee, ARIA

– Riverside Theatres Parramatta Advisory Board

– Community Music Commission for the International Society for Music Education (ISME)


Selected for

– Australian Women in Music Awards, SSI Arts & Culture Delegation 2019 (1 of 6)

– Creative Development Fellowship, Create NSW 2019-20: 1 of 11 (statewide)

– The Seed Fund Residency 2019: 1 of 30 (nationally)

– IETM Campus Residency, Croatia 2018: 1 of 29 (globally)

– Future Leaders Program, Australia Council for the Arts 2018: 1 of 19 (nationally)



– Nominated: Outstanding Community Partnership for 4ESydney, Zest Awards 2020

– Winner: Creative Arts Woman of The Year, Local Women’s Awards 2018

– Winner: Community Business Partnership for 4ESydney, Zest Awards 2018

– Nominated: All-Age Ambassadors Award, National Live Music Awards 2016

International Producer & Production Experience

– Shubbak Festival, London 2017 and 2019

– Dubai Design Week, UAE 2018

– Hammana Artist House, Lebanon 2018


Invited Speaker

– 33rd World Conference of International Society for Music Education (ISME) in Baku, Azerbaijan

– Community Music Pre-Conference, Georgia 10-14/07/18

– Engaging with Communities: Creative Pedagogies, New Zealand 22-25/11/17

– Inclusive & Cohesive Communities in NSW Conference 2-3/11/17

– LGNSW Conference: Integrating new elements/building in audience sectors for your events 18/9/17

– TafeNSW Bankstown Community Services Graduation 31/5/17

– French Parliament House 13/7/16


Major Events & Tourism Sector Workshop
Wednesday 17th November, 2021


In conversation with Jan Willem Van de Ven and Meindert Kennis, Amsterdam

The Co Directors of Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) – one of the world’s biggest culture, music and tech events will discuss:

  • ADE’s growth from its beginnings as a conference attended by 300 people to a leading global event attracting 6,000 industry delegates and over 400,000 music fans;
  • The key steps in achieving this growth; 
  • Pressure points ADE experienced during such immense growth and how ADE has retained the integrity of Dutch culture, keeping this at the forefront of its delivery consistently;
  • The new business model in a COVID world and their learnings following hosting the first event since the pandemic started in October 2021; 
  • Looking to the future, what does rebuild and regrowth look like for ADE from 2022 onwards?;
  • What are the key trends in this sector, how should major cultural events be thinking and what 3 things should they be doing now to set themselves up for future success?


Major Events and Cultural Tourism sector workshop with Jeffrey Stein + Hayley French
Manager City Events and Festivals at City of Parramatta Jeffrey Stein joins Programs Officer from Parramatta Artists’ Studios Hayley French to host this 2.5 hour workshop, that includes:

  • The potential in Western Sydney in 2021 for cultural programming and activation and marrying that with strategic creative tourism;
  • Applying today’s data and insights into changing consumer behaviour to inform future focused ideas and planning; 
  • Health and safety challenges within night-time major events planning and ways to address these; 
  • How other cities have approached major events and tourism at night, identifying Western Sydney’s nuances against best practice examples from other cities.

Global Cities After Dark Parramatta is supported by the NSW Government and City of Parramatta.


Co-Directors of Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE)

Jan Willem Van de Ven and Meindert Kennis

Jan Willem Van de Ven 

Co – Director at Amsterdam Dance Event, Jan- William Van De Ven is an experienced creative strategist & connector with a demonstrated history of working in the global events industry.  Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is the world’s leading mult-faceted industry professional dance music conference attracting high profile music industry professionals and artists across 5 days annually in October. With 450 events taking place across the city, ADE guarantees over 395,000 global punters celebrating electronic music.

Jan- William Van De Ven is skilled in business development, ticketing, music and entertainment working in collaboration with the municipality of Amsterdam, club owners and festival organizers whose influence across the live and entertainment sector is acknowledged worldw


Meindert Kennis

Meindert Kennis has been working in the music industry for over 15 years. Starting at an online record store, he joined the then relatively unknown record label  Spinnin’ Records in 2008 where he designed its brand growth, social media and innovation  strategy. In his role as CMO he created Spinnin’s Youtube channel, its Asian ventures and  multiple brand extensions such as Spinnin’ Sessions and the Spinnin’ Talent Pool Platform. Meindert left the company after 10 years and started co-directing ADE in December 2019  alongside Jan Willem van de Ven.

Programs Officer, Parramatta Artists’ Studios

Hayley French

Hayley Megan French is a Western Sydney-based artist and arts worker whose practice encompasses painting, writing, curating and programming. Hayley completed a PhD in Australian painting in 2015 and has written independently for exhibition catalogues, Eyeline Contemporary Visual Arts Magazine, and Australian Art Collector. She has recently held solo exhibitions at Penrith Regional Gallery, Galerie pompom, Alexandra Lawson Gallery and Broken Hill Regional Gallery. In 2017 French co-curated the exhibition Landing Points: Race, Place and Identity with Dr Lee-Anne Hall at Penrith Regional Gallery and the Lewer’s Bequest.

Manager City Events and Festivals, City of Parramatta

Jeffrey Stein

Jeff has worked as a Manager, Creative Producer and Coordinator of Events and Festivals for over 20 years.

For the past 5 years he has overseen the City of Parramatta’s City Events and Festivals program that has grown exponentially over the years of his tenure. His team has been the recipient of three awards for events during his time as manager: Local Government NSW Award in 2014 for Parramatta Lanes; RH Dougherty Award in 2015 for Innovation in Special Events for Lanes Festival and. Australian Event Award in 2016 for Parramatta Lanes

Previously he also worked as Creative Producer on Parramasala Festival. He programmed the Hoopla Festival, Darling Harbor and Village Bizarre, The Rocks, for Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. He was Creative Producer of Viva La Gong, Community Arts Festival, 2007-2010, for Wollongong City Council. He has also programmed and coordinated the Cabaret, Circus, Street Theatre and Performance Art components of The Great Escape Festival at Homebush Bay, Sydney, 2006, 2007 and the Cabaret, Street Theatre and Performance components the Cockatoo Island Festival, 2005. He was co-artistic director of the Live Bait Festival, Bondi Beach, 2004.

Transport and Health & Safety Sector Workshop
Thursday 18th November, 2021


International keynote with Dr Kalpana Viswanath, India

The Co-founder and CEO of Safetipin, a social enterprise using data and technology to support cities to become safer, more inclusive and smarter, will present a keynote highlighting:  

  • The process Dr Kalpana went through getting safety and night-time transport on the agenda in India;
  • Looking to the future through the lens of a 24hr economy in NSW, what Western Sydney can learn from your experience and achievements in developing the business and operational feasibility for weekend and night operations of public transport;
  • The role data played in planning for night-time transport;
  • Health and safety challenges within transport planning and the ways Dr Kalpana addressed these challenges; 
  • Which other cities with overnight networks that Dr Kalpana has used as a reference point to identify her city’s nuances in planning for its night-time transport; 
  • Articulation of best practice examples from other cities that have implemented successful night-time and/or 24hr transport networks.

Transport and Health & Safety sector workshop with Michael Jollon + Dayle Bennett

Transport Planning Manager for City of Parramatta Michael Jollon will join Deputy Project Manager at Transport for NSW and Urban Planner Dayle Bennett to host this 2.5 hour workshop, that includes:

  • In preparation of a 24hr economy in NSW, articulating Western Sydney’s reasons and needs for 24hr public transport;
  • Applying today’s data and insights to inform future planning for 24-Hour transport in Western Sydney; 
  • Health and safety challenges within 24hr transport planning and ways to address these; 
  • How other cities have approached overnight networks and identifying Western Sydney’s nuances in planning for 24hr transport;
  • Articulation of best practice examples from other cities implementation of 24hr transport networks.

Global Cities After Dark Parramatta is supported by the NSW Government and City of Parramatta.


A researcher and practitioner on gender inclusive urbanisation, Co-founder and CEO of Safetipin

Dr Kalpana Viswanath

Dr Kalpana Viswanath, a researcher and practitioner on gender inclusive urbanisation, is the co-founder and CEO of Safetipin, a social enterprise that uses technology and data to advocate for inclusive urban spaces and mobility for all.

She has worked to build safer cities in India and across the world. She is part of Delhi government Women’s Safety Committee and has worked as a consultant with UN Women and UN Habitat. She is a member of the Advisory Group on Gender Issues(AGGI) at UN Habitat, Board member of SLOCAT, ICPC and Jagori.

She has received several awards and was listed among Apolitical’s 100 most influential in gender policy 2021. She has published widely, co-edited a book on Building Gender Inclusive Cities and has been a regular columnist.

Urban planner with multidisciplinary experience in urban design

Dayle Bennett

Dayle is an urban planner with multidisciplinary experience in urban design, CPTED assessment, project management and stakeholder engagement. He currently works at TfNSW in the integrated precincts team responsible for the delivery of infrastructure and place outcomes across NSW’s transport network. Previously, he worked at Sydney Metro providing planning advice and delivering planning approvals for future stations and the surrounding precincts.

At Urbis, he was involved in leading the Night-time Economy (NTE) working group and prepared DPIE’s Guide for establishing and managing Night Time Economy uses

Dayle holds a Bachelor of Design Studies (Architecture), a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning and is Safer by Design (CPTED) accredited. He is passionate about transit-orientated development, increasing social infrastructure in communities, and broadening Australia’s 24 hour economy. 

Transport Planning Manager with City of Parramatta

Michael Jollon

Michael has served as Transport Planning Manager with City of Parramatta since October 2016.  He has 18 years of experience in transport planning and traffic engineering. 

Before moving to Parramatta, he worked in consulting and programmed active travel projects for Roads ACT in Canberra.  He began his career in local government in the US, where he worked with  residents and the road authority to design Local Area Traffic Management Plans, and worked with developers on required travel plans. 

His qualifications include a master’s degree in Urban Planning from University of Virginia and a master’s degree in Transport Engineering from Virginia Tech in the United States.