SPEAKERS 2019

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Managing Director - Fuzzy Operations

Adelle Robinson

Managing Director: Fuzzy Operations
Event Director: Listen Out, Field Day, Harbourlife, Curve Ball
Board Member and Spokesperson: Australian Festivals Association

Adelle has been running music festivals for over 20 years. Field Day, Harbourlife, Parklife and its current iteration Listen Out are some of the most prestigious and largest festivals in Australia. As the head of operations for Fuzzy events Adelle has been at the forefront of stakeholder liaison, safety planning and instrumental in the company’s harm minimization initiatives that now form a key part of the NSW Health Guidelines around music festivals.

Since the formation of the Australian Festival Association Adelle has played lead on government negotiations for the industry and been key spokesperson rallying against the rushed music festival regulation in NSW.

Adelle believes co-operation and consultation with the industry is the key to raising the bar for best practice around music festival management and harm min practices.

Associate Professor Flinders University, Visiting Fellow National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Vice-President International Society for the Study of Drug Policy

A/Prof Caitlin Hughes

Caitlin is an Associate Professor in criminology and drug policy and Matthew Flinders Fellow at the Centre for Crime Policy and Research, Flinders University, Vice-President for the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy and Visiting Fellow, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW. Caitlin has spent 17 years researching drug policy, including the last 12.5 years working at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, working as part of the Drug Policy Modelling Program – one of the leading drug policy research centres in the world. Her research seeks to advance Australian and international drug policy by improving the evidence-base into the effects of different legislative and law enforcement approaches to drug use and supply and working directly with policy makers. She has spent the last five years examining issues of festival safety, including the incidence and nature of drug use and supply and impacts of different methods of policing. She gave evidence for the 2018 NSW Government Festival Safety Inquiry, the 2019 NSW Coronial Inquest into drug-related deaths at festivals and the 2019 NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug Ice.

Founder/Creative Director - House of Ayebatonye presents

Ayebatonye Abrakasa

Ayebatonye Abrakasa is a Sydney- based Event Producer/DJ/Writer/Podcaster/Presenter/curator and community organiser.

Her prowess behind the decks has seen her play at some of Australia’s best festivals, events, parties and arts institutions alongside some of the world’s finest selectors. Some noteworthy mentions include Secret Garden Festival, Lost Paradise, Yours and Owls Festival, Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art, House of Mince, A Club Called Rhonda and The Sydney Opera House.

When she’s not playing fun tunes to packed rooms, she’s providing sage social commentary through her online platforms and her podcast Don’t @ Me on FBI Radio where she has interviewed internationally acclaimed guests including Dr Robin Di Angelo, Aiyshat Akanbi and has moderated panels with guests such as Nakhane and Wesley Enoch.

As an events producer and Creative Director, Ayebatonye hosts inclusive and immersive large scale events under her company “House Of Ayebatonye ” and is the brainchild behind the newly established Irregular Fit , a collaborative interdisciplinary arts platform, led by Indigenous, Bla(c)k and POC (persons of colour) artists + collectives working towards creating a more equitable and sustainable future for marginalised folk in arts and cultural industries launching officially in September.

Ayebatonye also hosts a radio show of the same name on Nomad Radio, where listeners can expect a two hour auditory journey that reconciles the many facets of her musical identity exploring Afro rhythms from all over the continent, jazz, experimental and electronic sounds.

Ayebatonye sits on the Board of Directors for the Red Rattler Theatre, MusicNSW Levels Programming Committee and the FBI Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Outside of her work within the arts and cultural industries Ayebatonye undertakes community engagement, anti- discrimination and anti racism work as a public servant. A true champion for the diversification of Australia’s cultural landscape, Ayebatonye frequently contributes her knowledge and experience on social issues within Australia’s music community and is driven to create more opportunities for people from marginalised backgrounds.

Business Development Manager, Nightlife and Entertainment Sector, San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development

Ben Van Houten

In 2013, Ben Van Houten became San Francisco’s first Business Development Manager for the Nightlife & Entertainment Sector, a position created after an economic impact study identified the $6 billion generated annually by San Francisco’s nightlife and entertainment industry. Ben is involved in a wide range of business assistance and policy efforts to support the industry and its 62,000 employees, with accomplishments including: managing a groundbreaking regional initiative to improve all-night transportation; developing legislation to create San Francisco’s first new full liquor licenses in over 70 years; working to foster compatibility between entertainment venues and residential developments; and leading capacity-building efforts to support the local music industry.

Account Manager, Urbanlist

Blake Wright

Blake is an advertising and communications specialist working with Australian and International Brands and hospitality groups to develop campaigns to engage young people. The campaigns are designed to inspire, inform or recommend ultimately driving a particular action or result and help young people to live their best lives, in their city.

Currently working at the independent publisher, Urban List, the Home of Urban Culture, in Sydney with experience across the QLD + WA markets and formerly of Nova Radio and Pedestrian Group.

International authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change

Charles Landry

Charles Landry is an international authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change. He is currently a fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin. He invented the concept of the Creative City in the late 1980’s. Its focus is how cities can create the enabling conditions for people and organizations to think, plan and act with imagination to solve problems and develop opportunities. The notion has become a global movement and changed the way cities thought about their capabilities and resources.

Charles helps cities identify and make the most of their potential by triggering their inventiveness and thinking and by opening up new conversations about their future. His aim is to help cities become more resilient, self-sustaining and to punch above their weight.

Acting as a critical friend he works closely with decision makers and local leaders in the short and longer term.. He stimulates, facilitates and inspires so cities can transform for the better. He helps find apt and original solutions to seemingly intractable dilemmas, such as marrying, social creativity, innovation and tradition, or balancing wealth creation and social cohesiveness, or local distinctiveness and a global orientation. His overall aim is to help cities get onto the global radar screen.

Charles facilitates complex urban change and visioning processes and undertakes tailored research often creating his own projects. These include the Urban Psyche test developed with Chris Murray and the ‘Creative City Index’ in collaboration with Bilbao and developed with Jonathan Hyams. It is a strategic tool that measures, evaluates and assesses the innovative eco-system of a city and its capacity to adapt to radical global shifts and adjustments. So far 23 cities have taken part from Helsinki to Adelaide, Krakow toTaipei, Mannheim and Plymouth.

His latest major project is the picture driven ‘The Civic City in a Nomadic World’. It brings together his work over the last decade including the concept of ‘civic urbanity’, the ‘creative bureaucracy’ and ‘the management of fragility’. Publication date late 2017.

Charles was born in 1948 and studied in Britain, Germany and Italy. In 1978 he founded Comedia, a highly respected globally oriented advisor that assesses deep trends, creative potential, culture and urban change. He has completed several hundred assignments for many public and private interests and given key note addresses and workshops in 65 countries across the continents including: Britain, Australia, Germany, Finland, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Argentina, the Netherlands, China, Japan, Korea, Cambodia, India, the UAE, Qatar, Albania, Croatia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, South Africa, Ecuador, Canada, the USA and Yemen.

His many books include most recently a series of short, illustrated books, including: The Creative Bureaucracy (September 2017), Psychology & the City with Chris Murray; The Digitized City; Cities of Ambition; The Fragile City & the Risk Nexus with Tom Burke; The Sensory Landscape of Cities; The Origins and Futures of the Creative City and Culture & Commerce. He is best known for The Creative City: A toolkit for Urban Innovators (2000); The Art of City Making (2006); and The Intercultural City: Planning for Diversity Advantage with Phil Wood.

Communications Manager - Kensington Street

Daria Grove

Daria Grove is the Communications Manager of Kensington Street, Chippendale, an eclectic food and lifestyle precinct including twelve restaurants, six bars, a boutique hotel and hawker institution Spice Alley.

Passionate about facilitating the arts and creating a high level of cultural and community engagement, Daria has been the driving force behind several local and international cultural partnerships, exhibitions and festivals including Fringe Festival, OBEY, Singapore Inside Out and the annual Chinese New Year celebrations.

Since joining Kensington Street in 2016, Daria has worked seamlessly with internal and external stakeholders to create a thriving, profitable business and village community, despite Sydney’s restrictive night time environment.

Daria has a strong background in film, events and corporate communications – the perfect mix to bring the Kensington Street precinct and it’s true potential to life!

Executive Director - Unharm and The Loop Australia

Dr Will Tregoning

Dr Will Tregoning is a founder and Executive Director of Unharm, a grassroots organisation campaigning for policies that promote wellbeing and make drug use safer. He is also a founder of The Loop Australia, a non-profit organisation established to provide ‘pill testing’ services in Australia. Prior to Unharm, Will did program evaluation, social policy research and communications consultancy for Australian government departments and agencies. His personal and professional experience made him aware of the harms of current drug policy and the need for new approaches.

Director - Art Pharmacy and Culture Scouts

Emilya Colliver

Emilya Colliver is Founder and Director of Art Pharmacy Consulting, offering strategic art and culture consulting services to a wide range of private and public sector clients. She is also the director of Culture Scouts walking tours, which curates walking tours through Sydney’s cultural hubs for visitors and curious locals. Emilya is a member of City of Sydney’s Nighttime Economy Panel, looking at rebuilding the nighttime economy in Sydney, and she curates Art Pharmacy, an online gallery that represents Australian artists. In November 2019, she was announced the winner of the Business News Australia Young Entrepreneur Award in the Art and Culture category.

Research Director - Drug Free Australia

Gary Christian

Gary Christian is Research Director for Drug Free Australia – a peak body representing organisations and individuals who promote and advocate for a healthy, drug free lifestyle for everyday Australians. As a community voice, Drug Free Australia engages with families and young people via newsletters, community forums and the media.

Previous to his role at Drug Free Australia, Gary has been Director of National Program, ADRA Australia; President of Hassela Australia – Drug Rehab Centre; and an Australian Representative to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (Vienna) – International Drug Conventions,

Gary holds a BA in Theology and a MA in Philosophy.

Professor of Cultural Theory and Cultural Practice, Vice President Research, HafenCity University of Hamburg

Gesa Ziemer

Gesa Ziemer (Prof. Dr. phil.) is a professor for cultural theory and vice president research at HafenCity University Hamburg. She is the director of the City Science Lab, cooperation with MIT Media Lab (research group City Science). Her research focusses on digitalisation of cities, new forms of collaboration and the interface between artistic practice and society. She is a member of the Scientific Council of Germany, reviewer for different foundations and academic research funds and a regular guest lecturer at Lucerne School of Art and Design.

President and Co-Founder - Harm Reduction Australia

Gino Vumbaca

Gino Vumbaca is President and Co-Founder of Harm Reduction Australia

Mr Vumbaca has extensive experience in the HIV/ AIDS and drug and alcohol fields both in Australia and internationally. He is a Churchill Fellow, has completed a Social Work degree and a Master of Business Administration at the University of Sydney and is a qualified Company Director.

Mr Vumbaca is the former Executive Director of the Australian National Council on Drugs – a position he held for over 15 years – and which provided advice directly to the offices of the previous 4 Australian Prime Ministers (The Hon John Howard, The Hon Kevin Rudd, The Hon Julia Gillard and The Hon Tony Abbott) as well as numerous Ministers and senior officials. Previously Mr Vumbaca worked as the Manager of HIV/AIDS and related services with the NSW Department of Corrective Services, in a variety of drug and alcohol centres as a counsellor and was responsible for coordinating the establishment of the NSW network of needle and syringe exchange programs for the NSW Health Department.

Mr Vumbaca also continues to provide advice on prisons, HIV and drug issues for international organisations such as the United Nations & World Health Organisation.

He is also a Director of Justice Reinvestment NSW and President of the largest non-government drug and alcohol organisation in Macau SAR – ARTM.

City Data Scientist, HafenCity University of Hamburg

Holger Prang

Holger Prang graduated with an engineering degree in Media Technology. He is part of the CityScope team involved in the development of data-driven negotiation themes and knowledge management to support participation and collaboration throughout disciplines. His PhD studies focus on semantic data analytics and knowledge mapping in spatial and social phenomena. Since 2019 he is developing the MusicCityScope a tool to show and discuss the interdependences between Music and the City in consideration of an integrated approach: Looking at economic, demographic, structural and ecological indicators, gaining insights from spatial and historical event data as well as matters of cultural identity. The aim is to develop positively both the diversity of the city and the diversity of the music scenes.

Marketing & Cultural Director, House of Yes

Jacqui Rabkin

Jacqui Rabkin is the Marketing and Cultural Director at House of Yes, a theatre infused nightclub and creative collective based in Brooklyn, NYC. Before working for House of Yes, Jacqui was a behavioral neuroscientist with a secret love for the underground music & arts scene. She made the switch to full time nightlife in 2016 and never looked back. Since joining the House of Yes team she has pioneered the creation of a nationally-recognized Consent Program, and has been featured on NPR, BBC, The New Yorker, NBC, Vice Media, and more. Jacqui is passionate about creating inclusive, safer spaces in nightlife and fostering community-driven approaches to nightlife development.

Director - Brand X

James Winter

James is the co-founder of Brand X; a non-profit arts organisation that partners with property developers and local governments to re-purpose underutilised space into cultural assets. Since 2005 he has worked on 17 property projects and consulted for the private and public sectors on cultural infrastructure and placemaking. He currently sits on the board of Darlinghurst Business Partnership, the Nightlife and Creative Sector Advisory Panel for the City of Sydney and the Inner West Arts and Culture Advisory Committee.

Director - AHA NSW

John Green

John is a member of the City of Sydney Nightlife and Creative Sector Panel.
As Director of Liquor & Policing with AHA NSW, his responsibilities include stakeholder and membership engagement, advocacy and the development of evidence based responses on issues impacting the hotel industry. He represents AHA NSW and industry on government committees/ working groups dealing with liquor accords, licensing, training, armed robberies and counter terrorism. He is the association’s media spokesperson.

John was previously with the NSW Police Force responsible for the organisational response to alcohol related crime. His 26 year career comprised uniform policing in Sydney’s eastern/southern suburbs, then specialist /leadership roles in areas such as Dog Squad, Tactical Response Group, Olympic Security, Local Area Commands, emergency/aviation security, counter terrorism and crisis management.

Senior Prevention Worker, Jellinek

Judith Noijen

Judith Noijen is a senior staff member of the prevention department of Jellinek in Amsterdam. Jellinek Prevention responds to developments in the field of alcohol and drug-related issues, education, policy and research.
Since 2005 Judith’s focus has been on promoting the role of health, education and science-based policy and interventions in preventing nightlife related risks. She has done so through research, drug checking, staff training and managing a specific nightlife outreach program: ‘Unity’ which has been operating in the Dutch Dance scene since 1996.

By implementing the Celebrate Safe platform and campaign on a national level through public-private cooperation, a strong network has been set up. Within this network, community projects focusing on safer and healthy nightlife, event medical services, event security companies, clubs, music venues, event organisers, local and regional authorities and scientists work together to create a safer and healthy nightlife in the Netherlands.

Judith co-curated the 11th edition of the international Club Health conference on Nightlife, Substance Use and related health issues. The conference that took place in Amsterdam, May 2019, brought together a range of experts from 25 countries on protecting and promoting health in nightlife settings.

As a board member of the European Nightlife Empowerment & Wellbeing Network (NEW Net), she’s working, in close collaboration with safer nightlife stakeholders on improving nightlife empowerment and wellbeing on a European level.

Co Founder/Creative Director, House of Yes

Kae Burke

Kae Burke is a co-founder and creative director of House of Yes, a theatre infused nightclub and creative collective based in Brooklyn. Since 2008, Kae has been dedicated her life to developing collaborative projects, creative spaces, and events that bring together audiences and artists of every genre through performance and nightlife. She has been featured in Forbes, The New Yorker, Culture Trip, Cosmopolitan and the New York Times and recognized for her work with House of Yes in holding the culture of nightlife to a higher standard with a commitment to consent culture, community inclusivity, fostering self-expression and nurturing emerging talent.

Recently named the #2 Best Thing To Do in the World by Time Out New York, House of Yes has been expanding outside of its Brooklyn home to places and projects such as 29 Rooms in Los Angeles, Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee, Life is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas, Envision Festival in Costa Rica, Art Basel in Miami, Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and Blunderland Variety Show in London. Most recently, House of Yes has collaborated with Ian Schrager as the creative developers of Paradise Club at the Times Square Edition in New York City.

Head of General Licensing, PPCA

Karla Skarda

Karla’s journey to her current role as Head of Licensing at PPCA has taken a few turns along the way. Starting out studying a law, she then switched to accounting, which evolved into project management and running a technology company. This experience extended over 5 countries including Africa, the US and Asia.
Whilst this journey may appear random, the consistent thread in her career has been a passionate evangelism for artist rights. Karla loves the challenge of keeping pace with the constant disruption in the music industry. Her depth of experience extends from industry negotiation around tariff structures to individually helping commercial venues who play music understand both the importance of copyright protection and how the music licensing applies to their often unique situations.

Her main goal is a lively and vibrant Australian music industry where both artists and venues can create and consume music with equal amounts of financial certainty. This guarantees an environment where all can share in the value and richness of our industry and be well positioned to meet the challenges of the future.

CEO, Sydney Fringe and co-chair, the City of Sydney’s Nightlife and Creative Sector Advisory Panel

Kerri Glasscock

In 2004 Kerri co-founded the now legendary underground performance space 505 in Sydney alongside bassist Cameron Undy. Created as a performance focused space for musicians and theatre makers. 14 years on under her co-direction 505 has grown from a one night a week underground venue to 2 full time professional performance spaces presenting 6 nights per week of local, interstate and international acts at Venue 505 in Surry Hills and a full time Independent theatre program at Old 505 Theatre in Newtown.

505 presents over 320 productions/events a year and remains entirely self-funded and artist run. 505 has been included in a number of ‘best of lists’ and won a number of awards including:

-Top 150 Jazz Clubs in the world by Downbeat magazine (U.S.A) 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013
-Winner Legends Award- Time Out Bar Awards 2017
-Listed as ‘a must visit spot’ in the 2013 Lonely Planet guide to Sydney
-Best Jazz Venue- Alternative Media best of Sydney Awards 2014, 2013
-Best Independent Theatre- Alternative Media best of Sydney Awards 2018, 2017, 2016

Beyond the walls of 505 Kerri Glasscock has worked in various roles in the Sydney arts scene and and has contributed to:
2018: Co-Chair City of Sydney Night Time Advisory Group
Currently: Director- City Recital Hall
2017: Sydney a 24 Hour City- The Committee for Sydney
2014: Off Broadway Plan- Inner West Council
2013: Live Music & Performance Action Plan-City of Sydney

Booker/Marketing Manager/Head of Artist Logistics - Division Agency

Kiran De Silva

Kiran has been running events and working in the electronic music industry for the better part of the last decade. Starting off with warehouse parties as a teenager he then moved into running club nights, most notably World Bars infamous Wednesday night event, The Wall. In 2014, when Sydney was first feeling the heat of the Lockout Laws, Kiran launched the weekly Friday party, “Meanwhile” at The Imperial Hotel in Erskineville. The event successfully demonstrated that nightlife didn’t need to be city-centric and that even with lockouts and a market feeling a lot of negative sentiment, nightlife could still well and truly exist in Sydney. It was also around that time he took his first step into working on festivals, joining the team at Future Music Group full time.

In 2016, Kiran moved over to London to expand his knowledge and skill set, landing a role as a Bookings & Promotions Manager for The Columbo Group (XOYO, Phonox, The Camden Assembly) as well as working part time as a tour manager.

Since moving back to Sydney in January 2017, Kiran has been working across numerous projects under the Division Agency umbrella including, Days Like This Festival, The Warehouse Collective and Oxford Street nightclub, Goodbar.

CEO, Solotel

Justine Baker

Justine is an experienced leader with over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. With a career spanning front of house, venue management and executive roles, she has a proven ability to innovate and break down complex problems in the consumer retail space to create strategies that drive evolution and ongoing business success.

As CEO of one of Australia’s largest hospitality groups, Justine is known for strategic leadership, guest first approach and driving innovation through technology and product development.
Justine is passionate about future-proofing Sydney’s night time economy, creating a destination for arts, cultural and entertainment that supports youth culture, late night retail and business.

Night Time City Manager, City Business and Safety - City of Sydney

Libby Harris

Libby Harris is a night time economy expert with a background in economic development, placemaking, regulatory policy, law enforcement and security risk management. Currently she leads the Night Time Economy team at the City of Sydney, driving change to create a more vibrant, diverse and safe nightlife for Sydney.

Libby has been responsible for the provision of over $1million in grant funding for businesses to trial new programming at night, planning reforms that incentivise diversity and make it easier for business to trade at night, as well as setting up the City’s first ever night-time advisory panel to ensure local government policy is informed by industry specialists.

Libby is a regular presenter and contributor at industry conferences both in Australia and overseas and was instrumental in setting up the first ever global night-time economy network forum; Global Cities After Dark which brings together government and industry thought leaders from across the world to exchange knowledge and best practices in night-time economy policy.

As founding member and Chair of the NSW Councils’ Night Time Economy Committee, she is committed to developing and sharing knowledge that supports creation of vibrant, diverse and sustainable local night time economies across NSW.
Libby holds a Masters of Security and Risk Management from the University of Leicester, UK.

Arts Development & Training Manager, Accessible Arts

LIZ MARTIN

Liz Martin is Arts Development & Training Manager at Accessible Arts, the peak arts and disability organisation across New South Wales. Through her role, Liz aims to enhance opportunities for artists, arts workers and audiences with disability to have full, inclusive access to the diverse arts sector.

Liz Martin is also a Sydney-based and award-winning musician who has performed extensively throughout her hometown including venues: The Opera House Studio, Carriageworks, Venue 505, Opera Bar, Riverside Theatres, Australian Museum, Art Gallery of NSW, Red Rattler, Camelot, Vanguard, Basement, Manning Bar, Metro Lair. Festivals such as: Underbelly, Peats Ridge, Marrickville, Newtown, Mullumbimby, Park Life. National tour performances at: Metro Adelaide, Front Gallery Canberra, Grace Darling Melbourne, Gold Coast Arts Centre, Waiting Room Brisbane, Lass O’Gowrie Newcastle, Cuda Bar Lorne, Corner Hotel Melbourne, Mullumbimby Civic Hall, Esplanade Hotel Melbourne, Wesley Anne Melbourne, Troubadour Brisbane.

Liz Martin’s music has been described as:

‘Evocative, alluring and strangely comforting’ – Tim Ritchie, ABC RN

‘From play one, I felt an instant connection and obviously I was not alone. Every spin on FBi provoked listener response, which I can assure is not the norm’ – Stephen Ferris FBi

‘Wildly eclectic… quirky, playful hipness coupled with emotional openness… an ever-changing, surprising ride of an album’ – Lucky Oceans, ABC RN

CEO/Founder/Licensee - Oxford Art Factory

Mark Gerber

Mark Gerber ‘The Boss’ & Founder of the OAF. Born in Holland. Came to Australia in 1970. Mark’s musical career started with teaching himself to play the guitar at the age of 14 and culminated with him forming the post punk band JMM/Scapa Flow in the late 70’s. It lasted long enough to see them play on the same bill as such illustrious stars as The Birthday Party, Laughing Clowns, Echo & The Bunnymen, Hunters and Collectors and Mark E Smith & the Fall to name but a few.
Having lived in the inner city suburbs of Surry Hills, Darlinghurst and Kings Cross in the past and by way of his band having played the infamous French’s Wine Bar, Mark has had a connection with Oxford Street, Darlinghurst for what is now going on 40 years. In more recent years Mark was the main driving force behind the creation of venues such as Spectrum, 34B Burlesque and The Vegas Lounge as part of the Q Bar and Exchange Hotel enterprise on Oxford Street.

Mark conceived and founded the Oxford Art Factory in 2005, which opened its doors in 2007 and is now one of the premiere multi functional venues in Sydney if not Australia.

Mark’s love of culture, music and all things art stems from being raised in a family who’s own connection to the arts goes back centuries in Europe. From an early age his parents taught him that creativity and individuality are things to be proud of and supported not scorned or suppressed. Mark’s aim with the OAF is to connect as many people as possible with live music and the arts, as he firmly believes that this kind of exposure has both far-reaching social and personal benefits for anyone who comes in contact with them.

CEO - NSW Users and AIDS Association

Mary Harrod

Mary Ellen Harrod is the CEO of the NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA) and brought the well-established Harm Reduction Victoria DanceWize model to NSW in November 2017. DanceWize NSW – like all NUAA programs – has a focus on harm reduction, community development and empowerment while pushing back against the flawed model of prohibition and working to support the health, human rights and dignity of people who use drugs.

Managing Director/Chair - Time Out Australia/Night Time Industries Association

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 12 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.

In recent times, and prompted by the challenges facing Sydney’s night time economy, he 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 now chairs. The NTIA’s membership spans arts, culture, entertainment and hospitality, and he is actively involved in the current public inquiry into regulations affecting the night time economy in the state of New South Wales.

Mike was also recently appointed to the University of New South Wales’ Art & Design Advisory Council and is the co-host of leading hospitality podcast Back of House.

Director - Left Bank Co

Michelle Tabet

Michelle is an experienced urban strategist focused on exploring the relationship between the creative sector and the built environment . Having spent her life living in and experiencing some of the world’s most vibrant cities, Michelle understands the important role the creative economy, night time economy and a supportive planning system play in shaping successful cities. With extensive experience working with the design, property and urban planning sectors, Michelle’s expertise lies in developing inspiring visions and road testing them with a governance and operational view.

Global Night Mayor Advocate & Co Founder, VibeLab

Mirik Milan

Mirik Milan is former Night Mayor of Amsterdam, and longtime creative director of some of the Dutch capital’s most celebrated events.

Since 2012, he has played an instrumental role in the reshaping of Amsterdam’s nightlife scene into one of the most vibrant and economically robust in the world, and his innovative position is fast becoming replicated in major nightlife-focused cities around the world, like New York, Paris and London.

Mirik’s start in nightlife came in 2003 as the promoter of electro night Rauw. Along with DJ Joost van Bellen, Mirik introduced artists like Erol Alkan, Boys Noize, Justice, Busy P, Crookers, Brodinski and Gesaffelstein to the Dutch dance scene, and lead to him producing events for Stedelijk Museum, Spotify, DIESEL, PAX, Aids Foundation, Amnesty International and the City of Amsterdam.

His vast experience and familiarity with the Amsterdam scene made him the perfect candidate to head the city’s new nightlife office (2012 – 2018). As the inaugural Nachtburgemeester, Mirik was the figurehead and spokesperson for all things concerning nightlife in the Dutch capital. His team’s major achievements include working with the hotel and catering industry to introduce of 24-hour venue permits and bringing innovative approaches to dramatically reducing crime in the city’s once troubled Rembrandtplein district.

Mirik also launched the Nacht voor de Nacht, a citywide, multi-venue club festival where partygoers can go between 20 different nightclubs with just one ticket. The event was a huge success, and as well as bringing valuable revenue to the clubs, Nacht voor de Nacht encouraged healthy discourse between clubbers, promoters and local residents, something which has become a hallmark of Mirik’s work in Amsterdam.

In 2017, Mirik gave over 25 international talks to city governments and planners, advising them on how to better deal with their Night Time Economy; and came a partner for the Creative Footprint—a global civic initiative that measures and indexes creative space. Founded by his Berlin counterpart Lutz Leichsenring, the Creative Footprint sees Mirik work more intimately with major global cities looking to monitor and stimulate their creative and nightlife economies.

Urban Strategist, Lendlease

Penelope Layton

Penelope Layton has been with Lendlease for 5 years with various roles related to design and place curation both locally and nationally. Penn works across origination and conversion projects. Penn’s current and recently appointed role as Urban Strategist for QLD directs creative inputs across urban strategy, strategic masterplan design and place design quality for our Urban Regeneration projects. This includes embedding ways of working and practices in respect to the places we create.