Global Speakers

John Graham print.jpg

The Hon. John Graham, MLC

Shadow Minister for Gaming and Racing, Shadow Minister for Tourism and Major Events & Shadow Minister for the Night Time Economy and Music

NSW Parliament

Minister Keynote: Unlocking Cohesive, Actionable Strategies and Best Practices for a World-Class Night Economy

NSW Parliament Logo


Dr Jonathan Drane ⠀⠀⠀ (Forum Chair)

Managing Director

Greenshoot Investments

Dr Jonathan Drane is an independent researcher and advisor to government, corporate, legal and academic sectors. He applies research methods to solve complex problems through project analysis in the commercial construction and development sector.

Jonathan is a recognized expert in city precinct development with an emphasis on activation of dormant cityscapes. Jonathan’s doctoral research project (2011 to 2014) studied dormant cityscapes in several Australian regional cities and how they were bought to life.

Going beyond just a research emphasis he was involved in the revitalization of the Palmer Street Precinct, Townsville (2003 to 2008) as a catalyst developer. In this way, he has both researched and been involved as a practitioner in this specific field of urban activation.

His advisory profile ranges from planning urban development of dormant cityscapes, to forensic analysis of complex construction and property development problems in legal and industry situations.

Jonathan is also a recognized award winning author in the non-fiction and historical genre winning an award for his first book on the Camino de Santiago (The Way of a Thousand Arrows) in 2007 with the NSW Writers Centre.

Pre-Forum Masterclass: City Planning and Design for Night Time Economy – Building Vibrant Spaces After Dark

Dr Jonathan Drane is chairing the forum. He will also be moderating the following panel discussions:

  • City Councillors Panel: Learning Lessons, Challenges and Pain Points in Implementing Night Economy Strategy
  • Panel Discussion: Strategies for Improving Diversity Mix of Night Time Economy

Greenshoot Investments


Andrew Barr

Chief Minister

ACT Government

As a social progressive and economic reformer, Andrew has led a positive agenda for Canberra since being elected ACT Chief Minister in 2014.

Canberra is Australia’s knowledge capital, playing to its strengths and is opening up its economy to drive job creation in emerging industries. From nation-leading tax reform to city-shaping infrastructure and progressive whole-of-government economic policies, Canberra is thriving.

During Andrew’s time as ACT Chief Minister, Canberra has been ranked by the OECD as the best city in the world to live and by Lonely Planet as one of the best cities in the world to visit.

Andrew has lived in Canberra for more than forty years and attended Holt Preschool, Turner Primary, Lyneham High and Lake Ginninderra College before studying a Bachelor of Arts (Policy Studies) at the Australian National University majoring in economics and political science.

He was elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly in 2006 and has served in a number of Ministerial portfolios including planning, education, housing, community services and sport. He is Australia’s longest-serving Tourism Minister and is also the ACT Treasurer and Minister for Economic Development.

Andrew is passionate about supporting Canberra’s diverse community. Through a range of innovative policies, he has helped shape Canberra to become Australia’s most inclusive city and the most LGBTIQ-friendly city in the country.

The Barr Labor Government is focused on creating a positive, progressive city that provides world-class healthcare, excellent schools and tertiary education, infrastructure and services that meets the community’s needs and expectations.

Over the next few years, Andrew will ensure Canberra is a shining example of contemporary urban renewal, with the city’s main avenues and public transport revitalized.

Through nation-leading tax reform, he aims to make Canberra a fairer place to live that leaves no-one behind.

Topic: Case Study: How Canberra’s Food Industry Boosts Its Night Economy – The Night Runs on Its Stomach

ACT Government Logo


Linda Scott

Deputy Lord Mayor

City of Sydney

Deputy Lord Mayor Linda Scott (B.Sc. (Psych.), GAICD, JP) is a City of Sydney Councillor, first elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. She is also the elected President of Local Government NSW, a regular guest on Sky News and a committed advocate for the public good.

Linda is a strong advocate for local government, and works to ensure councils across NSW are given the tools and support to invest in the areas that matter to their communities. Linda has successfully advocated for significantly increased public funding for libraries, more local government control in planning decisions and a Parliamentary Inquiry into local government electoral funding. She has also successfully fought for City action to create more affordable housing, increased early education and care centers and new skating facilities, the use of historical and indigenous names for City parks and landmarks and increased City funding for action on dangerous climate change, via cancelling of the City’s invite-only New Year’s Eve party. She has also successfully campaigned for a landmark rainbow flag on Sydney’s Oxford Street, and the introduction of planning controls to allow high quality street art in Sydney’s streets.

Linda is currently a Board member of the NSW Environmental Trust, the NSW Public Service Medal Committee and the Australian Local Government Association. She is also an alternate delegate to the Central Sydney Planning Committee.

A strong supporter for reforming the Australian Labor Party, Linda won Labor’s first ever community preselection, where over 4,000 people elected her to the Labor’s candidate for Lord Mayor of Sydney in the 2012 NSW Local Government Elections. Linda is also the Deputy Chair of Labor’s Sustainable Communities Committee.

Linda lives with her husband and two children in Newtown, Sydney. She enjoys bushwalking, swimming and live music.

Topic: Nightlife in the City of Sydney: Supporting Live Music, Performance, Cultural Events and Our City’s Night Time Economy


Allison Heller

Director of Social Strategy & Engagement

Ethos Urban

Allison Heller is Director of Social Strategy & Engagement at Ethos Urban, a multidisciplinary consultancy focused on creating places people love.

Through her current role – and in her previous role as head of social sustainability at the City of Sydney – Allison’s work is focused on how we can improve people’s lives through the way our cities are designed, built and run.

She’s all about delivering shared value for clients and communities through socially sustainable urban development to enhance liveability, community wellbeing and resilience.

Topic: The Social Life of the City After Dark: Engaging Citizens and Tourists With Variety of Experience

Ethos Urban_Logo


Craig Chung


City of Sydney

Topic: City Councillors Panel: Learning Lessons, Challenges and Pain Points in Implementing Night Economy Strategy (Panelist)



Craig Perkins

Chief Executive Officer & Director of Regional Development

Regional Development Australia - Tasmania

Craig has worked in local government (6 years) and regional development (14 years), including the last 12 years as CEO and Director of Regional Development for the Regional Development Australia Tasmania Committee. Over this 20-year period, Craig has worked with communities to support their strategic development, economic growth and improving social capacity.

Craig has a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and International Business) and Master of Business Management, is a graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders Program, and has also been awarded a Diploma for successfully completing the AICD Company Directors course.

Craig was an elected member with the Meander Valley Council for 9 years, including the last 7 as mayor, having stepped down in October 2018.

Craig has strong networks across Tasmania and a good understanding of the opportunities and challenges that the community faces. He is a board member of the Crimestoppers Tasmania and the Launceston Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Rotary Club of Central Launceston and an active Hockey player.


  • Activating Winter Nights for Economic Gain in Tasmania
  • City Councillors Panel: Learning Lessons, Challenges and Pain Points in Implementing Night Economy Strategy (Panelist)

RDA Tasmania Logo (large)


Chris Cubbage

Director & Executive Editor

My Security Media

Chris is a certified security professional with 30 years of private and government sector experience. Chris has spent 15 years in law enforcement and similar period as an established, independent security consultant. Chris is widely published, including the author of two books, multiple security channels, online TV and host of the ‘Cyber Security Weekly Podcast’ for the technology and security domain.

Topic: Case Study: City of Mandurah Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Assessment and Guidelines

MySecurityMedia Logo New


Dr Donna Wheatley

Director, Strategy

WMK Architecture

Dr Donna Wheatley is a highly regarded strategy and design leader. Holding the unique combination of a PhD in environmental psychology and architectural registration, Donna approaches spatial challenges with both reason and intuition. She applies an evidence-based approach and a practical commercial logic to ensure the client’s goals are met through their physical assets. This is assisted by her deep understanding of the impact of design on behavior. Ultimately Donna’s work is underpinned by a passion for creating spaces that people want to be.

Topic: A City of Workers: Using the Night Time Economy to Complete a 24-Hour Work Cycle



Elizabeth W Scott

Executive Director

Create NSW

Elizabeth W. Scott, a global arts and culture policy specialist with over 25 years’ experience advising cultural organisations across the USA, UK and Australia, has been appointed as Executive Director, Investment and Engagement at Create NSW.

Create NSW is the NSW Government’s arts and cultural driver, which brings together arts, screen and culture functions in an integrated entity, including cultural infrastructure.

Ms Scott joins Create NSW from New York City, where she served as Chief Media & Digital Officer at Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts, counseled leading arts and cultural organizations and digital start-ups as an industry advisor, and managed Major League Baseball’s film and television production and licensing businesses.

As Executive Director of Investment and Engagement, Elizabeth W. Scott is responsible for investing in and fostering creative excellence, and promoting a thriving, diverse, accessible and inclusive arts, screen and cultural sector across NSW.

Ms Scott also currently serves as Board Treasurer of the U.S. artists’ peak body, Fractured Atlas, and as an International Councillor for the UK peak body, Creative Industries Federation.

An international thought leader on contemporary issues facing the cultural sector, she has been a featured speaker at Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, MIT, the University of Chicago, each of the peak body conferences of the U.S. theatre, orchestra and dance industries, and the IMZ International Music + Media Conference in Berlin. She is also an accomplished performing artist who freelances as a conductor with opera companies, choruses and festivals.

Topic: Create NSW NTE Case Study: Crafting an Economic and Cultural Strategy for NSW’s Night Economy

NSW Govt Logo


Emile Rademeyer

Creative Director & Digital Placemaking Strategist


Pre-Forum Masterclass: Diversification Strategies to Building a Vibrant & Safe 24/7 Night Time Economy: Moving from Alcohol to Culture, Sports, Leisure and More



Izabella Venter

Managing Director

Escape Mate

Izabella is the owner, director and game designer of Escape Mate: a New Zealand based escape room complex since 2014. Escape rooms are the latest form of live-action entertainment, which offer a very unique group activity in movie-like, themed game rooms with high-tech, interactive puzzles, immersive storylines, and non-linear game structures. Players are challenged with a variety of puzzles that they have to work through using teamwork and creative problem-solving skills, usually within a 60-minute time-frame.

Izabella has been interested in arts and storytelling since an early age and spent most of her childhood in art classes, learning about aesthetics, composition, colors, as well as drawing, painting and sculpting techniques. This is when she was introduced to the art of painting with light – photography, and videography. She was fascinated by the concepts, messages, and stories that you can express via various art forms and creative thinking. In high school, she specialized in media design, which also included journalism, graphic design, and film-making. She finished her photography studies at Sydney’s Tafe Ultimo and later achieved a degree in Event Management.

After years of working in various roles within the media and events industry internationally, she found a unique business opportunity in a new form of entertainment: Escape Rooms.

She established her escape rooms in Wellington as the second escape game provider in New Zealand, starting off with minor investment and quickly becoming one of the most influential providers in New Zealand that set the standard nationwide.


  • International Case Study (NZ) – Creative Nightlife Entertainment
  • Panel Discussion: Strategies for Improving Diversity Mix of Night Time Economy (Panelist)



Jo Kelly


People, Place & Partnership

Pre-Forum Masterclass: Diversification Strategies to Building a Vibrant & Safe 24/7 Night Time Economy: Moving from Alcohol to Culture, Sports, Leisure and More

Topic: Night Time Economy Interactive Roundtable Discussion

People Place and Partnership


Michael Keiller


Business Improvement Group of Northbridge (Big N)

Michael left secondary school at age 15 and completed a Plumbing Apprenticeship. He worked as a plumber for 1 week before he was employed by a consulting engineering company designing hydraulic (plumbing) systems for major building projects for the next 10 years.

In 1988 (post America’s Cup), Michael was approached to manage a hotel in Fremantle by a close personal friend. He had always have an interest in hotels & in particular live music. With that company, Michael became responsible for the operations of ten venues across the Perth Metro area ranging from food-oriented premises to night clubs and hotels. In 1999, Michael and his business partner opened The Mustang Bar Northbridge that has continued to this day. In the early 2000s, they formed a joint venture with Lion (Nathan) Breweries with a view to opening Mustang Bars around Australia. They secured a site in Adelaide as well as opening a premise in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley before they decided not to proceed with that strategy any longer.

Michael has now been involved in the hospitality industry for over 30 years. He is the Chair of the Business Improvement Group of Northbridge and has held that position as well as other roles for over a decade. Outside of the hospitality industry, Michael is a member of the Board of the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and has an interest in collecting contemporary art.


  • Case Study: “Darkness on the Edge of Town – Perth”
  • Panel Discussion: Strategies for Improving Diversity Mix of Night Time Economy (Panelist)

Big N logo



Michael Rodrigues


Night Time Industries Association (Australia)

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 will take an active role in the upcoming public inquiry into lockout and the night time economy in NSW.

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

Topic: Unlocking the Potential of NSW’s Night Time Economy



Patrick Donovan


Music Victoria

Patrick Donovan is the CEO of Music Victoria.

He sits on numerous boards and councils including the Liquor Control Advisory Council which advises the Liquor Licensing Minister on alcohol harm reduction strategies; the Australian Music Vault, the Arts Industry Council of Victoria and the City of Melbourne Music Committee. He is a patron of the Australian Music Prize and a former board member of the National Film and Sound Archive. He was recently made an adjunct professor of RMIT’s Bachelor of Arts (Music Business) Course.

Donovan has a Bachelor of Economics from Monash University. He tour managed Iggy Pop in 1998 and was Chief Music Writer for the Age Newspaper for 12 years, where he started the Sticky Carpet column, started the Age EG Awards (now Age Music Victoria Awards, which has raised more than $55,000 for musicians charity Support Ac Limited) and the campaign to name a lane after AC/DC, for which he was awarded a City of Melbourne media prize. He recently performed his last show after 27 years with his band Cowsmuff.

A strong advocate for contemporary music, Donovan was instrumental in the State Government’s adoption of the Agent of Change Principle to protect music venues, clubs and rehearsal studios from encroaching developers, the deregulation of all ages gigs and establishing a building code exemption for small and medium sized venues. He was the driving force behind the Victorian Live Music Ten Point Plan, which is considered global Best Practice for live music support.

He has built ties in overseas markets in the United States, the UK and Europe, presenting on topics including ‘’Melbourne Music City’’ at numerous international conferences.

Donovan makes regular media appearances on TV and radio shows including The Project, ABC, Triple M, Triple R and 3PBS.


  • “Melbourne Music City” – How Melbourne Develop Into Being One of the Live Music Capitals of the World
  • Night Time Economy Interactive Roundtable Discussion

Music Victoria Logo


Dr Paul Cozens

Environmental Criminologist & Advanced CPTED Practitioner

Curtin University

Dr Paul Cozens is Environmental Criminologist and expert in Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). He is internationally accredited Advanced CPTED Practitioner with a Doctoral Qualification in Crime and Urban Design. Paul has worked as consultant on major infrastructure developments in the UK and Australia and provided policy advise to State government in Western Australia (WA). Paul is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Planning and Geography at Curtin University.


  • User Perceptions of Crime and the Night Time Economy: A Tale of Two Cities
  • Night Time Economy Interactive Roundtable Discussion

Curtin University Logo



Samantha Hardie

Strategic Planner

Lake Macquarie City Council

Samantha is a strategic planner and the Chair of the Night Time Economy Work Group at Lake Macquarie City Council.

She is also a member of the Local Government NSW Night Time Economy Councils Committee (NTECC).

Samantha is passionate about improving the night time economy in Lake Macquarie and other regional centers, and increasing and diversifying night time activities for the community and visitors to Lake Macquarie. She also has a passion for statistics and demographics, and understanding the stories they tell about our communities and how they are changing over time.


  • City Councillors Panel: Learning Lessons, Challenges and Pain Points in Implementing Night Economy Strategy (Panelist)
  • Panel Discussion: Strategies for Improving Diversity Mix of Night Time Economy (Panelist)

Lake Macquarie Council Logo


Stephen Moore



Topic: We Own the Night: Seven Essential Elements of Creating Great Places

RobertsDay Logo