2021 Speaker Profiles

Introducing our first round of speakers for 2021! More to be announced in the coming weeks. To be notified of future announcements, please subscribe to our database.

Dylan Lewis

AFIC 2021 Master of Ceremonies (MC)

Dylan has worked as a television-host/presenter/writer for 25 years. Starting with the music/variety show, Recovery, he then went on to host The 10:30 Slot, Pepsi Live, and Video Hits. He’s worked as an announcer/producer on radio for the past 15 years, and is currently heard on Double J Weekends. He recently finished up a successful eight years as host of Nova Radio’s Adelaide breakfast show.

He’s had acting experience in theatre, film and television, including most recently a role in the film ’Emo The Musical’.
Dylan is a musician. He has played in two bands and is currently a member of The Haploids – a rock band for kids that parents won’t hate. His bands have toured extensively, performed on television regularly and played at some of Australia’s premier festivals including Womadelaide and St. Kilda Festival.

Dylan has hosted and emceeing at events for 25 years, including regularly for the AIR Awards (Aus-Indies) every year.

Dylan is actively involved as an ambassador and as a supporter in a number of charities including Artists For Kids Culture, Headspace and World’s Greatest Shave. He is committed to First Nations programming and the inclusion of diverse voices from the disability and the LGBTQIA+ communities.

Thea Jeanes-Cochrane – Director, Cochrane Entertainment

Keynote Address

Thea is the Director of Cochrane Entertainment and a leading originator in entertainment projects and touring exhibitions that has delivered highly acclaimed events and experiences for globally renowned clients. Such clients include The Rolling Stones, Real Madrid C.F., the AFL, GOLDOC Commonwealth Games Bid Team, GC2018 and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Coupled with extensive experience in the sports industry with the likes of IMG, Supercars Australia and S.E.L, Thea has helped generate well in excess of $20 million in ticket revenues across her career. A brand and marketing strategist, she has combined business acumen and unbridled enthusiasm to originate, produce and promote a diverse range of ceremony events, global touring exhibitions, theatre shows, and concert spectaculars including recently producing the pre game and half time shows for the historic 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final at the Gabba, Gold Coast’s Flag Handover Ceremony at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2011 & 2009 Arafura Games Opening Ceremonies.

Thea also produced the City of Gold Coast’s formal bid events at the CGGA in St Kitts, which secured the 2018 Commonwealth Games for the Gold Coast. Along with being a Board Member of HOTA (Home of the Arts, City of Gold Coast), and MotorSport Australia, Thea is a passionate environmentalist and gender equity advocate, having been the recipient of an International Women’s Day Entrepreneurial Leadership Award.

Ulrich S

Ulrich Schrauth – VRHAM! (Virtual Reality & Arts Festival), Germany

Keynote Address (via video link)

Ulrich Schrauth is the initiator as well as the artistic director of the “VRHAM! Virtual Reality & Arts Festival” – the world’s first virtual reality festival, held in Hamburg.

Ulrich supervises various international projects within the field of digital media as creative director. In addition to that, he is XR & Immersive Programmer for the annual BFI London Film FestivalOn a regular basis he acts as a jury member, among others for the Fedora Digital Art Prize, Laval Virtual/France or the VREFEST Rome/Italy. Furthermore Ulrich is speaker and moderator with the focus on immersive art, for the SXSW Festival Austin/Texas, the Film Festival in Cannes/France or the European Jazz Conference Novara/Italy, just to name a few.

Ulrich Schrauth can look upon many years of professional experience in artistic planning, the organization and curation of festivals, theatre and music productions. He has worked nationwide and internationally in numerous productions, for example as artistic director of operations of the Thalia Theatre in Hamburg, with Sydney Festival and as Head of Programming of the international festival Theater der Welt 2017.

Ulrich studied performing arts at the Folkwang University in Essen and cultural management at the University for Music and Theatre in Hamburg.

Jan McCormick

Jan McCormick – Chief Executive Officer, Major Events Gold Coast

Jan leads Major Events Gold Coast with over 40 years’ experience in the events industry. In her recent position at Broadbeach Alliance, Jan drove success through her transformational leadership, positioning the organisation as a leader in festival delivery on the Gold Coast, Queensland and throughout Australia. 

Notable achievements during her leadership of the Alliance included the extraordinary growth and positioning of the Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival and the development of Groundwater Country Music Festival as Major Events for the State and City of Gold Coast, forming strong national and international reputations with an unprecedented return on investment for the Gold Coast. Prior to her role at Broadbeach Alliance, Jan sat as Director of Operations of her own highly successful Business Events and Concert Production Company, McCormick International.

Jan leads with authenticity and is known as a straight shooter who delivers – every time. Her strong reputation spans a wide range of stakeholders, including all levels of local and state governments, the media, TEQ, tourism and business events leaders in the city.

With a proven track record for success and exceptional knowledge of the music and event industry, Jan possesses the specific capabilities required to drive a long-term direction for Major Events Gold Coast. 

Jon (J.C) Corbishley FAIHS

Chair – Event Safety Alliance (AU Chapter) & Director – The Safety Officer Pty Ltd

JC returns to AFIC once again, this time as a panel member. JC has a 30+ year proven track record of problem solving and critical decision making in the field of event safety planning and management across a range of large scale public outdoor, music and major sporting events. 

Originally hailing from the UK, he’s managed mass gatherings across the globe, including the concert to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall, AC/DC in Moscow, and the four 120,000 capacity concerts in Brunei with Michael Jackson, Seal, Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Sultan. He was also involved in the planning and operation of almost every concert at Wembley Stadium, from Live Aid in July 1985 to 2002.

Jon was part of the planning and operational team for many major public outdoor events in central London such as the funeral of Diana – Princess of Wales, VE Day, the Royal Military Tattoo 2000, which included the national celebrations for the 100th birthday of HM Queen Mother and HM Queen Elizabeth II Golden, and Diamond Jubilee celebrations. These were attended by over 1.6 million.

His sports experience spans across multiple venues and major event types, including the opening of the new Yas Marina Formula One circuit in Abu Dhabi, logistics for the Special Olympics National Games, the F1 season launch in Melbourne, and presenting 10+ safety workshops for the Indian Premier League.

Jon is an accomplished trainer and presenter, having regularly lectured on crowd safety at the UK Government Emergency Planning College. He is frequently invited to assist advisory bodies and working groups, such as the British Standards for safety staff and co-authored the crowd management plan for the 2008 European Capital of Culture. Additionally, he developed and delivered the first courses for night club doormen in London for the new licensing scheme.

Now an Australian citizen, his recent projects include safety for APEC at the Sydney Opera House, creating the crowd management plan for the Breakfast on the Bridge and the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, as well as risk management for the Sydney Festival. He is currently the risk and safety adviser of Qudos Bank Arena – Australia’s largest indoor venue.


Gill Minervini – Director, Gill Minervini Creative & Festival Director, Vivid Sydney

Gill Minervini is a creative director, producer, curator and consultant with more than 30 years experience in festivals and large-scale event direction! Known for her innovation, creativity, inclusiveness, financial effectiveness and strategic direction, Gill delivers memorable experiences that increase visitation and build profile for destinations through creative activity.

Her company, Gill Minervini Creative, provides festival and event direction, creative and strategic advice to a range of clients including the Adelaide Festival, Museum of Old & New Art (MONA), Barangaroo Delivery Authority, Rugby League World Cup, Transport for NSW, City of Melbourne, Arts NSW, Tourism WA, Events and Tourism Tasmania.

Formerly Creative Director/ Producer for City of Sydney Events, Gill directed the City’s major event program, including Lunar New Year Festival – the largest celebration of the lunar new year outside of China; Art & About Sydney – an international public art festival; and Sydney’s Christmas Celebrations, attracting a combined annual audience of more than two million people!

Dr Jamie Ranse

Dr Jamie Ranse – Senior Research Fellow and Founding Director, Mass Gathering Collaboration at Griffith University

Dr Jamie Ranse is recognised internationally for his work focusing on emergency health care, primarily in the areas of high visibility, high consequence events that are either planned (such as mass gatherings / major events), or unplanned (such as disasters / public health emergencies). He has over 65 peer-reviewed publications in the area of disaster and mass gathering health. This work is supported with over AUD$1.5M in research funding. 

In 2019 Jamie founded the Mass Gathering Collaboration at Griffith University, which aims to strengthen health security and health system resilience globally for mass gatherings in partnership with communities, government, non-government, industry, and academic organisations. During the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, Jamie provided consultancy to the World Health Organization regarding mass gatherings and crowded spaces. Additionally, he provided consultancy to the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) as the lead developer of the Industry Framework for COVID Safe Events in Queensland, which provides guidance and practical strategies for event organisers to operate in a COVID-19 context.

Jamie is the Chair of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine, International Mass Gathering Special Interest Group, and the immediate past Chair of the Australian College of Nursing Disaster Health Community of Interest.

Jamie volunteered with St John Ambulance Australia for over 20 years; previously holding the high-level national strategic position of Chief Nurse.

Cameron Little

Cameron Little – Vice President, Sustainable Event Alliance

Cameron Little is a sustainability consultant and educator who provides management system and program development, training and staff mentoring for organisations seeking to achieve their sustainability objectives. He has over 25 years experience within the fields of natural resource management, environmental management, sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

In addition to his specialist consulting within the sustainable events sector, Cameron works with government, industry bodies, retail centres, businesses, ecotourism operations, property developers, not-for-profits and all tiers of the education sector.

Cameron is Vice President of Sustainable Event Alliance. He has delivered event sustainability training for Australian Centre for Event Management, University of Technology Sydney, International College of Management Sydney, Fitzwilliam Institute, International Society of Sustainability Professionals, state governments and many local councils. Cameron is an environmental auditor and technical adviser in Sustainable Events and ISO 20121 for Bureau Veritas.

Cameron is often called upon to provide judging duties for numerous industry sectors and has judged for: the Australian Event Awards; Eventex, the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia Annual Awards; the Tertiary Education Sector National Awards; the Australian Regional Development Awards; and the Australian Small Business Champion Awards. Cameron previously served as the National Judge for the Australian Sustainable Cities Awards.

Garry O'Dell

Garry O’Dell – PhD Researcher, University of Newcastle (School of Business)

Since July 2012, because of his community involvement with the Kurri Kurri Business Chamber and the Hunter Wine Country Tourism Board, Garry worked with Professor Kevin Lyons from the University of Newcastle School of Business and Law to facilitate tourism strategies for the region. This working relationship resulted in doctoral research to explore local government decision making processes for events in NSW. He also lectures in Tourism Planning and Policy.

From 1981 – 1994 Garry worked in various town planning roles in a large council between Newcastle and Sydney. His local government career evolved from a Development Assessment Planner to Senior Strategic Planner and finally to Development Services Manager. In 1994 this was followed by a role as Director and part owner of a multi-disciplinary firm of more than 40 architects, planners, landscape architects and ecologists. A core staff of 30 were involved in projects along the eastern seaboard from South East Queensland to Victoria, South Australia, ACT and across NSW. The multi-disciplinary structure allowed both public and private sector clients to benefit from an integrated approach to land development. From 2009 to 2015, he was Principal Planner and sole practitioner for his own planning consultancy.


More speakers will be announced in the coming weeks!