2022 Speakers

(In order of appearance)


Thea Jeanes-Cochrane – Director, Cochrane Entertainment

Keynote Address: How the Pandemic has Changed Us
Date: Tuesday 30 August 2022, 9:30 AM – 9:55 AM
Panellist: The Future of Streaming, Content-on-Demand and Broadcast
Date: Tuesday 30 August 2022, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM 

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.

Peter Noble, Byron Bay Bluesfest

Peter Noble OAM – Chairman, Bluesfest Group

Panellist: Covid-19 Site Planning & Safety for Festivals
Date: Tuesday 30 August 2022, 10:35 AM – 12:00 PM
Topic: Byron Bay Bluesfest – the True Cost of Cancellation
Date: Wednesday 31 August 2022, 2:35 PM – 3:00 PM 

Grammy winner and Festival Director of Bluesfest, one of the world’s leading contemporary music festivals, Peter Noble OAM has been working in the music industry for over fifty years. His significant contribution to the industry has been recognised by many prestigious organisations. In 2014, Peter was awarded the Rolling Stone Award for his outstanding career-long contribution to popular culture. In January 2016, Peter was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to live and recorded music, to tourism, and to the community. In 2017, Peter received the ‘Keeping the Blues Alive’ award from The Blues Foundation in Memphis Tennessee.

Growing up in Sydney, Noble played in rock, soul and blues bands during the 60’s and 70’s, before moving to the US to work. He subsequently set up Portland Oregon’s first International Jazz Festival and was house booker at the legendary venue ‘The Earth’, promoting shows for the likes of Art Pepper, Charlie Byrd, Sun Ra and the Arkestra, Television, The Ramones, and Blues artists BB King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Mayall, John Lee Hooker … and so many more.

Upon his return to Australia in the 1980’s Peter Noble became a pioneer for blues touring in Australia.

Over the course of his career, Peter Noble has worked in many areas of the music business including record producing (for his own label AIM – the first ever Australian label to win a Grammy Award), touring artists, artist management, setting up the Aboriginal Artists Agency, event site development and promoting festivals in Australia and South East Asia.

Dr Jamie Ranse

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

Panellist: Covid-19 Site Planning & Safety for Festivals
Date: Tuesday 30 August 2022, 10:35 AM – 12:00 PM

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.

Stephen Galbraith – General Manager, Royal Queensland Show-Ekka

Panellist: Covid-19 Site Planning & Safety for Festivals
Date: Tuesday 30 August 2022, 10:35 AM – 12:00 PM 

Stephen Galbraith joined the RNA in July, 2012, in the newly created position of General Manager, Royal Queensland Show (Ekka) and Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show (RQFWS).

He has almost 30 years’ experience in the operation and management of events, tourism and leisure attractions, including Village Roadshow Theme Parks on the Gold Coast and Asia’s Sunway Group – CEO of the leisure arm which included theme, water and animal parks such as Sunway Lagoon in Kuala Lumpur.

Mr Galbraith has worked throughout Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China and the Middle East. His role with the iconic Ekka has been in operation and business strategy management and development, to assist the rejuvenation of Queensland’s largest and most loved annual event.


Rob Raulings – Director, Ferve Tickets

Panellist: The Future of Streaming, Content-on-Demand and Broadcasting
Date: Tuesday 30 August 2022, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM 

Rob Raulings is co-founder and director of Ferve Tickets, specialising in ticketing for arts, film and cultural events.

Passionate about growing audiences, he’s worked on more than 150 Australian festival incarnations over a 24 year career. In 2020 he oversaw the development of a hybrid streaming platform which sold more than 50,000 streams in the first month of operation, and is now being used extensively by festival clients in Australia and overseas.

George Hedon – Founder & CEO, Pause Fest

Panellist: The Future of Streaming, Content-on-Demand and Broadcasting
Date: Tuesday 30 August 2022, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM 

George Hedon is the Founder and CEO of the world’s leading festival for business and creativity, called Pause Fest.

His expertise in design, advertising, media, program curation and events lead him to create award-winning campaigns, experiences and Australia’s top innovation festival. Under his creative leadership, Pause Fest has attracted major brands, startups, agencies, corporates, government and hosted over 1,200 international and local thought leading speakers supporting the growth of Australian born businesses and enterprises.

George is also a regular speaker at meet-ups and global industry events such as SXSW, Sector 3.0, Pause Fest, General Assembly, Melbourne International Film Festival, Billy Blue College, RMIT University, Swinburne University. He has also mentored and judged for various events like Techstars Startup Weekend, SingularityU, ADAC and Finnies Awards.

Ulrich S

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

Keynote Address: Future Opportunities for Virtual Reality Use
Date: Tuesday 30 August 2022, 4:35 PM – 5:00 PM

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

Topic: Major Events Gold Coast: Launching a Major Event Organisation during Covid-19
Date: Wednesday 31 August 2022, 9:00 AM – 9:25 AM

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.

Morwenna Collett – Senior Arts Consultant, Specialising in Diversity, Access & Inclusion

Topic: The Future of Festivals is Inclusive
Date: Wednesday 31 August 2022, 9:30 AM – 9:55 AM
Workshop: Building An Accessibility Plan
Date: Thursday 1 September 2022, 11:20 AM – 12:05 PM

An accomplished leader, consultant and facilitator with 15 years’ experience in government, the arts, not-for-profit and university sectors, Morwenna has worn the hats of CEO, Board Director, senior leadership team member, project manager, lecturer, researcher, trainer and advisor.

A senior arts consultant specialising in strategy, diversity, access and inclusion, Morwenna is also currently the CEO at Accessible Arts, NSW’s peak body for arts and disability. Deeply committed to working towards a future where everyone has equal access to participate in the arts and society more broadly, Morwenna recognises and champions the importance of inclusion and fostering diverse voices. As an agent for change, she is sought after nationally and internationally for her expertise in the fields of the arts, disability and accessibility. She has developed national programs and initiatives, contributed to significant pieces of national arts and disability policy, raised funding from new revenue streams and expanded organisations into new areas. She makes an impact working with both large and small organisations to produce Strategic Plans, Disability Action Plans, evaluation/research/impact projects and deliver Disability Inclusion Training.

Morwenna is currently a member of arts and inclusion advisory committees with the City of Sydney, Sydney Festival, Perth Festival, Sydney Fringe Festival and Waverley Council and is a Board Director of Arts Capital (an ACT based arts venue collective). She was previously the Chair of the Sydney Arts Managers Advisory Group and has held various senior management roles at the Australia Council for the Arts, including Director of Major Performing Arts, Manager of Music, Manager of Project Controls and Risk and Disability Champion. She is an Affiliate of the Association of Consultants in Access Australia (ACAA).

In 2020, she completed a Churchill Fellowship, exploring inclusive music programs, venues and festivals which actively engage disabled people across the USA, UK and Ireland. Her work is influenced by her own lived experience as a musician with disability. 

Garry O'Dell

Garry O’Dell – Senior Researcher, Hunter Research Foundation Centre, The University of Newcastle

Topic: Local Government Approaches to Festival Regulation in NSW – a PhD Study
Wednesday 31 August 2022, 10:00 AM – 10:25 AM

Since mid-2021, Garry has been a contract senior researcher with the Hunter Research Foundation Centre (HRFC), assisting local councils and other state agencies in developing and implementing better policies, regulations and practices for temporary outdoor activities such as events and similar community and tourism-related temporary land uses.

From 2012 till 2021, Garry was a part-time doctoral candidate at The University of Newcastle School of Business and Law to research local government decision making processes for events in NSW, due to his community involvement with a Hunter region Business Chamber and the Hunter Wine Country Tourism Board. He also lectures in Tourism Planning and Policy.

From 1981 his local government career evolved from a Development Assessment Planner to Senior Strategic Planner and finally to Development Services Manager. In 1994, he was appointed Director and part-owner of a multi-disciplinary firm of architects, planners, landscape architects and ecologists providing an integrated approach to land development. From 2009 to 2015 he was the Principal Planner and sole practitioner for his own planning consultancy.

Garry is a founding member of the Australian Regional Events Alliance (AREA). AREA was formed in 2020 and created a common national voice to represent events across regional Australia and to highlight their importance, both socially and economically, for our communities. AREA seeks to champion, inspire, and support the regional events industry. It aims to strengthen the understanding and narrative around the significant direct and indirect social and economic impact of events.

Jason Holmes

Jason Holmes – Managing Director, H2 Insurance Solutions

Strategic Partnership Address: Event Insurance Industry Update
Wednesday 31 August 2022, 11:05 AM – 11:30 AM

Jason Holmes began his insurance career with an international broker back in 1995, and over the last 25 years he has looked after insurance for all facets of the entertainment industry. Since founding H2 Insurance Solutions in 2007, it has always been Jason’s mission to give his clients a professional yet personal brokerage experience.

As a specialist in insurance for the entertainment & events, film, conference & exhibition industries, with a particular focus on event cancellation & non-appearance insurance, Jason is always looking for areas of improvement and prides himself on understanding the unique needs of his clients, to ensure their specifications are met and expectations are exceeded. With a portfolio of national and international clients, including Nitro Circus, TEG Dainty, Chugg Entertainment, Bluesfest and Live Nation, Jason has all the tools and experience to best represent his clients to insurers.

Whether it be a local community event or a large festival or national/international tour, a local TV production or an international feature film, H2 Insurance Solutions have an experienced team throughout Australia & New Zealand and across the globe who are ready to provide insurance advice and solutions with service and integrity.

Jeremy Fleming – Managing Director, Stagekings

Topic: Leadership in a Crisis
Wednesday 31 August 2022, 11:35 AM – 12:00 PM

Jeremy Fleming is the Managing Director of Stagekings, the company responsible for some of the most well-known temporary event structures of the past 6 years.

Building stages and sets like the Opening Ceremony at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the set for Ninja Warrior, the replica Edinburgh Castle at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Sydney, Shakespeare’s Pop up Globe Theatre in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth and Ultra Music Festival. Since Friday 13th March 2020 Jeremy has been navigating Stagekings through the most difficult time the event industry has ever experienced, since the complete shut-down of the industry at the outbreak of COVID-19.

Facing the prospect of losing everything, he saw a chink in the supply chain and pivoted Stagekings to manufacture work from home office furniture, to fill the gap in the market and to keep Stagekings in business. By doing this he has reemployed staff, as well as employing more than 70 more out of work event crew to help in the manufacturing of over 35,000 pieces of IsoKing furniture. On top of this in just 12 months Stagekings donated over $90,000 to charity, including Support Act – the Heart and Hand of Australian Music, through the sales of the desks.

Linda Tillman – Managing Director, Tilma Group & rEVENTS Academy

Topic: Managing Your Festival’s Revenue Streams
Wednesday 31 August 2022, 12:05 PM – 12:30 PM
Workshop: Grant Writing 101
Date: Thursday 1 September 2022, 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM

Linda is a regional tourism strategist and practitioner boasting a suite of regional tourism and event expertise with LGAs and RTOs across Australia in regional tourism and event development, tourism strategy, destination marketing, regional branding, and event delivery.

Linda is also the founder of rEVENTS Academy which builds the capacity of event committees to run their events more efficiently and sustainably. Linda has a strong marketing and events background, coupled with intuitive skills in community and tourism development, and has worked on a range of regional tourism and events projects such as regional event strategies and committee capacity building, destination and event marketing planning and campaigns, destination branding, regional tourism strategic planning and development, and industry training and mentoring.

Well known for her regional passion and ability to harness the symbiotic relationship between tourism and events for destinations, Linda has an intimate understanding of regional Australia and an innate ability to connect with regional communities that has been a standout over the past fifteen years of her career in regional tourism and events.

Gill Minervini

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

Topic: Igniting Your Festival’s Creative Program
Wednesday 31 August 2022, 2:05 PM – 2:30 PM

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!

Jane Gazzo

Jane Gazzo – Broadcaster and AFIC 2021 MC

Jane Gazzo is a TV presenter, broadcaster, music journalist and published author who began her career in radio, aged 16. Since then, she has presented nationally on Triple J and Triple M as well as XFM London, Capital FM London and BBC Radio 6 in the UK.

Jane spent eight years as a presenter on Foxtel’s Channel V, where she reported from music festivals, red carpet events and hosted live TV shows, interviewing some of the biggest and best names in the entertainment world.

She has twice been nominated for ASTRA and ACRA awards and is an in-demand public speaker and MC.

Jane is currently a university lecturer of music industry at Collarts, Chair of the Australian Music Vault Hall of Fame advisory committee for the Arts Centre Melbourne, and currently hosts The Sound on ABC TV.

Her first book, John Farnham – The Untold Story was published in 2016.

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