2019 Speaker Profiles


Dave Horsley

Dave Horsley – MC 

Dave Horsley is the Co-Founder and Festival Director for the Coffs Coast’s Screenwave International Film Festival. The 16-day Summer festival, which includes the largest feature film program in regional Australia, along with the nationally-recognised Nextwave youth film development program, has grown by over 35% each year since it’s inception, making it Australia’s fastest-growing regional film festival. For his work with young regional filmmakers and mental health, Dave was announced as an AMP Tomorrow Maker in 2017. In 2019, Dave and his team launched Film Outreach Australia – a new national project bringing more films to regional Australians in all States and Territories.

Phil Tripp

Phil Tripp – former Senior BDM (Australia, NZ & Hawaii) for South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals in Austin, Texas, USA

Keynote Address: The Future of Festivals – Where to from Here?

Phil is a veteran of the festival, music and entertainment business, having worked in the industry for almost 50 years! His career spans across numerous internationally renowned festivals, including working for George Wein’s Festival Productions Inc. on Newport in New York, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Kool Pacific Jazz Festival, Houston Jazz Fest, Atlanta Jazz Fest and the Memphis Music Festival. For Afro-American promoter Quentin Perry of Taurus Productions, he handled artists such as Earth Wind and Fire, Rick James, Spinners, Marvin Gaye, the O’Jays, Prince, Parliament Funkadelic and many more across festivals and concert tours. He also delivered festival and concert production for leading Southern concert producer Alex Cooley, covering internationally recognised acts such as The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck in major metropolitan outdoor stadiums.

In 1981 he moved to Australia where he became a top music and entertainment trade journalist for Billboard, Pollstar, Performance, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Australian Film Review (later Encore) and various Australian newspapers.

He later founded Australia’s leading music news website (TheMusic.com.au), published the AustralAsian Music Industry Directory for 22 editions, and ran the Australian Music Industry Conference over 19 years in Sydney.

In 2002 he took over Pacific operations for South by Southwest Conference and Festivals (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, at which time it drew 20 delegates and five bands from Australia. The event has since grown year-on-year, and in 2019 drew 850+ Australian delegates and 54 bands. He officially retired from the role in July, 2019.

Heather Croall - Adelaide Fringe

Heather Croall – Director and Chief Executive, Adelaide Fringe

Topic: Adelaide Fringe’s Digital Transformation

Heather Croall is an experienced CEO and Director who holds a long and established international career in Film, TV and the Arts. Her expertise resides in the areas of partner engagement, capital acquisition and digital transformation. She is known as a visionary in the creative sector who delivers innovative festival programs, new and expanded audience profiles, strong organisational growth and record-breaking ticket sales revenue. 

Between 2012-2015, Heather produced a series of nine music archive feature documentaries for the BBC, ABC and various international festivals. They continue to play on TV and at festivals around the world. 

Heather worked at the Fringe in the Star Club in the early 1990’s and also ran the film event, Shoot the Fringe. She then moved to the UK where she held the position of Festival Director of the Sheffield Doc/Fest for a decade.

In 2015 she returned to Australia to take up the role of Director and Chief Executive of the Adelaide Fringe. This year Adelaide Fringe sold over 825,000 tickets – a 17% increase on last year’s sales. For the last decade, Adelaide Fringe has seen continual ticket sales growth. 2020 will make the Festival’s 60th birthday, making it the 2nd longest running fringe festival in the world. It is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as Australia’s biggest ticket selling, open-access arts festival!

In 2014, Heather was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctorate by Sheffield Hallam University; and in 2013, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists named Heather Ambassador of Women’s Film for her work in creating opportunities for women documentary makers. Heather was also awarded a Fellowship in Interactive Media by Screen Australia in 2005.

Bio Pic - GH

Glenn Hardy – Partner, IER Pty Ltd

Topic: Measuring your Event’s Success – Tracking Attendance & Visitation

Glenn has been with IER for more than 12 years, providing a range of consulting services to Australia’s events industry, including event operators, Government and major events bodies in relation to economic and social impact assessments. Prior to joining IER, Glenn held senior marketing and management roles in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, working across a range of event types and sizes.

Glenn’s expertise lies in the areas of strategic planning and business growth, specifically in delivering research analysis, qualitative assessments, and product and market opportunities. He is focused on turning research insights into strategic management actions in order to attract new visitors and investment into a region; enhance the customer experience and increase return on investment. Glenn’s approach to his work in the events industry is underpinned by his practical experience in growing events, combined with the insights and knowledge gained over a decade of researching the industry.

Carol Hughes

Carol Hughes – Events Officer, Tamworth Country Music Festival (Tamworth Regional Council)

Topic: Volunteer Management: Strategies for Acquisition & Retention

Carol Hughes is a member of the events team at Tamworth Regional Council. The team manage many festivals including the most well known of those festivals being the famous Tamworth Country Music Festival, the largest music festival of any genre in Australia. It runs for ten days and ten nights every January, this coming festival is the 48th annual event. 

Another exciting and popular festival is the Multicultural Street Festival, ‘Fiesta la Peel’, held in October and now in it’s sixth year, its celebrates the many cultures living in the city cohesively by sharing their traditional food, dance and art. Also a ten day Taste Tamworth Festival including but not limited to Family Fun day, a long lunch, pop-up bars, and a high tea, all with entertainment.

Carol has been at Tamworth Regional Council for nine years, prior to that she worked in Marketing and Events at both Southern Cross University in Lismore, and the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba.


Jon (J.C.) Corbishley FSIA, Director, The Safety Officer Pty Ltd

Topic: Crowd Safety Management (+ follow up workshop on Fri 25th)

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.

Chris Spencer

Chris Spencer – General Manager, Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance

Topic: Engaging your Local Indigenous Community to Kick-start a Festival – A Case Study

Chris was born and raised in Coffs Harbour and is a proud member of the Gumbaynggirr Aboriginal Nation of the Mid-North Coast of NSW. 

Chris is the general manager of Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance (SFAA) – a not-for-profit organisation governed by a board representing ten Mid-North Coast Local Aboriginal Land Councils.

Chris is one of the original founding members of its flagship event – Saltwater Freshwater Festival. The annual Festival, which falls on Australia Day, is the only Aboriginal cultural festival of its kind in regional NSW. It is a true showcase of local culture, skills, music, dance, art, lifestyle and culinary talent.

As general manager, Chris’s role is to develop and implement cultural programs and projects for Aboriginal communities of the Mid-North Coast. These opportunities reinforce his passion for cultural maintenance, revival and future sustainability and he regularly dedicates his time to his continual connections to country through his Elders.

He holds a Graduate Certificate in Business from Newcastle University (2013) and was awarded the Young Business Person of the Year by the NSW Business Chamber (2014), followed by being named Coffs Harbour City Council’s NAIDOC Person of the year (2015).

Dan Heather

Dan Heather – Section Leader, Stadium & Major Events, Coffs Harbour City Council

Topic: Building an Event Destination Profile – Coffs Coast: A Case Study

Dan has been responsible for launching, running and expanding major events across Australia and New Zealand for more than 20 years. His career began with one of Australia’s leading event companies where he moved through operations, sales, marketing, sponsorship and senior management, giving him a well-rounded knowledge of event and stakeholder management. He was awarded the Young Achiever of the Year in 2000 by the Exhibition & Event Association of Australia, and has since consulted to venues in Australia and New Zealand on development, construction and enhancements.

Dan is now the Section Leader for Stadium and Major Events with Coffs Harbour City Council is actively involved attracting major events and festivals to the Coffs Coast region. He manages the C.ex Coffs International Stadium and oversees major events that run throughout the Coffs Coast. Dan developed the Coffs Coast Events Guide Book and website – a toolkit for Coffs Coast event organisers. This book and its associated templates have been used as a blueprint for events by the team at Destination NSW.

Industry Panellists: Pre-Hospital Health & Medical Safety at Festivals


Mike Hammond

Mike Hammond – CEO & Director, EMS Event Medical

Industry Panel: Pre-Hospital Health & Medical Safety at Festivals

Mike Hammond RN, PAR, RCSEd – P5, C-EM, MAREMT, MANZCP, MGMCCS is the CEO and Director of EMS Event Medical, an Australian event medical company that supplies holistic healthcare teams of paramedics, nurses, and doctors to high risk mass gathering events around Australia; specialising in large events and festivals, sports events, Film and TV and much more.

With over 30 years’ experience as a registered nurse, a registered paramedic, educator, manager, risk-management consultant, and emergency public safety advisor, Mike brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise.

Mike Hammond will feature as part of an expert panel of speakers covering pre-hospital health and medical safety – an interactive and dynamic session focusing on the unique role, demands, and benefits of event medicine. He will introduce and outline ‘EMS Assist’ – a new app his company has developed – which sends an instant request for assistance at events.

From pre-planning to execution, Mike will outlines best practices in event and mass gathering medicine, combined with powerful anecdotes and data collected from event medicine and mass gathering medical care from across Australia. Mike will outline the paradigm shift required when providing effective event medical services – not first aid – in a collaborative and symbiotic relationship with local ambulance authorities and health services.


Elliot Williams

Elliot Williams – Clinical Lead, St Johns Ambulance

Industry Panel: Pre-Hospital Health & Medical Safety at Festivals

Elliot is the Clinical Lead for St John Ambulance NSW. He has extensive experience at music festivals, having undertaken both clinical and planning/command roles at some of the largest music festivals in NSW. His interest in music festival health care has seen him develop the service delivery model of St John Ambulance NSW to provide advanced medical care onsite at high-risk events. This includes the development of critical care teams which can provide very high-level interventions for critically unwell patients. He leads the Clinical Advisory Group for St John Ambulance NSW – this group is the peak clinical governance body for the organisation. In his professional life, Elliot is a Transitional Nurse Practitioner in the ICU at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, where he has worked for almost 10 years. He is an Associate of the Faculty of Health at the University of Technology, Sydney, and is NSW Faculty Lead for intensive care education company Intense Assist. 


Daniel Madeddu

Daniel Madeddu – Director, Alcohol and Other Drugs, NSW Ministry of Health

Industry Panel: Pre-Hospital Health & Medical Safety at Festivals 

Since occupying this role in 2016, he and his team have led state-level policy and strategy to reduce drug and alcohol related morbidity and mortality. Daniel has had over 25 years of experience with blood-borne viruses and harm reduction and was involved in the response to HIV/AIDS both across the government, research and community sectors.



Workshop 1: Crowd Safety Management


Jon (J.C.) Corbishley FSIA, Director, The Safety Officer Pty Ltd

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.

Jon’s full bio can be viewed earlier under the ‘Speakers’ section. 


Workshop 2:  NSW Funding Opportunities for Festival Organisers & Artists (Co-hosted)

Sam Wild - Create NSW

Sam Wild, Create NSW

Sam Wild is the Senior Manager of Arts Investment and Development at Create NSW. Before her time at State Government, she gained extensive experience and knowledge working in the small to medium arts sector in NSW. Having delivered the most significant reform of arts and cultural funding in NSW in the past ten years, Sam is well placed to provide advice and guidance on what opportunities exist at Create NSW for festival funding.


Phil Ventham

Phil Ventham, Destination NSW

Hailing from the UK, Phil started his career in London’s advertising industry as an international media specialist at Saatchi & Saatchi and Grey Worldwide and their newly formed media agencies Zenith Media and Mediacom. Two consecutive (and lucky) victories at an annual inter-agency challenge won him a trip to Sydney and a new life. After 15 years in Sydney’s major events industry with roles at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney Festival and Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, Phil joined Destination NSW in 2014 as the Manager for Regional Event Development and now works with events across NSW to develop their tourism potential and deliver economic outcomes for their local regions.


Workshop 3: Campaign Planning 101 + Event App Development (Co-hosted)

Alana Hay, Director, Milestone Creative

Milestone Creative Australia is a specialist Agency for destinations, events, hospitality, arts and tourism organisations. We have a deep understanding of the strategic role that events and marketing play in growth, positioning and community engagement for destinations and brands. We are experts in this field. We have worked with many large and respected clients on events and tourism strategies, creative and marketing projects. Our clients include event owners, venues, government and tourism bodies, arts organisations, destinations, caterers, restaurateurs, major events and festivals, corporate event owners, event management companies, PCOs and event industry suppliers. Our clients include Vivid Sydney, Mardi Gras, Sydney Royal Easter Show, Darling Harbour festivals and Corroboree Sydney; prestigious venues including Merivale, Royal Botanic Gardens, Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Melbourne Olympic Park, Sydney Olympic Park; and tourism bodies including Destination NSW. Creativity, ingenuity and integrity is paramount to us and we also provide communications, digital and publicity for some of Australia’s largest events, brands and destinations in Australia. Managing Director, Alana Hay is on the Board of Directors of the Meetings and Events Association of Australia (MEA)


Leah Trafford

Leah Trafford, Australia Event Director, SailGP

Leah is the Event Director for Sydney SailGP. SailGP is a new annual, global sailing league featuring rival national teams competing in identical supercharged F50 catamarans in some of the world’s most iconic city waterfronts.In this role, Leah is responsible for the overall strategic planning, commercial development and operational delivery of the Sydney SailGP event. She leads the coordination of a global team and local government and private sector stakeholders to deliver the event, which showcases the world’s most technologically advanced race boats, crewed by some of the world’s best sailors. Leah brings over 15 years’ experience in roles comprising international event management, global project management and commercial development for high-value international brands. Leah holds post-graduate qualifications in Marketing.


Workshop 4:  Federal Funding Opportunities for Festival Organisers & Artists

Dane Hunnerup

Dane Hunnerup, Australia Council for the Arts

Dane originally worked as a club promoter before taking the jump to working at festivals. Running on his own boutique world music festival, he moved on to deliver an annual industry development festival for Arts Tasmania. He then went on to serve as Music Tasmania’s founding Manager. He delivered festivals for Clarence City Council for seven years, served as Artist Liaison for Falls Festival for 16 years and worked as Logistics Coordinator for ten days on the island. Moonlighting as a drummer and DJ, he now works as the Grants Officer for Australia Council for the Arts, where he provides advice to prospective applicants on how to put forward a competitive submission for Federal Government funding.