melbourne, australia

Confirmed Speakers


María Claudia López Sorzano, Secretary of Culture, Recreation and Sports, Bogota (CO)

María Claudia López Sorzano was Deputy Minister of Culture (2009-2015) and National Director of Heritage (2003-2009). As Deputy Minister of Culture, she led the national programs of Cultural Coordination, Encouragement of Creation and Research, Cultural Infrastructure and Social Security for creators and cultural managers, among others.

López was a member of the National Committee of ICOMOS Colombia (International Council of Monuments and Sites) and the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. In addition, she has worked as a university teacher at the Javeriana University, the University of La Salle and the Catholic University of Colombia.

Currently the Secretary of Culture, Recreation and Sports of Bogotá, María is convinced that art, culture, recreation and sport are powerful tools of social transformation. Through them, it is possible to build community, strengthen the social processes, and generate dialogue, inclusion and equity.

Faith Gonsalves, founder, music basti & Executive Director, Integrated Development Education Association (IN)

Faith Gonsalves believes that an inspiring music class can be the beginning of social and personal transformation. She is an educator and social entrepreneur, and founded the “Music Basti” project in India, in 2008. Music Basti connects at-risk children and musicians through an annual music training, song writing and performance program, focused on building leadership and 21st century skills for the students. As the the Executive Director for Integrated Development Education Association (IDEA), Faith leads projects on issues related to education and gender equity in New Delhi, India. Faith was featured in Forbes Asia’s first 30Under30 Asia list in 2016, and through her work has also been a recipient of other national awards.  

Bree Trevena, urban strategist & research manager, arup australia (AU)

Bree Trevena is an urban strategist in Melbourne, Australia, working at the intersection of urban planning, creative strategy and cultural policy. She also manages a research program at Arup dedicated to testing new ideas for city transformations, transport, water and energy. Before making the switch to urban R&D, Bree headed up state-wide arts infrastructure projects and creative cities strategies within the Victorian government. She is currently undertaking PhD research on creative industries, the built environment and policy at the University of Melbourne — a field which neatly builds on her earlier research into the ways policy and identity have spatially shaped Melbourne’s music ecologies.

Dr Andrea Jean Baker, senior lecturer in journalism, School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University (AU)

Dr Andrea Jean Baker is a senior lecturer in journalism, School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University. She is recognized as a radio journalist and music historian.
In 2013 she was appointed the academic representative on the City of Melbourne’s Music Strategy Committee; and has presented or chaired panels about global music cities, in 2013 at International Association for the Study of Popular Music, Australia  New Zealand; in 2014 at South by South West, and in 2015 at Australia’s first national symposium about music cities, which was held in Melbourne. 
Using Melbourne as a case study, in 2017 she designed an algorithm to assess music activities in urban contexts, which was published by Sage Open. Andrea’s second book, The Great Music City (Palgrave Macmillan, London) which examines the music, space and identity of various music cities, such as Melbourne, Austin and Berlin, will be published in 2018.


nick tweedie, barrister, Victorian Bar (AU)

Nick is a barrister practising at the Victorian Bar. He has more than 20 years of experience as an advocate, and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2013.

His practice is focused primarily on planning law. 

Nick also loves guitars, and he loves loud music. In fact, if he had been able to make his Fender Jazzmaster sounds even vaguely the way Tom Verlaine makes his sound on Marquee Moon he would never have contemplated being a lawyer. 

But he is a very ordinary musician, and instead decided to do what he could to help other, more talented, people make and play music.

In 2012, he became involved in assisting SLAM in their efforts to reform Victorian planning liquor and laws to make it easier for people to run live music venues. The SLAM campaign resulted in several significant changes to those laws, including the introduction into Victorian planning schemes of the Agent of Change principle through clause 52.43- Live Music and Entertainment Noise.


brian ritchie, bassist, violent femmes & music curator, mona (TAS)

Brian Ritchie originally came to worldwide attention as bassist and multi-instrumentalist for the American band Violent Femmes. He has also performed and recorded with artists such as Rodriguez, Lou Reed, Australian Chamber Orchestra and many more. He is a licensed teacher and performer of the shakuhachi, Japanese Zen flute. Brian moved to Tasmania in 2007 and became the Music Curator at Mona (Museum of Old and New Art). In this capacity he organises MONA FOMA and Synesthesia festivals, combining music, sound art, visual art, dance, spoken word, and theatre. MONA FOMA has twice won the coveted Helpmann Award for Best Contemporary Music Festival. Brian and his team organises over 100 performance events at Mona every year. Brian enjoys mentoring Aboriginal musicians at the annual Bush Bands Bash in Northern Territory and as part of Bleach Festival on the Gold Coast. 

Samm Farai Monro AKA Comrade Fatso, founder, Magamba Network (ZW)

Samm Farai Monro AKA Comrade Fatso is one of Zimbabwe’s urban culture pioneers whose work has had a major influence on the country’s hip hop, spoken word and comedy industries. Comrade Fatso is founder of Magamba Network, one of Zimbabwe’s most dynamic organizations working on the cutting edge of culture, media, activism and innovation. Through Magamba, Comrade Fatso’s award-winning projects include Shoko Festival, Zimbabwe’s biggest festival of urban culture & Moto Republik, Southern Africa’s first creative hub.  2017 saw Comrade Fatso named as one of the 100 Great Zimbabweans by the country’s top newspaper, NewsDay.

Fiki Satari, Chairman, Indonesia Creative Cities Network

Fiki Satari, born in Bandung, Indonesia, co-founded Bandung Creative City Forum (BCCF) in 2008 and became its Program Director (2008-2012), and Chairman (2013-2017), a hub for Bandung creative communities that focuses on urban solutions through design thinking and urban acupuncture. He currently chairs Indonesia Creative Cities Network (ICCN) with about 150 member cities from throughout Indonesia. Next to his occupation as a lecturer in the Faculty of Economy and Business in Padjadjaran University, he also owns AirplaneSystm, a pioneering clothing & apparel brand, and is also the principal & co-founder of BUiLD (Bandung Urban innovation Lab & Development). As the chairman of Karang Taruna Youth Group for Bandung City, Fiki succeeded in reforming the organisation to be more progressive and independent. He lead the management team of Bandung Dossier for UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) that has brought Bandung to become UCCN City of Design since December 2015. 

raffi niziblian, founder, deem communications & Senior Project Manager, EU Delegation in Armenia (Am)

Raffi holds a degree from Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) in Communications Studies specializing in Film and TV Production. In 2002, following his 5-year tenure as Field Executive for Scouts Canada’s Quebec Provincial Council, Raffi directed his expertise towards Armenia as the Program Director for the Land and Culture Organization (LCO) where he implemented the promotion, outreach and expansion of this multi-national organization. Raffi was hand picked to become the Commercial Manager for VivaCell Mobile Operator in 2005. His input was vital to the implementation of the company’s commercial operations. In 2006, Raffi founded and directed Deem Communications, a full-service marketing communications agency. 

Simultaneously, Raffi has accepted the position of Senior Communications Expert and Team Leader with Equinoccio (Spain) for the Support to EU Communication in Armenia project II since 2016.

Will Straw, James McGill Professor of Urban Media Studies, McGill University Montreal (CA)

Will Straw is James McGill Professor of Urban Media Studies at McGill University in Montreal. He is the author of Cyanide and Sin: Visualizing Crime in 1950s America, and of over 150 articles on urban culture, cinema and music. He runs a blog which tracks developments around the world in the development of new approaches to cities and their night-time cultural activities. Will Straw also researches the history of disco music in Montreal, crime tabloid newspapers around the world, and the cultures of record collecting. Dr. Straw speaks regularly about music and cities on Canadian and international media, and at music festivals such as MUTEK and Pop Montreal.

Robin Malau, CEO, Wali Kota Musik & Deputy of Marketing, Indonesia Creative Cities Network (IDN)

Robin Malau is an Indonesian music serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building award-winning music ventures. He is the recipient of British Council's “Young Creative Entrepreneur” award for his digital music aggregator startup. In another life, Robin was the guitarist for legendary hardcore band Puppen, whose song 'Atur Aku' made it to Rolling Stone magazine's “The Best Indonesian Songs Ever” list.

Robin's latest initiative is Wali Kota Musik (Mayor of Music), where he empowers governments and NGOs to use music as a tool for development.

He also acts as the Deputy of Marketing, Indonesia Creative Cities Network, an association of cities and regencies with 150 members.

His extra curricular includes teaching entrepreneurship in universities, speaking at international conferences, running Indonesia’s Independent Music Conference and “Asian African Music Week” — a showcase festival in Jakarta, Indonesia.


Tony Nagamaiah, General Manager, Malaysia Major Events (MY)

Tony Nagamaiah joined Malaysia Major Events, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, in July 2010. He was responsible for setting up the agency, which was formed as part of the Malaysia Economic Transformation Programme.

Tony leads Malaysia Major Events purely to focus on identifying and supporting international event bids such as sports, arts, culture and lifestyle events. As well as this, he is responsible for identifying, supporting and marketing home grown events into achieving international stature.

To date Malaysia Major Events has supported over 300 major events throughout Malaysia with a contribution of more than RM 5 billion in tourism expenditure to the country. The events supported have brought in over 1 million tourists which is approximately 5% of the total tourist arrivals in Malaysia.



Sadia Sadia is a Canadian-born British installation artist working across a wide variety of media, including sound, still and moving images. She is also an award-winning record producer and writer. Sadia began her career by becoming one of the first women in the world to be signed to a major label as a record producer, and was the first female member of the British Record Producer’s Guild under the chairmanship of Sir George Martin. 

Sadia’s installation works comprise multiple elements of imagery and sound to create immersive environments, frequently incorporating the manipulation or distortion of time. 

Sadia’s work is held in the permanent collections of ACMI and QVMAG in Australia. She divides her time between Melbourne and the United Kingdom, where she is based out of Real World Studios in Box, Wiltshire.

Chris Robb, CEO, Mass Participation Asia (IDN)

Chris is an author, highly sought after international speaker, high impact consultant and CEO of Mass Participation Asia. With over 30 years of experience, Chris has impacted millions of people by delivering some of the largest mass participation sports events across three continents. Having managed some of the biggest “disasters”, Chris translates these invaluable lessons to help others achieve personal and business success. Today, Chris reaches out and inspires others through public speaking, consulting, advising, and hosting Asia’s only mass industry conference, Mass Participation Asia.

Larry Heath, Director, Heath Media (AU)

Larry Heath is the Director of Heath Media, an Australian publishing and events company who run the National Live Music Awards in Australia and curate a series of live music events internationally. Larry founded and publishes the AU review, one of Australia's most popular music websites and regularly writes for music publications around the world. The site's travel section, AU Abroad, brings the travel and music worlds together through groundbreaking experiential travel content. In addition, Larry programs the Australian Music Week Film Festival and was recently instated as the A&R Manager of Music Sales Australia.

Shane Homan, Associate Professor in media studies, Monash University (AU)

Shane Homan is Associate Professor in media studies at Monash University, Melbourne. His most recent book is Popular Music Industries and the State: Policy Notes, co-authored with Martin Cloonan and Jen Cattermole (Routledge, 2016).  Shane is currently leading an Australian Research Council project, Interrogating the Music City: pop and the cultural economy of Melbourne (2016-2018), examining the heritage and histories of Melbourne popular music.


Dominique Greco Ryan, Project Manager, Nighttime Economy & Downtown Development Board/Community Redevelopment Agency
City of Orlando (USA)

By expanding her educational experiences far beyond the required lectures, Dominique earned the role as Projects Director for one of Downtown Orlando’s largest ownership portfolios in 2012. She quickly became an indispensable resource in maintaining the success of the group’s several entertainment and hospitality venues, all the while building an invaluable awareness of the nightlife industry that fuels the city in which she serves today. 

Dominique recently accepted the first Nighttime Economy Projects Manager position with the City of Orlando, focused on fostering and enhancing the safety, vibrancy and growth of downtown’s rapidly-expanding nightlife industry. Serving as liaison between downtown stakeholders and the city, Dominique brings a fresh yet polished perspective to this next chapter of local governance.


helen fang, lead singer, nova heart (cn)

Helen Feng is an ex MTV VJane, Radio personality (she moderated The Rockshow on Hit FM — China Radio International — for years and since 2011 mastermind and lead singer of Nova Heart.

Lauren Roth de Wolf, Director of Events, Africa Express & Director, The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians (UK)

Specialising in cross-cultural music collaborations, Lauren has been running Africa Express — founded by Damon Albarn & Baaba Maal — since 2010. The combination of experience, passion, an overactive imagination and Damon’s heavyweight artistic vision have resulted in spectacular events that, according to the BBC, “no sane person would attempt”. From hiring a train & filling it full of musicians to tour the UK as ‘The Africa Express’ to reuniting a Syrian Orchestra to headline festivals across Europe (including Glastonbury’s legendary Pyramid stage), as well as producing 4 acclaimed albums in between.

Over the next year Lauren will team up with the Mandela Family to celebrate young African musicians, continue her work with the Syrian Orchestra and begin transforming ‘The Africa Express’ into a Mississippi river boat to sail from New Orleans to Memphis, filled with the most incredible artists from across Africa & the West.



Jesse Elliott is a lifelong champion of collaborative creative efforts, social entrepreneurship, and the power of music and storytelling. He is the founder and songwriter of two rock and roll bands, These United States and Ark Life, who have released 6 albums and performed live 1,200 times in the last decade, from SXSW and Glastonbury to Lollapalooza. Before music recaptured his heart, Elliott wrote books and speeches with economist Richard Florida, co-founded a community nonprofit at the University of Iowa, helped shoot a documentary on water rights in southern Mexico and Guatemala, and ran an Italian deli on the Jersey Shore. With his company Range Music Ecosystems, Elliott and his co-founder Dr. Bryce Merrill researched and wrote the music strategies for the City of Denver and the State of Colorado, and brought together international thinkers on music and community for the City of Austin, the Biennial of the Americas, and more.