Fair Play Symposium Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Deborah Williams Executive Director, Creative Diversity Network, UK

Deborah Williams is CEO of the Creative Diversity Network (CDN) – which promotes diversity and inclusion in the Broadcasting industry. As CEO of Creative Diversity Network, Deborah developed and delivered their Diamond diversity monitoring scheme, as well as data bases and online resources for the major broadcasters in the UK who are all members of the network.

Prior to her work with CDN, Deborah undertook ground-breaking work as Diversity Manager at the British Film Institute (BFI). This included opening a lottery fund to promote diversity and designing the diversity standards for film and contributing to the strategic and business plan of the BFI. She was responsible for leading on equity analysis and the introduction of the Creative Case for Diversity in the Arts Council England.

Outside of the UK, Deborah Williams has been an advisor to the Swedish Film Institute and Arts Council, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, the Danish Film Institute, the Cannes Film Festival, the European Disability Forum and spoke at Australia’s Screen Diversity Inclusion Network in 2018.

In addition to her advocacy work, Deborah has over 3 decades of experience in the performing and screen arts in the UK including running her own theatre companies, acting with the Graeae Theatre Company,and teaching stage management at the Webber Douglas Drama School.

Genevieve Grieves Artist, curator and Head, First Peoples Dept, Museums Victoria

Genevieve Grieves is a Worimi woman from southeast Australia based in Narrm (Melbourne). She is an award-winning artist, curator and content creator committed to sharing First Peoples histories and cultures and interrogating colonising frameworks and practices.  Her recent projects include the Awaken exhibition at the University of Melbourne; Barangaroo Ngangamay, a place-based Augmented Reality app that shares and celebrates the cultures of Sydney Aboriginal women; and, she was Lead Curator of the internationally celebrated permanent exhibition, First Peoples, at the Melbourne Museum.  She is a passionate advocator of decolonising and community-engaged practice and teaches these methodologies in university and community contexts. Her current projects include a PhD in art, colonial violence and memorialisation; a new role at Museums Victoria as Head of the First Peoples Department; and, the very important role of mum to a new baby.

Caroline Bowditch Performer, teacher and Executive Director, Arts Access Victoria

After 16 years living and working in the U.K. Caroline Bowditch has recently returned to Australia to take up the role as Executive Director at Arts Access Victoria. She is best known as a performer, maker, teacher, speaker and mosquito buzzing in the ears of the arts industry in the UK and further afield.

She held the role as Scottish Dance Theatre’s Dance Agent for Change (2008-2012). Caroline was awarded an Unlimited commission to create Leaving Limbo Landing (2012) for the Cultural Olympiad and in 2014 created Falling in Love with Frida, which was awarded a prestigious Herald Angel award. In 2016, she collaborated with Laura Hook, to create two works for young audiences, The Adventures of Snigel (3-8 years) and Snigel and Friends (under 1’s).

Caroline has been an Associate Artist with Paragon Music (Glasgow), Dance4 (Nottingham) and Imaginate (Scotland) and was Visiting Professor at Coventry University. She has been a regular consultant on accessibility and inclusivity to Skånes Dansteater, Sweden and British Council. She has led international residencies in Italy, Switzerland and Germany is regularly invited to be mentor local, national and international artists at all levels of their artistic development.


Dr Paula Abood Writer, CCD practitioner, creative producer and educator

Artistic Director/ Editor/Facilitator/Trainer Paula Abood is a writer, community cultural development practitioner, creative producer and educator. She has worked with diverse communities in capacity building projects for 30 years. Her productions include The Cartographer’s  Curse (2016), Auburn Cartographies of Diversity (2016),  Sacred Women’s Voices (2013 / 2011), Parenting Stories (2010), Hurriya and her Sisters (2009), The Book of African Australian Stories (2006), Poetry on Rooftops (2006), and Of Middle Eastern Appearance (2001). Paula was awarded the 2007 Western Sydney Artists’ Fellowship for the blogging project Race and the City and was the 2013 recipient of the Australia Council’s Ros Bower Award for lifetime achievement in community cultural development practice.  She has developed resources and taught widely on subjects including cultural diversity, advocacy, and community development at TAFE and in community education settings. Paula co-developed the Certificate IV in Community Arts and Cultural Development that runs out of St George TAFE in Sydney, and is a leading trainer and educator on human rights approaches across the community, arts and education sectors. Paula was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from UNSW in 2007 in the area of cultural studies.

Panellists & Speakers

James Arvanitakis Chair, Diversity Arts Australia Board

Professor James Arvanitakis is the Pro Vice Chancellor (Research and Graduate Studies) at Western Sydney University (WSU). A lecturer in the Humanities and a member of the University’s Institute for Cultural and Society, he founded The Academy at Western that received an Australian Financial Review higher education excellence award (2016) and the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue Engagement Award (2017).

James is internationally recognised for his innovative teaching style and was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s University Teacher of the Year Award in 2012 and an Eminent Researcher Award from the Australia India Education Council in 2015.

A regular media commentator, he has over 100 publications, and his research includes future of universities and citizenship. He works closely with artists to document their work and writes how artists have become the social conscious of the contemporary world.

He is the Chair: Diversity Arts Australia, a Board member: Public Education Foundation, Academic Fellow: Australia India Institute, Associate Vice Chair: Global Listening Centrea Fellow: Centre for Policy Development and on the Advisory Board Member: Herbert and Valmae Freilich Foundation that confronts racism and bigotry.

Michael Williams Director, Wheeler Centre
Michael Williams is the Director of the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne. He has worked at the Wheeler Centre since inception in 2009, when he was hired as the Head of Programming before being appointed as Director in September 2011.

For 2015–2016 he hosted Blueprint for Living, and now hosts Talkfest, on RN. He remains a regular guest on ABC Radio and TV. Michael has also worked as a Breakfast presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR, as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, in publishing and has written extensively for the Guardian, the Age, Sydney Morning HeraldAustralian and elsewhere.

Jeremy Smith Director Community, Emerging and Experimental Arts, Australia Council for the Arts

Jeremy Smith is the Director Community of Emerging and Experimental Arts,for the Australia Council for the Arts. He has broad experience working in community arts and fostering emerging and experimental arts practice. Jeremy’s early career was in festivals and the performing arts, following his graduation from lighting design at the WA Academy of Performing Arts. His first taste of community-determined arts and cultural programs was through a young people and the arts fellowship offered by ArtsWA, which enabled him to work in Canada and attend courses at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Jeremy has supported regional arts engagement and forged partnerships with diverse communities throughout his career, having held management and advisory roles in both the public and private sector. This work involved delivering community projects and activity in regional and remote areas across Western Australia.

Prior to joining Council in 2016, Jeremy was responsible for managing Rio Tinto’s community investment activities across its Western Australian operations, brokering and managing state-wide partnerships across key areas of education, environment, culture and health over a number of years.

Jane Crawley Director, Arts Investment, Creative Victoria

Jane Crawley is the Director of Arts Investment at Creative Victoria. She leads a team of arts sector specialists with responsibility for the design and management of funding programs, strategic partnerships and special initiatives that support Victoria’s arts and cultural sector.

Jane is an innovative and creative public sector leader with a track record in guiding large and complex arts departments and portfolios as an executive manager. Prior to joining Creative Victoria in September 2016, she was Manager of Arts Melbourne with Melbourne City Council (2010 – 2016) where she led a range of significant initiatives including Australia’s first local government Arts Infrastructure Framework; strategic partnerships with key arts agencies; and the revitalisation of Arts House as Melbourne’s centre for contemporary and experimental performance.

Katrina Sedgwick Director & CEO of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image

Katrina Sedgwick is the Director & CEO of ACMI since early 2015. She has an extensive background as a commissioner, creative producer, festival director and performer. Her previous roles include Head of Arts for ABC TV, founding Director/CEO of the Adelaide Film Festival and its Investment Fund, Artistic Director for Adelaide Fringe 2002 and Come Out ’99 (Australian Festival for Young People) and Special Events Producer for Robyn Archer’s 1998 and 2000 Adelaide Festival of Arts.

Jodie Sizer Co-CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers Indigenous Consulting

Jodie Sizer, a founding partner and co-CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers Indigenous Consulting, is a Djab Wurrung/Gunditjmara woman and one of Australia’s foremost Indigenous leaders.

A life-long Collingwood supporter who has been the chair of the Collingwood Football Club’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) sub-committee, Sizer has worked with tertiary institutions, governments, sports codes and major businesses in creating meaningful change for Aboriginal people. Sizer has qualified as a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), possesses a strong background in corporate governance and is a graduate of the Hedland Leadership Program and the University of Melbourne’s Asia-Australia New Leaders Program.

Abdul Shayek Theatre Director and Artistic Director of FIO (Wales)

Theatre Director and Artistic Director of Wales-based theatre company FIO, which he founded in 2005. In Autumn 2018 he will be directing Athol Fugard’s The Island, which will tour to theatres, prisons and community spaces across Wales and England, he is also working on various other major local, national and international projects for Fio.

He was also the director for ‘Swarm’, a devised site-specific show about migration and Katori Hall’s ‘The Mountaintop’ and Ariel Dorfmans ‘Death and the Maiden’ at The Other Room. He is former Creative Associate for National Theatre Wales and has worked with a range of organisations including Contact Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Almeida and various international organisations and projects. He is a visiting lecturer at the University of East London and has guest lectured at various other institutions.

He is also a National Advisor to Arts Council Wales and was Vice Chair and a founding member of Youth Arts Network Cymru.  Abdul is a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow (2013-14) and sits on the steering group of the National Alliance for Arts in the Criminal Justice System.

Adelaide Bannerman Freelance project manager and curator (UK)

Adelaide Bannerman is a freelance project manager and curator based in London. Since 1998, Bannerman has worked for UK arts institutions that have included Autograph ABP, Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), African and Asian Visual Artists Archive (AAVAA), Tate, Live Art Development Agency, Platform London, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, 198 Gallery and Arts Council England.

She currently works for International Curators Forum and in partnership is developing an international residency programme amongst other activities. She is currently a trustee of Idle Women, an organisation that initiates and creates contemporary art with women and Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall an artist-run laboratory and presentation space for contemporary art. Her independent research interests valorise performative gestures and engagements with live and visual performance art and privileging the developmental process behind individual and group practices. Bannerman is also interested in exploring, noting and co-opting movement and improvisatory methods as part of her curatorial practice.


Candy Bowers Co-artistic director, Black Honey Company

Candy Bowers multidisciplinary writer, actor, producer, theatremaker and filmmaker. The co-artistic director of Black Honey Company, Candy has pioneered a fierce sub-genre of contemporary performance that delves into the heart of radical feminist dreaming and earned her the 2018 Geoffrey Milne- Green Room Award for outstanding contribution to Independent Theatre.

Her original work for stage includes Hot Brown Honey, Who’s That Chik?Australian Booty, MC Platypus & Queen Koala and One The Bear- A Fairytale for the Hip Hop Generation. She has written poetry, short stories, essays and commentary for The Lifted Brow, SBS Life, Junkee and PerilMag. She is published in Yours Truly- Women of Letters (Penguin), She’s Having A Laugh (Affirm) and Queerstories (Hachette). Candy is a break-out comic performer with TV appearances on Get Krack!n, Newtons Law, The Ex PM, Tonightly (ABC/Netflix) and The Cry (BBC.) She is currently working on her first screenplay for Arena Media, her first video art work commissioned by Campbelltown Arts Centre and her first graphic novel for young adults at the Wheeler Centre.

Candy is a proud member of the MEAA Equity Diversity Committee, ambassador for NOWAustralia and champion of Stella Schools and the Stella Prize.

Dr Mikala Tai Director, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Dr Mikala Tai is the director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney. As a curator, researcher, and academic specializing in contemporary Asian art, she has collaborated with local, national, and international organizations to strengthen ties between Australia and Asia. Her curatorial projects at 4A include “The Burrangong Affray” (2018, co-curated with Micheal Do), “Before the Rain” (2017); “I don’t want to be there when it happens” (co-curated with Kate Warren and expanded at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts with Eugenio Viola, 2017); and “Jogja Calling” (2016).

She received critical acclaim for her organization of the performance program at Art Central Hong Kong (2016 – 2018). Her independent curatorial projects include “Abdullah M.I. Syed: Diving Economy—Structures” (Aicon Gallery, New York, 2017), “Closing the Gap: Contemporary Indonesian Art” (Melbourne Intercultural Fine Art, 2011), and “Yang Yongliang: On the Quiet Water” (Fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne, 2009). Tai has taught at Monash University, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), and the University of Melbourne in both undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

Tai’s writing can be found in several exhibition catalogues in addition to periodicals such as Broadsheet Journal, Art Monthly Australiasia, Photofile, Vault, and Ocula. In 2015, Tai received her PhD, focusing on the influence of the global city on China’s local art infrastructure.

Jacob Boehme Multi-disciplinary theatre maker and choreographer

Jacob Boehme is Melbourne born and raised artist of the Narangga and Kaurna Nations, South Australia. Jacob is the founding Creative Director of Yirramboi Festival, Melbourne’s premier biennial First Nations arts festival presenting innovation in contemporary and experimental First Nations arts practice from around the world and recipient of the 2018 Green Room Award for Curatorial Contribution to Contemporary and Experimental Arts.

Jacob is a multi-disciplinary theatre maker and choreographer, creating work for stage, screen, large-scale public events and festivals. Jacob currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Blackfulla Performing Arts Alliance, is a member of the International Advisory Panel for the Calouste Gulbenkian UK Enquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art Yalingwa Advisory Committee. Alumni of the Victorian College of the Arts, Jacob’s solo work Blood on the Dance Floor is touring nationally and internationally in 2019.

Natalie Ibu Artistic Director and CEO, tiata fahodzi (UK)

Natalie Ibu is the artistic director and CEO of tiata fahodzi and leads a consortium in delivering the Artistic Director Leadership Programme – a strategic project funded by the Arts Council England’s Sustain Theatre Fund, facilitating the professional development of 28 leaders of colour. Previously she was the Creative Producer for In Good Company, launching the regional artist development programme in the East Midlands for Derby Theatre, Embrace Arts Leicester and Create Mansfield.

During her 15 year arts management career, she has consulted for independent theatre companies like Openworks Theatre, Maison Foo, Fifth Word, Bear Trap Theatre Company and Spilt Milk Dance, led departments and programmes at the Roundhouse, Only Connect, HighTide Theatre and worked at the Traverse Theatre, Citizens Theatre and National Museums Scotland.

As director, credits include readings and productions at Paines Plough’s Roundabout, Watford Palace Theatre, Riverside Studios, Young Vic, Lyric, Southwark Playhouse, Southbank Centre, Jersey Arts Trust, The Old Vic Tunnels, Theatre503, The Gate, Latitude, HighTide, BAC, Oran Mor, Traverse, Royal Court, ATC at the Young Vic, OVNV at The Old Vic, Waterloo East and The Vineyard Theatre in New York, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Citizens’, The Arches, Contact and Nottingham Playhouse as well as national tours. Since graduating with a First Class Honours degree in 2004, she has completed the IETM Campus, Clore Leadership Programme Short Course, Stage One New Producers Workshop as well as residencies with the Royal Court, New Perspectives, New York Theatre Workshop, the National Theatre Studio, Royal Shakespeare Company, Citizens’ Theatre and Contact. She has been awarded bursaries from Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme, the Federation of Scottish Theatre, Scottish Arts Council and Arts Council East Midlands. Awards include Dewar Arts Award for Exceptional Artists Under 30, Time Warner Ignite 2, IdeasTap Innovator’s Award and the Lilian Baylis Award for Theatrical Excellence. She is a trustee of the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme and an Arts Council England South East Area Council Member.





Other speakers at the Fair Play Symposium will include:

Watch this space for more speaker announcements.