This talk is presented by
Mike believes in the inspirational power of cities and spends a good amount of time encouraging anyone in his orbit to get out of the house, to know their city and to have more fun.
While working as a lawyer in the Middle East, he spotted an opportunity to launch global lifestyle brand Time Out in Sydney in 2007 to achieve these aims. In 15 years at the helm of Time Out Australia he has grew the brand across print, digital, event and social channels, which now reaches 1,000,000 Australians monthly. He also co-founded the Time Out Bar Awards and the Time Out Food Awards. Time Out’s contribution to our cities was recently recognised in 2020 when Time Out was awarded the Mumbrella Publish Awards Publishing Company of the Year, and Mike himself was awarded Publish Leader of the Year.
Since 2017 and prompted by the challenges facing Sydney's night time economy, Mike has focussed his efforts on aligning and empowering industry to actively engage in the political process in order to effect change. This saw him take a leading role in launching an independent bars association for Sydney in May 2018, followed by the launch of a Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) in November 2018 of which he was the inaugural Chair. The NTIA was at the forefront of the development of the NSW Government strategy for a 24-Hour Economy, and in February Mike was announced as the State of NSW’s first 24 Hour Economy Commissioner, a role that commenced formally on 29 March 2021.
Mike is also co-host of leading hospitality podcast Back of House, a board member of UNSW Art & Design’s advisory council and a board member of Torrens University Hospitality advisory council.
Craig Donarski has been Director of Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC) since November 2016.
CPAC has since been undergoing a renaissance that is seeing audiences growing significantly while the quality of the multi-arts offering increases. With Craig at the helm of policy and programming for CPAC, Liverpool’s arts and culture presence, deeply connected to the area’s rich multicultural and Indigenous heritage, continues to gain positive exposure.
For more than three decades Craig has been a major contributor to Australia’s vibrant arts and culture, having managed Marketing & Communications for Sydney Film Festival and the 16 regional events under the Travelling Film Festival banner prior to his current role. During his tenure Sydney Film Festival experienced significant growth in both income and audiences, going from 100,000 to more than 180,000 attendees in 6 years.
Before then Craig spent 11 years at Sydney Opera House in the Producers Unit, in a team developing a range of creative and engaging programs, festivals and special events which added to SOH’s celebrated cultural offering and broadened the audience base, from the legendary Studio program to the Spiegeltent on the Forecourt to festivals including Vivid, Graphic, Message Sticks and more.
Craig began his career at the ABC in 1986 as a Broadcasting Trainee, leading to twelve years working as a Broadcaster, Documentary Producer then Executive Producer at youth radio station Triple J, including some brief stints with other ABC radio outlets and ABC TV.
In parallel to all the above and in partnership with his wife Jackie McMillan, the pair have produced and promoted numerous club nights, parties and special events for over 25 years.
Since 2005, Courtesy of the Artist has been at the forefront of contemporary design in Sydney.
As gallery director and co-founder of Courtesy of the Artist, Nina Cueva is passionate about promoting and nurturing both established and emerging artists from various disciplines.
Representing over 60 jewellery designers and object makers from around Australia, Nina has curated a collection that continues to push boundaries of innovation. With the constant merge of modern technology and traditional craftsmanship, Courtesy of the Artist is able to showcase the best in design, which is the key to their success.