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About Us

We acknowledge the Noongar people who remain the spiritual and cultural birdiyangara of this kwobidak boodjar. We honour and respect the significant role they play for our community and our Festival to flourish.

Perth Festival is a not-for-profit multi-arts festival that brings world class performance, music, film, visual arts and literary events to Perth, Western Australia, every summer.

The Festival has been celebrating Perth, its people and its culture on the shores of the Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River) for nearly 70 years as Australia’s longest-running arts festival. Grounded on Noongar Boodjar, it is uniquely placed to celebrate the oldest living cultures in the world by championing rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditions and contemporary arts practice.

Founded in 1953 from the University of Western Australia’s annual summer school entertainment nights as a ‘festival for the people’, the Festival has seeded and cultivated decades of cultural growth through commissioning major new works and engaging diverse audiences.

Festival time in Perth is when the best artists from Western Australia and the world stand shoulder to shoulder in creative unity within the community.

The dates for the 2023 Perth Festival are 10 Feb – 5 Mar 2023. We hope you'll join us! 

Our Time. Our Place. This is what our art should speak of. This is where our heart resides.

The 2020 — 23 Perth Festivals will be celebrations of place – our city, our river, our State and our state-of-mind. They will be inclusive and immersive – euphoric affirmations of who we are and where we stand.

We affirm the primacy of Indigenous culture, a culture that sings the songs of our very geography – Noongar Boodjar.

Over the next four years, we will capture an ever‐expanding orbit of stories from the local to the global. Our Festivals will be irreverent, playful, compelling and honest. They will speak to everyone. They will reflect the vast array of cultures and circumstances in contemporary Australia and be the glue that binds people together in the face of divisive nationalism and individualism.

We will broaden the Festival footprint across metropolitan Perth to present events and re-imagine traditional venues in unexpected ways.

The Festival will expand its year-round contribution to Perth’s cultural life and be central to supporting the next generation of creative thinkers. We will commission and present works that give voice to this generation and we will commission acclaimed national and international artists to collaborate with our local artists.

We will commission and present works at the cutting edge of technology, namely in the virtual realm. But also to honour and develop the deep traditions of Festival’s presentations – free large-scale opening events, its fine music program, its films.

Our aspiration is to create a Festival for all – to present art that speaks to many, which balances popularity with integrity and creates an inescapable sense of celebration for everyone.

It’ll be ours.

Iain Grandage

Artistic Director

Artistic Director: Iain Grandage

Executive Director: Nathan Bennett


Head of Programming: Rachael Whitworth

Senior Program Manager: Jessica Darlow

Senior Producer: Anna Kosky

Associate Artist: Ian Wilkes

Program Associate – Film: Tom Vincent

Program Associate – Contemporary Music: Tom Supple

Curator: Literature and Ideas: Sisonke Msimang

Visual Arts Curator: Annika Kristensen

Executive Assistant: Pier Leach



Technical Director and Head of Production: Shona Treadgold

Audience Services Manager: Fiona Smith

Production Manager, Special Events: John Carter 

Production Administrator: Alex Hayes



Head of Development: Marina Woodhouse

Senior Manager, Philanthropy: Penelope Dolling 

Philanthropy Consultant: Andree McIntyre

Philanthropy Coordinator: Suzanna Gaunt

Senior Manager, Partnerships: Claudia Ottobrino 

Partnerships Manager: Anna Lee Normann

Partnerships Coordinator: Serene Cho


Finance & Operations

Chief Financial Officer: Kenny Lye

Payroll Officer: Linda Gannon

Accounts Officer: Jocelyn Kuan

Accounts Officer: Gemma Leatt-Hayter

IT Coordinator and Systems Administrator: Justin Cheek

Executive Assistant and Videographer: Peter Liacopoulos


People & Culture

Head of People, Social Impact and Sustainability / General Counsel: Courtney Fiddian

People and Culture Manager / Legal Counsel: Charlotte Thorne

Community and Engagement Manager: Ellie Murray-Yong


Marketing & Communications

Head of Marketing: Miranda Cookman

Marketing Manager: Michelle Goldblatt

Campaign Manager: Dana Alamsyah

Communications Manager: Stephen Bevis

Digital Content Strategist: Rachel Audino

Digital Marketing Coordinator: Felicity Tan

Marketing Assistant: Vanessa Paredes

Senior Graphic Designer: Scott Weir

Publications Manager: Andi Lawson-Moore


Special Projects

Creative Producer – Perth Festival Special Projects: Kate Ben-Tovim

Producing Lead: Danni Colgan

Producer Special Projects: Claudia Rayne

Business Operations Lead: Jessica Barrett


Friends of the Festival 

Chair: Tracy Deveugle-Frink

Executive Officer: Emily Davies 

Artistic Director Iain Grandage leads the Festival into an exciting new period of international excellence and brings to the 2020 — 23 Festivals a commitment to community, learning and participation.

Iain is one of Australia’s most highly regarded and acclaimed collaborative artists and programmers.

He has won seven Helpmann Awards and his long history with Perth Festival began with Black Swan Theatre productions of Merry-Go-Round in the Sea (1997), the theatrical adaptation of Tim Winton’s famous novel Cloudstreet (1998), The Year of Living Dangerously (1999) and Plainsong (2000). He was musical co-director and composer for the 2016 opening event spectacular, Home; arranged and music directed for The Rabbits (2015); won Helpmanns for his Music Direction and composition for the Festival’s co-commission Secret River (2013), and wrote and conducted the opening of the 2012 Festival Dawn:Dusk (2012).

Iain has received Victorian Green Room Awards, the prestigious Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award for an Individual, and the APRA/AMC award for Vocal Work of the Year for his opera based on Tim Winton’s novel The Riders.

As a programmer, he curated the chamber music program for the 2018 Adelaide Festival and was the Artistic Director of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival from 2016 — 18.

He has been Composer-in-Residence with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and has an extensive track record of collaboration with Indigenous artists across the country. Born in Brisbane and raised in Perth, Iain is a University of Western Australia graduate and the proud recipient of an honorary Doctorate from that institution.

Festival Board

Mr Tim Ungar: Chair
Rowena Albones
Mr Adrian Fini
David Flynn
Fiona Kalaf
Ben Lisle
Prof Terri-ann White
Ben Wyatt

Board Invitees

Fiona Allan
Sue Murphy
Lorna Pritchard

Tim Ungar | Chair
Tim Ungar has an extensive background as a Senior Executive in the telecommunications and technology industries in the areas of infrastructure, manufacturing, marketing and operations.
He is currently the Chairman of TSA Group, a national sales, marketing and operations company headquartered in Western Australia.
Tim is a long term supporter of the cultural and arts sector in WA. Along with his family, he is a director of the charitable trust, the Ungar Family Foundation.
He is a former Chairman of the Water Corporation of WA and of the Board of Trustees of the WA Museum.

Rowena Albones
Rowena has had a series of leadership, financial and commercial roles at Rio Tinto since joining the company as a Commercial Analyst for Hamersley Iron in 1999. She was appointed Chief Financial Officer for the Iron Ore group in June 2018. In this role, she leads the finance function with strong focus on decision making and commercial governance. Before joining Iron Ore, Rowena was Chief Financial Officer Growth & Innovation where she established PACE consulting to provide management consulting and data analytics services to the business and governance and financial oversight of Oyu Tolgoi as a Board member since 2013. Rowena holds a Bachelor’s degree majoring in Economics and Finance and a Masters in Business Administration, both from Curtin University, Australia.

Adrian Fini
Adrian is a co-founder of Hesperia and has been involved in property development, property investment and the construction industry in Western Australia for over 35 years, largely in his capacity as the Principal of Fini Group. He has spearheaded some of Perth’s most progressive residential, commercial, hospitality and retail projects including, most notably, the heritage regeneration of the State Buildings in the Perth CBD.
Adrian is also currently a director of FJM Property, a private investment company with a diverse portfolio of investment properties and businesses. He is the former CEO of Mirvac Fini in Western Australia, and a former executive director and board member of Mirvac Group. In 2014, he was awarded an Order of Australia (OAM) for his contribution to the arts. In 2016, Adrian received the most prestigious award in the state – Western Australian of the Year – for his contribution towards shaping a better, contemporary city of Perth. In that same year, he was also awarded Western Australian Entrepreneur of the Year.

David Flynn
David is a Partner with Azure Capital, a corporate advisory firm. David has over 15 years of experience in corporate advisory and international capital markets, working across a variety of industries including telecommunications, financial services, mining services and natural resources. David holds a Masters in Finance from the London Business School, and degrees in Mathematics and Commerce (with First Class Honours) from the Curtin University of Technology.

Ben Lisle

Ben Lisle is the Managing Director of Hesperia.

Ben has extensive experience in all facets of property development including due diligence and acquisition structuring, planning and environmental approvals, development management and financing of commercial and industrial property.

Ben was previously a Director and Founder for Linc Property, a Director and Co-Founder of Azure Capital and a Director of Poynton and Partners. His work included management of numerous significant capital raisings and IPOs, the structuring and execution of large project finance packages, the management of mergers and accustoms and provision of strategic corporate advisory services.

Ben is involved in and ongoing commitments with a range of not-for-profit organisations including Youth Focus and the Ride for Youth, the Noongar Charitable Trust and SAS Resources Fund.

He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Western Australia, a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Financial Services Institute of Australia and has completed the Management Development program at Harvard Business School.

Fiona Kalaf
Fiona Kalaf is an experienced chief executive and board chair. She is currently General Manager of Markets and Innovation at the Perth-based international human services organisation APM and the Deputy Presiding Member of Healthway.

Ms Kalaf is a former chief executive of Youth Focus WA and Lifeline WA, a former chair of the Art Gallery of Western Australia and a former board member of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority and the Australian Institute of Management, WA.

She also has held senior executive positions at Wesfarmers, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Asgard Wealth Solutions and HBF. Her qualifications include degrees in fine arts and architecture at the University of Western Australia, an MBA at Curtin University and a course in Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management at Harvard Business School.

Terri-ann White
Terri-ann White is a professor at The University of Western Australia. She was the founding director of Institute of Advanced Studies (1999 – 2011) and has been the director of UWA Publishing since 2006. For twelve years from 1982 she was an independent bookseller, as owner and manager of the Arcane Bookshop in Perth.

Terri-ann White’s fiction and non-fiction writing has been published widely. Over the past two decades she has been a passionate collaborator with other artists: dancers, visual artists, and musicians. Terri-ann has been involved in a number of arts and cultural organisations in Australia, as a practitioner and a board member.

Ben Wyatt

Ben Wyatt is the former Western Australian Treasurer and has had ministerial responsibility for Finance, Energy, Aboriginal Affairs and Lands. He was the first Indigenous treasurer of any Australian parliament and he has held various shadow cabinet portfolios including responsibility for Native Title, the Pilbara and Culture and the Arts. He retired from the Western Australian Parliament in March 2021. He holds a Masters degree with Distinction from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Australia. Prior to entering Parliament, Mr Wyatt practised as a lawyer in both private practice and with the Western Australian Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Noongar Advisory Circle

Our Noongar Advisory Circle exists to ensure our respectful connection to this place, to its people and to the cultural bedrock of Noongar Boodjar remains strong.

Comprised of members with a range of qualifications and lived experiences in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts practice, the Noongar Advisory Circle brings together expert industry knowledge from well-respected story holders, performers, language & land caretakers, visual artists, and organisation representatives.

Our Noongar Advisory Circle meet six times a year, once each Noongar Season, and are compensated for their valuable time and
knowledge – knowledge which collectively spans approximately 185 years.

The consultation of our Noongar Advisory Circle was integral to developing the Festival's Reconciliation Action Plan, which can be found here.

Read more about our Noongar Advisory Circle here.

Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee

Our Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee was formed to ensure that everything we do considers people with disability, access requirements and relevant service organisations through a consultative process.

The Committee provides advice and guidance on all aspects of the Festival including our Disability Action and Inclusion Plan, built environments, access services available across our programs and community building. Committee members are paid for their time and meet at four key stages across the year.

The committee is comprised of members with a range of access requirements, disability and/ or lived experience, and includes patrons, artists and service organisation representatives.

Read more about our members here.

Read the PDF Disability, Access and Inclusion Plan here

Read the Word Doc Disability, Access and Inclusion Plan here.

Listen to our Disability Access and Inclusion Plan here.

Read our Constitution here

Perth Festival Special Projects (PFSP) is an exciting new venture from Perth Festival that was created to further our purpose – to enrich life through art. This new division of Perth Festival drives our ambition to become a year-round cultural organisation that delivers, always for our community, audiences and supporters.

Read more about PFSP here.

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