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.
The Festival was born out of The University of Western Australia’s annual summer school entertainment nights as a ‘festival for the people’ on 3 January 1953.
Since then, Perth Festival has seeded and cultivated decades of cultural growth as the oldest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere. It is Australia’s premier curated multi-arts festival and one of the greatest in the world, known for commissioning major new works, celebrating the unique qualities of Perth and engaging diverse audiences.
Every glorious summer the best artists from Western Australia and the world stand shoulder to shoulder in creative unity within the community.
The dates for the 2021 - 23 Perth Festivals are below. We hope you'll join us!
5 Feb – 28 Feb 2021
11 Feb – 6 Mar 2022
10 Feb – 5 Mar 2023
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.
Artistic Director: Iain Grandage
Executive Director: Nathan Bennett
Programming & Production
Executive Producer: Anna Reece
Associate Artist: Kylie Bracknell
Curator: Literature and Ideas: Sisonke Msimang
Program Associate: Film: Tom Vincent
Program Associate: Visual Arts: Gemma Weston
Program Manager: Jessica Darlow
Producer: Anna Kosky
Community and Engagement Coordinator: Ellie Murray-Yong
Program Administrator: Ciaran McDonald
Executive Administrator: Nell Mitchell
Creative Learning & Connect Program Producer: Jenna Mathie
Audience Services Manager: Fiona Smith
Technical Director: Shona Treadgold
Production Manager, Special Events: John Carter
Production Administrator: Alex Hayes
Head of Development & Strategy: Sarah Tompkin
Philanthropy Manager, Annual Giving: Louella Hayes
Philanthropy Consultant: Andree McIntyre
Philanthropy Coordinator: Sophie Le Butt
Sponsorship Manager: Claudia Ottobrino
Sponsorship and Grants Associate: Anna Lee Normann
Development Events Assistant: Sarah Rippon
Finance & Operations
Head of Corporate Services: Shona Tchilingirian
Finance Manager: Greg Apps
Assistant Accountant: Beck Nouraei
Payroll Officer: Sue Aston
IT Coordinator & Systems Administrator: Justin Cheek
Executive Assistant & Videographer: Peter Liacopoulos
Travel Beyond Consultants: Jessica Laing & Daniel Juriansz
People & Culture
Head of People & Culture: Jessica Blackwell
Marketing & Communications
Head of Marketing: Tony Millar
Marketing Manager: Michelle Goldblatt
Campaign Manager: Miranda Cookman
Ticketing Manager: Scott Beckwith
Communications Manager: Stephen Bevis
Digital Content Strategist: Rachel Audino
Senior Graphic Designer: Scott Weir
Junior Graphic Designer: Tina Han
Publications Manager: Andi Lawson-Moore
Brand Activator: Fiona Bruce
Friends of the Festival
Chair: Tracy Deveugle-Frink
Executive Officer: Phoebe Tempra
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.
Mr Tim Ungar: Chair
Mr Adrian Fini
Rishelle Hume AM
Prof Terri-ann White
Mr Nathan Bennett (Executive Director, Perth Festival)
Mr Iain Grandage (Artistic Director, Perth Festival)
Ms Susan Hunt (CEO, Lotterywest)
Mr Frank Cooper AO (Chair Strategic Resources Committee, UWA Senate)
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 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 is Director of FJM Property Pty Ltd, a private property and investment group. He has been involved in the Perth property industry for more than 30 years.
Adrian is a current Board member of the University of Western Australia Business School Board and their New Century Campaign. He is also Chair of the Art Gallery of WA Foundation. He was awarded an OAM for his contributions to the arts in 2014 and was named the 2016 Western Australian of the Year in 2016.
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.
Rishelle Hume AM
Rishelle is the Manager, Aboriginal Employment Strategy at Chevron Australia. A Noongar woman with traditional ties to the Whadjuk, Ballardong and Gnaala Karla Booja peoples, she has over 25 years of experience working across Aboriginal engagement in employment, education, justice and health. Her roles include Chairperson of the Mandjah Boodjah Aboriginal Corporation; Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the WA Aboriginal Leadership Institute; Noongar Charitable Trust Advisory Council Member; Ambassador of the EON Foundation; director of AUSPIRE Australia Day Council WA; director of Ronald McDonald House Charities WA; Ambassador of Helping Little Hands; WA Football Commission Aboriginal Advisory Board Member; director of Little Athletics WA; and UNESCO Commissioner of Culture for Australia. Rishelle was the Western Australian of the Year (Aboriginal Category) in 2016, inducted into the 2017 Little Athletics Australia Roll of Excellence (Hall of Fame) in the Achievers Category, and an inaugural inductee on the 2018 WA Roll of Excellence in the Achievers Category for Little Athletics WA. Rishelle was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2018 for significant service to the indigenous community of WA, particularly developing opportunities, promoting leadership and preserving culture. In March 2019, she was inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame for service to the Aboriginal community. She holds a Curtin University Bachelor of Commerce degree with a Double Major in Human Resource Management.
Ben is a Director and founder with Linc Property, Western Australia’s largest locally owned private industrial land developer. Ben was previously a Director and co-founder of Azure Capital and a Director of Poynton and Partners. His philanthropic interests include the prevention of youth suicide, aboriginal development, the arts and education. Ben and his wife Gina are involved with a range of not-for-profit organisations including Christchurch Senior Grammar School, Youth Focus and the Ride for Youth, the Black Swan State Theatre of WA, the Noongar Charitable Trust and the SAS Resources Fund. Ben studied mechanical engineering at the University of Western Australia, where he graduated with first class honours and as the top student in his year. Ben has since completed the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment at the Financial Services Institute of Australia.
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.
Tayyeb Shah, a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, has been appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships) at The University of Western Australia.
A globally-renowned expert in higher education, business development and international relations, Mr Shah joins UWA from King’s College London, where he was Deputy Vice President (Global Business Development).
During his 12 years at King’s College, Mr Shah was instrumental in expanding the university’s international and commercial partnerships. He was responsible for identifying, conceptualising and developing a number of strategic multi-million dollar projects which increased and deepened King’s College’s worldwide engagement, particularly in China.
Educated at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) and Imperial College London, Mr Shah joined King’s College after more than a decade in the commercial and creative industry sectors.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater said Mr Shah brought a wealth of experience to UWA that would complement the University’s future vision.
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.
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 four times a year and are compensated for their valuable time and knowledge – knowledge which collectively spans approximately 185 years.
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.
Youth Advisory Council
Recognising the importance of involving young people in our decision-making processes, the Youth Advisory Council was created to ensure that the Festival has a direct pathway for young people to engage with the Festival, and for their voices to be heard.
The Council provides advice and guidance on how we can increase participation of young people in the Festival, but also to advocate for youth related issues within the Festival. Offered as part of the Creative Learning program, the Youth Advisory Council is also focussed on skills development opportunities for its members.
Read more about the Youth Advisory Council here.