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Our Festival Ambassador program invites community leaders to experience a range of Festival events, with a focus on our more traditional Festival shows. Together with our Ambassadors, we aim to break down barriers around venues, show genres and the perception that ‘this is not for me’. Each Ambassador is a leader in their own community is asked to share their experiences with their community, helping provide avenues of access to friends and networks. 

The Ambassador program was piloted in 2022, and co-designed with community leader Aisha Novakovich, founder of Modest Fashion Australia and ex-Chair of Roots TV. In 2024, ten Ambassadors are taking part in this exciting program. Meet them below!

Aisha Novakovich (Ambassadors Co-Creator)

Aisha was the Chair of Roots TV, a grassroots not-for-profit in WA that utilises film, digital media and the performing arts to provide platforms for multicultural and marginalised community members to develop and amplify their own stories.   

Aisha is also the Founder of Modest Fashion Australia (MFA) and Secret Sky, a website that sells modest fashion products and supports local and international modest fashion designers.  

Aisha graduated from the University of WA (UWA) with a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science and English majors), with Honours in Political Science and Feminist Literary Criticism, and a Bachelor of Law. 

Daniel Matabishi

Daniel, a dynamic advocate for cultural awareness, hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo with a profound commitment to fostering cultural understanding within diverse communities. With a passion for fostering cultural safety, diversity, and a celebration of CaLD voices, he embodies change.  

Daniel's dedication shines through in his purpose-driven initiatives, aligning seamlessly with his vibrant cultural background. His involvement as an Ambassador at Perth Festival mirrors his passion, enriching the event with his unique perspective and unwavering commitment to promoting a harmonious, diverse, and inclusive space for all. 

Rosemine Mutamuliza

Meet Rosemine, a passionate advocate for community engagement and cultural diversity. Originally from Rwanda, she spent two decades in New Zealand before making Perth her home. Rosemine is dedicated to closing cultural gaps and forging deep connections within diverse communities.  

Fuelled by a passion to see communities thrive through community-driven initiatives and meaningful connections, Rosemine actively contributes to various African and CaLD committees. She played a key role as a founding member of the New Zealand's first African Film Festival, embracing diverse roles from film curation to community connections. Rosemine's mission is to champion inclusivity and raise awareness, ensuring that cultural events are accessible to all through her extensive network. 

Valeria Rossi

Born in Peru but raised in Australia, Valeria has had the best of both worlds. Currently residing in Boorloo (Perth) and finishing her Master of Social Work at UWA, Valeria continues her passion on fighting for social justice while also trying to bridge the gap between the many cultures in Australian society. Lover of food, art, and the pretty things in life, she looks forward to becoming a cultural ambassador. 

Rin Nelson

Hi! I'm Rin! West Australian born and raised, with proud Indonesian roots. When I'm not full-time mum to my four awesome kids (and wifey to my top bloke Matt), my joy lies in being The Foodie Mama on Instagram, writing reviews and photographing food. 

My 9.5 years abroad has enriched my appreciation for the diversity we find in people today. And since returning to Perth in 2020, I'm passionate about fair and equal representation of backgrounds and culture in social media. I'm honoured to be an Ambassador and look forward to being part of the Perth Fest family for a third year!

Jun Zhang

A Chinese born operatic tenor, Jun holds a Bachelor Degree in Music Education from HeNan University, China, as well as a Master of Music and a Post Graduate Diploma in Arts Management from West Australian Academy of Performing Arts.  

He was contracted to the Chinese National Opera Company in BeiJing from 2002 to 2005 before leaving China to join The Australian Opera Studio as principal tenor for two years. In 2010 Jun Zhang joined the West Australian Opera Company where he has performed principal roles in Rigoletto and La Traviata among other works. As a freelance opera singer, Jun Zhang has performed in numerous other productions for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Perth International Festival, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Perth Symphony Orchestra, Darwin Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Ballet, UWA Choral Society, Freeze Frame Opera and Perth Symphonic chorus as a soloist. As a music director, performer, and a singing teacher at Vocal Arts and Drama Academy in the last 10 years, he has spread his passion on arts widely cross over the local community in WA.  

Being appointed as a Cultural Ambassador for Perth Festival 2024 has made him feel extremely privileged and proud, and he cannot wait to share this wonderful event with his entire community! 

Dureshawar Khan

Dureshawar Khan, an award-nominated playwright, spoken word poet, and performance artist, hails from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and now calls Noongar Boodja home. Her work delves into themes of displacement, identity, and belonging, drawing from her unique perspective as a neurodivergent migrant and a Muslim Feminist of Tribal heritage. As a co-founder of Third Culture Kids, she's acclaimed for productions like "Sharbat" and "MoR," spanning spoken word, performance art, and family dramas. 

Khan passionately believes in the Arts as a catalyst for positive social change, particularly through engaging Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities. In. In addition to her art, she holds a Bachelor of Criminology and Justice from Edith Cowan University, works as a Family Law Paralegal, and runs "Your Hype Girl," a Neuro Accessibility consultancy advocating for diversity and inclusion in the Arts, Justice, and Law sectors. Additionally, she hosts a podcast and blog, addressing mental health and ADHD from a South Asian Perspective. 

Wanjiku (Shiko) Kariuki

Wanjiku Kariuki is a passionate storyteller who aims to educate women to use their voices. Coming from a small country town in Kenya, stories were part of the fabric of how community values and Uduire (meaning culture) were passed through generations.  

Wanjiku relocated to Perth WA about 13 years ago. In her new home, Wanjiku has found her passion in advocating for community causes through fundraisers, hosting workshops for women, and using her natural talents such as acting, modelling and public speaking to encourage people from CALD communities to participate in the mainstream spaces of art and expression.  

Bec Nguyen

Hi, I'm Bec Nguyen! I was born and raised in Perth, with a diverse heritage encompassing both Chinese and Vietnamese roots. I’m so honoured and excited to be a Perth Festival Ambassador so I can help champion equity; arts and culture; and engagement to the wider community. 

With over a decade of experience in the arts (with a dual career in technology!), a strong and vocal advocate for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) I bring a deep passion for creativity and supporting underrepresented communities to find their voice to tell their stories.