Learn about the Asia Pacific Creative Cities Conference panellists

Ali Atrian, Architect and representative of Isfahan City of Craft and Folk Art

Ali is a member of Isfahan Creative City Team coordinated by the municipality. The team was formed for making connections among UNESCO Creative City Network (UCCN) and managing Isfahan's membership in the global alliance, as the first city in Iran to join UCCN in the field of craft & folk arts in 2015. He is also an architect and expert in handicrafts, who tries to discover the relationship between the two and creative city. "Creative economy”, “creative class”, “creative industries", etc. are some of his books in Persian, based on Landry & Florida's studies. Isfahan, as the most important city in crafts in Iran, tries to protect its artists and creative movements, so it supports the development of entrepreneurship, specifically in crafts.

Timothy Chin, Director of Arts and Heritage, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth in Singapore


As Senior Director (Arts and Heritage) at the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), Timothy formulates and drives strategies, policies and programmes related to the development of Singapore’s cultural landscape. His key partners include the National Arts Council, National Heritage Board, and Singapore’s cultural institutions. Timothy is also the Trust Secretary of the Cultural Matching Fund established by MCCY to promote cultural philanthropy.

Prior to his current appointment, Timothy worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including at the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta and High Commission in
New Delhi. He has also worked at the Ministry of Education. Timothy is currently a Board Director of the Singapore Art Museum, the Singapore Arts School Limited, and SISTIC. Learn more about the work of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth in Singapore here.​

Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of the Macau Government Tourist Office and Macao UNESCO City of Gastronomy focal point

Maria Helena came on board the Marketing Department of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) in 1988, and throughout the years organized many local and overseas tourism exhibitions, conferences, seminars, marketing, and promotional activities of different scale. She became one of the two Deputy Directors in September of 1998, where she continues to be highly involved in the marketing and promotion of Macao as a tourism destination. She was appointed as Director of MGTO in December of 2012. In 2016, Ms. Fernandes was awarded the Medal of Merit – Tourism by the Macao Special Administrative Region Government. Maria Helena concurrently serves as Coordinator of the Tourism Crisis Management Office of the Macao SAR Government and is member of the Tourism Development Committee, Economic Development Committee, Cultural Advisory Committee, Committee of Cultural Industries, Urban Planning Committee, Investment Committee, among others, of the Macao SAR Government. In May 2018, Director Senna Fernandes was elected as Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Secretary/Treasurer 2018/2020.

Pippa Dickson, Director of Asialink Arts, University of Melbourne

Pippa is the Director of Asialink Arts. Asialink is Australia’s leading organisation for the promotion of public understanding of the countries of Asia and of Australia's role in the region. Since 1991 Asialink Arts has been expanding the horizons of Australian artists and forging connections with arts professionals, institutions and organisations. Pippa has extensive arts leadership experience having worked as a director, project manager and consultant in the private and public sectors for close to twenty years. She was formerly Chair of Design Tasmania, and Co-Chair of the National Craft Initiative for the National Association for the Visual Arts and the founding CEO of the Glenorchy Art & Sculpture Park (GASP) from 2008 until 2016. At GASP Pippa was responsible for formulating and implementing strategic priorities, as well as governance structures, partnerships and funds development, raising over $10million for architectural projects and national and international art commissions. In this role Pippa led a strong community consultation campaign and advocacy at a Local, State and Federal level, working with varied communities as well as arts, civic and business leaders to facilitate change and develop a shared vision. In the region, she is an International Advisor to the Cheongju International Craft Biennale (South Korea) 2017 and 2019 and undertook a mentorship at the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (Hong Kong) with former CEO Michael Lynch, AO CBE in 2015

Dean Foley, CEO and Founder of Barayamal, a startup accelerator program for Indigenous people

From humble beginnings growing up within the Aboriginal community in Gunnedah, rural NSW to serving 5 years in the Royal Australian Air Force, Dean eventually founded the first Indigenous Accelerator program, Barayamal - now known as a world leader in Indigenous entrepreneurship. In addition, he was also involved in a startup (merger and acquisition deal) from the idea stage to raising $5 million. Dean believes that Indigenous entrepreneurship and economic development will help close the disparity gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and create a better world for everyone. Learn more about Barayamal here.

Pam Ford, General Manager of Economic Development at Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development and the chair of the Auckland City of Music Governance Group

Pam is passionate about Auckland and its people. As lead for Economic Development across the city, she drives initiatives and partnerships that deliver quality jobs for Aucklanders. Pam has worked for ATEED since it was formed in 2010, including a secondment to the New Zealand government on the West Coast, USA, 2014-15, to attract international investors to New Zealand.

Prior to this, Pam worked as an international marketing professional in private and not for profit sector. She received the Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) Commendation for Distinguished Service Award in 2018 and since June 2019 has been the Chair of EDNZ, the body representing all New Zealand economic development agencies.

Auckland joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2017, and Pam co-chairs the Auckland City of Music steering group. Check out more information about Auckland UNESCO City of Music here.

Douglas Gautier, Artistic Director & CEO Adelaide Festival Centre

Douglas Gautier is CEO & Artistic Director of Adelaide Festival Centre. Douglas’ program innovations include Adelaide Festival Centre’s Adelaide Guitar Festival and Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival. A showcase of cultural links between Australia and Asia and a dynamic platform for engagement, OzAsia Festival is Australia’s premier international contemporary arts festival focusing on Asia. Since 2018, OzAsia features the Jaipur Literature Festival, a satellite event of the cultural phenomenon that celebrates the stories and heritage of South Asia and takes a global view of contemporary literature and critical thought.

Douglas Gautier came to Adelaide Festival Centre after leading one of the world’s great arts festivals as Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival. A resident of Asia for 25 years and with international experience in media, tourism, and the arts, he remains closely connected and active in fostering Asian-Australian cultural engagement. Douglas held the posts of Deputy Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board and Director of Corporate Affairs and Marketing for STAR TV (the Asia-wide satellite television network of Newscorp). He was founding Vice-Chairman of the Asian Arts Festival Association and a board member of the Asian Cultural Council (Rockefeller Foundation).

In 2013, Douglas was elected Chair of the Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres (AAPPAC). AAPPAC is the peak cultural body in the Asia-Pacific region with its membership including capital city arts venues across Asia Pacific. He is also the Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Arts and Cultural Leadership, a member of the new Australia-Singapore Arts Group, an Executive Councillor of Live Performance Australia, an advisor to the Hong Kong Arts Festival, a Flinders University Councillor, and an adjunct professor of the University of South Australia.

Douglas Gautier was a key driver in the successful bid for Adelaide’s accreditation as a UNESCO Creative City for Music and in 2016 was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the arts and the community.

Xin Gu, UNESCO Expert - Diversity of Creative Expressions, Lecturer Monash University

Xin Gu is the director of the Master of Cultural and Creative Industries (MCCI) at Monash University in Australia. She has published widely on urban creative clusters and agglomerations, cultural work, creative entrepreneurship, cultural and creative industries policy, media cities, maker culture and cyberculture in China. Xin has worked with policy initiatives in the UK, China and Indonesia to support small-scale local creative industries development services.

Her work focuses on the transformation of creative cities and the creative economy under different social, economic and political conditions. Xin is the world-leading expert in contextualizing Western discourses in Asia and of convergence and divergences in the globalized creative economy. Xin’s current research concerns the digital creative economy, looking at the democratization of creativity through vast transformative digital media ecosystems. To read some of Xin’s work, click here

Geon Soo Han, Bucheon City of Literature focal point

Geon Soo Han is Professor in the Department of Cultural Anthropology, Kangwon National University in Korea. He studied Anthropology at Seoul National University (BA) and University of California at Berkeley (MA and Ph.D.). His research fields are anthropology of tourism, international migration, refugee and diaspora, human trafficking, multicultural policies, and African studies (focusing on Nigeria and Ghana). He is a member of committee for the multicultural family policy, committee for the foreigners’ policy in the Prime Minister’s Office and a member of the refugee committee of Korean government.

He has researched the creative cities in Korea extensively and a member of advisory committee for the UNESCO Creative Cities of the Korean National Commission for UNESCO. He publishes many articles on the issue of migrant workers, marriage-based migrant women and their families, human trafficking victims, and multicultural policies in Korea, including African migrant views on Korean people and culture and Multicultural Korea: Celebration or challenge of multiethnic shift in contemporary Korea

Maree Grenfell, Resilient Melbourne Learning and Network Manager, Resilient Melbourne, Deputy Chief Resilience Officer 100 Resilient Cities Network representative

For the past five years Maree has been Melbourne’s Deputy Chief Resilience Officer for the 100 Resilient Cities program – pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, developing and now implementing Melbourne’s first resilience strategy. Maree is an accomplished change strategist with a track record of achievement across the community, private and government sectors. Her work focuses primarily on complex multi-stakeholder initiatives and pioneering projects to build capability, and collaborative capacity at a neighbourhood, city and national level.

A strategic and creative thinker, she brings a new mindset to old themes. She draws on an eclectic background in urban design, sustainability, social psychology and economic impact to create and deliver transformational programs that shift mindsets and practice around inclusive communities and resilient environments. Her signature strength is working with people, identifying and resolving barriers, bringing clarity and purpose to projects while injecting creativity and enthusiasm. Her goal is a community-centred future in which cities and human wellbeing are interdependent.


Dwinita 'Tita' Larasati, Bandung UNESCO City of Design focal point

Dwinita 'Tita' Larasati was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, before pursuing her study at Industrial Design Program, Faculty of Art & Design, Institute of Technology Bandung (ITB). She continued her study at Design Academy Eindhoven, then completed her doctoral degree at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. Returning to Bandung, she co-founded Bandung Creative City Forum (BCCF) in 2008 and currently chairs the organisation (2018-2022). She chaired Bandung Creative Economy Committee (2014-2019), and now acts as the focal point for Bandung City of Design for UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) since 2015. In 2014 she chaired a Working Group for Creative Economy that produced recommendations for Indonesian Creative Economy, and has since been deeply involved in constructing creative economy bills & regulations for Bandung Municipality and West Java Province.

In 2015 she co-founded Indonesia Creative Cities Network (ICCN) that connects creative communities & initiatives in more than 200 cities all over Indonesia; now serving as ICCN Deputy for International Relations. She is also the Vice President, Science & Society, of The Indonesian Young Academy of Science (ALMI). Her main occupation is as a lecturer and researcher at ITB, while creating and publishing graphic diary in her spare time. Read more about the Bandung Creative City Forum here.

Joseph Mitchel, Artistic Director of OzAsia Festival

 Joseph is an experienced arts festival and theatre director. Currently Artistic Director of OzAsia Festival in Adelaide, his first festival program was delivered in September 2015, setting new records for audience attendance and introducing a bold new contemporary-focused vision for Asian arts in Australia. Under Joseph’s stewardship, OzAsia Festival has been referred to as Australia’s ‘necessary festival’ by RealTime Arts for its unique focus on contemporary Asian arts and as an avenue to support Australian-Asian arts collaboration. Prior to OzAsia Festival, Joseph worked as Senior Director and Producer at Luminato Festival in Canada (2014) and Executive Producer for Brisbane International Arts Festival in Australia (2011 – 2013).

Joseph is also an accomplished theatre director and was engaged at Queensland Theatre Company (2006 – 2011) where he directed more than 10 productions including Waiting for Godot, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Ruby Moon, Man Equals Man, Beckett x 3 and a wide selection of new and classic Australian works. Most recently he directed Boojum! (2019) for the State Opera of South Australia. Joseph completed his formal education at Victorian College of the Arts with a Graduate Diploma in Theatre Direction (2004) and at Newcastle University where he majored in Film, Journalism and Theatre (2001).

Ms Nisha, Director of Office and UNESCO Representative to the Pacific States 

Nisha is the Director of Office and UNESCO Representative to the Pacific States, Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands (Republic of), Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

Nisha brings around 30 years of experiences to her current role as the Director of Office and UNESCO Representative to the Pacific States. Of her experiences, around 24 years have been focused on multi-sector development and humanitarian emergency response, including child and women’s rights, gender equality, education and training, labour and human rights, peace building, disaster risk reduction, emergency response and recovery, governance reform, and development initiatives focused on local and national capacity building.

Prior to working with the UNESCO, Nisha worked internationally with Oxfam GB, Christian Aid, UNDP, UNIFEM and the ILO in several countries in East and Horn of Africa, South Asia, and Arab States, and with civil society organizations in India. In her current role, Nisha coordinates UNESCO’s programmatic work covering education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture and intangible heritage, and information and communication in the sub-region. Read more about the UNESCO Office in APIA here

Bill Spurr, SA Economic Advisory Council

Bill has had an extensive career in the tourism, hospitality and event industries in South Australia. A former Chief Executive Officer of the S.A. Tourism Commission Bill currently chairs the Board of Adelaide Venue Management Corporation (responsible for the operations of the Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Hindmarsh Football Stadium). He is also a board member of ZoosSA and a member of the Premier's Economic Advisory Council.

Bill is an adjunct Professor of Tourism at Flinders University and was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2015 for "distinguished service to the tourism, to education, particularly through international marketing, to the arts and sports as an administrator of institutions and events, and to the community of South Australia." To find out more about the South Australian Tourism Commission, click here.

Kanoko Tamura, Director of Communication Design, Sapporo International Art Festival

Image credit: Hajime Kato

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Tamura runs Art Translators Collective, an organization specializing in interpretation and translation in art. She explores the possibilities of creative communication and translation as a mediator while working in many fields, including interpretation, translation, editing and publicity in Japanese and English. She also works as a translation director responsible for coordinating optimal dialogue strategies according to the context of a given event or publication.

In April 2019, Tamura was appointed as the Director of Communication Design for Sapporo International Art Festival 2020, to thoroughly braid together the relationship between the artists, the exhibition, and the viewer. In the Global Art Practice Program of the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, Tamura teaches a course to nurture communication skills for young artists as a part-time lecturer. She graduated from Tufts University (U.S.) with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and Architecture in 2008 and from Tokyo University of the Arts with a B.A. in Inter-media Art in 2013. She is a member of Arts Commons Tokyo.

Hiroko Tsuboi-Friedman, Board member, Kanagawa Prefecture Arts and Cuture Promotion Council, UNESCO Expert Facility

Hiroko is a member of the EU/UNESCO Expert Facility on the governance of culture, supporting various areas of the implementation of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the Board for Kanagawa Prefecture Arts and Culture Promotion Council. She works closely with CSOs such as Odawara Citizens Working Group, International Council of Museums (ICOM) and its Japan Committee and International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity dealing with cultural policies from wide angles.

Prior to becoming a Director at Shiroyama Consulting Ltd., Hiroko was a Senior Policy Researcher of the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, focusing on Cohesive Society policy in charge of international youth exchange, bringing strategic enhancement of impact and quality of various programmes to increase diversity awareness and cross-cultural understanding for youth development, international cooperation and cultural diplomacy with countries of all regions of the world. She has experience in art exhibition organization, performing arts management and translation/interpretation with focus on arts and culture, youth, finance, intellectual property and patent issues. Hiroko’s special interests include culture and sustainable development, cultural diversity and competency, and capacity building for youth.

Manawa Udy, Founder, Ngahere Communities, Indigenous Enterprise

Manawa is the founder and managing director of Ngahere Communities, as well as the founder and creative director of Bob + Bob Creative. She was born and raised on the shores of Lake Rotorua, New Zealand. Manawa grew up within Te Ao Maori (the Maori world) amongst her wider whanau (family), where she was taught that people, and our natural world, are the most important things. Manawa has a varied background, which has seen her work as a photographer, storyteller and innovator. She has spent many years as a youth mentor and held several youth and community development roles within Auckland Council. Her diverse experience in social innovation and entrepreneurship has been applied to start initiatives that benefit at risk young people, refugees and now the creators, innovators and entrepreneurs of Manukau (South Auckland), New Zealand.

Manawa has founded multiple social impact initiatives, including Ngahere Communities, a social enterprise building an intentional community of creators, innovators and entrepreneurs in South Auckland, New Zealand. They are the operators of Te Haa o ManukauBob + Bob Creative, a digital storytelling agency specialising in telling stories of social, cultural and environmental impact using today's digital platforms, Puketapapa Community Driving School, a one-for-one model driving school, providing support to young people and ethnic women in NZ’s most ethnically diverse community, Mt Roskill and Mustard Seed, an Augmented Entrepreneurship Pathway, providing development for early stage entrepreneurs and low risk, high impact purchasing diversity avenues for corporate and government agencies. The Mustard Seed Creator Studio opens in Spring 2019.

Sandy Verschoor, Lord Mayor City of Adelaide

Sandy is a first-generation Australian of Dutch, French, Portuguese and Ceylonese descent. Her parents gave her a deep-rooted understanding of business, an adventurous spirit, commercial acumen and a love of the arts. 

Sandy was elected as an Area Councillor in the 2015 by-election and served as Deputy Lord Mayor from June 2017 to November 2018. She has had a career in both the public and private enterprise, not-for-profits, and Local and State government, including three years as General Manager City Culture and Community Services for the City of Adelaide.

Sandy has contributed to the success of Adelaide’s thriving arts and culture community for more than two decades, including having been CEO of the Adelaide Fringe and the Adelaide Festival, as well as producer of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas in 2018. She has been on numerous boards including the Adelaide Convention Bureau, Premier’s Climate Change Council, Adelaide Film Festival, Capital City Committee, as well as a trustee of the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust and Chairs a disability housing solutions organisation Aliro Ltd.

As Lord Mayor, Sandy is keen to keep costs low for residents and businesses by reducing red tape, strengthening Adelaide’s global reputation for culture, climate change action, and entrepreneurialism, preserving Adelaide’s heritage, and enhancing the city’s precincts and main streets for the benefit of local small business owners and the community. Read more about the City of Adelaide here.

Jean Wee, Director, Preservation of Sites and Monuments, Singapore Botanic Gardens, National Heritage Board, UNESCO World Heritage

Jean Wee was appointed the first director of the Preservation of Sites and Monuments (PSM) in 2009. PSM’s key function is to research and identify for preservation, structures of significance for recommendation to the government. She has been involved in shaping preservation policy as well as defining and driving the role of the PSM to ensure that Singapore’s built architectural heritage is protected and restored.

Previously, Jean was the Assistant Director at the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) in charge of education and outreach as well as curator for Indian Art. She has curated several art exhibitions merging art with other disciplines and was commissioner for Singapore’s participation in the 2005 Daejeon Digital Art Festival in Korea. She also curated From the Everyday to the Imagined, the SAM’s only exhibition featuring Progressive Indian Contemporary artists and was invited to guest curate at the National University Museum in Seoul (2007). From 2017, she was curator of National University's conservation property, the Baba House.

Jean played a key role in Singapore’s effort to gazette its inaugural UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015 and has represented Singapore at UNESCO World Heritage Committee meetings and associated fields of work. She has contributed to several juries and committees on architectural heritage and is currently a governing Board member of SEAMEO - Project in Archaeology in Fine Arts (SPAFA). She has edited and authored publications - Decoration & Symbolism in Chinese Architecture (2013) and Connections: History and Architecture, City Hall and Supreme Court (2016). Read more about the Preservation of Sites and Monuments in Singapore here.

Mark Wee, Executive Director of Design Singapore

Mark leads the Council in driving and implementing national policies on design as DesignSingapore Council (Dsg) continues on its Design 2025 journey—which is to make Singapore an innovation-driven economy and a loveable city, by design. 

Before joining Dsg, Mark led the Experience Design practice at ONG&ONG, the design group’s innovation and strategy arm, alongside founding his own award-winning architectural practice ANNEX A. Mark is a design thinking pioneer in Singapore, having designed award-winning innovative experiences for the public and private sector. He has redefined user experiences for clients such as the Housing & Development Board, Singapore Airlines, the Singapore Stock Exchange, FRANK by OCBC, and Sentosa, alongside many others.

An award-winning architect, Mark was recognised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority in 2017 as the top 20 Under 45 architects in Singapore that would define the next generation. He also represented Singapore at the 2008 La Biennale di Venezia. A keen educator, he has taught a wide range of design subjects from architecture and interior design, to most recently teaching digital innovation and service design at NUS Institute of Systems Science. Mark is passionate about how good design is key to shaping more desirable products, services, and places for people, and how it is increasingly being seen as an effective tool for social change. His book Let's Experience Design! is available in most major physical and online bookstores.

Zhou Xiaoping, Artist, Director & Curator of Special Research Projects, Museum of Chinese Australian History   

 Zhou Xiaoping is a Melbourne-based artist and curator, born and educated in China. Since 1988 he has been actively engaged with Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land and the Kimberley. 

He has created a unique artistic style by incorporating his new Aboriginal experiences into the traditional Chinese classic painting that he had learnt in China. Chinese and Aboriginal arts and cultures meet in his artworks, generating a new aesthetic while telling his story in Australia. Zhou's collaboration with the late Jimmy Pike resulted in the first exhibition of Aboriginal art work at Hefei Jiuliumi Art Museum, Hefei, China in 1996, and then held at the National Gallery of China in 1999.

He was the driving force behind the ten-year Trepang: China and the Story of Macassan--Aboriginal Trade project from 2002 to 2011, in collaboration with Professor Marcia Langton, Foundation Chair in Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne, which led to several exhibitions and a significant publication. Zhou was the principal artist in Trepang: China & the Story of Macassan – Aboriginal Trade, both at The Capital Museum in Beijing and the Melbourne Museum in Australia in 2011. Zhou has held 50 solo exhibitions worldwide, and has published two Chinese language books on his experiences with Aboriginal communities. He has worked on a mural project at Mutitjulu in Central Australia. In 2014, he was invited to undertake a residency at the University of French Polynesia and Museum of Tahiti and its Islands. 

Most recently, Zhou was awarded the Australia China Council grant to tour his solo exhibition Dialogues with The Dreaming – the art of Zhou Xiaoping in Australia. The key component of the project is to conduct educational lectures at 15 major universities and 6 public talks at community libraries, to create dialogues with local artists during the exhibitions to share the stories of Aboriginal culture through his personal experience as a Chinese Australian artist. Check out more information about Zhou Xiaoping here.

Ting Xu, Shenzhen City of Design Promotion Association (SDPA) and Shenzhen UNESCO City of Design focal point

Ting Xu is the Secretary-General, Shenzhen City of Design Promotion Association (SDPA). SDPA is a semi-official and non-profit body commissioned by Shenzhen municipal government to manage and brand the City of Design program. It is the focal point for UNESCO Creative Cities Network program, maintaining liaison with UNESCO and other creative cities around the world. Other missions of SDPA include planning and executing major design projects such as the Shenzhen Design Award for Young Talents (SDAY), consolidating different design forces and resources in Shenzhen for the benefit of the design community and the city as a whole, (e.g. branding Shenzhen designs and the city itself), enhancing the exchange and cooperation in the creative sectors between Shenzhen and other cities around the world, facilitating
design education and student exchange programs, etc.

SDPA is also the organizer of Shenzhen Design Week and Shenzhen Global Design Award (SDA). Ting was the co-curator of the 2nd and 3rd HK-SZ Design Biennale, and curator of HK-SZ Creative Furniture Exhibition. Before heading SDPA, Mr. Xu was the director for communication and cooperation for Shenzhen Creative Culture Center, initiating and executing the first edition of Shenzhen Design Award for Young Talents (SDAY), managing cooperative design projects between Shenzhen and other cities, exploring for global design cooperation and partnership, and promoting Shenzhen creative industries internationally. Learn more about the Shenzhen City of Design Promotion Association here and the Shenzen Design Award here.

Mark Duffy, Chief Executive of Department of Innovation and Skills

Mark has had a diverse working life including music composition, performance and production, economics, industrial relations, workers compensation, superannuation, energy, transport, planning, water, resources, utilities, sustainability, state development and the law.
In February 2017 Mark was appointed as Chief Executive of the former Department of State Development and now Department for Innovation and Skills, after joining the South Australian public service in April 2016 as the first Chief Economist in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. Immediately prior to joining the South Australian Government, Mark worked as a solicitor in a Sydney based corporate law firm for 2 years. Over the previous 25 years Mark held various roles within the NSW Government, including Director-General in the Department of Water and Energy and Deputy Director-General in NSW Trade and Investment. Mark has a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Economics as well as Master’s Degree in Arts. Mark also completed a British Council Scholarship at the London School of Economics and has a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Mark has been admitted as a lawyer in New South Wales.

Binota Moi Dhamai, Executive Council Member, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

Binota Moy Dhamai, an Indigenous Jumma-Tripura from the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), Bangladesh. He has more than 15 years working experience on human rights and indigenous peoples at the national, regional and international level. He is currently the Executive Member of the Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples (Adivasi) Forum, and Executive Council Member of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Chiang Mai, Thailand – representing South Asia Sub-region, Convenor of the AIPP Human Rights Program Committee and Member of the Environment Program Committee. He is a Member of the Board of Trustee of the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples (UNVFIP), Member of the Board, International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net).
Since 2009, he has been acting as the Coordinator of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Caucus to the UN Permanent Forum on indigenous issues (UNPFii) and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP)―a subsidiary body of the Human Rights Council.
He was part of the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP 2014) and played role as the Co-representative of the Asia region to the Indigenous Global Coordinating Group (GCG) from May 2012 to November 2014. He has experienced working on the promotion of core international human rights treaties, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and the applications of the UN Special Procedures, Treaty Monitoring Bodies and the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council. He is passionate about indigenous people’s issue, advocate and follower of issues that deal with the development of indigenous peoples’ empowerment.

Justin O’Connor, Professor Creative Economy, University of South Australia

Justin O’Connor is Professor of Cultural Economy at the University of South Australia, and visiting Professor in the Department of Cultural Management, Shanghai Jiaotong University.
He was part of the UNESCO 2005 Convention ‘Expert Facility’ (2012-8) and a board member of Renew Australia. Justin has two ARC Discovery projects: UNESCO and the Making of Global Cultural Policy: Culture, Economy, Development, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific; Urban Cultural Policy and the Changing Dynamics of Cultural Production​, looking at Melbourne, Berlin and Milan. He has just completed an ARC Working the Field, a study on graduate careers of creative arts programs in Australia and China, and two previous ones on Creative Clusters in China and Australia and The MONA Effect. He is the author of the 2016 Platform Paper After the Creative Industries: Why we need a cultural economy and is finalising a book with Xin Gu Red Creative: Culture and Modernity in China (Routlede). He is co-editor of the 2015 Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries, and with Rong Yueming (2018) Cultural Industries in Shanghai (Intellect). Justin produced a research paper on the cultural economy for ACOLA on Cultural Industries and Comparative Advantage, a scoping paper on Creative Industries and Soft Power for DEFAT, and a study of creative industries in Tasmania for Creative Island and Department of State Growth.

Craig Ritchie, CEO of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Craig Ritchie is an Aboriginal man of the Dhunghutti and Biripi nations and is the Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).
Craig joined AIATSIS as Deputy CEO in April 2016, and was formally appointed CEO in May 2017. Craig has worked in other senior roles within the APS, most recently in the Department of Education and Training 2011-2016 in roles heading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher education, higher education access and participation for people from low-SES backgrounds, and international student mobility, as well as founding Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in the ACT Government. Craig has extensive experience in the community sector, including as CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) - the peak advocacy body for Aboriginal community controlled health services.

Craig is the only Indigenous Commonwealth Government agency head and a founding member of the APS Indigenous SES Network. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology Sydney where he also serves on the ViceChancellor’s Industry Advisory Board. Craig studied History, Classics and Education at the University of Newcastle and has a post-graduate qualification in management and is currently completing his PhD at the Australian National University. His thesis topic is Culture and Policymaking: Towards Better Aboriginal Policy and explores the cultural basis of contemporary policymaking and researching the recalibration of policymaking systems on the basis of Aboriginal culture.

Raymundo Rovillos, Professor of History & Chancellor University of the Philippines Baguio

Dr. Raymundo D. Rovillos has been Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Baguio since 2012 to the present. During his term as Chancellor, he has repositioned the 7th Constituent University of the University of the Philippines System as a hub for culture and arts in the Cordillera and Northern Luzon region, Philippines. Under his watch, the UP Baguio Ethnographic Museum as established, which now serves as the nucleus of creativity and innovation in crafts and folk arts in the University and the region. Dr. Rovillos was also instrumental (as a key mover) in the application process leading to the declaration of Baguio City as the first Philippine city to be included in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in October 2017. He now serves in the Advisory Council of Baguio Crafts and Arts Collective, Inc. (BACCI) which he helped to establish. His areas of research and development interests include: indigenous studies, ethnohistory, heritage (public history) and gender and development.

Mathew Trinca, Director of National Museum of Australia, ASAG Co-Chair

Dr Mathew Trinca is the Director of the National Museum of Australia, Chair of ICOM Australia, and Co-Chair of the Australia Singapore Arts Group.

Under Dr Trinca’s leadership, the National Museum has developed strongly engaged national and international programs that focus on bringing alive the stories of Australia for audiences around the country and overseas. The Museum has partnerships and programs with a range of cultural institutions abroad, including organisations in Singapore, China, Japan, Vietnam, France and the United Kingdom. Mathew’s interests span the 20th century history of Australia, with a focus on the social and cultural relationships between Britain and Australia. He also has a professional interest in the historical and contemporary links between Australia and Asia. His publications include contributions to debates on museum theory and practice, the history of Australian travel to the United Kingdom, on convictism in Western Australia, and on that State’s constitutional history.

Damien Miller, Assistant Secretary of the Soft Power, Partnerships and Research Brand at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Mr Miller is currently the Assistant Secretary of the Soft Power, Partnerships and Research Branch at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra. He is also co Faculty Head of the “Understanding Australia” Faculty at the Australian Government’s Diplomatic Academy.
In 2017 he joined the inaugural cohort of Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity. From May 2013 to May 2017 he was Australia’s Ambassador to Denmark, with non-resident accreditation to Norway and Iceland. He was the first Indigenous Australian to be appointed head of an overseas mission. Mr Miller previously served overseas as Australia’s Deputy Ambassador to Germany (2010-2013) and at the Australian High Commission in Malaysia (2000-2003). He joined the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1995. Mr Miller holds a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade from Monash University and a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales. He was selected "Aboriginal Scholar of the Year" by the National NAIDOC Committee in 1993. He is a descendant of the Gangalu people of central Queensland.

Additional panellists will be announced soon.