2019 SPEAKERS

Wesley Enoch

Festival Director Sydney Festival

Wesley Enoch is the Director of the Sydney Festival for 2017-2019. He has been a theatre director and writer for over 25 years specialising in Aboriginal Theatre and cultural stories. Wesley has been the Artistic Director of companies including Queensland Theatre Company 2010-15, Ilbijerri 2003-06 and Kooemba Jdarra 1994-97, as well as the Festival of Pacific Arts – Australia 2008 and 2012.

As a freelance director and writer Wesley has worked with virtually all the large theatre companies, arts centres and festivals in Australia and won multiple awards including The Patrick White Playwrighting Award, Helpmann Awards for best production and best new Australia work and Matilda Awards. He was a Resident director at Sydney Theatre Company 2000-01, Associate Artistic Director Company B Belvoir 2007-10 and a Director on the Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games. 

S. Shakthidharan

Artistic Lead at Co-Curious

Shakthi is a western Sydney storyteller with Sri Lankan heritage and Tamil ancestry. He’s a writer, director and producer of theatre and film, and composer of original music as one half of the band Kurinji. Recent projects include his debut play, Counting and Cracking, which recently completed a sold out season to rave reviews at the 2019 Sydney Festival, with Belvoir; Laka, a multi-platform film and VR project touring around the world, from Brewarrina to Los Angeles; and Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party, which premiered at Carriageworks in 2014 and was adapted into feature film Riz for the 2015 Sydney Film Festival.

Shakthi is the current Artistic Lead at Co-Curious. Co-Curious is a sister company to CuriousWorks, where Shakthi was the Founder and Artistic Director from 2003-2018 and his leadership led to several long-term, multi-platform arts initiatives as well as significant grassroots social change in communities in Western Sydney and remote Western Australia. Shakthi was the inaugural Associate Artist at Carriageworks and is the recipient of both the Phillip Parson’s and Kirk Robson awards.

Ros Abercrombie

CEO REGIONAL ARTS AUSTRALIA

Ros has been working in the arts industry for over 20 years with experience across Creative Direction, Strategic Design and Arts management. Ros is the Executive Director of Regional Arts Australia, prior to which she was the Director and Creative Producer for Artlands Victoria (Australia’s national regional arts event).

Ros is committed to the concepts of collaboration as vital to building arts and creative industries and believes in the need to be innovative, accessible and founded in a practice that is multidisciplinary and participatory.

A signature of her approach is to bring together emerging, established and community artists. Her cross-disciplinary approach blends practical and academic experience. Ros considers art spaces as a cultural landscape to be more than their physical place and designs programs for the spaces in-between crafting unique contemporary experiences.

Working across the arts regionally, Ros is embedded in the national regional arts sector and has an understanding of state, national and international relations.