Victorian Music Festivals:

Projects for a New Way

PROJECT FOUR: Festival Forums

Ideas exchange fostering connection and community between industry experts and peers. Ideation for the future and sharing of successes and failures for a stronger industry. Delivered online and in-person once possible.


Deep Dive Into The Victorian Music Festival Landscape

Date: Friday 10 September

Time: 10 - 11.00am 

You can find a recording of the forum here

Join RMIT academic Dr Catherine Strong who will present her recent research into the history of Victoria's music festivals, line ups and geographical spread. 

The presentation will be followed by a discussion with industry representatives including Nathan Leitch a Quandamooka man from Kitchen Table Projects, Dina Bassile from Get Skilled Access and Julia Robinson from the AFA. We will be facilitated by Helen Marcou from Bakehouse Studios.

This research was produced by RMIT with funding from Creative Victoria and supported by the AFA. 

It is open to all who work in and engage with the Victorian music festival sector and AFA members. 

Please register at the link above so we can send you the zoom details.

Sexual Health & Safety in a Music Festival Context

Date: Tuesday 11 May, 2021
Time: 10 - 11.30am

You can find a recording of the session here.


Over the past several years action on sexual health and safety in all environments, including music festivals, has risen in importance. Given their trusted public profiles, some festivals organisers and promoters have been actively educating both personnel and patrons, significantly contributing to increased awareness and action in this space. In light of the current public discourse, doubling and expanding these efforts has never been more crucial.  


In this important forum, we hear from experts with a range of perspectives on sexual health and safety. They will share the considerations, measures, methods and tools available to enhance existing harm minimisation and reporting strategies in music festival contexts. 


Steph Tzanetis
Program Director - Harm Reduction Victoria's DanceWize
Board member - Drug Policy AustraliaPRISMHarm Reduction Australia

Steph is the DanceWize Program Director at Harm Reduction Victoria (HRVic) and has been with the org since July 2013. She has completed a LLB, BA(Hons), MA, and Grad. Dip in Health and Medical Law. She is a Grad Cert in Addictive Behaviours candidate, having been awarded a Victorian Department of Health scholarship. She has been involved in the establishment, implementation and evaluation of harm reduction and other community service projects in NSW, ACT, QLD and NT, including the Pill Testing Australia trials in ACT in 2018 and 2019. She has volunteered for a number of international harm reduction organisations, including drug checking services in Canada BC; and local organisations, including as a board member for Harm Reduction Australia, Drug Policy Australia, and PRISM. She has also volunteered for several years as a community lawyer. Health rights and human rights are matters close to her heart.

DanceWize Facebook


Dr Bianca Fileborn
Researcher sexual violence & harassment, gender & sexuality 


Dr Bianca Fileborn is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne. She has been researching sexual violence for over a decade, and her recent work includes a focus on sexual violence at Australian music festivals, and street-based harassment. 

Street Harassment Justice project
Dr Bianca Fileborn Twitter


Jessie Wong
Health Educator - Thorne Harbour Health

Jessie works on the Health Promotion Team at Thorne Harbour Health in the field of sexual health of the LGBTIQ+ community and the close interaction this has with alcohol & other drugs. Jessie has also operated in an advisory role for the PARTI Project and currently sits on Thorne Harbour’s Drug Law Reform Working Group.

Thorne Harbour Health Instagram

Kendra Russell
Community Educator & Trainer - CASA House


Kendra Russell (she/her) is a social worker with 5 years experience working for victim-survivors of sexual assault across Queensland and Victoria. Kendra brings an intersectional and trauma-informed analysis of violence prevention, intervention and response. She is interested in the ways in which intergenerational, grassroots restorative practices can end gender-based violence.

Sexual Assault Services Victoria Twitter

Rebecca Hall
Sexual Offences & Child Abuse Team - Operations Division - Family Violence Command - Victoria Police 


Rebecca is a Senior Sergeant with Victoria Police SOCAT (Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Team) within the Family Violence Command. The Commands focus is to develop and strengthen specialist and frontline responses to family violence, sexual assault and child abuse. 

Sally Mounsey
Senior Policy Officer - Penington Institute 


Sally is a Senior Policy Officer with Penington Institute - a not-for-profit organisation that connects lived experience and research to improve community safety in relation to drugs. Over the past year, Penington Institute has been leading work, funded by the Victorian Department of Health, on the development of a toolkit to assist organisers of Victorian-based music festivals to promote sexual health and safety at their events. The forthcoming Sexual Health + Safety @ Festivals Toolkit links to Young and Empowered Around Health (YEAH), Penington Institute's youth initiative on sexual health and alcohol and other drug use. YEAH advocates for the positive promotion of youth sexual health and seeks to empower young people by providing resources and tools to assist them to make safer choices regarding sex and the use of alcohol and other drugs.

Penington Institute website
YEAH (Young and Empowered Around Health) Instagram


ARE WE A "GO FOR GATES?" - COVID-safe Planning to Reactivate Music Festivals

Date: Wednesday 17 March, 2021
Time: 10.30am - 12pm
You can find a recording of the session here

Where applicable, you can download the presenter slides below.

Lauren Taylor - Triple R & The Wheeler Centre


Edwina Lunn, Director of Programming - Arts Centre Melbourne - Live at the Bowl

Download Edwina Lunn presentation

Jessica Ducrou, Co-CEO - Secret Sounds - Splendour in the Grass/Summer Sounds

Shelley McCuaig, Executive Producer/Program Director - MONA FOMA

Download Shelley McCuaig presentation

Vivia Hickman, Executive Producer - formerly Sydney Festival


Hear from industry figures as they share the wins and challenges of returning to festival delivery in a COVID-safe manner.

Festivals are happening. Under never-before-seen levels of compliance, promoters and presenters are rising to the challenge, delivering incredible festival offerings "post-COVID". Whilst it's still a moveable feast, they are excelling at navigating the conditions, taking the ever-changing tides in their stride. Add the disparity between allowances for live music and sport and there’s a lot to talk about. Hear from industry figures, whose teams are successfully pioneering new ways to operate, on how they are addressing planning, compliance, programming, marketing, ticketing, infrastructure, staffing and more.

VICTORIAN TOURISM - New Ways to Build Back Better 

Date: Wednesday 3 March 2021
Time: 11.00am - 12.30pm

You can find a recording of the session here and download the presenter slides below.


Francesca Valmorbida

Penny Guadagnuolo - Director, Recovery and Reform, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions

Download Penny Guadagnuolo presentation
Paul Matthews - Head of Regional Tourism and Strategy, Visit Victoria

Download Paul Matthews presentation
Richard Ponsford - Executive Officer, Western Melbourne Tourism

Download Richard Ponsford presentation


In response to the impacts of COVID-19, the Public Galleries Association of Victoria (PGAV) and Australian Festival Association (AFA) have come together to present an overview of Victoria’s visitor economy as it stands now. Public art galleries and festivals are operating in a new environment with unprecedented opportunities to work with regional partners, collaborate across industries, leverage local strategies, and attract Victorian and interstate visitors. Learn about plans for the visitor economy in outer-Melbourne and Victoria’s regions.

Bystander Training by access all areas (online workshop)

Thursday 17 December

10am - 12.30pm

Certificated online training workshop

Free to all members of the Victorian music festival industry


Learn skills to become an active bystander to help prevent violence and discrimination in music festival industry settings. The training workshop is:

  • Certificated and delivered online by access all areas, an initiative of Co-Health
  • 2.5-hour duration with a 10-minute break

  • Open to all members of the Victorian music festival industry

  • Offered free thanks to Creative Victoria through the Australia Festival Association COVID-19 recovery program, Projects For A New Way

Get in touch

For further information, please contact the Program Managers:

Anna Jacobs - [email protected]

Francesca Valmorbida - [email protected]


This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.