Nightlife and Creative Sector Advisory Panel
Advises the City on how we can best work with industry, business and other government agencies to support a thriving, diverse and safe nightlife.
The Nightlife and Creative Sector Advisory Panel also advises on new initiatives, identifies emerging issues and opportunities for Sydney’s night-time economy, and helps the City engage with local creative, cultural and nightlife communities.
We called for nominations to the panel in early 2018 and 15 experts were selected from 126 applications. The panel members represent the hospitality, live music and performance, theatre, festivals, retail, business and public safety sectors.
All applications were assessed by a panel of City staff based on selection criteria in the advisory panel’s terms of reference.
Panel members were selected based on their skills and experience and with the aim of ensuring they represent the diversity of the nightlife and creative sectors, including various age groups and cultural backgrounds.
The panel will be similar to models already operating in other global cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, London and New York. It will meet 4 times a year and be co-chaired by a City of Sydney Councillor. Summary notes are available for panel meetings.
Chief Executive Officer, Solotel Group
Representing cafes and restaurants, Justine has 25 years experience in hospitality and is a member of the Music and Arts Economy Round table and Director of the Solotel Group.
Justine is CEO of one of the largest hospitality groups in Sydney, operating 16 diverse venues in the City of Sydney local area and 16 other venues, and employs approximately 2,000 staff.
Operations include restaurants such as Aria, Chophouse and Chiswick, and the provision of food and beverage services at Sydney Opera House Opera Bar and Art Gallery of NSW.
As the CEO of the Solotel Group, Justine is also involved in temporary events like the St George Open Air Cinema and is responsible for the Solotel chain of hotels in Sydney and Brisbane including the Clock in Surry Hills, the Kings Cross Hotel and the MarlboroughHotel in Newtown.
Justine brings leadership which encourages diversity of thought and believes that change is a cross-industry and joint responsibility of the night-time economy ecosystem.
Director Liquor and Policing, Australian Hotels Association (AHA)
Representing hotels, John works and lives in the city and has vast experience in liquor licensing policy gained during his 26 years with the NSW Police and as a Director of AHA NSW since 2008.
As an executive in the peak industry association for hotels, John is responsible for all liquor and policing related advocacy and policy development on behalf of AHA NSW.
He has extensive experience on many advisory and working groups associated with crime prevention and the night-time economy.
John has direct contact with and works proactively to support all hotels throughout the City of Sydney local area.
Director, Umi Group & Vice President, Haymarket Chamber of Commerce
Representing the Haymarket precinct, Jessie Xiao is a qualified Chartered Accountant, with 17 years of experience in top tier accounting firms, fund management companies & her own business enterprises.
She has co-founded 8 restaurants, karaoke venues & entertainment businesses within the Sydney LGA, with the majority of these located within the Haymarket precinct.
As well as being business-focused, she is also socially responsible by giving back to the community through her 15 years of charitable work with a recognised woman’s network – Way In Network, where she has been the vice-president for the last six years.
Jessie is also heavily involved in her local business community through her current role as Vice President of the Haymarket Chamber of Commerce as well as committee member with the Australian Chinese Restaurateur Association.
Jessie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in operating nightlife businesses and is committed to a vibrant and diverse night-time economy across Sydney.
Owner, The Bearded Tit
Representing small bars, Joy lives and works in Redfern and has been a small business owner in the area for the past 5 years.
She has also been a creative, performer and cultural creator in Sydney for the past 10 years.
Joy has played an active role in shaping Sydney's night-time culture over the past decade and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as both a resident and small business owner.
She is also keen to contribute her knowledge and insights gained from growing up in the 24-hour city of Taipei which has a diverse nightlife that is not centred on mass alcohol consumption.
Joy is personally and professionally invested in working to improve and diversify Sydney's nightlife.
General Manager, Side Bar
Representing small bars, Joshua works in Haymarket and after completing a Bachelor of Social Science (Criminal Justice) degree, decided to embark on a career in hospitality.
Joshua gained experience working in a wide range of licensed premises in Sydney, before taking up the role as General Manager of Side Bar.
As an avid musician and performer, he has experience working in the music and live entertainment scene, performing in pubs and clubs since he was 16 years old.
Joshua has developed sound knowledge in the logistics, financials, operations and compliance requirements of operating a licensed venue and is passionate about Sydney’s nightlife.
Joshua believes that invigoration of Sydney nightlife can only happen if everyone, all stakeholders, are benefiting from its growth.
Director, Venue 505/Sydney Fringe Festival
Representing performance space, Kerri works in Surry Hills and Newtown and has been operating an artist-run venue in the city for 14 years and has been Festival Director/CEO of the Sydney Fringe Festival since 2013.
Kerri has been operating the award-winning and internationally acclaimed Venue 505 as an artist-run live music and theatre space in Sydney for 14 years.
They have been producing over 320 productions and attracting tens of thousands of patrons each year.
Sydney Fringe Festival is the largest independent arts festival in NSW and presents 350 productions across the 30-day festival and includes all art forms and genres.
Kerri has been the Director of City Recital Hall Sydney since 2016 and has extensive experience on many advisory and working groups associated with live music and performance. Kerri believes it is vital that a global city has diverse cultural infrastructure and a vibrant nightlife.
Director/Producer, Heaps Gay and Mardi Gras Festival
Representing festival/events producers, Kat works and lives in Redfern and is an experienced event producer specialising in the music and youth market Kat has over a decade of experience in event production and is the founder of Heaps Gay, an all-inclusive events community and media platform.
In December 2015 she launched the not-for-profit platforms heapsgay.com and video channel for LGBTI young people. Kat is on the Board of Directors for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and is also a fortnightly guest presenter on FBi Radio.
Winning awards for her events, Kat is a sought-after speaker at local and national music forums and advisor to local government.
Kat is passionate about music and culture and cares about creating a cultural city through art and experiences.
Managing Director, Music NSW
Representing live music producers, Emily works in Glebe and has extensive knowledge of the contemporary music sector in Sydney.
In her role at MusicNSW Emily engages with artists, managers, labels, venues and other music businesses and organisations on a range of important issues.
Emily is directly engaged with live music venue operators and producers and has developed a deep understanding of the music business and creative music career development.
She is on the Board of Music NSW (ex-officio) and Australian Music Industry Network and is a member of the National Live Music Awards Board and sits on a number of advisory committees and working groups.
Emily is well-placed to ensure that music is well represented in the conversations about Sydney's future and vibrancy.
Head of Licensing and Sync, TMRW Music
Representing electronic dance music producers, John works in Darlinghurst and has 30 years’ experience in the music industry.
John is on the Club Music Advisory Committee for Australasian Performing Rights Association.
He has extensive contacts from 30 years’ experience in venues, working with DJs, clubs, club owners, performers, record labels and the record industry in general.
As a club owner and performer in night clubs for over 25 years, John has intimate knowledge and deep understanding of night clubs and the electronic dance music business including creative, business and legal aspects.
He has performed and staged events at small and large clubs to more than 25,000 audience members locally and abroad.
John brings a depth and breadth of experience in nightlife and live music well beyond electronic music production.
Director, Brand X Productions
Representing theatre and other performance producers, James works and lives in Darlinghurst and has been on the Board of the Darlinghurst Business Partnership since 2014.
James has 14 years of space activation experience, working with local government and the private sector (including property developers) to build resources for artists to have space to work, perform and generate an income.
James is the Director of Brand X with an active membership of over 3,000 independent performing, visual and recording artists from Sydney who engage their services, resources and attend Brand X events.
James wants to ensure that the future for Sydney’s nightlife nurtures and integrates contemporary live performing arts into the fabric of entertainment options that are available.
Owner/President, The Record Store and Darlinghurst Business Partnership
Representing retailers, Stephan is the owner of The Record Store and President of the Darlinghurst Business Partnership.
Stephan has lived in Potts Point for 17 years and worked in Darlinghurst for over 20 years.
His lifelong passion and experience in producing live music and festivals inspired him to open up his own retail business, The Record Store.
Stephan is a founding member of the Darlinghurst Business Partnership and committed to affecting positive change to create a vibrant and creative nightlife in Sydney.
Director/Founder, Art Pharmacy and Culture Scouts
Representing retailers, Emilya works in Redfern and is the founder of Art Pharmacy.
Emilya is bridging the gap between bricks and mortar businesses and the creative sector in her work to integrate art and culture into the fabric of our local businesses and new developments.
As an experienced and passionate place maker, her greatest strength is to connect groups to achieve strategic and creative purposes. Emilya has been on the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Young Ambassadors Committee since its inception approximately 8 years ago.
Emilya wants to seize opportunities to create a more connected, vibrant and healthy nightlife for Sydney.
President, Glebe Chamber of Commerce
Representing business associations, Jacob is an experienced business operator and event producer.
Jacob has a strong background in philosophy and the arts and a double degree in Business and Commerce.
Whilst at university he was the sponsorship director and events manager for the Business Students' Association leading him to develop many close relationships with bar and club owners.
Jacob has been involved with the inception of more than 10 start-up businesses and is founder of Bird and Border Pty Ltd, a creative activations and consultancy business which has run a number of large scale nightlife events around the City of Sydney local area.
As President of the Glebe Chamber of Commerce he is committed to supporting the development of creative industries.
Associate, Institute for Public Policy & Governance, University of Technology Sydney
Representing building and regulatory frameworks, Michael is a pre-eminent academic, lecturer and consultant with over 25 years’ experience in building regulation.
Michael hold degrees in building surveying and fire safety design and the highest level of accreditation as an A1 private certifier.
He was head of program and lecturer at Western Sydney University for Master of Building Surveying and Fire Safety Engineering from 2000 to 2007.
Michael has extensive experience consulting to the private sector and government on development codes and standards and has been teaching building regulations courses through the UTS Centre for Local Government since 1995.
Criminology Program Convener and Lecturer in Criminology, University of NSW
Representing public safety and nightlife establishment security management, Phillip has been involved in research concerned with Sydney’s urban night-time economy for the past 10 years.
Phillip holds a PhD in Criminology and Cultural Studies that was directly related to the policing and governance of Sydney’s urban night time economy and has been involved in many research projects related to nightlife.
He is a Chief Investigator on a research project evaluating the Safe Space Take Kare Ambassador Program, a harm reduction initiative that forms one part of Sydney’s CBD Entertainment Precinct Plan of Management.
Phillip is a member of the Indigenous Strategy Working Group in the School of Social Sciences at the University of NSW. Phillip has a deep understanding of the complexities related to policing and regulation of Sydney’s nightlife and is committed to examining ways in which city nightlife can be improved.