Jump to Speakers:

DAY 1 – Tuesday 12 October

Master of Ceremonies

Jason Smith

CEO and Director Geelong Gallery

Jason Smith is the Director and CEO of Geelong Gallery. In addition to leading the organisation, he has curated for Geelong major exhibitions of the work of Blanche Tilden, Jacky Redgate, John Wolseley and Mulkun Wirrpanda, and Fred Williams.  He was previously Curatorial Manager of Australian Art at the Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art; Director & CEO of Heide Museum of Modern Art; Director of Monash Gallery of Art; and from 1997-2007 was Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Victoria. Jason has individually and collaboratively curated 60 solo, group and thematic exhibitions including major surveys of the works of Howard Arkley, Peter Booth, Louise Bourgeois, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott and Stephen Benwell. He has written on the works of more than 150 artists for a range of publications.


Joel McGuinness

Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director, Geelong Arts Centre, Australia

Joel is the CEO and Creative Director of the Geelong Arts Centre.  Joel is an experienced creative entrepreneur, producer and executive administrator.  Joel believes that cultural institutions must radically reimagine the relationship between the art and the audience for arts centres to remain relevant and build audiences for the future. Joel has held various senior roles in Western Australia before moving to Geelong in 2019. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Cultural Leadership from National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney.


Martin Paten

Manager Arts & Culture, City of Greater Geelong, Australia

Martin Paten is widely respected as a key national figure in the Australian arts and cultural sectors, having managed the City of Melbourne’s City Culture portfolio, directed five resoundingly successful Castlemaine State Festival’s, led as CEO Footscray Community Arts Centre, before taking up the role of Manager Arts and Culture for the City of Greater Geelong in October 2019.

Ellie Schneider

Director, Detroit City of Design

Ellie Schneider is the Director for Detroit City of Design initiative and represents Detroit in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Ellie provides an important leadership role in connecting Design Core’s business and public programs to a global context.

Jadd Hallaj

Architect & Urban Planner, Kortrijk Belgium

Jadd Hallaj is a Syrian-American architect and urban planner with his own practice in Paris specialising in heritage and urban projects in Europe and the Middle East. Alongside designer Elena Falomo and architect Emilie Froelich, he participated in a design residency organised by Designregio Kortrijk in 2020.

Asta Ivanauskiene

Head of Ars Futuri [partner of Kaunas2022]

Asta Ivanauskienė is Creative Producer and Head of company Ars Futuri, Artistic Director of project Nemuno7, experienced in business of public relations, marketing and strategic communications , social media marketing, strategic planning , former head of Zalgiris arena, biggest sport and culture arena in Baltic states.

DAY 2 – Wednesday 13 October

Master of Ceremonies

Tonya Meyrick

Senior Lecturer, Screen and Design, Deakin University

Tonya is a Senior Lecturer in Screen & Design, Head of Design and Course Director of the Bachelor Design with Deakin University, Australia. She is a research fellow with the Deakin Motion Lab at Deakin University; an elected member of the International Society of Typography Designers, board member of Creative Geelong. Tonya has worked as a communication designer and consultant for over 20 years in collaboration with national and international clients and has spoken internationally on typography, branding, education and design in Australia, New Zealand, Greece, China, Japan, Kuwait and the UK.


Professor Tuba Kocaturk

Professor of Integral Design, Director, Mediated Intelligence In Design (MInD) Research Lab. Co-Director, DesignMind, Deakin University International Design & Innovation Platform. Deakin University

Tuba is the Professor of Integral Design in the School of Architecture and Built Environment at Deakin University, and an international research leader in the field of technology-mediated design & innovation. Tuba is the founding director of MInD (Mediated Intelligence in Design) Lab, exploring user-centred “system design” of intelligent environments responsive to human needs and actions. Tuba holds a PhD degree in Architecture and Building Technology from Delft University of Technology,  and has held various academic positions at acclaimed institutions in Turkey, the Netherlands, USA and UK, before her move to Australia in 2018.


Professor Christopher Hurren

Senior Research Fellow (Fibre Science & Technology) Deakin University

Dr Hurren’s expertise is in protective motorcycle clothing and textiles for a circular economy. Over his 20 years at Deakin University he has concentrated on reducing the environmental impact of textiles. His work on colour recycling was recognised with a H&M Foundation Global Change Award in 2017.

Jun LI

Deputy Secretary General, Shanghai UNESCO Creative City

Jun LI is Dean of the Shanghai International College of Fashion and Innovation, Donghua University, Associate Professor, Ph.D and member of the China Fashion Association Academic Committee. Jun is a visiting scholar of Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Science, Finland. He has published more than 15 papers and books and is an accomplished designer with more than 30 projects from local fashion brands and over 60 fashion patents.

Rami Bebawi

Architect Kanva Architecture

Rami Bebawi, principal architect and co-founder of KANVA in 2003, believes in the promotion of intercultural and interdisciplinary sharing of experiences and knowledge, to create rich narratives and sensitive approaches. Based in Montreal, KANVA is made up of passionate architects whose work is at the forefront of thinking, imagining, drawing and constructing. The collective’s vanguard work has won many prestigious awards, including the World Architecture Festival’s ‘Experimental – Future Projects’ award in 2018, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Emerging Architectural Practice Award and several Awards of Excellence in Architecture. They also were awarded of the professional Prix de Rome by the Canada Council for the Arts for their research project Adaptive Boundaries and more recently are representing Canada at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai with the public art installation TRACES.

Hans Tan

Founder, Hans Tan Studio; and Associate Professor, Division of Industrial Design, National University of Singapore

Hans Tan is a designer and an educator based in Singapore. His design works have won multiple awards, and are held in private and corporate collections, as well as public permanent collections of several museums. In 2018, he was honoured with the Designer of the Year at the President’s Design Award, Singapore’s highest recognition for a designer, for the impact of his body of work and his contributions to the design community through education. In 2019, Hans received the Outstanding Educator Award, the highest award for teaching at the National University of Singapore.

DAY 3 – Thursday 14 October

Master of Ceremonies

Timothy Ellis

Manager Economic Development and Events, City of Greater Geelong

Tim is the Manager of Economic Development and Events at the City of Greater Geelong and leads Geelong’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design.

Originally from London, Tim has more than 30 years’ experience in business, working across a number of international and Australian based private and public sectors before moving into state and local government where he has amassed a wealth of experience as a senior leader in economic and community development.

Tim is currently Chair of the Victorian branch of Economic Development Australia and leads a dynamic team promoting Geelong as the home to national and international events as well as business and major investment, defence, agribusiness, employment programs, clean technologies and data intelligence.


Dr Jonathan Daly

Manager Urban Design and Heritage, City of Greater Geelong

Jonathan is the Manager of Urban Design & Heritage and City Design Champion, at the City of Greater Geelong.  He has more than 20 years international experience in urban design, planning and architecture. Jonathan received his PhD from the University of Melbourne, for which he was awarded the John Grice Prize for research excellence.


Tammy Smith

Senior Project Manager Revitalising Central Geelong, Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning

Tammy holds a degree in Environmental Horticulture and has spent the majority of her career working in environmental planning and project management. Tammy joined the State Government and Local Government collaboration known as the Revitalising Central Geelong Partnership in 2018 to support the delivery of the exciting urban renewal projects.

Farrah Mattar

Director of Culture and Arts at the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities

Farah Mattar is a graduate of Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts and Interior Design. She also earned several accredited professional certifications in the fields of management, leadership, marketing and media.

Prior to joining the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities in 2019, she worked at the Bahrain Economic Development Board where she managed the Marketing and Communications department, leading the Global Communications team and as well as Sponsorships and Events.

Guilherme Zuchetti

Focal Point, Curitiba City of Design

Guilherme Zuchetti is Curitiba’s focal point for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. He connects national and international stakeholders, promotes the city, its design and creativity industries. With extensive experience in the public sector, Guilherme graduated in journalism, recently concluded a collaborative solutions course at the Harvard Kennedy School, and is working on an MBA in project management.

Dr Si Zhang

CITIC General Institute of Architectural Design and Research Institute Co., Ltd.

Dr Si Zhang graduated from Wuhan University in 2015 and was awarded the Phd degree of Structural Engineering. Dr Zhang’s work focuses mainly on the restoration and reinforcement of historical buildings.