Melbourne Festival and National Gallery of Victoria present

A Festival of Melbourne

ROBYN ARCHER AO (2002—2004)

When the Festival was first created, Melbourne was a very different city but contemporary Melbourne is as much defined by its heritage as it is by its position as a leader in architecture, design, urban planning and the arts. Capital of sport and a centre of intellectual discourse, the Melbourne we live in is a complex and intriguing mix of dynamics.

Conceived for Melbourne, how has the Festival shaped and been shaped by the changing culture, politics and landscape of this city?

Robyn Archer AO will be joined in discussion by a panel of guests who have helped shape the city and the festival we love.


Robyn Archer AO (moderator)
Ian McDougall
Bruce Gladwin
Kate Brennan

Panellist biographies

Robyn Archer AO is often referred to as a national treasure. She is known to many for her one woman shows in the 1970s and 80s, by others for her original songs and recordings, and now by thousands more for her memorable arts festivals in Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Tasmania. Among her proudest recent moments was when Indigenous colleagues in the arts referred to her publicly as ‘aunty’–a genuine measure of respect and acknowledgement of experience and wisdom. These days Robyn combines artistic direction with concert performance, strategic advice, mentoring younger artists and artistic directors, speaking and writing about the arts across Australia and the world.

Ian McDougall is a Founding Director of ARM Architecture. He was registered in Victoria as an architect in 1980 and was made a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects in 2004. Ian’s design work has had recognition in the professional arena with a variety of individual projects. He is also highly regarded as an urban designer. In 2003 he was awarded the Centenary Medal for his contribution to Australian architecture. He has been a passionate publisher, teacher and writer on architecture and cities throughout his career.

Bruce Gladwin is an Australian artist and performance maker. He has been the Artistic Director of Back to Back Theatre since 1999. The work Gladwin has created with the company is recognised for innovation and excellence, touring regularly to major international arts festivals and institutions.

Kate Brennan was Chief Executive Officer of Fed Square Pty Ltd from July 2005-Sept 2013. During that time Federation Square became the heart and focal point of Melbourne’s community and cultural celebrations with 10 million visits each year and an annual program of over 2000 different activities. Since leaving Fed Square, Kate has become an Honorary Fellow at Melbourne University, is currently providing consulting advice to the Barangaroo Development Authority and a number of local government and arts groups including having worked with Victoria University to realise its plan to develop Footscray as a University Town. She provides executive coaching and has undertaken pro bono mentoring and project advice.