About Us

Photo by: Tony Lewis


Adelaide is a city with music as its heartbeat.

It is Australia’s first, and only, UNESCO City of Music.

Adelaide is bursting with creativity and culture. South Australia is known for its world-class events and festivals, and the city and its surrounds boast a calendar packed with exciting showcases and cultural events. Our passion for arts, culture and live music are second to none.

Photo by: Trentino Priori


Adelaide is a city with music as its heartbeat. It is Australia’s first, and only, UNESCO City of Music.

Adelaide’s backbone is its diverse and vibrant cultural heritage. Its enviable musical reputation hails back to iconic Australian bands from The Master’s Apprentices, Cold Chisel and The Angels, to contemporary trailblazers like the Hilltop Hoods, and Tkay Maidza, and singer-songwriters Paul Kelly, Guy Sebastian, and Sia Furler.

The city is home to countless independent musicians, an entrepreneurial music industry that’s growing by the day, and a plethora of live music venues. The city is admired for its world-class music and arts festivals, leading music education and performance institutions including Australia’s oldest tertiary music school, the Elder Conservatorium of Music; and for being the founding city of Australia’s national classical music radio network, ABC Classic FM.

“…A proud moment for Adelaide”

Being designated a UNESCO City of Music in 2015 was and continues to be a proud moment for Adelaide. The esteemed designation means the city became a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, joining 295 others globally (including 59 Cities of Music).

Members from six continents cover seven creative fields: Crafts & Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music and Media Arts. Other UNESCO Creative Cities in Australia include Melbourne (Literature), Bendigo (Gastronomy), & Sydney (Film).

Adelaide, like others in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, is a city that believes music has the power to change lives profoundly. It’s looking towards the future to build on its already vibrant and exciting cultural scene, and to further its international reach.

Photo by: Daniel Marks


UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) is a network of more than 370 cities across the globe that are working towards the common goal of placing creativity, and cultural industries, at the heart of their development plans.

By joining the network, cities commit to sharing their best practices and developing partnerships.

UNESCO Creative Cities of Music Map

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What We Do

What does Adelaide UNESCO City of Music do?

UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) is a network of more than 370 cities across the globe that are working towards the common goal of placing creativity, and cultural industries, at the heart of their development plans. The UCCN was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with – and among – cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

Culture and creativity is promoted in all of the network’s cities at both a local and international level. By joining the network, cities commit to sharing their best practices and developing partnerships.

As a UNESCO City of Music we:

  • Advocate the value of music to enrich lives, celebrate diversity and improve wellbeing and promote cultural diplomacy
  • Promote South Australian music globally, through the UNESCO Creative Cities network
  • Connect musicians, music organisations and the music sector locally, and through the UNESCO Creative Cities network

What are some of our achievements?

Adelaide’s membership of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network was granted in recognition of its heritage, diversity and commitment to music over many decades. Adelaide’s designation has galvanised the city and state of South Australia to use music as a connector and a way of celebrating our diverse music culture.

Head to our News page to see the latest stories, articles and interviews with members of our music community.

What does the designation mean?

Put simply, the ‘City of Music’ designation recognises excellence: the world’s Cities of Music are specialists in the craft, and there’s an obligation on them to nurture and support their art form and collaborate internationally.

The UNESCO designation is also an investment in the future. Cities of Music are expected to share best practices and projects that ensure music reaches as broad and diverse an audience as possible, locally and globally.

They’re also expected to embrace long-term global partnerships and other opportunities that can support and promote the local music sector. The designation helps to not only integrate and engage citizens, music makers and creatives; but also institutions and the tourism sector, through diverse music activities and local, national and global cooperation.

Who supports Adelaide UNESCO City of Music?

Adelaide City of Music is an independant, not for profit organisation, currently supported by the State Government through the Music Development Office and Arts South Australia, the City of Adelaide and the Adelaide Festival Centre.

Who are the other UNESCO Cities of Music across the world?

There are currently 59 Music Cities as part of the network:
Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates (2021)
Adelaide – Australia (2015)
Amarante – Portugal (2017)
Ambon – Indonesia (2019)
Almaty – Kazakhstan (2017)
Auckland – New Zealand (2017)
Batumi – Georgia (2021)
Belfast – United Kingdom / Northern Ireland (2021)
Bogota – Colombia (2012)
Bologna – Italy (2006)
Brazzaville – Democratic Republic of Congo (2013)
Brno – Czech Republic
Chennai – India (2017)
Daegu -Republic of Korea (2017)
Essaouira (Morocco) – (2019)
Frutillar – Chile (2017)
Ghent – Belgium (2009)
Glasgow – Scotland (2008)
Hamamatsu – Japan (2014)
Hannover – Germany (2014)
Havana – Cuba (2019)
Huancayo- Peru (2021)
Ibagué – Colombia (2021)
Idanha-a-Nova – Portugal (2015)
Kansas – United States of America (2017)
Kazan – Russian Federation (2019)
Katowice – Poland (2015)
Kharkiv – Ukraine (2021)
Kingston – Jamaica (2015)
Kinshasa – Democratic Republic of Congo (2015)
Kırşehir – Turkey (2019)
Leiria – Portugal (2019)
Liverpool – UK (2015)
Lliria – Spain (2019)
London – Canada (2021)
Mannheim – Germany
Medellin – Colombia (2015)
Metz – France (2019)
Morelia – Mexico (2017)
Norrkoping – Sweden (2017)
Pesaro – Italy (2017)
Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) 2019
Port Louis – Mauritius(2021)
Praia- Carbo Verde (2017)
Ramallah – Palestine (2019)
Recife – Brazil (2021)
Salvador – Brazil (2015)
Sanandaj – Iran Islamic Republic of (2019)
Santiago de Cuba – Cuba(2021)
Santo Domingo – Dominican Republic (2019)
Seville – Spain (2004)
Tallinn- Estonia (2021)
Tongyeong – Korea (2015)
Varanasi – India (2015)
Valparaíso – Chile (2019)
Valledupar -Colombia (2019)
Veszprém – Hungary (2019)
Vranje – Serbia (2019)
Xalapa – Mexico (2021)

Photo by: Tony Lewis


Board of Directors



Andrew is an experienced management consultant who has an affinity with the issues faced by both private and public organisations and the role and potential of the State’s creative industries. Having lived and worked in Adelaide for most of his career, Andrew is the former Managing Partner of Deloitte Private and the former Managing Partner of Deloitte South Australia. Andrew’s appointment will bring important business and planning expertise to the organisation.

Andrew was the co-author of Deloitte’s influential reports on South Australia “Make it Adelaide” and is a passionate advocate for advancement of the South Australian Economy. These reports identified the critical sectors of growth for the state in work that has influenced government policy across many sectors including Arts and Culture.



Graeme is an Australian composer and music educator. He is best known for his orchestral and ballet scores, and is one of the Australia’s leading compositional figures, gaining increasing attention internationally. Currently the Director, Elder Conservatorium of Music The University of Adelaide. He is a Professor of Composition at the University of Adelaide and was awarded a Doctorate of Music from the University in 2002.

He was Chair of the Australia Council Music Board and a member of the Australia Council from 2002 to 2009. In recognition of his contribution to Australian music, Koehne was awarded the Australian Government’s Centenary Medal in 2001 and the Sir Bernard Heinze Award from the University of Melbourne in 2004.



Janet Giles is an independent and local Councillor, having lived in the southwest of the city for around 10 years. Janet believes that Adelaide has amazing potential to show the world what a liveable, inclusive, creative, and sustainable city looks like. Having been a teacher, a union organiser and leader, and a community campaigner, Janet is now retired. She have extensive experience on committees and boards, working with both state and federal governments.

Janet is a strong believer in working with the community to find solutions to issues. As a member of the City South Association, a member of the Anti-Poverty Network, and a volunteer in homelessness services, she is passionate about spending her time improving the local community from within. She is married and has two grown-up children who work in hospitality.

Deputy Chair


Vince has been actively involved in classical music for almost 30 years. He studied piano and musicology at the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide, and has held senior arts administration positions around Australia, as well as working as a journalist.

Vince is the convenor of the Music Education Roundtable and a member of the Executive Committee of the Arts Industry Council of South Australia, for which he is also Treasurer.



Douglas Gautier AM is the Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival Centre, South Australia’s principal arts venue. He came to the position in 2006, on the back of leading one of the world’s great arts festivals – the Hong Kong Arts Festival – and with an impressive portfolio of international experience across media, tourism and the arts.

Since joining the Adelaide Festival Centre, Douglas has grown audiences and positioned it as a hub for Asian-Australian cultural entertainment. His program-led strategy has included innovations like Adelaide Guitar Festival and OzAsia Festival, and he was a key driver in the bid for Adelaide’s accreditation as a UNESCO Creative City of Music. Under his tenure the Centre recently completed a redevelopment of the historic Her Majesty’s Theatre – the most significant infrastructure project since it opened in 1973. In 2016, Douglas was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the arts and the community.



Amanda has had a long career in media, arts, communications and management roles. She is currently CEO of multidisciplinary arts, technology and hospitality enterprise, Light Adelaide. She was Publishing Director for Opinion Media where she managed and edited the iconic Adelaide masthead The Adelaide Review until its recent closure, and has been Publisher of Solstice Media, and also worked as a freelance feature writer and sub-editor for a number of publications.

Amanda was CEO of the philanthropic arts organisation the Helpmann Academy and remained on their Foundation Board until 2017. She has been Deputy Chair of Music SA, Chair of The Mill, a multi-arts NFP in Adelaide, and is currently a director of NFP health charity CanDo4Kids. Amanda has broad experience in communicating complex issues in terms that are accessible to all, dealing with all levels of government and the business community and achieving outcomes that benefit all involved.



Andrew Walker has worked in arts and entertainment for over 30 years. His business, Buxton Walker, with partner Michelle Buxton, provides management and administrative services for touring artists, fringe and community events, record labels and festivals. Buxton Walker manages comedians and produces TV through its partnership in Buxstock, and co-owns Ticketing Australia, Head Records (inc Jazzhead) and The Garden of Unearthly Delights.

Andrew served as Board Member for AIR for 18 years, on The Melbourne Jazz Fringe Committee for 7 years and helped establish Music Victoria serving as its founding President and later as Treasurer. Andrew is a lover of the diversity of the arts and the stories it only can tell.



Ruth Mackenzie has more than 40 years’ experience in the arts world and in particular international festivals. A former director of Holland Festival, Manchester International Festival and Chichester Festival, Mackenzie was in charge of the official cultural programme for the 2012 London Olympics and Artistic Director for the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. She also worked on the first Manchester International Festival as General Director, worked as Dramaturg for the Vienna Festival, directed Scottish Opera, and directed major theatres in Nottingham and Chichester. She was appointed Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival with responsibility for the Festivals 2024-2026.


General Manager


Joe Hay’s journey is one of uniting diverse perspectives and driving meaningful change. With a background spanning politics, social marketing, arts, and global relations, he adeptly translates vision into action. A catalyst for transformative reforms, Joe has propelled Adelaide’s creative sectors forward. His pioneering initiatives include changing the way governments around the country support music and the arts, modernising the state’s licensing and planning laws to support live music, small venues, and activation, reform and support for tech startups, and advocating for systems that enable, empower, and celebrate creativity.

Beyond borders, Joe’s career has travelled from regional Australia to the nation’s capitals, overseas and back to Adelaide, South Australia, touring everything from Japanese punk bands to former Prime Minister’s and organising events big and small. Today, as a change-focused consultant, he harnesses the power of the creative industries to cultivate international markets and leverage inherent strengths.

Photo Credit: Jessica Clark, CityMag

Marketing & Communications Manager


A versatile expert and advisor in the realm of Arts and Culture, Dahlia has worked with globally acclaimed festivals like WOMADelaide, Adelaide Film Festival, and OzAsia and was the visionary behind the Festival Volunteer Network whilst engaged by Festival City Adelaide. With a robust foundation spanning education, film, IT, and event and volunteer management, Dahlia’s enthusiasm as a creative shines through everything she is involved with.

Dahia’s creative accomplishments also include co-directing and co-writing a feature show for Adelaide’s Cabaret Festival, as well as working freelance in costume and prop design, fashion styling and as an Adelaide Fringe Festival judge. Presently, Dahlia also assumes the role of Executive and Operations Coordinator at the Adelaide Film Festival, further emphasising her dedication to the evolution of South Australia’s artistic landscape.