Business Connect backs NSW creatives at Vivid Sydney

Media release | 3 May 2018

A panel of successful Australian creatives - including actor Penny Cook, author John Birmingham, film producer Bridget Ikin and musician Sarah Carroll – will come together at Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, to mentor the next wave of talent on business skills.

Department of Industry Deputy Secretary of Skills and Economic Development, Zoe de Saram, said the “Long Haul” event on 2 June is supported by the NSW Government’s Business Connect program.

“Creative industries are big business in NSW employing over 200,000 people - more than 42 per cent of the national creative workforce - and generating about $2.97 billion in services exports,” Ms de Saram said.

“NSW is bursting with creative talent and we want to support our best and brightest to bridge the gap between creativity and business to succeed and grow our sector.

“It’s fantastic to see accomplished and successful Australian creatives from across publishing, screen, music and performing arts helping mentor our next generation.”

Business Connect is a dedicated and personalised NSW Government program that provides trusted advice to help you start or grow your small business.

Business Connect Creative Industries Specialist Advisor, Monica Davidson, will host the panel at the Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the Vivid Ideas Exchange.

Ms Davidson, a writer and filmmaker with 25 years’ experience, said the panel will collectively represent over a century of combined creative experience.

Penny Cook secured her first recurring TV role in 'The Restless Years' in 1979; John Birmingham published his iconic ‘He Died With A Falafel in His Hand’ in 1994; Bridget Ikin produced the film ‘An Angel At My Table’ in 1990; and Sarah Carroll performed at her first music festival in 1992.

“These four talented professionals have each sustained themselves across the publishing, screen, music and performing arts industries for a quarter of century or more and have much knowledge and wisdom to share.

“The panel will talk about their careers, the opportunities they have generated, the challenges they have overcome, how they have maintained career longevity, and what they would do differently if they had their time over,” Ms Davidson said.

The Long Haul panel is a free two hour event (from 3pm to 5pm) and interested people can register to attend at

For further information about Business Connect visit