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Ambassador to Sweden and NSW Harbourmaster to speak at Festival of Open Minds

Ian Campbell 27 August 2019
A stellar line up of speakers attracted around 350 people to thr 2018 Festival of Open Minds. Photo: Chris Sheedy.

A stellar line up of speakers attracted around 350 people to the 2018 Festival of Open Minds. Photo: Chris Sheedy.

One of the guiding lights behind the Festival of Open Minds this September in Bega is that of sharing new and different perspectives and experiences.

At a time where what we see in our news feed is curated by algorithms, Open Minds looks to disrupt that and present people and ideas that might be screened out of the echo chamber of social media.

Speakers and conversations on the 2019 Open Minds program so far include:

  • Tim Costello, Chief Advocate, World Vision;
  • Nas Campanella, blind Triple J newsreader;
  • Pastor Christie Buckingham, spiritual counselor to executed Bali 9 drug smuggler Myuran Sukumaran;
  • Aly Khalifa, entrepreneur focused on harvesting plastic waste from our oceans;
  • Emma Booth, para-equestrian competitor, represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Paralympics;
  • Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall, comedian, joke writer, grew up in Tathra;
  • Sassi Nuyum, aka Meaghan Holt, rising Aboriginal writer, performer;
  • Corrine Gibbons, songstress and choir director.

And now something new, two men with a global vision and background keen to connect Southern New South Wales to the world.

The Festival of Open Minds is proud to present Ambassador Jonathan Kenna and Captain Phil Holliday in conversation with Genevieve Jacobs and Ian Campbell.

Jonathan Kenna – is currently serving as Australia’s Ambassador to Sweden with non-resident accreditation to Finland, Latvia and Estonia.

Mr Kenna has served overseas as Deputy Head of Mission, Bangkok and concurrently as Australia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission of the Asia Pacific. He has also served as Counsellor, in Australia’s Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization, Geneva.

In Canberra, as a senior officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Mr Kenna was most recently Assistant Secretary, India and Indian Sub-Continent Branch. Prior positions include Assistant Secretary, Tobacco Plain Packaging Taskforce; Deputy Chief Negotiator on the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and Director, Asia Trade Taskforce.

Prior to joining DFAT in 2004, Mr Kenna worked as a lawyer for 12 years, across the private, public and community sectors. He holds a Masters of Law from the University of Melbourne, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Sydney.

Jonathan Kenna is married to Geraldine Tyson and together they have three daughters.

Ambassador Jonathan Kenna (top) and Captain Phil Holliday (bottom). Photos: Supplied.

Ambassador Jonathan Kenna (top) and Captain Phil Holliday (bottom). Photos: Supplied.

Captain Phil Holliday – is Chief Operating Officer Sydney, Port Kembla and Eden and Harbour Master Sydney.

Mr Holliday joined Sydney Ports Corporation in May 2011 as Executive General Manager, Operations and Harbour Master. He has been in his current role since 2014 following the amalgamation of the Sydney, Newcastle and Port Kembla port corporations.

In this role he is responsible for leading port operations in Sydney Harbour, Port Botany, Port Kembla and the Port of Eden including pilotage, vessel traffic services, marine operations, security and hydrographic survey services. As well as the Port Authority’s operational and commercial management of cruise operations.

Mr Holliday has spent his entire career in the shipping and ports industries, starting as a 16-year-old cadet when he joined Ropner Shipping Services and later moving to Souter Shipping where he gained his Class 1 (FGN) Masters certificate.

In 1998, Philip joined the UK’s largest port operator, Associated British Ports (ABP) in a port operations role.

Following a number of roles within ABP he became the Harbour Master for the ABP Port of Southampton and the Marine Advisor for the group’s 21 UK ports.

Mr Holliday is a former Chair of the Ports Australia’s Port Operations Working Group and took a lead role in the development of the Australian Port Marine Safety Management Guidelines.

His time at Open Minds coincides with the first berthing of a cruise ship at Eden’s new wharf in Snug Cove.

Ambassador Jonathan Kenna and Captain Phil Holliday are indeed ‘People with Oomph’ and will bring something distinctive to your festival experience.

The Festival for Open Minds opens on Friday, September 13 with the free community celebration in the heart of Bega – Parklight. The speakers and ideas program follows on Saturday, September 14 at the Bega Civic Centre.

More announcements will be made very soon, stay in touch via the festival website.

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