Adelaide Festival Centre’s Oz Asia Festival is poised to enter an exciting new phase under the artistic leadership of one of the rising stars of the Australian arts industry, Joseph Mitchell.

Joseph will commence as Festival Director in July and will start planning for the 2015 OzAsia Festival which will be focusing on Indonesia, expect to experience some of the enchanting culture that lies within the Indonesian archipelago.

Originally from Newcastle, Joseph is currently based in Toronto, Canada where he is the Senior Director at Luminato Festival, Canada’s pre-eminent multi-arts Festival, which is internationally renowned for presenting new and challenging works.

Joseph was also previously the Executive Producer of Brisbane Festival and both the Resident Director and Youth & Education Manager at Queensland Theatre Company. Prior to his career in the arts, Joseph was a medal-winning member of the Australian Swimming Team.

Joseph’s extensive programming experience and his work leading major international arts festivals has given him wide-ranging knowledge of Asian performing arts.

Joseph says, “I am thrilled to be appointed as OzAsia Festival Director, one of Australia’s most exciting and unique international arts festivals and I look forward to building on the successes achieved to date.

While still relatively young in years, OzAsia Festival is already well-positioned to solidify it’s standing as a leading international arts festival that focuses on developing and presenting the best contemporary work from Asia and Australia. I am particularly excited about exploring new artistic collaborations that celebrate and respond to the unique part of the world we live in.”

Out-going Festival Director, Jacinta Thompson, has taken up a position as the Executive Director of the Bob Hawke Institute at the University of South Australia.

Douglas Gautier, CEO and Artistic Director of the Festival Centre says,“I’d like to thank Jacinta for growing OzAsia into the premier Australian cultural event based on works from the Asian region.

Jacinta has created a Festival that celebrates Asian culture and has been embraced by all.  We are an immigrant community and increasingly more immigrants are from Asia. Where cultures flourish, so too do understanding and celebration, which, as we know, are precious ingredients for good civic society and social cohesion. This Festival in in good hands as Joseph takes over the leadership.

Minister for the Arts Jack Snelling says, “OzAsia is an internationally significant Festival both artistically and in terms of the cultural links it is helping to forge for South Australia with Asia.  

The South Australian Government understands that encouraging creative links with Asia will not only enrich our cultural life but also unlock potential economic and social opportunities for our state. 

In Asia, cultural links and collaboration go hand in hand with economic exchange.  For example, this year’s OzAsia Festival is helping to consolidate links with the Shandong province in China and is giving South Australian businesses a competitive advantage in establishing trade links with a province with a population of over 100 million people. 

The Government is keen to see the OzAsia Festival continue to grow and expand.”  

OzAsia has enriched the cultural landscape of South Australia by introducing audiences to a diverse range of artistic expression. It has grown steadily since its inception in 2007 and now regularly attracts an audience of 60,000.

The spotlight for the imminent 2014 Festival is on Adelaide’s sister state, Shandong and runs from 3 – 21 September. The Festival will feature more than 140 performers from the region as well as a major exhibition of visual arts and master kite makers who will work with local communities. The Festival opens with the Australian premiere and exclusive performance of Red Sorghum by Shandong’s leading Qingdao Song and Dance Theatre Company.


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