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Melbourne Conversations - back on at Federation Square.

Councillor Davydd Griffiths was elected Councillor for City of Melbourne in November 2020. Davydd is portfolio lead for Education and Innovation and deputy portfolio lead for City Transport, Infrastructure and Operations. Davydd moved to Melbourne to study in 1993 and since that time has lived or worked in the City of Melbourne.

Davydd worked as a schoolteacher for many years and remains passionate about the power of education to transform lives and connect communities. After leaving teaching he worked as a policy advisor in both education and health with a particular focus on community health provision, men’s health and mental health. Addressing the impact of loneliness, particularly in rapidly transforming urban communities, is another of Davydd’s key interests.

Melbourne's longest-running free public event series ‘Melbourne Conversations’ is back, with a bold line-up of special guests – making knowledge more accessible for all Melburnians.

The reenergised Melbourne Conversations program launches on Wednesday 14 February – bringing together local and international personalities, authors, artists and experts for insightful talks on topics mattering most to Melburnians.

The City of Melbourne and Fed Square will present six curated events in Fed Square across 2024 – allowing twice as many audience members to attend compared to last year.

Hosted by legendary Triple R presenter Chris Gill, the first conversation on Valentine’s Day is themed around Love Song Dedications to Melbourne, and will explore Melbourne’s world-renowned music scene with special guests from Australia’s music and entertainment industries, including:

• Adriana – a Melbourne-based DJ, promoter and former host of PBS FM’s Opalakia program, known for showcasing a diverse mix of beats from her Greek heritage and across the globe. Adriana is also a certified life coach and founded self-development company Authenticity Matters, which helps inspire people to live a genuine and fulfilling life.

• Uncle Kutcha Edwards – a multi-award-winning musician and proud Mutti Mutti, Yorta Yorta and Nari Nari man. He has been prolifically combining songwriting and activism since 1991, playing in legendary groups including Watbalimba, Blackfire and The Black Arm Band. In 2023, Kutcha was inducted into Music Victoria’s Hall of Fame.

• Russel Howcroft – the co-host of award-winning radio show Breakfast with Ross & Russel on 3AW, and a panellist on the ABC's Gruen program. Russel has played in several bands in Melbourne and is a classically trained jazz drummer.

• Romy Vager – the frontwoman and lead guitarist of Australian Music Prize-winning band, RVG (Romy Vager Group). Romy’s songwriting prowess, which blends overdriven jangling guitar lines that offset raw and emotive lyrics, have seen RVG become cherished members of the Melbourne music scene.

The Love Song Dedications to Melbourne conversation, running from 6pm – 7:15pm, will highlight Melbourne’s position as Australia’s cultural capital, featuring a live performance by Uncle Kutcha Edwards and discussions with attendees.

A City of Melbourne Libraries pop-up will encourage attendees to expand on the discussion, with books related to the topic and guests available to borrow.

A second event in April, hosted by Russel Howcroft at the Edge, will explore Melbourne’s city-shaping Greenline Project, as well as other infrastructure projects across the world inspiring urban renewal. Lord Mayor Sally Capp will be among the panel members.

Free tickets for Melbourne Conversations: Love Song Dedications to Melbourne are limited and registration is essential. Tickets to future events will be released throughout the year.

For more information and to register for tickets, visit What’s On Melbourne.

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp

“Hosting a long-running, inclusive and free event program is very special for our community, and a great opportunity to be part of the conversations shaping our city.”

“Live music is a significant part of our city’s DNA – and it’s exciting to hear from legends of the industry who’ve played a major role building Melbourne’s iconic musical reputation.”

Quotes attributable to Education and Innovation portfolio lead Councillor Davydd Griffiths

“Melbourne is a knowledge city – and it’s brilliant to have events like Melbourne Conversations that amplify the bright ideas of local thinkers and innovators across the community.”

“As a proud Melburnian, I cannot wait to hear and play a part in exchanging bold ideas around themes that matter most to the city and its people.”

Quotes attributable to Russel Howcroft

“If I had to pick one, my favourite love song about the city would be ‘Stuck in Melbourne’ by Dan Warner – what a fantastic track.”

“There is such a rich vein of topics to unpack throughout the year. Being given an opportunity to host the conversation about the Greenline Project is a real privilege and a topic every Melburnian should be curious and eager to learn more about."


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