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AFA Festival Forum: Sexual Health & Safety in a Music Festival Context

Over the past several years action on sexual health and safety in all environments, including music festivals, has risen in importance. Given their trusted public profiles, some festivals organisers and promoters have been actively educating both personnel and patrons, significantly contributing to increased awareness and action in this space. In light of the current public discourse, doubling and expanding these efforts has never been more crucial. In this important forum, we hear from experts with a range of perspectives on sexual health and safety. They will share the considerations, measures, methods and tools available to enhance existing harm minimisation and reporting strategies in music festival contexts.

The AFA Festival Forum series is part of Projects For A New Way, the COVID-19 music festival industry recovery program being delivered by the Australia Festival Association and supported by Creative Victoria. It is open to all who work in and engage with the Victorian music festival sector.


Steph Tzanetis
Program Director - Harm Reduction Victoria's DanceWize
Board member - Drug Policy Australia, PRISM, Harm Reduction Australia

Steph is the DanceWize Program Director at Harm Reduction Victoria (HRVic) and has been with the org since July 2013. She has completed a LLB, BA(Hons), MA, and Grad. Dip in Health and Medical Law. She is a Grad Cert in Addictive Behaviours candidate, having been awarded a Victorian Department of Health scholarship. She has been involved in the establishment, implementation and evaluation of harm reduction and other community service projects in NSW, ACT, QLD and NT, including the Pill Testing Australia trials in ACT in 2018 and 2019. She has volunteered for a number of international harm reduction organisations, including drug checking services in Canada BC; and local organisations, including as a board member for Harm Reduction Australia, Drug Policy Australia, and PRISM. She has also volunteered for several years as a community lawyer. Health rights and human rights are matters close to her heart.

DanceWize Facebook


Dr Bianca Fileborn
Researcher sexual violence & harassment, gender & sexuality

Dr Bianca Fileborn is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne. She has been researching sexual violence for over a decade, and her recent work includes a focus on sexual violence at Australian music festivals, and street-based harassment.

Street Harassment Justice project
Dr Bianca Fileborn Twitter

Jessie Wong
Health Educator - Thorne Harbour Health

Jessie works on the Health Promotion Team at Thorne Harbour Health in the field of sexual health of the LGBTIQ+ community and the close interaction this has with alcohol & other drugs. Jessie has also operated in an advisory role for the PARTI Project and currently sits on Thorne Harbour's Drug Law Reform Working Group.

Thorne Harbour Health Instagram

Kendra Russell
Community Educator & Trainer - CASA House

Kendra Russell (she/her) is a social worker with 5 years experience working for victim-survivors of sexual assault across Queensland and Victoria. Kendra brings an intersectional and trauma-informed analysis of violence prevention, intervention and response. She is interested in the ways in which intergenerational, grassroots restorative practices can end gender-based violence.

Sexual Assault Services Victoria Twitter

Rebecca Hall
Sexual Offences & Child Abuse Team - Operations Division - Family Violence Command - Victoria Police

Rebecca is a Senior Sergeant with Victoria Police SOCAT (Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Team) within the Family Violence Command. The Commands focus is to develop and strengthen specialist and frontline responses to family violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

Sally Mounsey
Senior Policy Officer - Penington Institute

Sally is a Senior Policy Officer with Penington Institute - a not-for-profit organisation that connects lived experience and research to improve community safety in relation to drugs. Over the past year, Penington Institute has been leading work, funded by the Victorian Department of Health, on the development of a toolkit to assist organisers of Victorian-based music festivals to promote sexual health and safety at their events. The forthcoming Sexual Health + Safety @ Festivals Toolkit links to Young and Empowered Around Health (YEAH), Penington Institute's youth initiative on sexual health and alcohol and other drug use. YEAH advocates for the positive promotion of youth sexual health and seeks to empower young people by providing resources and tools to assist them to make safer choices regarding sex and the use of alcohol and other drugs.

Penington Institute website
YEAH (Young and Empowered Around Health) Instagram

Projects For A New Way

This Festival Forum is part of Projects For A New Way, the COVID-19 music festival industry recovery program being delivered by the Australia Festival Association and supported by Creative Victoria. It aims to support the industry to get back on its feet and explore new approaches and considerations in our post COVID-19 world. It is both a chance to gather new ideas and insights and to connect with experts and peers. Further information is available on the Australian Festival Association website:

AFA Festival Forum: Sexual Health & Safety in a Music Festival Context
WHEN - Tue 11 May, 2021 @ 10:00AM
WHERE - Online via Zoom