On the Couch with Kath Mainland

Kath Mainland - photo by Sarah Walker PhotographyWho is Kath Mainland?
I am a card-carrying arts administrator who originally hails from an island in the north sea, off the north east coast of Scotland. I’m also a Gemini, a grammar pedant, and currently Executive Director at Melbourne Festival – the flagship cultural event in Melbourne’s calendar.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’m not sure I would do anything differently. It’s easy to think, if only I’d done this and that, but I’m a firm believer in things flowing from other things. I wished I’d learned to dance though – mum wouldn’t let me go to dance class and guides!

Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by artists every day. People who make important, amazing stories out of nothing, and people who aren’t afraid to stand up and live their lives the way they want, regardless of what people think.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I think the arts make a huge, positive difference to people and society. I’d make them compulsory in all formal education, everywhere.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Recently, Palm Cove in Tropical Far North Queensland. Being a recent arrival to Australia I was just knocked out by the beaches and the peace.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
We’ve had lots of family and friends visiting from the UK this year and they all have loved the Healesville Animal Sanctuary, Venus Bay and the amazing cultural experiences on offer every day in Melbourne. So we’ve worked out quite a nice little tour guide thing that I think really shows off the great multiplicity of Melbourne and Victoria.

What are you currently reading?
I’m reading Hinterland by Caroline Brothers. It’s a heart-breaking tale of two orphaned refugees and I recently saw a beautiful theatre adaptation of the story by a great Scottish Theatre company, Vox Motus.

What are you currently listening to?
Right this minute, I’m listening to Kenny Ball and the Jazzmen. I heard it randomly on the radio this morning, and dad must have played it in the house when we were kids as I’m feeling properly nostalgic.

Happiness is?
Being surrounded by people I love, either with good food and a glass of wine, a sunset, a crime drama or a great gig.

What does the future hold for you?
The immediate future holds Melbourne Festival – 19 days of unique, unforgettable, unmissable experiences. After that – who knows. Can’t wait!

The 2017 Melbourne Festival runs 4 – 22 October. For more information, visit: www.festival.melbourne for details.

Image: Kath Mainland – photo by Sarah Walker Photography