Wire #21: World Expo 2025 Osaka Cultural Program

Wed 19 June 2024

Australia will participate in the next World Expo to be held in Osaka, Japan from 13 April to 13 October 2025. Australia’s overarching theme is Chasing the Sun, encapsulating our unique energy, our diverse and warm people, our talent and creativity, and our stunning natural environment.

This discussion will focus on the opportunities for artists within the Australian Cultural Program including a deep dive into the upcoming EOI process. Australian performing artists and companies are invited to apply for a place in the six-month cultural program at the Australia Pavilion at World Expo 2025, Osaka. This is an opportunity to bring your talent to the attention of a Japanese-wide audience and potential new markets.

The Australia Pavilion has an open and expansive cultural precinct: a space for visitors to gather, relax, enjoy a broad range of entertainment, and sample Australian hospitality. The cultural precinct will feature Australian native plants, a public stage and a gathering circle for ceremonies or workshops.  It will host live and digital events, showcasing diverse voices and artforms, including dance, physical theatre, film, music, workshops, and demonstrations.

The cultural program will emphasise First Nations voices, celebrate our diverse society, and reinforce the friendships between Australia, Japan and other participating countries to a global audience.

In this APAM Wire, we’ll discuss what to expect at a World Expo, the key logistics to bear in mind, and how to apply to take part in the cultural program.

Wednesday 19 June 2024
12:30-13:30 AEST (Melbourne/Sydney/Brisbane)
12:00-13:00 ACST (Adelaide/Darwin)
10:30-11:30 AWST (Perth)

More information is available on the DFAT website and on social media channels (follow @AustraliaatExpo): World Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai | Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (dfat.gov.au) and Expo Australia.


Barbara Poliness
Assistant Director, Osaka Expo Taskforce
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Barbara Poliness joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in 2015, as a creative sector specialist with a deep understanding of the opportunities and mechanisms for building and leveraging Australia’s appeal and partnerships internationally. This expertise has been built on a foundation of nearly 30 years’ experience in Australia’s creative sector, including the development and implementation of international cultural programs, such as DFAT’s flagship program Australia now and the UK/Australia Season. Prior to joining DFAT, Barbara held several positions in the Federal Government Arts  Department, and has also held senior positions in a range of public cultural institutions including the National Gallery of Australia, and Monash University Gallery. She holds a Bachelor of Education, Visual Arts and Degree in Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Jessica Olver
Jessica Olver is the Assistant Director, Public Engagement for the Osaka Expo Taskforce, where she is leading on project coordination and communications for the Osaka Expo. Jessica has over 15 years of experience in technology and corporate services, with a focus on strategy development, transformation programs, and stakeholder engagement. Jessica was also part of the team that delivered on Australia’s participation at the World Expo in Dubai in 2022 and has a wealth of on-the-ground experience of what an Expo delivers for the six-month period.

Kath Papas (panel facilitator)
Kath Papas (Creative Producer, Kath Papas Productions) is an established independent producer, working with a group of leading artists and companies from concept to touring. Since establishing Kath Papas Productions in 2009, Kath’s collaborations with artists have taken a focus on intercultural and interdisciplinary performance practices grounded in dance and theatre, and within the Asia-Pacific region. She has developed and presented performances, co-productions and tours in Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, China and Latin America. Kath was Senior Producer, First Nations Lead, for APAM and ILBIJERRI Theatre Company from 2019-2023, mentoring emerging First Nations producers in international engagement.