Staff Spotlight: Zoe Rabb

Zoe Rabb lives in Melbourne, on Wurundjeri land. She’s an event coordinator, cook and a strong advocate for saunas, spas and pilates.

So what’s your full name, pronouns, title at EWF?

My name’s Zoe Rabb, She/Her and I’m the Operations Manager here at EWF.

What attracted you to the role of Operations Manager at EWF?

I worked in Front of House at the Emerging Writers’ Festival in 2019, as well as having worked with Executive Director Alice previously at the Brunswick Mechanics Institute. At EWF19, I just had heaps of fun. It was such an inspiring environment to be in and the community was welcoming and amazing. I just loved seeing the program and what was produced.

At Brunswick Mechanics Institute I was the Critical Mass intern, which is a sub-section of the Fringe Festival that brings together a series of Fringe events so that people can access the festival in a way that suits them. I managed the volunteers, did tech scheduling and some website stuff.

What are you working on outside of EWF?

I cook at a cafe called Crates Speciality Coffee in Heidelberg Heights. I cook breakfast and lunch foods and bake a whole array of things! I love the community – I can walk in there and feel a little blue and walk out feeling really happy – I love it! I’ve watched babies come in and grow up throughout my time there – it’s really cute.

I love baking brownies. But my recipe is secret.

I’m also finishing up at Rainbow Serpent festival. I’m the Village Coordinator there. We mind the spaces, art gallery, workshops, permaculture space, First Nations space, cinema, kids space, massage and healing – all the things! Overseeing the wellbeing, holistic and educational hub.

This is my second year doing that role, but I’ve been working at the festival in various roles for seven years. I really love Rainbow Serpent because you can walk into this world and be exposed to all these things that you wouldn’t usually. And then if you like something enough you can take that into everyday life. It’s such a magical world – anything feels possible.

What’s on your ‘to read’ list at the moment?

Esther Perel’s Mating in Captivity and Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu.

What’s important in fostering a supportive community through festivals?

For EWF and Rainbow Serpent, both are environments of collaboration, diversity and respect. Sometimes they can be challenging, but overall supportive.

And they’re safe. Safety is massive.

What are you most excited about in terms of working at EWF?

I’m excited to go to lots of events – I want to just lap it all up! I want to talk to as many people as I can and learn from them, and become even more inspired and be everywhere all at the same time. So I can see everything on the program!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten?

Have fun.