As CEO of Festival City Adelaide, The Wyatt Trust’s newest Governor, Justyna Jochym, is one of the city’s biggest cheerleaders.
Hailing from Poland, Justyna first visited Adelaide in 2017 as part of an arts, culture and festival tourism delegation from Krakow, a sister UNESCO-designated city.
“It was a four-day visit and by day three it was clear to me that there’s a bit of magic here in Adelaide,” Justyna says.
After the city had cast its spell, Justyna decided to take up a six-month professional development opportunity.
“The idea was to meet new people and see how things are done here, but I quickly realised this was a place I would like to call home,” she explains.
“Soon after that decision, I joined Festival City Adelaide, I met my partner James, next came the dog and now we have a house here, so it’s out of my control now,” she chuckles.
And for Justyna, the city continues to surpass all expectations.
“I often joke that people call things ‘standard’ here in Adelaide all the time, when in fact, if you were to benchmark say, the food, it’s actually exceptional.
“The festivals, the arts scene, the generosity of the people; it’s all exceptional. I am in constant awe and also perplexed by the fact that this amazement isn’t percolating everywhere – it’s just part of the everyday ‘standard’.”
Amplifying new ideas
Having focused her career in the arts, Justyna has seen firsthand the critical role philanthropy can play in overcoming barriers and catalysing change. This understanding was a key part of what attracted her to join Wyatt’s Board of Governors.
“While Wyatt doesn’t work in the arts space, its mission to eradicate poverty and reduce disadvantage is something that’s always been close to my heart,” Justyna says.
“For instance, access to the arts is an area of impact that I’m really passionate about. I spend a lot of time in my day job thinking about how we can make engaging with the arts easier for people who haven’t had great advantages in life, so in that respect, my value system and affiliation to Wyatt’s mission was already there through that prism.”
A self-confessed ‘governance nerd’, Justyna is equally excited by the prospect of being able to contribute to Wyatt’s longstanding reputation as a leader in Australia’s philanthropy ecosystem.
“I love being a team player on the Board and enjoy helping co-create spaces that are safe and supportive of different ways of thinking in the room,” Justyna says.
“When there’s a safe space for people to voice their thoughts and opinions it builds a culture that helps amplify and grow new ideas. If there’s a culture of being able to interrogate different points of view, to me that’s the sign of a successful Board and that’s what I’m already seeing at Wyatt.”