Mike Rodrigues founded Time Out Sydney in 2007 and launched Time Out Melbourne 2011. He's Time Out Australia's managing director and the chairman of industry lobby group the Night Time Industries Association.
Time Out Australia's managing director: Why I do what I do
Among the hardship the world is enduring currently, silver linings are there to be found – for me that came last week in the form of having to explain to my six-year-old what I do for a crust. Having spent 12 years leading our team at Time Out in their work in inspiring people to go out and explore their cities, this used to be a simple answer: "I help people go out and have fun." And during Sydney's lockout years, I was able to explain to her that draconian law stopped people from being able to do that. I launched the Night Time Industries Association, which I now chair, to do something about it and to help revitalise Sydney's nightlife. The NTIA and the Independent Bars Association were instrumental in convincing Sydney to repeal its lockout laws, and like many in the sector, I thought we'd overcome the worst obstacles. But Covid-19 is something else. It sits directly in opposition to what Time Out was founded to do. As a byproduct, it makes answering a six-year-old's questions more challenging than I would like. Particularly when she found me working on launching this petition featuring two hairy men. "What are you doing, Daddy?" How could I explain my new job? How could I summarise the importance of cultural innovation to the lifeblood of our cities? How could I detail that a life without inspiration, a life without discovery, was a lesser life? For once I didn't stumble. I just said: "They are my friends. And friends need to look after each other." Earlier that evening I