Our Team

  • Project Manager
    Jo Bates

    Jo Bates has worked as a social worker and arts coordinator for over 20 years. She’s worked across the sector in a variety of settings, predominantly supporting young people who have experienced social exclusion, deprivation, poverty and neglect. 

    ‘I’m proud to be a part of the AudioActive Team, the role gives me real-time opportunities to focus on enabling young people to engage with music and get support from sensational musicians and artists. Many young people face complex and multiple barriers that frequently stand in their way of accessing equal opportunities.’


  • Operations Manager
    Laura Edmans

    Up until working for AudioActive, Laura’s professional background has been mostly in arts venues and with theatre and performance companies. As our Operations Coordinator, Laura’s organisational skills and passionate knowledge for accessibility and inclusion, help AudioActive reach as many Young People as possible.

    It might be cheesy, but I love being part of something meaningful and knowing that the work that I help to facilitate makes a real difference to people.’

  • Engagement and Participation Manager
    Tom Hines

    Tom Hines is our Project Manager and has been part of AudioActive since 2004. As a musician, Tom runs hip-hop events and has mentored thousands of young rappers and producers across Sussex. He’s experienced in residential therapeutic care and working with adolescents in challenging circumstances, specialising in engagement and participation using creative arts. 

    ‘The best part of my involvement is the longevity and getting to watch young people who came to our workshops as teenage novices go on to achieve very big things (or even become colleagues) – it’s pretty special.’


  • CEO
    Adam Joolia

    Adam cut his teeth in Nottingham, working in alternative education, youth work and music projects during the emergence of the UK Grime scene. Gun and gang violence were rife in the city’s communities and to achieve impact in such a challenging context Adam pioneered creative, often unconventional approaches to reach and engage young people. Bringing this ethos of innovation to his role with AudioActive in 2006, Adam co-founded groundbreaking projects such as Electric Youth Ensemble and child-to-parent violence intervention Break4Change.

    Today Adam provides strategic leadership to the organisation and is driving AudioActive’s mission to create something where all young people and emerging artists can reach their potential regardless of their background. He is the architect of our ambition to realise a centre of excellence for socially engaged talent development, the first of its kind in the UK.

    Adam is also a founding Director and current board member of Platform B Radio, Trustee of Creative Crawley, an advisor for the Cultural Learning Alliance and the PRS Foundation and sits on the strategic boards for East Sussex and Brighton & Hove’s Music Education Hubs.

    No matter how long I’ve worked at AudioActive or how many times I’ve witnessed it, I’ll never tire of seeing all of the emotions in a young persons face after their first performance to a crowd… exhilaration, pride, relief, aspiration. Its priceless!’

  • Director of Finance and Operations
    Rasanthi Pathirana

    Rasanthi Pathirana has worked in the charity finance sector for over 20 years. Over that time, Rasanthi’s workload has varied to include human resources and business operations. On some days she will be writing policy, issuing contracts and ordering equipment, on others, explaining budgets and compiling management reports.

    ‘It is so nice to work with a team that is enthusiastic and dedicated to improving the lives of young people. Although I don’t get to meet these young people as I am behind the scenes, it is nice to see how their lives are changed by participating in AA activities.’


  • Communications Manager
    Greg Stanley

    Greg’s professional background is largely in multimedia journalism. He has held editorial roles at several publications, including the Brighton-based music and culture platform Off Licence Magazine of which he is the founder and editor-in-chief. Greg also hosts radio shows on Platform B and Balamii.

    ‘Working in comms, I love being able to share all the good work that AudioActive does with Young People on a day-to-day basis. It never stops, so there’s always something to shout about.’


  • Project Co-Ordinator
    Cara Topping

    Cara has worked in the music industry for around 10 years, starting off in festivals, dabbling in booking shows and promoting, with artist management thrown in for good measure. Among other projects, Cara is key to EMERGE, our artist development project that offers young local talent to push onto the next stage of their career.

    ‘I love that Emerge is an artist-led program. I get to facilitate them at a really exciting point in their career and help them carve out plans for their new steps up.’



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