This is a past event. Registration is closed. View other Venue Management Association events.


Monday, May 30, 2022 to Wednesday, June 1, 2022 (GMT+10)

Add to Calendar


ICC Sydney

14 Darling Drive
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Show on map
Becc Barry AVM (Group Director, People and Culture (APAC) of ASM Global Asia Pacific)

Becc Barry AVM

Group Director, People and Culture (APAC) of ASM Global Asia Pacific

Becc Barry is a people centred leader focusing on talent, attachment and engagement. She is currently Group Director, People & Culture with ASM Global (APAC). In this role Becc is working with all ASM Global venues in the Asia Pacific and Gulf Region to bring together collaborative initiatives that drive performance, capability and culture.

Berish Bilander (Chief Executive Officer at Green Music Australia)

Berish Bilander

Chief Executive Officer at Green Music Australia

Berish Bilander is CEO of Green Music Australia, a non-profit organisation that facilitates and inspires the music scene to make positive environmental changes in order to lead the way to a greener, safer world. From energy use to packaging and waste to transport, Green Music Australia plays a central role in distributing information, offering tailored support, and advocating for best practice solutions in order to give our sector the tools it needs to lead by example and bring audiences along to create profound, cultural change.

Olivia Birkett AVM (Head of Operations at Tennis West)

Olivia Birkett AVM

Head of Operations at Tennis West

Olivia has worked for 20 years in the sports industry, including three years working overseas for England Netball, and a period of six years focusing on major events in the Northern Territory. Since moving to Perth in 2014, her career has seen a greater emphasis on venue management. She completed the Venue Management School in 2017 and 2018, and was fortunate to win the AEG Ogden Scholarship in Year 2, which saw her head to the USA in 2019 to complete the Graduate Institute.

She commenced her current role, Head of Operations at Tennis West, in early 2020, weeks before COVID-19 saw us in lockdown. During this time, she engaged heavily with the IAVM and VMA webinars and had calls at all hours with people in the USA and Australia, as we sought to support each other. Coming from a small venue environment, where she has had to wear a lot of hats and manage a range of issues. She is now well versed in biosecurity and COVID Safety Plans, as much as emergency response plans, bookings systems, asset registers and staff management. She brought this diverse range of skills and knowledge together to complete her Accredited Venue Manager accreditation in 2020. Olivia joined the Venue Management Association Board in 2021 and looks forward to seeing the industry grow and embrace a diverse range of venues and members.

Nic Boling (Vice President IT & Security at Tessitura Network)

Nic Boling

Vice President IT & Security at Tessitura Network

Nic Boling is responsible for cyber security at Tessitura, a not-for-profit software and hosting company that powers arts and culture. Before joining Tessitura, Nic was Chief Technology Officer at Sydney Opera House for six years from 2015 where he built the organisation’s first cyber security team. He has hands-on experience securing venue systems and leading cyber security incident response. He holds a Master’s in Policing, Intelligence & Counter Terrorism and a Master’s in International Security Studies from Macquarie University, a Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security from Griffith University, and a Bachelor of Security Analysis from ANU.

Emma Bombonato (Manager, Environmental Sustainability at Sydney Opera House)

Emma Bombonato

Manager, Environmental Sustainability at Sydney Opera House

Emma has a bachelor of Environmental Science & Management and has more than 15 years of experience as a practitioner in Environmental Sustainability.

Emma spent over 10 years working in environmental management and sustainability for the Taronga Conservation Society of Australia, joining the Sydney Opera House in 2017. Emma’s role is to strategically support the implementation of the Opera House’s Environmental Action Plan and to help set the future direction of the program.

Emma is a member of the City of Sydney’s Sustainable Destination Partnership leadership panel and the co-chair of the engagement working group. In 2019 Emma was selected to join the C40 Women4Climate program which focussed on supporting and enabling women in leadership positions to communicate the need for climate action. Emma is also a member of Heritage NSW Heritage Advisory Panel.

Emma is an advocate for strong and inspirational leadership in sustainability, with a particular interest in the role that both culture and cultural institutions play to support sustainable cities and communities.

Dion Brant (Chief Executive Officer at Frontier Touring)

Dion Brant

Chief Executive Officer at Frontier Touring

From booking bands in high school to his role as Chief Executive Officer at Frontier Touring – music and audiences have been part of Dion Brant’s whole life. Bringing the experience of three decades in commercial radio, ticketing and sports and entertainment, Dion worked day in and day out with Chairman and Founder Michael Gudinski up until his passing this time last year. Dion is now heading the team that is driving the return to business, the strategy and future direction of live touring brands, including Frontier Touring and Chugg Entertainment. Dion also sits on the board of the Mushroom Group, Australia’s leading independent music group with over 30 active businesses across record labels, publishing, live events, booking agencies, artist management, brand partnerships, merchandise and digital content.

During the pandemic, Dion worked with Michael and Matt Gudinski to move from the big stage to the small screen, playing a pivotal producing role in the ground-breaking and critically acclaimed television and streaming programs to support the Australian industry and its artists. Those projects included the televised live concert “Music From the Home Front” (Nine network), two series of the online program “The State of Music”, and three series of “The Sound”, a live performance TV program airing in prime-time on the ABC.

Renee Brown AVM (General Manager at LK Stadiums Management)

Renee Brown AVM

General Manager at LK Stadiums Management

Renee Brown AVM, is currently the General Manager of the newly redeveloped MyState Bank Arena which is the first venue under the LK Stadiums Management banner. As a Professional Conference and Event Manger for over 15 years, Renee moved to “the other side” to become the Venue Manger at the (then) Derwent Entertainment Centre in 2017 which was run by local government. In late 2019 with the sale of the venue Renee became part of the redevelopment team and subsequent General Manager, transforming the venue into MyState Bank Arena in 9 months with an $85million budget. Renee graduated the Venue Management School in 2018 and was awarded her AVM in 2022.

Sean Callanan (Founder of SportsGeek)

Sean Callanan

Founder of SportsGeek

Sean Callanan understands the technological evolution of the digital landscape as the founder of Sports Geek. He has worked with international brands, is a highly sought after public speaker and is the go-to resource for under-optimised digital teams.

Sean has developed the Digital To Dollars process working with teams and leagues to build digital fan bases and develop sponsor campaigns that deliver.

Sean has been a pioneer in the sports digital industry and hosts the Sports Geek podcast with guests and listeners around the sports business world available on Apple Podcasts and Google Play and follow him on Twitter @seancallanan and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Sean has entered the world of gaming and esports as the owner of League of Legends professional team Gravitas.

Morwenna Collett (Arts consultant, specialising in diversity, access and inclusion)

Morwenna Collett

Arts consultant, specialising in diversity, access and inclusion

An accomplished leader, consultant and facilitator with 15 years’ experience in government, the arts, not-for-profit and university sectors, Morwenna has worn the hats of CEO, Board Director, project manager, lecturer, researcher, trainer and advisor. Currently working as an arts consultant specialising in diversity, access and inclusion, Morwenna is a member of access advisory committees with the City of Sydney, Sydney Festival, Perth Festival and Sydney Fringe, and a Board Director of Arts Capital. She has previously been the CEO of Accessible Arts, the Chair of the Sydney Arts Managers Advisory Group and has held various senior management roles at the Australia Council for the Arts. In 2020, she completed a Churchill Fellowship, exploring inclusive music programs, venues and festivals which actively engage disabled people across the USA, UK and Ireland. Her work is influenced by her own lived experience as a musician with disability.

Matt Craft (Detective Superintendent, Commander Cybercrime Squad at NSW Police)

Matt Craft

Detective Superintendent, Commander Cybercrime Squad at NSW Police

Detective Superintendent CRAFT joined the NSWPF in 1994 and has predominately performed criminal investigation duties. In 2018 he commenced in his current role as the Commander, Cybercrime Squad, State Crime Command. As the Commander of the Cybercrime squad, he is responsible for providing high level corporate advice on cyber dependent and cyber enabled crime, in the context of organised and serious crime. As the corporate spokesperson for cybercrime for the NSWPF, he is focused on developing key stakeholder relationships with partner law enforcement agencies and external bodies.

Simon Darcy (Professor of Social Inclusion at UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney)

Simon Darcy

Professor of Social Inclusion at UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney

Simon Darcy is an interdisciplinary researcher with expertise in developing inclusive organisational approaches to diversity groups. Simon has a professional background as an environmental planner and access auditor who has used these skills in strategic planning and research to improve business practice of venues, major events and volunteer management at Olympic and Paralympic games.

He is actively involved in changing business, government and the not-for-profit sectors practice through an evidence based approach. Simon was a founding member and past VP of the Association of Consultants in Access Australia, is a current member of Standards Australia committees on AS1428.1 and AS1428.6 for access and mobility, Australian representative to the International Standards Organization’s ISO/DIS 21902 tourism and related services - Accessible Tourism for All.

Simon’s address will draw on his personal, professional and technical knowledge of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Australian Disability Strategy 2021-2031 can bring to the venue sector through understanding how to best provide an equality of experience to improve the social participation of people with disability as consumers, participants, volunteers and employees.

Sarah Derry (Chief Executive Officer at Accor Pacific)

Sarah Derry

Chief Executive Officer at Accor Pacific

Sarah joined Accor in April 2017 to lead Talent and Culture, before her appointment to CEO in February 2022.

Sarah has over 30 years’ experience in hospitality, working for international hotel companies and excelling in her early career in operations. Sarah has an entrepreneurial background, having owned and operated her own successful business for over 10 years before joining Accor.

As Senior Vice President of Talent and Culture, Sarah was responsible for transforming Accor’s people and culture strategies, successfully integrating Accor’s HEARTIST values and culture into operations and guest service across Australia and New Zealand.

Sarah has completed post-graduate studies in Human Resource Management, Training, Executive Coaching and Organisational Development. Sarah is an active Director in companies in Australia and New Zealand.

Sarah is committed to causes and organisations that make a difference to the broader community and tries to find innovative ways to drive positive change in the world, especially in education, wellbeing and social impact. Sarah is an advisor to Two Good Co who support women in crisis through catering, employment and training pathways. Sarah is also an advisor to founder of BETTER Timor who are committed to empowering East Timor through Education.

Sarah is a respected speaker and expert in the areas of strategic business management, organisational behaviour, leadership development, culture transformation and executive coaching.

Rachel Dolan (Head of Food & Beverage at Melbourne & Olympic Parks)

Rachel Dolan

Head of Food & Beverage at Melbourne & Olympic Parks

Rachel has over 20 years of international experience in the service and hospitality industry in both Australia and the UK.
Rachel has an unwavering focus on outstanding customer experience, and brings a rare combination of experience in strategy, business development, and operational service delivery.

She is currently the inaugural Head of Food and Beverage (F&B) at Melbourne Olympic Parks, with accountability for expediting M&OP’s strategy to deliver world class hospitality experiences. She has responsibility for the F&B offering across the five venues, including the new function centre CENTREPIECE, and manages the relationship with the precinct’s two catering partners: Delaware North and O’Brien’s.

Previous roles include seven years working for Epicure/Spotless designing, marketing and operationalising unique culinary experiences within some of Australia’s most iconic venues including the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Taronga Zoo and the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre (PCEC). She has also worked in consultancy, including advising the MCG on the potential to transition to an in-house catering model.

Rachel’s passion is ensuring the customer remains central to all hospitality services and offerings. She has worked on a number of stadia and venue innovation projects including payment methods, way-finding and closed loop membership cards to understand and help alter customer behaviour to deliver an enhanced venue experience and improved financial outcomes.

Anthony Duffy AVM (Managing Director of VIPeople)

Anthony Duffy AVM

Managing Director of VIPeople

Anthony Duffy AVM is the owner and Managing Director of VIPeople, having contributed to the venue industry for over 30 years at some of Sydney’s iconic sports and entertainment facilities, prior to commencing VIPeople in 2001. As a Member since the VMA’s inception, Anthony brings a wealth of experience and currently sits on the VMA Board; with a previous 10–year tenure and a 21–year role as a member of the Venue Management School Committee. In 2019, Anthony was inducted as a ‘Fellow’ of the Customer Service Institute of Australia.

Jane Fernandez (Chief Operating Officer Australia at FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023)

Jane Fernandez

Chief Operating Officer Australia at FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023

Jane Fernandez is the Chief Operating Officer, Australia, FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.

Jane led Football Australia’s successful bid to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, one of the world’s largest international sporting events. Previously, Jane was Head of Sport for the Australian Olympic Committee managing key aspects of Australia’s participation in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and Tournament Director of the AFC Asian Cup 2015.

Her career in major sports events spans more than 20 years and includes the 2003 Rugby World Cup and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Jane is passionate about the power of sport and major sports events to drive social change and to leave a positive legacy.

Dwane Goodman (Chief Operating Officer at GEMA Group)

Dwane Goodman

Chief Operating Officer at GEMA Group

Dwane Goodman is the Chief Operating Officer of the Gema Group. He has over 25 years’ experience in event delivery, catering and kitchen operation. Dwane is a graduate of the Venue Management School as well as holding a Diploma in Commercial Cookery. Dwane has worked in some of the world’s best hotels, stadiums and venues with stints in London, Indonesia and Thailand. Dwane oversees Gema Groups day to day operations, quality control, staffing and client management and joined Gema following 8 years at Sydney Showground as the head of Catering & Customer Service. Gema delivers events such as Australian Formula One, The Moto GP, APT CUP and the National Supercar Event Schedule. Gema also deliver catering services at venues throughout Australia including GIO stadium, Manuka Oval, Brookvale Oval, Points Bet stadium and the International Tennis Centre at SOP. In his previous role Dwane managed the day to day operations of all event and non event day catering and held the sites' liquor licence delivering 14 Sydney Royal Easter Shows throughout his tenure.


Bernie Haldane

GM Programming & Presenter Services & Deputy Director of Auckland Live

Bernie has been Deputy Director, General Manager Programming & Presenter Services since December 2015 overseeing the development and delivery of a broad range of programmes of arts and entertainment across our venues. Prior to joining Auckland Live, Bernie’s key industry roles included serving as Director, Presenter Services at Arts Centre Melbourne, overseeing the management of all key venue hire relationships and as Chief Executive of HotHouse Theatre, a medium sized theatre company with a formidable reputation nationally creating and touring new theatre work. She brings further skills in technical management, financial management, business practice and government relationships.

Bernie has served on numerous Australian industry groups with a focus on touring nationally and internationally and brings a passion for supporting artists extend the life of their work. She is also recipient of a Churchill Fellowship investigating sustainable theatre models, producer/presenter relationships and practices for new work development and touring in the UK, Canada and USA.

Peter Harcourt OAM (AFL Medical Consultant at Australian Football League)

Peter Harcourt OAM

AFL Medical Consultant at Australian Football League

Dr Peter Harcourt OAM is a Sport and Exercise Physician based in Melbourne who has been involved in the management of elite and professional athletes in Australian Rules, cricket and basketball as well as an involvement with Olympic and Commonwealth Games. In navigating the pandemic, Peter has supported FIBA (world basketball), ICC (cricket), AFL, Cricket Australia, Basketball Australia and, in the specific circumstances of sporting arenas and facilities, he has been CMO and Biosecurity Advisory to the Melbourne Olympic Park Trust in Victoria. He was recently appointed to the Independent Pandemic Advisory Committee in Victoria.

Angela Higgins (Managing Director of Antix Management)

Angela Higgins

Managing Director of Antix Management

With 25 years’ experience in the entertainment industry, Angela Higgins is recognised for her deep industry knowledge, global connections, and data-driven insights on the Australian and New Zealand markets. Angela formed Antix Management in 2007 to support international and domestic producers and venues with sales and ticketing strategy. Current productions include Disney’s Frozen, SIX and Moulin Rouge!

Tracey Holmes (Presenter and Journalist at ABC)

Tracey Holmes

Presenter and Journalist at ABC

Tracey Holmes is an award-winning senior reporter/presenter focusing on the politics, governance and business of sport.

She was Australia's first female host of a national sports program — ABC Grandstand — after starting as a specialist broadcast trainee in the late 80s.

She has anchored, reported and commentated from many of the world's biggest events, including 12 Olympic games.

She has a Master of Communications degree and is currently completing a Master of Laws at the University of Melbourne.

Janet Horton (Facilitator & Coach at Dymanic Facilitation)

Janet Horton

Facilitator & Coach at Dymanic Facilitation

Janet Horton is a professional facilitator and coach with a simple idea: that great cultures start with great leaders. She is on a mission to make work fun. Janet believes that people learn best when they are smiling, so she mixes practical leadership lessons with a playful, relatable style.

Matthew Howe AVM (Managing Director of Avision Advisory)

Matthew Howe AVM

Managing Director of Avision Advisory

As a venue and events industry leader, he has held senior executive roles in some of Australia’s most iconic venues such as Crown Melbourne, Melbourne and Olympic Parks, Southern Cross Station, and Federation Square.

Matthew has led large-scale operational teams and major infrastructure developments. As a Non-Executive Director of the VMA, he is committed to developing the industry’s future leaders and the long-term development of the industry.

Cameron Hoy (Managing Director of Ticketek)

Cameron Hoy

Managing Director of Ticketek

Cameron Hoy, TEG’s Global Managing Director of Ticketek & Chief Digital Officer, is a highly respected industry leader with three decades of senior level experience across technology, e-commerce, media and entertainment. Joining Ticketek Australia as Director of Sales and Marketing in 2007, Cameron became Managing Director in 2010. Cameron now leads a global ticketing business operating across Australia, New Zealand, the Asia Pacific and the United Kingdom. Cameron was instrumental in establishing TEG’s Ovation business which provides Sporting Organisations, Venues, Promoters and Producers, with a single destination for analytics, data science, research, personalisation and advanced digital marketing. His passion for building high performing teams is reflective of a track record of achieving growth in highly competitive markets and of delivering innovative tech solutions from concept through to market.

Dan Johnston (Director of Digital Transformation at Arts Centre Melbourne)

Dan Johnston

Director of Digital Transformation at Arts Centre Melbourne

Dan is a technology leader with a diverse professional background, with over 25 years of experience. For the last 13 years Dan has been leading technology transformation within the venues industry, at Arts Centre Melbourne, and previously at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Dan is currently responsible for digital transformation at Arts Centre Melbourne and leads the centre’s technology teams. Dan holds a Master of Business Administration and has a passion for solving the many challenges relating to providing large venue technology solutions.

Antony Jones (Chief Operating Officer at Merivale)

Antony Jones

Chief Operating Officer at Merivale

A consummate professional with a career spanning two decades in the hospitality industry, Antony sits on the Merivale executive team leading the commercial function within the Merivale group. Working closely alongside CEO Justin Hemmes for over 10 years, Antony (known as ‘AJ’ to most) is a respected senior leader in the cultural development and commercial performance of Merivale’s acclaimed hospitality teams that serve a rapidly expanding portfolio of more than 70 food and beverage venues.

Geoff Jones (Chief Executive Officer at TEG Live)

Geoff Jones

Chief Executive Officer at TEG Live

Geoff Jones is the Group Chief Executive Officer of TEG, a leading global live entertainment, ticketing and technology business which sits at the heart of the live experience for millions of fans.

Geoff is the architect of TEG’s integrated model through which it has multiplied in scale, value, and geographic footprint under his stewardship. TEG has 25 branded companies under its banner and operates in 8 countries. Geoff has been Group CEO since 2011. In 2010, Geoff was a Partner at SEL, a prominent sports & entertainment business.

Geoff was CEO of Ticketek from 2007 to 2009 where he led a period of rapid growth in market share and technological development.

Geoff was National Sales Director of the Foster’s Group from 2002 to 2007. Prior to that he was Director of IMG between 1998 and 2002, where he was CEO of the Gold Coast Indy, Director of Motorsport in Asia Pacific, and General Manager Queensland. His first career was as an Army Officer, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and serving in a wide range of roles in Australia and Canada. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in 1997.

He sits on the Board of the Gold Coast Titans (NRL) and has previously served on the Gold Coast Suns (AFL), Invictus Games, the Australian Rugby Foundation, Australian Motorsport Commission, and Walkinshaw Group Boards. Geoff is unique in that he has been a Director of an AFL, NRL and Rugby Union Club.

Geoff has a BA from UNSW, a MA in International Relations from UNSW, and a Diploma in Public Policy from Deakin University.

Tom Kimball (Manager at Queensland Country Bank Stadium)

Tom Kimball

Manager at Queensland Country Bank Stadium

Tom has been in the industry for 15 years and held a variety of senior events and operations roles across The Gabba, SCG / Allianz Stadium, International Convention Centre (Sydney), Sport Promoter, Suncorp Stadium and now stadium Manager at Queensland Country Bank Stadium. His career highlights include delivery of MLB Opening Series (SCG, 2014), first Rugby League International in US (England v NZ, Denver Broncos Stadium 2018), 2020 AFL Grand Final at The Gabba and State of Origin Game 1 at QCBS (first regional venue to host Origin).

Melissa King (Chief Executive at FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Local Organising Committee)

Melissa King

Chief Executive at FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Local Organising Committee

Melissa is currently the Chief Executive of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Local Organising Committee (The most prestigious Women’s Basketball title in international basketball being held in Sydney 22 September to 1 October 2022). Prior to this she has worked in Corporate, Government, Sport and For Purpose sectors in Humanitarian, Arts, International Events, Governance, Behavioural and Health sectors. Melissa’s strategic perspective coupled with strong stakeholder engagement, marketing communications, sponsorship and business development skills, has seen her represent organisations including Surf Life Saving Australia, Sydney Opera House, Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet – APEC Australia 2007 Taskforce and the Governance Institute. Melissa sits on the board of ASX listed WhiteHawk (cyber risk) and the United Nations Association of Australia.

Phil King AVM (General Manager - Adelaide Entertainment Centre & Coopers Stadium at Adelaide Venue Management Corporation)

Phil King AVM

General Manager - Adelaide Entertainment Centre & Coopers Stadium at Adelaide Venue Management Corporation

Phil King AVM is the General Manager of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Coopers Stadium. His role encompasses the overall managerial responsibility for the operational and commercial aspects of both venues.
Prior to moving to Adelaide, Phil was the Director of Live Entertainment at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICCS) from 2016 to 2018 and was part of the pre–opening team. From 2011 to 2015 Phil was the Commercial Manager at Qudos Bank Arena (QBA), Australia’s largest indoor arena. Prior to working at QBA, Phil was the Commercial Manager at Suncorp Stadium, widely regarded as the best rectangular venue in Australia, working there from 2004 to 2011.
Phil commenced in the venue management industry at Marvel Stadium in 2001 (formerly Colonial Stadium). Phil is well recognised as a Senior Venue Management Professional with more than 18 years’ experience across Stadia and Arena’s. Phil is an Accredited Venue Manager (AVM), and an alumnus of the inaugural Venue Management School’s Graduate Institute Program, a current instructor at the Venue Management School and a VMA Board Member from 2017 to 2022.

Mark Kneebone (Managing Director of Live Nation New Zealand)

Mark Kneebone

Managing Director of Live Nation New Zealand

Mark Kneebone is the Managing Director of Live Nation New Zealand and Vice President of Talent Development & Acquisition for Live Nation Australasia. As well as running the promoter department for Australasia, Mark heads up and leads the strategy for the New Zealand business comprising of Live Nation touring, ticketing, festivals and venues.

Mark’s foray into the music industry began with running metal music label Roadrunner Records in his twenties before turning to promoting shows. As well being involved in promoting the New Zealand shows of some of music’s biggest acts including Adele, P!NK, and Kendrick Lamar, Mark has also had a hand in breaking some of music’s top indie acts.

In 2018, Mark was the promoter involved in bringing Childish Gambino’s experimental festival PHAROS to New Zealand – only the second time the event had been held globally. He was also a co-promoter for stadium charity event, You Are Us, which raised more than $1.35 million for the victims of the Christchurch terror attacks in 2019.

In addition to Mark’s role with Live Nation, he is one of the founders of Laneway Festival in New Zealand, now in its 12th year.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Communications from Auckland University of Technology. He sits on the board of the New Zealand Promoter’s Association.

Simon Kuestenmacher (Co-Founder & Director of Research at The Demographics Group)

Simon Kuestenmacher

Co-Founder & Director of Research at The Demographics Group

Simon Kuestenmacher is a Co-Founder of The Demographics Group together with Bernard Salt. The group provides specialist advice on demographic, consumer, and social trends to businesses and governments.

Simon has a Bachelor in geography from Humboldt University in Berlin and a Master of Urban Geography from Melbourne University; he writes a weekly column for The New Daily and a monthly column for The Australian newspaper. In his spare time Simon runs what is by now the world’s largest Twitter account dedicated to maps and data. He has amassed over 350,000 followers globally, reaches over 25 million people every month and ranks as one of the world’s Top 10 influencers in data.

Craig Lovett (Chair & Founder of Incognitus)

Craig Lovett

Chair & Founder of Incognitus

Craig Lovett is the Chairman and founder of Incognitus, a boutique Event Management company, which has operated on a global scale since 2008. Over the past 35 years Craig has become a well-recognised success by his peers and clients alike, whilst his business and relationship skills have seen rapid expansion throughout Australia, United States of America, United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East. As one of the most experienced professionals in the area of event management and sustainable strategies for global events, his portfolio includes:
• 8 Olympic Games
• 6 Commonwealth Games
• Over 50 Tennis grand slams
• Formula One events across the world

Craig’s vision has been to build a business capable of mobilising large numbers of people, large quantities of equipment, and creating solutions to venues and events around the globe. His ability to combine the building of strong relationships with savvy business has ensured his success.

Brad Mayne CVE (President & Chief Executive Officer at International Association of Venue Managers)

Brad Mayne CVE

President & Chief Executive Officer at International Association of Venue Managers

Brad Mayne is President and Chief Executive Officer of International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) and the IAVM Foundation. IAVM represents public venue professionals from around the globe. Professional members manage public assembly venues that are positive economic organizations within their communities. A diverse list of member venues includes arenas, convention centers, exhibit halls, performing arts centers, universities, stadiums, complexes, festivals, fairgrounds, amphitheaters, and race tracks.

Brad has vast management experience in professional sports venues including: President & CEO, MetLife Stadium 2012-2016. President & CEO, American Airlines Center 1998-2012 (financing, design, construction and managing). GM & Regional Manager, Honda Center, Ogden Entertainment 1991-1998 (design, construction and managing)
Currently serving as Director on the Board for Events Industry Council and Cotton Bowl Classic. Active in the communities Mayne has resided including he has served on Board of Directors for Super Bowl XLVIII, Sports Commissions, DMOs, Chambers of Commerce and as Governor for the Continental Indoor Soccer League.

Rod McGeoch AO (Chairman at SureVision)

Rod McGeoch AO

Chairman at SureVision

Rod McGeoch rose to prominence as the leader of Sydney's successful Olympics 2000 bid, but he’s had a long and remarkable career at the forefront of business, sports administration, and the legal profession. In fact, he has been described as one of Australasia's most influential directors.

His current appointments include Chairman of Chubb Insurance Australia Limited, Vantage Private Equity Growth Limited, BGP Holdings Plc, and Australasian Media Co. Rod is a member of the Board of Destination NSW and is Trustee and Deputy Chairman of the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sports Ground Trust and was recently appointed by the NSW Government as the incoming Deputy Chairman for the new super agency to run NSW sporting and entertainment venues.

Wayne Middleton CVE (Principal at Reliance Risk Pty Ltd)

Wayne Middleton CVE

Principal at Reliance Risk Pty Ltd

Wayne Middleton CVE is a risk management consultant and Principal of Reliance Risk. Reliance Risk helps public venues, events, sports and companies in the entertainment industry to manage risk. He has over 30 years’ experience in management and operational roles in the venues and events industries and over 20 years as a risk management professional. He is also a VMS graduate (1996).
Wayne holds a Master Degree in Risk Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Diploma in Security Risk Management.

He also holds a Certified Venue Executive (CVE) designation awarded by the International Association of Venue Managers

Jenny Muldoon (Head of Visitor Services at Sydney Opera House)

Jenny Muldoon

Head of Visitor Services at Sydney Opera House

Jenny holds more than 35 years’ experience within the security industry, with 15 of those years in senior executive positions in Security, Organisational Change, Emergency management and Business Resilience. In more recent years her role has focused on Safety, Risk and customer excellence at Sydney Opera House where she holds the role of Head of Visitor Services and is responsible for the largest customer facing teams within the Opera House. She has implemented large scale organisational training programs for cultural change in customer excellence, diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Jenny also held the Role of Head of Security for Sydney Opera House from 2010 to 2016 and has worked internationally across the highly regulated environment in aviation and law enforcement industries, and has engaged over a long period with the counter-terrorism community and with Federal and State Governments. Jenny was a detective within the NSW Police and held this position for 13 years.

Andrea Nelson (Chief Executive Officer at ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022)

Andrea Nelson

Chief Executive Officer at ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022

Andrea is CEO of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, the premier event in women’s cricket due be hosted in New Zealand in 2022. Andrea brings significant major event experience to her role, having previously been GM New Zealand for the Rugby League World Cup 2017, and Director of Marketing and Communications for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, and having held senior Communications roles with London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Milton OBrien CVE (Senior Director of Venues and Commercial at Venues Canberra)

Milton OBrien CVE

Senior Director of Venues and Commercial at Venues Canberra

Milton OBrien CVE is currently the Senior Director of Venues and Commercial for Venues Canberra with oversite of GIO Stadium, Manuka Oval and Exhibition Park. He is responsible for the acquisition and delivery of venue content for all three venues as well as increasing the commercial return on the venues commercial rights.

With over 24 years’ experience in Stadia and indoor Arena’s Milton started his venue management career in Wollongong opening the WIN Entertainment Centre in 1998 and managing WIN Stadium.

From 2009 t0 2013 Milton worked in Qatar as General Manager of Venues and Visitor Services for Aspire Zone commercialising the various venues and developing content across the Aspire Zone.

In 2013 Milton returned to Sydney to take up the role as Acting General Manager of Parramatta Stadium starting a $29m redevelopment. In that time the Western Sydney Wanderers won the Asian Champions League selling out Parramatta Stadium throughout that time.

Milton has worked as a consultant on the new Port Moresby Stadium opening the venue in January 2016 and worked for a number of sporting franchises including licence bids for football and netball.

Milton is a former Board member of the VMA and a Certified Venue Executive.

Daniel Paone (General Manager – VIC/TAS at Return It)

Daniel Paone

General Manager – VIC/TAS at Return It

Daniel has spent two decades working in the Waste & Recycling Industry leading the development and growth of Waste Management & Sustainable Solutions. Daniel prides himself on the ability to guide his clients divert waste from landfill and access a range of Sustainable Waste & Recycling Solutions. With a relentless focus on segregating at the source, his guidance will assist to breakdown your waste streams and send valuable commodities to the right locations, driving a Circular Economy solution.

Lynell Peck (Director of Culinary Services at International Convention Centre Sydney)

Lynell Peck

Director of Culinary Services at International Convention Centre Sydney

ICC Sydney’s Director of Culinary Services, Lynell Peck, is an industry veteran with over 35 years’ experience in hospitality and event management at leading venues.

Lynell leads a team of over 500 people to deliver an extraordinary culinary experience for clients and event attendees at ICC Sydney. She has set new culinary standards across the board with ICC Sydney’s presentation, imagination and sustainable product sourcing, including an emphasis on collaborating with an extensive network of NSW-based food and beverage suppliers and producers.

Lynell’s exceptional leadership and service has been recognised through numerous accolades including, NSW Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence 2018 Sydney Metropolitan Function/Convention Centre Caterer.

Mark Piwkowski (Chief Executive Officer at Quayclean Australia)

Mark Piwkowski

Chief Executive Officer at Quayclean Australia

Mark Piwkowski has been an inspirational leader of Quayclean for over ten years, following over 25 years in senior executive roles in the service industry including commercial and government property and facility management services. Mark is passionate about building first-class teams through an engaging culture, supporting and nurturing talent that demonstrates an ability to build first class customer partnerships. Mark has held senior positions in retail management and international services in Australia, UK and NZ, and his last position in corporate life as CEO at Programmed’s Property Services business. He holds a Bachelor of Business and is a graduate of Macquarie Graduate School of Management and Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Programme 179.


Clifford "Rip" Rippetoe CVE

President & Chief Executive Officer at San Diego Convention Centre

Clifford "Rip" Rippetoe, Certified Venue Executive (CVE), is a convention and meeting industry leader who serves as President and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation. He has worked for organizations hosting top national tradeshows and conventions, including the Olympic Winter Games of 2002, and for large-scale public assembly facilities such as the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake and the Kentucky Expo Center.

In San Diego, he serves on the Boards of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, and San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl. He is also Chair of the Sports San Diego Advisory Board, and Board Secretary for the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and serves on its executive committee. In support of arts and tourism, he is a Steering Committee Member for the Comic-Con Museum and an Advisor for the San Diego County Lodging Association and the San Diego Tourism Authority.

Rip is the Immediate Past Chair of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Board of Directors.

Stephen Saunders (Group General Manger - Event Acquisition and Partnerships at Venues NSW)

Stephen Saunders

Group General Manger - Event Acquisition and Partnerships at Venues NSW

Stephen is responsible for event acquisition for the Venues NSW network and key venue supply agreements including catering services, ticketing and merchandise for the Moore Park Venues.

Stephen joined the Sydney Cricket and Sports Grounds in April 2017 following senior roles as Head of Sport with TEG Live (responsibility for Ticketek), Head of Sponsorship & Events at Vodafone (Vodafone Formula 1, Cricket Australia sponsorships, V8 Supercars and music properties) and IMG in Australia and the United Kingdom (Gold Coast Indy, Bathurst 1000, World Matchplay golf and the Sydney International Tennis tournament).

Stephen holds a Bachelor of Business Management, Marketing and HR from the University of Queensland.

Adam Summerville (CEO & Managing Partner of Ground Control Global)

Adam Summerville

CEO & Managing Partner of Ground Control Global

Adam Summerville has been in Senior Leadership roles across food and beverage for 30+ years including nearly a decade as CEO of Emirates Leisure Retail. In 2018 he founded Ground Control Global a collection of hospitality CEO’s who were focused on improving food and beverage offers and customer experience at Sports Precincts and Airports. Adam has worked with most major Australian Stadiums and Precincts, including most recently the AFL and Marvel Stadium, Melbourne Park and with VNSW across the SCG and new SFS.

Gail Symons (Human Resource Executive at Evolving Organisations)

Gail Symons

Human Resource Executive at Evolving Organisations

Gail is a Human Resource Executive with expertise in workplace culture and diversity. This expertise comes from working in corporate environments where business challenges required different problem solving approaches. She has worked in Qantas, Singtel Optus, Jurlique, Coates Hire and consulted with Boral, Ventia and Ausgrid. She currently works with the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Film Festival and the Sydney Writer’s festival. She has won National and International awards for her work in this space in both Qantas and Jurlique.

Gail is passionate about helping businesses create pragmatic and commercially focussed solutions in what has traditionally been regarded as an ‘HR area’.

She has degrees in Sociology and Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Organisation Development where she won the Valedictorian award for her thesis on ‘Managing Performance Across Cultures’. She is of Sri Lankan Heritage and moved here with her family at 17 years of age. Gail has lived and worked in Singapore and the Asia Pacific Region for many years. Because of this unique combination of professional experience, academic credentials and lived experience, Gail is regarded as a leader in the areas of culture and diversity and how they can add commercial value to an organisation.

Houri Tapiki (General Manager at Theatre Royal Sydney)

Houri Tapiki

General Manager at Theatre Royal Sydney

With over 20 years’ experience in Venues, ticketing and events, Houri Tapiki has a wealth of experience both locally and internationally leading large-scale projects and events within the Entertainment industry.

Prior to joining the recently re-opened Theatre Royal Sydney, Houri held a national role leading the Client Services teams at Ticketek, working closely with major Theatres, Arenas and Stadiums across the country.

She was also an instrumental part of the pre-opening and opening team for Dubai Opera, a 2000-seat multi format theatre located in the heart of Downtown Dubai.

Houri has a passion for building exceptional customer experiences and a dedication to consistently exceeding customer expectations. In February 2021, Houri joined Trafalgar Entertainment as Head of Customer Experience for Theatre Royal Sydney before being promoted to General Manager in December of the same year.

Gavin Taylor (Managing Director of Ticketmaster)

Gavin Taylor

Managing Director of Ticketmaster

Gavin Taylor is the Managing Director of Ticketmaster Australia, is a seasoned venue and sports administration professional with experience across both commercial and government sectors, including owning and operating businesses in the hospitality and Health & Fitness industries.

Gavin moved to Melbourne from Perth in January 2021 to take up the role with Ticketmaster where he is responsible for managing all aspects of the company’s strategy, products and ticketing solutions for clients and fans across the market.

Gavin has deep industry knowledge in business strategy, leadership and venue management demonstrated through his most recent roles as Chief Executive Officer at the West Australian Football Commission, as well as a General Manager at Perth Stadium Management leading stadium operations at Subiaco Oval.

Jarrod Walsh (Master of Ceremonies)

Jarrod Walsh

Master of Ceremonies

Jarrod Walsh is the voice of Australian Sport.

Locally, Jarrod represents all of the national league teams on their game day including Port Adelaide (AFL), Adelaide United (A-League), Adelaide Strikers (BBL), Adelaide Thunderbirds (SSN) and Adelaide 36ers (NBL). He is also the voice of National Australian sporting organisations being the match day emcee for the Australian Socceroos, Australian Boomers and Cricket Australia’s T20 side. Not only does Jarrod provide the match day experience, he also plays a key role in consulting with the clubs to ensure the fans have the best engagement in the country.

A highly sought after Corporate MC, Jarrod Walsh also ensures your business is represented professionally, with his laid back and fun presenting style, ensuring the crowds attention is always captured.

With a focus on connection, Jarrod also runs a successful Communications Workshop – helping people of all backgrounds understand their value and finding the confidence to speak openly, with no fear.

With 20 years experience in radio at the ABC, Nova Entertainment and FiveAA and working with some of the biggest businesses and brands in South Australia and beyond, Jarrod is the perfect host for you and your companies needs.

Karen Webb (NSW Police Commissioner at NSW Police Force)

Karen Webb

NSW Police Commissioner at NSW Police Force

Commissioner Karen Webb joined NSW Police Force in May 1987 and has performed general duties and criminal investigations both in the metropolitan area of Sydney and Regional NSW. She has performed duties at the Child Mistreatment Unit, Drug Enforcement Agency, Detectives Training Unit and command roles at Forensic Services Group, Local Area Commands, Operations Manager, North West Metropolitan Region Commander, State Surveillance Branch and Assistant Commissioner Police Transport & Public Safety Command and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.

Ma’am Webb has led high-level projects including a joint National Institute of Forensic Science/Prime Minister & Cabinet research project, National Accreditation of NSW Police Forensic Services laboratories, 90 Years and 100 Years of Women in Policing celebrations. She was awarded the Australian Police Medal in 2015.

Commissioner Webb has also commanded several operations including Invictus Games 2018, Australia Day 2018 & 2019, sporting events, crime reduction and public safety strategies and was a member of the World Youth Day command team. She was a Local Area Commander for the Merrylands High School riot, bias-crimes such as the Sri-Lankan acid burn attack and multiple drive-by shootings. These events received national and international media attention requiring high-level discussions and stakeholder engagement.

Ma’am Webb has undertaken numerous internal and external courses. Career highlights include the Detectives Education Program, Bachelor of Professional Studies, Executive Master of Public Administration, overseas study tours of the UK and USA. She completed the Australia and New Zealand Police Leadership Strategy and International Action Learning Group Pearls in Policing program and has also participated in the NSW Government Leadership Academy program.

Ma’am Webb has also served as the Corporate Sponsor for Women in Policing, LGBTI and Victims of Crime & Customer Service.

In August 2017 she was promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner at the Police Transport & Public Safety Command where she was responsible for several frontline and specialist commands including the Police Transport, Aviation, Dog, Major Events & Emergency Management Command, Marine Area Command, Mounted Unit and State Planning Unit.

In 2018, Commissioner Webb was appointed to the NSW Police Legacy Board and to the State Rescue Board. She was appointed the Deputy State Emergency Operations Controller in 2019 and worked closely with the emergency service agencies during the bushfires, floods and COVID-19 pandemic.

In June 2020, Ma’am Webb was appointed as the first female Commander of the Traffic & Highway Patrol Command before being promoted to Deputy Commissioner, Corporate Services a year later.

In November 2021, Premier Dominic Perrottet announced Ma’am Webb’s appointment as the 23rd Commissioner of the NSW Police Force. Commissioner Webb was formally sworn in at a ceremony in her hometown of Boorowa in February 2022, becoming the first woman to hold the position in the history of the state.

Commissioner Webb is a proud working parent of two sons.

Gus Worland (Founder of Gotcha4Life)

Gus Worland

Founder of Gotcha4Life

Gus Worland is an Australian television and radio personality and director and founder of mental health foundation, Gotcha4Life. He is well known for his series of reality television programs for Foxtel (An Aussie Goes Barmy, An Aussie Goes Bolly and An Aussie Goes Calypso) and A&E (Marathon Man). He has also covered Commonwealth and Olympic Games for Foxtel. Gus is a sporting tragic and continues to use his passion to entertain audiences. He appears on Fox Sports hosting Cricket Tragic (season 2 airing over the 2020 summer of cricket and regularly on Fox’s sports panel program, The Back Page. Gus spent 10 years in breakfast radio on Triple M. Starting on The Grill Team in 2009, within two years they doubled their ratings for this time slot, and Gus was awarded ‘Best On Air Newcomer’ at the 2010 Australian Commercial Radio Awards. The Grill Team changed to Moon Man in the Morning in 2019. In 2020, Gus moved to The Deadset Legends, a live sports chat show every Saturday Morning with Wendell Sailor and Jude Bolton. Due to popular demand the trio has moved to Sydney Triple M Drive in 2021 with the show being called The Rush Hour. Hosting the 2016 ABC series Man Up was pivotel for Gus. The series was an exploration of modern masculinity (which Gus views is toxic) and men’s mental health issues – challenging masculine stereotypes and getting men better connected and breaking the silence around suicide. Following the enormous impact of Man Up, Gus founded Gotcha4Life with the mission to target Men’s Mental Health. Gotcha4Life today drives real change and funds educational workshops and innovative training programs throughout Australia that build mental fitness in all individuals, organisations and communities to activate strong, open and binding relationships.

Tim Worton CVE (Group Director of Arenas at ASM Global Asia Pacific)

Tim Worton CVE

Group Director of Arenas at ASM Global Asia Pacific

Tim is Group Director of Arenas for ASM Global, the world’s largest venue management company. A 28 year veteran of the industry, he has oversight of Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, RAC Arena in Perth and Newcastle Entertainment Centre and works with ASM Global’s convention centres on live entertainment. He has served the VMA as a Councillor and President and as an instructor, committee member and Chairman of VMS and Dean of LI.

Mark Wright (Principal at Wright Venue Consulting)

Mark Wright

Principal at Wright Venue Consulting

During a career spanning 30 years and many thousands of events. Mark is a highly respected hospitality and venue specialist with significant catering and managerial experience. The former Group Executive Chef & Senior Management Team member with Compass Group UK, and Director of Member Services & Catering at Melbourne Stadiums Limited.

Mark embarked on the launch of his successful consulting company (Wright Venue Consulting) in 2017. 2019 saw Mark establish a second consulting business, Perfectly Paired Group Perfectly Paired. Mark also consults to several businesses within the events and entertainment industry on a wide range of subjects:
 Event Accreditation with Accredit Solutions
 Elimination of single use plastics with Wise – It's In Your Hands
 Mobile ordering and payments with Mr Yum

Mark has played a significant role in the progress and success of catering at many top venues that include Twickenham (London), Millennium Stadium (Cardiff), Aviva Stadium (Dublin), Allphones Arena (Sydney) and more latterly Etihad Stadium (Melbourne) where he was also responsible for the membership of the Medallion Club and Diamond Club, two of the most premium membership products in Australia.

In addition, Marks has also taken on responsibility for numerous venue remodelling and new builds at Twickenham, The Oval, Edgbaston, The O2, Anfield, Ricoh Arena, Aviva Stadium, Emirates Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Liberty Stadium, Cardiff City Stadium, Madjeski Stadium, London Stadium. He is also involved in the exciting new development of a stadium and Precinct with Western Melbourne Group.

Mark has a reputation for delivering outcomes, engaging a wide range of stakeholders at all levels, with a process driven approach from creation and development to implementation. His breadth of expertise covers all aspects of the venue catering business. This includes working with architects, builders and designers on layout and design of kitchens, public retail outlets, restaurants etc, negotiation of supplier agreements across all food and beverage products, design, costing and pricing of menu’s, interface with venue operators and sponsors to deliver their rights, all event operations, staff training, health, safety and hygiene control and financial management.

Mark Zundans CVE (General Manager at The Gabba)

Mark Zundans CVE

General Manager at The Gabba

Mark Zundans CVE is currently the General Manager of The Gabba, Brisbane’s iconic oval stadium. As a professional in the venue industry for over 20 years, Mark has held senior positions at venues around Australia, overseeing a number of major international sporting and entertainment events including all codes of football, cricket, court sports, motor sport, concerts, and festivals. Mark has been active in the development of the venue industry in local and international markets as a Board Member with VMA for five years as well as being a former member of the IAVM Diversification Committee, and a current member of the IAVM Certification Board. Mark graduated the Venue Management School in 2003, was awarded his AVM in 2013, and achieved his CVE qualification in 2015. Mark has been an Instructor the Venue Management School since 2011.