Event Details

The VMA Professional Development Workshops are designed for operational/ frontline staff and aspiring managers ready to take the next step in their careers. These face-to-face half-day workshops will enhance their skill set and allow them to take the next step in their career.

Now more than ever, is the time to invest in your team. Keep your young professionals engaged and eager to progress within the venue management industry.

The VMA is committed to attendees' well being and delivering COVID safe events. All event attendees must adhere to the venue's COVID plan, condition of entry and current government mandates.


12 PM - 12:50 PM
Registration and Lunch
12:50 PM - 1 PM
1 PM - 2 PM
Behaviour Detection: How small changes in what you do can make a huge difference
Imagine having the ability to predict if someone or something poses a threat. Being able to read and understand another person’s body language seems like a superpower…but it isn’t.All employ...
Imagine having the ability to predict if someone or something poses a threat. Being able to read and understand another person’s body language seems like a superpower…but it isn’t.
All employees, no matter their role, can dramatically change the environment in which they work. They are subconsciously tasked with keeping the public safe but are not necessarily provided with the skills to do so.
There’s is no need for expensive equipment or extensive training. You don’t even need to work harder, just smarter. Behaviour detection is about changing your mindset. In this session, you will learn the skills to help you read people and show you how to improve your presence in an environment including real life experiences of what can go wrong if we don’t.
Understanding how someone feels when they have negative intent, and what small things you can do to make the environment less attractive goes a long way in keeping people safe and ultimately keeping you safe.
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2 PM - 3 PM
Working with Change
Matt Howe facilitates this session on how frontline employees can develop skills and strategies for working with change within operational teams. Donna Price and Danielle Bleazby share their...
Matt Howe facilitates this session on how frontline employees can develop skills and strategies for working with change within operational teams. Donna Price and Danielle Bleazby share their insights into different service models and the ever-changing demands over recent years.
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3 PM - 3:30 PM
Afternoon Tea
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Keynote Session - Leadership
This sessions explores how to develop career enduring leadership skills and the importance of excelling at customer service at an operational level for both internal and external customers.
4:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Workshop Wrap Up


  • Danielle Bleazby (Director of Venues at Melbourne & Olympic Parks)

    Danielle Bleazby

    Director of Venues at Melbourne & Olympic Parks

    Danielle is the newly appointed Director of Venues at Melbourne & Olympic Parks. Melbourne & Olympic Parks is home to six iconic venues, including Rod Laver Arena, AAMI Park, John Cain Arena, Margaret Court Arena, and the newly completed CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park and KIA Arena. Following the completion of the Victorian Government’s Melbourne Park Redevelopment, M&OP is looking forward to maximizing the potential of its venues, finding new opportunities to bring the entire precinct to life, and solidifying its place as Melbourne’s home of live events.

    Prior to commencing her role at Melbourne & Olympic Parks, Danielle was Executive Director of the South Melbourne Market, where she was responsible for managing the strategy, infrastructure, licensing, marketing, events, staff, and finances of this iconic Melbourne destination.

    Danielle has over 20 years’ experience in the events industry, having previously held roles with the AFL, Peter Jones Special Events and Hawthorn Football Club. During her time at the AFL, Danielle oversaw the delivery of football’s biggest events, including the Brownlow Medal, Grand Final Parade, Entertainment and Corporate Hospitality, match day production and much, much more.

    Danielle’s purpose is to ensure customer experience is at the heart of what she and the team delivers, and that every event exceeds all expectations.

    Danielle also chairs the Women for Challenge Committee, which delivers the very popular Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend Gala Dinner in support of Challenge, supporting kids with cancer. Danielle also sits on the Board of the Sandringham Football Club.

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  • Matthew Howe AVM MAICD (Facilitator) (Consultant)

    Matthew Howe AVM MAICD (Facilitator)


    Matthew has over 20 years of experience in the venue and events industry, commencing in production and stage management. His career has taken him from theatres and touring productions to holding senior executive positions in some of the world-leading venues and precincts.
    His executive leadership roles include iconic venues such as Crown Resorts Melbourne, Melbourne and Olympic Parks, Southern Cross Station and Federation Square.
    He has led large-scale operational teams delivering iconic global events and critical infrastructure operations across master planning projects, commercial developments, significant capital works programs, and technology innovation projects across significant infrastructure and public precincts.
    A leader committed to long term success working across all levels to deliver strategic, operational outcomes. He is a passionate coach, mentor and enabler of leading event management and public precinct teams.
    Matthew is deeply committed to protecting critical social infrastructure and public safety and is a regular contributor to the Barrington Centre Executive Consequence Management Course specialising in Strategy in Action.
    As a Non-Executive Director of the Venue Management Association (Asia Pacific), he continues his commitment to developing the industry’s future leaders and the long-term development of the venues and events sector.

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  • Donna Price (General Manager, People and Culture at Carlton Football Club)

    Donna Price

    General Manager, People and Culture at Carlton Football Club

    Donna Price is currently the General Manager, People and Culture at Carlton Football Club, recently joining Carlton after nine years as the GM People and Culture for the Melbourne Cricket Club. Donna has held a range of senior line management and HR management roles with a range of leading companies within the banking and finance sector, and over recent years within the sport and entertainment sector, including the Melbourne Cricket Club, Victoria Racing Club, Melbourne & Olympic Park, and Marvel Stadium.
    Donna’s focus in these organisations has centred on the implementation of a range of employee engagement initiatives across multiple workforces, creating and building a high performance, customer focused culture to ensure that each of those organisations continue to be recognised as leading sports and entertainment venues both within Australia and throughout the world. At the Melbourne Cricket Club, Donna was one of the architects of the design and implementation of a CARE customer service program, touching all parts of the MCG operations, including over 1500 staff and partners.
    This program has won numerous awards, both within Australia and internationally, with the MCC recognised with back to back Australian and International awards, including winning “The Best of the Best” at the 2019 Australian Service Awards and the International Service Excellence Award (Medium Business) from the Customer Service Institute of America. Donna was also awarded the Customer Service Executive of the Year (Service Champion) in late 2019.
    Donna has a Bachelor of Arts (major in Psychology), a Diploma in Human Resource Management and a Masters in Counselling (Psychology). She is also an accredited Executive Coach and recently completed a program with Harvard Business School on Transforming the Customer Experience. She is also part of the Deakin University Sports Management Advisory Group and is a Board Member for the Northern Bullants Football Club.

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  • Andrew Travis AVM (Facilitator) (Chief Operating Officer at Melbourne & Olympic Parks)

    Andrew Travis AVM (Facilitator)

    Chief Operating Officer at Melbourne & Olympic Parks

    Andrew Travis is the Chief Operating Officer at Australia’s leading sport and entertainment precinct, Melbourne & Olympic Parks (M&OP).
    The former Gold Coast Suns (AFL) Chief Executive Officer and experienced sports and venue management professional is responsible for the operation of a precinct which is notably acclaimed for hosting the Australian Open Tennis, one of only four Grand Slam events in the World and a key pillar of Melbourne’s major event strategy.
    The precincts iconic venues, Rod Laver Arena, AAMI Park, John Cain Arena and Margaret Court Arena also host the city’s most celebrated national and international sports and entertainment events.
    He has a strong background in venue development, having overseen the development of the $144 million Metricon Stadium at Carrara, led the client team in the construction of the iconic $268 million AAMI Park and is currently leading the $272 million Stage 3 Redevelopment at M&OP which includes a new Conference Centre to be known as CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park.
    He is a graduate from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Senior Executive Symposium and was the recipient of the prestigious AFL Graeme Samuel Scholarship.
    Andrew qualified as a Certified Practising Accountant, is an Accredited Venue Manager (AVM) and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).
    Andrew is the current Dean of the VMA Leadership Institute

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  • Leanne Walsh (Founder and Principal Trainer of Baseline Behaviour and Consultancy)

    Leanne Walsh

    Founder and Principal Trainer of Baseline Behaviour and Consultancy


    Leanne is an expert in body language, deception detection and situational awareness, having studied and trained with some of best body language experts in the world such as Joe Navarro, Lena Sisco and Chase Hughes.
    The holder of an Expert Body Language Certificate from Joe Navarro Body Language Academy, recognised by the American Psychology Association, Leanne provides unique skills to identify intentions of people by the way they are interacting with others and the environment.
    Her training in interrogation, elicitation and deception detection coupled with her 21 years of state law enforcement experience within the NSWPF, sets her above the rest in situational awareness and hostility investigation.
    Leanne has travelled to London UK, where she was trained in the techniques of Project Servator from the National Project Servator Team.
    Leanne holds a Bachelor of Policing, as well as tertiary qualifications in security and risk management, training and assessing, emergency management and government investigations.
    Leanne is the Director of Baseline Behaviour and Consultancy Pty Ltd who specialise in training behaviour detection techniques to individuals and organisations to help eliminate the threat of hostile actions in public locations.

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Ticket Pricing
VMA Member

VMA Member Rate Ticket

Standard Price A$125
Non Member

Non Member Ticket

Standard Price A$300
Group Ticket

The VMA is pleased to offer Members a special discount of buy 4 tickets and get 1 free.

Standard Price A$500


CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park

Olympic Boulevard
Melbourne Victoria, Australia

If you have any questions please contact Zan Lewarn

Contact Organizer

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