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 skill sets and allow attendees 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.


12:00 PM - 12:50 PM
Registration and Lunch
12:50 PM - 1:00 PM
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Moving through Conflict
Many people see conflict as a negative experience. In fact, conflict is a necessary part of our personal growth and development. However, conflict becomes a concern when the people involved ...
Many people see conflict as a negative experience. In fact, conflict is a necessary part of our personal growth and development. However, conflict becomes a concern when the people involved cannot work through it. When this type of conflict arises, negative energy can result, causing emotional distress and damaged relationships. This session will provide attendees the tools to assist in resolving conflict, provide skills to identify potentially aggressive behaviour, and de-escalation techniques conducive with their individual working environment.
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2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Managing People in the Venue Management Industry
Dwane Goodman, COO, Gema Group explores the importance of relationships in the venue management industry and how to manage people effectively.
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Afternoon tea
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Keynote Address - Leadership
Heather Clarke AVM, General Manager, Event Operations & Planning, Sydney Opera House, chats with Graeme Kearns, CEO of Foundation Theatres as they explore key leadership traits, share their ...
Heather Clarke AVM, General Manager, Event Operations & Planning, Sydney Opera House, chats with Graeme Kearns, CEO of Foundation Theatres as they explore key leadership traits, share their experiences and provide practical tips on what it means to be a leader in the venue management industry, along with Foundation Theatres' plans for new venues in Sydney.
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4:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Workshop Wrap Up


  • Heather Clarke AVM (General Manager, Event Operations & Planning at Sydney Opera House)

    Heather Clarke AVM

    General Manager, Event Operations & Planning at Sydney Opera House

    Heather is currently the General Manager, Event Operations & Planning at the Sydney Opera House and has over 30 years’ experience in event management across the arts and culture industries. Her extensive expertise includes experience in operational strategy development and implementation, budgeting and leadership management. She has a wealth of practical technical experience and has successfully managed tours into a wide variety of performing arts centres across a multitude of international venues.
    She has had the pleasure of working with some of the country’s most well–known Choreographers and Directors and has worked for many of Australia’s major arts companies including Opera Australia, Sydney Festival, Bell Shakespeare, Ausdance, PerformingLines, Meryl Tankard Australian Dance Theatre and Belvoir. Heather is a current VMA Board Member.

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  • Anthony Duffy AVM (MC) (Managing Director of VIPeople)

    Anthony Duffy AVM (MC)

    Managing Director of VIPeople

    Anthony Duffy is the owner and Managing Director of VIPeople; a division of Venue Industry Professionals Pty Ltd. Anthony has been a part of the venue industry for over 30 years at some of Sydney’s iconic sports and entertainment facilities. Anthony has established a reputation as one of the industry’s leading trainers on guest services, business continuity and improvement strategy, assessing client needs, monitoring service standards, and maintaining and strengthening existing relationships, along with new business development.
    Prior to the establishment of VIPeople in 2001, Anthony was employed as part of the management team at venues such as Accor Stadium, Allianz Stadium, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Aquatic & Athletic Centres and Sydney International Tennis Centre.
    Incorporated in Anthony’s extensive venue experience is the management of the event day workforce, with responsibilities including all aspects of staffing operations such as recruitment, training, event day management, rostering and employee relations for a workforce of up to 1,000 staff.
    Prior to the 2000 Olympic Games, Anthony was seconded by SOCOG to manage front of house operations at the Beach Volleyball venue. This position was responsible for staffing, ticketing and customer service at one of the most successful Olympic venues… Bondi Beach.
    In 2010, Anthony was awarded the inaugural “Allied Venue Professional of the Year” by the VMA Council and in 2013 was awarded “Accredited Venue Manager” status by the Venue Management Association.
    In 2015, Anthony was one of only four Australians to be awarded the coveted IAVM’s “Chairman’s Citation”, recognising his commitment to development of education in the industry, primarily through the establishment of the Australian Leadership Institute.
    In 2019, Anthony was awarded a “Fellowship” with the Customer Service Institute of Australia.
    In 2020, Anthony was re-elected to the VMA Board, having previously served as a Board Member for 12 years.

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  • Dwane Goodman (Chief Operating Officer at Gema Group)

    Dwane Goodman

    Chief Operating Officer at Gema Group

    Dwane joined the Gema Group as Chief Operating Officer in 2020, bringing with him 28 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, as well as a major presence here in Australia. Working for chains like Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, Emirates, Intercontinental Hotels and the Savoy Group. Working his way up through the kitchen to become the Group Executive Chef before making the switch to food and beverage operations and management. Dwane is part of the executive management team and oversees Gema’s group day to day operations in all 3 functional areas of the groups venue management, major event delivery and aviation lounges. Managing a national workforce in excess of 5000 staff members across events like the Melbourne F1, Moto GP, V8 Supercars, APT cup tennis as well as venues like GIO stadium, Brookvale oval, Cbus Super stadium, Queensland County Bank stadium, Central Coast stadium and Pointsbets stadium, to name a few.
    Dwane joined the Gema Group following eight years at the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW and Sydney Showground as the head of Catering & Customer Service. 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. He has delivered 14 Sydney Royal Easter Shows, large scale music festivals and gala dinners for 2,500 people.

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  • Graeme Kearns (Chief Executive Officer at Foundation Theatres)

    Graeme Kearns

    Chief Executive Officer at Foundation Theatres

    Graeme Kearns has led Foundation Theatres since he joined the company in 2009. Foundation Theatres owns and operate the Capitol Theatre and Sydney Lyric in Sydney and are currently planning two new theatres for Sydney. Prior to joining Foundation Theatres, Graeme was Commercial Director of one of the world’s leading event production companies. Whilst overseeing the organisation’s theatre operations, Graeme’s primary role focuses on the development of the organisation, strategic operations, theatrical investments and programming. Graeme has been a Member of VMA since 2010.

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  • Scott Taylor (Managing Director of Praesidium Risk and Resilience)

    Scott Taylor

    Managing Director of Praesidium Risk and Resilience


    With 27 years’ experience across the gamut of the security, safety and risk industry, Scott is a court and tribunal recognised expert and has a strategic and systematic approach to Security Management and Business Continuity Management. Scott is an industry Thought Leader and is often contacted by various media sources as a “Security Industry Specialist Spokesperson” and expert witness when security and risk related issues surface in the public arena. He has consulted and lectured throughout the Middle East and USA and has and worked with government, industry regulators and industry across all Australian States and Territories spanning the spectrum of security and risk as well as all industry verticals. Scott sits on numerous International security related councils to ensure he stays abreast of world best practice in his field of expertise which directly translates into improved outcomes for his clients.

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Ticket Pricing
VMA Member

VMA Member Ticket

Standard Price A$149
Non Member

Non Member Ticket

Standard Price A$300
VMA Member Group of 5 Ticket

The VMA is pleased to offer VMA Members a special discount of 5 tickets for $600.

Standard Price A$600
Non Member Group of 5 Ticket

Not a VMA Member? Still enjoy a great discount when you register 5 employees.

Standard Price A$1,000


SMC Function Centre

66 Goulburn St, Sydney NSW 2000
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

If you have any questions please contact Suzie Crawford

Contact Organizer

+61 412935731

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