Two of the best known members of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre’s team – Helen Mantellato and Annabel Norris – recently celebrated a collective 45 years at the venue.
Ms Mantellato, who joined the Centre in December 1987 five months before its official opening, has now been with the Centre for 25 years, while Ms Norris, who joined in February 1993, has reached her 20-year milestone.
Reflecting on her time at the venue, Ms Mantellato said she was one of the first people employed in the events department, joining as Assistant Conventions and Exhibitions Manager. For the past eight years she has held the position of Director of Sales – Exhibitions.
Ms Mantellato said she had remained at the venue because she found the environment highly stimulating and energising.
“Because of its reputation, the Centre attracts highly motivated individuals with specialised skills and it also attracts the best, most interesting and complex events. The combination of these factors means you work in an environment that is always challenging the norm, reviewing efficiencies and setting new benchmarks across all disciplines of the organisation,” Ms Mantellato said.
Ms Norris, who joined the Centre as Director of Sales, said she could not believe 20 years had passed since she joined the Centre.
“It’s a generation really and I can measure it through my son, who was seven when I started here – and is now an officer in the Royal Australian Navy.
“It’s been a privilege and a joy to represent and sell Sydney and Darling Harbour on the world stage over two decades – to be part of a bid team and to be catapulted into the world of academics, scientists, medical specialists, researchers, farmers, bankers and wine makers, and many more.
“But more importantly, it has been very special indeed to be part of the Centre team – many of whom have also been here for double digit years and who truly are a second family.”
Paying tribute to his two team members, Centre Chief Executive Ton van Amerongen said they both displayed incredible passion for their jobs and were a powerhouse of knowledge and wisdom.
“Helen and Annabel are very much part of the fabric of the Centre and exemplify the professionalism and dedication of our team which has seen the Centre lead the Australian events industry since our opening in 1988,” Mr van Amerongen said.
The Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre will close in December this year to allow for the creation of a new Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct, scheduled to open in late 2016.