The prestigious Club Melbourne Ambassador Program celebrated its 11th Anniversary last night, with the induction of 13 world-leading Ambassadors, the announcement of the program’s inaugural Fellowship winner and yet another year of outstanding contribution to the State of Victoria.
The Hon. John Eren MP, Minister for Tourism and Major Events inducted the 13 influential Melburnians into the program, each of which brings a wealth of experience and international networks to Club Melbourne.
“These impressive individuals will play a key role in driving Victoria’s visitor economy, volunteering their knowledge, time and resources to secure international conferences for Melbourne which attract thousands of global visitors to our city,” Minister Eren said.
“They join a group of our city’s most elite thinkers, who support our competitive bid to host world-leading events, keep our on-going business events list strong and generate important lasting legacies for our community.
“On behalf of all Victorians, I thank all 120 Club Melbourne Ambassadors for their ongoing work promoting Melbourne as Australia’s premiere international convention and exhibition destination,” Minister Eren added.
In another highlight of the night, RMIT University’s Associate Professor, Sarah Spencer was named the inaugural Club Melbourne Fellow for her excellence in research, innovation and leadership on the emerging and complex field of obesity, ageing, neuro-inflammation and cognitive dysfunction.
The $10,000 Fellowship will enable Dr Spencer to attend the world’s foremost neuroscience conference, Neuroscience 2016 in San Diego, California. At the conference, Dr Spencer will present her latest research findings to the neuroscience community and co-chair a mini-symposium, opening up vital pathways for collaboration and new research opportunities.
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s (MCEC) Senior Manager of Club Melbourne and Business Development, Suzana Bishop congratulated Dr Spencer on her achievement, saying she looks forward to seeing how Dr Spencer grows her research as a result of attending the conference.
“Given the current world-wide epidemics of obesity and dementia, Dr Spencer’s research is of great importance. I am delighted to welcome Dr Spencer into the Club Melbourne network, where she will gain access to some of the world’s greatest minds and develop her potential to become an Ambassador herself.
“We look forward to continuing our support of high-quality local research projects such as Dr Spencer’s and are excited to share new research, ideas and innovations with Melbourne and the world for many years to come,” Mrs Bishop added.
In 2015/16, Club Melbourne Ambassadors secured 15 international conferences that were held at MCEC, resulting in over $31.7 million of economic impact to Victoria. Additionally, Ambassadors helped to win 15 bids for future events that will yield an estimated economic impact of more than $71.8 million for the State.
Club Melbourne currently consists of 120 inducted Ambassadors who have collectively been involved in securing over 117 international conventions for MCEC, worth over $658 million to the State of Victoria since the program’s inception.
“Club Melbourne continues to grow from strength to strength and, to this day, remains one of the world’s most influential Ambassador Programs,” Mrs Bishop noted.
Club Melbourne is an initiative of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, with support and collaboration from Melbourne Convention Bureau and the Victorian State Government.