The world leading Club Melbourne Ambassador Program was relaunched last night at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) with a continued focus on driving economic growth in Victoria through conferences.
Since 2005 the elite thinkers and leaders of the Club Melbourne Ambassador Program have collectively helped to attract more than 70 international conferences, boosting the Victorian economy by $450 million, showcasing expertise in fields such as science, medicine and technology to the world and creating new global alliances and opportunities.
The new direction of Club Melbourne addresses increasing international competition to create an even stronger, focused and more supportive network to secure and host international conferences in Melbourne.
The Governor of Victoria, the Hon. Alex Chernov, AC, QC attended the Club Melbourne 8th Anniversary Gala Dinner and said he was honoured to be Patron-in-Chief of the pioneering program.
“Club Melbourne provides a unique opportunity to connect prominent thinkers and leaders in the promotion of Melbourne as one of the world’s premier conference and event destinations. Its influence is global and the way it drives knowledge is pivotal to all our future as a forward thinking, smart economy,” the Governor said.
Business events help to align the strategic Victorian State Government priorities in key sectors and contribute over $1.2 billion annually into the local marketplace.
In just the last twelve months Melbourne hosted 10 international conferences that were secured by Ambassadors over the last eight years. They brought in almost 10,000 visitors from 49 countries, were worth $41 million in economic impact to Victoria and added to the social capital of the community by creating a sense of pride and place.
MCEC’s Chief Executive Peter King said: “I’m proud of the renewed investment and commitment we’ve made to Club Melbourne. Through our Ambassadors hard work, MCEC regularly hosts some of the largest and prestigious conferences in the world.
“These events connect world thought leaders and share knowledge, creating memorable experiences for our visitors and a lasting legacy for the community.”
During the evening six new Ambassadors from a wide variety of industries were welcomed to Club Melbourne, bringing a wealth of new experience, networks and potential conferences. The new Ambassadors included:
- Dr Cathy Foley: Chief of CSIRO’s Materials Science and Engineering Division.
- Professor Milton Hearn: Director of the Victorian Centre for Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing and Deputy Director of the Green Chemical Futures Centre at Monash University.
- Professor Christina Mitchell: Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University.
- Professor Ingrid Scheffer: Chair of Paediatric Neurology at The University of Melbourne and The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.
- Professor Hugh Taylor: Leads the Indigenous Eye Health Unit at The University of Melbourne.
- Associate Professor Jan Tennent: Chief Executive Officer of the Bio 21 Cluster.
Premier of Victoria Denis Napthine said: “As Patron, I welcome the new ambassadors to Club Melbourne and know that they will make an outstanding contribution to the growth of our economy and State.
“Their work will ensure Victoria’s global reputation as a leading research, knowledge and innovation centre of excellence,” Dr Napthine said.
Club Melbourne is owned and led by MCEC with support and collaboration from Melbourne Convention Bureau and the Victorian State Government.
From 40 original Club Melbourne Ambassadors in 2005, the program now includes ambassadors such as Emeritus Professor Sir Gustav Nossal AC, Laureate Professor Peter Doherty AC and Professor Suzanne Cory AC, along with other leaders from diverse disciplines of medicine, science and environment, technology, and engineering, business and education.