Pictured L-R: Eric Chow, Tamsyn Van Rheenen, Julie Miller, Peter King, Paula Toal, Matthew Jackson, John Brumby and Paul Wood
The Club Melbourne Ambassador Program celebrated its 13th anniversary and another outstanding year at its annual dinner on Aug. 13. The evening saw the induction of five new Ambassadors and the awarding of its annual Fellowship.
Since the program’s inception in 2005, Club Melbourne has secured 131 international conferences that have delivered an economic impact worth more than $840 million, with support and collaboration from the Victorian State Government and the Melbourne Convention Bureau. The Club Melbourne Ambassador Program includes 123 eminent Victorians from diverse disciples of medicine, science and environment, technology, engineering, business and education, with only a select few invited to join the program each year. The five new Ambassadors officially inducted into the Program on the evening are all highly regarded and influential Melbournians within their respective fields.
“I congratulate our outstanding Ambassadors for their ongoing work in driving the visitor economy for our state and ensuring Melbourne continues to be Australia’s leading business events destination,” says the Hon. John Eren MP, minister for Tourism and Major Events.
In a first for the program, the 2018 Club Melbourne Fellowship judging resulted in a unanimous tie, awarding co-fellows Dr. Eric Chow and Dr. Tamsyn Van Rheenen a $10,000 fellowship each. The Fellowship is designed to support their attendance at international conferences to enable new, life-changing opportunities for their research projects, with the hope that they will evolve to become Ambassadors themselves in the future.
Dr. Eric Chow, a senior research fellow at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre and Monash University is an epidemiologist and an expert in sexual health related to preventing and controlling sexually transmitted infections, particularly in gonorrhea and human papillomavirus.
Dr. Tamsyn Van Rheenen is an NHMRC research fellow at the University of Melbourne, her research focuses on understanding cognition in the major psychiatric disorders using behavioral and neuro-scientific techniques.
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s CEO Peter King extended his congratulations to the five new Ambassadors and co-fellows, Dr. Chow and Dr. Van Rheenen.
“Club Melbourne has some of Melbourne’s best and brightest minds within its Ambassador Program, and these individuals volunteer their time, expertise and resources to secure international conferences for Victoria,” says King. “The work of Club Melbourne plays an important role in cementing Melbourne as a leader on the global stage, not only by securing international events to our city but in supporting and sharing new research, ideas and innovations.”
C2 International’s CEO Asia-Pacific Martin Enault delivered the evening’s keynote, with a focus on the changing face of conferences. The evening’s “golden” theme was inspired by MCEC’s new expansion and was reflected throughout the event, from the décor to the food. Event activations, executed by the creative powerhouse C2, included a “Wall of Endless Champagne,” dessert pyrotechnics and a chocolate goldmine where guests could go “digging” for gold.
Club Melbourne is owned and led by Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre with support and collaboration from Melbourne Convention Bureau and the Victorian State Government. For more info, visit mcec.com.au.