As Chairman of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Natalie O’Brien AM as the next Chief Executive of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). Natalie joins the business in early 2023 and brings a wealth of leadership experience in the tourism and events industry. She is a former CEO of Food and Wine Victoria, producers of Australia’s internationally acclaimed Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. Most recently she has managed her own strategy consultancy, while operating as a CEO for Wine Victoria, and previously interim CEO for Ballarat Regional Tourism, where she led the co-design of Visitor Economy Recovery Plans. Natalie was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2019 Australia Day Honours list for significant service to tourism, food, and the community of Victoria.
As CEO of MCEC she will be responsible for the overall management, business plan delivery and future strategic direction of MCEC and the operational planning for the new Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCEC). As Chair of MCET I’m excited about this appointment. We’ve been able to attract an experienced executive with the skillset
required to drive the organisation forward in the years ahead. As CEO of MCEC Natalie will be responsible for the overall management, business plan delivery and future strategic direction of MCEC and the operational planning for the new Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCEC). She’s joining MCEC at a crucial time as we recover from the impact of COVID-19 and build for the future. The Centre has reopened to a strong demand for business in 2022 and Natalie O’Brien AM will play a key role guiding the business back to its pre-pandemic levels of success in the coming years. Natalie was chosen after an extensive global recruitment and executive search process throughout Australia and internationally that had produced an outstanding shortlist of candidates. The quality of the field is testament to the very high regard that the Centre is held in throughout the world. I’d like to congratulate Natalie on her appointment and look forward to working with her and MCEC’s senior management team on further developing our world class venue. I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the incredible contributions and leadership of our outgoing CEO, Peter King, who finishes with the business at the end of this year. His contribution over the last 11 years not just to MCEC, but to the wider visitor economy, is remarkable. Natalie will begin in their new role as CEO of MCEC in early 2023. Peter King will continue to lead MCEC until the end of 2022 ahead of Natalie’s arrival. Kind regards, The Hon. John Brumby AO, Chair, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust