April 1 2021

To mark its 25th anniversary, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is getting nostalgic with some of its Club Melbourne ambassadors, as they reflect on their roles as meeting champions for the city.

Up this week is Professor Susan Davis AO, Immediate Past President of The International Menopause Society, who has been an ambassador since 2015.

What has been the most memorable moment you have had at MCEC?
Just going up the staircase and looking across at the fabulous views of Melbourne from the congress centre – it’s a reminder of what a great city Melbourne is.

How has your role as a Club Melbourne Ambassador helped you give back to Melbourne?
[It has] supported my securing the World Congress on the Menopause for Melbourne 2020 and then with the COVID crisis being able to first reschedule to 2021, and then to the secure the congress for 2024.

You led the successful bid and will be Chair of the World Congress on Menopause for Melbourne in 2024, can you tell us about this and what it means to be involved?
Obviously with COVID, congress scheduling has been traumatic. The initial success of the bid was for 2020. When it became apparent that even our rescheduled Congress for 2021 was not feasible, it looked as though Melbourne would not host the World Congress on Menopause. However, with the support of MCEC and MCB [Melbourne Convention Bureau] I was able to provide my international Board with a 2024 option that was accepted. Part of this was that we had generated global interest in Melbourne with the production of promotional videos in English, Spanish and Chinese and me having promoted Melbourne at major congresses across the world.

What do you hope to see happen in the next 25 years of MCEC?
That it not just be a congress centre but seen by Melburnians as a community space. Over time I would like to see it have a “soul” and really be adopted strongly as part of Melbourne at a grass roots community level.