June 24, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

Industry association Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) has appointed a new CEO, while Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has announced a new Chief Commercial Officer.

MEA’s new CEO, Peter McDonald (pictured above), began in the role this week, joining the association with experience in marketing and membership growth roles for other industry bodies.

His most recent previous role was as Executive Officer for NSW and ACT for the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia.

“The MEA Board are excited to have Peter join us and believe he will be a great asset to both MEA and our sector,” said MEA’s Board Chair Nigel Collin.

McDonald said he was grateful for the opportunity to head up the association.

“I look forward to working with MEA’s members and collaborating with our partners to underwrite the resurgence and collective success of the Australian events sector,” he said.

“As a strong advocate for education of an industry by the industry, I also look forward to delivering events-natured vocational learning and professional development programs that students and industry practitioners alike can practically apply in the workplace.”

Meanwhile MCEC will welcome Melissa Sweetland into the newly created position of Chief Commercial Officer on July 19.

Melissa Sweetland

Sweetland currently runs her own strategic advisory firm, Cumulus Capital, and was previously Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President of Engagement at RMIT University in Melbourne. She has also been CEO of The Riverina Dairy.

The new role will oversee all the commercial aspects of MCEC’s operations, including IT and sales and marketing.

MCEC’s Chief Executive Peter King said it was exciting to have someone of Sweetland’s calibre joining the team, especially in the midst of the current period of change.

“Melissa’s appointment comes at a time when we require additional commercial experience, strategic guidance and some new perspective to drive innovation for our business,” he said.

Sweetland said she was honoured to be joining the organisation.

“It’s an honour to join the MCEC team and be tasked with ensuring one of Melbourne’s most iconic assets remains a world leader and returns to delivering significant economic and cultural value to Victoria.”