The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre relaunched its successful Club Melbourne Ambassador Program last week which since inception has helped to secure more than $450 million worth of meetings for the city.

Part of the relaunch is a new direction which will see ambassadors addressing issues of increasing international competition to create a stronger, focused and more supportive network to secure and host international conferences in Melbourne.

The Governor of Victoria, 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 our future as a forward thinking, smart economy,” the Governor said.

In just the last 12 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.

Club Melbourne is owned and led by MCEC with support and collaboration from the 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.