October 5, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

The new purpose-built meeting place at Melbourne Park – home of tennis Grand Slam the Australian Open – CENTREPIECE has hosted almost 31,800 attendees at more than 90 events since February this year, when COVID restrictions eased sufficiently for a meaningful start to business at the venue.

Events hosted at CENTREPIECE to date have included AIME’s Welcome Function in March, Destination Australia, Tourism Australia’s tourism marketing conference, future sport thought leadership conference, SportNXT Summit, and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) Scientific Symposium.

For the team, much of what they believe sets the venue apart is the culinary offering, as a gateway to local experience.

With a determined local focus for its food and beverage, the function centre has served up 19,500 glasses of Victorian wine, 8,920 bottles of Victorian beer and 18,000 coffees, made with Melbourne-founded Industry Beans and more than 1,500L of Victorian milk. Much of the produce and meat served at CENTREPIECE comes from Victorian regions like Gippsland and the Yarra Valley.

“Partnering with brands and producers who have a rich local heritage is a key pillar of our values and homegrown focus,” said Melbourne & Olympic Parks’ head of food and beverage Rachel Dolan.

“We knew we wanted to create a venue synonymous with our location and offer up event experiences that embody all the things that make Victoria and Australia great.”

Even the cutlery, dishes and glassware used by the venue are made by businesses based in Victoria.

“Our vision for CENTREPIECE plays on the strengths of its location. It is distinctively Melbourne, and the food is intrinsically linked to place —physically, culturally and emotionally. Our food is at the heart and centre of the hospitality experience we provide,” said executive chef of Delaware North Asif Mamun, who curates all of the event menus at CENTREPIECE.