By Graeme Kemlo

Accor Australia is mourning the untimely death on November 13, 2020, of Sofitel Melbourne executive Shirley Lin.

As associate director of strategic partnerships for Sofitel Melbourne on Collins since January 2015, Shirley worked with the Australian Tibetan community and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to ensure the success of the tour of Australia by The Dalai Lama.

Writing to staff this week, Accor Pacific COO Simon McGrath said: “When Clive Scott, general manager at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, visited His Holiness The Dalai Lama, he told him with great fondness that Shirley was his ‘mischievous friend’. We are truly touched to know that His Holiness The Dalai Lama has held personal prayers for Shirley since her passing.”

Malaysian-born and Swiss-trained Shirley was also remembered by colleagues and a broad range of industry professionals. She first worked with Accor in 1992 as sales and conferencing manager for ibis Perth. Two years later Shirley was appointed director of sales and marketing at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.

Commenting on her passion, Mr McGrath said Shirley built “an amazing network within Tourism and the Arts in the city,” and added, “…since learning of her passing winners of Academy Awards, Tony’s, Emmys and BAFTA’s have sent condolences from all over the world.”