Melbourne Convention And Exhibition Centre: N...
Melbourne Convention And Exhibition Centre

Natalie O’Brien AM New CEO

Photo: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

The Hon. John Brumby AO, Chair of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust, has announced the appointment of Natalie O’Brien AM as Chief Executive of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). Ms O’Brien joins the business in January 2023 and brings a wealth of leadership experience in the tourism and events industry. She is a former CEO of Food and Wine Victoria, producers of Australia’s internationally acclaimed Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.

Most recently she has managed her own strategy consultancy, while operating as a CEO for Wine Victoria, and previously interim CEO for Ballarat Regional Tourism, where she led the co-design of Visitor Economy Recovery Plans. Ms O’Brien was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2019 Australia Day Honours list for significant service to tourism, food, and the community of Victoria. As CEO of MCEC Ms O’Brien will be responsible for the overall management, business plan delivery and future strategic direction of MCEC and the operational planning for the new Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCEC).

Ms O’Brien will step into the role following the departure of outgoing CEO, Peter King, who finishes with the business at the end of the year. This follows a remarkable 11 years in which Mr King has made a lasting impact on just MCEC, but to the wider visitor economy.

Ms O’Brien joins MCEC at a crucial time as the organisation recovers from the impact of COVID-19 and builds for the future. The Centre has reopened to a strong demand for business in 2022 and her experience will play a key role in continuing to guide the business back to its pre-pandemic levels of success in the coming years.

Minister for Tourism, Sport & Major Events, The Hon. Steve Dimopoulos, said: “Recognised for her contributions to Victoria’s tourism and major events sector, Natalie brings exceptional leadership and experience to Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, ensuring the organisation continues to draw the events and exhibitions that support businesses and create jobs. I thank Peter for his hard work and service across 11 years at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, under his leadership the venue has played an essential role in drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors to Victoria.”

Speaking about her appointment to the role Natalie O’Brien AM said: “I’m excited to lead an already iconic Melbourne landmark into the next phase of growth, as the organisation’s enormous impact and benefit continues to expand across Victoria.”

Natalie O’Brien AM will commence in her new role as CEO of MCEC from 9 January 2023.

About MCEC

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is the home of unconventional. At MCEC we do things a little differently. We bring fresh ideas and imagination to every event. We happily turn concepts on their head to make each experience momentous. We welcome events of all shapes and sizes, from meetings and conferences to exhibitions, concerts, and galas, whether in-person, virtual or hybrid. And our city is our inspiration. Melbourne is on show at MCEC – in the architecture and design, food and hospitality, location, and views. Discover the difference at MCEC.