Insight and Inspire Speakers

We are delighted to announce that below speakers will be joining us on the Sunshine Coast in September 2017.

Insight speakers will present plenary keynotes on the big issues.

Inspire speakers will discuss big-picture strategies and ideas to help you reflect and re-energise your own approach.

Speakers will be added to this page as they are announced.

Learn From the Best: How to Succeed in Events

A panel of Australian Event Awards Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients will discuss how they made it in the events business - and all the trials and tribulations along the way.

David Atkins OAM

Producer, Artistic Director and Choreographer
Founder & CEO of David Atkins Enterprises

Recognised in the 2003 Queen’s Birthday Honours with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to the entertainment industry, David Atkins is one of Australia’s most awarded producer, director and choreographers. He has starred in, produced, directed, choreographed and created more than 20 musicals throughout Australia, Britain, the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. In 2000, Juan Antonio Samaranch (the president of the International Olympic Committee) presented David with a Gold Olympic Pin for his outstanding and innovative work as the artistic director and producer of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies. David is the first and only Australian to win an MTV award for choreography. His original production Hot Shoe Shuffle was the first Australian musical on London’s West End, for which he won the prestigious Olivier Award and this year the Green Room Award for “Excellence in Choreography for Music Theatre”.

David has directed and produced some of the largest live events of this decade, across continents, languages and international audiences. These include the Ceremonies for the Doha 2006 Asian Games, the Opening, Closing and Victory Ceremonies for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Opening Ceremony for the Shanghai 2010 World Expo, the 2011 Moscow City Day Anniversary Celebrations, the Opening Ceremony for the New Zealand 2011 Rugby World Cup, the Ceremonies for the 12th Arab Games Doha 2011, the Gold Coast Flag Handover Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the Ceremonies & Competition Concert Series for the Qatar 2015 24th Men’s Handball World Championship in Doha. Most recently, David was the Artistic Director for White Night Melbourne 2017 and White Night Ballarat 2017.

David is the only Australian director and producer whose work on Olympic Ceremonies won Emmy awards, with three wins for the 2010 Vancouver Opening Ceremony. His work in Moscow, Auckland, Doha, Shanghai, and Vancouver earned him two consecutive “Best Export Productions” in 2010 and 2011, the "Best Achievement in Entertainment" for the Ceremonies & Competition Concert Series for the Qatar 2015 Men’s Handball World Championships, as well as the highly prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2010, at the annual Australian Event Awards. In 2012, the Middle East Event Awards recognised David’s work on the Doha 2011 Arab Games Opening Ceremony with an award for “Best Arts & Cultural Event”.

Over and above the enormous body of theatrical, arena, and live event work that David has directed and produced, beyond the vast number of awards and nominations… he has revolutionised the way shows are created and produced.

Lena Malouf CSEP. AIFD

Master Event Designer and Event Specialist, Lena Malouf Consultancy

Lena Malouf was born into a business family and conditioned to provide client communications and service beyond expectation. Through the course of forty plus years in the Floral and Special Events Industries she is considered the ultimate professional. In addition her exceptional expertise in design & décor brings international recognition as master designer.

Through Lena's spectacular career she is the recipient of World Awards; Life Memberships ILEA and AIFD; and honoured with the prestigious Life Achievement Awards in both USA and Australia.

Malouf maintains the passion for this industry and stays connected to emerging and professional associates through dynamic presentations and highly informative publications.





Vision Australia

What’s next for tourism and events in Australia? Executive General Manager of Events at Australia’s global tourism marketing agency Penny Lion outlines the plan, opportunities going forward and how every person in the Australian events industry can contribute to ensuring “There’s nothing like Australia” rings true both in Australia and around the world.

Penny Lion

Executive General Manager, Events, Tourism Australia

Penny joined Tourism Australia in 2010 as Head of Business Events, and became Executive General Manager, Events, in August 2016. Her experience in the events sector encompasses strategy, marketing, sales, operations, and stakeholder management and spans more than 25 years working on trade, consumer and corporate events.

In 2000, after a decade of senior management roles across a number of events agencies, Penny joined Flight Centre Limited’s niche events agency CiEvents as Director of Product, where she implemented a preferred product strategy for the business. She quickly rose to the position of General Manager of Operations and then became Director of Sales in 2004, introducing a successful sales and marketing strategy that grew client retention and new business. In 2006, Penny was asked to establish the CiEvents brand in the UK, growing the business from one person to a team of 20 and securing a strong presence in this highly competitive market. Penny returned to Australia in 2010 and joined Tourism Australia in October of that year.

The Events team at Tourism Australia comprises Business Events and Industry Events. The Business Events team is a specialist unit focussing on this specific visitor sector, and is responsible for delivering targeted marketing communications and trade programs to promote Australia internationally as a business events destination. Industry Events delivers a variety of activity to showcase Australia’s tourism offering, including the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) and Corroboree events for frontline retail travel sellers. These events, held in Australia and in key international markets, provide the Australian tourism industry with a platform on which to promote their experiences and products to qualified travel sellers.





Celebrating Diversity: Australian Multicultural Events

With more than a quarter of Australian residents born overseas, events celebrating multiculturalism in Australia can and do thrive. This session will look at the great multicultural successes and how the celebration of different cultures can be incorporated into more events to embrace our natural cultural diversity from indigenous people to recent immigrants and everyone in-between.

Paula Masselos

Managing Director, Embrace Society

Paula is the Managing Director of Embrace Society, a communications agency specialising in hard to reach audiences including CALD, Indigenous, women, youth, LGBTI, aged and disabled. Embrace Society is an acknowledged leader in values based behaviour change, community engagement, advertising and communications, and creative strategy and development.

Paula is a highly experienced and award winning strategist and communicator with a career spanning almost 35 years. She has held a number of senior positions including Director of SBS Radio.

Paula has extensive experience in developing highly successful communication strategies and broad experience in running social issues and community engagement campaigns in a diverse range of areas including: Take it Easy (Jet Ski Safety) – CALD campaign, DonateLife CALD communication and community engagement campaign; Clean Energy Future – CALD campaign; National Broadband Network (NBN) Roll out into regional areas – CALD campaign; and Underage Forced Marriage community engagement and social media campaign.

Paula has had numerous appointments to ministerial advisory bodies and sat on many boards. She was appointed to the Citizenship Test Review Panel to overhaul the Australian citizenship test and sat on the Radio Advisory Group of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. She was Chair of Sydney’s Carnivale Multicultural Arts Festival and served for six years as a Community Relations Commissioner in NSW. She was on the National Women’s Advisory Council and shaped multicultural TV broadcasting as a member of the Ethnic Television Review Panel. Paula has been a Breast Cancer Network of Australia Media Ambassador and participated in the Field of Dreams.

Michelle Kennedy

Senior Communication Officer, Multicultural Affairs Queensland

Michelle Kennedy is a creative individual who thrives on challenges having worked in the Government Events and Communications sector for over 15 years in both Queensland and New South Wales.

Michelle’s expertise is in the development and implementation of major behavioural change campaigns with an event component, large scale community engagement, event risk management, sponsorship, and event and campaign logistics. Michelle has developed a variety of new events for both local and state government to address community issues such as childhood obesity, youth engagement, racism, multiculturalism and domestic violence. As project manager of the Queensland Government’s largest community engagement event and largest volunteer program, the Queensland Multicultural Festival (now Queensland Multicultural Month) and Roma Street Parkland Volunteer Program, she has proven event and human resource leadership.

As a former guest lecturer at the University of Queensland in Event Logistics and Risk Management, Michelle enjoys developing new event managers and graduates having implemented programs in New South Wales and Queensland ensuring event graduate opportunities.

Her ethical commitment to leadership in the event management, community engagement, sponsorship, communications and public relations industries sees her continually strive toward the goals and objectives of the organisation as well as the client.





Using Events to Enhance Brand Exposure

Events allow people to experience brands on a whole new level. This session looks at how to build an event which engages consumers with a brand’s key messages and carries their messages beyond the bounds of the event itself.

Katerina Grant

Director, Kat and Co

Katerina is the Director, Producer and Owner of Kat and Co, an award winning special events company delivering state-of-the-art events for the luxury, fashion, media, corporate and arts industries both in Australia and overseas.

She was the winner of the Young Achiever of the Year Award at the first Australian Event Awards in 2009, while working as an Event Producer for David Grant Special Events. Since founding Kat and Co in 2012, the company has won Event Management Company of the Year and Best Achievement in Design, Look or Theming at the Australian Event Awards in 2015, as well as being a finalist in a number of categories in both 2015 and 2016.





Making Cities and Regions "Event-Friendly"

Calling all destinations who want to make their region more eventful. Learn about implementing a strategy to make your destination more “event friendly” to benefit event operators and promotors and encourage event growth. Additional visitors sure to follow!

Jeremy Wilshire

Major Events, Destination Wollongong

Jeremy has been involved in events as an organiser, marketer, journalist, broker, sponsor and facilitator for two decades. Having completed a Human Movement degree in the 1990s, he secured a journalism cadetship with News Limited, working for various newspapers and magazines in Perth and Sydney, along with a stint for Australian Associated Press, covering everything from royal commissions to Test cricket and the AFL. He earnt his stripes quickly in the public relations sector during the Packer/Murdoch Super League War, before going on to become Media Manager of the Australian Jockey Club at Royal Randwick and Marketing Manager of Triathlon Australia. A stint with an international recruitment firm specialising in the placement of sport, event, and media executives ensured the advent of a well-thumbed little black contact book.

Through his own small business, Barking Dog Communications, Jeremy now manages Destination Wollongong’s events portfolio, having previously created the city’s long-term major events strategy. The region has embarked on an aggressive strategy that netted economic impact from major events in 2016 of $46.5 million. Promoting the region’s strengths, dealing direct with industry, ensuring the city is “event friendly”, identifying legacy projects and focusing on events that provide reputational impact have all played a part in this success story.

Jeremy is also the author of two sports books, the latest of which, Test of Character, was released in November in support of the LBW Trust and features exclusive interviews with cricket luminaries such as the Chappell brothers, Sir Richard Hadlee, Kumar Sangakkara, Mark Taylor, Michael Holding, Michael Clarke, Rahul Dravid, Adam Gilchrist, David Gower, Muttiah Muralidaran, Graeme Smith, Brett Lee and Mark Waugh.





A special relationship: Events and Tourism

The relationship between events and tourism is an important one for both industries. Learn how both sides can contribute to building and maintaining a strong working relationship between events, destinations and tourism operators for the benefit of all.

Linda Tillman

Managing Director, Tilma Group

Managing Director of Tilma Group, a destination marketing and event development and management agency specialising in regional and rural areas, Linda is a Director on the Board of the Australian Regional Tourism Network. She is passionate about regional and rural tourism, with 15 years of experience working in tourism, events and marketing. Her experience includes travelling around Australia for three years working in the tourism industry and positions as the CEO of Riverina Regional Tourism and as a judge in the Vanuatu Tourism Awards.

She has worked with numerous destinations and events on destination marketing and management and tourism and event strategy, including the Outback Queensland Tourism Association, the National Rural Women’s Conference, and the Deniliquin Shire Council.





3D Projection Mapping: Applications for Business Events

Gone are the days when video projection was limited to flat screens only. 3D projection mapping allows almost any surface, no matter the shape, to become a projection possibility, allowing you to turn an ordinary venue into an extraordinary immersive visual experience for your attendees and your brand.

Peter Milne

Managing Director, Projection Designer and Technical Director, The Electric Canvas

Peter founded The Electric Canvas in 1997, pioneering large-scale projection in Australia using architectural masking techniques these days known as “mapping”. With more than 35 years’ experience in the events industry, he has acted as Project Manager, Technical Director and Show Caller on some of Australia’s largest corporate and public events. More recently, he has been engaged as Director of Projection on large-scale international events such as the 2015 UAE National Day in Abu Dhabi, the 2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Sochi and the 2011 Southeast Asian Games in Palembang.

Peter has used his skills as a Lighting Designer and Technical Director to forge a company with a unique and celebrated approach to all manner of challenging projection projects. Peter deliberates over the finer details of all the company’s technical design work and applies his theatrical instincts and skills to guide the creative team toward the best projection outcomes.




A Place You Feel: Creating Unexpected Destination Experiences

On the bus, off the bus, another hotel room, more marketing spiel. Don’t be one of those tedious famil trips. Come to this session to learn how to think outside the box, show your destination at its best and give your visitors an experience they’ll never forget. Expect rave reviews.

Nicole Jervis

Manager, Marketing & Communications, Tourism NT

Having spent a great deal of her career in the tourism and events industry, Nicole is without doubt, a passionate Territorian. Managing the place branding activities of the NT for the business events sector, Nicole has the privilege of staying in touch with the local industry innovations to help spread the word about what the NT has to offer for business events. As a destination, the NT is nothing short of inspiring. The beauty of a business event in the NT is the fact that there is just so much to see and do. The fact that you can continually come back and have a uniquely different experience each time means it is the perfect destination.