Industry leader running 870 kms for mental health

Andrew Hiebl has committed to ‘virtually’ run 870 kilometres to the PCOA Conference from Canberra to Hobart in effort to raise awareness and funds for mental health.

As workforce challenges continue across the business events sector in Australia, one of the industry’s most respected leaders and advocates is shining the spotlight on mental health in an effort to bring awareness and raise funds for the important cause

Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) chief executive officer and Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) secretary, Andrew Hiebl has committed to ‘virtually’ run 870 kilometres to the PCOA Conference from Canberra to the Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart over 18 weeks.

Off to a steady start, Hiebl has already run 73 kilometres in just under two weeks and raised $1,625 of his ambitious $10,000 goal, with all proceeds going to Beyond Blue.

As the industry navigates the current workforce and skills shortages during an all-time high demand for in-person events post COVID-19 shutdowns, Hiebl said physical and mental capacities are being stretched beyond their limits.

“As an industry leader, I have concern for the health and well-being of those in and connected to the business events industry,” Hiebl said.

“While the spotlight on mental health was naturally focussed on the COVID-19 shutdowns of the industry across 2020 and 2021, when businesses were closed with no income and job losses were at their highest, the mental health impacts of the pandemic are not over.

“As we enter recovery with extremely high confidence and demand, the business events sector is grappling with continued uncertainty, workforce shortages and supply chain issues that challenge our capacity to deliver. Stress has not left the system, but rather been redirected.”

With a personal connection to mental health concerns, Hiebl felt it his duty to ensure the invisible dangers of anxiety and depression remain front and centre and has offered advice and words of encouragement.

“It is important for people in our industry to know that mental health problems are common and that help is available – be they business owners, employees or contractors.

“Identifying early warning signs is important, so keeping an eye out for your friends and colleagues during this time is crucial. While getting through today might feel tough or even impossible, the future is bright.”

To help support Andrew Hiebl in making a difference, please donate at Beyond Blue.




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