Janet Hamilton on her move to Cairns Convention Centre

Hamilton speaks to Spice News about her decision to leave Darwin Convention Centre.

After nearly six years in the role, Janet Hamilton announced her decision to step down as general manager at Darwin Convention Centre. 

Last week it was revealed Hamilton is moving to Cairns Convention Centre to take over Ross Steele’s role as general manager, as he heads off to New Zealand manage the upcoming Te Pae Christchurch.

Speaking to Spice News, Hamilton said she is excited about her new role, but the move is bittersweet.

“I’m very sad to be leaving Darwin and leaving the team here, I think that’s the hardest [part],” she said.

“But Cairns is such an amazing destination. The convention centre has been [named] World’s Best twice and they’re a highly regarded team, so I’m very excited to be working with them.”

During Hamilton’s tenure as general manager, Darwin Convention Centre experienced record-breaking results and won several accolades including being ranked in the top 20 convention centres globally by the Association of International Congress Centres for four years running.

Reflecting on her time at Darwin Convention Centre, Hamilton said her biggest achievement was building and leading a strong team.

“The thing I’m most proud of is the team,” she told Spice News.

“I’m very proud of the team we’ve built here and the work we do.”

Hamilton is also proud of the close relationships she has built with stakeholders and government.

“I lobbied for the business events fund that was set up at the end of last year and that’s been very successful,” she said.

“That was a great thing that the government listened to us and acted on it. It has made us competitive, so I’m very proud of that.”


As she prepares to take on her new role in March, Hamilton said she is looking forward to getting to know Cairns Convention Centre, a venue she has “admired from afar”.

“Being able to promote the convention centre and the destination really excites me,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know the stakeholders – it looks like they work together very closely so I’m really looking forward to that.”

So what does Hamilton have planned for her new role? First and foremost, she hopes to continue the centre’s proven track record as a world-leading venue.

“They’re clearly leaders in customer service with winning World’s Best twice – that is a huge accolade to them,” she said.

“The nice thing about Ross going to Christchurch and me going to Cairns is that we work for AEG Ogden, and the standard and quality that we have across all our convention centres is constantly improving.

“The main thing for me is getting in and really getting to know the team and the stakeholders and the product – it’s a fantastic opportunity.”

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