MCEC introduces new CEO

Natalie O'Brien AM will bring a wealth of industry leadership experience to her new role and play a key role in guiding the business back to its pre-pandemic success. 

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), who will commence the role 9 January 2023.

Joining the MCEC at a crucial time as it continues to rebuild from the impact of the pandemic, O’Brien will bring a wealth of industry leadership experience to her new role and play a key role in guiding the business back to its pre-pandemic success.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust Chair, The Hon. John Brumby AO said the MCEC was lucky to attract an executive with the experience and skillset to lead the organisation in the years ahead.

“Natalie brings great insight and a tremendous track record of driving change and growth in organisations. She will bring a wealth of senior experience to the role and will provide the vision and leadership MCEC needs as we continue to recover and grow in a challenging business events environment post-COVID,” Brumby said.

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.

She is former CEO of Food and Wine Victoria where she led the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and was also at the helm of Ballarat Regional Tourism. Most recently, she was CEO for Wine Victoria while also managing her own strategy consultancy.

Stepping into the role following the departure of outgoing CEO Peter King, O’Brien will be responsible for the overall management, business plan delivery and future strategic direction of MCEC as well as the operational planning for the new Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCEC).

O’Brien said she was excited to lead the iconic Melbourne landmark into the next phase of growth.

“I can’t wait to work with the incredible team at MCEC, empowering them to continue to achieve their very best and contribute to the experience of all visitors to, and residents of, this vibrant and diverse state,” O’Brien said.

“I’m especially looking forward to building strong relationships with our customers, our people, the community we serve, and key government and industry stakeholders, while also fostering new partnerships and business outcomes in an increasingly competitive market.”

Outgoing CEO, Peter King, will finish with the business at the end of the year following a remarkable 11 years in which he has made a lasting impact on not just MCEC, but to the wider visitor economy.





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