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New initiative to increase international association conventions in Australia

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The project is a three year program that has $1.8 million invested in it.

Joyce DiMascio, head of Business Events Australia, and Robyn Hendry, Canberra Convention Bureau Chief Executive, will co-chair the initiative. Heading the new project is Julie Sheather, who has over 20 years’ experience in communications and stakeholder relations, working with associations in the finance, health, industrials and agricultural sectors.

Hendry said that Sheather’s experience as a senior strategic communications specialist and her work with a range of industry associations would bring a fresh approach to Australia’s efforts to attract a larger slice of the $12 billion global association events market.

Sheather outlined her first priorities as identifying opportunities for new association business with a focus on the Asia-Pacific, to raise global awareness of what Australia offers associations as a destination for major conventions and congresses, and to support bureaux and centres in their work to win bids and increase delegate attendance.

“In the face of growing competition from other countries, the joining together of Australia’s 16 leading convention bureaux and centres together with Tourism Australia is a clear statement that Australia is serious about attracting more associations business and making an even greater contribution to Australia’s economy,” Sheather said.

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