Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has announced its annual Club Melbourne Ambassador Program Award winners in a ceremony at the venue on Wednesday August 17, acknowledging the recipients of the past three years. Winners included Mary Lawson, Stephen Durkin, Professor Simon Crowe, Professor Thas A. Nirmalathas, Matthew Jackson, Dr Gemma Sharp and and Dr Shoujin Wang

The Annual Club Melbourne Fellowship program was also announced, with Melbourne researchers Dr Gemma Sharp and Dr Shoujin Wang named this year’s recipients.  Launched to support the next generation of Melbourne’s research leaders, the Fellowship was created to recognise excellence in research and leadership in mid-career Melburnian researchers. 

The Club Melbourne Ambassador Program includes 126 eminent Victorians from diverse disciples of medicine, science and environment, technology, engineering, business, and education, with only a select few invited to join the Program each year.  

With support from the Melbourne Convention Bureau, Victoria’s lead agency in acquiring and delivering business events, Club Melbourne Ambassadors have helped to secure 156 business events for Melbourne bringing more than 177 thousand delegates and contributing $1.02 billion to the Victorian economy since 2005.  

Ambassadors are all highly regarded and influential Melbournians within their respective fields. From 40 original Club Melbourne Ambassadors in 2005, the program now includes ambassadors from diverse disciplines of medicine, science and environment, technology and engineering, business, and education. Club Melbourne is committed to investing in, and nurturing, new talent – a new direction which will see ambassadors addressing issues of increasing international competition to create a stronger, focused and more supportive network to secure and host international conferences in Melbourne. 

Club Melbourne provides a unique opportunity to connect prominent thinkers and leaders in the promotion of Melbourne as one of the world’s premier conference and event destinations. Its influence is global and the way it drives knowledge is pivotal to our future as a forward thinking, smart economy  Club Melbourne is owned and led by MCEC with support and collaboration from the Melbourne Convention Bureau and the Victorian State Government. 

MCEC chief executive Peter King said: “The Club Melbourne awards are an important opportunity to celebrate and thank our ambassadors for their ongoing efforts. 

“I’m proud of the investment and commitment we have made to Club Melbourne through our ambassadors’ hard work, MCEC regularly hosts some of the largest and most prestigious conferences in the world. 

“These events connect world thought leaders and share knowledge, creating memorable experiences for our visitors and a lasting legacy for the community.”  

Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) chief executive Julia Swanson said the MCB is proud to support and partner with MCEC, and the Victorian State Government on the Club Melbourne Ambassador Program. 

“It is thanks to our genuine collaborative effort that we benefit from the Club Melbourne Ambassadors great minds to identify trail blazers in their field who can lead a conference bid in partnership with us and attract international thought leadership to the state. 

“Together, we make a formidable ‘Team Melbourne’ and a winning recipe for success. Congratulations to all award winners. We look forward to working with you to secure future business events for Melbourne.” 

The Award winners
2020 Club Melbourne Awards   
  • Stephen Durkin , 5th Australasian Ground Control in Mining Conference, AusRock  
  • Mary Lawson , Ottawa Conference on the Assessment of Competence in Medicine and the Healthcare Professions  
2021 Club Melbourne Awards 
  • Professor Simon Crowe , International Congress of Psychology  
  • Professor Thas A. Nirmalathas, Opto-Electronics and Communications Conference   
  • Professor Thas A. Nirmalathas, Global Entrepreneurship Congress  
2022 Club Melbourne Awards  
  • Matthew Jackson , Outstanding Achievement