Association Events Summit

29 October 2020




Andrew Hiebl

Chief Executive Officer, Association of Australian Convention Bureaux

After graduating from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Business in Tourism & Hospitality, Andrew entered the business events arena managing events and operations at the Albury Convention & Performing Arts Centre (now Albury Entertainment Centre).

With five years of venue-based event management skills under his belt, the world of destination marketing called through “convention bureaux” and Andrew took on the challenge of heading up the Albury Wodonga Convention Bureau for Destination Albury Wodonga in 2005.

In 2008, Andrew was lured to the calls of the Great Ocean Road where he established the Convention Bureau, Business Events Geelong, for the award-winning regional tourism organisation, Geelong Otway Tourism (now Tourism Greater Geelong & The Bellarine). With a vision of improving Regional Victoria’s reach into the business events market, he was appointed Chair of the Regional Victoria Conference Group the following year, were he led the rebrand to Business Events Victoria and the successful campaign calling on the Victorian Government to invest in the Regional Victoria Business Events Program.

After securing “Hall of Fame” status for Business Events Geelong at the National Meetings & Events Industry Awards in 2012, Andrew reconfirmed his commitment to the industry by taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer for the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux where he holds a position on the Business Events Council of Australia board.

Andrew also represents the business events industry on the long-standing Tourism Visa Advisory Group, convened by the Department of Home Affairs, and has most recently joined the board of Australian Regional Tourism Ltd.

Brian Nash

Director of Audio Visual, International Convention Centre Sydney

Brian's combination of experience, wealth of industry knowledge and background at Australian major venues means that leadership of ICC Sydney’s audio visual department is in expert hands.

Under Brian’s leadership, effective and efficient audio visual systems and processes are put into place for every client. His oversight covers operational readiness of all systems, staff and equipment to ensuring a seamless delivery of service.

Brian and his team are focussed on delivering the latest technologies and innovations from across the audio visual sector at ICC Sydney. Seamless, flexible and upgradable systems and processes ensure client expectations are met today and into the future.

Kandy Musgrave

National Events Manager, Australian Veterinary Association

Kandy Musgrave has over 20 years’ experience in strategic event management and marketing in both the corporate and not for profit sector having worked with The Shell Company of Australia, Alcatel Australia, The Australian Graduate School of Management, Research Australia and the Australian Veterinary Association. 

She has a Master’s in Management (Event Management), a Graduate Diploma in Marketing, a Diploma in Public Relations (UTS) and recently achieved a Certification in Exhibition Management (CEM IAEE).

Kandy has been with the Australian Veterinary Association for the past 8 years as the National Events Manager where she leads a team of three event professionals. Always on the lookout for the next big thing. In her spare time she loves to travel the world to see the Rolling Stones.

Kirsty Grimwade

Senior Manager, Conference and Events, AusIMM

Kirsty is a globally experienced event management professional with expertise in the strategic design and delivery of conferences, conventions and exhibitions for member-based associations. She has a wealth of knowledge in management of large scale national meetings and complex international events and delegations.

Kirsty currently leads a team of seven at AusIMM managing an portfolio of 12+ world class professional development events for the resources sector annually.

In 2020, she has been focused on ensuring the AusIMM remains strategically relevant and competitive with its event program in a changing market.She successfully led the transformation of the AusIMM's event program, shifting to virtual delivery model and has established framework for hybrid event delivery that sets the organisation up for success in 2021 and beyond.

Matt Crouch

Principal, Matt Crouch Legal

Matt Crouch is well-known as the legal expert in the events sector, having specialised for over 35 years in assisting event managers, including many operating within associations.  Matt practices as a solicitor, teaches event-law and frequently contributes legal columns in events industry publications.  You may have seen him at one of his many presentations at events-industry conferences, webinars and professional development sessions.  This year, Matt has been much in demand to assist event-sector participants navigate the legal and commercial hurdles of COVID-19.  His aim is always to speak plainly, to un-pack legal complexity and provide practical solutions.

Nick Whitefield

General Manager - Events, Australasian College for Emergency Medicine

A skilled and motivated event manager, Nick has worked energetically over the past 14 years to deliver quality event branding and engagement opportunities for clients and attendees both in Australia and abroad. With management experience in live entertainment, major event operations delivery and sponsorship, Nick is now working to usher in a new world of virtual and hybrid events at one of Australia’s busiest medical Colleges. With a fervent belief in open communication and building rapport with clients and suppliers, Nick excels at managing stakeholder relationships and takes pride in developing staff as employees and people.

Sarah Allen

Conference and Events Coordinator, Australian Psychological Society

After completing her studies in Hospitality/Event Management in 2008, Sarah entered the word of corporate travel, working in various roles where she honed her skills in attention-to-detail, relationship and logistics management, and laughter.

Returning to her first passion, for the last 5 years Sarah has been a member of the Conference and Events team at the Australian Psychological Society (APS), calling on her skills learnt in the corporate world to assist with managing the many demands events can produce.

2020 has brought a new world of challenges, and Sarah is proud to be leading the charge into virtual events land. 

Tamara Vermeend

Head of Events, Self-Managed Super Funds Association

Tamara is Head of Events at the SMSF Association.

Tamara has over 25 years’ experience in the tourism and events industry including operational and senior management roles. Prior to moving to Adelaide in 2015, Tamara’s career focussed on tourism and events in New Zealand.

For the past 3 years Tamara has worked at the SMSF Association as Head of Events where her small team deliver up to 100 events annually.

Tom Dunsmore

General Manager, Australian Boarding Schools Association

Tom Dunsmore is the General Manager at the Australian Boarding Schools Association, a small NFP with three staff members. Tom’s role incorporates managing around 20 Partnerships and organising over 100 events and industry activities annually. The presentation will provide an overview of how COVID19 has transformed ABSA’s events and elements of their Partnerships. In addition, Tom will share insights into the Association's current transition into a new framework of professional learning, creating a pathway for staff, plus will address the strategy implemented to continue engaging Partners within the industry.

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