GME appoints external representatives

The Geelong Major Events Committee (GME) has welcomed two new external representatives on four-year terms and re-appointed a returning member:

  1. Natalie Valentine is new to GME, bringing with her a wealth of major event procurement experience across the events, leisure and recreation and venues sectors
  2. Brenden Caligari will also serve his first term on the committee, who has a diverse corporate sector, media and sports industry background, including valuable board position experience and
  3. Julie Maxwell returns after serving on the committee over the last eight years, drawing on her significant experience in the arts and community services sectors.

The trio join external representatives Leigh McClusky, Russell Morris and Robyn Birrell on the committee, who are two years into their terms. Councillor Peter Murrihy is Chair of the committee.

Council has formally thanked outgoing external representative Dean Anglin for his contributions since 2013.

The committee strives to attract and sponsor major and developing events to the region, which will provide positive impacts to the economy and community. The objectives of GME also support the community’s vision for Greater Geelong to be recognised as a ‘clever and creative’ region and events destination.

Uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for organisers to plan for the return of major events and large gatherings to Greater Geelong. The City via GME is working closely with all event organisers to assist them through this ever-changing period. The safety and wellbeing of the community continues to be at the forefront of all event planning.

The evolving events landscape has led many organisers and rights holders to transition to models that may allow for major events to restart as restrictions are eased. The committee is continuing to pursue major events, that may be presented virtually or held across multiple venues, which would provide the region with significant benefits through branding, broadcast and livestreams.

Up to 12 people sit on the committee, with as many as six positions filled by external members following a public recruitment process. All positions are voluntary.

Councillor Kylie Grzybek – Acting Mayor

Council welcomes Julie, Natalie and Brenden to the committee, whose vast expertise will help guide GME, and the region’s events sector, through the challenges of the pandemic.

The remainder of 2020 and 2021 will likely see an events calendar that’s quite different to what we’re used to, but I’m excited to see what innovative events are on the horizon for our region.

Councillor Peter Murrihy – Chair, Geelong Major Events Committee

Congratulations to Julie, Natalie and Brenden on their appointment to GME following a rigorous recruitment process. As Chair of the committee, I welcome their enthusiasm and knowledge during what is a testing time for the events sector.

Given the uncertainty we’re experiencing from the pandemic, it may be some time before we see large gatherings in our region. This is why the committee continues to reach out to organisers to offer up our region as the perfect destination for innovative events that fall within government restrictions.

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