Tourism Executive, Natalie O’Brien to lead City’s Tourism Strategy

Natalie O’Brien, one of Victoria’s most respected business and tourism consultants, has been appointed to a six-month role with the City of Ballarat as Head of Tourism and Strategy.

Janet Dore, City of Ballarat CEO, said one of Ms O’Brien’s first tasks would be overseeing the completion of the Ballarat Traveller Experience Plan for adoption by Council. She will also manage the creation of a Tourism Economy Strategy and an advocacy plan to positively position Ballarat as part of the State Government tourism recovery and regional tourism board restructure.

“Natalie is a proven tourism and business strategist with more than 25 years’ experience working with all levels of government and across all facets of the industry including tourism, hospitality, events and stakeholder engagement,” she said.

“She has spent the past nine months advocating on behalf of tourism and hospitality operators in the Ballarat region in her current role as CEO of Ballarat Regional Tourism and is well-aware of the challenges we face in re-building our tourism platform,” she said.

A former CEO of Food and Wine Victoria (responsible for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival) Natalie spent 12 years between Tourism Victoria and the City of Melbourne.

Her contribution to the food, wine and tourism industries was recognised in 2019 when she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.

Ms O’Brien will commence her part-time role with the City next week, whilst also maintaining the vital role of continuing to be a conduit between local tourism and hospitality stakeholders and the City of Ballarat.

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