2023 Venue Industry Award Winners Announced

May 24, 2023Blog, Industry News

The Venue Management Association (VMA) is delighted to announce the winners of the 2023 Venue Industry Awards. The awards were held tonight at the Melbourne Cricket Ground as part of the VMA’s 30th Asia-Pacific Venue Industry Congress.

The Venue Industry Awards are the premier awards program for venue management professionals in the Asia-Pacific region and have showcased the best of the venue industry’s talent since 2010.

The Venue Industry Awards have a rich history of recognising leaders, game changers and innovators and are awarded based on the achievements of the nominees over the previous calendar year.

The winners for 2023 are:

Venue Professional of the Year Award – Mark Zundans CVE – General Manager at Stadium Queensland – The GABBA.

In 2022, Mark was instrumental in the development of the ‘Round Table’ group – a forum consisting of the major round stadiums from each state, allowing a broad collaboration and advocacy for issues facing the industry’s stadia and anchor hirers. Mark is also active with the Stadium Safety and Security Forum featuring participants from around the country and focussing on best practice in this area. Mark’s contributions to the industry continued with his role of VMS Instructor – a role he has maintained since 2011 and joining the VMS Committee in 2021 along with participating in the VMA’s Professional Development Workshops and online Digital Series webinars. Up until late 2022, Mark was on the IAVM Certification Board – a post which held for six years – shaping the certification programs of the IAVM, advocating for regional bias to be minimised, and developing policies and processes to support the work of the Certification Board. As a staunch advocate of the industry, Mark enjoys providing support to developing venue industry leaders, and sharing the challenges and triumphs with a solid peer group.


Allied Professional of the Year Award – Steve Mackenzie CVE – Chief Innovation Officer at Momentus Technologies.

In 2022, Steve focused on giving back to the industry, actively engaging and speaking at Conferences and Congresses throughout Australia, the US and Europe. Steve continued in his roles as Instructor at VMA’s Venue Management School and Leadership Institute along with chairing IAVM’s School and sitting on the Executive Committee for the Board of Regents. 2022 saw Steve achieve outstanding recognition throughout the industry, having been accredited as an Adjunct Professor at Florida
International University; and awarded the IAVM Chair’s Citation at VenueConnect in August in appreciation for his leadership, commitment and respect for the venue management industry. Not only that, Steve was recognised as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the event industry and finally, was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to the event technology industry, a recognition only ever been awarded twice before.


Young Achiever of the Year Award – Matilda Dwyer – Ticketing Services Manager at the Theatre Royal Sydney.

Starting as a Box Office Assistant at the Theatre Royal Sydney, Matilda has worked her way up to Ticketing Services Manager where she has successfully implemented a West End ticketing distribution model – a first in Australia, showcasing why Matilda is a deserved winner of this year’s Young Achiever Award. Her mettle was tested in 2022 when the theatre delivered an event build in record time – from confirmation the production was going ahead, the first tickets went on sales three days later. A very proud achievement for Matilda. Her passion for the industry was cemented at London’s Novello Theatre where she became versed in running a successful venue including the logistics, financial, and operational needs of a venue. Matilda’s can-do attitude, time management skills and her passion for the industry stands her in good stead for a bright future in the industry.

The 2023 Venue Industry Awards also saw the awarding of the VMA Lifetime Achievement Award to Chris Farrell AVM in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Association, the venue management profession and the industry in the Asia Pacific region.

VMA President, Phil King AVM notes, “Our industry is unique and draws to it incredible individuals who are passionate about what they do. From memorable moments for their patrons to iconic events that form part of our nation’s culture and history, they are a rare breed and we love to celebrate them.

The VMA continues to recognise and acknowledge those at the forefront of our industry, with this year having the largest pool of candidates we have experienced. The judging panel deliberated over the compelling, engaging and heartfelt submissions of each nominee and without a doubt, all are worthy of commendation. Congratulations to this year’s winners, Mark, Steve and Matilda, and to our Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Chris Farrell.”

The 2023 Venue Industry Awards are supported by industry leading organisations including Ross Video (Venue Professional of the Year), PBM Safety (Allied Professional of the Year) and Momentus Technologies (Young Achiever of the Year).


For a full list of past winners visit here.

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