Venue Management School – Changing of the Guards

Nov 16, 2021From the VMA President

On behalf of the VMA Board I am pleased to announce Dean Hassall CVE as the newly appointed Chair of our prestigious educational program, the Venue Management School (VMS).

Dean has been a highly regarded VMS Instructor for the past 18 years, and previously served as a VMA Board Member. As an established VMS Committee Member, International Association of Venue Management (IAVM) VMS International Instructor and Principal Consultant for Dean Hassall Consulting, Dean is arguably one of Australia’s most experienced venue managers. We know Dean will bring his wealth of industry knowledge and experience to the School.

The Board were unanimous in their confidence that under Dean’s leadership the School will re-emerge in 2022 as the premier industry based education program available in the Asia Pacific region.

On reflecting on his appointment Dean said ‘I feel both honoured and privileged to be appointed the incoming Chair of the VMS, and the challenge to uphold the wonderful legacies of many former past Chairs before me who have made enormous contributions to the ongoing development and continuous improvements of the School.’

The VMA would also like to thank outgoing Chair, Wayne Middleton CVE, on his outstanding contribution to the program over the past four years as Chair of VMS. Wayne steered the VMS through the last two years of COVID-induced School cancellations and played an integral part in developing and delivering the inaugural VMA Digital Series. During the first two years of his tenure Wayne delivered record breaking enrolments to the VMS and orchestrated its 25th anniversary celebrations.

Further to the continuing ‘changing of the guards’, today we sadly announce the retirement of industry stalwart, Tim Worton CVE from his VMS Instructor position. The VMA Board joins the industry in recognising Tim’s contribution to the School for more than 22 years and the significance in making VMS and the Leadership Institute (LI) what it is today. Tim held the VMS Chair position and was the inaugural Dean of the LI (then the Graduate Institute).

Tim will be greatly missed and the students and Instructors will be poorer in experience from him standing down. The VMA Board, Committees, Instructors and VMA team wish him well and thank Tim for his long service and dedication. Tim continues his position as Group Director – Arenas at ASM Global Asia Pacific.

VMA’s Chair, Leighton Wood, said of the changes ‘The contributions of members like Tim Worton, Wayne Middleton and Anthony Duffy are what makes the VMA the association it is. I have personally been taken aback by their passion and commitment in service of their industry and colleagues, always at time, and often at financial cost, to themselves. On behalf of all members, I thank them wholeheartedly.’

Although the LI was likewise cancelled the last two years due to COVID, Andrew Travis AVM took over the reins last year as the LI Dean from Anthony Duffy AVM. As Chief Operating Officer of Melbourne & Olympic Parks and a VMS and LI Instructor for over seven years, Andrew brings a passion for the education of our industry.

Anthony steered the Leadership Institute to record breaking numbers and developed a program recognised as an educational benchmark for senior managers and executives in the industry and we are looking forward to continuing the success of the program in 2022 with Andrew at the helm.

The VMS Committee has two new members joining, Adam Lister, Group General Counsel at ASM Global Asia Pacific and Donna Price, General Manager – People and Culture, Melbourne Cricket Club. Adam and Donna join Gavin Taylor, Managing Director, Ticketmaster Australia; Nelita Byrne AVM, Manager Venues and Events, Tauranga City Council; Sue Max, General Manager – Event & Venue Management, VenuesLive; and Mark Zundans CVE, General Manager, The Gabba to round out the VMS Committee.

The Board congratulates all new appointees and look forward to seeing VMS and the Leadership Institute’s successful return in 2022.

Congratulations Dean Hassall – New VMS Chair

Thank You Wayne Middleton – Outgoing VMS Chair

Thank You Tim Worton – All time legend Instructor

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