Meetings & Events Australia Ltd is an independent non profit body with a national office and seven branch secretariats around Australia. Each branch runs an education program through out the year. Most activities are open to members and non-members. Contact the particular branch for further details.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors consists of 5 members, inclusive
of 3 office bearers and 2 additional executive members.
Mr Simon Baggs AFMEA
CEO & Creative Director - Lateral Event Management View Bio
Simon Baggs is the CEO of Lateral Event Management.
Founded in 1996, Lateral is headquartered in Sydney with staff located in Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Auckland and Hong Kong.
Lateral is the event management company of record for a number of blue chip corporations, creating and delivering unique upscale customer events, meetings and conferences.
Lateral's public events provide access to experiences not available elsewhere ? such as sharing an evening with Sir David Attenborough discussing his extraordinary life or getting to know how Heston Blumenthal, currently recognised as the best chef in the world, gets his creative inspiration.
Prior to founding Lateral, Simon was the Director of Marketing of the ATP, the worldwide governing body of Men's tennis and Director of Marketing of what is now known as Destinations NSW
Ms Anne Jamieson Director of Sales and Marketing - Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Rhona Walker is the owner operator of Solution RED and Avantage and has a very strong background in event support within the hospitality and venue environment. Rhona played a major role in the induction of audio visual services into hotels in Victoria and around Australia during the early 1990's.
In 2001 Rhona made the decision to open her own Audio Visual and Themeing company and in 2008 became the owner of Avantage along with the opening of new offices in both Sydney and on the Gold Coast.
Although her business life is extremely busy, Rhona finds time to mentor and coach students from all major TAFE colleges and universities who are entering the meetings and events industry.
In 2006 Rhona was recognised for
her business success as a Telstra Business Womens
Finalist and in 2009 was named Industry Person
of the Year, Asia Pacific.
Anne’s experience is extensive and includes senior executive roles with Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Novotel Melbourne on Collins, InterContinental Hotel Groups, and Radisson Hotels Asia Pacific. Her accolades include Best Performance and Risk Taker Starwood Hotels and Resorts 2007, MEA Hall of Fame for Best Conference Venue, AHA Award for Best Hotel Local 2007 whilst at The Westin; and winner of the InterContinental Hotels Group “Sales Team of the Year” for impact and influence. Anne is currently Director of Sales and Marketing for the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, a committee member of the Australian Associations Project and sits on the board for Meeting Events Australia (MEA). Anne brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to MEA.
Ms Susan Ryman-Kiernan AFMEA Managing Director - Wise Connections
Susan Ryman-Kiernan has over 25 years event management experience - planning and organizing events all over the world. In 1998 she established Wise Connections a boutique provider of conference, business events and incentive travel management services. Susan has delivered conferences, travel incentives and corporate events in over 30 countries around the world including Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa, Europe, Scandinavia, the Americas and the Caribbean. A strong advocate of professional development within the Meetings and Events Industry, Susan has been actively involved with MEA since 1999, was Chair of the Victoria Branch Committee from 2007?2010 and is currently a National Councillor and member of the MEA National Board of Directors.
Ms Kate Smith AMM
Managing Director – WALDRONSMITH Management
As Managing Director of WALDRONSMITH Management, Kate Smith brings to the role 30 years experience in the business events industry, primarily in the hotel and conference management sectors. Kate offers clients substantial knowledge and expertise in the strategic planning and delivery of international and national conferences throughout Australia. Understanding the complexity of the market, Kate works extensively with suppliers and major stakeholders in the industry to ensure effective relationships produce outstanding results for clients and their delegates. Kate is actively involved in the business events industry and is genuinely passionate about the role that she undertakes.
Rosemarie Sama has more than fifteen years experience in the business travel, incentive, meetings and events industry.
Rosemarie is the Event Director for the multi-award winning event AIME, the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo held annually in Melbourne.
Under her direction AIME has been recognised globally as a major international industry event and the most significant event of its kind in the Asia Pacific region.
AIME delivers the best in business opportunities, professional education and networking opportunities. In addition, the event has become a platform for the industry to share ideas, for leaders to gather and a venue for the next generation of meetings and incentive organisers to learn key skills.
Rosemarie is recognised by her peers for her impeccable business acumen, leadership skills, tenaciousness, passion, drive and commitment to the event, and indeed the industry.
Ian Whitworth is co-founder of national AV company Scene Change. He is also the principal of Sydney creative marketing and branding agency A Lizard Drinking, working with clients outside the meetings industry. Ian has served on MEA’s conference content committee for the last 3 years, and created the ‘Bad PowerPoint Ban’ that received global media coverage. He served on the board of Business Events Tasmania for 2 years. He is a long-term columnist for MICE.net magazine, and has twice won the Miles Clarke Award for business writing
MEA Chief Executive Officer
Ms Linda P Gaunt
Chief Executive Officer - Meetings & Events
Linda Gaunt is the Chief Executive Officer of Meetings & Events Australia - MEA (formerly the Meetings Industry Association of Australia). Linda has held this position for the past three and a half years, during which time she has driven a positive change management process for the association.
As Chief Executive Officer of MEA, Linda is a member of the following Boards and Councils:
The Industry Advisory Board to Tourism Australia
The Industry Advisory Council to Service Skills Australia
The Virgin Blue Industry Advisory Board
The Business Events Council of Australia
The Federal Minister for Tourisms Business Events Strategy 2020 Group
Linda is also a member of:
The Australian Institute of Management
International Special Events Society
Prior to taking up her current position in 2005, Linda was the Deputy CEO and Director of Education and Training of the Australia Institute of Management.
Linda is the Telstra 2005 South Australian
Business Woman of the Year as well as the
South Australian Hudson and Community Business
Woman of the Year 2005.
Born in Belfast Northern Ireland and completing her schooling in Adelaide, Linda holds post-graduate studies through to a doctorate in business administration.
Linda is enjoying the challenges and rewards
that holding the role of Chief Executive of
MEA has brought, and believes her background
working within Association Management with
various industry bodies will assist her
drive MEA to greater heights ongoing.
One of Linda's key strengths is her understanding of membership organisations and the importance she places on maintaining and growing membership. Each of the organisations that she has worked for in the past have been membership based and she understands well the commitment necessary to represent members at all levels and to provide value to members to retain their commitment to the organisation.