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Sport in Victoria: who's winning?

It’s a big question, but one that the big minds of business and sport around Australia will tackle at the Sport in Victoria – who’s really winning? conference this month.

Committee for Melbourne CEO Kate Roffey, Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chairman John Bertrand, Netball Australia boss Kate Palmer, and Australian Grand Prix Corporation Chief Executive Andrew Westacott will headline a large group of industry leaders gathering in Melbourne for the two day conference to discuss and debate the key topics affecting the business of sport in Victoria.

The conference brings together over 20 experienced panellists who will assess the current impact sport has on Victoria and how it affects other areas, such as tourism and the local community.

Major events and the economy, promoting recreation and active living, the impact of elite sport on community participation, Victorian athletes on the world stage and of course drugs, ethics and science, will all be on the agenda, as well as delving into the question of what it really means for Melbourne to be labelled the ‘sporting capital of the world’. It’s a timely discussion off the back of a string of major international events, including the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France and Commonwealth Games, and the announcement of a new five year deal to keep the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

This is the third in a series of conferences that have focused on key issues relevant to the State of Victoria’s economy, society and strategic environment.

Victoria University Chancellor George Pappas and Editor-in-Chief of The Age Andrew Holden will host the conference that includes seven sessions over the course of the two days at the MCG, each session having a different group of panellists to debate the issues.

In addition to Bertrand, Palmer, Roffey and Westacott , other experts speaking include:

  • John O’Sullivan – Tourism Australia, CEO
  • John Wylie AM – Chair, Australian Sports Commission
  • Caroline Wilson – Chief Football Writer, The Age
  • David Grace QC – Athletics Australia, President
  • Richard Ings – Former Chair, ASADA
  • Professor Hans Westerbeek – Dean, College of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University
  • Peter Gordon - Western Bulldogs, President
  • Nicole Livingstone – CEO, Melbourne Vicentre Swimming Club.

Victoria University Vice-Chancellor and President Peter Dawkins said the conference was the perfect opportunity to seriously discuss the impact of sport on Victoria and whether we are doing all we can to promote sport on multiple levels. Is our focus too much in favour of elite sport to the detriment of community participation?

“The intent of the conference is to use the combined knowledge of experts in multiple fields, including senior government officials, business leaders, leading academics from Victoria University, elite athletes and senior sport administrators, to gain an insight into how we can position ourselves internationally in the business of sport, as well as balancing our focus on elite sport in a way that is complimentary to growing community participation,” Professor Dawkins said.

CEO of the Committee for Melbourne, Kate Roffey said, “We are excited to have the opportunity to bring a focus on Sport in Victoria. Victoria is known for its love of sport and hosting major sporting events, so it is vital that we discuss how this affects our state, what we get out of it and how we might be able to improve going forward.

“And should Melbourne bid to host another Olympic Games? As the sporting capital of the world, most definitely yes,” continued Roffey, as a teaser to some of the discussion and debate to unfold at the conference.

Editor-in Chief of the Age, Andrew Holden summed up, “Bringing together a group of people with the stature of those attending is a rare occurrence, so it is vital that we put everything out on the table to really get into great depth about Sport in Victoria, and who’s really winning out of it.”

Victoria University, the Committee for Melbourne, and The Age are conference partners, the conference is sponsored by the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce.

Sport in Victoria: who’s really winning? conference

Date & Time

Thursday 14 August – 6.00pm to 10.00pm
Friday 15 August – 8.00am to 6.00pm


Gate 2, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Brunton Ave, Jolimont Victoria

Further information on the Sport in Victoria conference can be found here:

Registrations for the event can be found in the link above. There is a range of ticket options, with the full conference starting at $550 for early birds.

Media Contact

Christine White
Public Affairs Unit, Victoria University
Phone: +61 3 9919 4322
Mobile: +61 434 602 884
Email: [email protected]

David Culbert
Jump Media & Marketing
Phone: +61 417 272 641
Email: [email protected]

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