Australian Regional Events Alliance (AREA)

“Today is your opportunity to build the tomorrow you want”

– Ken Poirot

The Australian Regional Events Alliance (AREA) was born in 2020, from a common voice across the country which repeatedly expressed a need for greater connection and representation collectively.

From a time in our industry that has presented some of our greatest hurdles, we have come together to represent events across regional Australia and to highlight the importance of their existence, both socially and economically, for our communities.

Many of our metro counterparts are far more visible within the event sector and quite often our industry needs stem from their needs, not ours.

With a focus on events outside of a capital city, AREA seeks to empower regional operators and leverage opportunities that will champion, inspire and support the regional events industry.

AREA represents operators and professionals from local government through to not-for-profit, and is inclusive of all types of regional events, from sporting, music and business, to tourism, cultural and community events.

In 2021, AREA’s core focus will be to take on the learnings from recent devastation to build a more sustainable and resilient regional events sector, that continues to drive social and economic outcomes for regional and rural Australia.

AREA will also focus on developing connections and strengthening partnerships with federal, state, regional and industry bodies, and will provide support and advice to relevant departments around the needs of the regional events industry as it tries to recover not only from COVID-19, but in many cases, the devastation caused by the bushfires in early 2020.

An equally important priority of the group is to strengthen the understanding and narrative around the significant direct and indirect impact of events, both socially and economically.

To find out more about AREA’s 2021 priorities click here.

Meet Our Team

We’d love to hear from you! Please reach out to us via email: area@regionaltourism.com.au

VANESSA BRIODY

Co-Director | Oregional Collective

A lover of all things wine, food, music and fun, 20 years in the game has seen Ness plan, manage and market countless events including festivals, expos, product launches and conferences.

Ness has worked on marketing, creative and event projects with numerous iconic national and international brands such as Stella Artois, Country Racing Victoria, Carlton United Breweries, VIVA Energy and Suzuki Australia.

ANDREW HIEBL

CEO | Association of Australian Convention Bureaux 

From the Albury Entertainment Centre to Geelong’s Convention Bureaux, Andrew has an impressive history in all things business events, venue management and business tourism.   

Andrew now holds the role of CEO at the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux and is a board member of Australian Regional Tourism (ART), providing a link between ART and AREA.  

KATE KIRKPATRICK

Co-Director | Oregional Collective 

With years’ experience working in the event and tourism industries and for various local governments, Kate comes with a strong operations and planning background.

Located in Victoria’s Grampians region, this self-confessed extrovert is not afraid to throw herself completely into an event, and has worked across racing, food and wine, community and corporate.

GARRY O’DELL

Land Use Strategy and Regulation Specialist for Temporary Activities

Located in Newcastle, Garry has been a Director and part-owner of a firm of architects; a sole practitioner in his own planning consultancy; and has also held various town planning roles.

He is undertaking doctoral research to explore local government decision making processes for events in NSW, is a valued contributor to tourism strategy for the Hunter Region and lectures in Tourism Planning and Policy. 

BETTE BONNEY & PAM BURLEY

Jumpers & Jazz in July Festival  

Pam Burley & Bette Bonney are known locally as the Dynamic Duo. They recognise the impact regional events have economically and socially on regional communities like their own in the Southern Downs of Qld. Dedicated Jumpers and Jazz in July festival fans turned into hard working festival prime movers committed to growing tourism visitation in the region.

KELLY MAPLESTON

Events Manager | Port Macquarie – Hastings Council 

Passionate about the environment and with a Not-For-Profit event background, Kelly is based in regional Port Macquarie. Her role oversees sponsorship and promotion of events coming to the region and delivery of community events. This role has exposed her to destination awareness and the positive economic and social impact that events bring to regional areas.  

LINDA TILLMAN 

Managing Director | Tilma Group 

Linda has a strong marketing and events background, coupled with intuitive skills in community and tourism development. Well known for her regional passion and ability to harness the symbiotic relationship between tourism and events for destinations, Linda has worked on a range of projects across regional Australia and has an innate ability to connect with these communities.

LYNDEL MOORE

East Gippsland Visitor Economy Bushfire Recovery Manager | Destination Gippsland 

Lyndel Moore works for Destination Gippsland as a Bushire Recovery Manager though has worked in the development, creation and production of national and international events for over 25 years. Destination Gippsland is the peak tourism industry body for the region whose role is to inspire, influence and lead positive outcomes through partnership across Gippsland.

DALE MCIVER

Director | Alice Event Management & Consultancy

Having worked within the tourism industry for over 20 years, Dale is well connected within the industry and her commitment to the cause was rewarded upon receiving the NT Tourism Brolga award as the most outstanding individual employee in 2015. Now a proud small business owner, Dale offers a variety of event management and tourism consultancy services and also sits on numerous industry boards.

SONDRA STEWART

Tourism Development Manager | Regional Development Australia (Whyalla & Eyre Peninsula) 

Dedicated and accomplished in tourism business development and marketing, Sondra has a varied and versatile skill set developed through years of hands-on experience. She has been a travel consultant as well as held roles in sales and marketing within the hotels industry, yet tourism and the role events play as part of it, is where her passion really shines through.

Industry

We look forward to sharing with you our various industry body and association partners soon…