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AACB Announces 2016 Hall Of Fame Inductees

September 14, 2016 Accolades No Comments Email Email

The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) and IMEX Group are pleased to announce Ms Sue Calwelland Mr Jon Hutchison AM as the AACB Hall of Fame inductees for 2016.


Alex Donaldson (IMEX), Karen Bolinger (Melbourne Convention Bureau), Sue Calwell, Lyn Lewis-Smith (AACB President), Andrew Hiebl (AACB CEO). Absent: Jon Hutchison AM.

The induction ceremony took place at the AACB’s Annual Conference gala dinner held at Victoria Park, Brisbane on 9 September.

The AACB Hall of Fame was established in 2015 to acknowledge the AACB’s continued business events leadership, sponsored by the IMEX Group. The award recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of Australian convention bureaux and the business events industry. It also provides a historical narrative of leaders which have grown and nurtured the industry to present day.

AACB CEO Andrew Hiebl said, “In celebrating 31 years of leadership, AACB is thrilled to recognise Sue Calwell and Jon Hutchison AM as industry pioneers and AACB Hall of Fame inductees.”

Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group said, “IMEX are delighted to be once again supporting the AACB Hall of Fame. We passionately believe in the importance of recognising and rewarding those who both make a difference to the industry and inspire us all. Many congratulations to all the recipients.”


Jon Hutchison AM

In 1976, at age 29, Ms Calwell was appointed Executive Director of the Melbourne Convention Bureau, then part of the Melbourne Tourism Authority (MTA), a role she held until 1996. During her time at MTA Sue led many effective lobbying campaigns to have the Victorian Government understand the potential of, and build a prominent meetings industry. Her role was pivotal to many positive outcomes for the burgeoning meetings industry including successfully lobbying for the Victorian Government to underwrite the establishment of a purpose built meeting venue, The World Trade Centre, the forerunner to today’s Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. A further highlight of her many great business achievements was bringing the World Rotary Conference of 25,000 delegates to Melbourne in the early 1990’s, Sue was also responsible for the development of Melbourne Meeting Mart in 1983, later to become AIME.

Mr Jon Hutchison AM, during his stellar 30-year career, led many of Australia’s foremost tourism and travel organisations including holding the role of Managing Director of the Australian Tourist Commission (now Tourism Australia) and immediately prior to his 2011 retirement was CEO of Business Events Sydney. Jon worked tirelessly to secure Sydney’s position as ICCA’s number one convention city in the world in 1998/99, and a top 5 ranking for a further 3 years; he was instrumental in establishing Sydney as the first Australian city to develop the North Asia market, winning 81 events between 2004 and 2010. He also built the trade show “Sydney on Sale”.

Jon championed the idea of the “beyond tourism” benefits of business events and their far reaching impact, and pioneered the phrase “Business Events”. Jon has also held various Chairman and honorary roles with key industry organisations including DMAI, PATA, Team Australia and AACB.

In 2007 Jon was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia for his services to tourism and business and remains an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Business at University of Technology Sydney.

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