“It has been a challenging and very rewarding period”: BECA chair steps down

The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA)​ has announced that independent chair Dr Vanessa Findlay has stepped down from the role.

Findlay, who joined the BECA shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, has led the business events industry’s advocacy and federal government lobbying efforts throughout the turbulent period.

“The industry is far too important to lose, so when COVID hit, it became imperative that we focus our attention on getting the best possible settings in place to ensure its future,” she said in a statement.

“Eighteen months on from the most serious of downturns and the industry is poised for recovery and rebound. It has been a challenging and very rewarding period to work with an industry of such importance.”

Speaking on behalf of the BECA board, deputy chair Geoff Donaghy said: “We acknowledge and greatly appreciate the work and contribution made by Dr Findlay in the time she has been in the BECA role.

“Her services were secured just before COVID-19 arrived in Australia, and she has been instrumental in taking the business events message to ministers, departments and agencies in Canberra, and greatly advanced our industry’s standing and recognition within federal government channels.”

Donaghy said the council’s immediate priorities are providing input into the Reimagining the Visitor Economy 2030 strategy which was recently workshopped at the Business Events Industry Roundtable delivered in partnership with Tourism Australia.

He said the BECA will also start preparing election policy advocacy and strategies on behalf of the business events industry in the lead up to federal election.