October 2010 - BECA Chairman Geoff Donaghy hands baton to Leigh Harry

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Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre CEO Leigh Harry is the new Chairman of the Business Events Council of Australia, taking over from AEG Ogden's Convention Director Geoff Donaghy at the council's AGM this week (11th October 2010).

Elected Vice-Chairman was Adelaide Convention Bureau CEO Damien Kitto, while Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre CEO Ton van Amerongen retained the position of Treasurer.

Mr Harry brings extensive global experience to the role through his presidency of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC). He is a past president of Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) and has served on the BECA Council for 10 years.

Speaking after the vote Mr Harry said he wanted to focus on building a broader understanding of the business events industry and strengthen the critical partnership between governments and the private sector, adding:

"Business events are critical elements in building international relations and helping to stimulate economic growth, and I want to work to ensure the role of our industry is well understood and that the critical issues facing us are identified and addressed."

Mr Harry paid tribute to Mr Donaghy's five years as BECA Chair: "Geoff has worked tirelessly to progress the advocacy of the business events industry, and the profile that has been created through his efforts provides the ideal platform to continue the future work of BECA."