Show cover of The ASE 2020 Project

The ASE 2020 Project

Great events take people on a journey. But what about the journey that the people involved in our industry have taken? During the 2020-21 lockdown I’m chatting with people who have made a career in our industry and asking them to share their story. Subscribe to the series via your favourite podcast app or you can come to this page for the next episode. Visit for more interviews, news and opinion about the Australian event industry. You might enjoy each episode with a cup of coffee and for the price of that cup of coffee you can support this podcast series - just go to


Ep 19: Libbie Ray
Libbie Ray left school at 15 to become an apprentice chef in her father’s restaurant.Today she is co-owner of AV24/7 and a mentor to young women in event technology.Join Libbie on her journey from growing up on the Hawkesbury River, via restaurants and venues, to television studios and then into the event industry.Support the show
46:58 8/16/21
Ep 18: Darryl Lovegrove
Darryl Lovegrove is a singer and an entrepreneur.  His singing career started in the school choir – he featured as a soloist on a recording made by the choir.Darryl went on to be a pop singer and appeared in many musical theatre productions. When his flatmate (photographer and opera singer Mark Bradley) was asked to put together a piece for a corporate event he asked Darryl if he knew any opera, Darryl had actually learned one piece for a play he had unsuccessfully auditioned for. This time he passed the audition.The gig was at an event managed by Romaine Pereira and involved posing as waiters and occasionally breaking into song. That gig led to the formation of the most successful corporate entertainment act in the world – The Three Waiters.But this is not just the story of The Three Waiters.  Darryl eventually sold his share in that business and launched out on his own, creating new corporate entertainment and launching the career of his daughter, Harmony.When COVID hit, all work in the events industry dried up so Darryl went back to his teaching degree for financial support and started writing a book about his life, The Three Waiters and being an entrepreneur. Why haven’t I heard of you? By Darryl Lovegrove is available as a hard copy or e-bookSupport the show
60:10 7/25/21
Ep 17: Ruth Lilian OAM
Ruth is an organiser.  She became one of Australia’s first In-house PCOs through her work as a Practice Manager for a group of doctors then went on to manage a number of medical associations.Ruth went on to run numerous medical meetings on her own before joining ICMS Australia and then Pharma Events.But Ruth is also a traveller and a journalist – these, and many more attributes, she shares in our chat.Support the show
67:00 11/4/20
Ep 16: Nick Eltis
From the archive: 2007 presentation by Nick EltisIn 2007 the ISES Melbourne chapter hosted a breakfast where Peter Jones introduced guest speaker Nick Eltis  Nick is one of Australia’s leading Technical Directors and he spoke about the challenges involved in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games – like flying a tram into the MCG. Nick refers to number of images during his talk which can be viewed here Support the show
12:18 9/2/20
Ep 15b: Sandy Hollway AO – Former CEO of SOCOG
In the second half of this interview Sandy reflects on the highlights of the Sydney Olympics (including that heart stopping cauldron moment).Post Olympics, Sandy kept in touch with the event industry as a head of the judging panel for the Australian Event Awards and has maintained his passion for indigenous issues and indigenous arts in particular.To wrap up the interview Sandy shares his thoughts on the recovery process for the arts and events industries over the next few years.Support the show
44:28 8/12/20
Ep 15a: Sandy Hollway AO – Former CEO of SOCOG
During his career in the Australian Public Service, Sandy served in the DFAT in postings as diverse as Pakistan, Germany, Canada and USA.  As PM Bob Hawke’s Chief of Staff he was at the centre of one of the most progressive times of Australian political life.Headhunted to lead the SOCOG team, Sandy takes us behind the scenes of the build up to the Sydney Olympics.Support the show
50:59 8/12/20
Ep 14: Di Henry – Games Girl
Di Henry’s first parade involved 1000 sheep and a bullock train trundling through the Sydney CBD to promote the Royal Easter Show, and she brought out Robosauraus to the RES.From that she went on to Mardi Gras parades and then the 2000 Sydney Olympic torch relay followed by a dozen more Olympics, Commonwealth and Asian Games relays.Di spent 2012 in England organising events for the City of London including a royal wedding, and the London Olympics city activations.Then back to the Sydney RES for another stint followed by the Paramasala Festival in Parramatta.Currently Di is trying to work out how to get back to Alice Springs for the Parrtjima Festival in September and creating embroidered artworks for sale via Support the show
75:04 8/4/20
Ep 13b: Andrew Walsh AM - storyteller
In part two of this interview Andrew takes us on a journey behind the scenes of the Athens Olympics in 2004, the Melbourne Commonwealth Games of 2006, White Night Melbourne, then back to Athens for the Special Olympics and finally we find out what took Andrew back to rural Victoria and what he is up to now.Support the show
52:58 7/29/20
Ep 13a: Andrew Walsh AM - storyteller
Andrew Walsh is a storyteller who has produced some of the biggest events in Australia and the world. In this wide ranging interview we cover how Andrew started in theatre in Melbourne while still at school then worked on various theatre productions including the original production of Rocky Horror in Melbourne. After moving to Sydney, Andrew worked for David Beal at Audience Motivation which at the time was the leader in what we now know as business events.  Following the opening of Sydney’s Darling Harbour in 1988 Andrew produced the Australia Day Spectaculars and other events there for over 15 years.We conclude this episode with the Centenary of Australia celebrations on January 1st 2001. In the next episode we go behind the scenes of the Athens Olympic and Melbourne Commonwealth Games ceremonies, and much more.Support the show
48:15 7/21/20
Ep 12: Johnny Allen – founding director of ACEM
This extensive interview starts with Johnny’s career running music venues in Sydney and the 1973 Aquarius Festival in Nimbin. Then a year in New York and London as part of the arts and music scenes – especially the emerging punk movement (hanging out with The Ramones and the Sex Pistols among others).Back to Sydney and the thriving cabaret scene including the Paris Theatre and Sedition.Then going mainstream to run Newcastle’s Matara and Bicentennial festivals in 1988 and becoming the founding event director at the newly opened Darling Harbour precinct.Johnny went on to be a founding director of the Australian College of Event management at UTS which trained over 10,000 event management students.Now supposedly retired, Johnny is still involved in revisiting Sydney’s rich cabaret and event history through a number of exhibitions and performances.Support the show
70:09 7/14/20
Ep 11: Karen Bolinger
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75:33 7/7/20
Ep 10b: Roslyn McLeod OAM - Arinex (Part 2)
Roslyn Mcleod OAM started her first business providing tour guides for the 1971 Rotary International Convention in Sydney.  That business developed through supplying tour guides and interpreters to then become a PCO.Arinex is now one of the foremost conference and destination management companies in Australia.Roslyn shares her school days in Sydney and Perth and how learning Latin and Japanese prepar4d her for that career.This first episode takes us through the early days of the conferencing business in Australia.The second episode will cover 9/11, the GFC, SARS and economic crisis including COVID-19.But there are fonder memories to be enjoyed as well including the Sydney Olympics.Support the show
45:31 6/29/20
Ep 10a: Roslyn McLeod OAM - Arinex (Part 1)
Roslyn Mcleod OAM started her first business providing tour guides for the 1971 Rotary International Convention in Sydney.  That business developed through supplying tour guides and interpreters to then become a PCO.Arinex is now one of the foremost conference and destination management companies in Australia.Roslyn shares her school days in Sydney and Perth and how learning Latin and Japanese prepar4d her for that career.This first episode takes us through the early days of the conferencing business in Australia.The second episode will cover 9/11, the GFC, SARS and economic crisis including COVID-19.But there are fonder memories to be enjoyed as well including the Sydney Olympics.Support the show
44:22 6/24/20
Ep 9: Philip Carr - Philip Carr Events
Philip was born in Johannesburg, South Africa.In this interview Philip talks about growing up in apartheid South Africa, how started in business with his mother and catering for President Nelson Mandela’s 79th birthday.  Philip moved to Sydney in 1998 and had to start all over again to build, what is now a very successful event business.  This wide ranging discussion goes into his philosophy of design that has gained him a reputation for creating truly unique events for his clients. the show
56:41 6/15/20
Ep 8b: Peter Jones AM - Peter Jones Special Events (Part 2)
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43:39 6/10/20
Ep 8a: Peter Jones AM - Peter Jones Special Events (Part 1)
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40:39 6/2/20
Ep 7: Lena Malouf - My spectacular career
Lena Malouf grew up in Canowindra in regional NSW and learned retail from her shopkeeper parents.Engaged at 18, married at 19, then starting a business with three young children Lena had to be resourceful.We follow her career from opening a floristry business in Wollongong in 1957 to teaching at Ultimo TAFE, then back into a floristry business that thrived in Sydney with contracts for the major hotels along with weddings – including that of Elton John to Renate Blauel in 1984.During this time Lena also turned to writing books on floristry.While in the US at a conference Lena met Angelo Bonito who convinced her to start a chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES) in Australia.  Lena reached out to others who were producing or providing services for events (including myself) and within a couple of years we had a fully operational chapter that lasted for 25 years. Lena Malouf farewell to ISES Sydney chapterLena opens up about the time in 2002 when she found herself on the front page of the SMH – for all the wrong reasons!When you lose $21m, it must be party timeThese days Lena still keeps in touch with the industry and the people in it.  Lena is a regular golfer and was chuffed to tell me in the interview that she won the competition the previous week and the prize was a parrot driver cover, it will be called Alan (listen to the podcast).ASE articles featuring Lena and ISES (ILEA)2012 - What has changed in events over the past decade?2016 - No more confusion for ISESSupport the show
55:27 5/26/20
Ep 6: Anne Jamieson - Saxton Speakers
While training at the William Angliss Institute Anne failed egg boiling but managed to run a catering business on the side.Anne relives her career in hotels in Melbourne, Sydney and back to Melbourne – ranging from basic chores to senior sales roles.  Following a couple of decades in hotels Anne joined the MCEC as Director of Sales in 2009.Then two years ago she was appointed CEO of Saxton Speakers Bureau.  As a true Melburnian Anne has a passion for AFL - along with the rest of her family.  Support the show
40:39 5/19/20
Ep 5: Andrea Heath - Onstage Entertainment
Andrea is a girl who likes to party.  Fortunately she is the Managing Director of Onstage Entertainment so she gets to design the entertainment for fabulous parties – mostly for her clients, but sometimes for her own amusement.Andrea’s memories from school in suburban Brisbane include the “royal flush” and appearing in the school musical with Leigh Sales (ABC 7.30).  Appropriately Sales played Lois Lane in Superman the Musical, Andrea doesn’t reveal her character.At 19 Andrea landed a job delivering mail in the Coca Cola Brisbane office and then went on to managing their Queensland promotional events.Andrea turned down a job as promotions manage for a carpet company to instead work for Onstage Entertainment – of which she is now co-owner. Have a listen and let Andrea entertain (and inform) you.Read about some of the events mentioned by Andrea.SENSE-US shows off new venue, décor and entertainmentSenseUs 2014 sizzles at Brisbane PowerhouseSenseUs 2016 upscales and shines at BCECEvent report: SenseUs 2019 appropriates the inappropriateMEA does a Silent RaveSupport the show
40:07 5/13/20
Ep 4: Ian Stuart - Business Events Sydney
Ian Stuart recalls busking in northern England following university - then a job which eventually brought him to Australia.Reconnecting with Bryan Holliday, who Ian had met in England, the pair setup a business (Sound Information) that provided audio recordings of conferences - on cassette. Ian and Brian bought into ICMS Australia and built it into one the foremost conference organisers in the country.Ian shares some behind the scenes stories of a couple of those rather interesting conferences.Today Ian is a consultant to Business Events Sydney and still enjoys strumming his guitar - but no busking.Support the show
39:19 5/5/20
Ep 3: Thomas Brown - Events Fantastic Australia
Thomas Brown is the owner of event theming and décor company Events Fantastic.Thomas is the proud recipient of a Ducktorate from Disneyland.Follow his story from Disneyland to university in Perth, his start in business events at Corporate Theatre Productions then his move to Gearhouse on the Gold Coast.  Hear how following the collapse of Gearhouse he quickly started his own business to pick up the clients he was servicing.Thomas shares his business philosophy that has seen him build a substantial business on the Gold Coast that services Australiawide.Support the show
45:49 4/27/20
Ep 2: David Green - DG Global Events
Originally from Perth, David moved to Sydney with dreams of being a successful rock musician. When that didn’t eventuate he became a roadie and met Stevie Wonder on his first gig.From rock n roll to corporate events David has delivered outstanding events across Australia.Throughout all this David has been a passionate surfer and he shares how that keeps him focussed.Support the show
54:45 4/20/20
Ep 1: Meri Took - Staging Rentals and Construction
At age 11 Meri found himself in the migrant town of Elizabeth just north of Adelaide.  Following university and a stint as a percussionist he found better income as a roadie.  Follow Meri on his rock n roll road trip across Australia, back to London across Europe then to the USA. Discovering that the knowledge gained with rock concerts could be applied to corporate events, he produced the launch of the first Apple Macintosh.   Back in Australia he co-founded Production Techniques.After that business went bust he discovered that there was a shortage of drapes for major events so he started Staging Rentals. But there is a lot more to the story of Meri Took - enjoySupport the show
44:27 4/17/20
Intro to the ASE 2020 Project
Welcome to the ASE 2020 Project.Weekly interviews with people from the Australian events industry.Support the show
01:11 4/17/20

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