"Since joining the program, I have met some truly amazing people and made some great connections."

Emerging Leaders Program

The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) supports and nurtures the growth and development of the industry’s future leaders through its Emerging Leaders Program.

Emerging Leaders Program

The EEAA Emerging Leaders Program (formerly Young Stars Program) gives the Association’s youngest members a platform to share their views, ideas and experiences, as well as to have a bigger voice in the work of the Association. Launched in 2012, the program offers a tier of activities tailored specifically to engage under 35-year-olds within the Association’s membership with the aim of building a strong community, ensuring the sustainability of the Association, as well as for nurturing young talent in the world of exhibitions and events.

The program gives its members the opportunity to be involved in:

  • the Emerging Leaders Meet-Up Series, which provides networking opportunities, face-to-face mentoring and advice from industry leaders
  • personal and professional development seminars on topics such as personal brands, leadership, negotiation and presentation skills
  • specially designed workshops delivered as part of EEAA’s annual conference
  • forums where Emerging Leaders can have their say on industry topics
  • Events where Emerging Leaders are given a direct communication pipeline to senior industry leaders and EEAA Board Members
  • the EEAA Awards for Excellence, with a category dedicated to the industry’s young achievers

The Emerging Leaders Program is generously supported by Tourism Australia, which became the program’s inaugural Platinum Partner in mid-2016, and Ungerboeck Software International as the program’s Gold Partner.

Upcoming EEAA Emerging Leaers Events

Click here to view the upcoming EEAA events including any scheduled Emerging Leaders events.

Meet the EEAA Emerging Leaders Committee

The EEAA Emerging Leaders Program has a dedicated volunteer committee of Emerging Leaders at the helm to assist the Association with creating opportunities for younger workers in exhibitions and events to learn and develop.

If you would like to a part of the committee and help steer the Emerging Leaders Program, email Emily Leung on [email protected].

Co-chairs of the Committee

Nikki Witman

Talk2 Media & Events

Amrita Dip

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Committee members

Lakisha Di Valentino

Diversified Communications

Samantha Ferrier

Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

Aiden Hippensteel

International Convention Centre Sydney

Aqilah Ilyas


Simon Jacobs

Melbourne Convention Bureau

Alysia McAuliffe

Reed Exhibitions AustraliaMarketing Executive

Jasmine Pohl

Adelaide Convention Centre

Amy Saleh

Hannover Fairs

Meet the EEAA Emerging Leaders mentors

Since the launch of the Emerging Leaders Program in July 2012, EEAA has provided exclusive opportunities for our young members to be mentored by industry leaders. They include:

Beverley Parker

ICC SydneyDirector of Business Development

Minnie Constan

Fine Food ExhibitionsEvent Director

Paul Constantinou

Quest Apartment HotelsChairman and founder

John Trevillian

NSW GovernmentFormer Executive Director of Protocol and Special Events

David Elia


Harvey Lister

AEG OgdenChairman and CEO

Julia Erben

Reed ExhibitionsEvent Director

Kate Smith

Waldronsmith ManagementManaging Director

Christopher Barlow

Melbourne Convention BureauChairman

Penny Lion

Business Events AustraliaGeneral Manager

Debbie Evans

Asia Pacific at Freeman APACManaging Director

Peter Rix

George P. Johnson (Australia)Managing Director

Craig Sheridan APM

Counter Terrorism Consultant

Matt Pearce

Talk2 Media and EventsOrganiser member

Guy Blomberg

ReedPOPContent Manager

Paul Baker


Vice President: Helen Mantellato

International Convention Centre SydneyVenue member

Joyce DiMascio

Joyce DiMascio Consulting Consultant

Rodney Cox

DELARO Pty LtdSupplier member

Jo-Anne Kelleway

Info Salons AustraliaChief Executive Officer

Christine Kotsis

Harry the hirerSenior Business Development Manager

Michael Hajidavid

3D CommsSenior Account Manager

Recognising the industry’s young achievers

The EEAA is dedicated to recognising and celebrating excellence in the industry. This commitment extends to honouring the industry’s rising stars as part of its annual Awards for Excellence program. The Richard Geddes Young Achiever Award acknowledges and rewards young employees who have excelled in their work, attitude, leadership and commitment – in other words our industry’s future leaders.

In 2020, four nominations were received for the Ungerboeck Richard Geddes Young Achiever Award and was won by Alysia McAuliffe from Reed Exhibitions Australia. Alysia was recognised for her strong work ethic, infectious personality and a total commitment to delivering her best, 100% of the time. Alysia received a major scholarship, sponsored by Tourism Australia.

Tourism Australia is the Platinum Partner for the EEAA Emerging Leaders Program and provides the funding for the Richard Geddes Young Achiever scholarship. Alysia received a $5000 study grant, to put towards an approved training course that will enhance career prospects in the industry, along with the opportunity to be involved in a number of EEAA Key Programs.

The scholarship is part of an expanded partnership between Tourism Australia and the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) to support the careers of young people working in our industry.

2020 award recipient

Alysia McAuliffe

Reed Exhibitions AustraliaMarketing Executive

2019 award recipient

Aiden Hippensteel

International Convention Centre Sydney

2018 award recipient

Georgie Chapman-Burgess

Exhibitions and Trade Fairs

2017 award recipient

Craig Mather

Ungerboeck International

2016 award recipients

Anne-Marie Mina

Exhibitions and Trade Fairs

James Kennedy

Exhibit Systems

2015 award recipients

Stephanie Bleakley

Diversified Communications Australia

Daniel Condon