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Newsletter Issue 5 July 2002

First official sports lunch at CHOGM

For the first time, the Commonwealth Games Federation and the current and future Games host cities hosted a function for the Heads of Government within the official CHOGM program.

The function was co-hosted by Prime Minister of Australia, the Honourable John Howard, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Right Honourable Tony Blair.

All 38 Heads of Government who attended CHOGM also attended the lunch. The other delegations whose Head of Government was unable to attend were represented by the Head of Delegation, so 51 countries were represented at the function.

In his opening speech, Prime Minister Howard said the function was “to express our solidarity at a political level with the cause of sport through the Commonwealth Games”.

Mr Howard also stated the function was “a gesture of support from the Commonwealth to the Games in Manchester and four years after that to the Games in Melbourne”.

Mr Mike Fennell, Chairman of the CGF, spoke to the Heads of Government about the importance and benefits of sport in the Commonwealth.

The Honourable Justin Madden, Minister for the Commonwealth Games for the Victorian State Government spoke about planning for the Games and highlighted the benefits which included increased participation in sport and social legacies. He also detailed the benefits of hosting events, not only economic benefits but also enhanced community confidence and the inspiration of youth to strive for excellence.

From the Chairman’s desk

Planning for the Games is gearing up and the momentum is starting to build towards Melbourne in 2006.

As we head to Manchester, for what I am sure will be a most successful Games, the M2006 team is expanding as indeed are our operations.

I am delighted to announce the appointment of John Harnden as the new Chief Executive of M2006.

John comes to us with an outstanding record as Chief Executive of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and we are fortunate, after an extensive nationwide recruitment search, to secure such a high quality manager. Congratulations to John and we all look forward to his contribution.

I am looking forward with great anticipation to Manchester. We will have a strong presence at Manchester but there will be little time for socialising. The M2006 team will spread itself widely across the entire Manchester Games probing and researching every event, venue and issue and gaining invaluable insights which will enrich our planning for the Games in Melbourne in 2006.

At home we are also progressing well. The agreement on the MCG re-development will ensure the completion of the centrepoint of the Games, that is the main stadium and this is a great step forward.

Planning for the new pool at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre is also well advanced and the selection process for choosing the developer of the very important Athletes Village is also progressing well. Most importantly, we have now secured all of the venues which we will need to stage our events in the Melbourne 2006 program.

M2006 is in great shape and I am very pleased with the level of preparation four years out from the Melbourne Games.

Ronald J. Walker AO CBE

Venue news

Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre
As part of the policy to provide world class, spectator friendly venues for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, the already highly acclaimed Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) will add a new, 50 metre competition pool and extended leisure water to its list of facilities.

MSAC, opened in July 1997, already has an impressive array of indoor sporting amenities under its 36,000m2 roof including:

2,000 seat show court
8 Basketball courts
12 court Badminton hall
27 court Table Tennis/Volleyball hall
10 court Squash centre
10 lane Swimming pool with seating for 2000
14 board Diving facility
Wave pool and leisure water facility
Fitness Centre
Offices, shops and cafes
Sports Medicine clinic

The new competition pool is in the final stages of planning. In normal mode it will be a 50 metre lap pool with a permanent fabric roof structure and seating for 3000 spectators on one side.

In Games mode in 2006, temporary seating will extend the capacity to 10,000 to cater for the high spectator interest for the Swimming events. This will certainly be a venue where athletes are able to perform at their very best.

The redevelopment of MSAC does not stop with the new competition pool. Extended leisure facilities will provide further benefits to the local community and Victorians as a whole. The additional facilities include a children’s interactive water park, flow rider with rapid river, and water slides and a Boomerango.

Extended car parking facilities are also planned to further provide for the many participants and spectators that utilise this magnificent facility year round.

The redevelopment is currently on schedule for completion in late 2004. The 2006 Commonwealth Games are to be held from 15 – 26 March 2006.

Interview with new CEO – John Harnden

As the newly-appointed Chief Executive of Melbourne 2006, please give us some insight into your career in event management.

For the past four years I have been the Chief Executive of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC), which stages the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne and the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island. Previously I was the AGPC’s Event Manager for four years.

What were the highlights of your time at the Australian Grand Prix Corporation?

There have been many, but we were particularly proud to be voted the Best Grand Prix twice by the Formula One teams, and for Melbourne to be the first city to receive that award two years in a row. It is the country’s largest annual sporting event with about 400,000 spectators over four days, including 80,000 corporate patrons. It is recognised as a benchmark for other Australian events, especially traffic and transport management and spectator services.

Other highlights that stand out were Mick Doohan winning his 5th World Title at Phillip Island in 1998 and Mark Weber’s 5th place in his debut Grand Prix in Melbourne this year.

You were only appointed in late June, but what insight can you provide into what will make the 2006 Commonwealth Games the best event in Australia?

First and foremost the Games are for the athletes and all planning is geared to providing opportunities to maximise their performances. I also recognise that spectators, sponsors and the people of Victoria are all seeking high levels of service and opportunities from the biggest event since the 1956 Olympics Melbourne 2006’s challenge will be to deliver an event that allows the athletes to perform at their best while meeting the needs of the other stakeholders and ensuring the event is accessible to all Victorians.

I am looking forward to meeting many of the Commonwealth Games stakeholders in Manchester in July.

How do you plan to approach this challenge?

I am looking forward to working with a team that is already well established in Melbourne, with many significant plans in place.

The draft business plan and budget is undergoing a review based on the outcomes of the Manchester Games.

The tender processes for the construction projects have either been completed or are well under way – and are all on time.

The sponsorship team is preparing to enter the marketplace after the 2002 Games and the international TV rights sales agent has been appointed. The process to create a new image and identity is under way and is to be launched in March 2003.

I look forward to growing the plans and the team over the next four years.

Queen’s Baton Jubilee Relay reaches Melbourne

The Queen’s Baton arrived in Melbourne on Thursday 25 April – ANZAC Day. The Baton had already travelled through Canada, the Caribbean, Africa and Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra in Australia.

ANZAC Day is a public holiday in Australia, commemorating Australia and New Zealand’s landing at ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli in Turkey during World War 1. Gallipoli is an event that has helped shaped the nation and the culture that is Australian.

As part of the ANZAC Day celebrations in Melbourne, the Australian Football League has established a traditional "blockbuster" game between local Melbourne teams Collingwood and Essendon. This game is held at the MCG, the site for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and athletics in the 2006 Games.

In front of 85,000 people, the largest single crowd the Baton is expected to see, the Queen’s Baton was presented to the MCG crowd by marathon legends Rob de Castella, Steve Moneghetti and Women’s Hockey captain Louise Dobson with AFL legends Peter Daicos and Simon Madden. The Baton was presented to the Governor of Victoria, John Landy, also a former Commonwealth Games and Olympic athlete.

The following day the Baton ran the length of one of Melbourne's major streets, Swanston Street to the City Square where it was presented to the Minister for Commonwealth Games and the Lord Mayor. Athletes Russell Mark, Eloise Southby and Lauren Hewitt ran along this major city street to the cheers of onlookers. In the City Square the public were invited to take the stage and hold the Baton, closely guarded by security and organisers.

Melbourne management team in Manchester

Melbourne 2006 will have a very important role during the Games in Manchester. The staff and directors, accompanied by representatives from the State and Federal Governments, City of Melbourne and other service providers and venue operators will undertake a very detailed review of the Manchester Games.

Melbourne 2006 will also host a Reception on Monday 22 July in the Manchester Town Hall for the Games Family and Manchester 2002 VIP’s.

To allow opportunities for the CGA’s and IF’s in Manchester to meet with Melbourne 2006 staff, all CGA’s will be invited to visit Club 2006 at the Games Family Hotel, the Midland Crowne Plaza Hotel. Club 2006 will be in the Lancaster Suite on level 1 of the Midland, and is to be used as a lounge area for the Games Family. The Club will be open from 9.00am every day from the General Assembly, and refreshments will be served from 6.00pm each evening.

Melbourne 2006 is also pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Minogue to the position of Project Coordinator – Games Family Services and Village. Andrew will be in Manchester to meet old friends from his days in Games Family Services for SOCOG during the Sydney Olympics and make new friends to help their planning for the 2006 Games.

Andrew will be based in the Melbourne Club 2006 room in the Midland from 25 July and will seek out all CGA’s to outline Melbourne’s plans for the Games in 2006 to assist with the CGA’s planning over the next four years.

Government makes important changes

In February 2002 the State Government of Victoria highlighted their commitment to the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The Honorable Justin Madden MLC, Minister for Sport and Recreation was appointed as Minister for Commonwealth Games.

To coincide with the appointment of Minister Madden, the Government established the Office of Commonwealth Games Coordination (OCGC). OCGC’s primary responsibility is to co-ordinate the activities and services provided by federal, state and local government agencies in delivering the 2006 Commonwealth Games and in governance and Government policy.

Meredith Sussex has been appointed Executive Director of OCGC. Most recently Meredith was Deputy Secretary and Director of the Office of Employment, Training and Tertiary Education. Prior to this Ms Sussex was Head of the Cabinet Office in the Department of Premier and Cabinet and has worked in leadership, management and policy roles in local government and across a variety of state government agencies.

Report on sport capacity

The Sport Capacity Research Study was undertaken during January to March 2002 by Consultant Lynne Bates.

All sports on the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games program were researched at National and State levels to assess their capacity to work with M2006 on the planning, preparation and delivery of the sport competition and related activities for the Games.

Each sport’s capacity was assessed in relation to staffing and administration, volunteers, technical officials, promotion, facilities, equipment and legacy of the Games.

The sports have indicated a willingness and keenness to work with M2006 for the benefit of the Games and their sport.

A second round of meetings with the National Federations to plan the agreement and delivery on the projects was recently completed. This will be followed by confirmation of implementation timelines.

It is hoped that the staffing components will commence in the second half of this year.

The Melbourne 2006 Team expands

David Pitchford
David Pitchford joined Melbourne 2006 in March as the Chief Operating Officer. In this position David is responsible for all the operational aspects of the Games, including the Sport, Venues, Support, Information Technology and Ceremonies Departments.

Prior to this role, David was the Chief Executive of Centenary of Federation Victoria and was responsible for the most extensive celebratory program ever staged in Australia’s history. This saw the national celebrations of the Centenary of Federation in Melbourne in May of 2001, with 3 weeks of events and festivities focussed on the centenary of the Commonwealth Parliament. As well, there were over 800 events staged throughout Victoria in 2001.

Before his Centenary of Federation role, David was the Chief Executive of the Office of the Governor of Tasmania and Director of Major Events. In this role he was responsible for a range of major events including royal visits, state funerals, and in particular, the management of the Tasmanian Government response to the Port Arthur massacre.

David has been a surf lifesaver since the age of 12 and has been President of Surf Lifesaving Tasmania, a Director of Surf Lifesaving Australia and Chairman of Surf Sports Australia, playing key roles in the staging of surf sports events and in particular in the running of the National Surf Lifesaving Championships, the largest annual sporting event held in the world.

Pauline Leonard
Pauline joined Melbourne 2006 in early May as the Personal Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer, David Pitchford.

Prior to joining Melbourne 2006 Pauline was Office Manager and Assistant to the Chief Executive of Centenary of Federation joining the organising team in the early planning stages and seeing the celebrations through to May 2001. Pauline was also involved in the Australia Day celebrations for 2002.

Pauline’s background is mainly administrative with organisations such as Telstra and the IBIS Group; was involved in setting up a computer training and consultancy company; has written and presented training programs in computer software and workplace procedures; has operated her own secretarial services business; does part time and small scale catering and event management.

Peter Stewart
Peter joined Melbourne 2006 in April as Group Manager – Support. Peter has nearly twenty years experience in event management including roles as Venue Manager - Marathon at the Sydney Olympics and as General Manager for two Australasian Public Sector Games (1998 & 2000). Following a long career as a track athlete, he has forged a reputation in sports administration through his work on a large number of committees, boards and advisory bodies.

In his role at Melbourne 2006, Peter will be responsible for coordinating the delivery of a wide range of services that support the sports program including traffic and transport, security, Games Family services, catering, broadcast and media.

Andrew Minogue
Andrew joined Melbourne 2006 in late May in the position of Project Coordinator – Games Family Services and Village. In this role Andrew will be working closely with Larry Sengstock over the coming months as the Games Village tender process continues through to the selection of the developer.

Andrew’s previous roles include two years as a National Olympic Committee Services Coordinator for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Andrew was responsible for managing the participation of 16 Asian NOCs including the late and highly anticipated inclusion of a delegation from East Timor. He also worked on aspects of Athletes Village planning, accreditation and official publications.

Before that, Andrew worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for over five years, three of which were spent on posting in Kuala Lumpur, where he closely observed Malaysia’s preparations for the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

Eve Greenhatch
Eve joined Melbourne 2006 in April in the position of Assistant Coordinator – Sponsorship. Eve will work closely with Melbourne 2006’s sponsorship agency Sport Marketing and Management and initially assess the sponsorship requirements of the Games.

Eve has completed a Bachelor of Arts: Sports Administration and has previously worked as an assistant to the Heineken Classic’s 2001 and 2002 Event Coordinator and the Accenture Match Play Championship’s 2000/2001 Tournament Manager.

Leah Schuter
Leah Schuter has recently been appointed to the position of Receptionist for Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. She will replace Tania Mundy who is now the Project Officer within the Support Department.

Leah comes to Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games most recently from Centenary of Federation where she provided administrative support. Prior to this, Leah held personal assistant and administration positions in fields such as architecture, real estate and wholesaling companies.

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