ASEAN-Australia Special Summit at MCEC Leaves a Lasting Impact

The summit took over the entire venue, bringing together leaders from nine Southeast Asian countries and Timor-Leste, as well as prominent figures from business, community, and academia.

30th Apr, 2024

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) hosted the 2024 ASEAN-Australia Commemorative Summit in March, marking the 50th anniversary of Australia's dialogue partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).  

As the largest venue in the Southern Hemisphere, MCEC met the unique requirements of the prestigious and global-reaching event, blending functionality with grandeur to reflect Melbourne's dynamic spirit.

The summit took over the entire venue, bringing together leaders from nine Southeast Asian countries and Timor-Leste, as well as prominent figures from business, community, and academia. 

With expansive spaces and innovative technology, MCEC provided a seamless flow of events, fostering productive discussions and meaningful engagements among ASEAN members. 

MCEC Chief Executive, Natalie O’Brien AM was proud to host the global-reaching event.

“The 2024 ASEAN Commemorative Summit was not only a significant event for us at MCEC but an event that will leave a positive legacy for Australia and the world. The summit brought together leaders and experts from all over Southeast Asia. It was a complex and intricate event to plan and coordinate, but the success of the summit showcases our capabilities as a premier events venue on a global scale." 

Successfully executing the high-profile event demanded meticulous planning and coordination.  

MCEC Project Specialist – Major Events, Maxine McIntyre said the MCEC team collaborated with the Commonwealth Government, local authorities and precinct partners to deliver a safe and successful major event.  

"We conducted numerous pre-event site inspections and held meetings with Victoria Police and the ASEAN Taskforce to align on security goals. We established a venue operations control centre through close collaboration with various agencies, including Victoria Police, Fire Rescue Victoria, Ambulance Victoria, 1300 Medics, Citywide Traffic Management and event security, providing a holistic perspective of event operations, enabling real-time triaging of event requirements and ensuring the event's success and safety." 

The ASEAN Summit held at MCEC will have long-lasting and enduring legacies. During the summit, Australia announced comprehensive new initiatives across various sectors, worth over $500 million, aimed at deepening economic, cultural, educational, and environmental ties with Southeast Asia and ASEAN, including: 

  • Launching a $2 billion Southeast Asia Investment Financing Facility, appointing senior Business Champions, establishing regional technology Landing Pads, and easing travel between Southeast Asia and Australia;
  • Establishing a dedicated ASEAN-Australia Centre, offering numerous scholarships and fellowships, and providing English-language training for Timor-Leste's ASEAN membership process;
  • Allocating significant funding to climate change initiatives, clean energy, and maritime cooperation;
  • The connections built at various forums, conferences and dialogue discussions during the summit at MCEC provided a platform for sustained cooperation in technology, business, social enterprise, and policymaking. 

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