Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…read more
Australian Grand Prix Chair named new Chief Executive at Melbourne And Olympic Parks
Experienced sports business and major events leader John Harnden has been named as new Chief Executive of the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust (MOPT).
Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula today announced Harnden would replace long-standing Chief Executive Brian Morris, who will step down after 14 years in the role.
Harnden was Chief Executive of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Corporation and cricket’s 2015 World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
He is currently Chair of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and will remain in that position until a replacement is appointed.
Morris, who announced that he would be stepping down from the role earlier this year has a remarkable record of achievement in the role.
The Australian Open is locked in at Melbourne Park until at least 2036 and Morris has overseen a $972 million upgrade at the precinct to ensure it remains a world-leading sport and entertainment destination.
Highlights include the addition of Margaret Court Arena and the National Tennis Centre, as well as a major refurbishment of Rod Laver Arena.
The precinct hosts a wide range of major events, none bigger than the Australian Open which attracted nearly 800,000 spectators over two weeks in January.
In his new role, Harnden will oversee the Victorian Government’s $271 million third stage of the Melbourne Park redevelopment, which is under way. Works include construction of a new function and media centre, a multi-purpose sunken show court and a central logistics hub.
Announcing the appointment, Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula stated “delivering more than 600 events and attracting 2.5 million visitors each year, the Melbourne and Olympic Parks venues including AAMI Park, Rod Laver Arena and Melbourne and Margaret Court arenas are a big part of why we’re the sporting and major events capital of Australia.”
“Brian Morris has done an outstanding job at the helm of a key Melbourne organisation and I wish him all the best for the future.”
“John Harnden has a record of achievement and a passion for sport that make him the right person to fill Brian’s shoes.”
Looking forward to his new role, Harnden added “I am thrilled to be joining the team at the Trust and look forward to working with everyone in the precinct to continue the success of this world-famous sporting, cultural and entertainment icon.”
Images: John Harnden (top) and Melbourne and Olympic Park from the air (below).
25th July 2019 - Tennis Australia to change hardcourt surface for Australian Open
15th April 2019 - Work underway on latest stage of Melbourne Park redevelopment
30th March 2019 - Melbourne and Olympic Parks showcases new function centre at Evolve 2019
20th March 2019 - Brian Morris to step down as Melbourne and Olympic Parks Chief Executive
7th February 2019 - TEG entertainment fills Melbourne Park venues
29th November 2018 - Melbourne and Olympic Parks announce venue refurbishment plans
5th September 2018 - Inaugural Melbourne Park eSports event attracts thousands
21st August 2018 - New name for Melbourne’s Hisense Arena
23rd April 2018 - Tennis Australia looks to gain management control of Melbourne Park
8th August 2015 - John Harnden Appointed Australian Grand Prix Chairman
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