Search form

Level Up Rocket

Level Up

Level Up – taking events and business to the next level

12.30PM – 5PM Tuesday 16 November 2021
The Lighthouse Theatre

Bringing together thought leaders and subject matter experts from the fields of events, marketing, tourism, retail and local government, this special half day event will inspire and prepare you for an exciting future in the world of business and events.
Featuring presentations from Alex Wadelton, Martin Ginnane and Karen Foster, this engaging half day event will help you get the creative brain working, polish up your grant writing skills and challenge you to think differently.
Best known as 'Australia's most travelled woman', Catriona Rowntree will be your host for the day and will lead thought provoking conversations with our wonderful line-up of speakers at this exciting inaugural event.
All attendees will receive afternoon tea and leave with a handy guide to Grant Writing and Event Marketing created by Karen and o2Media. You will also go in the draw to win some wonderful spot prizes which will be drawn on the day.

Level Up is a FREE event, proudly bought to you by Warrnambool City Council and the Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions.

Click here to book your Tickets

Your Host and Emcee: Catriona Rowntree

Best known as 'Australia's most travelled woman', Catriona Rowntree has been the presenter of Australia's favourite travel program, the Nine Network's Getaway, for over 20 years.

Current work

Since then Catriona has become a household name not only for her stimulating and informative Getaway reports from around the globe but for her appearances in Nine's special telecasts and live broadcasts including the National IQ Test, Australia's Funniest Home Videos, The Chopping Block and the Logies Red Carpet Arrivals.

In 2006, Catriona celebrated her 10 years on Getaway with the publication of Catriona's Australia: 100 of my favourite Aussie locations (JDP). Her second book, The Best of World Cruising, was published in 2019 by Hardie Grant.

In addition to her TV roles, Catriona has been able to utilise her passion for community work as the Patron of the Arnotts Foundation, and Ambassador for OCRF, Mission Australia, Phillip Island Penguins, Australian Landcare, and the Year of the Farmer in 2012.

Catriona has a combined audience on social media of over 50,000 engaged followers and is an ambassador for Nature’ s Way Vitamins and Travelcard travel insurance.

A self-confessed chatterbox, Catriona is a highly sought-after public speaker and MC – spontaneous, witty and always in control, she leaves every room engaged and entertained!

Previous experience:

Catriona studied journalism after working as a researcher with Business Review Weekly, 2GB and Prime Television, and in 1991 moved to FM radio as a newsreader and music and lifestyle program host, first in community radio and then with the ABC youth FM radio station, Triple J.

In 1992, Catriona was hired as a researcher for the Nine Network's series Wonder World!, graduating to the position of reporter the following year and host in 1994. In that same year, whilst still working at Triple J, she also became host of the network's children's live entertainment show, What’s Up Doc? Catriona went on to become the show's writer and producer.

In 1996, Catriona joined the team on Getaway, a travel series offering young people an interesting perspective on the world's most exciting travel destinations.

The Business of Creativity with Alex Wadelton

Alex Wadelton is considered one of Australia’s leading creative minds.

As the co-author with business visionary Russel Howcroft of the best-selling series of books for Penguin Random House titled The Right-brain Workout, he is leading the conversation around the power of creativity for business, for school children, for mindfulness, and for affecting positive change in the world.

Current Work:

In his twenty-year career, Alex worked as a Creative Director at many of the largest agencies in the country, creating some of the most effective campaigns in Australia for clients such as McDonald’s, Nike, the Australian Defence Force, Gatorade, the University of Melbourne, Lipton, Wrigley’s, Schweppes, Myer, the Australian Football League, and Cricket Australia (including launching the Big Bash League).

Wanting to use his creativity for good, he then struck out on his own to affect positive change for many different causes, which has lead to him appearing on Channel Ten’s The Project multiple times for various projects, on The Today Show and many different radio stations.

He was also the driving force behind the statue of Nicky Winmar’s iconic stance against racism, fought back against supermarket plastic promotions with his viral Future Landfill campaign, and has recently launched a for-purpose, social-good advertising agency called Silver Lining. As he always says, when in doubt turn to your right side.

There's a misconception when you mention the word “creativity” that it’s reserved for an elite few. But creativity is a part of everything humans do. It’s in science, business, marketing, cooking, design, service, building, architecture, sales, relationships, and much more. Alex breaks down the barriers and opens up minds to the business of creativity.

Grant Writing Masterclass Part 1 with Karen Foster

A former Journalist, Karen is an experienced communicator and networker.

She is an experienced Board Director, currently serving as Chair of Moyne Health Services, Chair of Leadership Great South Coast, Moyne Shire Councillor, Director on the Western Victoria Primary Health Network Board and member of the AICD Great South Coast Regional Advisory Committee.


Join Karen Foster from o2Media for this insightful and practical masterclass designed to improve your grant writing knowledge, skills and confidence to successfully apply for a range of grant programs across Government and beyond.

Karen will help you identify sources of funding, develop a compelling story and provide you with all the tips and tricks to nail your submission.
This masterclass will be followed up with a practical grant writing workshop at a later date.
All participants in today’s masterclass will leave with a handy “Guide to Grant Writing” designed by Karen and o2Media.

Networking & afternoon tea break


Panel Session: In conversation with Karin, Tom, Peter and Liz

Liz Price – General Manager Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism

As a destination management specialist, Liz is passionate about developing a strategic, evidence based approach to growing the return from the visitor economy. Liz has worked in the tourism industry for over twenty five years including as General Manager-Australia for Club Tourism Publishing and the Inaugural Chief Executive of Destination Melbourne, Liz is a strong advocate for the region and ensuring a regional approach and believes collaboration and cooperation is critical to driving long term success.

Karin Jones – Director KSJ Event Management

Karin has been involved in cycling one way or another for over 25 years. Her love and passion for the sport of cycling opened the doors to her career in event management where she has held numerous organising management positions in our international events such as Commonwealth Games, Road, Mountain Bike and Track Cycling World Championships and numerous National level events. Karin established her own events management business, KSJ Event Management, a small boutique company, in 2009 and is responsible for delivering a number of events, the most notable is the prestigious Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic, Australia’s Oldest Race and the second oldest race in the world.

Tom O’Connor – CEO Warrnambool Racing Club

Tom is the Chief Executive Officer of the Warrnambool Racing Club. In his two years in the role, Tom has experienced the highs and lows of event management in the Racing Industry. This included overseeing the cancellation of the 2020 TAB Warrnambool May Racing Carnival due to Covid-19, only eight weeks out from the event. The following year he delivered Racing’s and Warrnambool’s largest Tier 1 Covid Safe Event with the 2021 TAB Warrnambool May Racing Carnival, hosting over 26,000 people across the three day event.
Tom has over 20 years in event management, previously working at the Wodonga & District Turf Club combining Racing with Australian Music acts including Birds of Tokyo, Sheppard, Eskimo Joe, Spiderbait and Shannon Noll

Peter Schneider – CEO Warrnambool City Council

Peter is the CEO of Warrnambool City Council, a position he has held since February 2019. Prior to that he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) in Western Australia for 10 years.

Peter has been involved in local government for 20 years, with the EMRC, City of Joondalup and Warrnambool City Council. Prior to that, as a qualified CPA, he worked in private enterprise as a Company Secretary of an ASX listed organisation, Company Director, Chief Financial Officer and National Finance and Administration Manager across a diverse range of industries including agribusiness, retail, mining, manufacturing and transport.

Peter’s expertise in business systems saw him responsible for a major business process re- engineering project at Red Rooster Foods when it was part of Coles Myer Ltd. The project involved transforming a labour intensive, cash register and paper based reporting and operating environment into a fully integrated point of sale system. The resultant system was of a world’s best practice standard for fast food point of sale and back of house technology. Many of the initiatives incorporated into the system were innovative and had not been previously considered anywhere else in the world and were subsequently incorporated into the international vendor’s product offering.

He was recruited to the EMRC from private enterprise in order to commercialise the operations and systems of the organisation, which derived two thirds of its income from commercial clients. Prior to leaving Western Australia, Peter successfully advocated for $2bn in infrastructure funding from the state and federal governments and ran a successful tender for a waste to energy facility with an economic value of $1bn.

Peter is particularly proud of his staff development and team building accomplishments and many of his direct reports have advanced to senior roles in a variety of organisations over the years.
In addition to his professional roles, Peter was also the inaugural and immediate past chairman of Regional Development Australia Perth, Chairman of the Forum of Regional Councils CEO’s Group and had Ministerial appointments on a number of working groups dealing with the future of waste management in Western Australia. He is a former board member of the South Central Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and former vice president of the Belmont Chamber of Commerce and Industry. His articles have been published in national accounting publications covering a range of issues and he has made numerous submissions to government on matters of local, state and federal significance

Join in as panelists Karin Jones, Tom O'Connor, Liz Price and Peter Schneider take the stage to have an in depth conversation with Catriona about the future of events, tourism and economic development in our region of South West Victoria. You’ll have the exclusive opportunity take part in the panel Q&A by submitting your questions during your event registration.

Challenge to opportunity - With Martin Ginnane

In 2012, Martin established Ginnane & Associates a locally based, globally connected retail advisory firm.
Retail strength, activation and engagement are the economic and social backbone of all successful global cities and large residential and commercial developments.

Specialisation across the “revitalisation placemaking agenda” working with Local
and State Governments, Statutory Authorities and Industry Associations is a core component of Ginnane & Associates

From international intelligence, to collaborative growth strategies, Ginnane & Associates works with State and Local Governments, private investors, hospitality and major retailers to develop long term plans for economic growth.

Ginnane & Associates has worked with the City of Warrnambool and many of its businesses during the Liebig Street Renewal Project, The City of Port Phillip on the reactivation strategy for Fitzroy Street is assisting the City of Ballarat on its Bridge Mall redevelopment and is the chosen consultancy to deliver the City of Melbourne/State Governments three-year Shopfront Activation Strategy for Melbourne’s CBD, where vacancies are running at around 30%.

Martin was the State Governments adviser from its inception for the Melbourne Fashion Festival and a member of the City of Melbourne’s, Melbourne Fashion Week.

Today’s changing economic environment is presenting challenges and difficulties for many businesses and events, but with every challenge comes an opportunity.

As a leading retail and activation expert Martins knowledge of industry trends, style and future direction is gained by participating in major global and local retail events. Martin brings years of experience in domestic and international retail, business development and client engagement. Martin is currently advising the City of Melbourne on bringing life and activation back to its retail landscape.

Join Martin for this insightful and exciting session about overcoming challenges and embracing opportunities in the changing business and events world.

Engage with Warrnambool

Council Enterprises

Council runs and manages a number of Enterprises for the benefit of our residents and visitors.
Explore everything that Warrnambool has to offer below.

Experience Warrnambool

What's On in Warrnambool

Discover everything happening in Warrnambool