• Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC)
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Melbourne Tourism Leadership Program

The Melbourne Tourism Leadership Program (MTLP) is a ground-breaking professional development program giving people with a demonstrated interest in tourism an opportunity to grow as leaders within the industry.

MTLP is an exclusive leadership program limited to 25 participants each year. The participants represent a broad range of business including; government departments, local councils, regional tourism boards, hotels, attractions, transport, tour operators, consultants, hospitality and small businesses.

In 2012 and 2016, MTLP won the RACV Victorian Tourism Award for Best Training and Education Program, and most recently, in 2017, the program won silver for the same category.

The Melbourne Tourism Leadership Program is supported by Visit VictoriaDepartment of Transport and City of Melbourne.

The vision of MTLP is to continue to develop leaders from across the visitor industry who have the passion and drive to provide ongoing leadership for Melbourne and Victoria. The primary focus is on giving people the emotional intelligence tools they need to be more effective leaders.

Who should apply for MTLP?

Individuals who are committed to their personal growth and are prepared to be challenged. Applicants must have the passion and drive to provide ongoing leadership for Melbourne and Victoria’s visitor economy.

Meet MTLP Facilitator, Mel Neil

Mel Neil is an Australian positive psychology practitioner and consultant. She designs and delivers custom emotional intelligence and strengths based leadership and performance programs for public and private sector clients. As a credentialed trainer in leading emotional intelligence and positive psychology assessment instruments, Mel also provides certified training, course facilitation and coaching.

Mel’s innovative programs are recognised by peak bodies both domestically and internationally. She co-designed the first Australian Government accredited Diploma of Positive Psychology which is now delivered in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. She also co-designed and continues to facilitate the Award Winning Melbourne Tourism Leadership Program.

The uniting theme of Mel’s work is her desire to empower and facilitate the success of individuals and communities. This objective drives the astute application of her positive psychology research, knowledge and skills to teach both leaders and teams how to increase personal, business and collective well-being.

MTLP Course Outline, Content, Costs, Inclusions, Key Dates & Deadlines

Program Outline

Participants will engage in:

  • 5x one-day workshops (Melbourne-based)
  • 3x two-day residential workshops (including two in regional Victoria)
  • An official launch and graduation ceremony (Melbourne)

Program Content

  • Values
  • Time management
  • Behavioural drivers
  • Self-awareness
  • Emotional intelligence; managing, perceiving, using and understanding emotions
  • Positive leadership and communication strategies
  • Coaching
  • Goal setting

Program Costs

Program Cost for 2020: $3,650 ex GST
Payment plans may be available.

Program Inclusions

  • Program facilitation and participant compendium
  • Invitation to the MTLP Launch and Graduation
  • 11x full-day workshops
  • 3x nights’ accommodation, twin-share based, during the residentials. Single supplement is available at extra cost
  • Meals during the workshop days and residentials
  • Guest speakers throughout the program
  • Famils during the residentials.

What you can expect to get out of the Melbourne Tourism Leadership Program

MTLP Goals

  • Provide individuals with the emotional intelligence and management tools they need to be more effective leaders.
  • Increase personal, business and the collective wellbeing of leaders and their teams.
  • Develop collective leadership in the Melbourne visitor industry.
  • Provide practical learning opportunities for industry leaders.
  • Generate commitment to sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Participating in MTLP has had a profound impact on both my personal and professional life. The content provided was able to help me contextualise many thoughts, emotions and scenarios I had previously experienced. The skills and tools that are taught are profound, but surprisingly simple to implement. My  learning has also had a positive impact on those around me – from where I was at the start of the year to where I am now is vastly different, from floundering and a little insecure to confident and driven with clarity.

Can’t thank Destination Melbourne and of course Mel enough for the opportunity to be a part of an amazing program that everyone should consider applying for.”

– Peter Wallace, Searoad Ferries (MTLP class of 2018)

What can you expect?

  • MTLP will equip you with the emotional intelligence and management tools you need to be a more effective leader
  • It will help you to develop strong networks with like-minded industry professionals
  • It will assist you in increasing your personal and professional wellbeing
  • It will expose you to a number of tourism destinations and other leaders in the industry.

“MTLP takes you on a year like no other. The program packs in professional and personal development, emotional intelligence, positive psychology, leadership, strength training and so much more. MTLP connects a group of people in an incredible way, creating a space for trust, growth, compassion and faith. The program really speaks to whole lives and is far beyond a leadership program for tourism professionals. I know MTLP has provided the tools for my future success, happiness and wellbeing whether it’s in or out of the workplace.”

– Natasha Potter, Visit Victoria (MTLP class of 2019)

How employers will benefit from having a MTLP leader in the team

Professional development is integral for the upskilling and retention of your best staff, so it’s important that employers can see the tangible and intangible benefits of a leadership course like the Melbourne Tourism Leadership Program (MTLP). Based on the feedback from Graduates, here are the top ways MTLP can be of benefit to your business:

Identification and understanding of personal values

Values are the guiding principles by which we live our lives, affecting our decision making ability. Everyone has a set of values, but have you ever identified what those are? From the first workshop, participants recognise their values, how they are led by their values and how their values impact their leadership capabilities. This gives participants a valuable navigation system allowing them to live by the values that serve them best. Being aware of one’s values can help:

  • Enhance self-awareness and effectively navigate personal priorities
  • Gain a deeper understanding of interpersonal relationships and manage conflict more effectively
  • Add clarity in decision-making
  • Set goals for both professional and personal environments.

Fostering positive leadership

Participants learn to cultivate a positive leadership through communication, relationships and by creating a positive environment. This improves performance including increased productivity, higher employee morale and a healthier workplace culture. A positive leadership also eliminates barriers; resolves problems and builds strong workplace relationships.

Part of a strong collaborative network

Over the course of MTLP a lot of time is spent with fellow participants from across the tourism, hospitality and local government industries. Knowledge, thoughts and ideas are communicated and discussed giving each participant shared experiences with their classmates.

With the Program limited to 25 participants each year – drawn from across Greater Melbourne and regional Victoria – MTLP’s graduate network has now over 200 leaders. After graduating, the 2019 alumni will continue to be provided with networking opportunities with their classmates and previous years’ participants. 

Confidence to better lead others

Participants stated a better understanding of other people and their emotions as a key outcome of the program. The tools explored throughout MTLP equip participants with the confidence to understand and lead those around them and increase their compassion. Participants are strongly encouraged to share their MTLP learnings with colleagues so the benefits have a wide reach in any team.

Increased effectiveness

According to past participants and their employers, MTLP results in an increased focus and ability to drive and take on larger and more complex projects. A better understanding of Melbourne’s visitor industry ensures a greater focus on the visitor experience with more emotionally aware leaders being able to manage a variety of situations and make better decisions for themselves and their business.

Greater sense of purpose

Having identified and understood values, increased effectiveness, gained a strong network and having the confidence to better lead others, a greater sense of purpose results. The final workshop covers goal setting, and with all the knowledge gained in mind, participants are able to go forward assured in their abilities, ready to lead and influence the industry. .

“Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine (previously Geelong Otway Tourism) has benefited immensely from the knowledge and wisdom that MTLP has instilled in our participants of the program. Since 2010 there has been a senior staff member take part in the program annually. This has allowed the management team to enact an emotional intelligence culture that has ensured a positive mindset and critical thinking approach. From our strategy setting to our everyday work, strategies and techniques learnt from MTLP are applied. This has further helped the local tourism industry work through programs and strategies to ensure a positive culture is instilled into our region.”

– Brett Ince, Executive Director, Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine

MTLP Graduates

Applications for the 2020 Melbourne Tourism Leadership Program are now closed.


Adeline Keh Business Events Victoria

Andrew Baber Federation Square

Andrew Whalan RACV Cape Schanck Resort

Apple Leung Global Ballooning Australia

Arina Kruglyakova Melbourne Star Observation Wheel

Ben Ribeiro City of Melbourne

Carla Garner Tourism Greater Geelong & The Bellarine

Eddie Wilson Tourism North East

Emma McDowell Saxton Speakers Bureau

Fan Yang Leisure and Tourism Solutions

Jason Balkin Melbourne Convention Bureau

Jason Palmer SEA LIFE Melbourne

Jessica Warburton Pioneer Settlements/Swan Hill Rural City Council

Jo Birley Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism

Lauren Bruce Victorian Department of Transport

Lisa Logan Diana Alpine Lodge

Madeleine Sawyer Caravan Industry Association of Australia

Natalie Babic Puffing Billy Railway

Natasha Bassett Commonwealth Golf Club

Pauleen Boulton Destination Phillip Island

Renee Scrayen Searoad Ferries

Sarah Breheny Visit Victoria

Serena Miszkowski Pt Leo Estate

Varun Sachdeva Gumbuya World

Yvonne Wang Phillip Island Nature Parks


LAUNCH: Thursday 13 February 2020, 8.30am – 10.30am

OPENING RESIDENTIAL: Thursday 5 & Friday 6 March 2020

WORKSHOP 1: Friday 3 April 2020

WORKSHOP 2: Friday 1 May 2020

WORKSHOP 3: Friday 29 May 2020

MIDDLE RESIDENTIAL: Thursday 25 & Friday 26 June 2020

WORKSHOP 4: Friday 14 August 2020

WORKSHOP 5: Friday 11 September 2020

CLOSING RESIDENTIAL: Thursday 8 & Friday 9 October 2020

GRADUATION: Thursday 22 October, 6pm – 8.30pm

Venues of all workshops, residentials, launch and graduation are to be confirmed prior to the commencement of the program.

2015 Graduates

Adrian Byrt, Alejandra Ortiz-Arenas, Andrew Wilson, David Grattan, David Johnston, James Tranter, Jarred Parsons, Jennifer Keating, Jessica Gilchrist, Jessica Wickham, Joanne Petrillo,  Kellie Barrett, Leander Joseph, Lisa McKenzie, Mark Day, Myra Young.Nicole Pretty, Rebecca Andrews, Sheri Peters, Susan Beniston.

2014 Graduates

Adrian Borg, Amelia Maher, Ashlee Kay, Bowen Kress, Chloe Tubbs, Christine Gibbins, David McCarthy, Fiona Dunn, Glenn Harvey, Isabelle Fennessy, Kate Fraresso, Kaye Tuddenham, Kenji Takamori, Kirsty Grace, Marko Sanovic, Melanie Grinter, Narelle Needham, Natasha Flinos, Simone Thorpe.

2013 Graduates

Caitlin Sewell, Christian Dal Zotto, Ingrid Sanders, Jo Pincus, Kate Quigley, Katie James, Kine Haugland,   Matt Kennedy, Meg Law, Melanie Boulton, Michelle King, Jonas Le Souef, Nicole McLean, Nicole Tehan, Nigel Preston, Paul Beames, Roberta Styles-Wood, Rowena Fitzgerald, Scott Dewar, Scott Lever, Simon Lock, Simone Eckersley, Sophia Xu, Tania Jacobs, Tracy Carter.

2012 Graduates

Andrew Cyples, Anna Heaton, Anthony Grace, Danika Benison, Darren Vowles, David Thomas, Despina Karatzias, Emanuela Camera, Gary Strickland, Jean-Francois Barallon, Jenny Mitten, Joanne Gallpen, Karen Oliver, Kate Freer, Kerry McClure, Kylie Schurmann, Leesa Riley, Lincoln Wilson, Lisa Hunt, Olivia Noonan, Patrick Alewood, Robert Wolff, Sheleen Jegasothy, Sheridan Nuthall, Simon Purssey.

2011 Graduates

Abbie Northwood, Anthea Scerri, Brett Ince, Carla Phillips, Danee Georgiou, Diane Barrera, Edi De Pellegrin, Emma Cullen, Fiona Ive, Fiona Sweetman, Ingrid Marshall, James Callander, Joanna Garrie, Julie Dal Pra, Kate Lillis, Kylee Vowles, Liz Ellis, Louise Osborne, Mark Phelps, Pauline Murtagh, Penny Wilson, Polly Gibson,  Rachel Hoy, Stuart ChristelowTracy Hore.

2010 Graduates

Amanda FarrellyChris Porter, Daniel Patrillo, Daniela Buehrig, Danielle Phyland, David Carruthers, Emma O’Halloran, Emma Johnston, Jenine Fleming, Joanne Issaverdis, John O’Donnell, Kellie Monger, Lana Epshteyn, Lauren Marquet, Lisa Newman, Llawela Forrest, Matt Jones, Nigel Aldons, Pablo Diaz, Reegan Key, Sarah Leaman, Tina Seirlis.

2009 Graduates

Alysia Brandenburg, Andrew Gooday, Claire Werkmeister, David Fitzpatrick, Diana Morgan, Ellena Ly, Kelly McCarthy, Leah Grinter, Louise Hudson, Marcia Ryan, Maree Martin, Megan Peacock, Michelle Dawson, Misti Dullard, Nicola Reynolds, Nicole Smith, Nola Cuddy, Olivia McClean, Penny Olive, Renee Street, Richard Ponsford, Sally Curtis, Sean Daugherty, Susan Wright, Tina Truong.

“My immediate work colleagues are benefiting from MTLP, as I have been able to share different models about leadership, emotional intelligence and mindfulness with them. I am also able to utilise these skills with colleagues throughout the wider tourism and local government industries and have applied a number of new techniques in a range of meetings.

Specifically I have revisited the allocation of my time and have revisited a previous technique to use of my time more productively. This has had a  positive effect on my work/life balance and contributes in a positive way to what I can achieve at work and what I can contribute to my community.”

– Janine Hayes, Destination Gippsland (MTLP class of 2016)

“When I started this leadership course I was looking for a chance to renew and review my career, where I was headed and how I could re-focus my skills and experience within the tourism industry and also within Parks Victoria.

MTLP really is a journey. It’s a chance to check yourself, where your priorities are and how you move forward with the confidence you are aligned with your values. I’ve also been able to grow my leadership skills quite significantly and I feel as though I’m a much stronger and more effective leader within my company. The Melbourne Tourism Leadership Program has been by far one of the best things I’ve done for both myself and my career in tourism.”

– Jarred Parsons, Parks Victoria (MTLP class of 2015)