Growth Mindset in Uncertain Times

When: June 25th, 2024 8:30am-3:30pm

Where: Macedon Ranges Hotel & Spa

Networking drinks to follow: 3:30-5:00pm at TBA, Woodend

Cost: $79 +GST Partners $158 +GST Non-partners


This year’s theme is all about having a growth mindset in uncertain times. We will hear from some of the country’s most innovative and forward-thinking leaders. Learn about using AI to generate content, how to market your business in challenging times, and why you should invest when others are cutting back. Gain insights into the international market and what international visitors expect, as well as real life examples on how to get traction in the weddings and events space. Understand how to utilise social media, learn about TYPSY, a new (free) online hospitality and training platform. Hear from about our region’s performance, forecasts and how to best market your property. A finance expert will talk about how to survive in a lower spend environment, and our friends at Visit Victoria and Tourism Australia will also update us on the latest marketing initiatives and how to get involved. Our keynote speaker, a behavioural scientist who has presented on the international stage and worked with the likes of Visit Victoria, will talk about the power of a positive mindset, with real life examples.

Event Program

How to engage with your Council and how they are enabling growth.
Bernie O’Sullivan, Macedon Ranges Shire CEO and Bradley Thomas, Hepburn Shire CEO
Using AI, social media and content to grow: a winning operator shares his tips and tricks
John Hall, Cactus Country and The Paddock at Ulupna
Tips on Maximising Your Online Presence, Conversion, and Future Demand
Jack Trainor,
TYPSY: Train and maintain your staff via this free app
Fiona Sweetman, TYPSY
The dream team: Visit Vic, Tourism Australia and VTIC share ways you can leverage their support and campaigns
Felicia Mariani (Victoria Tourism Industry Council), Kristy Malapa (Tourism Australia) and Charles Deuchrass (Visit Victoria)
Our keynote speaker shares actionable ways how businesses can positively influence consumer behaviour.
Dan Monheit, CEO and Co-Founder Hardhat
Not another boring finance talk: how to manage compressed margins in tougher trading conditions
Michael Woods, Newburyport Partners

Buy Tickets


Dan Monheit, CEO and co-founder Hardhat

Dan Monheit is CEO and cofounder of Hardhat, Australia’s foremost creative agency built around Behavioural Science. Since 2005, Dan has been called upon by many of Australia’s most innovative organisations and brands, including DocuSign, Virgin, Lite n’ Easy,, TAC and Visit Victoria.

Dan is regarded as one of the industry’s leading thinkers on behavioural science, brands, communications and decision making. Dan’s insights have been published in major publications including The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, CEO Magazine, Yahoo Finance,, CMO Magazine, as well as content series for the likes of Meta, Google and CarSales.

Dan’s expertise has seen him present on behavioural science to thousands of people, including SXSW in Austin Texas. His ‘Bad Decisions’ podcast regularly features in the ‘top marketing podcast’ charts and draws listeners from over 100 countries. His first Behavioural Science book, ‘The Why, the Book’ was released in 2022 and became an instant Amazon #1 Best Seller. MORE ABOUT DAN

John Hall, Cactus Country

John Hall grew up in an entrepreneurial household helping his parents turn the family business from a zucchini farm into the award-winning tourist attraction Cactus Country. His passion for tourism and marketing has helped him grow his business, The Paddock at Ulupna, into a stunning wedding and accommodation venue on The Murray. Through the use of AI and his passion for small business and marketing, John is able to work full-time as the Marketing Advisor at Moira Shire, help with strategy and marketing at Cactus Country, and run his wedding and accommodation venue.  John will share his journey, insights, and strategies for success in the tourism industry and how AI has evolved to become an essential tool for success. MORE ABOUT JOHN

Jack Trainor,

Jack is Booking’s account manager supporting accommodation operators across regional Victoria to flourish in the digital space. After having worked across the e-commerce and hospitality industries throughout his career, Jack joined in 2022 determined to help drive Victoria’s tourism growth to new heights through’s connected trip.

FIONA SWEETMAN, Project manager for Typsy at VTIC

Fiona is as an operator of an award-winning tourism business in Melbourne, and has been consulting with industry for 20 years in Melbourne and Victoria. For the last two she years has worked to bring her industry experience to training and support to Victorian operators under two grant programs at VTIC. Her passion for collaboration and knowledge of the industry offer great insights to both stakeholders and operators. Fiona’s focus on the value of tourism is in supporting industry to sustain viable and collaborative businesses, that visitors and locals benefit from. MORE ABOUT TYPSY

Felicia Mariani, Victoria Tourism Industry Council

An accomplished executive level manager that has worked across both the private and public sectors. A visionary leader with a track record of achievement linked to solid strategic planning capabilities, strong communication skills, with an impressive network of partners in both the commercial and government arenas.

Committed, passionate, dedicated and innovative, I have a great capacity to instil confidence and motivate others. I’ve served on numerous NFP and commercial boards at state and national levels tasked with driving organisational reform in order to re-establish relevance and achieve future sustainability.

Kristy Malapa, Tourism Australia

Joining Tourism Australia in 2017, Kristy acts as the primary link between tourism operators and Tourism Australia. With an extensive background in the youth travel sector, Kristy has previously held roles both domestically and internationally including the management of Hostelworld Group brands for the Oceania region. Kristy will discuss the importance of the international market, being ‘international-ready and how to move towards attracting this lucrative and growing market.

Charles Deuchrass, Visit Victoria

Charles heads up regional marketing for Visit Victoria, overseeing the delivery of large-scale brand initiatives to drive Victoria’s Visitor Economy. Recent destination campaigns include Every bit different, Stay close, go further, Click for Vic, Your Happy Space and Wander Victoria.

Working closely with Victoria’s Regional Tourism Boards, Charles and his amazing team are working hard to get Victorians to spend more time (and money) discovering their own backyard.

Charles has 20 years’ experience working in the tourism industry holding various leadership roles.

STEVE WROE ceo, daylesford macedon tourism

Steve completed a Bachelor of Business, Majoring in Tourism, Marketing and Economics, and two days after his last exam, flew to Asia, where he led tours for Peregrine Adventures. He then held roles of Marketing Manager, Operations Manager and General Manager at Peregrine. He then worked for Intrepid Travel, as Operations Director and GM of Marketing. His next role was Director of Tourism & Marketing at Parks Australia. While there, he spent a year as Park Manager of the iconic Kakadu National Park. He is currently the CEO of Daylesford Macedon Tourism, a role he has held for 5 1/2 years.

Michael Woods, newburyport partners

Michael lives in the Macedon Ranges and has been a non-executive director of Daylesford Macedon Tourism since mid-2018 and also chairs the finance and risk board sub-committee.  Michael is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and also brings extensive finance, strategy and commercial experience to DMT after twenty years of private equity, finance, project management and corporate advisory roles around the world.  Michael is now CEO of Orbel Health, a novel hand sanitiser device company that manufacturing and distributes globally, is CEO of Newburyport Partners, a boutique corporate advisory firm specialising in life science and medical technology and is also an active investor in numerous start-up innovative companies in Australia.

Bernie O’Sullivan, Macedon Ranges Shire CEO

Bernie is a senior executive with extensive and diverse local, state and national leadership experience in the government and not-for-profit sectors, leading large staff teams, strategy, organisational change and working productively with councillors and Boards.

Bernie has a wealth of experience in leadership, working with communities and a strong understanding of the opportunities and issues impacting regional Victoria, especially in the Loddon Mallee region.

Bradley Thomas, Hepburn Shire CEO

Bradley joined Council in January 2019, having previously held the position of Executive Manager Business Performance with the Mount Alexander Shire Council. Bradley has extensive knowledge of local government finance, information technology and corporate reporting. Bradley is a qualified Chartered Accountant, holds an MBA and is passionate about ensuring a high functioning organisation that delivers quality services to the community.

Past Events


Tuesday February 13, 2024

The Cosmopolitan Hotel, Trentham

  • Business breakfast with Catherine Bell, HR and Management expert

Tuesday January 23rd, 2024

Wombat Forest Winery
189 Springhill Rd, Denver VIC 3461

  • Welcome to 2024
  • Launch of the Destination Management Plan
  • The year ahead
  • Thank you drinks on us