Above: Young Achiever of the Year award winner Matilda Dwyer, Ticketing Services Manager at Theatre Royal Sydney with Steve Mackenzie, Chief Innovation Officer at Momentus Technologies
The Venue Management Association (VMA) hosted the 2023 Venue Industry Awards on Tuesday, May 23, following the 30th edition of the Asia-Pacific Venue Industry Congress. This prestigious event recognizes and celebrates outstanding professionals in the venue industry who demonstrate exceptional skills, passion and commitment to delivering unforgettable experiences for all.
As a strong advocate of emerging talents in the venue industry, Momentus Technologies has consistently supported the ‘Young Achiever of the Year’ award, offering the winner the opportunity to attend the Venue Management School organized by the VMA. This accolade aims to acknowledge and highlight the valuable contributions made by up-and-coming venue professionals. Matilda Dwyer, Ticketing Services Manager at Theatre Royal Sydney, was announced as the deserving recipient of this year’s award. We had the opportunity to sit with Matilda to discuss what winning this award means to her, as well as gaining insights into her personal and professional journey along the way.
Momentus: Congratulations Matilda on winning the Young Achiever of the Year Award! Tell us, what does this achievement mean to you?
Matilda: Winning this award has, in a way, cemented the idea for me that everything happens for a reason. Three years ago, I was working at a theatre in London when the pandemic shut down the theatres and then the world. I came back to Australia not knowing if the industry would ever recover or if I would still have a place in it if it did. To be here now not only working in a role I love, but also being recognized by industry peers, is a wonderful feeling and has energized me to work harder to keep bringing audiences the experiences they are passionate about.
Momentus: How long have you been working in the venue industry for, and more specifically at Theatre Royal Sydney?
Matilda: I have been working in the arts and live entertainment industry for just over 10 years. However, I am very new to the world of ticketing and have only been part of this aspect of the industry since starting at Theatre Royal Sydney in April 2021. I have been the Ticketing Services Manager since November 2022.
Momentus: If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is just about to enter the venue and events industry, what would it be?
Matilda: That there are so many opportunities and career avenues within this amazing industry and it’s okay not to know where you want to end up! If you are passionate about events and dedicated to the work, it won’t take you long to figure out where your skills fit best — so don’t hesitate to try anything and everything.
Momentus: Were there any individuals or mentors who played a significant role in your success? How did they support or guide you?
Matilda: My biggest mentor over the last two years particularly has been Houri Tapiki, General Manager at Theatre Royal Sydney. Houri has had an amazing career in the industry, particularly in the world of ticketing and has opened my eyes to the many things that are possible in my own career.
Momentus: How does this recognition align with your long-term aspirations or vision for your field?
Matilda: It was so exciting just to be nominated as a finalist for this award. It was especially thrilling for the other two finalists in this category to also be young women who are passionate and committed to making live events the best they can be. Seeing more and more young people choose this industry and to start challenging accepted norms is fantastic. Just because something has been done a certain way before, doesn’t mean it can’t change. I look forward to seeing more young women succeed in this business!
Momentus: And lastly, do you have a favourite quote?
Matilda: “Decisions are made by those who show up.”
Learn More About the Venue Industry Awards
If you know a young leader who made a significant impact on our industry over the past 12 months, do not hesitate to nominate them for next year’s awards. Applications will reopen at the beginning of 2024. Visit the VMA website for more information. Congratulations again to all the runners-up of the 2023 Young Achiever of the Year award, as well as to all the applicants.
By Steve Mackenzie