BCEC’s long-serving O’Keeffe given top Australian honour

Bob O’Keeffe, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) general manager, was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in this year’s Australia Day Awards for outstanding services to tourism and business in Queensland.

Australia’s longest serving convention centre general manager, O’Keeffe has been at the helm of the venue since it opened in 1995 and overseen more than 20,000 events, including the G20 Leaders’ Summit, in 2014, which put the city at the centre of the world stage.

Commenting on the Australia Day Award, Queensland Tourism Industry Development Minister, Kate Jones described Bob O’Keeffe as ‘pivotal to Queensland’s tourism industry’.

“Bob is one of Queensland’s longest serving business leaders, a great achievement in its own right. He is the reason that the convention centre has won 171 awards, which is more than five awards for every year he has been in charge. Our convention centre has been judged the world’s best in the AIPC APEX Awards 2016 – 2018,” she said.

“Today we recognise that Bob has received one of Australia’s highest accolades by joining the Order of Australia as a Member and in the 24 years he’s run the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Bob has been a pivotal figure in Queensland’s tourism industry.”

O’Keeffe said he loved what he was doing and the industry he works in.

“I am very proud to be recognised in this way for doing something I love.  I am extremely humbled by this award and hope it helps to shine the spotlight on the importance of the Business Events Industry, which drives international visitors to our shores, showcasing Brisbane and Queensland to the world.”  he said.

The BCEC delivers some AUD300 million to the Queensland economy each year.