Our Events Team


GEMS General Manager, Julie McGraw, Awarded 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 MEA ‘National Meetings Manager of the Year’

Julie Head Shot
Cert new Gold 2 mixedAMM_logo_2col
Julie McGraw AMM CEM
General Manager/ Senior Conference Manager

TwitterLogo_blue@JulieGemsEvents

Meetings and Events Australia National Meetings Manager of the Year 2014/2015 and 2015/2016

Julie began her professional career in the hotel industry and has worked for organisations such as Qantas, Southern Cross Hotels and Ritz Carlton.  Moving out of hotel operations, she worked for JBA Hospitality for 8 years, where she was a Senior Consultant and Operations Manager for Australia, New Zealand and the south Pacific for companies including Sheraton Pacific, Shangri-La, Rydges and Pan Pacific Hotels. Specialising in the area of group and convention management, she was involved in the organisation of such projects as the International Conference of Iron and Steel in 1980 and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in Melbourne in 1981. With an Executive Certificate in Event Management (with Distinction) from the University of Technology Sydney, Julie is an Accredited Meetings Manager (AMM) and and is a Certified Event Manager (CEM) with the Professional Conference Organisers Association of Australia. Julie has lectured in hotel management at the William Blue Hotel Management School and Macleay College, has been a guest presenter for South West Sydney’s Event Management program and was a presenter at the Inaugural PCOA National Conference in 2008. Julie has more than 25 years experience in the event management industry, having managed more than 150 conferences and special events, and continues to deliver outstanding results for her clients, excelling in her attention to detail and making her events not only profitable but also memorable. With Julie leading the GEMS Events Team, nothing is impossible, having vision and integrity for each one of her clients.

Favourite Saying: “If you always do what you have always done, you always get what you have always got” – Henry Ford
Favourite Movie Quote: “The last mosquito that bit me had to check into the Betty Ford clinic” – Patsy, Absolutely Fabulous


Michelle Head Shot2Cert new Gold 2 mixedMichelle Glasson CEM
National Marketing and Communications Manager/ Senior Conference Manager

TwitterLogo_blue @MichGemsEvents

Michelle has over 15 years experience in event management and has a Bachelor of Human Movement from Southern Cross University with a major in Sport and Event Management. Michelle achieved accreditation through the Professional Conference Organiser’s Association of Australia in 2010 as a Certified Event Manager (CEM). She began her career in 2002 with International Management Group (IMG), gaining a strong background in sporting and public events and joined the GEMS team in October 2005. Over the past 11 years, Michelle has been responsible for the management of national and state conferences for many of our long-term clients and she is a passionate and experienced event professional with a focus on building strong working relationships with each client, in order to meet the objectives of an event. In her role as National Marketing and Communications Manager, Michelle loves introducing potential clients to what GEMS do and how we can help them produce a higher standard of event. Michelle has been responsible for developing our brand and responding to all business opportunities for our organisation for the past 4 years.  Michelle was a Meetings and Events Australia NSW Finalist in the category of Business Development Person of the Year in 2015.

Favourite Saying: “If you don’t change where you are going, you will end up where you are heading”
Favourite Movie Quote: “I’m in a glass case of emotion” – Anchorman


Cert new Gold 2 mixedrobyn_headshotRobyn Gardner AIMM
Senior Conference Manager

TwitterLogo_blue @Robyn_GEMSEvent

Meetings and Events Australia PCO of the Year 2016/2017
2014 EEAA Richard Geddes Young Achiever Commendation

Robyn is a dynamic, creative and award winning Event Manager with over 10 years’ experience in the Business Events sector. In 2015, Robyn gained accreditation as an Accredited In-house Meetings Manager (AIMM) with Meetings and Events Australia. In 2014, she received a commendation for the Exhibition and Event Association of Australia’s (EEAA) Richard Geddes Young Achiever Award. Experienced in managing events with budgets upwards of $750,000 and over 150 speakers, Robyn has an outstanding track record of successfully delivering complex and multi-faceted events. Robyn possesses strong leadership skills and is naturally talented at fostering collaboration and building consensus with a diverse range of stakeholders to achieve robust goals and objectives.

In her previous role, Robyn managed the Australian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference (AOG), the largest Oil and Gas Exhibition in the Australasian Region with more than 10,000 attendees which generates a $32 million economic impact in Perth.

Favourite Saying: “Choose your love, love your choice”
Favourite Movie Quote: “Full on Monet. It’s like a painting, see? From far away it’s okay but up close it’s a big old mess.” – Clueless


marisa_headshotMarisa Poropat
Finance Manager

Marisa has more than 20 years experience in senior accounting roles including positions at Dolby Australia, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Morgan and Banks and BHP Transport. Marisa is responsible for all client and conference finance management at GEMS. She has a keen interest in all things finance, as well as improving the financial processes and procedures here at GEMS. In recent years, Marisa has been a key driver in the growth of GEMS’ Secretariat services, that we provide to a number of Associations. In addition to financial roles and responsibilities, Marisa oversees the membership team and all Association secretariat operations. She also frequently joins our Conference operations team on site as an Event Specialist, managing delegate registration.

Favourite Saying: “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West
Favourite Movie Quote: “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you are going to get” – Forest Gump


Rebecca_Head shotRebecca Nguyen
Senior Event Coordinator

TwitterLogo_blue @BecGemsEvents

Rebecca joined the GEMS Team in April 2016, having a background in venue event sales and operational management.  Rebecca completed a Bachelor of Management in Events and Leisure at the University of Technology Sydney in 2015, during which she interned for both Dragon Events China and the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2014 and 2015, Rebecca founded the UTS Event Society and undertook the role of President of the society for 2 years. Having previously worked as a venue function coordinator, Rebecca has a keen eye for detail and understands the importance of meeting deadlines and maintaining a high standard of customer service. Rebecca is responsible for the supporting our Conference Managers for many of our National Conferences.

Favourite Saying: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticised anyway” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Favourite Movie Quote: “You go, Glen Coco” – Mean Girls


Mel_Head shot
Melda Kocataskin
Conference and Events Coordinator

Melda joined the GEMS team in April 2016 having completed a Bachelor of Management in Events and Leisure at the University of Technology Sydney in 2015, during which time she undertook her professional internship with the Local Organising Committee Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2015 Asian Cup’s Accreditation Team . Melda was a founding member of the UTS Event Society and has been involved in many fundraiser events for local community groups, which she is passionate about.  Melda will support the events team in the delivery of all client conferences and events and will manage delegate registrations and inquiries.

Favourite Saying: “Set your life on fire, seek those who fan your flames”  
Favourite Movie Quote:
“If you have good thoughts,  they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely”  Roald Dahl, The Twits


sarah_padget_headshotSarah Padget
Conference and Events Coordinator

Sarah joined the GEMS Event Management Australia team in January, 2016. Previously, Sarah held the position of Events and Conference Operations Supervisor at the Accor MGallery Fairmont Resort, based in the Blue Mountains. Having worked on the opposite side of the fence, working in venue management, Sarah brings to GEMS a strong working knowledge of on-site event operations, including client and customer liaison, day-to-day venue operations and accommodation management. Sarah will support the events team in the delivery of all client conferences and events and will manage delegate registrations and inquiries.

Favourite Saying: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”  
Favourite Movie Quote:
“Yes, but did you die?”  Mr Chow – The Hangover