Industry Forums

Each month, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival hosts a free virtual forum featuring topics and speakers relevant to the hospitality industry in Victoria.

Beginning in May 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown, the forums have so far dealt with the most pressing issues for hospitality businesses right now including renegotiating leases, boosting cashflow and reopening with restrictions. As our industry looks ahead to recovery, we’ll be planning discussions that reflect this.

To hear about future forums, make sure you’ve signed up to our Industry News.

Industry Forum #5 - Saving the Bars of Melbourne

In a profoundly challenging year for hospitality across the board, Melbourne’s bars are among the hardest hit businesses in the trade. What’s going to happen to these defining parts of the city’s culture and night economy? How will they survive?

Join our panel as they talk about saving the bars of Melbourne 

  • Zara Madrusan, co-owner, Made in the Shade
  • Tash Conte, owner, Black Pearl
  • Michael Bascetta, co-owner, Bar Liberty and Capitano, CEO and co-founder, Worksmith
  • Moderated by Pat Nourse, creative director, MFWF
Saving the bars of Melbourne Zoom Link

Industry Forum #4 - JobKeeper 2.0 Explained

Need to make sense of JobKeeper? What should you have in place right now to get ahead of the changes coming in September?

Our fourth MFWF industry forum examines phase two of the Federal Government’s wage subsidy package with specific reference to how it affects hospitality businesses and workers with the help of On Tap Hospitality, accounting and operational management specialists.

JobKeeper 2.0 Explained

Industry Forum #3 - Recovery in the Regions

A panel of leaders in Victoria's regional tourism and hospitality industries discuss the issues experienced by businesses outside Melbourne due to restrictions on travel, trade and movement in response to the pandemic.


  • Felicia Mariani (Victorian Tourism Industry Council)
  • Andrew Ryan (Mitchelton Wines)
  • Alla Wolf-Tasker (Lake House)
  • Pat Nourse (host)
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Industry Forum #2 - Operating in the new normal

Join our panel as they discuss how to transition into reopening your business post-lockdown.

  • Justin Hemmes, CEO, Merivale
  • Wes Lambert, CEO, Restaurant and Catering Association
  • Jerry Mai, restaurateur/chef, Bia Hoi, Annam and Pho Nom
  • Anthea Loucas Bosha, CEO, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (host)
Operating in the new normal

Industry Forum #1 - Roadmaps to Recovery 

Join our panel as they discuss how to negotiate the best position for your business in recovery.

  • Lisa Livis, State General Manager SME Banking, Westpac and Bank of Melbourne
  • Chris Lucas, CEO and founder, Lucas Restaurants
  • Andrew Kaspen, Partner, Pointon Partners Lawyers
  • Pat Nourse, Creative Director, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (host)
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