MATT MCDONALD, CEO of Searoad Ferries, has been appointed as the new chair of the peak body for Victoria’s tourism and events industry.

Mr McDonald, who has served as VTIC deputy chair since November 2017, has been a long-standing member of the organisation and a strong advocate for Victorian tourism.

VTIC Board member and CEO of Saxton Speakers Bureau, Anne Jamieson, has been appointed VTIC’s new deputy chair and will work alongside Mr McDonald for the three-year term.

Chief executive Felicia Mariani congratulated Mr McDonald and Ms Jamieson on their new positions and said VTIC looks forward to continuing its efforts to ensure Victorian tourism remains competitive and at the forefront of the political agenda.

“Matt is an accomplished business leader and a fierce supporter of the state’s tourism sector – particularly for regional Victoria, where his business, Searoad Ferries, is based,” she said.

Through his time at Searoad Ferries, Mr McDonald has transformed the once traditional transport business into a flourishing tourism operation, which now transports over 950,000 passengers per year.


“Matt’s ability to innovate and think strategically will be an asset to the Board, and we are excited to continue our work and plan the future direction for the industry,” said Ms Mariani.

Mr McDonald has expertise and experience in strategic planning, business development, marketing and communications. He holds a Masters of Business Administration, is a qualified Ships Master and Marine Biologist and was previously captain of Luxury Super Yachts.

Ms Mariani also thanked and congratulated outgoing chair, founder and director of Peninsula Hot Springs, Charles Davidson, for his commitment to VTIC, the tourism industry and the many achievements he secured for members.