Australian marine committee names new president

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The Gold Coast International Marine Expo Committee in Australia welcomed a new president this week after founding president Stephen Milne stepped down from the role late last year.

After three years at the helm, Milne opted to hand the reins to Gold Coast boating and business leader Patrick Gay.

Gay founded Gay Constructions in 1955 and has created developments that include the River Links estate in Helensvale. In 1988, Gay and Jeff Leigh-Smith started the Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard. A decade later, Gay was awarded the Order of Australia Medal at the 2008 Australia Day awards ceremony for service to the construction industry, educational and youth social welfare groups, as well as to the sport of game fishing.

Event and marketing coordinator Emma Milne said changes will be introduced this year, based on exhibitor and community feedback, including a date change and the introduction of a modest entry ticket price.

“We have decided to bring the expo dates forward to Oct. 17, 18 and 19, when the weather is a little cooler and to avoid conflicting with other major events, such as the Melbourne Cup and the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,” she said in a statement. “This date change will also allow our exhibitors more time to prepare boats sold at the expo ready for pre-Christmas delivery.”

“Mr. Gay is a very active boater and stalwart supporter of the Gold Coast International Marine Expo and the marine industry, and I am thrilled he has taken up the role of president,” Stephen Milne said. “It has been a joy and an honor to be part of a team creating such a great family boating event from scratch with an extremely limited budget. And it was certainly the raw passion, belief and commitment by a lot of people that have made expo what it is today.”

During the last three years, the expo has welcomed more than 60,000 people through the gates and raised more than $50,000 for four local charities.

“As the expo continues to grow, I know Mr. Gay will help to steer this not-for-profit event to the next level, and I look forward to continuing to be an active part of expo as a committee member,” Milne said.

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