Kathryn Mackenzie OAM
Kathryn Mackenzie has spent her working life developing Regional Victoria’s tourism industry and
creating new opportunities in local communities.
Ms Mackenzie has now been recognised for her service with a Medal of the Order of Australia.
The Honour, given to those who go above and beyond to serve their community and the nation,
reflects the dedication that Ms Mackenzie has for the tourism industry and her work on behalf of
Despite her penchant hard work, Ms Mackenzie says “it’s not something you ever work towards. You
have a dream – to help communities realise their potential – but you never think that people will
recognise the hard work you put into following that dream.”
Ms Mackenzie has held a number of roles throughout regional Victoria, culminating with her current
position as CEO of Echuca-Moama Tourism – a job she loves. “You know, I’m getting on a bit now,
but I don’t think I’ll ever completely stop working in tourism. I love it too much. Getting to see the change that you can make is really what I love about it. It’s a community-building role, so you get to make a difference.”
Prior to living and working in Echuca-Moama, Ms Mackenzie spent two decades working in Bendigo,
where her work helped realise the potential of the region. Ms Mackenzie tapped into the latent
potential of local producers, developing the food industry through her role as the Executive Manager
for Tourism at the City Council.
Combining the untapped resources in the surrounding area and demand for locally-grown produce,
Ms Mackenzie helped to develop a new industry of food tourism. “The main goal was to showcase
our local farmers and producers, as well as the local community. Re-routing the supply-chain so that
goods can stay in the region meant we could keep that fantastic produce in the hands of our local
As former Chair of Cultural Tourism Victoria, Ms Mackenzie still has a great passion for he arts and continues to work with regional communities to showcase Victoria's natural and man-made wonders.
To Ms Mackenzie, any undertaking is greeted with passion and determination. “A job is more than a
job – it’s about changing people’s lives. That’s why I encourage anyone to nominate someone for an
Order of Australia Award – we need to recognise those people who haven’t been recognised in the
past for the work they do.
Despite the dizzying successes, Ms Mackenzie holds on to a simple motto for guidance in a life that is
dotted with positive outcomes – “I just try to make the world more joyful, that’s all”.
Recipients such as Kathryn are recognised because someone noticed the good work they do. If you
know someone who should be recognised for what they do, consider nominating them.