General Manager Paul Davison shares his new vision for Sydney Masonic Centre (SMC) to align with the recently announced multi-million dollar renovation plans that will transform the centre.

According to Davison, who took up the GM mantle in July 2018, the overarching vision is for SMC to be the first-choice venue for meetings and conferences in Sydney’s CBD.

Davison aims to position SMC as the market leader in venue management, event planning and customer service by capitalising on its ideal Sydney city location as well as the ability to offer both variety and flexibility in venue selection and bespoke in-house services. “We have identified five key pillars that support this mission,” he explains, “Our Market, Our Clients, Our Delegates and Guests, Our Environment and Our Community.”

In this article, we explore SMC’s first pillar “Our Market”, and will visit SMC’s other four pillars in future articles.

For Davison, SMC’s market sits firmly in the business-events sector while the centre also attracts cultural and social events including concerts, award galas and Christmas parties. As both enabler and host, the SMC team forms a rapport with each event organiser that is more like a partnership than a typical client/venue relationship.


Sing out Sydney 2018. Photos taken from ABC Sydney Facebook Page.


In the B2B space, SMC’s strong connections across government, NGOs and NFPs mean that many of the events held at SMC deliver a social legacy as well as an economic benefit. The combination of SMC’s client-first approach, its CBD location, excellent facilities and attractive pricing has seen the conference centre welcome the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW Department of Family and Community Services, NSW Department of Education, International Urban Design Conference, Migration Institute of Australia as well as the Australian Council of Social Services to name a few.

Due to the very nature of these events, SMC becomes an incubator for policy-shaping think-tanks where direct and indirect socio-political benefits flow to the people that live in Sydney, in NSW and in Australia. From the macro to the individual level, events at SMC generate:

  • social and networking opportunities
  • opportunities to share and communicate ideas
  • opportunities to develop new relationships and nurture existing relationships
  • opportunities to participate in cultural experiences.

On the cultural front, SMC opened its doors to approximately 1000 Sydney Open visitors on Sunday 4 November. Deputy Grand Secretary of SMC Chris Craven was ‘delighted to give Sydney Open visitors the opportunity to enjoy rare access to the world of an ancient fraternal organisation in one of Sydney’s most enigmatic pieces of architecture.’

On Sunday 18 November, SMC hosted the important cultural event Sing Out Sydney to celebrate the joy of singing during the ABC’s Ausmusic month. Every year, this popular annual ABC Radio event brings together community choirs to share stories and performances, culminating in a glorious mass choir song. Last year Sing Out Sydney covered Nick Cave's 'The Ship Song', which you can view here.

SOS3SOS3Sing out Sydney 2018. Photos taken from ABC Sydney Facebook Page.


“Given our unique market positioning and great value, SMC hosts a variety of events that enhance people’s lives, develop resilience in communities, progress innovative agendas and have a positive influence on the outlook and wellbeing of our guests and delegates. We’re very proud to enable this sort of enrichment,” says Davison.

Audio Visual and Broadband Internet



In the Grand Lodge and Banquet Hall, the installation of new Panasonic 12,000 lumen laser light source data projectors deliver crystal clarity, brightness and resolution that is ideal for video and film screenings as well as all highlighting the granular detail in speakers’ presentations.


Throughout the building, new digital mixing consoles, concert quality Martin Audio public address systems, wireless microphone technology and lecturns are all welcome improvements for presenters and performers.

Hearing assistance has also been augmented throughout the venue via wired hearing loops and infrared assisted listening systems.


A newly installed intelligent architectural lighting system allows for lights to be easily and precisely programmed for different functions. Perimeter RGB shadow lighting allows for different colour combinations and mood lighting states. Importantly, feature walls are augmented with gallery-style wall washer lights that highlight artworks and exhibition content. House lighting throughout the foyers and meeting rooms has been upgraded to second generation LEDs for improved light output and energy efficiency. When SMC re-opens, event organisers will simply use touch screens to select options to light their presenters and performers, add stage washes and special effects as well as change the room ambience. Depending on the style of each event, and if needed, SMC’s AV technicians can also control all lighting from one central location.


New rigging infrastructure provides added flexibility and the advantage of quick turnarounds when re-setting rooms for different styles of events. A motorised truss in the Banquet Hall and new centrally placed ceiling motors allow for rigging special effects including giant chandeliers and mirror balls. These staging devices and capabilities mean that event organisers have the option to restyle the same room from conference mode to gala mode with ease and efficiency.


When it comes to online access, SMC recognises fibre-optic internet connection as the industry standard. Taking this standard seriously, SMC has invested in an enterprise level fibre-optic backbone and has the capability of providing fast, secure connections reaching speeds of up to 1000 mpbs both up and down, and can accommodate private premium networks. This is ideal for live streaming and delegates making use of digital applications and social media. SMC also offers free Wi-Fi throughout the entire venue for guests and a cabled in connection in every room is possible. Event organisers simply select a connectivity plan to suit their requirements.


Whatever the emphasis and creative composition of your event, SMC is now technologically equipped to deliver events aligned with your strategic goals and convey the messages you want to get across.


pdfConnectivity217.45 KB



SMC and Secure Parking have teamed up to offer you 15% off ALL parking products at the Secure World Square Carpark when booking online.
At the Secure Parking World Square booking page, click “BOOK NOW” next to any of the products and apply the promotional code: SMCFC16.

Arriving by train? The closest station is Museum Station (300 metres or a 3 minute walk) and then Central Station (700 metres or 7 minutes). To walk from Museum Station, simply follow the Castlereagh Street exit signs inside the station, then turn left heading south down Castlereagh Street. At the first intersection (corner of Castlereagh & Goulburn Streets), turn right to come to the SMC main entrance at 66 Goulburn Street.

pdfLocation and parking information sheet785.18 KB


SMC Hotel Partners


Located within a stone’s throw of the venue are a range of quality affiliated hotels that makes SMC an attractive option to organisers hosting delegates for multi-day events.

Click on the hotel icon in the above map to see each hotel’s address, phone number and website, or download SMC’s Accommodation Fact sheet.


pdfSMC Accommodations Fact Sheet PDF547.4 KB

Sydney University Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference

Event Highlights

Date: 5-9 March 2018

Event Type: International Conference

Delegates: 350

Key achievements: Fully flexible venue use, high speed, large-volume internet usage and special requests.


The Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference (LAK) was held for the first time in Australia in March 2018. Sydney University brought the event to Australia after a winning the bid to host the conference.

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SMC the Leading Venue for Accessibility

Event Highlights

Date: Aug - Sep 2015

Event Type: Annual Meeting, Conference and Workshops

Delegates: 600


SMC Conference & Function Centre’s (SMC) versatile spaces provide an elevated level of accessibility to all types of events via extensive accessible design, including direct access for unassisted entry, and indirect access compatible with assistive technology such as hearing loops.

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ACEL Inaugural Hedley Beare Memorial Lecture

Event Highlights

Date: 13 February 2015

Event Type: ACEL Inaugural Hedley Beare Memorial Lecture

Guests: 169

Key achievements: Effectively managed a high profile, high risk national event


The objective of this event was to bring educators across the nation into an open forum, inclusive of a Q&A with the Australian Minister for Education and Training, and to be briefed on the release of the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) report.

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NSW Australian Cinematographers Society Awards Dinner

Event Highlights

Date: 8 November 2014

Event Type: NSW Australian Cinematographers Society Awards Event

Delegates: 200

Key achievements: Delivery of the third consecutive award event for ACS


The Australian Cinematographers Society Awards are held annually in every major state. The NSW Awards were held on 8 November 2014 at the SMC Conference & Function Centre (SMC) Banquet Hall. There were 20 categories and 200 people in attendance including 80 nominee finalists, sponsors and members.

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Starlight Children's Foundation

Volunteer Thank You Event

Event Highlights

Date: 20 October 2014

Event Type: Starlight Children's Foundation Volunteer Thank You Event

Delegates: 120

Key achievements: SMC Conference & Function Centre’s Marble Foyer facilitated one of the largest groups of volunteers as part of the Starlight Children’s Foundation’s community

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Australian Medical Students' Association

10th Global Health Conference

Event Highlights

Date: 5 — 9 September 2014

Event Type: Australian Medical Students' Association 10th Global Health Conference, workshop, social events

Delegates: 720

Key achievements: SMC Conference & Function Centre's (SMC) Plenary Hall facilitated the largest ever AMSA global health conference. AMSA engaged a wider than ever range of speakers including, for the first time, a webcast featuring a high profile speaker from the UK

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