Staging events is a walk in the park for Dustin Lockett

Date: 2nd February 2021

Whether he’s running a large-scale event or in a Stawell Gift final, Dustin Lockett brings a wealth of experience from both sides of the track to his latest role on the board of Stawell Gift Event Management Ltd.

From live shows, exhibitions and concerts to the Gold Coast Indy 300, Dustin has over 20 years of major events, television and commercial experience and sees his role on the SGEM team is to lend his skills in marketing, sponsorship and broadcast integration.

“Our vision is to build on the great work done by the Stawell Athletic Club over the past 140 years and to make sure its immediate future is strong so we can carry that into the future,” Dustin enthused.

“The Stawell Gift is one of the most prestigious and iconic sporting events in Australia and has been running for nearly as long as the Melbourne Cup which is a pretty fair effort! 2022 will be the Gift’s 140th running. There aren’t too many other events in Australia that have such an impressive record of longevity, only not running due to war and now COVID.

“In a crowded sporting market, we fare pretty well with Live Free to Air broadcast on 7 and on Foxtel which a lot of other sports struggle to secure.  That said we are working hard to broaden our market and position to ensure the time-honoured Stawell Gift is around for another 140 years.”

Dustin was in the final of the 1997 Stawell Gift so to him, the Stawell Gift means over 20 years of Easters spent at Central Park.  “It was always our grand final, the culmination of 12 months of hard work building up to Easter and win or lose it was always a great weekend catching up with fellow athletes from all over the country. 

“I have been lucky to have competed at Stawell over a long period of time and made 10 finals across 70m, 100m Vets and the Gift in 1997, but sadly no sash.  And for us pro runners it’s all about winning a sash at Stawell.  In ‘97, I was in the shape of my life and ran really well in my heat and semi to make the final with plenty up my sleeve for the final. 

“I thought I had the set up I needed to win with Millard out in front to catch, but I didn’t count on him getting such a great start which really threw me.  I remember every step of that race and unfortunately, I ran about two meters slower than my heat to run 5th.  But that’s the pressure of Stawell.  I am grateful to have made a Gift final as many don’t get to experience it and Daniel was certainly a worthy winner on the day.”

Dustin’s other running highlights include reaching the final in four Jupiter Gifts in Queensland and at Bendigo, Rye, Maryborough and Daylesford in Victoria and wins in the Mt Gravatt Gift, Temora 70m and Novice Gift, along with the Macksville Novice and Coonabarabran Backmarkers in NSW.

Among the huge number of major events including musicals, plays, concerts and festivals Dustin has produced, he states his biggest highlight was bringing The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo to the Etihad Stadium in 2016 with five sold out shows, making it the second most successful event to have ever been staged at the Stadium only behind rock legends AC/DC. 


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