Community Partnerships

By partnering with some of Australia’s leading charities across food sustainability, health and housing, we believe we can make a real impact to people in need.


OzHarvest is Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, collecting quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it directly to more than 1,300 charities supporting people in need across the country.

While MCEC has actively supported OzHarvest since 2014 through food donations and workplace giving, in the past year MCEC has donated more than $100k in kind through resource and service provision.

Providing a home for OzHarvest Melbourne to host their flagship corporate engagement program, Cooking for a Cause and partnering with OzHarvest on the Cooked Meals program which saw the MCEC Chefs cooking more than 5,500 nutritious meals for OzHarvest to help address the ongoing need for food relief in Victoria.

In 2021, MCEC helped deliver 26,873 meals which is over 10kgs of food saved from landfill.

Good Friday Appeal

The Good Friday Appeal has been raising money to enable The Royal Children’s Hospital to provide children with world class care since 1931.

For almost a decade MCEC has been the proud home of the Good Friday Appeal (GFA), donating countless hours and millions of dollars in waived venue hire, technology, resources, and catering to support the event. Many MCEC staff also generously donate their time to volunteer on the day.

Victoria’s 91st Good Friday Appeal, raised a record-breaking total of $22 million to support Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital and we saw almost 80,000 visitors return to MCEC for the event.

Launch Housing

Launch Housing provides high quality housing, support, education and employment services to thousands of people across 14 sites in metropolitan Melbourne. MCEC has supported Launch Housing (formerly Hanover Welfare Services) since 2012, providing financial donations, workplace giving and in-kind support.

Launched in 2018, the MCEC Launch Housing Employment Program provides casual work opportunities at MCEC to some of Launch Housing’s youth clients. The pilot program has seen a number of young people from the Education First Youth Foyers working across MCEC’s kitchen, retail and customer service teams, providing employment opportunities while they finish their studies.

In 2019, we introduced tap donation machines at Goldfields and Shed cafes to support Launch Housing as well as providing space, marketing and tech support for various campaigns in kind.

Starlight Children’s Foundation

Starlight's mission is "to brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families".

MCEC has been the Melbourne host venue for the annual Starlight Five Chefs Dinner, since 2012. The event is proudly sponsored and hosted by MCEC and raises vital funds to support the Starlight Children’s Foundation. The 2021 event raised over $600,0000 to support Starlight in delivering its vital in-hospital programs at the Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital. 34 life-changing Starlight Wishes were also granted to sick kids.

Over the years our kitchen has hosted a number of leading Victorian chefs, who have created dazzling five-course degustations in support of Starlight. The dinner allows MCEC’s kitchen to work with some of the country’s leading culinary minds to deliver a menu for a very special cause.

Variety – the Children’s Charity

Variety – the Children’s Charity supports kids and families who are facing many challenges through sickness, disadvantage or living with special needs.

Our longest standing community partner, we have partnered with Variety since 1997. MCEC have proudly hosted the annual Variety Children Christmas Party 23 times, donating the space so we can welcome more than 4,000 children and their 3,000 carers to Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, joined by 673 volunteers for an inclusive day of fun and festivities.