MPavilion (24 01 24)

5 Minutes With: Elaine Chia, CEO of Naomi Milgrom Foundation

Whether she’s sampling grey gelato or enjoying a riverside run, Elaine Chia knows how to make the most of the city that she now calls home. As we gear up for a busy summer season at the pavilion, we caught up with our CEO and resident gelato-advisor to learn about her favourite Melbourne experiences.

Tell us about your own experiences of MPavilion – do you have any defining memories over the past 10 years?

I only moved back to Melbourne last year, so I haven’t visited and experienced every MPavilion. This year’s opening of MPavilion 10 will stay with me for a long time, as it was the moment it felt that all we imagined with this MPavilion was fully embraced by the people. There’s no better feeling than to watch others respond as you hope they will. 

What are the best free things to do in Melbourne in summer? Aside from MPavilion, of course.

I’m rediscovering Melbourne’s cycling tracks that stretch along the Yarra (Birrarung) and along the beach from Port Melbourne to Brighton.

There’s also so much great art around Melbourne aside from the major museums and galleries. I really encourage everyone to drop by Craft Victoria in Flinders Lane and the Australian Tapestry Workshop in South Melbourne.

What’s your favourite building in Melbourne?

Exterior-wise, the Barak Building has the most thoughtful and beautifully executed facade.

My favourite interior is the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre for its unique panelling, which results in perfect acoustics to hear some of Australia’s and the world’s greatest musicians.

What are your recommendations for people exploring the MPavilion program?

We intentionally create a program that one can dip in and out of. That’s the magic of MPavilion – we welcome you to explore, and of course, every event is free. We hope you will find something that piques your interest and just come along and try it out. If nothing else, you’ll be visiting a stunning pavilion where you know you’ll be welcomed.

Right now, I’m listening to, watching, reading…

Tim Minchin. I saw his recent show in Melbourne and loved every moment. He’s so clever. He makes the ordinary extraordinary, and somehow also the extraordinary seem ordinary in the best possible sense.

If I didn’t live in Melbourne, I’d live…

In Singapore. My Asian body feels happiest in heat and humidity. It’s also the best excuse to eat heaps of gelato!

Enjoy a free program of events this summer at MPavilion 10, open until 28 March 2024.

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Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the people of the Eastern Kulin Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which MPavilion stands. We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present – and recognise they have been creating, telling stories and caring for Country for thousands of generations.

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