Thank you to our 2022 Tourism Assessment Leaders (shown in alphabetical order of first name).
Andrew’s extensive career in travel and tourism has spanned the UK, France, Asia and Australia, and includes senior management roles in both private business and government tourism agencies.
A graduate of London University, Andrew worked for both STA Travel and Contiki Holidays in the UK. Since emigrating to Australia, his experience includes positions with Destination NSW as Regional Director Asia, Northern Territory Tourist Commission as GM Marketing, and the Hong Kong Tourism Board, as Regional Director Australia and New Zealand.. He is now a board member of Destination Gippsland.”
Angela is bringing her 30+ years travel and tourism industry experience to the Awards. A former WA Manager for WA Tourism, she also held senior managerial roles in Thomas Cook Travel. With a highly developed understanding of visitor motivation and expectation, Angela has leadership-level understanding of tourism promotion, sales and product development. She developed a reputation for identifying ways to provide cost effective tourism services within the confines of limited budgets. Having lived and worked in tourism positions in Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia, as well as the UK and New Zealand, Angela has a detailed understanding of the sometimes-conflicting challenges that face destinations, operators and visitors.
Dr David Gration PhD (UQ) MBA (QUT) - CONFIRMED for 2023
David is the Director of Events Tourism Associates, a company established to provide industry relevant research, workshops and events tourism related design and planning services. He brings together a combination of academic qualifications and research skills with 30+ years of hands-on management and marketing experience in venues, festivals, special events, business events and tourism. His PhD focused on events tourism and David has worked in both metropolitan and regional centres, from Hobart to Townsville, helping communities to achieve success through sustainable event design. In 2011 he became only the second person to be made a Life Member of the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association, now known as Performing Arts Connections (PAC).
Experienced senior academic and Company Director with a demonstrated history of working in the leisure, travel & tourism industry. Highly skilled in lecturing, mentoring, facilitation, program and curriculum development, external moderation, strategic planning, and leadership. Strong business development professional graduated from Purdue University.
A leading business development advocate Leanne’s education and background is strongly aligned to tourism. Following on from her foundations as Regional Manager for Tourism Queensland, Leanne went on to lead the Caloundra Tourism for 7 years until it was disbanded due to amalgamation. She was later appointed CEO of the Caloundra Chamber with a membership of over 500 local businesses. Leanne is currently Association Secretary of the Sunshine Coast Chamber Alliance and a committee member of Regional Development Authority Australia Sunshine Coast. Leanne has lived the Grey Nomad life having travelled extensively across Australia and has volunteered at events such as the Big Red Bash and the Craft Beer and Cider Festival.
Linda’s tourism career kick-started in Asia, where she lived, worked and consulted for many years. During that time she contributed to the tourism transformation of numerous destinations, including Bali, Hong Kong, Hanoi and south east China. Upon returning to Australia Linda purchased a regional holiday resort and devoted the next two decades to achieving excellence for that venture as its CFO. Under her guidance, the resort won multiple business awards, Queensland Tourism Awards and an Australian Tourism Award. Linda was treasurer of the Sunshine Coast SKAL Club for 3 years although now retired. (Skal is a global networking organisation for members of the travel & tourism industry).
Marion is now in her fourth term as President of the Sunshine Coast chapter of Skal International - an international organisation which brings together all branches of the Travel & Tourism Industries. Marion is also the founder of MJM Consulting Agency MJM Consultancy Solutions which delivers industry expertise, innovative consulting, and quality support services across Queensland focusing on all aspects of the accommodation and hospitality industries.
The magic of travel was planted by her parents with photo slideshows of their 1960's overseas adventures. With these alluring images and growing up on the gorgeous Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, Sondra embarked on a 20 plus year career in hospitality, travel and tourism. During this time Sondra has had the opportunity to judge the South Australian Tourism Awards, and as the South Australian representative on the Australian Regional Events Alliance, giving a common voice and representation to Events and Festivals across the country. Recently Sondra has worked as the Regional Tourism Manager to some of the most remote and largest regions in South Australia - Far North & Outback and the Eyre Peninsula. To the precise opposite currently working as the Tourism Partnership Advisor for the City of Adelaide.
Susan Maynard is passionate about tourism and she has extensive experience in all things digital. With over 25 years experience in the tourism industry Susan's roles have included tourism lecturer at TAFE, digital coach for TEQ, Destination Development for VSC and tourism consultancy both within Australia and the Pacific. Susan is also a judge for the Queensland Tourism Awards and former President of Skal International - Sunshine Coast (Skal is a global networking organisation for senior members of the travel & tourism industry).
Tolita Dukes is an experienced marketing professional with over 20 years of experience within the tourism industry. Tolita has worked for a number of tourism operators, including industry leader Hamilton Island, and is the Director of a boutique marketing agency, 8 Seconds, based in the stunning Whitsundays.
If you are a current or retired tourism professional or academic who would like to contribute to the prosperity of regional and rural Australia, then please reach out to us about joining our esteemed judges for the coming season.