Adam was one of the original five founding management team members of seek.com.au in 1997 and was responsible for the growth of seek’s markets in Australia and New Zealand.
His success during those formative years established SEEK as the leader in Australia and gave it the platform to become the world’s largest employment destination. SEEK is currently valued at over at $3 Billion.
Adam is an entrepreneur in his own right having started up think from an idea at University to a full launch in 2016.
As Founder and CEO of think Adam has an impressive record of success with Software as a Service business models.
Adam completed a Graduate Diploma in Advertising and graduated top Student at Monash University for a Post Graduate Diploma in International Business. Adam is currently completing his MBA and Masters of Business Law.
Anne is a company director and holds board positions in a range of industries including insurance, banking, medical research and property. She is on the boards of Goodman Group, Ardent Leisure Group (formerly Macquarie Leisure Group), ClearView Wealth Limited, REVA Medical Inc., G.I. Dynamics Inc., and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.
Anne is also a member of the Advisory Council of Royal Bank of Scotland (formerly ABN AMRO), Governor of the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation and Trustee of the Centennial Parklands and Moore Park Trust.
Her former Boards include STW Communications Group, Insurance Australia Group Limited, NRMA Limited, the WorkCover Authority of NSW, the Tourism Task Force and an inaugural director at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. Anne was the General Manager, Australia for United Airlines from 1993 to 2001.
Anthony Hayes is the Chief Executive Officer of Fantasea Cruising, one of Australia’s most exciting challenger-brand cruise companies. With vessels on Sydney Harbour, Pittwater and along the Queensland coast, Fantasea Cruising carries more than 750,000 guests annually. Experiences include Joy Bar wine tastings on Sydney Harbour, sightseeing cruises, whale watching, water taxis, government ferries, cruise ship transfers, car ferries, special events and charters.
Prior to joining Fantasea Cruising, Anthony was Managing Director of AAT Kings, Australia’s largest guided holiday company. Specialising in guided holidays, short breaks and day tours, AAT Kings carries hundreds of thousands of guests around Australia and New Zealand each year.
Anthony has also been Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Queensland (now Tourism & Events Queensland), where he was responsible for international and national sales and marketing, industry development, airline route negotiations, product development and setting the overall strategic direction for tourism in Queensland. During this period, Tourism Queensland won over 130 national and international marketing and tourism awards, including a large number for “The Best Job in the World”, the most awarded marketing campaign in Australian history.
Anthony also enjoyed a long career at Qantas holding numerous roles in sales, marketing and product development, including Assistant to Managing Director James Strong and regional head of Central Europe based in Frankfurt.
Anthony has sat on numerous tourism boards including the Australian Tourism Export Council, the Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau, Events Queensland and the National Long Term Tourism Strategy committee.
In 2014, Anthony was awarded the Hospitality and Tourism Executive of the Year by CEO Magazine’s CEO of the Year Awards.
While originally working in agriculture and veterinary R&D, Cameron has over 15 years experience in marketing and communications roles across a range of industries including ag vet, consumer goods, healthcare, fundraising and tourism. Cameron has a Bachelor of Science with Honours and a Master of Commerce in Marketing and Organisational Behaviour.
Prior to his current role as Director, Cameron previously held various General Management positions at the Taronga group, responsible for life sciences, marketing, media relations, environmental education, fundraising and partner/stakeholder management.
He is Vice President of the Zoo and Aquarium Association, Director of the International Rhino Foundation and past Chair of Ecotourism Australia. Cameron is also on the Advisory Boards for the University of NSW Faculty of Science and TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute.
Currently Craig is Director – Aviation Anjuna previously he took the plunge and founded Travelogic in 1989, and over the following 19 years grew that business into a $135M powerhouse which catered to a range of clients primarily in the Sydney market, including the very high profile Macquarie Group. Craig was instrumental in the successful merger of the Travelogic business with Corporate Travel Management in 2008.
He is the current President of the Association of Travel Management Companies (ATMC). Craig has 5 children.
Fiona Dalton is the Managing Director of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, a role which sees her responsible for the strategic direction of Uniworld, and ultimately the growth and success of the business from Australia. Fiona has 25 years’ experience across the industry, having worked in retail, corporate, wholesale, logistics and hotels during her travel career.
Prior to travel Fiona was an investment banker for 8 years. Fiona specialises in the execution of successful distribution strategies with an emphasis on strategic partnership management designed to drive mutually beneficial trade relationships. Fiona is passionate about creating positive workplace environments where employees can engage as one team to achieve mutual goals and objectives.
Gai Tyrrell is the Regional Director – Australia and New Zealand of Hawaiian Airlines. Based in Sydney, she is responsible for overseeing all commercial activities and product distribution in Hawaiian Airlines’ fast-growing Australia and New Zealand markets.
Ms Tyrrell has more than 20 years of airline and travel industry experience including senior leadership roles in globally recognized companies. She has an extensive understanding of the airline industry in both the corporate and retail travel sectors.
Gai was previously Chief Executive Officer of Sabre Pacific, which provides technology, distribution and marketing services for travel industry clients.
Other of her senior roles have included Chief Operating Officer at Jetset Travelworld Group, Executive General Manager at Flight Centre Ltd FCM Travel Solutions and General Manager Industry Sales Australia for Qantas Airways.
As a prominent, well-liked and highly respected industry figure, she has a track record of strong leadership skills and is renowned for her negotiation and change management achievements.
Susan and Gary Hearst founded what became Tempo Holidays in 1990. Originally known as Yalla Tours this business began life as niche market wholesaler specialising in the exotic destinations of the Middle East. During the 18 years of our ownership and management of Tempo Holidays the company went from an unknown, small niche market player in the Australian travel industry into a medium sized business with high industry recognition, employing 100 staff.
It was sold in late 2008 to Cox & Kings. Gary had a long business history prior to the establishment of Tempo Holidays having been both a practising Chartered Accountant and a partner for 16 years in a hardware and building company called The Tradesmens Entrance. Following the sale of Tradesmens Entrance to a public company in 1989, Gary researched and established Yalla Tours in 1990.
For the 18 years during which the Hearsts owned and ran the business, Gary devised and monitored systems for controlling the financial side of the business. Naturally as co-owners the Hearsts were also involved in all aspects of the marketing of the business including relationships with key customers and suppliers. The degree of acceptance and recognition was highlighted in 2004 when Tempo Holidays won the ‘Best International Wholesaler’ award for the second consecutive year. Tempo Holidays was a market leader in the adoption of new travel technologies. This revolutionised Tempo’s capacity to transact online, and Tempo Holidays was the first wholesaler in Australia to offer agents a full online booking engine, a process in which both Susan and Gary were closely involved.
At Tempo Holidays the Hearsts aimed to be an Employer of Choice, and to provide a fun filled and satisfying work environment for staff acknowledging the high levels of stress that staff encountered frequently in their day to day roles. Knowledge and experience, and a staff reflecting the total diversity of the Australian travel industry were key factors in the company’s success story. Today Gary is involved in the development and evolution of Webcarhire an online car rental aggregator owned by the Hearst family. Gary is also a Director of the Jewish Museum of Australia and of First Nations an indigenous organisation seeking to improve financial literacy among the indigenous population.
Gavin Smith was appointed managing director for the Australian operations of Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited (RCL) in December 2008, and in March 2010 he opened the company’s first office in New Zealand.
Smith leads a team of around 55 employees and oversees all commercial and operational activities in Australia and New Zealand for the company’s three cruise brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises.
Since joining RCL, the Australian operation has seen substantial growth in demand for cruising from passengers across Australia and New Zealand. In the second half of 2011 the cruise company will triple the number of ships sailing in Australasian waters for the Southern Hemisphere summer with Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Century joining Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Seas to be homeported in Sydney. Then 2012 will see the arrival of Celebrity Solstice, the newest, largest and most luxurious cruise ship to call Australia home.
In this time the cruise brands have also expanded their itineraries to include a broader range of destinations around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, as well as providing a greater choice of cruise durations from two days to longer circumnavigations of Australia and New Zealand.
In December 2010, Smith was appointed Chairman of the International Cruise Council of Australia, the not-for-profit organisation aimed at training travel consultants and raising consumer awareness of cruising.
Smith has over 20 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry. Prior to joining Royal Caribbean Cruises, he served as general manager for one of Australia’s leading retail travel groups, Jetset Travelworld. Previously, he served as managing director for P&O Cruises Australia and president for Carnival Australia, where he managed the organization through a period of significant growth, He has held various senior sales, marketing and communications positions in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Smith received a Bachelor of Business Studies, with a major in marketing, from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.
Jennifer Vandekreeke is Vice President Australasia for Carnival Cruise Line – the world’s largest cruise line. She spearheaded the launch of the company’s first international commercial operations in Sydney in 2011 shortly before the arrival of Carnival Spirit in 2012 and her sister ship Carnival Legend in 2014.
Jennifer’s driving principle is developing a compelling brand differentiation rooted in a product truth that is communicated at every touchpoint. In the case of Carnival Cruise Line, this means a fierce dedication to delivering a customer experience that is perfectly married with Carnival’s brand of free spirited, family-friendly fun. In just three and a half years, this strategy has seen the brand become the number one family cruise line in Australia and the number two cruise brand based on brand consideration.
Originally from the US, Jennifer moved her young family to Australia in 2011 to take on her role. Prior to launching Carnival Cruise Line in Australia, Jennifer lived and worked in some of the world’s most inviting destinations including Italy, France, Colombia and Mexico, with past roles including Strategic Planning Director at Young and Rubicam in Colombia and Miami and Marketing Director at Club Med North America.
John Borghetti commenced as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Virgin Australia group of airlines in May 2010. Under his leadership, the Group is undergoing a strategic repositioning.
Mr Borghetti has had 38 years experience in aviation, including a long career at Qantas where he was appointed Executive General Manager Qantas in November 2003, responsible for Qantas Domestic, International and QantasLink.
Mr Borghetti has served as a Director of Jetset Travelworld, Sydney FC and Piper Aircraft (USA). He is currently a Director of The Australian Ballet and CARE Australia.
John Weeks is Chief Executive Officer of The Travel Corporation for Australia. He is based in The Travel Corporation’s Sydney head office and is responsible for the management of each of the travel companies – Trafalgar, Contiki, Insight Vacations, Creative Holidays, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, AAT Kings, Inspiring Journeys, New Horizons Holidays and Busabout – in Australia.
Born in England, John graduated with Hons from London University in Economics and Psychology and worked for a market research company in London for two years before joining British Airways as a management trainee in 1975. He has worked in the UK, Italy and The Netherlands, and prior to joining The Travel Corporation in August 1999, spent 10 years in New York as a Vice President for British Airways North America.
Jon is a senior management executive with extensive experience in the aviation, travel and tourism fields with a solid base in establishing green field start-up operations.
After graduating from the University of Queensland and a brief career in Town Planning, Jon commenced his tourism career with the Queensland Tourist and Travel Corporation before moving into management roles with industry suppliers such as Hamilton Island and Hertz.
Jon has worked in financial services with Diners Club and in divisional roles at RACV. He was responsible for establishing a joint services company for the Australian Automobile Clubs called AAA Tourism becoming their launch CEO. In 2001, Jon joined the newly established low cost airline Virgin Blue as Head of Global Sales. He was responsible for sales and distribution including the establishment of Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue. In 2006 he moved to Jetstar establishing the airline’s sales distribution in Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.
In 2008 Jon launched Etihad Airways operations in Victoria as State Manager. After 3 years he left the airline to live and work in Daylesford in regional Victoria, but returned to the carrier last year to head up sales distribution for Etihad Airways nationally.
Judith Crompton is Chief Executive Officer, Travel and Aviation – Cover-More Group Ltd.
Judith as more than 30 years’ experience in the aviation and travel industry and has worked with some of the largest and most innovative companies in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.
Judith’s role as CEO Travel and Aviation encompasses all aspects of the Cover-More groups activities in travel insurance and ancillary products. Whilst based in Sydney, Judith’s responsibilities are worldwide including operations in the United Kingdom, USA, Malaysia, New Zealand, China and India with active plans for further expansion.
Throughout her career, Judith has been involved in many cross-border negotiations and is acutely aware of the importance of understanding different cultures and legislative requirements.
She has in-depth experience in company restructures and the operation of publicly listed companies in Australia and overseas.
Prior to joining the Cover-More Group, Judith’s previous position was Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Australia. This role covered all aspects of Revenue and Yield Management, Sales and Distribution, eCommerce, and Network Planning.
Judith has also held senior positions at Etihad Airways, Qantas Airways, as well as a number of leading global travel management companies.
Judith has completed a number of advanced management courses throughout her career; most recently at Harvard Business School in May 2015. She has also served on numerous industry bodies and travel advisory boards. Judith is a member of Chief Executive Women, and currently sits on two not-for-profit boards.
Born in Surrey England. Judith re-located to Australia in 1989 and became an Australian Citizen in 1994. Judith is married and lives in Sydney.
Justin Montgomery, former General Manager Virgin Australia Group, has extensive experience in the travel and aviation industries spanning 23 years.
Joining Virgin Australia in August 2010, Justin was responsible for all sales and distribution channels across the current four airline brands in the Virgin group including V Australia, Virgin Australia , Polynesian Blue and Pacific Blue.
With a team of 150 people in several countries, Justin’s responsibilities included Corporate, Government, Travel Industry, Business Events & Groups and Blue holidays.
Prior to Joining Virgin Australia, Justin ran Creative Holidays for eight years. As Australia’s largest independent wholesale tour operator, and part of the Travel Corporation, Creative moved people both domestically and to more than 58 internationally destinations.
Creative Holidays won Best International Wholesaler in the National Travel Industry Awards for five consecutive years from 2005 through 2009 under Justin’s leadership.
Justin’s role with Creative also saw him work with companies in South Africa and the USA on organizational restructuring to support the Travel Corporations strategies.
Prior to running Creative Holidays Justin was General Manager, Contiki Resorts.
Contiki Resorts was a start-up joint venture company aimed at establishing youth resorts in Australia, Asia and Europe. The joint venture partners were Accor Asia Pacific Hotels, the largest hotel operator in Australia, and Contiki Holidays, the leader in youth travel for the 18-35’s.
Justin was responsible for the roll-out of hotel resorts as a brand extension for Contiki Tours. Great Keppel Island in Australia was the first of these resorts.
Justin worked with Qantas Airways/Australian airlines for 14 years, in a variety of roles ranging from: reservations, business development, national account management and product procurement & management.
As Managing Director for the last 3 years, Katrina Barry looks after the Contiki business in Australia including Contiki’s operations across Asia and Australia. She also oversees the Busabout and various other youth brands for the Travel Corporation in Australia.
Prior to joining Contiki, Katrina spent 2.5 years with Bankers Trust leading various direct businesses and managing digital, marketing and customer experience across 17 brands.
Previous to that, she spent 7 years with the Virgin Group where she held a variety of roles from leading strategy at Virgin Money during its start-up years, to investment management with Virgin’s Private Equity arm Virgin Management, to finally being one of the founders of Virgin Active gyms in Australia, eventually selling this business to private equity.
Prior to joining the Virgin Group, Katrina worked as a management consultant for many years with McKinsey and Company, and later freelance. She also spent a short period with the United Nations Development Program in Ecuador.
Katrina has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Ecuador, New Zealand and, of course, Australia. Born in New Zealand, Katrina holds Commerce and Law degrees from the University of Auckland, and in 2016 spent 6 weeks in the US at the Ivy league school Wharton, completing their Advanced Management Program. A director for Contiki, she also holds a non-executive
directorship with Australia’s fastest growing insurance challenger group, Hollard Insurance.
Outside of work, Katrina enjoys travelling, the outdoors, yoga and far too much red wine.
Leanne is the General Manager Australia for Air New Zealand and is responsible for managing the airlines passenger revenue within Australia.
Her portfolio includes the regions strategy development, sales performance, consumer market development, along with local pricing, PR and Brand activity.
She joined Air New Zealand in 2004, having held a number of senior sales roles within the Australian travel industry.
Her career includes more than nine years with Ansett Australia leading both industry and commercial sales channels, and four years with Avis Australia in the role of National Agency Sales Manager. She has extensive experience in sales leadership and business transformation within the sales environment.
Her previous roles within the airline include Regional Sales Manager NSW/ACT, National Sales Manager Southern Region and Head of Leisure Sales Australia. Leanne has a Bachelor of Economics and Finance from the University of New South Wales.
Lesley joined Qantas Airways in May 2002 and held a number of key executive roles across the business, including Group Executive, Customer Marketing, prior to her appointment as CEO, Qantas Loyalty in May 2012.
The vision for Qantas Loyalty is to be the most valued loyalty business in Asia/Pacific. Her top priorities are continuing to drive innovation and sustainable growth in the loyalty business through deeper customer engagement; strong partner relationships; online retail strategies and developing and engaging the workforce.
Lesley has been an independent non-executive Director of UNICEF Australia since May 2006, a Director of the Qantas Foundation since March 2009 and was a Director of the Jetset Travelworld Group. Lesley is also a member of Chief Executive Women organisation.
Prior to joining Qantas Airways, Lesley held senior airline roles in both Ansett Australia and Air New Zealand.
With 25 years of experience within the tourism industry, Matthew Cameron-Smith was appointed Managing Director for Trafalgar Australia in February 2011.
Over the past four years, Matthew has been instrumental in the implementation of Trafalgar’s strategic vision, values and corporate objectives, while providing leadership and direction to Trafalgar’s Australia team.
Matthew has played an integral part in Trafalgar’s transformation and brand evolution as the global guided holiday leader.
Matthew has previously held positions with Tourism Australia as General Manager – Trade Marketing and Director of Distribution and Partnership Development for UK/Europe. Prior to that Matthew spent seven years with Rydges Hotels in Resorts based in the UK and Australia.
Maureen Dougherty is president of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific. She is the senior company leader in the Oceania region and integrates all Boeing activities, leads government relations and directs the implementation of Boeing’s strategy to expand its local presence and grow the business in the region.
Previously, Dougherty served as vice president and program manager for the KC-46A Tanker program, a program within Boeing Defense, Space & Security’s Boeing Military Aircraft business unit. In this role, she led multiple Boeing teams in the design and development of the KC-46A, the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation aerial refuelling tanker.
Before this assignment, Dougherty served as vice president and program manager, Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C). AEW&C is a state-of-the art system providing powerful airborne surveillance, communications and battle management. She also served as vice president for the F-22 program, an advanced tactical fighter jointly built by Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
Throughout her 30-year career, Dougherty has held a variety of engineering and program leadership positions on missile, fighter, bomber and military commercial derivative aircraft programs. She has a broad technical background in structures, avionics, systems and test engineering and has managed programs through development, production and sustainment.
Dougherty is Chairman, American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, member of the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council Leadership Group, the Business Council of Australia, and is a Director of, and sits on the Chairman’s Panel, of The Great Barrier Reef Foundation. She is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. She earned her master’s degree in engineering from the University of Washington, where she studied as a Boeing Company Systems Engineering Fellow.
She received her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Pennsylvania State University
Pat is an Executive Coach with AltusQ, an international expert coaching firm with 33 coaches across Aust/NZ.
Her clients include IBM, Macquarie Bank, Reckon, Acer, Lloyds International, Bankwest, Quantium, Olympus, Coal Services, BlueFin Resources, M&T Resources, SMS Technology, THINK Education group, Hunter Douglas, Squiz, HR Partners, Certitude Global Investments, Rohlig, Funkis, RMG Partners and the AWCCI.
With a strong female following, she coaches executives, high performers and emerging leaders whose challenges typically include:
- Increase in Executive Presence (confidence and visibility, self-awareness, profile and personal branding)
- Newly Promoted (stress, work life balance, new relationships and team dynamics)
- Career Advancement (visibility, influence and perception)
- Influential Leadership (solid reputation, enhanced skill set and presence)
Pat holds a Master’s Degree in Business Coaching and has held senior positions with Axis Events and CiEvents, a niche business of the Flight Centre Group.
Peter Harbison is Executive Chairman of CAPA – Centre for Aviation (“CAPA”), formerly the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation), headquartered in Sydney, with offices in Delhi, Hong Kong, London and Singapore and representation in Washington DC and Wellington NZ.
CAPA was established in 1990. It is now the world’s largest daily publisher of B2B commercial and corporate aviation information and executive analysis, CAPA publishes 400 news stories every day, along with industry reports, fleet, MRO, airport and financial data, covering the global airline, airport, corporate travel and air navigation services industries.
CAPA produces the hard copy bi-monthly Airline Leader executive journal, distributed exclusively to industry CEOs.
CAPA also produces high level industry strategy events in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas, in which industry CEOs participate extensively;
Peter is an aviation lawyer, specialising in aviation regulatory policy and bilateral agreements and a consultant and commentator on industry issues. His career in aviation comprises more than 40 years, in government and in industry, including two years with the Australian mission to the International Civil Aviation Organisation and 10 years at a senior level in the International Air Transport Association, IATA in Geneva.
He speaks frequently at industry events and, with CAPA’s analysts, presents private high level executive briefings to airlines, airports, suppliers and consultants.
Over the past 20 years, he has conducted more than 200 consultancy projects either as project manager or senior advisor in most regions of the world. He has authored and/or edited numerous reports on the aviation industry and edits the Airline Leader journal.
Peter was President of the Australian Aviation Council, Chairman of IATA’s World Aviation Regulation Monitoring Group, President of the Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand and a former IATA Travel Agency Commissioner.
He was a board member of the Foundation on Antivirals (FAV).
He is currently a board member of Airlink, an aviation charitable operation which helps deliver humanitarian aid in disaster events.
He holds LLB (Melbourne), LLB (London), LLM (McGill).
When Phil Hoffmann established his own agency in 1990 with a staff of two, he wanted to provide his customers with something out of the ordinary – inspiring travel experiences coupled with outstanding customer service. It’s this approach that has enabled the success of his multi-award winning business in a competitive and challenging market; building an impeccable reputation amongst the travelling public for quality, value and personalised service.
Today, the proudly family owned business employs over 200 South Australians and operates from 10 branches throughout the State.
Phil’s academic background sees him forever pushing the boundaries. He was instrumental in setting up the inaugural AFTA (Australian Federation of Travel Agents) Training College. Nationally he was appointed AFTA Director for 13 years, served as National President for six years and was awarded Life Membership in 2000.
During this period, Phil consistently promoted the professionalism of the travel industry in Australia and, in conjunction with his peers in the UK and USA, lobbied airlines and wholesalers alike to work together to raise the levels of integrity and credibility for the travel industry globally.
He has been an active Member of the ACTA (Adelaide Convention & Tourist Authority) Board, ardently promoting Australian Inbound Tourism and has served as the Chairman to the Board of the South Australian Tourism Commission. He was presented with a Legend Award in recognition of his outstanding service and support to the National Tourism Industry Training Committee in 1999 and again in 2006.
In 2013 Phil was named as a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for “significant service to the travel and tourism industry through contributions to professional associations and the development of training standards”.
Phil Hoffmann Travel was inducted into the Family Business Association Hall of Fame in 2011, recognising Phil’s company as a first generation family business that has uniquely established itself as an icon in its industry in just 20 years.
An Ambassador for Minda, Phil is a wonderfully generous benefactor who voluntarily sponsors and hosts not only his family of employees but over 50 charities, clubs and associations. His philanthropy extends to families and individuals in need and improves the well-being of many South Australians.
A visionary leader who believes in “encouraging the heart,” Rachel is CEO of Toga Hotels and their brands: Adina Apartment Hotels, Medina Serviced Apartments, Travelodge Hotels, and Vibe Hotels.
With over 20 year’s international experience at senior management level in the travel and hospitality industry,
Rachel has won numerous awards including the 2008 Telstra National Corporate Businesswoman of the Year.
Sarina Bratton founded Orion Expedition Cruises in 2004 and serves as Managing Director of the company. The high point of a career that has taken her from nationally ranked sportswoman to the first female founder of a shipping line, Sarina has succeeded in creating Australia’s only world class, five-star expedition cruise line that is rated as a world leader in maritime environmental sustainability.
Sarina is a hands-on business owner with a strong environmental conscience. The exacting standards of Orion’s technical capability and management practices places the ship and the company in the highest regard internationally for sustainable tourism development. Sarina is also proud of the high level of cultural interaction developed with tribal chiefs and elders in remote destinations, ensuring that a visit by Orion’s guests does not hinder the ancient and primitive cultures that remain intact. Orion and its guests access many places where few have had the privilege to visit before.
Orion’s innovative itineraries, which showcase pristine wilderness regions of Australasia have generated significant economic benefit for Australia, and in particular remote and regional areas of Australia.
Orion is Sarina’s second start-up in the cruise industry. She founded her first, Norwegian Capricorn Line, in 1997, in a joint venture between Australian interests and Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line. The company was acquired by Star Cruises in 2000.
Sarina’s cruise experience also includes 14 years with Cunard Line ultimately as Vice President and General Manager Asia Pacific. She was responsible for growing the business from a small-revenue sales agency to a major operation with 33 staff.
Sarina’s business acumen has led to several senior board positions within Australian state and federal governments. These included the State Transit Authority (NSW), Australian Maritime Safety Authority (deputy chair), Sydney Paralympic Organising Committee (Prime Minister’s nominee) and the
Australian Trade Commission. She also has served as a director of Australia’s former premium eco-accommodation provider, Voyages Hotels and Resorts and was the Founding Chair of the International Cruise Council Australia.
In 2008, Sarina was the recipient of the NSW Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Services category of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. In 2006, she was honoured with the Veuve Cliquot Business Woman of the Year Award for her entrepreneurship and vision. Also in 2006 she was recognised in the inaugural Australian Travel Innovators Award for “enhancing the way Australians, and the world, travel”. She was awarded the Commonwealth Government’s Centenary Medal in 2003 for her business leadership contributions.
A native of Sydney, Sarina turned her focus to tourism after an injury ended her promising sports career. At the age of seventeen, she held national sporting titles in gymnastics, diving and trampoline. Today, she lives on the northern beaches of Sydney with her husband and daughter.
Shelley Roberts is Managing Director of Compass Group, Australia’s largest contract catering company, with 10,000 employees serving 64million meals every year. As head of a major food and contract services company, Shelley oversees the operation of over 470 Compass sites, servicing sectors as diverse as education and aged care through to business and mining.
Shelley joined Compass Group from Sydney Airport where she was Executive Director of Aviation Services and has over 12 years’ experience in the aviation industry in both airline and airport management. Before joining Sydney Airport, Shelley was responsible for the start-up and strategic development of Tiger Airways Australia. Prior to that she established her reputation as an esteemed member of the Australian Aviation Industry as a Director of Sydney Airport Corporation, and the Asset Director for Macquarie Airports.
Her formidable experience in the low cost airline model was gained at easyJet in Europe, where she was promoted into a number of roles spanning all aspects of the organisation’s activities.
Shelley qualified as a Chartered Accountant whilst working at KPMG in their London office where she was a key member of the Diageo and Nestle Audit teams. Shelley is a qualified Associate Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Business Science from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Her personal interests include the theatre, travel and water sports.
Stephen Lewis has spent over 40 years in the Hospitality Industry most recently as Four Seasons Hotel Sydney General Manager.
Mr Lewis joined the former Regent Sydney when it opened in 1981 as the number one employee and has spent almost 30 years working with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts – 16 of those as the second ever General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney.
“This is an industry I have always been passionate about, it’s been my life and I have loved every stage of my Hospitality career which started as a bellman at a Melbourne Travelodge in 1969″.
An industry icon, Mr Lewis has been heavily involved in supporting and encouraging the growth of education and training within the Australian Hospitality industry, having served on the Blue Mountains Hotel School Advisory Board for the past 13 years including a ten year period as Chairman. He also serves on the Australian Hotels Association (NSW) Accommodation Division Board as Deputy Chairman and most recently on the board of Tourism New South Wales.
In 2008, he received an Honorary Professorship from the Swiss-based Orion Hotel Schools group in recognition of the significant contribution he has made to the hospitality and tourism industry.
In recognition of his valuable contribution to the Hospitality industry, Mr Lewis was officially inducted into the prestigious HM Awards Hall of Fame at last Friday’s awards ceremony at Doltone House.
Mr Lewis is only the third General Manager of an Australian Hotel to become an inductee to the HM Awards Hall of Fame.
Sue Hollis has had a wild and crazy ride within the airline and travel industry over the past 30 years. As a senior airline executive with British Airways in both Australia and the U.K., her roles included Manager Sales London, GM 767 Fleet, GM BA/QF JSA, and then RGM Australia Sales for Qantas.
Not content with living a corporate life, she stepped into the role of ‘Entrepreneur’ and started TravelEdge – a successful corporate travel management company with her business partner Grant Wilson 16 years ago.
Having stepped down from her position as TravelEdge CEO last year, she is now living her passions – racing motorbikes, working with kids suffering from learning disabilities and writing. She spends her time between Sydney and Canada, has just returned from 4 months riding solo around the US on her superbike, and her first book is currently being savaged by her editors!
Susan and Gary Hearst founded what became Tempo Holidays in 1990. Originally known as Yalla Tours this business began life as niche market wholesaler specialising in the exotic destinations of the Middle East. During the 18 years of our ownership and management of Tempo Holidays the company went from an unknown, small niche market player in the Australian travel industry into a medium sized business with high industry recognition, employing 100 staff and a turnover in excess of $60million.
It was sold in late 2008 to Cox & Kings. For the 18 years during which the Hearsts owned and ran the business, Susan, with a background in social and community work was primarily involved with the development and choice of the product side, including the publication of the brochures and the formation and maintenance of the relationships with our product suppliers. Susan also played a key role in the personnel side of the business.
Naturally as co-owners the Hearsts were also involved in all aspects of the marketing of the business including relationships with key customers and suppliers. The degree of acceptance and recognition was highlighted in 2004 when Tempo Holidays won the ‘Best International Wholesaler’ award for the second consecutive year. Tempo Holidays was a market leader in the adoption of new travel technologies. This revolutionised Tempo’s capacity to transact online, and Tempo Holidays was the first wholesaler in Australia to offer agents a full online booking engine, a process in which both Susan and Gary were closely involved.
At Tempo Holidays the Hearsts aimed to be an Employer of Choice, and to provide a fun filled and satisfying work environment, acknowledging the high levels of stress that staff encountered frequently in their day to day roles. Knowledge and experience, and a staff reflecting the total diversity of the Australian travel industry were key factors in the company’s success story. Today Susan is involved in the development and evolution of Webcarhire an online car rental aggregator owned by the Hearst family. Susan is also a Director and Vice-President of the Board of Emmy Monash Aged Care, a leader in the not-for-profit aged care sector.
Tammy Marshall is the Founder of The BHive – an innovation and change management consultancy that specialises in the Hospitality, Travel and Tourism sectors.
Throughout her more than 25 years’ experience in travel and tourism, she’s played a leading role in propelling the sector into its current stage of dynamic modernisation, most notably through her successes in launching and embedding experiential travel as a globally relevant offer.
Tammy has built her career around enabling global companies to pivot, transform and capitalise on rapid growth opportunities. From early on in her career with Contiki right up to her most recent roles as the SVP for P&O Cruises and Carnival Australia and COO of TFE Hotels, she’s always been drawn to challenging, complex roles that require a progressive and change-oriented leadership style to forge paths into new territories and markets.
Tammy firmly believes successful people and business transformation rests on what she calls the FIVE Rs! – The ability to (R)eset by (R)efocusing strategy, (R)eengineering business, (R)ealigning internally and (R)ethinking communication.
Today, as the founder of The BHive, she is solidly focused on helping people and businesses to reset for the future through a focus on innovation, change management and education.
In this role Tony is responsible for driving the commercial and operational strategies for Amadeus throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific as well as identifying and maximising new market opportunities throughout the region.
Tony’s experience has been underpinned by a number of management and operational roles within Amadeus, including Vice President, Asia Pacific Operations, based in Bangkok.
Tony has a Graduate Diploma of Management from the Central Queensland University and a Bachelor of Business Computing with Distinction from the Queensland University of Technology.