Tourism Whitsundays, Queensland Australia, Whitsundays Holidays - Tourism Whitsundays QLD - 2019 Board Election | Tourism Whitsundays QLD
The Whitsundays, Queensland.
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Jeff Aquilina – at Hotel Group

I would like to nominate myself for the position of an ordinary board member. Having worked and lived in the region for the past 14 years, I have seen a great deal of positive change over the past decade. Initially employed as General Manager of Coral Sea Resort, I held this role for two years assisting in positioning the property as one of the premier accommodation venues in Airlie Beach. In 2008 I purchased management rights for, what was known at the time, Whitsunday Waterfront Bed & Breakfast, currently known as at Waterfront Whitsunday Retreat. In 2009 with the purchase of Waters Edge Resort, at Hotel Group was created, over the next decade at Hotel Group would grow to a range of mid-scale to upscale hotels and resorts. Over the past decade, I have held roles with various organisations, including Tourism Whitsundays, Whitsunday Chamber of Commerce and the Whitsunday Reef Festival. As an accommodation operator in the region, I believe I would offer the organisation a rounded perspective of the challenges faced, and the successes celebrated in the accommodation sector.


Glenn Bourke - Hamilton Island
Glenn Bourke is the CEO of Hamilton Island and has overseen developments on the Island including Hamilton Island Yacht Club and Hamilton Island Golf Club. Additionally, Glenn led the recovery effort of Hamilton Island in the wake of Cyclone Debbie, ensuring that the Island was able to open within 10 days and that all 1,200 staff remained employed. 
Prior to his role as CEO of Hamilton Island, Glenn worked as Chief Executive of the Volvo Ocean Race and as the Precinct Manager for Sydney East during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. In this role, he was responsible for planning, construction and financial control for all Sydney East projects. 
As CEO of Hamilton Island and a past board member of Tourism Whitsundays, Glenn has actively engaged with industry stakeholders and government leaders to profile the Whitsundays. 
Glenn is an Olympic sailor, published author of “Championship Laser Racing” and believes the Whitsundays offers some of the best sailing conditions in the world. 
As a passionate resident of the Whitsundays for 11 years, Glenn is committed to the advancement of the region on a national and international level 


Shaun Cawood - Cruise Whitsundays
Shaun Cawood has over 20 years senior hospitality and tourism leadership experience across a diverse range of operations including large luxury resorts and hotels, boutique resorts and large cruise ship companies. Shaun’s global career experience includes roles in Fiji, New Zealand, U.S, Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean and South Africa.  
Currently the General Manager of Cruise Whitsundays, Shaun is responsible for daily management of the diverse marine tourism business.
Shaun has an invested interest in ensuring Whitsunday tourism growth for all businesses and ensuring the region continues to develop and thrive. He is passionate about the Whitsundays with a keen focus for the region to remain innovative and continue to evolve as a world-class tourism destination. 
Shaun’s extensive experience and dealings in major tourism competitor locations to the Whitsundays region such as Fiji and Queenstown, New Zealand ensure he will bring a new perspective from operating in these successful destinations and will ensure a valuable contribution to the Board of Tourism Whitsundays.


Elizabeth Hackett – Jimmy Crow Limited & Magnums Backpackers

I would like to nominate for the Tourism Whitsundays Board to be elected as the representative for the Youth Sector. 

I am a hands-on tourism industry professional with 30 years’ experience in the development and implementation of management, marketing strategies and operations. 

I am the Executive Chairperson of an NSX listed company that has owned and operated tourism assets in Queensland for over 20 years as well as its Director of Operations and Marketing. 

As an active traveller, I have both professional and customer exposure to accommodation and tourism activities from backpackers to 5-star international establishments. I understand the operators need for a sharp focus on the bottom line of business profitability/value for money and customer service best practice at all levels of the industry. 


Key Attributes: 

  • A strong focus on education and mentoring of staff and Young Industry Professionals (TAE Qualified); 
  • Successful implementation of management and marketing strategies; 
  • A good understanding of financial analysis and budgeting; 
  • Strong working knowledge in all areas of compliance – Accommodation, Gaming and Liquor Licensing and Employment; 
  • Strategic planning and development for both retail and tourism projects; 
  • 30 years of continuous industry exposure and experience.

 As a board member representing the youth sector, I would aspire to:

  • Represent members and stakeholders to invigorate the youth market with a specific target market of young adventure travellers who seek to stay and tour. 
  • Represent members and stakeholders to ensure we are maximising the potential of our current and any future tourism ministers and their departments. 

Gary Kilby - Latitude Marine
I have over 25 years’ experience in the local and domestic tourism industry, working my way up from skipper to General Manager. Over the last decade, I have held GM roles for 2 large marine businesses, aviation business and divisional GM on Hamilton island. Diverse and detailed local area and tourism knowledge, engaging leadership and diplomacy are my biggest strengths. I work closely and regularly with GBRMPA  and sit on the board of Marine Park Tourism Operators to ensure the industry has a voice when dealing in matters that affect marine park operations.  


Brooke Ogden – Brooke Miles Photography
Brooke has been a part of the local Whitsunday business community since 2012. Moving her photography business from Perth and re-establishing herself here was no easy feat. However, once she has succeeded in with leaps and bounds. 
Brooke is the owner of a wedding and commercial photography business, Brooke Miles Photography, servicing both the private and business, local and tourism sectors. 
Brooke has also created and established her new business ‘Above and Below Photography’, which is an aerial and underwater photography gallery and gift shop at the Port of Airlie. This new business venture has given Brooke further insight into the retail and tourism sectors. 
Brooke is a 2-time winner (+ 1 silver!) at the Whitsunday Tourism Awards and is an active member of the business community.  
Brooke is driven to see the Whitsundays flourish, the combination of her vast business experience and eye for seeing things differently will bring diversity to the board that will benefit all TW members.


Trevor Rees - Whitsunday Escape
Trevor arrived by boat with a young family in 1988. Over the last 31 years, he has worked in the marine tourism industry. 19 years ago he was appointed the managing director and became part owner of Whitsunday Escape. That business is now one of the premier charter companies in Australia with a fleet of 33 boats. 
Trevor has been actively involved with many tourism and community groups over the years, current roles include;

  • A member - Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee, 
  • Vice President - Whitsunday Bareboat Operators Association 
  • Board member - Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators
  • Treasurer - Tourism Whitsundays.  

Previous high profile roles include Chairman of Whitsunday Marketing Development where he helped negotiate the split of the organisation to create the present Tourism Whitsundays.  
Past business highlights over the years include winning multiple tourism awards. Awards including the Whitsunday Hall of fame, the Bob Porter Award and Australian Tourism Awards; Gold in 2014 and Silver in 2019. 
With his own business on an even keel, he has the time and energy to give something back to the Whitsundays region which has given him so much.


Andrew Slavin - Mantra Club Croc
Andrew Slavin is currently the General Manager of the 160 room Mantra Club Croc in Airlie Beach. Prior to joining the Mantra Group in November 2017, Andrew has had over 30 years in the tourism industry in northern and south-eastern Queensland in various capacities. His areas of expertise are in working with local, national and international markets within the accommodation industry as well as a strong focus on the food and beverage sector.
Apart from senior management roles with Hilton, Daikyo and Rhigha hotel groups based in Cairns, he has also been successfully self-employed in the competitive Noosa restaurant industry. Along the way gaining recognition within the industry with many awards including, Trip Advisor “Hall of Fame”, many “Winner” - Restaurant and Caterers Association awards, multi-award winner in the Sunshine Coast Business Awards and 2-time Deluxe Accommodation Category Winner at the NQ Tourism Awards.
Andrew is passionate about hospitality, continual positive evolvement whilst cherishing the natural environment and also in diverse community support.


Craig Turner 
Craig Turner has worked in the Tourism Industry for 25 years and has a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities which are present in the Whitsundays. Having held many senior roles across the tourism landscape positions Craig will contribute to the strategic direction of Tourism Whitsundays.
A summary of the positions Craig has held follows:
Current Position: Manager, Marketing and Development – Whitsunday Coast Airport
Previous Positions:

  • CEO, Tourism Whitsundays
  • Executive Director, Tourism Whitsundays
  • Director of Sales and Marketing Fantasea Cruises
  • Marketing Manager, Tourism Whitsundays
  • Tourism Manager, Bowen Shire Council
  • General Manager, Big 4 Airlie Cove Resort
  • Previous Board Appointments:
  • Deputy Chair, Tourism Whitsundays
  • Regional Tourism Organisation’s, Qld Tourism Industry Council Board Representative
  • Association of Australian Convention Bureau, Board Member
  • Tourism Bowen, Board Member
  • Vice President, SKAL Whitsundays
  • Tourism Queensland, New Zealand Market Advisory Board Member
  • Bowen Flexi Care Inc, Board Member

Craig has over the past 25 years developed a large industry network which allows for strong advocacy within the broader tourism industry, and at regional, state and federal government levels. If elected to the Board of Tourism Whitsundays, Craig will commit his experience and knowledge for the benefit of all members.


Toni Ward - Whitsunday Jetski Tours
Toni Ward is a long-term Whitsunday resident who has owned and operated several successful Whitsunday tourism and local businesses since 1991.  Along with her husband, Steve, they established and developed Daydream Island Water sports before launching multi award winning Whitsunday Jetski Tours in 2010, which operates four daily adventure tours from Airlie Beach. Toni’s success in business comes from her passion for the Whitsunday tourism industry, along with her skills in working within all areas of the daily operations, particularly marketing, administration, finance and product development, all of which ensure Toni is a valuable contributor as a Tourism Whitsundays board member. 


 Vote here for the 2019 Board Elections

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