Corinne Brimm

Deputy General Manager, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

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Biography

Deputy General Manager Corinne Brimm is a Djabugay descendent who has worked at Tjapukai for more than two decades. Corinne began her career as the only female Stage Manager where her home was the Dance Theatre Sound & Lighting Control Room for the first few years at the Aboriginal Cultural Park. As her career advanced to include the Operations Management position, so did her role as a mentor to young Indigenous Employees wanting to upskill and understand more about the Djabugay culture. An accomplished artist, Corinne’s work is displayed at Tjapukai to illustrate the Djabugay Creation story. As a Traditional Owner Corinne is well versed in balancing the needs of the business with cultural sensitivity.

Jacob Cassidy

Traditional Owner & Director, Mungalla Aboriginal Business Corporation

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Biography

Born and raised in the Ingham district in North Queensland Jacob is Married with six children. Jacob is a proud Nywaigi/Manbarra/South Sea Islander man. Jacob is a Nywaigi traditional owner of Mungalla Station and the lands around the Ingham region. Jacob teaches Tourism, Business and Conservation and Land Management to indigenous students from all over North Queensland and has studied at the Macquarie University and the University of Technology in Sydney and is currently completing a Graduate Diploma in Land and Sea Management at Deakin University in Geelong. Jacob is the Managing Director of the Mungalla Aboriginal Business Corporation which has operated the multi award winning Mungalla Aboriginal Tours for the past 11 years on his traditional country at Historic Mungalla Station property near Ingham.

A strong advocate for Conservation Land Management Practices and indigenous employment and enterprise development Jacob is extremely passionate about helping change the way Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people think about business opportunities like Tourism, Employment & Caring for Country Projects on their traditional homelands.

Jacob has been on the Mungalla Aboriginal Business Corporation board since inception in 2005 when the Nywaigi people established the Corporation to manage the economic activities of the property. He has been instrumental in assisting the aspirations of his people in developing four economic pillars for the property including Cattle, Indigenous Tourism, Land Management and Indigenous Training and Education as well as establishing a secondary school for disengaged indigenous youth.

In 2016 the Mungalla corporation won the Queensland Premiers Environmental Award and was a finalist for the Prestigious National Banksia Environmental Awards for the corporations “Restoration of a Wetland” project on the property. For Jacob the vision continues, and in 2017 Virgin Australia has named their new plane after the restored Mungalla Wetlands and this year the corporation won the 2018 National NAIDOC Caring for Country Award all which has been significant milestones in the 60-thousand-year story of success for the Nywaigi people of Mungalla Station

Leanne Coddington

Chief Executive Officer, Tourism and Events Queensland

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Leanne coddington

Biography

Leanne Coddington is the Chief Executive Officer of Tourism and Events Queensland. Tourism and Events Queensland is a statutory body of the Queensland Government, and its lead marketing, destination and experience development and major events agency. Leanne brings broad industry knowledge to the role with more than 30 years’ experience in the tourism industry. Leanne was previously Group Executive Destination Partnerships, overseeing TEQ’s destination team and partnerships with Queensland’s thirteen regional tourism organisations. Prior to taking the CEO role, Leanne had responsibility for leading destination and experience development, industry innovation, indigenous tourism, tourism in protected areas, aviation, economics and business attraction. Leanne first joined Tourism Queensland in 1996 as the Human Resources Manager. She has also held the positions of Executive Director Strategic Services and Executive Director Human Resources. Leanne’s broad industry experience extends to senior executive responsibilities with the Hyatt Hotel Group, in both Canberra and Melbourne, during the 1980s and 1990s. With a degree in Business (Hospitality Management) from the University of Queensland, Leanne has considerable operational experience in the hospitality industry. Leanne is a graduate with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Lizzie Corke

Chief Executive Officer, Conservation Ecology Centre

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Lizzie Corke

Biography

Together with Shayne Neal, Lizzie established the Conservation Ecology Centre in order to develop and deliver solutions to the most urgent conservation challenges in the Otways. With a background in natural sciences (BSc Zool, The University of Melbourne, 2001) she works to facilitate this important work by supporting a team committed to effective conservation and organisational development, building partnerships, and engaging our community. This work was recognised by the Australian Geographic Society Conservation Award in 2007.

Ecotourism plays a critical role in the CEC’s funding and engagement programs – the Centre established the Great Ocean Ecolodge in 2004 (Winner Victorian Tourism Awards for best new development, recognised by National Geographic Traveller as one of the 25 best ecolodges in the world). Lizzie is currently also working the development of a new social enterprise ecotourism venture ‘Wildlife Wonders’ on the Great Ocean Road. Designed by the Greens Master of the Lord of the Rings and Art Director of The Hobbit films, ‘Wildlife Wonders’ will provide outstanding opportunities for conservation and sustainable economic development in the region.

Lizzie is a Director of Ecotourism Australia, Chair of the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority Community Advisory Group and the recipient of the 2005 Prime Minister’s Award for Environmentalist of the Year.

Dr Wendy Craik AM

Chair, Climate Change Authority

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Wendy Craik

Biography

Dr Craik has over 25 years experience in senior roles in public policy. She has held many senior positions including Commissioner at the Productivity Commission, Chief Executive of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission (MDBC), President of the National Competition Council (NCC), Chair of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), Executive Director of National Farmers Federation (NFF) and Executive Officer of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). She has been a director on a number of boards. She is currently A board member of the Reserve Bank, Chair of the Climate Change Authority, Chair of the NSW Marine Estate Management Authority, Chair of the Steering Committee for the 10 year program for the Eradication of Red Imported fire Ants, Chair of the NESP Climate Change and Earth Sciences Hub Steering Committee and a Director of the Australian Farm Institute.

Wendy was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in 2007 for service to the natural resource sector of the economy, particularly in the areas of fisheries, marine ecology and management of water reform, and for contributions to policies affecting rural and regional Australia.

Deborah Dickson-Smith

Travel Writer and Co-Founder of Diveplanit Travel

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Deborah Dickson Smith

Biography

An award-winning publisher, travel writer and blogger, Deborah also specialises in social media marketing and content management. Travel category specialities include diving, skiing, sustainable travel, family travel and travelling with teens. Destination specialties include Australia, Fiji, Japan, Indonesia, Solomon Islands and Thailand.

Deb is the editor of family travel magazine Out & About with Kids, and also writes regularly for Pacific Island Living, the NZ Herald and several inflight magazines as well as a few tourism blogs, including Tourism Authority Thailand, Australia.com and Queensland.com.

Deb is also a director of Diveplanit.com, a dive travel website that aims to get more people on diving holidays and convert them into ocean advocates.

Presentation

Presentation title: The Changing Face of Dive Tourism

Dr Claire Ellis

Deputy Chair, Ecotourism Australia

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Biography

Dr Claire Ellis is the Deputy Chair of Ecotourism Australia. She has worked for over 35 years in tourism across a variety of roles. During this time, she has been a tourism operator (running her own business in Indonesia), employed by other operators, an academic and researcher, in State Government and is now working as a consultant. As a Director, Infrastructure and Industry Development, at Tourism Tasmania, she oversaw a number of key areas of work including growing the capacity of Tasmania’s tourism industry in the digital environment. Claire has also been Chair of the National Long Term Tourism Strategy’s Destination Management Planning Working Group. During her six years in Tourism Tasmania she worked closely with key projects including the selection and development of the Three Capes Track. Her consultancy work now takes her across Australia as well as overseas. She has built a reputation for creating long term positive outcomes, particularly in regional areas, and works closely with clients and stakeholders supporting strategic improvements. Claire is also a Board member of Australian Wildlife Journeys, Volunteering Tasmania, and NRM Southern Tasmania and an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Tasmania.

Jeff Ellison

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Sealink

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Jeffrey Ellison

Biography

Jeff is the Chief Executive and Managing Director of the SeaLink Travel Group Limited, a position he has held since early 1997. Jeff is a Chartered Accountant and joined SeaLink following 8 years in Private Practice. Jeff has been instrumental in the development of SeaLink from a ferry and day tour operator to a diversified tourism and transport operator increasing operating revenue from $12.8 million in 1997 to $204 million in 2017.

Key achievements while CEO and Managing Director of SeaLink (1997 to current) include:

  • Numerous bolt-on acquisitions between 2008 and 2017 increasing income from $12.5m to over $204m,
  • Acquisition of a ferry company in New Zealand in 2005 and selling at a $15m profit in 2011,
  • Acquisition of Sunferries in Townsville and Captain Cook Cruises in NSW in 2011,
  • Listing of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) raising $16.5 million in 2013,
  • Won two contracts for ferry services in Darwin,
  • Share Placement and Share Purchase Plan raising $60 million in 2015,
  • Acquisition of Transit Systems Marine businesses for $125 million in 2015,
  • Acquisition of Captain Cook Cruises, Western Australia in 2016, and
  • Achieved a ASX Market Capitalisation of SeaLink of +$430 million.

Jeff is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been awarded a Life Membership of TTF Australia, won the 2013 South Australian Tourism Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual and is the 2014 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Listed Award for the Central Region.

Hon Leeanne Enoch (TBC)

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science, and Minister for the Arts, Queensland Government

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Biography

Leeanne Enoch is the Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science, and Minister for the Arts. She is a proud Quandamooka woman originally from North Stradbroke Island, and on winning the seat of Algester at the 2015 state election became the first Aboriginal woman ever elected to the Queensland Parliament.

She has previously held portfolio responsibilities for Housing and Public Works, Innovation and the Digital Economy, and Small Business. During her previous term in government, she was also the driving force behind the hugely successful Advance Queensland initiative. This transformational agenda supports innovation and entrepreneurialism in vital Queensland sectors such as the environment and science. Off the back of positive job creation and results achieved tackling challenges like reef protection, improving water quality and disease treatment, funding for Advance Queensland now exceeds half a billion dollars.

As a mother to two sons, Ms Enoch understands how important it is to protect our state’s most valuable asset—its natural ecosystems—for this generation and those to come.

Through the roll-out of future-focused, environmentally-conscious initiatives such as Queensland’s plastic bag ban and container refund scheme, and the introduction of stronger nature conservation and environmental protection legislation, she is committed to carrying on the good work of previous Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles.

Prior to entering politics, Ms Enoch worked with the Australian Red Cross, guiding humanitarian policy and programs to improve the lives of Australia’s most vulnerable. She also spent more than a decade as a high school teacher throughout south-east Queensland and east London.

Andrew Fairley AM

Chairman, The Sir Andrew and Lady Fairley Foundation

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Biography

Andrew is an equity lawyer with Hall & Wilcox Solicitors. He has specialised in superannuation for over 30 years, and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading superannuation lawyers. Andrew has a deep involvement with the philanthropic sector and a long association as grantor, grantee and trustee. He is Chair of the Sir Andrew Fairley Foundation, and is Deputy Chair of the George Hicks Foundation. He also Chairs the Luke Batty Foundation. Andrew is Chair of FARE (Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education). Established in 2002 by the Howard Government, the Foundation is now the principal research and advocacy body in Australia focusing on stopping harms caused by alcohol. Andrew is Chairman of Equipsuper, an industry superannuation fund with assets under management of $7.5 billion. He is also Chairman of Parks Victoria, the organisation which is responsible for the management of parks representing 18 per cent of the State of Victoria. He is Deputy Chair of Tourism Australia. He also sits on a number of family boards as an independent director, and is the Consul General for Finland in Victoria. In 2015, Andrew was recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for significant service to the community, the law, and philanthropy.

Andrew Flannery

Eco-Active Business Leader, Spicers Group & Turner Family Foundation

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Andrew Flannery

Biography

Andrew “Flanno” Flannery joined the Spicers Group in March 2018 to oversee the creation of the new Spicers Eco-Active business. This new arm of the Spicers Group is dedicated to creating iconic outdoor experiences that combine Spicer’s renowned relaxed luxury ethos with the Turner family’s love of the Australian bush. The jewel in Spicers Eco-Active crown will be their new seven-day walking experience which commences in 2019. Prior to Spicers, Andrew was an executive at the Flight Centre Travel Group for 15 years where he served in many senior roles, including Global Chief Financial Officer and Executive General Manager of their Corporate Travel business.

Peter Gash

Managing Director, Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort

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Peter Gash

Biography

Peter Gash is the managing director of Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, situated off the eastern Australian coast. This tiny island, which is in reality a cay made of crushed coral and sediment, is located at the southern tip of the breathtaking and expansive Great Barrier Reef. Peter joined a floatplane business dubbed Seair Pacific in the mid-1980s. Fast-forward five years to 1990 and Peter has bought the business, chartering flights to Lady Musgrave Island, which is located north-west of Lady Elliot Island. Tapping into existing infrastructure, Peter made the decision to ditch floatplanes for those with wheels in the mid-1990s and started offering trips to Lady Elliot Island. The secluded spot already had an airstrip – the only one on the Great Barrier Reef – making the process of chartering flights directly to the island a breeze. It also had accommodation by way of the eco resort, whereas Lady Musgrave Island did not. In August 2005, Peter became the leaseholder of Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort along with two other partners. He now co-owns and operates the resort. Peter owns Seair Pacific, offering chartered flights to Lady Elliot Island from a range of departure points in Queensland. In 2011, the resort was a finalist in the Queensland Government Premier’s Climate Smart Sustainability Awards and in 2012 it was a Runner-Up at the Queensland Tourism Awards. It has a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence (2013) and was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Environmental Tourism last year.

Michael Groom

Renowned Adventurer and Mountain Climber

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Biography

Michael Groom is a Professional Speaker and mountain climber and is unquestionably one of the world’s greatest big mountain climbers. In 1995 he became the fourth person in the world to climb the four highest mountains without the assistance of bottled oxygen and in 1999 he successfully climbed Makalu, the smallest but for Michael, the last of the ‘big five’ - the five highest mountains in the world. Makalu, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga, K2 and Everest - Michael climbed them all without the assistance of bottled oxygen, and all but Kangchenjunga he climbed without the front third of both feet. Michael shares his wealth of knowledge and first hand experiences as a Motivational Speaker. Michael has assisted soldiers going off to war, supported athletes struggling to come back from serious injury and with his powerful story of human endurance he has advised professional people how to get closer to the truth of “no pain no gain”.

Presentation

Presentation title: Sheer Will

Rod Hillman

Chief Executive Officer, Ecotourism Australia

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Rod Hillman

Biography

Rod has a life-long involvement in tourism, protected areas management and education with lengthy stints as a tour operator, National Park Manager and teacher all over Australia, and many years overseas. He has been involved with Ecotourism Australia since 2001 when he was elected as a Board member (then Deputy Chair) for six years where he created the ‘Tourism in Protected Areas Forum’ (TAPAF) and managed the Annual Conference program. After four years in Papua New Guinea, managing the Kokoda Track, he returned to Ecotourism Australia as its Chief Executive.

Shirley Hollingsworth

General Manager, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

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Biography

General Manager Shirley Hollingsworth is the first Traditional Owner to manage the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Joining as a retail assistant in 1997, she continuously upskilled to work her way through the business. Shirley is passionate about Tjapukai’s role in preserving the language, culture and connection to country of Djabugay people while providing them with economic opportunities. Her belief that Tjapukai gives her and her staff the opportunity to be proud of who they are, combined with her respect for the elders who helped to create the business, motivates Shirley to ensure Tjapukai grows in strength for future generations.

Prof Ken Hughey

Professor, Department of Environmental Management, Lincoln University, New Zealand

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Biography

Since 1995, Ken Hughey has been a Professor of Environmental Management at Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand. Prior to this, Ken worked for the Department of Conservation. Ken is a member of the Environmental Institute of Australia and New Zealand and NZ Agribusiness and Resource Economics Society as well as being on the board of the Waihora Ellesmere Trust and a committee member of Hurunui Waiau Water Zone Management. Ken’s areas of expertise include ecology and wildlife management, environmental policy and planning, bird habitat use in braided riverbeds, river values prioritisation, integrated water resources management, with a focus on Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, environmental impacts of tourism and triennial survey of New Zealanders’ perceptions of the state of the environment.

Jason Jacobi

General Manager, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service

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Jason Jacobi

Biography

In 2017, Jason Jacobi was appointed as General Manager of Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service. Jason brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, having worked extensively in park management operations and World Heritage areas across Queensland for almost two decades. Jason has also led the Strategy and Policy division in Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and directed several departmental portfolios in the fields of conservation planning, wildlife management, indigenous engagement and outdoor recreation.

Hon Kate Jones MP (TBC)

Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development, Queensland Government

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Hon Kate Jones MP

Biography

The Hon. Kate Jones MP is the Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games. Following the 2017 State Election, Kate was sworn in as the Minister for this new department and also given responsibility for International Education and Digital Economy.

Kate served as Minister for Education and Minister for Tourism and Major Events since 16 February 2015, following the election of the Palaszczuk Government and was announced as Minister for the Commonwealth Games on 10 February 2017. She held the Commonwealth Games and Small Business portfolios in the Palaszczuk Government until 8 December 2015 and served as Minister for Environment and Natural Resources in the Bligh Government.

Kate was elected to the seat of Ashgrove in 2015, having previously held the seat between 2006 and 2012. Kate worked at a family-run grocery store and as an advisor in the Beattie Government before entering parliament. She attended Kelvin Grove State High School and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Journalism at the Queensland University of Technology and a Masters in Environmental Law at Australian National University.

Darren Jew

Wildlife Photographer

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Biography

Darren was inspired to explore a career in nature photography by his father’s travels in Antarctica, He now pursues a passion for capturing and sharing the wonder of the natural world.

After graduating from the Queensland College of Art, Darren first worked in commercial photography, before taking up a position as a photographer with the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service, where he worked for 8 years.

Moved on in 1994, Darren’s work is now published widely in books, magazines and paper products. He’s had the opportunity to photograph extensively across Australia and in Africa, Alaska, Patagonia and Antarctica and has introduced many people to the world’s great wildlife and landscape destinations first hand, through small group photography tours, predominantly to Africa and Antarctica and the Pacific.

Darren has just won the 2018 AIPP Australian Nature Photographer of the Year.

Ben Klaassen

Deputy Director-General, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service

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Ben Klaassen

Biography

Ben leads the management of Queensland’s parks and forests in partnership with Traditional Owners, protecting natural and cultural values and providing nature based tourism opportunities. He is also responsible for the operational delivery of the Great Barrier Reef Joint Field Management Program, in partnership with the Australian Government, to protect and maintain the marine and island ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef.

Ben’s extensive experience in Queensland’s public service has included senior positions within the Department of Local Government and Planning and the Department of Innovation and Information Economy, Sport and Recreation Queensland, as well as roles in Queensland Health and the Department of Public Works.

Ben holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Graduate Certificate in Management, and is a fellow of CPA Australia.

Anna Marsden

Managing Director, Great Barrier Reef Foundation

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Biography

Anna has worked extensively in leadership roles across not for profit and creative industries for nearly two decades.

Before taking up the role of Managing Director in 2016, Anna was CEO of Queensland Ballet where she led a major change program resulting in enormous growth.

She previously held roles as General Manager – Creative at Rowland, Australia’s leading corporate communications agency, Development Director of the Queensland Art Gallery and GoMA, and General Manager at the Institute of Modern Art. Anna holds board positions with Brisbane Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse and Circa.

Amanda Martin

Chief Executive Officer, Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network

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Amanda Martin

Biography

Amanda Martin has worked in philanthropy for over fifteen years, having worked as Executive Officer for the Poola Foundation for four years before helping to establish the AEGN in 2009. She has specialised in environment and Indigenous grantmaking and more recently on building the skills and knowledge of funders on environmental issues as well as building different forms of collaboration. Amanda is a trained and skilled facilitator of groups and regularly uses this in her current role.

Amanda has a background in biodiversity and protected area advocacy and management working in both the public and community sector. She was the Executive Officer of the Victoria National Parks Association, and the Head of Policy and Planning at Parks Victoria. She has a degree in Zoology and post-graduate qualifications in Environment Studies.

Amanda loves the outdoors and finds that fresh air, beautiful places, birds and being underwater gives her a sense of peace and sustenance. Amanda has travelled extensively and knows how lucky we are to have such a biodiverse and clean country to live in. She lives in Melbourne with her partner and daughter and spends time bringing birds back to the suburbs by tending a native garden and walking or cycling where ever she can.

Glenn Mandziuk BA, MEDes., MCIP (TBC)

President & Chief Executive Officer, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Region

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Ross McLennan

Owner, Hidden Valley Cabins

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Ross McLennan

Biography

Ross McLennan grew up in a small family tourism business 103 km North West of Townsville called Hidden Valley Cabins. This family business has been owned and operated by the McLennan family since 1986.

After growing up in a remote location the world called and Ross travelled abroad for 4 years, living in England and Canada where he met Chelsea. Returning to Australia in 2006, Ross and Chelsea joined the family business with a vision of niche marketing, expansion of a range of quality products with an environmental theme. That vision proved to be very successful both financially and environmentally.

The resort has also undergone major operational changes. Due to the remote location, Hidden Valley has no town amenities and is totally self-sufficient. In December 2007, Hidden Valley Cabins switched off the diesel generator and moved to an environmentally friendly power source, Solar. Since then the entire resorts electrical needs has been supplied by the sun, saving the resort up to 26000L of diesel and 78 tonnes of C02 per year. In 2011, Hidden Valley Cabins also added an additional 3 deluxe cabins to keep up with demand.

Hidden Valley Cabins now hosts over 1000 international secondary and university students a year on faculty lead study abroad programs.

The resort has also won numerous awards including the Australian and Queensland Tourism Award for Hosted Accommodation and was recognised for Excellence in Sustainability and a Certificate of Recognition from the Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh for Outstanding Leadership in Environmental Sustainability.

Kauahi Ngapora

General Manager, Kaikoura Whale Watch, New Zealand

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Abstract

Ecotourism: building resilient communities. A whale of a tale

Ecotourism built a thriving tourism industry in the small coastal town of Kaikōura (local population 3,500) and rejuvenated an entire community. In Nov 2016 this area was hit by a large 7.8 magnitude earthquake and ecotourism is once again at the forefront in driving long-term economic recovery.

Biography

Kauahi Ngapora is the General Manager of Whale Watch Kaikoura Ltd in Kaikoura, New Zealand. Kauahi is of New Zealand Māori descent with Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu links. Kauahi has been involved within the tourism and marine transport sectors for 25 years with Whale Watch Kaikoura. Kauahi is a member of Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura, a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee the Kaikōura Marine Guardians and a member of the Governments Tourism Infrastructure Fund Panel.

Dana Nikanpour

Group Manager, Sales & Marketing, Northern Escape Collection

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Dana Nikanpour

Biography

Dana leads sales and marketing for Northern Escape Collection, a selection of boutique experiences including Orpheus Island Lodge, Daintree Ecolodge and Mt Mulligan Station, designed to provide visitors with a sustainable yet luxurious break and owned and operated by the Australian family run Morris Group. Dana is also a marketing advisor to the Collection’s parent company Morris Group and its philanthropic arm, Morris Family Foundation.

Dana joined Northern Escape Collection after launching handmade online marketplace Etsy.com in Australia and working in marketing roles for Visit Victoria, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Her career has been defined by encouraging people to try new experiences where they can learn something new and connect with others while doing so.

Dana is passionate about the natural world and the Collection’s philosophy: You can balance profits with a positive impact on communities and the environment.

Ben O'Hara

General Manager, Land and Environment at Turner Family Foundation

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Biography

Ben has more than 20 years of experience in the finance and property industry. He has worked in management, client management and origination roles with local and international institutions that saw him develop skills in project analysis and assessment, investment analysis and execution, relationship management, strategic planning, instigation and ongoing review and business development.

In 2012 Ben began working in the environmental sector as General Manager for the Queensland Trust for Nature where he oversaw the extraction of QTFN from the Qld state government, engage with practical work in establishing wildlife corridors, ecological restoration and biodiversity offsets within QTFN the revolving fund. Ben joined Gainsdale in March this year to assist develop the Turner Foundation, the ecological vehicle of Graham and Jude Turner. The Turner Foundation is currently developing the Hidden Vale UQ Wildlife Facility and the Little Liverpool Range Initiative, a community led wildlife and ecological corridor.

Anna Pollock

Founder, Conscious Travel, Canada

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Abstract

Flourishing Beyond Sustainability

The emerging evidence of “overtourism”, combined with the complexity and uncertainty of the connected world suggest it is time for the prevailing industrial, “extractive” model of doing tourism to be re-designed. The goal of volume growth needs to be replaced with one that delivers higher net benefit to host communities. Unless we progress from simply doing less harm to becoming an effective force for regeneration, our social licence to operate is vulnerable and we will fall short in delivering the many benefits tourism can bring to host communities. A new purpose and new metrics are needed based on a more accurate understanding of how the world really works and a contemporary understanding of human potential and our interdependence with all life.

This presentation examines why most solutions to current challenges address symptoms are tactical in nature and either ignore or underplay contributing factors and, most importantly, their root cause. In many sectors outside tourism, that is now understood to be a Crisis in Perception (our way of seeing and being in the world). The dominant worldview is based on assumptions developed over the past 250 years that are now proving to be inaccurate, ineffective, and obsolete. While many tourism leaders recognize that “something has to change,” a clear picture (vision) of an alternative way of doing tourism has yet to emerge.

Flourishing Beyond Sustainability shows how we can progress from doing less harm (sustainability) to developing life-supporting relationships and actions that are conducive to life’s flourishing in each place (regeneration).

Biography

Anna Pollock, Founder of Conscious.Travel, has 45 years’ experience in tourism as an independent consultant, strategist, international speaker and change agent. Clients include the Canadian Tourism Commission, PATA, European Travel Commission, European Cities, and Tourism New Zealand.

Anna has undertaken seminal work in many aspects of tourism and is currently addressing ways of mitigating the negative impacts associated with “overtourism.” During the 1990s Anna established herself as a thought leader on the strategic implications of the Internet; created the first internet-based tourism strategy for Scotland and co-developed one of the first multi-purpose destination management systems.

Her strength is her ability to see the whole “big picture” and help others make sense of their rapidly and dramatically changing world. Anna now focuses on models of destination development that generate higher yields with less impact.

Andy Ridley

Chief Executive Officer, Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef

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Andy Ridley

Biography

Andy Ridley is CEO of a new foundation - Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. The organisation is being developed to engage millions in the future of the reef, and by implication the future of our planet. Central to the development of the organisation will be the use of digital connectivity and the role of the circular economy in reducing emissions and providing a prosperous future both in the region and globally. A focal point is the use of digital to activate citizens behind our common purpose. Launch will be late 2017.

Prior to this Andy led the rapid growth and evolution of Circle Economy in Amsterdam. He believes the circular economy provides many of the answers to some of the biggest environmental challenges that we face as population grows beyond 9 billion, and we address the great generational challenges such as climate change. At Circle Economy, they focused on practical and scaleable tools and programs to help accelerate the adoption of the circular economy in cities, businesses and communities around the globe. These circular principles form the base for his work on the Reef.

As founder and CEO of Earth Hour, Andy spent eight years growing the award-winning campaign from concept and inaugural event in Sydney, to the largest mass participation movement in history, engaging hundreds of millions of people in more than 7000 cities on every continent. Earth Hour was not only a ‘lights off hour’ but also delivered significant environmental outcomes through local digital and on the ground campaigns in multiple countries around the world, including leading to the protection of several protected areas in South America and Russia.

Nithee Seeprae

Executive Director of Product Promotion Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand

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Abstract

Initiated by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), a state enterprise with a mandate to promote the Thai tourism industry, the two-decade biennial “Thailand Tourism Awards” Project is a means to promote quality and excellence in tourism goods and services across the supply chain. The judging criteria are based on sustainability management in 4 aspects: environmentally-friendly tourism practices, social and cultural impact, local participation, and corporate social responsibility. In addition, value-added criterion, promoting creativity and innovation, as well as, modern marketing strategies, are also taken into account. In this connection, among the awards of excellence in management, community’s strength, maintaining and practicing cultural identity, as well as, economically and socially raising the community’s living standard with tourism, the community-based tourism management of the Buddhist community in Khlong Daen, Songkhla province, was chosen by TAT as a case study for building a community structure (Khlong Daen Model). It is targeted as a role model for other communities to create constructive and sustainable tourism, new quality tourist attractions, as well as, adjusting the country’s position to become a “Preferred Destination” in accordance with TAT’s vision.

Biography

Mr. Nithee Seeprae is the Executive Director of Product Promotion Department for the Tourism Authority of Thailand. He has a background as a policies maker and experience with strategy plans to promote tourism product and developing tourism attractions and services to support those plans and policies.

Natalie Saunders

Director of Human Resources & Training, Cooee Traveller

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Biography

Natalie carved out her career in finance before progressing into HRM and management. Taking a redundancy within the public service after a long and successful career, Natalie realised a big ‘gap’ in the market, was with Indigenous people in professional management roles and a clear lack of representation in this space. As such Natalie then went on to create her own Indigenous HR Consulting business, to support Indigenous and Main Stream businesses to balance culture with management. Natalie worked across the IBA graduate program, and conducted many recruitment processes across State and Federal Government. Natalie then progressed on to work with Cooee Traveller in the exciting space of Indigenous Tourism as the Director of HR. Natalie viewed this role as instrumental, in her being able to continue to make a difference to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people alike, where she was able to develop programs, progression and watch and progress growth through the tourism sector.

To date, Natalie has been able to successfully grow employment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, identifying opportunities to progress Indigenous people into senior roles, and develop Indigenous Executive Leadership Teams.

Natalie remains passionate and focused about the progression of her people, balancing, learning and sharing culture, and positive empowerment, and is privileged to work with Cooee Traveller in producing these outcomes.

Molly Steer

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Molly Steer1

Biography

Molly Steer is a 10-year-old from Cairns in far north Queensland, Australia, who is making waves of exactly the right kind. After watching the documentary “A Plastic Ocean” in February 2017, Molly began a campaign to rid schools in her local community of all single-use plastic straws. In less than a year this inspiring environmental activist has over 16 schools on board, spoke on local and national radio and gave an inspiring talk at her local TedX Cairns event.

But even more inspiring than the reach of her campaign, is her no-nonsense approach to activism. Molly tells it like it is. Straws really do suck.

With millions of particles floating in our oceans, plastic is a monumental environmental concern. Most distressing to Molly are the impacts these drifting pieces of plastic have on wildlife, with a huge number of ocean and land animals killed each day. “All my life I’ve loved turtles and turtles are most affected by plastic. They get straws stuck up their nose and swallow plastic bags and die,” said Molly during an interview with the ABC.

These small and seemingly unexceptional plastic objects are used once and then thrown away. This happens almost 500 million times every single day. Lined up end-to-end, they would wrap around the earth four times. The reality of this is a staggering one. While some straws end up in landfill, others end up in washing into stormwater drains and are carried out to the ocean.

Molly realised that by making this one, small change to our everyday lives, we can drastically reduce the amount plastics affecting wildlife in the ocean.

Jason deCaires Taylor

Sculptor, Environmentalist and Professional Underwater Photographer, United Kingdom

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James DeCaires Taylor

Biography

Born in 1974 to an English father and Guyanese mother. Educated at the London Institute of Arts and graduated with a BA Honours degree in Sculpture. Jason is also a fully qualified diving instructor, underwater naturalist and award winning underwater photographer.

In 2006, Jason founded and created the world’s first underwater sculpture park off the coast of Grenada in the West Indies. 5 years later National Geographic now lists it as one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World. His second project MUSA was also subsequently described by Forbes in 2011 as one of the world’s most unique travel destinations. Both these ambitious, permanent public works have a practical, functional aspect, facilitating positive interactions between people and fragile underwater habitats while at the same relieving pressure on natural resources.

Numerous publications and documentaries have featured his extraordinary work, including the BBC, CNN, USA Today, The Guardian, Vogue, New Scientist and the Discovery Channel. His pioneering public art projects are not only examples of successful marine conservation, but inspirational works of art that seek to encourage environmental awareness, instigate social change and lead us to appreciate the breathtaking natural beauty of the underwater world.

Albert Teo

Managing Director, Borneo Eco Tours, Malaysia

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Albert Teo

Biography

A graduate in Economics from University of London in 1977, Albert Teo has been in the tourism industry for the last forty one years.

His companies Borneo Eco Tours (1991) and Sukau Rainforest Lodge (1995), a charter member of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World have both won numerous international ecotourism awards including the 2012 SKÅL International Sustainable Development in Tourism Award for Tour Operator, 2015 PATA Tourism InSPIRE Awards 2015 - Best Independent Accommodation, Asia’s Leading Green Hotel at the 17th World Travel Award 2010.

Albert is presently focusing his energy on developing social entrepreneurship through his community/environment foundation, Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies or BEST Society. www.bestsociety.org . Among its many projects is the integrated community-based tourism project ‘Kiulu Farmstay’, and the 7.7 acres of forested land which BEST Society has initiated in 2017 under Borneo Land Conservancy (BLC) for the purpose of wildlife conservation in Sukau. BEST Society received the 2013 UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organizations.

Albert is also Fellow/Adjunct Lecturer of Edith Cowan University, Australia and Adjunct Professor of University Malaysia Sabah.

Darrell Wade

Intrepid Travel Co-founder and Intrepid Group Chairman

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Darell Wade

Biography

During the course of his career, Darrell has been recognised as a leader in entrepreneurship and as a passionate advocate for sustainable tourism. Leading Intrepid’s climate management program, the company realised its goal of becoming carbon neutral in 2010. Darrell was also one of the first Australians to complete Climate Project training with the Hon Mr Al Gore.

Darrell’s achievements include winning the NAB SmartCompany Award, and being named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002.

Darrell is a board member of Melbourne-based social enterprise Good Cycles, a mentor for the University of Melbourne’s entrepreneurship program, and member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council. He is also Chair of the Dawn Wade Foundation, a Victoria-based discretionary investment trust in Australia.

A dynamic leader and natural communicator, Darrell’s enthusiasm for and dedication to sustainable adventure travel continues to grow after decades in the industry.

Dr Judy West

Acting Director of National Parks, Australian National Botanic Gardens

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Dr Judy West1

Biography

Following the departure of the previous Director in February 2018, Judy has acted as the Director of National Parks pending a permanent appointment to the position. For the first half of the financial year, Judy oversaw the Parks Island and Biodiversity Science Branch and was the Executive Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, a position which she continues to hold.

Judy has more than 30 years’ experience in scientific research and policy as a research scientist in CSIRO Plant Industry and Director of the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research and the Australian National Herbarium. She holds an adjunct professorial position at the Australian National University. For her contributions to Australian plant systematics and Australia’s Virtual Herbarium, she was awarded the Nancy Burbidge Memorial Medal in 2001 and an Order of Australia in 2003. Judy’s scientific expertise is in plant systematics and phylogenetics, biodiversity informatics and conservation biology. Using her skills developing partnerships that link science and policy, Judy is building an active science and knowledge-management network in Parks Australia

Katherine Zischka

Director, Australian Committee for IUCN Inc.

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Katherine Zischka1

Biography

Kathy is the Director of the Australian Committee for IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature (ACIUCN). She has built a career in environmental conservation through her work in marine research, environmental conservation, international environmental law, ecotourism, policy and management. Kathy has worked with award winning non-government organisations, government and academia in Australia, Europe and the Pacific. As an active member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), she co-led the WCPA Marine Young Professionals Task Force from 2014-2017. Kathy has a BSc (Hons) in marine and environmental biology and a Master of environmental management.

Kathy is passionate about the outdoors, exploring remote wilderness on foot, scuba or by boat, and ensuring the conservation and sustainable use of our world’s spectacular natural places.