Meet the ELITE Graduates of 2015

ATEC’s 2015 Emerging Leaders of Inbound Tourism Excellence [ELITE] Program launched on Monday 24th August in Sydney, and concluded with a much celebrated graduation at ATEC Meeting Place gala dinner on Wednesday 2nd December also in Sydney. Every one of our emerging leaders were in attendance at Meeting Place to deliver their final project presentations and to celebrate their graduation.

ELITE saw our 30 Emerging Leaders complete a leadership skills development course, bringing them personal and business leadership skills within a tourism context. The learning circle modules via the virtual classroom platform enabled our Emerging Leaders to work collaboratively in small groups from all corners of Australia.

A huge note of thanks also goes to our ATEC ELITE Mentors, who guided the Emerging Leaders through the program, lending their years of experience and expertise.

The value of participating in the program was something the emerging leaders and their mentors alike were able to easily articulate. See the Class of 2015 and their final reflections on participating in the inaugural ATEC ELITE program.

ELITE Graduates 2015

Abbey Lees
Business Development Manager
AccorHotels - Ibis Melbourne Hotel and Apartments

I feel I could gain an enormous amount from the program including the development of new leadership skills and a stronger knowledge of the export tourism industry. I hope to create new relationships with industry experts and also learn from those who are established in the industry.

Mentor: Craig Cooney, Wildlife Tours

Adelaida Brooks
Destination Specialist Brisbane, Gold Coast and Tropical North Queensland
Tourism and Events Queensland

Having worked for TEQ for the past 8 years, I would like to gain more experience in the inbound area from a perspective of a product/operator.

Mentor: Kate Marshall, AccorHotels

Alanna Green
National Events & Partnerships Coordinator
Australian Tourism Export Council

I am extremely excited to be selected to participate in ATEC’s inaugural ELITE program for 2015. I am looking forward to working closely with my fellow ELITE peers and mentor over the coming months exploring a wide range of issues facing our industry and to build and enhance my network and leadership skills in the industry. 

Mentor: Gordon Young, Southern Cross Solutions

Barry Weare
Business Development Manager

ELITE will allow me to learn about other peoples' experience in the industry and better understand the skills I need to work on to improve my worth as a valuable employee.

Mentor: Andrew Dineen, Parker Travel Collection

Federica Cazzaniga
Office Manager (Sales)
Quality Hotel Batman's Hill on Collins

Coming from the European market where I have worked in the inbound hospitality industry, I aim to integrate my skills into the Australian scene, upgrading my knowledge. I also aim to build and
strengthen my network in the country, creating the opportunity to exchange views and practice with
other colleagues.

Mentor: Mark Abercromby, ATEC WA

Inge Pedersen
International Partnerships Coordinator

I am very passionate about my role and working in the tourism industry and want to participate to gain knowledge, opportunties, be challenged and broaden my contact and networks in the industry.

Mentor: Caroline Densley, Diverse Travel

Jonathan Lazarovitz
Marketing Manager
The Friendly Group

I am looking forward to sharing experiences and ideas with other tourism professionals and exploring what the future holds. I believe ELITE will help connect me to the wider export tourism community, allowing me to learn from the experience of my mentor and fellow ELITE participants.

Mentor: Brett Eldershaw, Colourful Trips

Kirsten Clarke
International Marketing Coordinator
Tourism NT

I am passionate about the tourism industry in the NT and see my career future within this industry. I am always looking at improving my skills and learning how I can continue to perform better in any position that I hold.

Mentor: Les Penley, Zoos SA

Liana Jones
Business Development Manager
Con-x-ion Airport Transfers

I would like to participate in this program to gain a greater understanding of the industry which will allow me to increase my knowledge. I also believe it is a great opportunity to broaden my industry network.

Mentor: Nikki Giarnelli, Oz Jetboating

Minta Burn
International Media Manager
Tourism Australia

The ELITE program will provide the opportunity to participate in a new program to learn more from industry leaders about areas of the tourism export industry I have not necessarily had great exposure to.

Mentor: Michael Nelson, Pinnacle Tourism Marketing

Rei Seah
International Partnership Executive
Visit Canberra

ELITE will help me gain a few more insights from mentors and participants about the tourism industry, to learn about my personal brand and to apply my learning to my job situations.

Mentor: Paul Brown, Kangaroo Island Wilderness Tours

Rui Li
Business Development Executive
AccorHotels - Sofitel Wentworth Sydney

Because I want to develop leadership skills, extend my knowledge of the export tourism industry, build up long-term networking and relationship with my peers and mentors.

Mentor: Ingrid Marshall, Melbourne Tramcar

Sarah Dudek
Sales & Marketing Coordinator
Seashells WA

I would like to develop my networking and leadership skills within the tourism export industry, and connect with the wider community.

Mentor: Jacqui Walshe, Southern Travelnet / The Walshe Group

Ty Watkins
Sales Centre Team Leader

To develop exiting leadership skills and become more involved in the industry through networking with others. Also having a mentor to learn from would be a challenging and rewarding experience.

Mentor: Peter Shelley, ATEC Managing Director
Kate McLean
International Distribution Coordinator
Tourism NT

I love travel and tourism and I think that the ELITE program is a great opportunity to receive support and mentoring from an industry leader. I am also looking forward to the opportunity to meet other like-minded people in the tourism industry and discuss the issues and challenges facing tourism in Australia.

Mentor: Rhona Stewart, PPHG

Aimee Lillyman
Leisure Partnerships Sales Coordinator
TFE Hotels

To expand my network, immerse myself amongst a wealth of knowledge, hear personal stories about experiences and successors, and to adopt the information I learn and incorporate it in my current position.

Mentor: Fleur Ulbrick, AAT Kings

Alanah Willis
Founder / Director
Just Sydney (Tours) Pty Ltd

My company Just Sydney is a small company, which I founded, and lead. As I mostly work on my own I often feel isolated from the industry and have found it very difficult to seek any kind of industry advice, or establish meaningful, ongoing relationships within the industry. ELITE will provide me with a mentor and colleagues who are readily accessible to act as a sounding board off whom I can bounce ideas when developing experiences.

Mentor: Monique Bayer, Walk Melbourne

Andrew Woodcock
Managing Director
Crikey Camper Hire

I wish to increase knowledge and activation of choosen international target markets and implement this knowledge within our business plan.

Mentor: Craig Wickham, Exceptional Kangaroo Island

Biddie Shearing
Tourism Industry Development Manager
RDA Limestone Coast

 International visitation is vitally important to our regional vistor economy. It has climbed from 7%-12% over the last 3 years (of total visitors expenditure).  I would like to build skills, understanding and networks to be a mentor for industry across the region.

Mentor: Wayne Thompson, Australian Transit Group

Jason Purton
Director of Sales & Marketing
IBA Tourism Asset Management

I would like to increase my skills in the traditional international distribution channels as well as increased networking opportunities.

Mentor: Kathy Georgiou, ATS Pacific

Justine Petrick
Business Manager
Outback Cycle NT

I’m looking forward to the ELITE program and the opportunity to learn from others in the field who are willing to share their experience. It’s a little daunting knowing the direction in which to develop your products so they’re appealing to the international market; this program will help us take the next steps towards achieving this.

Mentor: Don Jolly, ATEC South Queensland

Kym Brown
Director of Fun & Experiences (Business Owner)
Getaways SA / Tour Barrossa

I am really looking forward to the ELITE ride, embracing every minute. I love what we do and love showcasing our wonderful regions with the world. I can’t wait to share this with my fellow participants and learn everything I can from my mentor. I will certainly bring all my skills and knowledge gained back to our business, our family, our team and our community.

Mentor: Richard Beere, Fastrak Solutions

Marion Bauer
Retail Sales Manager
Oz Jetboating

First of all I think it's a great honour being nominated to be part of the program.
I am keen on facing new challenges, learning from the best and improving my skills, as well as meeting new industry friends and colleagues from all over Australia. I would like to see the perspectives of Industry leaders and colleagues outside of Adventure Tourism to explore some broader aspects of the industry.

Mentor: Paul Cooper, Sydney Melbourne Touring

Nikki Rees
Assistant - Executive, Membership & Digital
Australian Tourism Export Council

To develop my leadership skills and build my industry network.  I'd also love to work with others to discover opportunities to utilise my passion for digital to solve problems within the export tourism industry.

Mentor: Meredith Baxter, Booking Boss

Rita Copelin
Business Development Manager
AccorHotels - Pullman and Mercure Brisbane

To become better equipped with the skills to tackle the Inbound Tourism Market and to be able to learn from a leader who possesses strong and thorough knowledge and understanding of the market.

Mentor: Paul Murray, Melbourne Private Tours

Samantha Stock
Market Manager - Sydney
Expedia Inc

I would love to develop my leadership skills and learn more about the inbound tourism community to help benefit partnerships in my current role and further build my awareness of the activities of tourism bodies to continue to build on inbound tourism. I would also like to build my network within the industry.

Mentor: Jaclyn Thorne, Tourism Central Australia

Shireen Da Costa
Events Coordinator
Tourism Australia

I participated in the YATEC Development Program 2 years ago and quite enjoyed the learning and outcomes. The ELITE program is about emerging leaders, an area that I am very interested in developing. I also like the style of teaching/learning.

Mentor: Nicole Hill, Wyndham

Zac Onfray
International Sales Coordinator
Hamilton Island

To gain an insight into other businesses inbound operations and international business strategies. Further to this I believe the program will provide a great opportunity to network with fellow industry colleagues.

Mentor: Yann Duroselle, Quality Hotel Batman's Hill

Tony Smith
Rawnsley Park

I am an owner/operator of Rawnsley Park Station, an Outback Resort in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia. I am particularly interested in developing the distribution chain from the major travel gateways to remote destinations like the Flinders Ranges. The ELITE program is a great opportunity to meet and learn from other people in the travel industry from all over Australia.

Mentor: David Thomas, Melbourne Shortstays