Regional Tourism can sometimes be a tricky space. Working in the regions, we don’t always have a team on hand to troubleshoot, brainstorm or lean on. Prolonged drought and bushfires, followed COVID-19 have made times tough in regional Australia and as an industry, we need to support each other as we move forward.
The Tourism Hub has been designed specifically for regional tourism professionals to connect, share information and best practice solutions to common challenges.
ART have formed a Regional Tourism Ambassador team to act as our community experts, and to develop and share relevant information through the Tourism Hub.
Regional Tourism Ambassadors
ART is very pleased to announce the Ambassadors for the inaugural round of the program. A big congratulations to regional tourism experts:
Ali Uren | Director/Founder of Kiikstart
Since creating Kiikstart in 2008 Ali Uren has designed and delivered successful models of visitor servicing across regional Australia with a key focus on Re-imagining Visitor Information Centres so we have increased visitation and revenue.
Kiikstart works with councils who are looking to plan new ways of operating but with an innovation focus that delivers responsible and responsive tourism to its communities, visitors and businesses.
Alysia Brandenburg | Director at Alysia Brandenburg
Alysia has been involved in the regional tourism industry since her teens working in the family hotel in Dimboola, Victoria. Alysia holds a Master of Tourism from Monash University, is a Victorian Tourism Award Judge and has worked for multiple entities including resorts, tourism boards, associations and state government. She is a Non-Executive Director of Ecotourism Australia and holds IAP2 engagement certification.
Alysia has a passion and expertise for engaging in a collaborate manner, focused on sustainable destination planning, product experience architecture, community involvement and industry development. She was the architect of award-winning regional tourism experiences during her career at Parks Victoria and developed nature-based tourism strategies and products.
Alysia continues to work with clients in the experience economy on strategy, analysis and development. She has a personal commitment to the health benefits of engaging with nature and is dedicated to experience development that connects visitors with people, place and storytelling in a sustainable manner. She is highly regarded as a tourism specialist and industry leader, has a great team spirit, sense of humour and capacity to bring people together to progress concepts to reality.
Carolyn Childs | Futurist, Strategist, CEO at MyTravelResearch.com
MyTravelResearch.com CEO, Futurist and Strategist Carolyn Childs’ passion is empowering travel organisations to succeed. Her career spans 30+ years & 35+ countries including with Travel Research Centre, the International Air Transport Association & heading TNS’s Australian travel vertical.
She is a top-rated speaker; has published an e-book (emerging markets) and white papers on Trends, Markets (e.g. India), Tourism Sectors (e.g. Luxury) & Policy (Taxes). She is Immediate Past President TTRA Asia-Pacific, a Certified Member of the Market Research Society, sits on World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage’s Advisory Panel and was on the UNWTO Panel of World Tourism Experts.
Glen Christie | Manager – Tourism & Events at Port Pirie Regional Council
Glen Christie is the Manager – Tourism & Events for the Port Pirie Regional Council, in Regional SA – which encompasses both the Southern Flinders Ranges and Upper Spencer Gulf.
Glen has been in this position for almost 4-years and is also the Deputy Chair of the SA Accredited Visitor Information Centre Network Working Group, a position he has held for 3-years. The position includes the oversight and management of the Port Pirie VIC – including the Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery – and the formulation of strategic direction for the Port Pirie region.
Glen is passionate about visitor servicing – and looks forward to supporting the Regional networks in enhancing their existing service strategies.
Hannah Statham | Director & Founder, Media Mortar
Hannah might only just clear five foot, but she could easily enter herself into a heavy weight content marketing competition. Her signature move? Planting a target on your audience’s back and hitting them with bullseye accuracy. She’s first and foremost a content marketer, creating words, images and videos for clients, the kind of content that stops people in their thumb-scrolling tracks. With ten years’ experience in tourism and lifestyle marketing, Hannah brings a contagious energy to every task she does. She’s as creative as she is strategic and spends most of her time unashamedly working on her client’s big picture. When she’s not refreshing her Instagram feed, you’ll find Hannah searching for the best gnocchi in Brisbane.
Kate Shilling | Executive Officer of Ultimate Winery Experience Australia
Kate Shilling is a strategic sales and marketing professional, passionate about connecting tourism enterprises in regional Australia. With a strong track record in partnership marketing across the travel industry, Kate has worked with leading distributors, media, creative and digital agencies to develop and distribute innovative tourism experiences in Australia and overseas.
Kate’s CV includes leadership roles at Flight Centre, Tourism NT, NRMA Travel, Qantas Holidays, Helloworld and Australian Traveller Media. Kate is the founder of Family History Holidays, the Chair of Destination Riverina Murray, and has been the Executive Officer of Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia for nearly two years.
Linda Tillman | Managing Director of Tilma Group
Linda is Managing Director of regional tourism and events agency, Tilma Group, and a recently retired Director on the Board of Australian Regional Tourism. She is a regional tourism strategist and practitioner boasting a suite of regional tourism and event expertise with LGAs and RTOs across Australia in regional tourism and event development, tourism strategy, destination marketing, regional branding, and event development. Linda is also the founder regional events capacity building program www.reventsacademy.com
Linda has a strong marketing and events background, coupled with intuitive skills in community and tourism development, and has worked on a range of regional tourism and events projects such as destination branding, regional tourism strategy and development, regional event strategies and capacity building, destination marketing campaigns, and industry training and mentoring. Linda has an intimate understanding of regional Australia and an innate ability to connect with regional communities that has been a standout over the past fifteen years of her career in regional tourism and events.
Lori Modde | Managing Director of Lorick Management
Lori Modde has had a diverse career in community and economic development of over 25 years. From Regional Marketing Manager at Tourism NSW, Community and Economic Development Manager at a Local Government Authority through to Senior Manager of Place Activation and Strategy at Sydney Olympic Park Authority.
In the past 15 years through her business, Lorick Management, she has held roles such as Event Manager of the NSW Tourism Awards, Marketing Manager of New England North West Tourism and CEO of Outback NSW Tourism, Hills Hawkesbury Tourism and South Coast Tourism. Through her business she now hold the role of Project Manager for Sturt’s Steps in Outback NSW, CEO of Outdoors NSW and General Manager of Visitor Economy Development.
Paige Rowett and Rebecca White | Owners and Directors at Tourism eSchool
As a team, we have been working in the tourism industry for a combined 40+ years, including time with the South Australian Tourism Commission and Tourism Barossa. We founded Tourism eSchool in 2012 and over the last 9 years have mentored thousands of tourism businesses, local government, and destination marketers around Australia in best practice tourism marketing via our tailored Marketing Mentoring Programs, Conference Speaking and Workshops. We’ve remained agile in our quest to add value to the tourism industry, which has seen our services expand to include strategic planning, destination marketing and project management, as we are passionate about helping destinations grow sustainable visitor economies that add real value to their local communities.
Peter Freeman | Managing Director & Digital Strategist at WOOF Media
Peter is the Managing Director at WOOF Media, a team of creative professionals who believe tourism is an opportunity to grow and sustain our regions. Why? Well, it’s simple really – they want to make sure future generations can experience the quality of life those of us who ‘grew up in the country’ enjoyed.
Since 2001, the company has evolved from a small design studio in coastal South Australia to a distributed business with team members across regional Australia and Canada. Distance truly is no barrier. From visitor guides and maps through to branding, websites, social media and ongoing digital marketing support – WOOF Media are ready, willing and able to support regional tourism clients everywhere.
Sarah Carracher | Economic Development Advisor at City of Wanneroo
Sarah currently resides in Perth with her husband and three children and is an Economic Development Advisor for one of Western Australia’s largest and fastest growing local governments.
Sarah’s experience and passion for regional tourism is extensive growing up in the world renowned Coonawarra wine region whilst living in a tourism based family business. She has travelled the world making wine in some of the world’s most beautiful wine regions before returning to Australia to complete an MBA achieving dux of her graduating year.
Sarah has worked in and with regional tourism businesses for over 20 years including a number of years working for Regional Development Australia in South Australia’s Clare Valley. She is particularly passionate about developing agri-tourism opportunities and encouraging visitation to Australia’s amazing regions.
Tiffany Thornton | Marketing Tourism and Economic Development Coordinator at Narrandera Shire Council
Tiffany Thornton is an experienced local government professional with more than 15 years of involvement in the tourism industry in visitor servicing, marketing, events and industry development. Beginning her career in tourism as a tourism intern within a local government council, along the way she has worked within a variety of business sectors including university and local government. Tiffany holds a Bachelor of Business in Tourism and Hospitality from Southern Cross University, an Executive Certificate in Event Management through University of Technology, Sydney and currently undertaking a Diploma of Graphic Design through Torrens University.
Tiffany is a passionate advocate for regional tourism involved in regional and state tourism award programs, Director on regional Tourism Board Thrive Riverina and local community organisations including being the current President of the Narrandera branch of Soroptimist International. Tiffany is currently the Marketing, Tourism and Economic Development Coordinator for Narrandera Shire Council.
Tracy Gibson | Visitor Services Supervisor at Shoalhaven Tourism
After completing my Bachelor of Communications, I worked in local journalism and the Sydney theatre industry but it was not long before I was drawn away by my passion for the outdoors. Based in the Shoalhaven I was the Tour and Training Co-Ordinator for an outdoor adventure-based business for over 18 years providing kayaking, hiking, and camping experiences for school, corporate, and private clients locally and internationally. I collaborated with other operators to drive tourism in our region for visitors and locals alike. Now also working in Local Government with Shoalhaven Tourism Visitor Services it is still my passion to support operators and connect visitors to amazing experiences and support industry through the ever changing tourism landscape
Vanessa Weigall | Tourism Lecturer – South Regional TAFE (Albany, WA)
What defines me? Perhaps the vision statement of a favourite company “We believe that travel is the best education. There is nothing like it to open the mind, eyes and heart. And we believe that travel is a powerful agent of social change. Getting people to meet face to face is the most effective way of ending racism, intolerance and change”.
With a degree in tourism, a couple of postgrad qualifications (tourism & business administration) and lots of travelling under my belt, I spent many years as WA/SA (sometimes including NT) state manager for some great retail and corporate travel companies. Back home in beautiful Albany (WA) I lecture in tourism. My students are online, in classrooms and in regional workplaces throughout our Great Southern region. Even the local prison.
Passions? Sustainable tourism development, regional tourism, adventure-based tourism and tourism as a force for good.
Also joining us will be (profiles & bios coming soon!):
- Katrina Denoux | Postgraduate Academic & Lecturer – Agritourism & Culinary Tourism
You can catch up on the Regional Tourism Ambassador team’s industry insights and posts through the blog featured on The Tourism Hub (free registration required).