|Stuart Mackenzie, Chairman
Stuart is a pastoralist from the western area of Quilpie Shire. He is the owner and Manager of Plevna Downs, a grazing enterprise dealing in organic wool, sheep and beef. Stuart served as a Councillor on Quilpie Shire Council from 1997 to 2004, as Deputy Mayor from 2004 to 2008 and was elected Mayor in 2012. He is Chair of the Outback Queensland Tourism Association. In 2008 Stuart founded the non-profit, charitable public company Outback Gondwana Foundation Ltd. He is the Chair and a Director on the board. The company was set up to preserve the natural assets of the south west region and educate the public in relation to the amazing paleontological discoveries being made there. Stuart holds a Bachelor of Engineering Degree (QUT) and is married to wife Robyn and has 2 adult children.
Boulia Shire Council Representative
I have been employed by the Boulia Shire Council since 2001 and in that time I have worked for five years as a tourism officer in the Min Min Encounter, worked five years in the Library and have been the Community Services Manager since 2011. I have had a long association with Boulia spanning over thirty years.
Tania Kernaghan, Ambassador
Australian through and through, Tania Kernaghan is one of this country’s most loved and respected performers.
Belinda Murphy, Mayor of McKinlay Shire Council
Belinda Murphy moved to the North West in 1999 and feel in the Outback. Working as a fixed wing pilot on cattle stations in areas from the Gulf to Camooweal and south to Kynuna and Channel areas. I moved into Julia Creek in 2004 and after working for Council became Mayor for the McKinlay Shire in 2012. As the Mayor my portfolios include Tourism where I have a strong drive and passion not only for our shire’s tourism potential but all the shire’s that complement the outback region as a whole. I believe that Tourism is a critical driver in long term sustainability for the region and that promotion of the area and its genuine unique experiences will set us apart from other destinations. Taking a position on the board in 2012 representing MITEZ(the Mount Isa Townsville Economic Zone) I have been part of the OQTA board for four years and is also took on the position of Vice Chair in 2016.
Steve Rattray, Sales Manager at Imparja Television
Having lived in the Alice Springs for 28 years and been heavily involved in the tourism industry, I understand the issues that affect outback tourism and difficulty and challenges of operating in remote regions.Whilst in Alice Springs I was fortunate enough to be able to take on a diverse range of roles within the community such as;
Vice Chairman and Board Member – Alice Springs Regional Tourist Association
Vice Chairman and Board Member – Central Australian Tourist Industry Association
Chairman and Board Member – Tourism Central Australia
President and Board Member – YMCA Central Australia
Chairman and Board Member – Road Safety Council NT – Southern Region
President – SKAL Alice Springs
Vice Chairman – Alice Enterprise
Board member – Footprints Forward Inc. (Indigenous Employment and Training Group)
Board member – Alice Springs Squash Association
I have been with Imparja Television for 11 years, firstly as National Sales Manager and for the last 5 years as Queensland Sales Manager.I’m passionate about the tourist industry and in my current position I have been fortunate enough to be able to help a lot of small events grow with the help of TV advertising.
Andrew Martin, Mayor of the Blackall-Tambo Regional Council
Andrew Martin (Dip. Rural Business. Dip. Agriculture) is a fourth generation grazier from Tambo with a long history of involvement in agricultural politics, public company directorships and local, private business interests.
From this background Andrew has a passion for his region and belief in the adaptability of its people to embrace and merge tourism as part of the Inland’s core business.
Andrew is married with four children and lives on “Macfarlane Station” Tambo, with his wife, Louise and his youngest children, twin girls Alice and Isobel.
He is Mayor of the Blackall Tambo Regional Council and is very much looking forward to being a part of Outback Queensland Tourism.
Carmel has lived in the South West for most of her life and has been involved with Tourism in Outback Queensland for 20 years.
|Robyn Stephens, Secretary
As a lifetime resident of Winton I believe I have a good understanding of the challenges and opportunities of outback tourism, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to promote tourism across the greater Outback region for many years.
As event coordinator of the iconic biennial Winton Outback Festival for the past 30 years I have had involvement in event planning and management. Robyn has been a Board Member of the Outback Qld. Tourism Association since 2010, Winton’s Waltzing Matilda Centre since 2005 and previously a Winton Shire Councillor.
Previous employment before retirement in 2009 was serving 23 years with the Pastoral Company Elders. I enjoy volunteering my services to multiple local organizations, and I have a huge interest in tourism which is a mainstay of the economic benefits for all our Outback communities.
Robyn has established networks and relationships with tourism operators and stakeholders within the tourism industry, and believes events are the driving force behind Tourism in the Outback to ensure sustainability for the investment in our tourism industry.
Natalie Flecker, Manager of the Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo
Natalie Flecker was appointed Manager the Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere in 2013. She has a wide range of experience in the corporate sector, small business and tourism and events. Natalie has a business degree from James Cook University and worked in high level commercial banking for eight years.She became the joint owner of Yongola Lodge in Townsville in 2008 and prior to heading up the Isa Rodeo, was the business event executive for Townsville Enterprise Convention Bureau. As part of her role at the rodeo, Ms Flecker has introduced a range of initiatives from Isa Rodeo Schools to the first “glamping” for Outback Queensland.
Elaine grew up on a grazing property in South Africa and worked as an accountant for 10 years in the rural town of Aliwal North. In April 2007, Elaine, her husband and two children took the plunge and moved from South Africa to Longreach to join Ringrose Button Chartered Accountants. Elaine became part of the OQTA team as treasurer from January 2015.
Elaine enjoys the country lifestyle with the beautiful weather and sunsets that Western Queensland has the offer. Elaine enjoys being involved in local community activities and organisations.
Qualifications & Memberships
Steve Jones, QLD State Manager for REX Airlines
Steve started out life in the Finance sector, working as a foreign exchange dealer for corporate, and banking sector major companies. Following this he enjoyed almost 15 years in international and domestic tourism working with large maritime and aviation tour operators in operations, Sales, and General Management positions in Japan and Queensland.
Michelle Hespe, Editor in Chief of The CEO Magazine
Michelle Hespe is the Global Editor in Chief of The CEO Magazine, for Australia, New Zealand, Asia, India and Europe. Prior to this role, she launched National Geographic Traveller magazine in Australia and New Zealand. Michelle has 20 years’ experience in the publishing industry – with most of those years spent focussing on travel, the arts and environment, people, food, business and news. She is also a presenter on Sky News’ Business Class, speaking about high-end travel for executives. Michelle has a great love of Australia and regional and outback travel. She is passionate about taking care of the planet for the next generation and has believed from a young age that life is for learning and living, and that anything is possible if you put your heart and soul into it.
Director at Tourism & Events Queensland
Bruce Wallace is currently the Director of Consumer Marketing with Tourism and Events Queensland. He has more than 25 years’ experience with the Queensland tourism industry and has held several board positions with regional tourism organisations during this time. Through his involvement with the Tidy Towns Awards, Bruce served on the board of Keep Australia Beautiful (Qld) for more than 10 years. In 1996, Bruce was awarded the Qantas Churchill Fellowship and undertook an international research program to investigate regional tourism organisations. Bruce has a Bachelor of Arts in Leisure Management and a Master of Business in Tourism Development.