Judging is conducted by an independent panel of industry peers and business professionals.
Each judge is selected for their knowledge and experience and their willingness to volunteer and commit time to the non paid role of judge of the Brolga Northern Territory Tourism Awards.
The selection process ensures that a broad range of industry is represented and that skills and expertise are complementary. The judging panel is reviewed each year and operates independently of Tourism NT.
The 2017 Judging Panel is:
Chair of Judges: Fay Miller
Mayor Fay Miller was elected Mayor of Katherine in March 2012. Fay arrived in the Northern Territory and Katherine late 1989 and entered the business arena with Red Gum Tourist Park in 1994 until 2006. She has been involved in the community in a wide range of areas including a long term interest and involvement in the tourist industry which is still current. Fay has a strong desire and ongoing commitment to developing Katherine further.
Her community involvements have included Member for Katherine for 5 years in the NT Legislative Assembly and Deputy Leader of the Opposition with 7 Shadow portfolios including Tourism. Some of her current commitments include - Chairperson Katherine Region Economic Development Committee; Katherine Accommodation Action Group; Board member Savannah Way Ltd; Board member of Nitmiluk Tours
Auditor: Suzanne Archbold
Suzanne Archbold born, educated, employed and now raising her own young family in Darwin, Suzanne has experienced first-hand the ever changing dynamics of Darwin. Suzanne's 20 years with chartered accounting firm Deloitte, where she is now a Partner, has given her the opportunity to provide business advisory and taxation services to local businesses that span a broad range of industries including the tourism and hospitality sector. Amongst her may clients can be found a variety of hotels, tour operators, restaurants, cafes and indigenous businesses.
Suzanne has been the auditor of the Brolga Awards since 2014.
Dr Aggie Wegner PhD, BSc (Hons)
Dr Aggie Wegner's exceptional ability to positively connect and engage with people, combined with her 'can do' attitude, has contributed to her career to date. Seeking to combine her professional strengths of research, leadership, governance, management and strategic thinking, with a passion for working collaboratively with colleagues and stakeholders to provide excellent support and achieve outputs, guides her approach and aptitude on a daily basis.
One of Dr Wegner's key strengths is her ability to link, liaise and relate across different stakeholders and interest groups based on her multidisciplinary background and extensive experience in industry and academia. Aggie successfully works collaboratively with other academics, government agencies, community groups, non-governmental organisations and industry partners.
Dr Wegner's background is in research governance and policy, environmental science and management and social policy.
Amy McArdle works as a Project Manager for Ngurratjuta/Pmara Ntjarra Aboriginal Corporation in Alice Springs, with her role focussed on working with Ngurratjuta’s tourism assets, including Tilmouth Well Roadhouse, Ormiston Gorge Kiosk and managing plans for development of a tourism property owned by Ngurratjuta. She also works with clients of Ngurratjuta’s providing business administration support and corporate governance.
Amy has resided in Alice Springs since 2008, relocating from Adelaide. Amy is a member of the Chamber of Commerce NT Alice Springs Executive Committee and Director of the Chamber of Commerce NT. She is passionate about regional economic development and wishes to advocate for remote and regional businesses, particularly in tourism, across Central Australia and the NT.
Andrew Bridges spent over 35 years working for the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, including as CEO from 2012 to 2016.
During his career Andrew had a strong commitment to nature based tourism, and the role it plays in the Territory economy. He spent six years as the Northern Territory representative on the Tourism and Protected Areas Forum, and seven years as an Executive Committee member with Tourism Central Australia.
Now retired from full-time employment Andrew enjoys a bit more time to spend in the Territory outdoors with his camera.
A long term Territorian, Carrie commenced her career in Tourism in 1988 at the Darwin Regional Tourism Association (now TTE).
Over the years she has held varied positions within tourism, recently as a member of the Executive Management Team at the Darwin Convention Centre. She held the role of Director of Sales and Marketing for eight years promoting Darwin as a serious business events destination Locally, Nationally and Internationally. Carrie was a judge for the Brolga awards in 2016.
Currently employed by the Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce as Operations Manager, Carrie boasts a strong work ethic and a good understanding of corporate governance and the responsibilities.
Claire George has spent the majority of her career in the tourism industry. With a background in hotel management and business events, Claire worked in a variety of roles at Tourism NT and was the Business Manager of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Claire is currently the Director of Economic and Industry Development for the NT Government’s Department of Trade, Business and Innovation.
Claire has been fortunate enough to have travel extensively throughout the Territory and has tertiary qualifications in both business management and marketing.
Dallas Newton runs a tourism consultancy advising on sales, marketing and distribution strategies for Australian operators with global distribution. Dallas is also a Director and partner in a website booking operator selling Day Tours in various Australian destinations, that business is also developing tour guide apps for the Australian and international tourism markets.
Dallas entered tourism in the coach touring business, commencing as an accountant with APT in 1980 before moving to AAT Kings in 1984 where he eventually became Managing Director. Dallas was the Director of Sales and Marketing with Australian Pacific Touring (APT) between 2001 and 2006 and previously owned and was Managing Director of APT Day Tours in Sydney and Melbourne 2006 to 2012.
Des Crowe is the current CEO of the Australian Hotels Association NT Branch and has worked with the NT hospitality industry since his arrival in the NT in 1986.
Whilst residing mainly in the Darwin area, Des spent two years in Katherine and has worked extensively across regional NT. Accommodation, food, beverage entertainment and tourism have been a constant feature in his work and he has had the opportunity to work with both NT and Federal tourism agencies and Ministers.
Dr Diana Leeder
Diana Leeder has worked in local government since 1976 with the exception of 9 years with the Northern Territory Government from 2003 – 2012. Although she grew up in Darwin, her working experience commenced in New South Wales working part time with the Upper Hunter Regional Library whilst living and working on a mixed farming property during drought years. Since then Diana’s professional journey has taken her through distance education, a period with Namoi Regional Library and a move into more general public administration after returning to Darwin. Along the way she has indulged her passion for Switzerland and all things Swiss by completing a PhD on the works of a Swiss German female writer and for animals and their proper care and management by a period of twenty years on the Northern Territory Veterinary Board, ten years of which were as the President of the Board.
From 2006 - 2012 Diana was a member of the NT Tourism Awards judging panel and from 2009 - 2012 was one of the Northern Territory judges for the National Tourism Awards
Diana is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a graduate member of the Planning Institute of Australia and a graduate librarian.
Dino Magris grew up and worked in the tourism and hospitality industry in Venice (Italy) before coming to Australia in 1968.
He holds a Bachelor of Business (Transport Economics) degree. His 44-year career in touring operations in Australia has seen him hold the executive positions of Victorian and Tasmanian State Manager for Ansett Pioneer, General Manager – Australian Tourism for Australian Pacific Touring and also Executive Director of APT.
Dino is passionate about Australian tourism and is proud to be identified with the introduction and establishment of several of todays iconic touring products and experiences in the Northern territory, in the Kimberley and in Victoria.
He retired in 2012 after 31 years with APT and over 50 years in the tourism industry.
Julie Rannard is long term Territorian having grown up in Darwin, studied to gain a Masters Degree in International Management and raised her two sons there. Julie’s career spans more than 30 years in the Northern Territory Government working with a diverse range of industry sectors through her roles in senior positions in construction project and facilities management, media and communications and social housing.
More recently Julie has worked closely with the hospitality sector through her role in Alice Springs as Director, Central Australia for the Department of Business.
Lynne Peterkin has been involved in the tourism sector in Central Australia since 1987, taking on a variety of roles and responsibilities.
Her broad experience in the industry includes:
- General manager of what is now Tourism Central Australia (TCA)
- Tourism co-ordinator for Ngurratjuta/Pmara Ntjarra Aboriginal Corporation
- Running a 5 star, award winning B&B for 12 years
- Chairman of TCA for 3 years
- Chairman of the Australian B&B Association for 4 years
- Qualified chef
- Tourism NT accreditation assessor
- Brolga judge
- Life member of TCA
Lynne has now officially retired but maintains her involvement in the industry.
Martin Ferreyra is Austrade’s State Director – Northern Territory based in Darwin. Formerly, he was a Senior Trade Adviser to the Resources and Energy team tasked with promoting Australian capability and expertise across the mining equipment and services sectors; he had responsibility for Latin America, India, CIS countries and the South Pacific.
Martin has a thorough understanding of the internationalisation of businesses coupled with a solid academic background on the subject. He has experience working with a diverse range of exporting companies across various sectors including professional services, education, mining, engineering, technologies and services (METS) and major sporting events (MSE).
In academia, Martin has been an Associate Lecturer at two Australian universities teaching subjects such as multinational business finance, international marketing and export procedures.
Mike Keating worked in a range of Sport and Recreation roles including sports coaching, management and adventure tour guiding before moving into education. Throughout the past 13 years as a formal educator, Mike has been building his Tourism and Hospitality training knowledge and experiences and is currently the Tourism and Hospitality Team Leader for Charles Darwin University, based in Alice Springs.
Mike has an interest in tourism research and in particular customer expectations and satisfaction. Having previously been a judge on the Vanuatu National Tourism awards and the 2015 and 2016 Brolga awards, he is looking forward to another year of outstanding applicants.
After their arrival in the Territory in 1974 Mike and Ann moved to Katherine where Mike commenced employment as a parks and wildlife ranger. In 1978 he was appointed Katherine Region Manager a position he held until February 1987 during which time he was responsible for negotiating the acquisition of land for the creation of Gregory and Keep River national parks.
Elected to the NT Legislative Assembly as Member for Katherine in March 1987, Mike was appointed to the ministry in July 1988, retiring from politics in 2003.
Retirement presented the opportunity to pursue long held interests of fishing and birdwatching. Over forty years of birdwatching in the Territory have been compiled into a book published in 2014 with notes, maps and directions to birdwatching sites in the Top End. Mike also has a keen interest in the WWII history of the Territory.
In my role as the Area General Manager for Telstra, I am accountable for maximising Telstra’s presence and business performance within NT. This includes all Retail points of presence as well as the delivery of all local services for the region.
I am originally from Adelaide and during my six years in the Army and 34 years in retail, I have travelled extensively throughout Australia. I have also lived in most capital cities in Australia. I have been with Telstra for four years and I have been in the Territory for three years.
A long term Territorian, Pauline Rayner has a background in the Pastoral industry spending over forty years in the Katherine Region. A late starter in tourism, life began with the Northern Territory Tourist Commission in 1988 as Manager, Katherine Visitor Information Centre and five years later a transfer to Darwin into the Industry Liaison and Product Development Unit where the role enabled a close working relationship with developing operators and tourist associations. This included the Bed and Breakfast, Caravan, Safari Hunters, and the Savannah Guides. Pauline is a strong advocate for Accreditation, professional business practices and customer service, and a keen supported of the N T product which combined makes a holiday experience in the Territory so rich and memorable.
Rachel has a diverse background in the tourism and hospitality sector having worked in public and private sector roles spanning events, marketing, investment attraction and tourism development. With a solid track record in senior business and economic development roles in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, she has an excellent knowledge of the destinations, the networks and importantly the key drivers of success for developing and operating tourism ventures in regional settings.
Rachel now operates her own consultancy business focused on improving performance in the tourism sector. Rachel’s qualifications include a Degree of Master of Business (Marketing), Degree of Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing).
Randle Walker is currently the CEO of Centrecorp Aboriginal Investment Corporation and which has interests in a number of tourism and commercial businesses and funds a range of community programs through Centrecorp Foundation. He currently participates in a range of committees around Alice Springs including the Chamber of Commerce Executive, Tourism Central Australia Executive and is on the NT Branch Council of CPA Australia. He holds positions on commercial boards including Chifley Alice Springs Resort, Memo Club Alice Springs, Hertz Trucks & 4WD’s (NSW, Vic and SA), LJ Hooker Alice Springs and Milner Road Foodtown.
Randle has a strong background of governance and finance. Randle is currently the Secretary for 17 different committees as well as the Auditor for 7 local attractions, events and not for profit organisations. His qualifications are Bachelor of Business (Accounting), Graduate Diploma of Accounting, FCPA, Certificate in Inventory and Production Management
Russell White founded inbound tour company ATS Pacific in 1980, and grew it over 25 years into a large regional business of over 300 staff, with offices in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, and annual sales of $100m from a global client base of leading international tour operators. The company became an innovator in terms of Australian product development and tourism technology, and helped introduce many small and large local operators to the global markets.
Russell has a deep understanding of the challenges facing tourism business in becoming "export ready" and seeking to position themselves into international markets.
Susie Dark has had an exciting career in hospitality, tourism marketing and retail travel. She has worked for a number of recognised hotel groups including Accor Hotels and managed large scale corporate travel demands at Flight Centre Management.
Her employment with organisations such as Tourism NT, TTE and TCA has provided an opportunity to support and work alongside a range of tourism operators from across the Territory and to develop and understanding of the commitment and drive required to run a successful tourism business.
Susie currently works as a Business Consultant with GreenGlass Consulting in Alice Springs.
Suzanne Morgan leads activities to grow inbound tourism, driving the use of market research and new technology enabling a smarter, more targeted approach to consumer marketing and growing the visitor economy.
She has a passion for developing business excellence and sustainable commercial opportunity and has been a judge with Tourism Brolga Awards; Telstra Women’s Business Awards and held Director Positions with Tourism NT in Industry Development, Business Events, International Operations and Domestic Marketing.
Suzanne has extensive experience in negotiation and contract management, including establishing cooperative aviation MOU’s, sponsorship agreements and international representation.