The QTIC board was established in 2001 and represents a range of sectors across the Queensland tourism and hospitality industry. With diverse backgrounds, our board members are equipped to provide expert guidance to QTIC and the tourism industry.
Our Board Members
Shane developed a successful management career working in Brisbane and South Africa before returning to the family business as Managing Director of National Park Pty Limited, the family holding company of O’Reilly’s and Canungra Valley Vineyards Pty Ltd. His formal qualifications include a Business Degree in Human Resource Management and a Diploma of Company Directorship and a Diploma in Directorship of not-for-profit and Government-owned corporations. Shane’s current community and industry association representations include: Director Gold Coast Tourism 2002 to 2006 (membership based nomination), Director of the Queensland Wine Industry Association 2004 to 2008 (membership based nomination), Director of Gondwana Rainforests Reserves Australia 2005 to 2011 – World Heritage Area (Federal appointment), Chairman Australia’s Green Cauldron 2008 to 2010, Director Tourism Queensland 2006 to 2011 (State appointment), Chairman of Canungra Information and Historical Association, and Life member of Natural History Association which oversees the Green Mountains section of Lamington National Park. Under Shane’s guidance, the O’Reilly family business has grown from a domestic leisure based accommodation business with 41 rooms to the current 70 rooms in the main Retreat plus the development and subsequent management of 48 Mt Villas, a conference centre and Lost World Spa. The accommodation market is now split between domestic and international leisure as well as conferences. There has been a large investment in facilities for day visitors, including the off mountain development of Canungra Valley Vineyards situated at the bottom of the mountain road to O’Reilly’s. Shane is the father of two small children Grace and Sterling. Shane enjoys bike riding and in 2012 completed the Rockhampton to Brisbane charity ride for Chain Reaction in aid of the Starlight Foundation.
Martin Simons is Chief Executive Officer of Fraser Coast Tourism & Events Ltd and chair of the Queensland Regional Tourism Network. Prior to his career in tourism which he began in 2016, Martin was Group Chief Executive of APN News & Media Ltd (Publishing) leading a trans-Tasman workforce of 4000 publishing 26 daily newspapers, the New Zealand Magazines’ portfolio and more than 100 free newspapers and associated websites in both Australia and New Zealand. Major brands included The New Zealand Herald, The New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, Listener magazine and group buying website, grabeone.co.nz
Mark Evans has been in the tourism industry for almost 30 years. In that time he and his family have brought Paronella Park from a forgotten attraction on a back road, to Queensland’s Number 1 must-do, winning multiple awards for both tourism and business. The business has now broadened to include the Mena Creek Hotel and Mamu Tropical Skywalk, creating a destination south of Cairns. Mark currently serves on the Board of Tourism Tropical North Queensland and on the Townsville Enterprise Limited Strategic Advisory Committee for Tourism. Mark is also an experienced Guest Speaker and has presented throughout Australia and overseas. He has also lead the business in overcoming adversity (2 Cyclones, GFC, COVID-19). Mark’s business success stems from the ability to innovate and embrace change. This is critical leading up to, and during, these critical times. Relationships and teamwork have been a key contributor to the success of his businesses, as it is in any venture.
Peter is the Managing Director of the CaPTA Group, which is owned by the Woodward family and operates tours and attractions in the Cairns and Port Douglas region. His family has operated tourism attractions in the region since 1976. The CaPTA Group comprises of the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Cairns ZOOM & Wildlife Dome, Rainforestation Nature Park, Tropic Wings Cairns Tours & Charters, Jungle Tours & Trekking, Wildlife Habitat, Wooroonooran Safaris, ABC Sales & Maintenance and Careers Training Centre. As part-owner and Managing Director of Respax - which is a software company that develops booking, manifesting and operational solutions for attractions and tour operators throughout Queensland, Australia and SE Asia, Peter has worked with tourism organisations of all sizes and appreciate the different operational challenges that different business’ experience. Peter is on the committee for Cairns Amateurs Racing on the Reef Carnival and has previously been a director of TTNQ from 2016 to 2020. After attending the University of Queensland and completing a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science), Peter worked in the finance industry before moving back into Tourism.
John Sharpe “Sharpey” is behind some of Queensland's most innovative adventure tourism product. As a founder of the Story Bridge Adventure Climb in 2001, Sharpey went on to establish the Riverlife in 2004 at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane’s CBD and later, forged a unique and highly successful partnership with the now internationally acclaimed Indigenous troupe, Riverlife Mirrabooka. Over the past 15 years, Sharpey has continued to design, build and operate several other award-winning companies including Tangatours at Tangalooma Island Resort and P&O Edge adventure parks with P&O's Australian fleet. Sharpey is an energetic and unifying voice for tourism. He leads by example, teaming up with young business partners and demonstrating industry excellence and economic growth through visitor attraction. The diversity of his tourism product is a catalyst for tourism activation. He is committed to digital innovation through Gifting Owl; a worldwide experience gifting platform and investment in Travello and Agunity. As an operator who delivers experiences from the heart of Brisbane to the Gold Coast, in national and marine parks, on the open seas and via the global digital networks, Sharpey understands what it takes to sustain and grow resilient tourism product and is a role model for small business success.
Jonathan Fisher has been a passionate Queenslander for 11 years....firstly as CEO of National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and since 2014 as CEO of The National Trust of Australia ( Qld) based in Brisbane with properties from Currumbin to Cooktown. Jonathan has over thirty years in tourism including managing caravan parks, heritage attractions, lake passenger boats and a steam railway in the English Lake District to Taronga Zoo, Hunter Valley Gardens in NSW to Chair of Australia’s Green Cauldron Working Committee, a Tourism Australia National Landscapes initiative. Previously an active member of Cumbria Tourism, Jonathan also served as a Director of Gold Coast Tourism before moving to Brisbane. A sailor, a runner before the mid-life crisis and now rides a motorbike carefully, bigger than he needs. Passionate about great walks, sustainable destinations and empowering indigenous opportunity, Jonathan looks forward to the opportunity to serve on the QTIC Board.
Cameron is a Quandamooka man from Moreton Bay off the coast of Brisbane in South East Queensland. Cameron is a law graduate from the University of Queensland and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Leisure Management. He has worked previously in the legal industry and for more than 15 years in local and state governments delivering Indigenous policies and programs including the Backing Indigenous Arts Program and the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. Cameron was formerly the CEO for the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation – the Native Title Body and cultural heritage body for Moreton Bay including Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) that jointly manages the Naree Budjong Djarra (My Mother Earth) National Park, runs Quandamooka Coast Tourism experiences and the Quandamooka Festival. He is on the Board of Minjerribah Camping, and a representative on the QTIC Indigenous Champions Network, Redland City Councils Tourism Sub Committee, North Stradbroke Island Economic Transition Strategy Committee, Queensland Koala Advisory Council and Moreton Bay Foundation Board.
Laura has a business background in membership organisations in both Australia and the United Kingdom. She has held the role of General Manager for the national industry body ATHOC, located on the Gold Coast, for the past 15 years and now also Genera Manager Queensland for the Accommodation Association, and Chairperson of the QTIC Association's Council. Laura is an experienced senior manager in service orientated organisations, with expertise in business, operational and strategic planning, and has a track record of success in introducing sound commercial business practices and methods to service focused organisations. She is Deputy President of the Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce, and previous Chair of the Surfers Paradise Alliance (10 Years), has a Master of Business Administration from Griffith University, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern Queensland and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
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 two adult children.
Katherine is the Chief Executive Officer of Bundaberg Tourism and sits on the QTIC Board as a representative for the Queensland RTO Network. With a holistic understanding of regional tourism and business having been heavily involved in the destination development of the Town of 1770 - Agnes Water as President of the LTO, and owner, operator of eco-tourism business, 1770 LARC tours for 17 years. Winning numerous regional and state awards for Cultural and Heritage Tourism, Eco-tourism, Visitor Attraction and the CQ and Southern Great Barrier Reef Tourism Champion Award for outstanding contribution to the tourism industry. On behalf of the RTO Network, Katherine has been involved in the development of the Climate Change tourism adaptation and mitigation strategy and the Nature-based tourism strategy. An active member of the regional community in Bundaberg, Katherine is a part of the Reducing Urban Glow in Bundaberg project. This long-term project supports the broad effort to conserve the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the east coast of Australia using smart technology and open data. As well as an active lead on product and experience development initiatives across the destination, encompassing the Southern Great Barrier Reef, culinary tourism and indigenous experiences. Being recognised in the region as a collaborative leader, Katherine has forged strong partnerships across industries and has raised the reputation and awareness of the value of tourism and the contribution the industry brings to the regional economy.