Daniel Gschwind

Chief Executive Officer

Daniel Gschwind is the CEO for QTIC – Queensland’s peak tourism industry body with more than 3000 regional members.

Daniel represents QTIC on various committees and advisory boards including the Tourism Research Advisory Board, University of Queensland Industry Advisory Board, the Griffith Institute for Tourism Advisory Board, the Bond University Regional Advisory Board, the GBRMPA Tourism Reef Advisory Committee (TRAC) and the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC). He is a member of Jobs Queensland and is the deputy chair of the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) and is chair of Australian Tourism Awards.

Daniel is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland Business School. He is the Honorary Consul of Switzerland for Queensland.

Daniel holds an honours degree in economics from the University of Queensland and has worked as a senior economist with Queensland Treasury. He is a Vice Patron of Surf Life Saving Queensland, and an Ambassador for the Queensland Museum Foundation, the Queensland Plan, and the World Tourism Forum. Daniel is also on the Inspiring Australia – Queensland program reference group.

He has previously been involved in yacht charter operations in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean for ten years.

Email Daniel or find him on LinkedIn

Brett Kapernick

Deputy CEO & General Manager – Business Strategy

Brett is the Deputy CEO for Queensland’s peak tourism industry body – QTIC. Joining QTIC in July 2015, Brett has helped drive partnerships for the organisation which now has more than 3000 members.

Brett has significant C-Suite experience and has held senior executive leadership roles over the past 20 years. With strong practical experience in strategic and operational planning, business growth and leadership of large scale transformational change, Brett has a proven record having managed and led large and complex organisations across a diverse range of industry sectors including education, travel and tourism.

Prior to joining QTIC, Brett served as the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director at the Southbank Institute of Technology. Southbank Institute was established as a Statutory Authority in 2008 and was the first public private partnership in Queensland. Previously he held an executive leadership role within Qantas Airways Ltd.

Brett has and continues to hold roles on a range of state and national advisory committees, boards, and working parties. Currently Brett represents QTIC on a range of tourism related advisory committees including education & training, digital economy and climate adaption to name a few. 

He is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and holds qualifications in business with post graduate qualifications in business administration and leadership from the University of Queensland and Mt Eliza Business School.

Email Brett or find him on LinkedIn.

Catherine Kristensen

Finance & Office Manager & EA to the CEO

Catherine joined the QTIC team in July 2018. Prior to this role, Catherine was an owner/operator of Picnic Point Toowoomba. Picnic Point Toowoomba is an iconic tourism-based hospitality business located on the edge of the Great Dividing Range. Catherine sold out of this business in September 2017. 

In her role as business operator, Catherine was an active member of her local RTO and thoroughly benefited from the tourism training, support and networking that was available to members.

Prior to her 14 years at Picnic Point, Catherine was co-owner of a very busy catering and events company located in Manly, Sydney.

Catherine holds a Bachelor of Arts-Communications degree from University of Technology Sydney and has recently completed a Graduate Certificate of Business from The University of Southern Queensland.

Catherine grew up on the outskirts of Sydney and moved to Queensland in 2003. In 1986, Catherine was an exchange student in Germany and enjoys travelling domestically and internationally. 

Email Catherine or find her on LinkedIn.

Maddison Affleck


Maddison joined QTIC in early-August 2018, after more than 4 years at the Qantas Business Class Lounge in the Brisbane domestic and international airports.

She studied a Bachelor of International Hotel and Tourism Management – majoring in Tourism – at UQ and graduated at the end of 2017.

Maddison has always called Queensland home and loves the diversity of the state – coast to Outback, and rainforest to reef. She is also excited to be taking the next step in her tourism career and looks forward to all the opportunities that QTIC has to offer.

Maddison is a keen traveller – international and domestic – and credits a three-month European holiday in 2014 for her love of all things tourism.  

Email Maddison.


Ainsley Thomas (nee Millar)

Project Officer (Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri)

Ainsley joined the QTIC team in April 2017 after completing a Bachelor of Tourism, Leisure and Event Management with a minor in Marketing from the University of the Sunshine Coast. Ainsley has a passion for events and recently completed a Diploma in Events from TAFE Queensland.

Coming from an administration background, Ainsley is taking on the role of Graduate Project Officer and will play a key role in supporting the delivery of the 2017 Queensland Tourism Awards and other QTIC events. 

Her interest in the tourism industry comes from an appreciation of the vastness of the industry with its opportunities for different sectors and businesses.

Born and bred in Brisbane, Ainsley loves travelling Australia and the world and is always looking for new experiences on her travels – she also loves a good cup of coffee!

Email Ainsley or find her on LinkedIn.


Samantha Reichmann

Project Officer (Tues, Wed & Thurs)

Sam joined the QTIC team in April 2019, having worked in a number of roles incorporating fundraising events, hospitality, and marketing. Sam holds a BA Hons degree in Marketing from the University of West England. As the Tourism Capability Program Project Officer, Sam will oversee all administrative activities related to the project.

Having moved to Brisbane from London in March 2018, Sam is looking forward to exploring Queensland (and beyond) in her spare time with her husband and two young girls.

Email Sam or find her on LinkedIn.


Advocacy & Industry Development – Business Support

Rhonda Appo

Indigenous Program Manager

Rhonda joined the QTIC team in 2013 to coordinate the QTIC Indigenous Employer Champions Network and the newly formed Indigenous Employee Network.

The nature and diversity of work undertaken by Rhonda over the past decade has given her an extensive knowledge and understanding of employment and training issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Her links with Indigenous communities throughout Australia has given Rhonda the opportunity to actively drive change and innovation through the use of e-learning and emerging technologies for life-long learning.

She is passionate about ensuring for Indigenous people to become empowered and be active participants in the economy. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and planning for the next big trip.

Rhonda is a Mamu woman from Far North Queensland and her father's people are the Gooreng Gooreng people from South East Queensland.

Email Rhonda or find her on LinkedIn.


Kayla Sands

Indigenous Project Officer

Kayla is QTIC’s newly appointed Indigenous Project Officer. Kayla will be working with Indigenous Program Manager Rhonda Appo on the annual QTIC Tourism Indigenous Employment Forum.

Before taking on this new role Kayla was QTIC’s receptionist – having started in June 2015.

Kayla’s journey has been a big one – originally travelling down the coast from a small town in North Queensland – but it’s been a worthwhile one too.

Kayla has done some travelling overseas, and knows the importance of tourism for a country, and enjoys being part of an organisation helping to grow tourism in Queensland. She has learnt so much about the industry already and is eager to learn more.

Her hobbies involve dancing, travelling and listening to good, live music. 

Email Kayla or find her on LinkedIn.


Gemma Haskings

Accreditation Manager (Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri)

Gemma joined QTIC in 2013 with great membership and tourism industry experience having previously held roles at Tourism and Events Queensland, RACQ and Toowoomba and Golden West Tourism (now known as Southern Queensland Country Tourism). 

Having completed a Bachelor of Mass Communication (majoring in marketing and public relations), her key strengths lie in marketing, project management and industry engagement. Gemma currently manages the national programs for the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program (ATAP) and Star Ratings Australia for Queensland, as well as assisting industry operators to find the most suitable accreditation program available which will increase credibility, visibility and competitiveness for their business.

Gemma has a passion for travelling and discovering new things to see and do, especially now with her two boys in tow.

Email Gemma or find her on LinkedIn.

Natasha Motesalvo

Research and Policy Manager

Natasha joined QTIC after working as a senior analyst for a hospitality consultancy firm where she was responsible for consumer based research, preparing community impact analysis reports and conducting feasibility studies.

In 2014, she completed her PhD with the department of tourism sport and hotel management at Griffith University. Her PhD thesis focused on destination brand governance and how the relational ties between DMOs and tourism and hospitality operators can be utilised to enhance the visitor experience. During this time she also tutored undergraduate and post-graduate students at Griffith and UQ in business and tourism related subjects. Natasha originally moved to Australia from the UK to complete a Masters of International Tourism and Hospitality Management but fell in love with Queensland’s charms.

Prior to her post-graduate studies Natasha gained operational experiences within several luxury hotel groups in Australia and the UK and spent some time working across Europe for a major UK tour operator as a holiday representative.

Outside of the office, Natasha is a leader at her local Girl Guide group helping to develop young girls into confident, self-respecting, responsible community members and is on the national marketing committee for Girl Guides Australia. 

Email Natasha or find her on LinkedIn.

Industry Development – Training

Kathryn Moody

Workforce Development Manager

Kathryn originally joined QTIC in September 2011 working on various projects including the Productivity Places Program, and developing the QTIC Registered Trade Skills Pathway program. She then returned in 2017 after three years away.

Kathryn is a meticulous contract manager and strategic planner who actively participates and follows current state, federal and international policy relative to contract management. Kathryn possess, strong knowledge and experience in tender development, contract negotiation and management, human resource acquisition, and operational management related to Vocational Education and Training. Kathryn has more than 20 years, experience within the Hospitality and VET sector.

Email Kathryn or find her on LinkedIn.


Ruqaiyah Buksh

Workforce Development Project Officer

Ruqaiyah joins the QTIC Workforce Development with experience in the Vocational and Education Training space. 

Ruqaiyah is looking forward to working with the industry and QTIC to develop new contracts and projects to support tourism training and employment.

Email Ruqaiyah or find her on LinkedIn.


Taneil Thornberry
Communication Officer

Taneil joined the QTIC in July 2019 and brings media industry experience to the QTIC team.

Taneil has a background in Journalism and has a strong passion for storytelling. She graduated with a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) from Charles Sturt University, Bathurst.

Growing up in country NSW, Taneil understands the importance of community and tourism.

Taneil has been fortunate to travel throughout the world and across Australia and is keen to keep on exploring whenever she gets an opportunity.

She has an interest for all things outdoors, hiking, cooking and sport.

Taneil is excited about this new chapter of her career and looks forward to making a difference within the tourism industry.



>> View our Staff and Board Organisational Chart.