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Hotel and Tourism Advisory Board

Close industry ties are critical to the Department of Hotel and Tourism Management’s success. In order to ensure industry relevance the Advisory Board acts to:

  • Support the department’s programs
  • Enhance the department’s public image
  • Ensure industry best practice

Furthermore the board seeks to both facilitate and enable the achievement of the Faculty’s mission and objectives by lending their support, energy, expertise and influence. The Board is also a great source of mentors for students in the Department and their extensive networks ensure our students are up-to-date with the industry’s latest trends.

Board Members

Judy HillJudy Hill (Chair)
Accommodation Division Manager
Queensland Hotel Association

Judy has many years of senior management experience in the hotel, travel and tourism industries. She is a former Board member of Women in Tourism (Gold Coast) Strategic Management Committee, the Ballina Shire Tourism Advisory Board and Manager of the Executive Development Programs at Southern Cross University. In her current role with Queensland Hotels Association, Judy maintains strong relationships with Tourism Queensland and Government ministers at State and Federal level. She is also Director of her own event management company Upfront Events and Marketing Pty Ltd.


Darren Yeap

Darren Yeap
Director of Food & Beverage
Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa

Darren's extensive hospitality experience has seen him hold numerous leadership positions in the USA, UK and Australia. Prior to joining the Marriott, Darren enjoyed 14 years at The Star and was involved with the pre-opening of the casino’s fine dining restaurant & bars as well as it’s re-invention in 2011. His passion for food has seen him work in Michelin starred venues and boutique 5 star properties including the London Ritz, Mosimann’s Belfry Club and the Boca Raton Resort & Club in the USA.


Raelene Barry

Raelene Barry
Executive Manager of Human Resources, acting General Manager
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre

Raelene was appointed Executive Manager of Human Resources at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre before the opening and also has the additional role of Acting General Manager. Raelene has over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and promotes a strong consultative approach with staff believing that personal attention is the key to understanding the importance of each individual, and fostering their personal growth.


FOB Department Advisory Board - Sanjay Bhatia thumbmail imageSanjay Bhatia
Resident Manager
Marriott Hotels

Sanjay completed a Hotel Management and Commerce degree before embarking upon a rich career that has spanned various countries and resorts where he has held senior positions in Front office, House Keeping, Food and Beverage and Operations. His professionalism and attention to detail has seen him manage new hotel openings, renovations, rebranding and develop and implement key operations and training initiatives for Marriott. He has spent the past 15 years with Marriott Hotels working at the Goa Marriott Resort in India, Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel and Courtyard Marriott on the Gold Coast. Sanjay is a recipient of JW Marriott Award of Excellence, one of the most prestigious Marriott recognitions.


FOB Department Advisory Board - Amery Burleigh thumbmail imageAmery Burleigh
General Manager
Sofitel Gold Coast

Amery started her career in five-star hotels in Silicon Valley at The Fairmont Hotel. She then joined Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and, over a 10 year span, worked her way up through all areas of Food and Beverage in Seattle, Atlanta, Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Sydney properties to Director of Food and Beverage. Amery joined Accor in 2007 and worked briefly at the Mercure Sydney as Director of Food and Beverage before moving to Novotel Brisbane as Hotel Manager. After two years at Sofitel Brisbane Central as Executive Assistant Manager, Amery became the first female General Manager in any Sofitel Australia wide.


Neeraj ChadhaNeeraj Chadha
Director and General Manager
Marriott International (Australia)

Neeraj is a graduate of the Institut Hôtelier “César Ritz” in Switzerland. During his stay in Switzerland, he worked at hotels like Noga Hilton, Geneva and Beau Rivage Palace, Lausanne. In 1992 he joined the Sheraton Towers Southgate in Melbourne and later transferred to Sheraton On The Park, Sydney. Following this he worked for Radisson Resort on the Gold Coast and then moved internationally for 10 years, where he worked in countries such as India and Sri Lanka for Hilton and Marriott. His last assignment before accepting his current position was with Hilton Worldwide where Neeraj was Regional General Manager, India.


FOB Department Advisory Board - Michael Curtis thumbmail imageMichael Curtis
International Business Development Manager
Gold Coast Airport

Michael commenced in his current position in 2007 following 12 years of work in national sales and marketing roles for some of Australia’s leading hotel and resort brands including Tourism Queensland and Sunlover Holidays. Michael is responsible for the business development and marketing culture at Gold coast Airport Gold Coast Airport that has con tributed to steep growth in the number of flights and destinations served in recent years.


HRTM Bob EastBob East
Mantra Group

Bob’s leadership has seen Mantra Group grow from 50 properties in 2006 to more than 130 properties in Australia and New Zealand. As CEO, Bob has strengthened the Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree brands and his strategic business model has developed the group into one of the most impressive accommodation providers and marketers in Australasia. Bob has enjoyed an extensive career in the domestic and international tourism sector. He holds a MBA and sits on a variety of boards including the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC), Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF), and the Gold Coast Football Club (AFL).


Jonathan Fisher Jonathan Fisher
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Jonathan has over 20 years’ experience managing tourism businesses in sensitive environmental landscapes from the Lake District in the UK via the Hunter Valley to the Gold Coast. Originally qualified as a Chartered Surveyor, Jonathan holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Building Conservation and a Masters in Marketing Management. Jonathan is acutely aware of the impact of the human interaction in the environment and on wildlife from his time as Operations Manager at Taronga Zoo to his current role as CEO of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.


Daniel GschwindDaniel Gschwind
Queensland Tourism Industry Council

Daniel is CEO for the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) - Queensland’s peak tourism industry body with more than 3,500 regional members. He is also a board member of the National Tourism Alliance (NTA) and the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC). He represents QTIC on various tourism committees, including the Tourism Forecasting Council, the Queensland Small Business Advisory Council and the tourism committees of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and of the Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA). Daniel has worked as a senior economist with Queensland Treasury, and previously ran a yacht charter operation in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean for ten years.


Sture MyrmellSture Myrmell
Vice President Hotel Operations and Purchasing
Carnival Australia

Sture is responsible for the customer experience and hotel operation, product development and on-board revenue management for P&O Cruises. Since 2008 he has re-developed the P&O Cruises product and the service delivery. He has also been responsible for the fleet personnel department and hotel supply chain. Prior to joining Carnival Australia, Sture spent 15 years with Princess Cruises in California and Cunard Line in Florida, covering positions in Food & Beverage, Hotel Operation, Newbuild and Product Development. His management of new-build and conversion projects include Queen Mary 2 and the conversion of Australia’s first superliner Pacific Dawn.


Jamie O’DonnellJamie O’Donnell
General Manager
Mercure Gold Coast Hotel

With a passion for the industry Jamie provides a wealth of knowledge across all aspects of hotel operations stemming from 16 years of experience across 3 countries. Currently as an Accor General Manager at Mercure Gold Coast Resort he is a strong advocate for enhancing tourism across SEQ and building local partnerships for long term sustainability.


Barry RobinsonBarry Robinson
CEO & Managing Director
Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific

With more than 30 year’s hospitality experience, Barry has a vast knowledge of the hotel industry, from development to branding, management, franchising and operations. Barry has been instrumental in facilitating the recent expansion of Wyndham Hotel Group in Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands. Barry has worked for some of the world’s largest hospitality companies including Swissôtel Worldwide Partner Hotels, Choice Hotels International and, since 2003, with Wyndham Worldwide.


Jade TamblynJade Tamblyn
Project Manager of People Management Systems

Jade commenced her career in hotels working as a Human Resources Coordinator with Marriott Hotels in 2007. In 2009, Jade joined InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) as the Human Resources Manager at Holiday Inn Surfers Paradise. During this time Jade maintained a strong focus on supporting career development opportunities for students dedicated to gaining exposure to the Industry. Since January 2012 Jade has taken on a new role with IHG where she is now working as the Project Manager for their People Management System.


John Van Der Wallen

John van der Wallen
Asset Manager
Starhill hotel REIT

John has many years’ experience in hotel asset management. He was previously Senior Fund Manager for Colonial First State Global Asset Management before moving to a similar role at Starhill Hotel REIT. John oversees the investment performance of the group’s owned Australian hotels which includes the large Marriott hotels located in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane with a combined asset value of approximately $415 million.


Lindsay WallaceLindsay Wallace
Director of Corporate Relations and Destination Management
Gold Coast Tourism Corporation Ltd 

Lindsay is currently the Director of Corporate Relations & Destination Management at Gold Coast Tourism having previously served as Executive Director Marketing and Board Director. Ms Wallace has extensive experience in tourism and marketing as a Board Member of Events Queensland Gold Coast and former Marketing Manager of Mulpha Sanctuary Cove (Developments) Pty Limited and Palazzo Versace. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Business in Hospitality Management.