Our Judges


 Nic Crowther, Deputy Chair of Judges of the Canberra Region Tourism Awards Nic Crowther, Chair of Judges
Nic is a proud Canberran who writes with a passion for the city. As the editor-at-large for Feed Media, Nic has a love of food and wine, as well as politics and mass media. When not examining contentious ideas or interrogating and parodying the big issues of the day, Nic can be found enjoying a meal at any of Canberra’s dining establishments.
 Phillip Jones, Canberra Region Tourism Awards judge Phillip Jones, Deputy Chair of Judges
Phillip brings to the judging panel extensive experience in hospitality, tourism and consulting. For over a decade he ran fine dining rooms in Australia, Canada and the UK and later provided hospitality consulting and worked in tourism marketing locally. He was recently contracted to develop and implement a comprehensive tourism marketing, audience development and fundraising strategy for the world class McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery in Mornington Peninsula. This involved being part of the Frankston City Council tourism advisory panel. Phillip provides bespoke consulting services through his company Two Degrees Group, and is the Canberra representative for Australia’s premier fine art auction house, Mossgreen. He is the Chair of the Regional Advisory Committee for the Australian Institute of Management, and in his spare time writes about Australian craft spirits and cocktail culture as the Martini Whisperer.
 David Barker, Canberra Region Tourism Awards judge
David Barker
David is the Industry Development Manager at VisitCanberra and is responsible for overseeing the Canberra Region Tourism Awards on behalf of VisitCanberra. His career in the tourism industry spans over 25 years with a variety of roles which showcase the wonderful opportunities that tourism can present. Highlights include managing guest relations on a live aboard dive boat in Cairns, tour leading adventure expeditions through four continents, marketing and logistics manager of Tanzanian safari camps, managing his own eco-tourism mobile camping safari business in Tanzania and destination management in Cape York Peninsula. David has been a judge of the Canberra Region Tourism Awards for the last two years of the program.
 Naomi Dale, , Canberra Region Tourism Awards judge Dr Naomi Dale
Naomi is an Assistant Professor of Management and Associate Dean Academic for the Faculty of Business, Government and Law at the University of Canberra. Naomi has been teaching and researching in the Tourism Discipline at UC since 2006. She was the recipient of an Australian Post Graduate Award scholarship and recently completed her PhD investigating destination choice by school excursion groups in Australia. She is Vice President of the National Capital Attractions Association, co-ordinator of the Visitor Research Forum and a member of the Service Champions and Canberra Tourism Employment Plan steering committees. Naomi’s research is concerned with Learning and Engagement in Tourism. This incorporates research in the specific areas of educational tourism, policy impacts of curriculum, and visitor research at cultural institutions and national capital attractions. It also captures emerging research interests in the application of social media, and strategies for engagement through e-platforms (in teaching, tourism and events). Other key areas are around consumer behaviour and marketing.
 2016 Chair of Judges in Canberra Region Tourism Awards Marylou Pooley

Marylou has been a national judge for many years and is well equipped to head up the Judging Panel. Marylou retired from the Australian War Memorial (AWM) as Head of Communications and Marketing in 2014. She was responsible for all aspects of integrated marketing communications. Marylou encouraged and worked with the Memorial team to enter the Tourism Awards, resulting in Hall of Fame status for the Memorial.  She was a member of the National Capital Attractions Association for many years as well as a member of the ACT Tourism Events Assistance Panel and represented the AWM on the Canberra Business Council’s Art, Sport and Tourism group.  Marylou holds a Dip.Ed. and a Master of Tourism Management from the University of Canberra.  In 2008, she was recognised by the tourism industry for her outstanding contribution and in 2013, she was acknowledged by her peers receiving the President’s Award – Australian Marketing Institute.

  Jonathan Kobus
If you don’t know who Jonathan Kobus is – you haven’t been around the tourism industry long enough! Jonathan spent over 10 years leading a passionate team of tourism ninjas at Australian Capital Tourism and then VisitCanberra in the roles of Product and Industry Development Manager and later as Deputy Director of the organisation. He was the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution by an Individual award in 2015 and has helped shaped the national and local awards process and program for many years. He now calls Invest Canberra home in terms of work where he continues to be a passionate advocate for Canberra and helps to attract business opportunities and investment to our ‘Capital of Cool’. This guy is more connected into the ACT tourism industry than a Telstra telephone exchange and brings his top shelf knowledge, attitude and skills to his role as a local awards judge.
 Peter Barclay Peter Barclay OAM
A passionate supporter of Canberra and the hospitality and tourism industry for over 20 years, Peter has been the Managing Director of the multi award winning King O’Malley’s Irish Pub since it’s opening in 2000.Peter enjoys helping the community through organisations including Rotary, the Leukaemia Foundation and Movember. He serves on the boards of the Australian Hotel Association (ACT), In the City Canberra and the Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal Committee. Peter was the chairman of the Exhibition Park Corporation Board. He has been a judge for the Australian Hotel Association for several years and member of the Canberra Region Tourism Awards steering committee.
  Vicki Northey PSM
Vicki began her career at the Powerhouse Museum as a social history researcher and assistant curator on the redevelopment of the Museum from 1986 to 1989. She was then appointed as Director of the Albury Regional Museum for four years where she worked with a large local history collection and developed about twenty small temporary exhibitions. In 1993 she was employed as the Exhibitions Co-ordinator at the National Museum of Australia. While there she developed exhibitions and public programs that appeared at Old Parliament House and then travelled throughout most of Australia.In 1997 she was appointed Head of Gallery Development at the Australian War Memorial. For the next ten years she managed all of the major building and exhibition redevelopment projects at the Memorial. She managed the development of the new galleries including 3000 square metres of “object theatre” exhibitions that were built around the Lancaster Bomber G for George and the Japanese midget submarine. She worked as the Director of Exhibitions, Design and Public Programs at the Western Australian Museum from June 2006 to April 2010 managing all of the program and exhibition development as well as the Museum’s seven sites. From May 2010 to October 2013 she was Assistant Director and Project Manager at the Australian National Maritime Museum managing many large projects including the circumnavigation of Australia by HMB Endeavour and the International Fleet Review Tall Ships event. She is now Director of Programs and Projects at Australian Parliament House.
 Birgitte Petersen, Canberra Region Tourism Awards judge Birgitte Petersen
Birgitte has a well-rounded hospitality background. She currently works as the Training and Recruitment Manager at Doma Hotels. Having literally grown up in hotels, her passion for customer service and training is evident throughout her career which has taken her to hotels and training institutes around the world, most recently to Canberra. Birgitte has recently stepped away from hotel operations into Human Resources and uses her practical knowledge and industry experience to instil this passion in her staff, trainees and students. Most recently a judge for the National AICR Receptionist of the Year competition, Birgitte’s experience in recognising talent is a great asset to the Canberra Region Tourism Award judging panel.
  Jacquie Roberts
Jacquie is the Senior Manager, International Partnerships at VisitCanberra and is responsible for the development of international programs and market development activities with on-shore and off-shore commercial partners.  She is also the Government representative on the ACT ATEC Branch and a current industry mentor for ATEC’s national ELITE program.  Jacquie has worked in the tourism and travel industry for 25 years in the private and public sector in a variety of roles including: inbound/wholesale distribution, aviation, hospitality and tourism destination marketing across Asia, India, New Zealand and the Middle East.  Highlights of her career include working for Virgin Blue/Virgin Australia where she developed strategies for commercial growth in the Government and University sectors across Australia and was a key member of the Regional Cities Development team tasked with assessing the commercial viability of introducing new aircraft into regional cities. Given half the chance you’ll find Jacquie carving up the ski slopes of Japan, USA/Canada and South America!
 todd-wright Todd Wright
If you’ve been around the Canberra tourism industry traps for some time now, you may well know Todd as the ‘Canberra and Capital Region Student Award Winner’ (2003) or perhaps as ‘Presenter of Tourism Entrants Workshops (2007 – 2016). If not, you’ve surely seen his impressive speeches jam-packed with Dad jokes at tourism awards nights gone by as an awards category sponsor. Now Todd is pleased to say he’s back with Awards Judge status against his name for the 3rd time since 2006. Todd has been Co-Director of Threesides Marketing for the past nine years, and heads a team who is obsessive about marketing that makes a difference. Highly passionate about Canberra’s tourism industry, Todd has a long history in the Canberra hospitality and tourism industry, and worked for the then Australian Capital Tourism for several years before starting up Threesides. Tourism remains a strong passion today as evidenced by many of Threesides clients being in the travel, tourism and lifestyle sectors (and by much of his spare time spent frequenting tourist attractions and visitor centres both locally and further afield). His strengths lie in business development and online marketing, including an undeniable talent for social media and training facilitation. Todd holds a BA Communications, PR/Tourism and is a Certified Trainer.
Cindy Young
Cindy is one of our most qualified, experienced and happily retired judges in our awards program.  Her industry experience includes leadership roles in a host of Canberra leading hotels and business events venues and she capped off her professional career as the General Manager of the National Convention Centre in Canberra.  Her experience in the awards space includes hosting the Australian tourism awards gala night in Canberra, entering and winning on a local and national level, entrant mentoring and contributing to the awards committee locally and in her free time delivered a cameo role as a national awards judge.  With tourism stories a plenty from Canberra and abroad – Cindy is the type of judge you’ll want to be sitting next to at the awards presentation night.
 Adrian Best, Adrian Best
As CEO of Synerge, Adrian delivers projects across Australia in community and regional development, product commercialisation and major Australian Federal Government ICT procurements.
He has been a South Australian, Canberra Region and National Tourism Awards judge, as well as board member of Regional Development Australia ACT, International Specialised Skills Institute Fellow and Business Ambassador for South Australia. His career in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry spans 33 years in more than 17 countries including a Swiss Hotel Degree at Regency Hotel School Adelaide, Executive Chef for Qantas SA, Assistant Food and Beverage Manager of Ansett Airlines Australia and Hotel Management lecturer at CIT.
 Carol Cartwright Carol Cartwright
Carol Cartwright has worked in Canberra in various visitor service and tourism attractions for over thirty years, most recently at the Australian War Memorial where she headed up the Education, Visitor Services and Events area. Since retirement in 2012 she has remained active in the Museum sector sitting on the National Council of Museums Galleries Australia, currently as Secretary.
 Wendy Johnson Wendy Johnson
Wendy is the owner of award-winning Clarity Communications Australia, a company that creates memorable, professional and powerful communications. Clarity Communications has been in business since 1998, working across the writing/editing, PR and marketing fields. Wendy has a Master’s Degree in Journalism and has been writing professionally for three decades, including for tourism organisations and about them. Wendy is also the Director of Communications for FASHFEST, the capital’s annual red-carpet fashion event. She has been with FASHFEST since it burst onto the Canberra scene five years ago. Wendy loves Canberra, Canberrans and all that the capital has to offer.
 Glenda Smith Glenda Smith
Glenda has worked in the Museum sector for over 25 years. Most of that time with the Museum of Australian Democracy and the National Museum of Australia. She has developed, presented and managed education, visitor services and public programs and is passionate about the role of lifelong learning in cultural institutions. Glenda also remembers with great affection her work as the education officer for Jigsaw Theatre Company in the early 90s. Recently retired, Glenda is enjoying doing some volunteer work, taking advantage of all the amazing public programs offered by local institutions and trying to master the piano.
 Dorothy Barclay Dorothy Barclay
Dorothy is a Managing Director of Forrest Hotel and Apartments. She is actively involved with many local and regional associations including the Design Canberra Marketing think tank, the Vice President of the Australian American Association and has been a great advocate for promoting Canberra and the region, seeing our city evolve into the innovative and amazing place it is today.
Dorothy loves people and their stories and is passionate about the experiences that visitors take back home and share with their family and friends. Dorothy is member of the CIT Business Tourism and Industry Advisory Council.
 Jerome de Rose Jerome de Rose
Jerome has worked in management and educational roles for 40 years, including Director at the Canberra Institute of Technology’s College of Business, Tourism and Accounting. His leadership roles include work in five-star hotels/institutions in Sri Lanka, India, Australia, Malaysia and Germany. He and his team at CIT won many local and national Tourism Awards.
He has been the recipient of the National Training Legends Platinum Award; The Restaurant and Catering Association’s Lifetime Achievers Award and The John Scott Memorial Award for his commitment to vocational education and support for Canberra’s Business / Tourism Sectors. He was AUSTAFE’s National President in 2015.
 Marg Wade Marg Wade
Marg has been working in marketing and communications in Canberra for many years, in the private sector, at Environment ACT, the National Archives of Australia and with Austrade. Describing herself as a passionate Canberran, Marg regularly promoted the archives and parks and reserves on radio and television and has published two successful editions of Canberra Secrets, with a third edition due out this year. You will often hear Marg in her regular segments on local radio stations, unearthing quirky ‘secrets’ about Canberra. In addition to this, Marg shares the wonderful things Canberra has to offer with locals and visitors alike on tour in her ‘Canberra Secrets’ branded vehicle. Marg is passionate about promoting local business and initiative, striving to highlight unique Canberra products in her ‘Cafe Culture’ and‘Funky City’ walking tours. Marg holds a Master’s Degree in Marketing Management from the University of Canberra.
 Jeremy Lasek Jeremy Lasek
Jeremy leads the Australian Federal Police national media/communications team. Previously he worked in journalism and news management for more than 20 years, including seven years as news director WIN Canberra. Jeremy was Director Media and Events for the National Capital Authority (2000-2003), he headed ACT Government Communications and was responsible for events, arts, heritage, protocol and the planning/delivery of Centenary of Canberra celebrations. Jeremy spent two years as Chief of Staff for Chief Minister Jon Stanhope (2008-2010) and three years as CEO of the National Australia Day Council (2013-2016). Jeremy is passionate about many things and Canberra tops the list!
 Jeremy Lasek Kate Cowie
Kate has had a long involvement with the tourism industry through her work in the museum and heritage sectors. Formerly Deputy Director, Interpretation and Programs at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Kate has been involved in the museum, heritage and cultural sector in senior management roles for many years and is strongly committed to tourism as an industry and partner in the museum and cultural sector.
While at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra, the museum twice won the National award for heritage and cultural tourism.
Kate currently consults in the museum sector focusing on career development and mentoring. Since retiring from full time work in 2012, she has been an enthusiastic sampler of tourism product internationally, in the Canberra region and further afield in Australia.