Our Steering Committee


 Brian Weir, Canberra Region Tourism Awards judge


Brian is a lecturer in the Tourism Program at the University of Canberra. He has been an ACT, NSW and National Tourism Awards Judge, as well as an executive member of the National Capital Attractions Association, National Secretary of Ecotourism Australia, and a member of the ACT Tourism Industry Advisory Council.  He has worked extensively in business development and economic policy for the ACT Government, as well as heading the Government’s Tourism Policy, and Nature Based Tourism development, units for several years.

 David Barker, Canberra Region Tourism Awards judge


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.

 Jo Broad, Canberra Region Tourism Awards judge


Jo is the General Manager of Australian Hotels Association (AHA) ACT Branch, where she has worked since March 2016. Prior to the AHA, Jo worked for over 10 years in various marketing and sponsorship management roles in both Sydney and Melbourne. She has worked with major brands such as Telstra and Coca-Cola doing major product launches, events and sponsorship negotiations. Jo combines her marketing and management experience and a love for the hospitality and tourism sectors in her role at the AHA. Jo is passionate about the industry, particularly in the ACT, where hospitality and tourism are so critical to the overall economy.

 Nic Crowther, Deputy Chair of Judges of the Canberra Region Tourism Awards

NIC CROWTHER, Deputy 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.

 John Leyshon, Canberra Region Tourism Awards judge


John is the President of the Canberra District Wine Industry Association; sits on the Executive of the NSW Wine Industry Association; and is a member of the Economic Development Committee of the Yass Valley Council. John is also a winemaker and partner in Mallaluka Wines, a boutique winery in the Canberra District. John spent forty years in secondary education and organised and conducted countless adventure tours, both nationally and internationally, for senior secondary students. He has travelled (privately) to many of the premium wine regions in Australia, France and Italy. John has a keen appreciation of the value of the wine industry to tourism. He is very optimistic about the future of the wine industry in the Canberra District and is keen to align that with tourism and the businesses associated with it. John currently works as an Associate Dean in the faculty of Business, Government and Law at the University of Canberra.

 2016 Chair of Judges in Canberra Region Tourism Awards

MARYLOU POOLEY, Chair of Judges

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.