Our Advisory Committee
Garry Watson am
Garry has been part of the ACT tourism sector for 30 years, and the Project Leader of the National Capital Educational Tourism Project (NCETP) since 1999. Under his leadership the NCETP has had a significant impact on the ACT tourism region with educational visitors injecting 140 million economic value to the ACT annually. Previous to this, Garry worked extensively in the ACT attractions sector including running visitor services and public programs at the National Film and Sound Archive and providing electoral education for the National Electoral Education Centre. He has also been a market research consultant, with a speciality in facilitating search conferences.
Garry has been a key part of the National Capital Attractions Association and Canberra Region Tourism Awards (CRTA) for many years. After 10 years as Chair of Judges for the CRTA, in 2016 Garry was appointed the Chair of Judges for the Australian Tourism Awards concluding at the end of 2018. Garry has been awarded the Canberra Region Tourism Awards, 2001 Outstanding Contribution by an Individual Award and has recently been included as a Member in the Order of Australia (General Division) for his services to tourism.
DR Pam Faulks
Chair of Judges
Pam loves being involved in the Tourism Awards and is delighted to see so many wonderful tourism organisations continuing to participate in the Awards process. Her experience in the tourism industry includes research and teaching at the University of Canberra and working in both public and private sector tourism-related organisations.
While her PhD research focused on sport tourism, she loves all aspects of tourism and is enjoying watching the way that Canberra’s tourism industry just keeps getting better and better. This is Pam’s first year as Chair of Judges, however she has been actively engaged in judging at the local and national level for many years.
DR Naomi Dale
Naomi is an Assistant Professor of Management and lecturer in the Bachelor of Business and the Bachelor of Event and Tourism Management degrees at the University of Canberra. Naomi has been teaching and researching in the Tourism Discipline at UC since 2006 and prior to that was a travel agent working in Canberra and Melbourne. Naomi’s Ph.D. investigated destination choice by school excursion groups in Australia. She is the Chief Executive Officer of the Canberra Region Tourism Industry Council, coordinator of the Visitor Research Forum and a board member of the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC). 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 interest 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.
Debra manages the coordination of the Canberra Region Tourism Awards program and events. She has an extensive background in leading and inspiring tourism services in the Canberra Region. With over 20 years in experience, Debra brings a multifaceted understanding of high quality tourism experiences from her various roles with major Canberra tourism attractions, including the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Questacon and the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Debra has thrived on working on exciting events such as Enlighten and the G20Summit, through to major contributions to numerous successful Canberra Region Tourism Awards. Debra is a board member of the National Capital Attractions Association and holds a Post- Graduate Degree in Business Management from the University of Canberra. Debra is passionate about high quality tourism and educational experiences as a way to increase and sustain tourism in the Canberra Region.
Garrett is the Director of Research and Industry Development for VisitCanberra, Canberra’s tourism body. Garrett has an extensive research background, working on the consultancy services side of research for 15 years with global research companies and small boutique agencies. Prior to Garrett’s role at VisitCanberra, Garrett was the Canberra Managing Director of Pollinate, a market and social research company.
Garrett’s research experience covers a broad range of categories; from small not-for-profit organisations to local, state and federal government agencies, through to nation-leading companies and peak member bodies and associations. With experience working in research across Canberra, Sydney and Bangkok and previous experience in the Parliament House Federal Press Gallery, Garrett brings a well-rounded, real-world perspective to research and evidence based decision making.
Garrett is also a guest lecturer at the Australian National University (ANU) on Market Research and is currently undertaking a Research Masters at the ANU Research School of Management.
Tristan is currently the Director of Access and Learning at the National Portrait Gallery and is a passionate Canberran, audience advocate and cultural sector enthusiast. With Post Graduate qualifications in Cultural Heritage Management from the University of Canberra, Tristan has work across the sector for over 20 years including roles at ACT Parks and Conservation, the National Museum of Australia, Australian Parliament House and Questacon the National Science and Technology Centre.