Our Judges and Mentors

Nic Crowther

Nic Crowther

Chair of Judges

Nic is a proud Canberran who is a passionate advocate for the city. As a writer, communicator and tragic foodie, he has spent two decades discovering the very best of Canberra and then telling everyone he can about it.

Nic has judged locally for the (Canberra Region Tourism Awards CRTA), has represented the ACT as a judge for the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, and assists the Chair of the CRTA Committee as deputy.

Phillip Jones

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.
Marylou Pooley

Marylou Pooley

A national judge and local judge for many years, Marylou is well equipped to Head up the Judging Panel. Marylou retired from the Australian War Memorial 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 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.

David Barker

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.
Peter Barclay OAM

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.

Birgitte Petersen

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.

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 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.

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!

Kate Cowie

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.

Vicki Northey

Vicki Northey

Vicky 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 Vicki 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 Vicki 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. Vicki 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. Vicki is now Director of Programs and Projects at Australian Parliament House.