Our Judges and Mentors

Phillip Jones

Phillip Jones

Chair of Judges, National Judge

Phillip Jones has been involved in the Awards for several years  as a mentor, judge and now Chair of Judges. He is also one of the National Award judges and has considerable experience in similar roles for a range of industry and professional bodies. Professionally he has worked internationally in fine dining over a decade as well, before offering facilitation and strategic consulting service through his company, Two Degrees Group. Phillip is an educator and advocate for Australian craft spirits through his popular series of events and website, as the Martini Whisperer.  He is also the Executive Officer of the Canberra District Wine Industry Association. 

David Barker

David Barker

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.

Peter Barclay OAM

Peter Barclay OAM

Judge

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.

Dorothy Barclay

Dorothy Barclay

Judge

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

Judge

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.

Avon Dissanayake

Avon Dissanayake

Judge

Avon carries a wealth of knowledge in Destination Marketing, Tourism, Festivals/Events, Digital Strategy and Telecommunications in both Sri Lanka and Australia. He has crafted multiple national award winning submissions for Hyatt Canberra including a win at the National Tourism Awards in 2018. As Director – Digital Services and Product Design within the ACT Governments Education Directorate, Avon is tasked with mapping the future of education via technology enabled learning . As a passionate content creator and story-teller he regularly creates photo and video based features for leading brands and personalities.

Avon holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing – UK.

Sean Haylan

Sean Haylan

Judge

Sean is the current General Manager of Destination Southern NSW. Sean is an experienced Economic Development and Tourism Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the government administration industry and private enterprise. He is skilled in Destination Management and Marketing, Business Planning, Strategy and Business Development and Engagement along with delivering excellence in Customer Service. As an experienced Director of local and regional tourism organisations, Sean strives to promote and enhance regional tourism initiatives and experiences.  He is a strong operations professional with a Graduate certificate focused in marketing from Charles Sturt University.

Kimberley Roberts Salee

Kimberley Roberts Salee

Judge

Swapping the warmer climes of the tropical north for the crisp Canberra air two years ago, Kimberley’s tourism career began in the holiday-making haven that is Port Douglas. She worked for various local operators before joining the team at Tourism Tropical North Queensland, where she delivered the marketing and communications strategy for the Events team, promoting the region to attract business, regional and major events.

Nowadays, she holds the role of Marketing and Communications Manager at the Canberra Convention Bureau, promoting the nation’s capital to event planners and meeting organisers nationally and internationally. Since her move to Canberra, Kimberley has quickly adopted her new hometown and loves to show off the capital to visiting friends and family, who are always amazed at the beauty, breadth of experiences and easy Canberra lifestyle.  

Kimberley hails from Montreal – you might notice a funny French-Canadian accent when she talks – and before marketing Australian destinations, she was busy marketing the ultimate destination, space, working with astronauts at the Canadian Space Agency (yes, the Canadian NASA!).

Glenda Smith

Glenda Smith

Judge

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.

Marg Wade

Marg Wade

Judge

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.

Carol Cartwright

Carol Cartwright

National Judge

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.

Todd Wright

Todd Wright

National Judge

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.

Vicki Northey

Vicki Northey

Mentor

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.

Marylou Pooley

Marylou Pooley

Mentor

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.

Birgitte Petersen

Birgitte Petersen

Mentor

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.

Cindy Young

Cindy Young

Mentor

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.