Our Judges

DR Pam Faulks

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. 

Kimberley Roberts Salee

Kimberley Roberts Salee

National & Local Judge

Swapping the warmer climes of the tropical north for the crisp Canberra air nearly five 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.

These days, she is Head of Marketing at Canberra Convention Bureau, showcasing the nation’s capital to event planners and meeting organisers nationally and internationally. Since her move to Canberra, Kimberley has well and truly become a Canberran at heart 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 faint 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!).

Birgitte Petersen

Birgitte Petersen

National & Local Judge

Having grown up in a hospitality family in one of the most popular Tourism spots in Denmark, Birgitte’s passion for tourism was spiked early on and her career has taken her to hotels and training institutes around the world, working in Australia, NZ, United Kingdom and Spain, before settling in Australia. Birgitte currently works with Doma Hotels in as Human Resource Manager and has been involved in the Canberra Region Tourism Awards for more than 10 years as a judge, mentor and as part of the steering committee.

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.

Madi Groom

Madi Groom

Judge

Coming from a hotelier background, Madi now utilises her operational expertise within the technology industry, where she leads a number of regional and national teams (and enjoys hospitality from the other side of the fence!)

Madi has a number of years of experience submission writing herself, successfully embellishing hotels she has worked with over 10 industry accolades. She also has insight as an entrant, having been recognised by numerous hospitality associations and being Highly Commended for the Tourism Awards ‘Young Achiever’ award in 2017.

Madi’s passion for writing and literature lead her to enter the awards initially, and is what lead her to the judging panel today.

Having lived in the Canberra Region for almost 20 years, Madi has loved seeing the city evolve and advocates for its endless experiences, venues and natural beauty. As a result, she is passionate about the hard work and contributions to our region being recognised and celebrated!

Lauren Sutherland

Lauren Sutherland

Judge

Lauren is a current member of the team at VisitCanberra, after spending over 15 years in management roles in the hospitality and tourism industry across the ACT. Lauren is passionate about Canberra and the region, and is dedicated to supporting the recovery of the visitor economy. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys eating and drinking at many of Canberra’s wonderful restaurants and bars, dancing up a storm and getting out in nature with her dogs.

Carla Huetter

Carla Huetter

Judge

As a lover of people, places, creativity and innovation, Carla is excited to join us as part of the Tourism Awards judging process, working with such diverse Awards entrants across the region.

For the past 25+ years, and a “local” for nearly 15, Carla has held senior leadership positions across the tourism industry in Australia and in UK/Europe; destination marketing, business events, convention venues, hotels, cultural institutions and event management. This has meant not only being part of the supply chain but also the client, buyer, connector, collaborator and advisor. Perspective = the full 360.

She is passionate about growth and seeing our industry re-invent as part of post pandemic recovery. A firm believer in sharing knowledge, collaboration, business sustainability and blue-sky thinking, Carla continues to work with industry, planning her next ultimate tourism experience….

Carla has a Masters in Marketing Management with additional tertiary academic credential in Business, Graphic Design, University-level Sessional teaching and Training.

David Barker

David Barker

Judge

David has over 30 years’ experience in the tourism industry covering a multitude of roles. Highlights include leading adventure holiday expeditions through South America, Africa and Asia, establishing an eco-tourism safari business in Tanzania, as well as destination management roles in the public sector in Far North Queensland and the Canberra Region.

He is currently the General Manager at The National Dinosaur Museum.