Our Steering Comittee
ChairBrian 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.
Naomi DaleNaomi is an Assistant Professor of Management and Program Director for the Bachelor of Business and the Bachelor of Event and Tourism Management at the University of Canberra. Naomi has been teaching and researching in the Tourism Discipline at UC since 2006. She was the recipient of an Australian Post Graduate Award scholarship and her Ph.D. investigated destination choice by school excursion groups in Australia. She is President of the National Capital Attractions Association, 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 interests 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.
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.
Debra BeethamDebra is managing the coordination of the Canberra and Region Tourism Awards and has an extensive background in leading and inspiring tourism services in the ACT. With over 17 years in experience, Debra brings a multifaceted understanding of high quality tourism experiences from her various roles with major ACT 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 ACT Tourism Awards. Debra has been 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 ACT.
Robert SmethillsRobert has many years’ experience in the tourism industry firstly as the Assistant Director of Visitor Services at the Australian Institute of Sport and now with VisitCanberra as the Assistant Manager of the Canberra and Region Visitor Centre. Robert has been involved in most aspects of the Tourism awards including being an award winning entrant, a long time judge for the Canberra and Region Tourism Awards and also a national judge at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.
Phil TrenbathPhil Trenbath is an Account Director and Partner at The Mark Agency, a full-service marketing agency based in Canberra, Australia. The Mark Agency specialises in marketing to solve business challenges, taking a blended approach to business and marketing strategy, and comprises an in-house team of business analysts, creatives, designers and software engineers who work together to achieve outcomes for clients.
Phil studied a Bachelor of Advertising/Marketing Communications at the University of Canberra before moving to the United Kingdom to undertake a Master of Arts in Cross-Cultural Communication & International Marketing at Newcastle University. Since returning to Australia Phil has been with The Mark Agency for 8 years working on a variety of businesses across multiple sectors. Notable clients include Uber, TAB, Brumbies Rugby, Kelly Slater’s Komunity Project and QT Hotels.