Our Steering Comittee

Naomi Dale

Naomi Dale

Naomi 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.

Debra Beetham

Debra Beetham

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 18 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.

Robert Smethills

Robert Smethills

Robert 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 Trenbath

Phil Trenbath

Phil 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.

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.