2023 Symposium Speakers

2023 Symposium Speakers

The Symposium will be a day of information sharing, learning and connection and a great opportunity to absorb new information, insights, and ideas. Join us and hear from business and tourism experts who’ll challenge your perspective and perceptions!

Your speaker lineup includes:

Elaine Miles

Eliane Miles – Changing times, emerging trends: Responding strategically to the trends impacting tourism

Today’s tourism landscape has shifted considerably. Demographic, economic, generational, and consumer change is evident and demands immense adaptability from local businesses and economy stakeholders.

The business and community leaders that will thrive in today’s new normal are those who understand the times and influence the trends through their offering.

In this session social researcher and business strategist Eliane Miles will guide leaders through the trends transforming Australian communities. She will discuss:

  • Demographic transitions: The impacts of hyper-localisation and a fresh regional focus
  • Workforce shifts: Gen Z multi-career expectations and next-gen employee mindsets
  • Consumer sentiment: How business can be more human in today’s experience economy
  • Digital integration: Consumer demand for the simplicity and convenience
  • Trust as a premium commodity: Social license and our shared social values

She will discuss the key implications of these trends on tourism and how both operators and community leaders can respond, now and towards 2030.

Eliane Miles is a social researcher, strategist, and trends analyst. She is the founder of The Curious Co an insights and strategy consultancy that delivers practical strategic direction to clients across a wide range of industries.

With clients including Grant Thornton, CommBank, and Shopify, she has helped some of the world’s largest brands gain insights for growth, engage more deeply with customers and build brand credibility. Known for her strong analytical capability matched with deep intuition, audiences love her clear, curated, and engaging presentations.

Since 2016 she has delivered over 100 keynotes, strategy sessions, and executive workshops across multiple continents. A regular media commentator, Eliane has featured on ABC The Drum, 9News, SBS, and 7News as well as on radio, print and in online media.

Eliane’s mission is to create clarity from complexity, share the story in the data, and lead organisations towards active, confident decision-making.

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Michael Thurston – Update and outlook

As we move back to more traditional cycles, this session will review the region’s performance over the last 12 months, delivery of projects during this period, launch of the North Coast Destination Management plan and other key initiatives underway.

Likely known to you all, Michael has been GM at Destination North Coast for the past five years.

An alumnus of Southern Cross University, Michael has extensive experience in the commercial and destination management sectors.

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Kylie Robertson – Data, trends and implementation

Kylie has a background in environmental science and management and has always been passionate about travel, particularly camping. She landed her dream role when she took the position of Membership Development Manager with the New South Wales Caravan and Camping Industry Association almost 15 years ago.

Her role sees her on the road visiting the holiday parks and residential villages across New South Wales where she assists with risk management planning, environmental and industry related issues. Visiting the corners of the state and everywhere in between each year has been extremely beneficial for her other role where she attends major interstate Caravan and Camping expos, marketing NSW as a destination and assisting travellers in planning their NSW trips  and  mapping routes where the travellers can enjoy their favourite pastimes.

So if you want to know where all the good bakeries and pubs are, just ask her at the next break. She  stills loves camping although finds the camper trailer a bit more comfortable these days


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Jan Hutton – The Future of ATDW: A New Dawn

ATDW is a 20+ year old business. The ATDW-Online platform is almost 8 years old. Since then, the world has changed. Tourism has changed. Tourism product distribution has changed. Content has changed. Consumer expectations have changed. Technology has changed.  The role of data has changed.  We have prepared for this, investing in the future of digital tourism.

As the CEO of ATDW, Jan believes in making an impact by bringing insight and inspiration to maximise competitiveness. She has a proud track record with an international career in management consulting, digital transformation, global marketing and sustainable destination development.

Jan is on the THRIVE 2030 IDEA Committee working with tourism leaders across Australia to re-imagine the visitor economy, and she is also on the Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT) Advisory Board. She loves identifying and driving sustainable growth by anticipating trends that unlock opportunities through technology innovation and the smart use of data.

Her aim is to provide tourism businesses with a strategic compass for internal alignment and external impact. Jan is a trusted business leader and clear thinker with an ambitious spirit.

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Andrew Turbill – Redefining engagement with nature

For more than half a century, nature conservation agencies have promoted the value of protected natural areas to the public through a lens of biodiversity, environmental amenity and recreational enjoyment. While these concepts are clearly valid, they are also inherently obscure and intangible. In recent decades the scientific evidence for a range of measurable human health and wellbeing benefits that result from meaningful exposure to natural environments has become clear.

With more than half the global population now living in highly urbanised landscapes, conservation agencies urgently need a phase transition away from old ways of visitor engagement to strategies that seek to maximise the implicit and explicit values of visitor experiences based on nature connection.

Andrew is an environmental educator and wildlife naturalist based in the upper Bellinger Valley. He specialises in bird ecology, and biogeographical science communication.

He has over 20-years of experience managing a team of environmental and Aboriginal educational rangers for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service on the NSW North Coast.

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Stewart Moore – Reconceptualise – capitalise – normalise

During this facilitated panel session, we’ll look to unpack changes in customer/consumption behaviour and technology influencing our industry. We’ll seek answers from our expert panel on how operators can capitalise on these changes ahead of the curve and before they become the ‘new normal’.

A regular presenter at the North Coast Tourism Symposium, Stewart Moore is one of the Asia Pacific’s most experienced planning and management consultants.

He has over 30 years of experience in a wide range of disciplines from business and strategic planning, policy development, tourism destination management and marketing, sustainability, risk management and corporate and social responsibility.

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Tim Jack Adams – Thriving Sustainability

The workplace landscape is rapidly changing, and with so many people working remotely, the opportunity to be at a face-to-face conference is to create connections, deepen culture, take the time to reflect and be inspired.

Research shows happy people are measurably more productive, better decision makers and more effective. But we need to focus on our wellbeing to be happy. Pre-COVID, wellbeing was a subtle footnote, but now it’s a prominent keynote, and the questions remain: Why is a focus on wellbeing important?  How do you measure it? And what do you do with the information?

Tim is a thought leader and speaker in the Wellness Industry and has created an overarching framework for wellbeing that enables leaders, teams and organisations to thrive sustainably.

Tim has worked with the Australian Defence Force, Red Bull, Olympians and many of Australia’s top companies.

Tim is a sought-after keynote speaker, workshop facilitator and expert advisor on wellness for corporations in the Asia Pacific region.

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Bohdi Lewis – What to do when it all feels new (again)

As the dust settles from back-to-back years of unpredictability, has a new normal emerged? Or have we found ourselves in a place where traveller behaviours are again shifting beneath us..

In this presentation, Director of Brand and customer Experience, Bohdi Lewis will share Destination NSW’s latest visitor insights and discuss how industry must come together to meet these evolving traveller needs.

Since joining Destination NSW, Bohdi has led the development and launch of the FEEL NEW Brand, shaping a more unified marketing approach for NSW that puts people at the centre of ideas.

Leading a team of 25 superhuman marketers, Bohdi is now focused on bringing together Brand and Customer Experience to grow the NSW Visitor Economy.

Prior to joining Destination NSW, Bohdi spent a decade in strategy and innovation roles within major advertising agencies leading brand and digital transformation projects for some of Australia’s most innovative companies.

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Dominic Mehling – Tourism Australia and the International Opportunity

Hear from Tourism Australia about the recovery of international, outlook for the future, current campaign activity and the latest insights from ‘The Future of Demand’ project.

Dominic acts as the primary link between domestic tourism product and the Australian Government agency responsible for promoting Australia to the world as a destination for leisure and business travel.

With almost 20 years’ experience in the tourism sector in both sales and marketing as well as operational roles, Dominic has worked for brands including ‘Hayman Island’, ‘One&Only Resorts’, ‘Atlantis the Palm’ and ‘Langham’.

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Sally Scott – Rail Trail to Recovery

Sally is the Interim General Manager of The Tweed Tourism Co, the official tourism development and destination marketing agency for The Tweed through a partnership with Tweed Shire Council.

With over 25 year’s experience in the tourism industry in sales & marketing roles as well as a seasoned travel writer, Sally joined Tweed Tourism in 2019 as Industry Liaison.

In this role, Sally has been the go-to contact in The Tweed, coordinating and implementing tourism product, experience and destination development activities to support sustainable growth.

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Tiffany Stodart – Rail Trail to Recovery

Tiffany Stodart is the Manager Destination, Communication and Customer Experience at Tweed Shire Council.

It’s a long description and diverse portfolio of services but the most recent addition to this team has been destination and industry development including the operation of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail as the ”must do’ experience in the Northern Rivers.

She will highlight the diverse contribution Council delivers as part of its tourism services and products and share the challenges and wins 5 months into operations for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

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Special Thanks To Destination Co-hosts

tweed tourism
tweed shire council

Special Thanks To Our Events Sponsors

tourism australia

Special Thanks To Our Event Suppliers

earth check
myles av