Judging for the WA Tourism Awards is conducted by a panel of industry peers appointed by Tourism Council WA.
All judges provide their time and expertise on a voluntary basis and are educated in the entire judging process including submission assessments, scoring guidelines, undertaking site inspections and providing adequate feedback to entrants.
The objective of the Awards judging process is to fairly and independently evaluate each entry through the formalised and professional assessment process.
The appointment of judges is designed to be completely transparent and all judges must meet strict criteria as well as be representative of the tourism industry. They possess a strong knowledge of the operations of the industry and will be, or have been, involved in tourism or a similar service at a senior management level.
Each submission is assessed by three different judges. The final score is determined by the aggregate of the three scores.
Professional auditors oversee the WA Tourism Awards judging process. Their role is to audit submissions for compliance, audit score sheets and check conflicts of interest and confidentiality declarations.
Please find below a list and short biography of our judges.
Pat Strahan - Chair of Judges
Pat commenced her career in the travel and tourism industry in 1984 and started her own business, Strahan Events, in 1990, organising both large and small international, national and State events. She was also CEO of Caravan Industry Australia WA for 15 years. Pat is now semi-retired and focusing on her voluntary commitments within the tourism industry.
Her involvement with the awards began in 1995 as the WA Awards Co-ordinator, then a State judge and an Australian Awards Judge for the past 5 years. Pat was a founding member of Tourism Council WA and sat on the Board for many years and is currently a Board member of Visitor Centres WA and is a judge for the GWN7 Top Tourism Town Awards. She has previously sat on the Boards of Caravan Industry Australia, Meetings Industry Association WA and Events Industry Association just to name a few. In 2013 Pat was awarded the Sir David Brand Medal for her Outstanding Contribution to the Tourism Industry for which she feels very honoured.
Bonnie has spent nearly half her life in the tourism industry. She completed a Graduate Diploma in Tourism Management at Edith Cowan before going on to work with leading PCO company, Congress West. She spent the next five years gaining valuable skills and experience in all aspects of conference management and refining her marketing skills.
When an opportunity too good to refuse came up in Bunbury, she made the move south and went on to set up the first conference and event consultancy in the region and has seen the industry grow and develop in the past 19 years. During that time she has worked in regional tourism and maintains links with the key local tourism bodies while her event management company goes from strength to strength.
Julian Barry is the Regional Manager Western Australia for Qantas. Julian has worked for Qantas for more than 20 years where he has held various positions both within Australia and overseas.
He has worked with regional tourism authorities, travel wholesalers, and peak bodies to promote destination tourism, including Gold Coast Tourism, the PNG Tourist Authority, Tourism NT, and Tourism WA. Julian sat on the Executive Committee of Tourism Top End from 2010 to 2013, and was previously a judge of the Tourism NT Brolga Awards. This is Julian’s fourth year as a judge for the WA Tourism Awards.
Julie has had a diverse career in public relations and marketing, running her own business, then working for the State Government and in the private sector. In 2011, Julie joined Perth Airport to manage the communications and marketing around the $1 billion redevelopment. In addition to this, in 2014, she became Manager of Corporate Affairs with responsibility for internal and external communications, community engagement, media, sponsorships and events. During this time, she developed an extensive network across the aviation and tourism sectors.
With the redevelopment nearing completion, Julie retired in mid-2016 to pursue her passion for travel and her commitment to promoting Western Australia as an outstanding tourist destination, and provide part-time consultancy services to the education and tourism sectors.
Tara Colyer-Long is a Digital Project Manager in the Strategy, Brand and Marketing Services Division at Tourism Western Australia. She currently manages the content on westernaustralia.com in 6 different languages including WA’s content contribution to the National Australian Tourism Data Warehouse.
Tara is an experienced digital marketing and communications professional with a demonstrated history of working in the leisure, travel and tourism industry (with a strong government background) and is skilled in digital strategy, content marketing, SEO, user experience, integrated marketing and advertising.
Steve Crawford is currently the Visitor Communications Manager Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
Prior to joining the Department he had more than twenty-five year’s senior management experience with the Western Australian Tourism Commission (Tourism Western Australia) and Rottnest Island Authority. A past National Tourism Award recipient, Steve has a wealth of tourism industry experience in such areas as tourism destination planning, market research, trade marketing, tourism development and business enterprise development. He has represented Western Australia on numerous national taskforces and committees in such areas as Indigenous tourism, climate change, ecotourism, tourism planning and cruise shipping.
Steve is currently Deputy Chair, Forum Advocating Cultural and Eco Tourism, a member of Edith Cowan University’s Tourism and Hospitality Consultative Committee, board member of the Curtin Business School Marketing Advisory Board and ex officio board member of Australia’s Coral Coast.
Professor Ross Dowling OAM is Honorary Professor of Tourism, School of Business & Law, Edith Cowan University and he is a passionate advocate of tourism in Western Australia. He is Chair of both Cruise Western Australia, Vice President, Royal Automobile Club; Vice President, Geoparks WA; Board Member, Australia’s Coral Coast; Member, Conservation and Parks Commission; Ambassador, WA Parks Foundation; and Life Member of FACET.
In Australia he is Co-founder and Life Member of Ecotourism Australia and an Advisor to the Australian Cruise Association. Internationally he is an Advisor, UNESCO Global Geoparks; Member, World Commission on Protected Areas; Co-founder, International Cruise Research Society; and Co-founder of the Global Geotourism Conferences. He is a Director of Ideology Pty Ltd which undertakes tourism development and training in a number of countries around the world.
Brendan has over 32 years of Hospitality, Tourism and Events experience. Brendan started at the bottom and worked his way up to Senior Management positions with a determination to make a difference. To attain the promotions needed for advancement, Brendan travelled to the Pilbara and assisted in the opening of the Karratha International Hotel and worked in the Northern Territory at both the Darwin and Alice Springs Hotel and Casinos.
For 20 years, Brendan was in Management starting as a Restaurant Manager progressing to Food and Beverage Director and achieving the position of General Manager of the Margaret River Hotel and the Grand Chancellor. Brendan was also the Manager at the Royal Perth Yacht Club. Brendan has been an Advanced Skills lecturer with the North Metropolitan TAFE in Joondalup since 2011 and is responsible for the delivery of the Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management.
Brendan recognised the need to formalise his on the job learning and now has Diplomas in Business Administration, Leadership and Management and a dual Diploma in Training. Other qualifications include a Bachelor of Business and Advanced Diploma of Hospitality. Brendan has also been a consultant to the Restaurant and Catering Association of Australia for their Awards for Excellence for the last 4 years.
Extensive travel over the last 10 years has enabled Brendan to acquire a vast knowledge of the trends in the industry throughout Australia.
Paul has been involved in the tourism industry in Perth for more than 25 years. Highlights of his career include the successful management buy-out of Adventure World in 1990, founding Board member of the Australian Amusement, Leisure & Recreation Association, past Chairman of the Association of Perth Attractions and was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Tourism Committee. Paul also chaired the South West Tourism Marketing Committee.
After obtaining a Master of Business Degree from Murdoch University in 2000, he went on to manage Hotham Valley Tourist Railway before taking up the position as CEO of the Swan Bells Foundation in 2001. He retired in early 2013, but has continued to take a keen interest in the tourism industry.
Dave Humphreys has worked in the live entertainment and venue business his whole career and is currently Perth Arena’s head of commercial, sales and marketing with AEG Ogden.
Dave is a champion of the venue industry’s role in creating state-wide economic benefit through tourism and events.
In its five years of operation, nearly 15% of Perth Arena’s fans are from out of town with many traveling from Asia and Europe for the purposes of attending an event. Half of those visitors then travel on to regional Western Australia.
The team at Perth Arena are working with partners and industry to increase the audience from markets abroad. Dave aims to grow visitation at all events as a catalyst for long-lasting benefit to the state and to create a more vibrant and exciting destination.
Peta has over 35 years in the tourism industry. Peta’s has operated a tourism consultancy business since 2008. She has also undertaken a range of tourism, economic development and industry development positions and contracts including City of Vincent, City of Subiaco and Museums Australia WA. She spent over 10 years as the Tourism Development Manager for Perth’s Eastern Region working across six Local Government Councils. She was also the Executive Officer for the Swan Valley Tourism Council where she managed the region’s major events such as Spring in the Valley and Taste of the Valley and also the setup of the Council’s first Visitor Centre and Administrative Office. Peta had 8 years in hospitality management throughout Western Australia for the Swan Hotel Group opening the first stage of Observation City Resort Hotel and 3 years resort management experience in various locations in Europe. Tourism training experience includes over 3 years training and university lecturing for the Northern Territory Tourism Training Council and Northern Territory University as well as Corporate Sales Manager for Hyatt Regency Perth.
Peta has a special interest in Nature Based Tourism and was on TWA’s Advisory Group for over 5 years and a board member for the Forum Advocating Cultural and Eco–Tourism for the past 15 years. Peta has extensive experience in the development and delivery of marketing, economic and business development strategies for nature based trails and the communities in their location and is a member of WA’s Trails Reference Group.
Tracy’s tourism career spans almost three decades of promoting, utilizing and experiencing Western Australia’s tourism product portfolio across the State from top to bottom in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Destination marketing, product development and public relations roles with the Western Australian Tourism Commission, Perth Convention Bureau and as principal of Oyster Destination & Incentive Management Company have involved working cooperatively with regional tourism organisations, tour operators and wholesalers, and the media both at home and abroad.
A Perth-based consultancy with a state-wide focus, Oyster DMC has serviced the local, interstate and international corporate tourism markets with a broad range of multinational clients representing various industry sectors.
Tracy holds a Bachelor of Business (Tourism) from Edith Cowan University, and is delighted to return to the Judge’s Panel for the third time.
Jim Sharp is the former Director General of the Department of Parks and Wildlife having retired in 2017 after 35 years involved in managing most of Western Australia’s magnificent marine and terrestrial areas. This also included 12 years as Director of National Parks. Jim’s career has been characterised by a passionate commitment to creating opportunities for people to engage in high quality experiences in natural areas to both ensure a sustainable tourist industry as well as a constituency for their conservation.
Richard Campbell has been involved in the industry for more than 30 years, starting in 1981 in a part time capacity, then full time since 1987. He founded CMS Events in 1993 and then the original WA Wine & Food Festival in 1997. Overall, he has been involved in more than 170 events in the state, many of which were created by the company.
Passionate about promoting business through the marketing medium of tourism events and exhibitions, he has built a reputation of developing sustainable and memorable events across a range of industries.
He served on the board of the Perth Convention Bureau for 15 years till 2005, as a Director and Chairman and was awarded with Life Membership in 2006.
Industry Positions & Board Roles include: Past Director, Chairman, WA Rugby League; Past Director & Chairman, Perth Convention Bureau; Past President, Lakelands Country Club.
Tourism Advisory Consultative Committee, Edith Cowan University; Industry representative, Public Health Act – Events Working Group; and Annual Awards Judge, Tourism Council WA.
Rod Quartermain has been in the tourism industry as an operator and administrator for nearly 40 years. Most recently he was the Manager of the Tourism and Property Branch for the Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife until his retirement in 2017. Since then he has been a part time consultant on a number of ecotourism projects.
His background is as an owner operator of small to medium size businesses in a number of business sectors in many states in Australia and also worked in the import/export sector in London. He got into tourism in the early 1980’s and has been a cruise boat operator on the Murray River and in Queensland, operated and managed a heritage park in Victoria, a WA Tourism Commission Regional manager in the Gascoyne, CEO of Fairbridge WA and President of the Peel Tourism Association.
Rod joined the then Department of Conservation and Land Management in 1998 and became responsible for tourism industry policy, liaison, licensing, evaluation of commercial tourism proposals, research and marketing and leases. This includes coordinating the successful Naturebank program that identifies opportunities for commercial accommodation development in WA’s parks.
For five years he was chairman of the Tourism and Protected Areas Forum that has representatives from all Commonwealth and State protected area managers and tourism agencies. This group discussed common issues and to look at a consistent approach to the management of tourism in protected areas can be achieved.
Kym’s background is all about small business, tourism, and marketing. Kym has had a diverse career that includes being a qualified dive Master, tour guide, business owner, board member, partnership manager and business advisor.
Previous work experience includes being self-employed as a tourism consultant specialising in award submission writing, marketing strategy development, mentoring and training. Kym has also worked as a business advisor for the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) and Communications Manager for the Perth Region Tourism Organisation.
Kym has operated several tourism ventures, including the Underwater Explorer glass bottom boat on Rottnest Island and Coastline Tours, a small bus tour company.
Her current role is Partnership Manager with Tourism Western Australia. In this position, Kym aligns her on-the-ground industry experience with broader stakeholder relations and destination marketing.
Claire Savage is the founder and managing director of Savagely Creative, a boutique experience development consultancy based in Western Australia. Claire has over 27 years of professional experience in the tourism, natural and cultural heritage sectors. Claire has worked in tourism in the UK and Australia. Her key areas of expertise are interpretation planning, product and experience development, destination development and marketing, food and wine tourism and natural area tourism. Her passion is the creation of memorable experiences.
In Glasgow Claire worked on tourism as an economic development tool before relocating to Australia where after a brief stint setting up and managing the Medical Board of WA Claire started working at Tourism WA on policy, planning, infrastructure development and nature-based tourism.
In 2003 Claire won a role managing the development of visitor management services for South Australia’s National Parks and Reserves. Four years later, older and much wiser, Claire returned to WA to manage the delivery of the WA Heritage Tourism Strategy and in 2008 realised a lifelong dream of becoming a consultant.
Claire has worked on numerous projects including strategy development and implementation, business planning, experience reviews, interpretation planning and destination marketing. Claire’s unique skill set allows her to see each project from multiple points of view helping to create experiences that engage the visitor whilst meeting the needs of the business. Claire is a consultant, speaker and trainer and works across Australia.
Karen Castiglioni is the Managing Director of Distinctly Tourism Management (DTM), a bespoke tourism development consultancy business based in Perth. Karen has worked in the tourism industry for over 30 years, across a variety of sectors. She has a strong appreciation of brand, tourism product design, mentoring and distribution strategy.
DTM’s recent major projects have included mentoring of WA tourism businesses state-wide through the Tourism Boost programme, Destination Management – Trade for The Amazing South Coast, product design for The Field of Light, Albany and the AFL distribution strategy for Optus Stadium, to name a few.
Karen is passionate about educating tourism businesses to find their unique voice and story, whilst enabling them to deliver quality tourism experiences which meet the needs of their clients. 2019 is Karen’s first year of tourism award judging.
Sally has a diverse background in the tourism and hospitality industries over a thirty year career. After completing a Commerce degree at Curtin University, her earlier career was spent working up the chain of the five-star international hotel sector through accommodation sales, conferencing and event management before moving to the renown Melbourne caterer Peter Rowland Catering.
Based at The National Gallery of Victoria she was Group Venue Sales Manager managing a broad event management team across seven premium venues around Melbourne.
After returning to WA in 2007, and along with her husband Craig, Sally now runs her family’s boutique accommodation property in Albany – The Beach House at Bayside – which has recently been inducted into the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame.
Sally sits on the Board of Australia’s South West Regional Tourism Organisation as an Industry representative and outside continuous improvement in their own business, her passion is to ensure that invested, small tourism business operators have a voice in the destination marketing discussion alongside Government and NGO representatives.
Michael Meade has more than 40 years of experience at a senior marketing and management level with major international and regional hotel companies. These included the InterContinental Hotel Group, ITT Sheraton, All Seasons Hotels, Southern Pacific Hotel Corporation, Jin Jiang Hotels (China) and Rendezvous Hotels and Resorts.
Michael has lived and worked in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, China, Thailand, Malaysia and Fiji. In tourism, Michael was Acting CEO of Tourism Fiji in 2012. In that time the country was rebranded as a global destination. After a devastating cyclone, Michael worked with the government and industry to produce a tourism recovery plan for Vanuatu in 2015.
Michael’s early career was established with British Airways in the UK and Australia. In 2012 Michael founded 2M Hospitality a strategic hotel and tourism advisory consultancy for hotels and tourism located in Perth and Sydney.
After the past 20 years being based in Sydney, Michael returned home to Perth in late 2017.
Michael is Chairman of the Perth Region Tourism Organisation (Destination Perth).