The NSW Tourism Awards judging is coordinated by the Tourism Division, NSW Business Chamber.

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 a team of three judges, who firstly judge independently, and then discuss their findings as a group. 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 quality constructive feedback to entrants.

The judging process is overseen by professional auditors PwC, whose role is to audit submissions for compliance, audit score sheets and check conflicts of interest and confidentiality declarations.

Judging takes place from July to September 2019 and if your business requires a site visit, all entrants will be notified before a judge visits your property.

Please find below a list and short biography of our judges: 

Lisa Campbell - Chair of Judges
Lisa Campbell's involvement with the awards has been a long and almost addictive one, commencing in 2004 with a role as a regional judge, joining the NSW state awards team the following year. Since that time Lisa has derived immense professional satisfaction of serving the national awards process from 2011 to 2014 and then again 2015 for a second 3 year term.

Serving as Chair of the NSW Tourism Awards has been extremely rewarding and an absolute privilege since commencing in the role in 2015. 

Adam O'Neill
Adam is a global marketing professional who has led International businesses, established companies in South Korea and provided digital marketing leadership across a range of industries from tourism, consumer electronics, FMCG, luxury and media.

Amanda Anker
With a Bachelor of Science and Master of Business degrees, Amanda has held several sales and marketing positions, with responsibility for Australia, Asia Pacific and Europe. For nine years, she was the Director of Marketing and Sales at the original Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. In 2007, Amanda was appointed Chair of the Steering Committee of the newly formed Conventions Australia; this was a partnership of bureaux and centres around Australia formed to raise and reposition the profile of Australia to the international association conference market. Since the Centre’s closure, Amanda consults to the business events industry. 

Andrea Plawutsky
Amplify Me Australia China Tourism Connections director Andrea Plawutsky is a travel and tourism consultant, communications and China specialist. With almost 20 years’ travel experience, her clients have spanned the breadth of the tourism industry, from national and regional tourism organisations through to accommodation providers, travel agents, wholesalers, tour operators, technology providers and airlines. 

Andrew Campbell
Andrew’s tourism industry experience as a senior manager, owner, consultant, coach and broker spans 30 years and ranges from tourism attractions to CBD hotels, pubs to Great Barrier Reef resorts, luxury yachts to agritourism. He now helps others build and renew businesses by helping prepare a vision and the necessary road map to success, focusing on strategic planning, systems, goal setting and marketing. Andrew has co-authored a book on hospitality careers and his 2018 book Small Farm Success Australia holds a wealth of information for agritourism entrepreneurs. As a tourism awards judge for 5 years, he also draws on his experience of entering and winning a range of awards at State and QANTAS Australian Tourism Awards level.

Andrew Carruthers
Andrew Carruthers is a hospitality management academic with 15 years’ experience in both vocational and higher education. He has trained both young students and experienced hospitality professionals in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Currently he teaches in Holmesglen Institute’s Bachelor of Hospitality Management, with responsibility for the program’s final-year industry placements and internships. Andrew was involved in the hotel industry from the age of 11 when he worked as a porter at the renowned Windsor Hotel, and went on to work in a variety of management roles with hotel companies IHG and Accor.

Bill Mabey
Bill has spent the past 25 years focussing his skills developing and delivering major change strategies in the tourism sector. During this time Bill has been recognised for his work by winning various awards, including the “Outstanding Contribution to Regional Tourism” award at the 2012 Countrylink North Coast Tourism Awards. And, most recently (2017), he was awarded “Citizen of the Year” by the Coffs Harbour City Council for recognition of his outstanding achievement and contribution to the City of Coffs Harbour.

Carolyn Childs CEO, futurist and strategist Carolyn Childs’ passion is empowering travel organisations to succeed. Her career spans 30+ years & 35+ countries including with Travel Research Centre, the International Air Transport Association & heading TNS’s Australian travel vertical. She is a top-rated speaker; has published an e-book (emerging markets) and white papers on trends, markets (e.g. India), tourism sectors (e.g. luxury) & policy (taxes). She is Immediate Past President TTRA Asia-Pacific, a certified member of the Market Research Society, sits on World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage’s advisory panel and was on the UNWTO Panel of world tourism experts.

Cassandra Smeeth
A proud advocate for tourism and small business, Cassandra enjoys connecting with Industry and Individuals to showcase the fantastic offerings available and positive people within the region. 

Courtney Butler
Courtney is an industry professional with over 10 years marketing, operations and executive-level experience within the tourism industry, and a further five years corporate marketing experience across the FMCG, tertiary education and automotive industries. Courtney is currently the General Manager (Special Projects) at Experience Co, a publicly-listed, multinational adventure tourism company. Prior roles within the company have included Chief Operating Officer and National Marketing Manager. Courtney’s broad industry experience brings a unique skillset to the judging panel. Courtney has worked internationally for a number of years, speaks fluent German and has a passion for marketing, developing efficient operations and delivering the ultimate customer experience.

Jeanne Parker
Jeanne has worked in the tourism and hospitality industry for 27 years. She first studied and worked in various hotels in Sydney then worked in Yulara & Kakadu then returned to Sydney. Currently Jeanne is the Head Teacher of Travel, Tourism & Events at TAFE and has been a judge in previous years.

Jenny Massie
Jenny Massie’s roles in regional tourism over 30 years include Tourism Manager of Clarence Valley, a Board Director on North Coast Destination Network, and Treasurer of the Tourism Management Group of the Northern Rivers. Jenny chaired the Board of Northern Rivers Tourism, was an inaugural member of the Northern Rivers Nature Tourism Task Force, President of Northern NSW Ecotourism Association and a Director on the Northern Rivers Regional Development Board, Legendary Pacific Coast Steering Committee, Ballina Tourism Advisory Committee, Byron Tourism Committee. Jenny operated Forgotten Country Ecotours, and worked as a Discovery Coordinator with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.   

Jim Bradfield
Jim's career in aviation and tourism spans over 50 years. It began with Qantas where he worked for 25 years in the commercial, and later executive management of the company in both Australia and overseas. After leaving Qantas he managed a number of South Pacific national airlines. At the request of the President of the NSW Tourism Association he established the first office for the Association in 1992 and was responsible for the running of some of the early NSW Tourism Awards. Currently he is carrying out administrative functions for Captain Cook Cruises NSW and assists in the aviation management course at the University of NSW.  Jim has been a judge for the last 6 years. 

John Meyers
John established his consulting business in 1986 and has achieved a portfolio of top 500 Australian companies as clients as well as state and federal agencies. Providing vision for championing regional interests has been achieved through a multi-faceted approach. These projects all provided significant advocating of regional interests to achieve highly successful results. John has previously spent time on the Port Macquarie Hastings Council’s Economic Development Board and participated in several initiatives which gained commitment and support for regional and local initiatives.

Julian Good
Working within the hospitality, tourism & service sectors Julian is an experienced and accomplished business growth strategist, coach and mentor who combines an impressive record of success in aiding business owners drive their sales while training & motivating people within their organisation. 

Kate Pitt
Crediting her upbringing for her enthusiastic and creative DNA, Kate, a native of Jerilderie, was raised in a large, close knit family who meticulously planned or spontaneously celebrated every occasion with great gusto and delight. An experienced traveller and event instigator, she is a true glass half full type person who always takes the opportunity to acknowledge and converse across all spheres. Destination marketing and authentic events are Kate’s tourism passions. Kate’s willingness to share her experiences, skills and innate ability have made her a key contributor and influencer in events and regional tourism.

Keith Baker
Keith’s career in tourism, government and business has spanned many aspects of the industry at the local, regional and state levels for over 30 years. He is passionate about working with communities, businesses and people to help them realise their potential. Keith is a strategic thinker and has extensive experience in working with regional organisations and community groups in developing destination and place-based solutions. He has a Bachelor of Business (Tourism), a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and a Diploma of Counselling.    Keith was named the 2013 Southern Cross University’s School of Tourism & Hospitality Alumnus of the Year and also received the NSW Young Achiever in Tourism award.  

Laila Hage-Ali
A seasoned marketer, Laila has spent the last 16 years working across a variety of industries to drive, create and implement strategic marketing initiatives that aim to realise business, sales and marketing objectives. 

Lauren Ryan
Lauren is an experienced local government professional with more than ten years of involvement in the tourism industry. With experience in visitor servicing, cultural heritage, events, and industry development, Lauren is a passionate advocate for regional tourism and the opportunities it presents for investment, jobs and skills development. Currently, Lauren is a Tourism Development Officer for Indigo Shire Council, based in Beechworth Victoria, where she is responsible for event attraction and development, and all aspects of industry development. She has been involved in the Tourism Awards as an entrant for a number of years, and as a judge at the regional level of the NSW Tourism Awards. 2019 is Lauren’s inaugural year as a NSW Tourism Awards judge.

Lori Modde
As a passionate community and economic development professional, Lori sees the world of tourism as part of a sustainable approach to business and destination. Currently the Senior Manager of Place Activation at Sydney Olympic Park, she combines events into this sustainable economic modelling. Lori Modde has been a past winner of the outstanding contribution award as well as many other awards in development and marketing. She has run tourism organisations, been a small business operator and worked for Tourism NSW.

Margaret Shannon
Margaret is a hands-on property manager, with almost 20 years’ experience in facilities, weddings and events, revenue management, marketing and general management for companies such as Marriott, Accor, Rydges, and BIG4 Holiday Parks. As a tourism professional and marketing strategist, she has a strong commitment to industry involvement and collaboration, and has developed and implemented a number of highly innovative and successful marketing campaigns with her teams. Originally from NZ and now based on the NSW North Coast with her husband and daughter, Margaret has developed a reputation for being focused on quality outcomes, and for out of the box, strategic thinking which has seen her recognised by her industry peers and leaders as an awards winner at both a state and national levels. She is actively involved in promoting and furthering the caravanning and camping industry, and has a passion for regional tourism collaboration.

Mark Berry
Mark has spent almost 20 years developing and managing a niche tourism accommodation business, The Bower at Broulee. Mark has served on the Eurobodalla Tourism advisory committee, South Coast Regional Tourism Organisation and has been a judge for the South Coast Tourism Awards.

Maurice Cooper OAM
Maurice has been active in tourism for 27 years, in a business known as Bygone Beautys offering accommodation, retail store, tearoom and best known Treasured Teapots Museum. He has judged regionally, state and nationally in Tourism Awards. Also regionally in Business Awards. He was honoured with the order of Australia Medal for his contribution to the Blue Mountains Community in Tourism and Charitable works.    

Megan Dixon
Megan has over 20 years experience in regional development including local government, strategic planning, major project development, facilitation, funding strategies and business and tourism development. Her broad career has seen her involved in a large number of industries which have included tourism, aviation, agriculture, retail, property development and the public sector. Megan has had success with major project facilitation, design and delivery of stakeholder engagement strategies, strategic planning, community capacity building, marketing and strategy development, including tourism and marketing strategies.  

Natalie Bramble
Natalie Bramble is in her 10th year judging for NSW Tourism Awards, has sat  on other panels including Vanuatu Tourism Awards, Restaurant and Catering NSW and grant and tender assessment panels.  
Natalie worked in a variety of her families businesses’; has managed a state heritage listed cultural heritage tourism attraction, studied cultural and heritage tourism in the UK and launched an events management company, which managed the Inland NSW Tourism Awards and a regional food and wine network. 
Natalie now works with businesses, community groups and social enterprises to improve their marketing; fundraising; governance; management and products.  

Karina Groth

Paul Page
Paul has been involved with tourism marketing for over 30 years in the backpacker industry and as a local government tourism manager.  He has been on the boards and committees of numerous tourism organisations and has been a judge in the NSW Tourism Awards at various times since 2009.  He is particularly interested in what makes a great tourism business.

Peter O'Kelly
Peter currently works with TAFE NSW in an educational leadership position in the Tourism & Experience Services Skills Team. He has had extensive operational and management experience in the hospitality industry both domestic and overseas totalling over 40 years. From the city to the bush, he is passionate about customer service and a continuous improvement approach to business development. Peter has been a judge in industry-led competitions such as WorldSkills Australia and has been assisting with the NSW Tourism Awards for almost ten years now.   

Renae Darlington

Richard Old

Richard has 29 years experience in local government, tourism and events. He managed tourism marketing for the Great Lakes, NSW for 8 years and has his own outdoor adventure events company - Fully Rad Adventures, running events and creating experiences across Australia. In various roles he has worked with advisory committee, boards, private event companies, contractors, government departments, sporting bodies and community organisations engaging them in tourism projects, assisting them in navigating through approvals and regulations and achieving diverse goals. Throughout his career Richard been involved in destination marketing and brand building through relationships, engagement, strategies, events and projects that are aligned to strategic direction and community identity. This has seen him develop an in-depth knowledge of the tourism landscape at a regional and national level and an understanding of how tourism marketing can engage a community, play an important role in identity as well as generating economic activity. 

Robyn Willis Inglis
Robyn has been in the tourism industry for more than 40 years and continues to be actively involved. In 2015, she was one of 23 skills advisors working at AFTA (Australian Federation of Travel Agents) Education and Training and Service Skills Australia on the Federal Government funded “Workforce Futures” Program. Robyn is also a committee member of TIME (Travel Industry Mentor Experience), a not for profit program to develop future leaders in the travel and tourism industry.

Ron Beeldman
Ron has enjoyed 45 years of successful and rewarding experience in the education, co-ordination, supervision and marketing of varied programs in the travel, hospitality and special events fields. Experience includes:  Managed the NSW Tourism Awards for 13 years, Director of Sales and Marketing for Australian Hotel Chain, Consulted to NSW Tourism Association for over a decade, Managing Director of Beeldman Marketing Services that specialised in developing business plans for small to medium tourism operators, Managing Director of Beeldman Special Events that specialised in managing festivals, conferences, gala dinners and symposia for government and industry, General Manager Japan Festival (over 1000 Japanese inbound performers annually over a 10 year period), Chairman of Judges for numerous Regional Tourism Awards 1994 -2006  and Judge for NSW Tourism Awards from 2007.

Sarah Kerrsmith
Over 10 years’ experience as a judge and mentor for both Regional and NSW Tourism Awards. Sarah's industry experience spans the globe over the last 20 years: Working for regional, city and international destinations undertaking marketing for Destination Bristol, Central Coast Tourism, Monaco Tourist Authority and the Kenya Tourist Board. The past 5 years has been spent teaching tourism, marketing and events at TAFE NSW including delivering the Bachelor of Tourism & Event Management for University of Canberra.

Shan Lawson
Shan has been the NSW & Australian Awards Coordinator, coordinator for Inland NSW, a judge for the NSW & Hunter Tourism Awards, a mentor for the Tasmanian Tourism Awards and was Chair of Judges for the North Coast Tourism Awards for 4 years. She runs her own coaching business and lives on the Central Coast of NSW.

Sharon Foo
Sharon has over a decade of experience working in the tourism sector in Singapore and Australia. Her experience spanned across various industries, from destination marketing organisations, aviation and business events. She is currently a manager of the tourism team at Deloitte Access Economics, leading projects and a team of analyst to deliver tourism forecast and economics work. She enjoys exploring regional and country Australia on two wheels and bike riding has brought her to many places in Australia and also overseas, usually off the beaten paths.

Tiffany Thornton
Tiffany has been working within the tourism industry for over 15 years, after completing a Bachelor of Business in Tourism and Hospitality through Southern Cross University, followed by an Executive Certificate in Event Management through University of Technology, Sydney. Tiffany began her career in tourism as a tourism intern within a local government council, She has been in various positions within a variety of organisations; including university and  local government. Her roles have included Corporate and Community Officer, Event Coordinator and Events and Visitor Services Officer; Tiffany is currently the Marketing, Tourism and Economic Development Coordinator for Narrandera Shire Council.