Awards . How to Enter . Judging Panel

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Information to help you write your Tourism Awards submission


Steve Brown,
Getaways Reservation Service

Judging Panel

State judging is conducted by a panel of industry peers appointed by the South Australian Tourism Industry Council. Judges are selected for their knowledge and experience, and for their willingness to commit time to the Awards process and are convened each year specifically for the Tourism Awards.  All judges provide their time and expertise on a volunteer basis.

The judging panel operates independent to to SATIC and is covened each year specifically for the South Australian Tourism Awards.

The judging panel for 2014 is:


Michael Geddes (Chair of Judges)

Michael has recently retired from full time work having spent over 25 years in the professional consulting field undertaking urban planning, landscape design, environmental and development approvals assignments. He also spent 10 years with the SA Tourism Commission at a management level responsible for tourism infrastructure and development. Michael has continued his keen interest in the tourism industry since leaving the SATC and has been involved with the SA Judging Panel for the last 13 years (the last 2 as chair) and is currently in his second 3-year term on the National Judging Panel.


 Andrew Baggaley

Workforce Learning & Development

Andrew has extensive tourism and international hotel management experience spanning over 25 years. Andrew has held key leadership roles within Hyatt International Hotels and InterContinental Hotels Group, implementing human resource, and people developmental strategies that build individual and company capabilities. During this time within International hotels, Andrew achieved numerous state and national awards in the field of workplace training, health and safety and people management.


Mark Blyth

Senior Business Manager International Marketing - South Australian Tourism Commission

Mark Blyth has worked with the South Australian Tourism Commission for over 25 years and has extensive experience in a variety of senior management positions in regional, domestic and international consumer marketing.  Returning to the SATC after a secondment as Marketing Communications Manager for the Centenary of Federation he has worked in a number of positions within the Destination Development Group of the SATC, including management of the Commission’s infrastructure grants programme.  As Senior Business Manager International Marketing he currently looks after the SATC’s representation and campaigns for New Zealand, France and Italy. In addition to this, Mark represents the SATC on the State Government’s “Premium Food & Wine in our Clean Environment” initiative and is the SATC liaison for Tourism Australia’s “Restaurant Australia” international marketing campaign.

Sarah Brown South Australian Tourism Awards JudgeSarah Brown

Director Business Operations - Adelaide Zoo

Sarah has over 20 years experience in the not for profit sector and local government having worked extensively in events, product development and customer service. She has been with Zoos South Australia (Zoos SA) since 2006 and is Director Business Operations, responsible for visitor experience, tourism, volunteer program, marketing, fundraising and education. Prior to her role at Zoos SA, Sarah held the position of Clare Valley Visitor Information Centre Manager. Sarah has also worked for the Adelaide Festival Centre, ACHA Health Foundation, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and with various local governments.


Amanda Dalton-Winks South Australian Tourism Awards JudgeAmanda Dalton-Winks

Sponsorship & Event Specialist - Adelaide Casino

Amanda has over 20 years’ experience in tourism and hospitality, commencing her career in the Melbourne hotel industry and working in many roles and departments during her 18 years with Adelaide Casino. Having been directly involved in the SA Tourism Awards submission process for several years, Amanda has first-hand knowledge of the determination and dedication required to write winning award submissions. Amanda holds qualifications in Tourism, Management, Marketing, and Chinese language and culture, and is a member of the OzHarvest Adelaide Advisory Committee. She lives with her husband in a 1850s cottage in the spectacular Adelaide Hills region, and is a passionate advocate for South Australia and its many assets.


Greg Elix South Australian Tourism Awards JudgeGreg Elix

Retired – Hospitality Industry

Greg grew up in the Barossa Valley.  In 1974 entered the Hospitality Industry as a Trainee Manager at Sponars Lakeside Inn, Kosciusko National Park. On returning to the Valley, Greg was General Manager of the Tanunda Club and Vine Inn Hotel, Nuriootpa before purchasing the Pt Broughton Hotel.  From 1989-2000 Greg and wife Janine managed Marineland Holiday Village which was an Award Winner during this time. Greg returned to the Vine Inn as General Manager until 2006 (AHA Award Winner during that time).  From 2006 Greg was Resort Manager at 2 high profile properties on the Gold Coast.  After some 36 years of hands on management in high profile tourism areas Greg understands the commitment needed in this very competitive industry.

Cate Gaston

Team Leader Marketing & Visitor Information Services – Adelaide City Council 

Cate is an experienced tourism professional having been in the industry for over 10 years. Previously she has held positions with the South Australian Tourism Commission, Tandanya – Cultural Institute, SeaLink Travel Group and is currently at Adelaide City Council. As Team Leader Marketing & Visitor Information Services Cate is responsible for leading and managing a high performing team to ensure the marketing needs of Council are achieved. Cate is also responsible for the ongoing development of Visitor Information Services which includes the Adelaide Visitor Information Centre. This background has provided Cate with a wealth of knowledge, insight and experience of knowing what customers want and how to manage and develop tourism products and businesses.



Gordon Grant

Gordon Grant Consulting Services

Gordon grew up in the Barossa Valley and following service in the Royal Australian Navy returned to the Barossa to play football for his beloved Nuriootpa Tigers. Working at Kaiser Stuhl he became very interested in winemaking and attended Roseworthy College as a mature age student, graduating with a degree in winemaking and marketing. Over the ensuing years Gordon was heavily involved with wine tourism, the lifeblood of many wine regions. The culmination was perhaps as CEO of Palandri Wines in WA where he established a multi award winning Cafe, Cellar Door and Visitors Centre in the heart of Margaret River. In a lead up to that he took several trips through the USA evaluating similar successful tourism centres in the Napa Valley, Sonoma and Oregon wine regions. Returning to South Australia he acts as a consultant within the wine industry.

Joel Hirsch South Australian Tourism Awards JudgeJoel Hirsch

Narnu Farm / Obscure Studio


Having graduated from an Eco-Tourism degree from Flinders University in 2001, Joel extensively travelled Australia with a concerning eye looking for tourism business opportunities. In 2003 Joel and his wife Sarah purchased Narnu Farm on Hindmarsh Island and have gone on to win numerous state and national awards.Having managed a multi award winning, highly successful tourism business for 10 years Joel has had a very high level of participation in the South Australian tourism industry, including sitting on the SATIC board as a founding member. Joel understands the awards’ process very well and appreciates the immense effort required along with the benefits for entrants. Having a back seat role in Narnu Farm, Joel is now running a small art business Obscure Studio, creating steel sculptures, creations and commissions.

Cindy Jackway

Business Development Executive, Learning & Development - Business SA

Cindy has worked within the travel industry for many years which was flamed by a personal passion for travel. Having been the previous Manager for Groovy Grape Getaways together with Real Aussie Adventures, a conglomerate of six companies she has experienced many of the State’s wonders first hand. Her experiences took her to Adventure Tours Australia and the involvement in the South Australian Backpackers Association. Cindy is currently working with Business SA, her role is to present businesses with solutions to maximise their potential. Cindy has also been on the State Judging Panel for 4 years and National Judging Panel for the past 3 years.


Ron Kandelaars

Ron Kandelaars Media

Since commencing his media career in the late 70s, Ron had been involved in many roles. He wrote, produced and presented Channel Nine’s popular and multi-award winning travel program ‘Postcards’ and contributed to Postcards Australia, which is shown nationally and internationally. Ron also worked as ABC TV’s South Australian political correspondent, chief of staff and news producer. In 2011, Ron won Most Outstanding Contribution by an Individual in the SA Tourism Awards, and South Australian of the Year (Tourism) in the Advantage SA Awards. Ron currently contributes regular ‘Off the Beaten Track’ segments for Michael Smyth’s drive program on ABC 891. They feature people, places and events throughout South Australia. Ron also contributes regular stories for Channel Seven News and is a public relations consultant and media trainer for a variety of corporate and government clients. 


Miranda Lang 2013 SA Tourism Awards JudgeMiranda Lang

Executive Officer - Fleurieu Peninsula Tourism

With over 25 years’ experience in the tourism industry, Miranda brings a wide range of knowledge to her current position as Regional Tourism Executive Officer for the Fleurieu Peninsula. Originally from Canada, Miranda has expertise in destination marketing, product development and international business & marketing. Since living in South Australia for 5 1/2 years, Miranda fully appreciates the natural beauty of the land and coast, the superb quality of the food & wine, a wide range of festival & events and of course the people. She is honoured to be working with a great group of passionate people, to deliver exceptional tourism experiences to all who visit South Australia.


Debra Lang 2013 SA Tourism Awards JudgeDebra Long

Co-Owner – Kelly Sports Adelaide Metro, Business Director – Behind Closed Doors & Program Director Entrepreneurs – Behind Closed Doors. 

Debra is co-owner of Kelly Sports Adelaide Metro who are the leading providers of sports programs and clinics for school aged children. Debra is also a Program Director and Business Director of SA’s premier professional development and mentoring company’s Behind Closed Doors. Behind Closed Doors offers an invitation only mentoring program exclusively from women and business owners to discuss business, support each other and to gain greater professional success. Debra also has an impressive background in banking and finance and prior to her current portfolio career enjoyed a highly successful 29-year career in key senior management and leadership roles within the Westpac Group. Financially astute and commercially savy, Debra offers a wealth of experience in business development, finance, marketing, relationship portfolio management and understands the challenges of operating a small business. 


Paul Mason South Australian Tourism Awards JudgePaul Mason

Human Resource Management and Business Improvement Consultant

Paul has a passion for the provision of exceptional customer service, high presentation standards and the identification/ delivery of a businesses’ “point of difference”.  With a foundation in Store Operations and Senior Human Resource Management roles with Coles in SA/NT/Tas., NSW/ACT and its Head Office, Paul moved from retail to hospitality in 1996. Joining the Adelaide Casino as Senior Executive Human Resources, he was promoted later the same year to General Manager Administrative Support and Company Secretary of the ASER Group of companies. Following the sale of the business to SKYCITY Entertainment Group, Paul was appointed as joint General Manager of the Adelaide Casino and a Director/ Company Secretary of SKYCITY Adelaide Pty Ltd. In July 2004 Paul joined Hyatt Regency Adelaide as Director of Human Resources and is currently a Human Resource Management and Business Improvement Consultant.

Sondra Morris South Australian Tourism Awards JudgeSondra Morris

Mobile Leisure & Groups Travel Specialist – Mobile Travel Agents

Born and bred in South Australia, Sondra bringsyears of extensivetravel, tourism and event industry experience, along with a passion for regional living and promotion. Her roles in the travel industry vary from corporate account management in agencies and as an independent operator within the Mobile Travel Agent network, right through to Airline experience with Ansett and QANTASLINK and training and facilitation roles with the Australian Tourism College & Recruitment Centre. As a small business owner/operator, Sondra brings unique insight to the judging process, and her experience in corporate, food and wine sectors of travel lend her excellent communication, networking and project management skills.

Elaine Ratcliffe 2013 SA Tourism Awards JudgeElaine Ratcliffe

General Manager - Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers Market

Elaine brings with her a wealth of experience in preparing winning tourism award winning submissions in her previous management roles for Russet Ridge Winery and Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre, so she knows the process from all angles. She has been active in regional tourism for many years, which has included as Chair of Limestone Coast Tourism (2005-6) and Chair of Tourism Barossa (2009 – 2012). Elaine has also been involved in regional events as a committee member of the Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival (2003-2006) and the Coonawarra Vignerons Cellar Door Events Committee Chair (2004-2006). Elaine understands the time and commitment that tourism businesses put into entering the SA Tourism Awards and strongly believes in the process and benefits it brings for the entrant and the industry. 

Sharyn Rogers 2013 SA Tourism Awards JudgeSharyn Rogers

Owner & Operator, Seppeltsfield Vineyard Cottage

Sharyn Rogers is a Registered Nurse/Midwife with a Bachelor of Management degree. She is the owner/operator of Seppeltsfield Vineyard Cottage which provides luxury boutique accommodation, and Milhinch Wines, a small premium wine producer in the Barossa Valley. Since Sharyn's first involvement in the tourism industry in 2004, Seppeltsfield Vineyard Cottage has entered and won seven awards in the SA Tourism Awards (Hosted Accommodation and Heritage & Cultural Tourism categories) and has twice entered the SA Tourism Awards Hall of Fame. The business also won four national Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in the Hosted Accommodation category. Sharyn understands the hard work, time and dedication that tourism businesses put into entering the SA Tourism Awards, but strongly believes that the process benefits both their businesses and the South Australian tourism industry. She is looking forward to contributing to the continued growth and success of the SA Tourism Awards process and great outcomes for participants.

Barry Slater South Australian Tourism Awards JudgeBarry Salter

Director – Salter Marketing & Events

Barry runs his own marketing and events consultancy and has considerable experience in the tourism, wine, and international trade industries. His previous positions include Executive Manager of the Council for International Trade and Commerce Association (CITCSA); Chief Executive and Marketing Manager of the Barossa Winemakers and Tourism Association based in Tanunda, and Marketing Manager for Burswood Resort International Hotel and Casino (now Crown Perth) in Western Australia. Barry is a Fellow CPM member of the Australian Marketing Institute, a past State President and currently a National Board Director of the AMI. He has an Economics degree. He has been a judge in the AMI, MEA and Water Industry awards, and managed the awards and judging for the CITCSA awards, and Barossa Regional Tourism awards. He has prepared many successful entries in both tourism and business tourism (MEA) awards.

Robin Shaw 2013 SA Tourism Awards JudgeRobin Shaw

CEO – Adelaide Hills Wine Region

Robin's combined experience in the wine and tourism industries extends across sales, marketing, business development and operational activities. Her current role as CEO of the Adelaide Hills Wine Region provides Robin with the opportunity to utilise her extensive skills and expertise and work closely with local wineries and higher level tourism and wine stakeholders such as Wine Australia, Tourism Australia and SA Tourism. As her career has progressed, Robin has become firmly entrenched in the Australian wine and tourism scenes, having held several management positions and initiated new R&D and strategic projects on behalf of SATC and Winemakers' Federation of Australia. She has consulted widely throughout the tourism and wine industries and is regularly engaged as a presenter and facilitator at conferences and workshops throughout Australia and overseas.


****  The number of tourism award nominations received may impact on the number of judges required, as a result, more judges may be appointed over the course of the year 

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