Meet Our Speakers

Cath Bellchambers

Our Conference MC

With over 30 years in the Hospitality, Tourism, Training & Development industries, including 15 years mentoring and training in our Industry, our MC for this event knows and understands what it is to be a Queensland caravan park operator.

Bringing with her, plenty of enthusiasm and excitement, it is our pleasure to have Cath as our conference MC.

Official Opening

Mr Michael Healy, Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development

Michael Healy is an established leader in Queensland’s tourism industry. Michael and his wife Trudi have lived in Cairns for more than 20 years, together raising their two children in the tropical north.

Michael has vast experience over many decades as a businessman and on state, national and regional tourism boards. He has also served as a past Director of Tourism & Events Queensland, and an elected member of Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Port Douglas Daintree Tourism.

Nicole Pedersen

Bunnings Trade

Bunnings Trade became a CPAQ Partner three years ago, and in that time have provided strong support for Queensland caravan park operators, incredible discounts and a dedicated team to assist CPAQ members with their park projects.

We are pleased to welcome Nicole Pedersen, the Queensland BDM for Commercial Organisations to speak about the partnerships Bunnings has formed with Queensland parks - and learn how Bunnings Trade can help you!

Paul & Jackie Lawson

Esk Caravan Park & Valley Rail Trail Motel

Paul and Jackie took over their business in 2103 at which time is was run down and had a poor reputation – since then they completed many projects around their park and in the words one of the local Councillors it is ““A once run-down facility” that is now a “crucial business and focal point” for the region.”

This makes them the perfect speakers to talk about how they made massive improvements to their park without breaking the bank.

Daniel Thompson

Discovery Parks

Dan has been with Discovery Parks since March 2017 and in the Hospitality Industry for over 23 years starting his career in Cairns.

Over the years Dan has worked in locations right along the East Coast of Australia and in his time with Discovery Parks he has been responsible for parks in Victoria, Southern NSW and now manages a portfolio of 17 parks across Queensland, Darwin & Kununurra.

In this session, we have asked Dan to speak to us about how defining an ideal customer has helped one of the Discovery Parks improve their results and drive more visitation.

Matt Bruckner

NRMA Parks & Resorts

Matt joined ATPM/NRMA Parks and Resorts in 2010 and has the responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the portfolio of managed and owned parks along with the maintenance and development of the infrastructure of the NRMA Parks & Resorts network.

Matt ensures there is a safe, effective and efficient operating environment delivering great customer and client satisfaction levels and creates a robust yet dynamic environment to enable the achievement of NRMA Parks & Resorts long-term and short-term strategic growth ambitions.

In this session Matt will talk to us about how they measure perceived value for money in their group and what they have done to increase this perception in the past

Peter Clay

Caravan Industry Association of Australia

Peter Clay is the General Manager for Research and insights at Caravan Industry Association of Australia

He has worked in the tourism industry for over 23 years with the last six in the caravan industry.

Having worked with organisations such as UNWTO and UNESCO, as well as in the commercial environments of London, Madrid, Perth and Melbourne, Peter brings a wealth of knowledge to discussions concerning the key opportunities and challenges influencing the Australian Caravan and Camping Industry.

We have invited Peter here today to chat with us about the latest industry research and insights.

Daniel Gschwind

Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC)

Daniel Gschwind is the CEO for QTIC – Queensland’s peak tourism industry body with more than 2000 regional members.

Daniel represents QTIC on various committees and advisory boards including:

  • the Tourism Research Advisory Board,

  • University of Queensland Industry Advisory Board,

  • the Griffith Institute for Tourism Advisory Board,

  • the Bond University Regional Advisory Board,

  • the GBRMPA Tourism Reef Advisory Committee (TRAC)

  • and the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC).

He is a member of Jobs Queensland and is the deputy chair of the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) and chair of Australian Tourism Awards.

We have invited Daniel to provide an understanding of what is happening on the broader Queensland tourism stage.

Michelle Weston

Caravan Parks Association of Queensland (CPAQ)

Michelle Weston is the CEO of the Caravan Parks Association of Queensland, the peak body for the Queensland caravan parks sector.

In her role, Michelle acts as a strong advocate for members of the Association, providing a united and informed voice for the industry.

Michelle is passionate about ensuring that CPAQ is a professional, solution focused association which can encourage and support industry best practice across all areas of running a the caravan park.

Fiona Lidgett

Townsville Eco Resort

Fiona is the owner of Townsville Eco Resort (formerly Bush Oasis Caravan Park), winner of not just the 2021 CPAQ Environmental Award but also the 2021 Ray Fitton Award for Innovation.

This park is an Advanced Eco Tourism business, is proudly 3 star rated with CCIQ Ecobiz and accredited through Caravan Industry Association of Australia.

Townsville Eco Resort aims to inspire and educate sustainable tourism through 3 core initiatives, waste, water, and energy all in harmony with the land, environment, and their community.

We have invited Fiona to speak about why eco-tourism is the future of their business.

Rebekah Weston

ecoBiz

Rebekah Weston is Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland’s Sustainability Analyst as part of the ecoBiz program.

Rebekah has a Bachelor of Business from Griffith University and a Master of Business Sustainability from the University of Queensland and is currently completing her Master of Environmental Science from the University of Melbourne.

She began her career in the hotel and tourism industry before completing her master’s degree and transitioning into more sustainability orientated roles. She began her position in the ecoBiz program in September 2021 after working as a sustainability assessor in the construction industry.

Joanne Keown

Tourism Creatures

From our newest Associate Supplier, Tourism Creatures, it is our pleasure to introduce Joanne Keown.

Joanne has 29 years’ experience in Tourism and Hospitality and currently operates Tourism Creatures, a business that helps turn caravan parks that are passionately owned and operated, into parks which thrive from focussing on driving revenue through smarter systems and process automation whilst not losing site of their all important guests.

Joanne will chat to us about the importance of doing a pulse check and how you can use your existing system to do this…

Stewart Moore

EarthCheck

Stewart Moore is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of EarthCheck.

He is one of the Asia Pacific's most experienced planning and management consultants with over 25 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.

Stewart is executive director of the APEC International Centre for Sustainable Tourism and a fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia and the Australian Tourism Research Institute. He was also a member of authorship team for Tourism Risk Management: An Authoritative Guide to Managing Crises in Tourism publication and the Don’t Risk It Guide for tourism’s response to disaster events.

Stewart will be launching the Bushfire Toolkit for the Camping and Caravan Industry.

Australian Red Cross

Mental health first aid is the help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem, or who is in a mental health crisis (e.g., the person is suicidal or has had a traumatic experience). Like physical first aid, mental health first aid is given until the person receives professional help or until the crisis resolves.

Mental health first aid strategies are taught in evidence-based training courses authored by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia and delivered by accredited MHFA Instructors across the country.

Red Cross have been invited to speak about their MHFA programs and the benefits to participants.

Derrin Drew

Mantra Park Management

Derrin is a caravan park operator on the Gold Coast and has completed a Mental Health First Aid course.

We have invited Derrin along to speak about his experience and the benefits he has found from undertaking this course.

Gil Muir

Employer Services

we have invited Gil Muir of Employer Services to share with us the top 5 industrial relations/human resource issues facing caravan.

Gil Muir is a Director of Employer Services Pty Ltd with over 40 years’ experience in industrial relations. Gil has been involved in some of the most significant industrial matters in Queensland’s history, including multiple pay equity cases and major strikes.

He commenced his career in industrial relations as a Commissioner’s Associate in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission in 1971. Gil has previously lectured on industrial relations at a tertiary level and held senior roles in the public and private sectors.

He has also spent many years assisting members of the Caravan Parks Association of Queensland and the Caravan Trade and Industries Association of Queensland.

Garth Kay

RMS Cloud

Global Head of Corporate Accounts at RMS Cloud Garth has extensive product and industry knowledge with over five years’ experience at RMS, including three as Global Customer Support Manager.

Garth is a proven leader and is passionate about empowering RMS Cloud customers to use technology to simplify operations, automate processes and deliver exception guest experiences.

Based at our Head Office in Melbourne today Garth manages a global team of Account Managers and Primary Support Specialists to deliver outstanding product and customer support.

Brooker Turner

We are pleased to welcome a very special speaker, Brooke Turner of Broadwater Tourist Park. Brooke was the 2021 Simon Warner Memorial Young Achiever of the Year Award.

Brooke has basically grown up in the caravan industry starting at the age of six when her parents started managing parks.

From the very early days she was a huge hit with guests young and old, making many friends in the park and being "adopted" by many of the lovely older guests in the park.

Once old enough she worked in different areas of the park, including assisting at park events and helping and eventually at the age of 12 running the ice cream and popcorn trailer at Park Movies nights.

By 14, Brooke was running in park craft activity sessions and by 15 working in the Guest Services team in reception.

She fills a senior role within Broadwater Tourist Park in the reception area, acts in the position of Park Manager, manages the parks social media and is the Parks activity co-ordinator as well as studying full time in the 3rd year of her degree.

A truly accomplished young lady!

Aaron Trevis

Surf Lakes

Each year we invite a business in the tourism space, but outside the caravan parks sector, to come and tell their story and this year we are very excited to announce that we will hear the Surf Lakes story, where it all started with a ripple.

Surf Lakes has invented a revolutionary, proprietary method of producing high quality surfing waves in a controlled lake environment. By sending large concentric waves over separate reef breaks, Surf Lakes is capable of producing over 2,000 waves per hour. Each wave varies in size, shape and length, allowing surfers of all abilities to surf at once.

The science and engineering behind Surf Lakes is truly revolutionary.

But rather than us telling you the story let's hear it from the man involved in the project since the start, Aaron Trevis, Founder and CEO of Surf Lakes.

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We look forward to welcoming you to RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast in March for the 2022 CPAQ Conference!

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