Australian Heritage Tourism Conference Presenters Biographies

Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon

Director, Strategy and Engagement, Sydney Living Museums.
Spanning 20 years, Caroline's career has been dedicated to cultural leadership that connects diverse audiences to history, arts and heritage through a broad range of public engagement programs, including festivals, exhibitions and books.

In 2017, she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate the best new global models of visitor accessibility and experience at heritage sites.

Churchill Fellowship

Dr. Ang Ming Chee

Director, George Town World Heritage.
George Town, Malaysia, is a World Heritage listed site, and George Town World Heritage Incorporated is a state heritage agency established by the Penang State Government.

The team, led by Dr Ang Ming Chee, is dedicated to managing, safeguarding and promoting George Town as a sustainable heritage city, with the aim of conserving and safeguarding our tangible and intangible heritage.

In an area with 5,000 heritage buildings within the site, the work of the organisations encompasses the adaptive reuse of spaces and the safeguarding of living heritage, including those outside the World Heritage Site.

George Town World Heritage

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor, City of Adelaide.
Sandy was elected as an Area Councillor in the 2015 by-election and served as Deputy Lord Mayor from June 2017 to November 2018.

Sandy has contributed to the success of Adelaide’s thriving arts and culture community for more than two decades, including having been CEO of the Adelaide Fringe and the Adelaide Festival. She has been on numerous boards including the Adelaide Convention Bureau, Premier’s Climate Change Council, Adelaide Film Festival and Capital City Committee.

Deborah Morgan

President of the National Trust of South Australia. Deborah brings a wealth of experience from her forty years in legal practice, administrative tribunals and community service. She has lectured in commercial law at the SA Institute of Technology, been director of a pastoral company, and served as Deputy Chair of the Council of Australasian Tribunals (South Australian Chapter). Since 2015 she has been a member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Deborah has extensive experience on boards and councils, having served on the council of St. Ignatius College, the SA Psychological Board, the SA Optometrists Board, the Waterhouse Club and the State Opera. Deborah Morgan also served on the NTSA Council from 2010 to 2013.
Deborah’s roots in South Australia and the Trust run deep. Her great-great grandfather, for whom the town of Morgan is named, was Chief Secretary of the Colony. Deborah's grandfather Sir Edward Morgan was second President of the National Trust.

Dr Darren Peacock

Dr Darren Peacock is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Trust of South Australia, based in Adelaide, Australia. The Trust is the leading non-government heritage conservation and advocacy organisation in the state, managing more than 130 heritage properties.

Darren has worked for a range of heritage, cultural and environmental organisations in Australia, Europe and North America in management and consulting roles, including cultural institutions, government and not-for-profit organisations. For 10 years he led a private consulting practice advising organisations around the world on strategies for utilising new digital technologies.

He is particularly interested in the transformative possibilities of digital technologies in promoting heritage awareness and engagement. He holds a number of degrees in humanities and in management, including a PhD in Business. His doctoral research investigated organisational innovation in cultural organisations through the use of digital technologies. When not advocating for the conservation of heritage and nature, he is usually found outside enjoying it.

Darren serves on the Board of Trustees for the International National Trusts Organisation (INTO) and is a member of the Advisory Board for Children's University Australia.

Keith Conlon

Keith Conlon LL.B. 1968, B.A. 1968 (University of Adelaide), OAM,is a veteran Australian broadcaster based in Adelaide.
Conlon previously presented talk radio station 5AA's breakfast program with Jane Reilly, and formerly with Jon Blake, John Kenneally and Tony Pilkington. He is also the current chairman of the Crows Foundation for children in need.
In 1971, The University of Adelaide's Department of Adult Education appointed Keith as the Producer/Manager of its new community radio station which commenced broadcasting as VL5UV on 28 June 1972.
He also formerly hosted Postcards SA on the Nine Network from 1995 until it was cancelled in November 2011.[5] Conlon has also worked at ABC 891 where notably his former colleague John Kenneally was his producer. He presented the weeknight edition of ABC News in South Australia from 1989 to 1992. In 2012 Keith was teamed with Jane Reilly and he retired in 2013.
Conlon has had a life-long interest in South Australian history, and in December 2017 he was appointed to a 3-year term as chair of the South Australian Heritage Council,an independent advisory body on heritage matters to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, and the Minister for Planning.

John Pastorelli

Experience Designer.
John’s been fortunate to work on a range of exciting projects and learn from a number of very clever people. He has worked throughout Australia with all levels of government departments, a range of private enterprises, multicultural and Indigenous communities, regional towns and communities, and not for profit groups. He has also facilitated training workshops in New Zealand and Scotland and Greece.

A key thread weaving through this experience is that of stories – together with a belief that stories help to bring people together to share perspectives, ideas, insights and talents, and through stories people and organisations are better able to enrich their desired outcomes.

Find out more about John's work

Martin Green

Manager Cultural Development, National Trust Victoria.
Martin joined the National Trust in 2007 and is responsible for the way we tell our stories and present information at our properties including our site interpretation, school programs and adult learning, our website, our collections and signage.
Martin holds an Honours degree in History and Post Graduate Diploma in Television Production and worked as a producer for ABC television for six years.
Martin has also managed ACMI’s design studio and training portfolios at ACMI and worked in interpretation for Melbourne Museum and Shedd Aquarium.

Alison De Backer

Australian Artisan Trades Academy.
Alison is a qualified designer with many years’ experience in the building and creative industries. She has participated in several GovHack open data competitions and has a love of digital applications for the promotion of heritage to wider audiences. Alison is also a long time member of the Prospect Local History Group and currently a Project Consultant with National Trust of South Australia.

Matt Grant

Associate Director of Economic Development & Tourism at the City of Adelaide.
Matt Grant has been the Associate Director of Economic Development & Tourism at the City of Adelaide since June 2016.
The Economic Development & Tourism Program's purpose is to grow a prosperous and progressive Adelaide. He leads a team that strives to positively influence and maximise potential job creation in South Australia, with a focus on Adelaide.
The Economic Development & Tourism program is underpinned by the key pillars of Visitor Growth, Business Growth + Residential Growth and the cross linkages between the functions.
Matt is currently involved in the creation of a cross council innovation unit to accelerate the delivery of smart city related projects to improve city performance and community wellbeing.

Mark Beadle

Operations Manager, Adabco Boutique Hotel.
I have been working in hotels since early 2008 and joined the Adabco Boutique Hotel in September 2016 where I am currently the Operations Manager.
Prior to that I worked as a Chef for 10 years in and around the Barossa Valley. I was fortunate enough to work in a number of heritage buildings including a converted hayloft and a pub that was established in 1855. I had my own restaurant in Angaston for two years and also ran a catering business providing cocktail parties in people’s homes.
I have worked in hospitality for most of my life and have had a chance to experience a wide range of properties from big chain hotels to independent, family run businesses. Over this time I have been able to work across a wide range of roles including dining room service, kitchen, room service, front desk, housekeeping and human resources.

Stuart Ord

Stuart’s current role is Director of Regions South and Aboriginal Sector Manager with Tourism NT. He previously had the role of Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Central Australia, a Not for Profit organisation based in Alice Springs.
Stuart’s work experience was primarily with Parks Victoria where he was a Regional Director and finally headed up the inaugural Healthy Parks Healthy People Directorate for Victoria.
Stuart is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), a past Chair of the QANTAS Australian and Victorian Tourism Awards judging panels. In 1997, he was awarded the prestigious Churchill Travelling Fellowship.

Graeme Fanning

Previously have a Human Resources background, having worked with News Limited for over 34 years up to 2012.
• Currently Director/Tour Guide for Down to Earth Tours (offering walking tours relating to history, heritage, culture and architecture around Adelaide)
• Currently also involved with the cruise ship industry working for Intercruises (Sydney based company) during the cruise season in Adelaide acting as both Pier Supervisor as well as Rostering and Scheduling Co-ordinator
• Currently also work for LTC (Language and Testing Consultants) acting as Exam Invigilator for online Uni students and help administer doctors as well as legal exams.
• Volunteer with National Trust SA, working at Ayers House Museum as well as conducting tours of the old Treasury Building.
• Volunteer with the State Library of South Australia, as an Ambassador
• Volunteer with Meals on Wheels SA
• Assist with Government House open days

Jan Angas

Hutton Vale Farm.
Hutton Vale Farm has been part of a family business for over 174 years.
Jan joined the family farm with a brave heart for making a difference and was instrumental in setting up a value adding business across their primary production.
Special interest days on the farm have showcased heritage Barossa traditions including the smokehouse, sausage making, butchery skills, cooking preserves, bottling and drying. These events have all featured in books, magazines, DVD’s, television and films, including the Barossa Be Consumed commercial.
The rich food culture of the Barossa inspired Jan to support the creation of the first regional food group in South Australia. The Barossa Food model led to the formation of 12 regional food groups across South Australia, and enabled each region to develop a food brand and engage with wine& tourism.
Jan played a pivotal role in bringing together community members in McLaren Vale and the Barossa to engage government on the importance of these regions for their food and wine culture.
In 2012 both regions achieved Character Preservation status, with a Bill passed through Parliament to protect these regions and recognize the contribution they bring to South Australia.
Jan’s work with food, wine and tourism continues with the aim to position South Australia as a global culinary destination of high repute and ensure a strong future for the generations to come.

Alison Oborn

Alison Oborn is the owner of Adelaide’s Haunted Horizons, a multi-award winning, Hall of Fame tourism business. Her busy team carry out ghost tours, ghost hunts and dark history tours at thirteen locations throughout South Australia.
Alison started out in 2002 as the official paranormal researcher of the Adelaide Gaol for 10 years with her team Paranormal Field Investigators. It is also where her love of heritage and history was born. She wanted to share her passion for history, the mystery of the paranormal and the love of tourism with others, and so it was that Haunted Horizons was born in 2010.
So, what has a ghost tour operator got to do with heritage I hear you ask? Well …. Alison and her team are passionate about what they do and many of the sites that her business operate in are heritage listed buildings. The Adelaide Gaol, Glenbarr Homestead in Strathalbyn, Z Ward at Glenside to name but a few.
Not only does the business increase finance for these buildings which helps towards heritage projects, but also helps bring these venues alive by sharing stories of the people who once inhabited them. History to many youngsters can be classed as boring …. but add a ghost or two and you now have the attention of a whole new generation.
Alison firmly believes that the future of our heritage is in the hands of the young. History and heritage should never be boring …. Ghosts and dark history never are!

Donna Foster

Donna is Deputy Chair for Australia Regional Tourism and Manager Tourism and Economic Development for City of Mount Gambier. Donna Foster is passionate about the opportunities for regional that a sustainable Visitor Economy can bring.
Donna has a wide experience in trade, investment and tourism in both government and the private sector. In the Australian Government landscape holding senior roles with Austrade in New Zealand, Queensland State Government and Local Government in Queensland and South Australia. Her work has taken her across the Australasia and the Pacific where she has gained an appreciation for what can be achieved through collaboration and early engagement when common goals and values are established.
The opportunities for regional growth without losing the essence of the life that we all treasure is very real. Our land, our heritage and our culture. Recognise it (what do we have and what are the possibilities), respect it (what matters, how do we want to shape the future) and share it (tell the people – the communities we live in and the visitors we want to attract). Then – commit to it. It takes long term thinking and a commitment to the future, for our children and our children’s children.

Chris Fanning

Director of Back to Basics Consulting.
Chris began her professional life within Westpac rising to managerial status before entering the world of tourism and education. Since that time, she has worked in a variety of tourism roles including at Mt Lofty Visitor Centre and at Port Adelaide Council. Chris was a tourism lecturer at Flinders University for 19 years before starting Back to Basics Consulting.
She has specialist expertise in education and training in the field or on site and as a workshop facilitator. She has conducted specialist training for tourism operators in a range of areas including customer service, interpretation, tourism, marketing and tour guiding. She has published on a range of subjects primarily associated with interpretation, with a focus on children and cruise tourism. One of her aims is to raise the profile of accessible tourism and improve tourism experiences for families and the disabled.
Chris has been a member of the Tourism SACE Course Advisory Committee and a Board Member of the South Australian Tourism Accreditation Board. She is a member of Interpretation Australia and National Trust South Australia.

Helen Lawry

In 2003 Helen left her teaching job to travel to the UK to study at Emerson College International School of Storytelling. Since then she has worked as a professional storyteller , telling stories (without a book) for adults and children at festivals, libraries, and museums.
To date she has told 56 different stories from many countries and faith traditions.

Her work for the National Trust in is influenced by her love of music, story, visual art and creative writing

Helen has worked as an educator and storyteller with ‘at risk’ children and is committed to welcoming all families to the National Trust's many diverse places.

Quenten Agius

Aboriginal Cultural Tours.
Quenten Agius is a Narungga and Ngadjuri man from the Aboriginal community of Point Pearce. He started a small tourism business fourteen years ago, and has since won best Indigenous tour operator for the past nine consecutive years, for a total of three hall of fame awards. Quenten conducts tours on the York Peninsula (Narungga Country) and the mid-north of South Australia (Ngadjuri Country). He caters tours to suit clients and they can run from a half day tour to five days or longer. His tours run the gamut from camping to upscale eco-tourism hotels. With fourteen years of experience he has much to add regarding the successful (and not-so successful) aspects of running Aboriginal cultural tours in South Australia

Patrick Kent

Tourism, Arts and Heritage Development Manager for the Regional Council of Goyder.
Pat began his tourism career in 2004 when he co-founded Big Blue Air Touring.
He and his wife, Sally, then relaunched several luxury tourism properties in South Australia including Portee Station Homestead, near Blanchetown, The Wild Bush Luxury owned Arkaba Station in the Flinders Ranges. And in 2011, Kingsford Homestead in the Barossa Valley – once owned by CH9 and the setting for the national TV series, McLeods Daughters.
Pat recently spent 5 years as the Peterborough Tourism Manager where he created the 400km award winning Silver 2 Sea Way tourist trail and in the process won 2 South Australia Tourism Awards.
He was appointed Chairman of the Flinders Ranges and Outback of South Australia Tourism Board in 2016.

Vicky Stewart

Established in 1841, Bungaree was the headquarters of extensive sheep station with a village-like complex of beautiful sandstone buildings. Over 178 years later, it remains the home of the descendants of the original founder, GC Hawker, with an extensive tourism enterprise complementing the farming operations at Bungaree.

The iconic property has been recognised with State and National Tourism Awards for heritage and culture, as well as the RM Williams Outback Heritage Award and an UNESCO award.

Vicky Stewart returned to her family’s property in 2010 to take on the day-to-day management of the tourism enterprise. She sees the evolution of tourism experiences as being essential to ensuring preservation of heritage assets such as Bungaree for future generations.

Ian Lewis

South Australia Department for Environment and Water.
an D Lewis works as a hydrogeologist for the South Australia Department for Environment and Water and is completing his PhD on the Geology of the World Heritage Naracoorte Fossil Caves. Ian is Honorary Director of the Kanawinka Volcanic Geotrail which links visitation of the volcanoes across Western Victoria. Through the Geological Society of Australia, Ian is developing a broader concept of ‘Geotrails’ to link separate special features of the landscape across large distances of the Australian continent where extended travelling is required and to promote Geotourism for the benefit of regional communities.

Nicholas Williams

MacDonnell Regional Council.
Nicholas is a proud Aranda man from Hermannsburg NT, and comes from Aboriginal country music royalty, his father being Warren H Williams. He was born in Alice Springs but has lived all his life at Ntaria (Hermannsburg) apart from stints of schooling in Alice Springs and Adelaide.
Nicholas is currently a Youth Development Officer with the MacDonnell Regional Council, and also holds the position of Chair of the Hermannsburg Historic Society- the representative organisation managing the nationally listed Hermannsburg Historic Precinct on behalf of the Traditional Owners of the land.
As a key leader in the community, he has been involved in many community organisations including the Ntaria Supermarket, the Stronger Community for Children Board and the famous Hermannsburg Choir which has recently successfully toured internationally.
Nicholas is driven by doing what he can in a leadership sense to be on country and preserve and share his culture through his endeavours, particularly working with the younger members of his community.

Andrew Morphett

Anlaby Station

Richard Silink

Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the National Trust of Australia (NSW)

Matthew Smithies

National Trust of Australia (Tas)