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Tourism and hotel champions win Australia Day honours

January 29, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Celebrity chef Luke Mangan, well-known for his efforts in promoting Australian food as a tourist attraction (and for his work with Virgin Australia and P&O Cruises) was among many people with tourism connections recognised in the Australia Day honours.

Some winners are household names, like Kylie Minogue and Olivia Newton-John. Both have done much to raise Australia’s profile in tourism and the arts. Cave rescue divers Richard ‘Harry’ Harris and Craig Challen shared 2019 Australian of the Year for their heroic efforts in saving 12 boys from a flooded cave in Thailand.

Many others, less well known but with tourism or hospitality links, were also recognised.

They included: 


Barry Coulter, former Minister of Tourism for the Northern Territory (from 1992 to 1996). Coulter has been a director of Northern Territory Airports since 2012 and is a current director of Darwin International Airport. 


Paul Constantinou, chairman and founder, Quest Apartment Hotels (since 1988) for “significant service to the accommodation and tourism sectors, and to the community”. Constantinou has been a member of the advisory board of the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia since 2014.

Lyndall De Marco, “for significant service to youth development, to the tourism industry, and to the community”.  Board member, Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust Australia, since 2012. Chairman, HICAP Sustainable Hotel Awards, since 2006. Adjunct professor, Faculty of Tourism and Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise, Griffith University, 2009-2011.

Thomas McGuire, director and co-owner of McGuires Hotel Group, for “significant service to the tourism and hospitality industry and to the community”. McGuire was president of the Australian Hotels Association from 2011 to 2013 and has been president of the Australian Hotels Association Queensland since 2006.

John Menzies, “for significant service to the tourism industry in Queensland”. Since 2015, senior advisor to the co-chairmen of Village Roadshow; director of Sydney Attractions Group since the late 2000s and chairman of Village Roadshow Theme Park Group, 2009. Former executive producer, Australian Outback Spectacular, former managing director of Sea World and board member of Tourism and Events Queensland.

Olivia Newton-John

Natalie O’Brien, “for significant service to tourism and wine associations and to the community of Victoria”. Chief executive of Melbourne Food and Wine Events (now Food and Wine Victoria) from 2003 to 2017. Coordinated ‘Put Victoria on Your Table’ initiative, 2009-2012 and ‘Regional Longest  Lunch’ program. Director and former chair, Victorian Food, Wine and Tourism Council, 2005-2016.


Debbie Alexander, executive officer of South Australia’s Mannum Dock Museum since 2011; founder, Mannum Markets; tourism and marketing manager, Mid Murray Council, since 2011. Tourism and marketing manager, 180 Degrees Marketing and Management, since 2009. Board member, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong Tourism Alliance since 2016.

Grant Cassidy, “for service to the tourism and hospitality industry”. Managing director of the Cassidy Hospitality Group since 2002. Currently sole director and proprietor, Edge Apartment Hotel and Empire Apartment Hotel, Rockhampton. Cassidy was chairman of Capricorn Tourism and Economic Development from 2003 to 2013. A director of Tourism and Events Queensland from 2007 to 2012.

Kylie Minogue

Ron Chapman, a well-known figure in Queensland caravanning, “service to the tourism industry in Queensland”. Chapman has been chief executive officer at the Caravan Parks Association of Queensland, since 1993 and life member since 2016. Chief executive of Caravan Trade and Industries Association of Queensland since 1994 and a life member since 1993. Chapman was the inaugural recipient of the Living Legend Award, Caravan Industry Association of Australia in 2018.

William Clegg “for service to the tourism and hospitality industry”. Federal president, Club Managers Association Australia, 2006-2016.

Jeffrey Close. “For service to the communities of Crows Nest (Queensland) and Winton”. Close was president of the Crow’s Nest and District Tourist and Progress Association, 1997-2017 and since 1999 has been closely associated with the Winton Outback Festival, the Winton and District Historical Society and Museum and other tourism-related enterprises.

Leslie Moulds. “For service to the tourism industry”. Board member, Community Advisory Committee, NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust, since 2013. Tourism manager, Inverell Shire Council, 1990-2010. Former organiser, Great Inland Fishing Competition.

Luke Mangan

Luke Mangan, “for service to the tourism and hospitality industry”. Co-founder, Appetite for Excellence National Hospitality Awards Program, since 2005. Member of Tourism Australia’s Food and Wine Advisory Panel, Restaurant Australia campaign, since 2013. P&O Cruises: Salt grill. Consulting chef, Virgin Australia Business Class.

Richard Smith. “For service to the building and construction industry, and to heritage preservation. Smith was heavily involved in the campaign to relocate the historic clipper ship ‘City of Adelaide’ to Adelaide, South Australia; the transport of the vessel to Adelaide from the UK and preparation to include it in a seaport village in the Port Adelaide’s inner harbour as a tourist attraction, since 2002.

Written by Peter Needham

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