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Judging Panel

Bob Lunnon - Chief Judge

Bob has been in the travel industry for over 50 years, initially starting in 1962 with Qantas Airways in Sydney as a Commercial Trainee straight from High School, which also included postings in New York, London, and Melbourne. In 1972, Bob and six other Qantas staff members started Qantas Holidays, where he remained until 1982, as National Sales Manager.

In 1982, Bob joined Sheraton Hotels and Resorts in Sydney, which in 2000 became part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, along with other global brands including Westin, Le Meridien, Four Points, W Hotels, St Regis, The Luxury Collection, Aloft, and Element. Prior to his retirement in June 2012, Bob had been over 30 years with Starwood, his last role being Director, Leisure and Luxury Sales, Asia Pacific. Bob now undertakes consultancy projects with Starwood in Asia Pacific including Bali in Indonesia, Koh Samui in Thailand, and Western Samoa etc.

In 2005, Bob was recognised by Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) and received the Annual Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to Australia’s tourism export industry.

Bob is also a member of Skal International. In 2013 he was President of Skal Sydney Chapter for a record-breaking third term. In March 2014, Bob was elected as National Vice President of SKAL International Australia, and in October 2014 was elected as International Councillor for SKAL International Australia, a dual role.

In December 2014, Bob was appointed by AFTA as Chief Judge of the 2015 AFTA/NTIA Awards, which was renewed for 2016, and again for 2017.

Christian Schweitzer

Christian is General Manager of the Business Publishing Group comprising leading titles Travel Daily, travelBulletin, Cruise Weekly, Business Events News and Pharmacy Daily.

He is a multi-faceted professional with 25 years of commercial experience in sales, marketing, management and customer service with particular industry experience across travel, tourism, non-profit, retail, wholesale and direct marketing industries.

To date he has managed in excess of $30 million in budgets to deliver in excess of $700 million in revenue for his employers.

His education includes an MBA (2013) from Macquarie Graduate School of Management and a Masters of Strategic Marketing (2003) from Wollongong University.

Among his achievements include delivering cutting edge company websites that received a Sitecore Customer Experience Award within the Travel and Tourism category (2014) and leading a marketing team for a major international touring company that won Best Tour Operator International at the 2009 NTIAs.

Christian is a regular guest on Sky News Business channel commenting on travel topics for the business traveller as well as judging categories for the Cruise Industry Awards and Travel Marketing Awards.

Donna Campbell

Donna Campbell is based in Sydney where she is the Managing Director of D.C. & Associates Worldwide Pty and the GSA for the Destination Canada in Australia.

She has over 39 years of tourism experience strategically selling & promoting Canada in the international markets - predominately the Asia Pacific region. The last 17 years she has been working for Destination Canada to raise awareness for Canada’s ten provinces and three Territories in the Australian marketplace – through the ever-changing trade, media and consumer channels.

Donna is a well-recognised face for Canada and has a longstanding reputation for delivering programs that are strategic, innovative, on target and deliver a strong ROI.

Gary O'Riordan

Gary O'Riordan Travel & Tourism Solutions was established in early 2016. The business provides professional business advisory services to the travel and tourism industry with a focus on strategy and business planning, project management, product development and representation, and industry education.

He has previously worked with the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) as General Manager and built and implemented the ATAS accreditation scheme for the travel industry. He has a strong background in strategy development and business development and was previously Deputy Managing Director for the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) and International Trade Manager with Destination NSW with over 29 years’ experience in the travel and tourism industry. He has worked in retail travel, customer service, domestic and international marketing and association and event management.

His clients include inbound and outbound travel and tourism businesses, industry associations and Government Departments.

Hugh Houston

Hugh has significant experience in the travel industry, in a career spanning over 40 years, before retiring from full time employment at the end of 2016, and is highly respected in all sectors of industry. Hugh's career started in Hobart, moved through Sydney and finished in South East Queensland.

Hugh has held senior positions within the industry for the majority of that time. His last three years was as Brand Manager Australia and New Zealand for Back-Roads Touring, a role focussed on elevating the awareness and resulting sales of the brand across Australia and New Zealand. Prior to that Hugh spent 16 years as General Manager Sales and Marketing for Sunlover Holidays and AOT Hoildays and oversaw a period of phenomenal growth, particularly in Australia. Before joining Sunlover Holidays, Hugh was Sales and Marketing Manger at Warner Bros. Theme Parks on the Gold Coast, a position he held for 7 years and was part of the pre opening team for Warner Bros. Movie World.

Iain Ferguson

Iain has a comprehensive background in the Airline and Tourism Industry having worked throughout Australia and overseas in a range of management positions, most recently as Regional Manager Australia and New Zealand for Royal Jordanian Airlines. Prior to that, over 30 years, he held a range of management, sales, marketing and administrative positions at Qantas including station and corporate management. Additionally he has worked closely with National Tourist Offices including BTA and HKTA developing a range of targeted programmes.

He was elected inaugural Chairman of EMTA in 2001 working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and other Travel Industry leaders on the Smartraveller concept, the Charter for Safe Travel and the Smartraveller Consultative Group.

He was also the Chairman of a 320 acre rural property for four years.
The son of a Naval Officer, he commenced his travelling at a very early age attending numerous overseas and Australian schools, eventually matriculating at Brisbane Grammar School.

He joined Qantas as a Junior Commercial Trainee working in a range of different departments before settling on a career in Sales and Marketing.
During his career with Qantas he undertook a number of Industry related studies and continued to travel extensively and still does so, rediscovering cruising.

His areas of expertise include the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Southern Africa, Asia, the Pacific, North and South America and of course, Australia.

Jeannie Foster

Jeannie started her career in the travel industry with Qantas Airways in various operational roles before moving to Canadian Airlines where she held the role of Airport Manager and General Manager.

During her time as General Manager of Canadian Airlines the airline merged with Air Canada. Jeannie was the General Manager of Australia and New Zealand for Air Canada until 2013 she has worked in the Travel Industry for over 25 years. She was previously a member of the CEO Forum an Executive Committee for the Board of Airlines Australia as well as a representative of the IATA Australian Pacific Joint Council (APJC).

Jeannie Chaired the Public Relations committee for Star Alliance for many years. Past President of the Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce, a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and member of the Women’s Leadership Institute.

Jeannie is currently the Country Director for Discover The World.

Julie King

Based in Sydney, Julie has over 31 years’ experience in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry including consulting for business and leisure tourism industries, leading over 150 consulting projects across 20 countries, working with National and Regional Government Authorities, Destination Management Organisations, Convention Bureaus and Private Entities.

Having spent 14 of those years based in Dubai as General Manager of a leading Hospitality and Tourism Consultancy and prior to that successfully opening five hotels in the UK and Dubai, Julie moved to Australia in 2010 to establish her own company Julie King & Associates and subsequently in addition is the Partner, Australia & New Zealand with GainingEdge, a leader in the Business Events market.

Julie also leads the strategic direction for Dubai Tourism across Australia and New Zealand as Director and brings to the role a successful track record and strong reputation.

Juliette Myers

Juliette Myers, Principal, International Destination Marketing.

Juliette’s 24 years of international destination selling and marketing has equipped her with a thorough understanding of the global travel and tourism industry and strong established networks. Rising through the ranks in Australia in ‘inbound’ tourist attraction and destination sales and marketing, Juliette then crossed to ‘outbound’ and has specialised since 1999 in assisting international destinations and tourism suppliers entering the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Juliette launched the Australian and New Zealand sales and marketing office for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts where she excelled for seven years. Already a keen dive traveller, a one year sabbatical in the Solomon Islands introduced her to underwater photography. In 2010 Juliette expanded her destination sales and marketing skills to the scuba diving niche in the Australian and Asian marketplaces, and is the only destination representative that has a good network and understanding of mainstream, dive and other niche travel distribution streams.

Juliette advocates travel to be vital for people to appreciate and value the diversity of everything on our planet. She travels everywhere with her camera and her ukulele.

Peter Collins

Peter joined QF in Sydney in 1987 after a seven year stint at the Bank of NSW. Peter’s role was in Industrial Relations and HR. After working through the 1989 Domestic Pilots strike, with responsibility for our Pilots, he eventually found himself in 1991 as Country Manager Philippines, followed by Country Manager Indonesia and then back to Australia as RGM SA and NT in Adelaide. From here Peter became RGM NSW and then GM Qantas Holidays.

In the early 2000’s Peter was made RGM New Zealand and Pacific Islands and then after several years returned to Australia again as RGM Australia Sales. After three years in this role he was made GM International Pricing and Yield and then Group GM for Qantas Holidays, before taking on the role of CEO of the Jetset Tavelworld Group. After this was sold Peter returned to QF as RGM NSW and left QF in mid 2014, after 27 years. Peter has held subsequent roles in Sport, Not for profit and consulting sectors.

Richard Savva

Richard led a boutique travel company, Voyager Travel, to being the largest independent travel management company in Australia. After selling to a global company took on the Asian MD role for two years.

Previous to Voyager Richard worked at Rosenbluth International in the UK and Australia in sales then country manager roles.

Skill set includes mentoring, business coaching, managing regional offices, marketing, rebranding, building technology solutions, leading sales, client retention, P&L ownership and recognised within the Australian travel trade as a true leader.

Speaker, facilitator and moderator at numerous conferences and round table strategy meetings.

Richard has worked across most industries including financial, legal, telecommunications, charities, universities, retail, technology and manufacturing in large & SME markets.

Tim Poulter

Tim has extensive experience in the travel industry having been an airline Marketing and Sales Director, General Manager of Countrylink (where he also managed 12 agencies). Tim has tremendous experience in small businesses management having run his own small business, including; founding and managing Integra Tourism Marketing - a destination marketing specialist business, founding and running Cruise Factory - which was the first cruise data base used by all agents in Australia and New Zealand and running Your Workshops the leading on line product and destination training platform.

Tim currently consults to many small travel businesses through his business Your Way Vision and Business Planning and supports AFTA deliver its ATAS Business Planning Service. 

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