Conference 2022 North East Tasmania, Australia
Janet Mackay - TRC Tourism
Janet is an accomplished tourism professional with more than 30 years’ practical experience in the public and private sectors. As the Director of TRC’s Australian, New Zealand and global operations, Janet is well-known and respected for her expertise in strategic planning for regional destinations, nature and culture based tourism, practical feasibility assessments and business planning, and her successful and inclusive approach to stakeholder and community engagement. Janet is a leader in innovative planning and development of solutions for trail destinations and experiences meeting community and visitor needs. She has assessed and planned for numerous walking, cycling, mountain biking and shared trail networks and iconic trails
John Brown - Break O’day Council
John commenced working in Local Government in 1987 in the Finance Department and then onto Deputy Council Clerk at the old Fingal Council until its amalgamation with Portland Council in 1993 where it became Break O’Day Council and John commenced as General Manager until 2000. In 2000 John decided he wanted a life outside Local Government so for the next 14 years undertook various roles within private enterprise which included the CEO for the Tas Farmers and Graziers Association and the Migrant Resource Centre among other things before a return to Local Government in 2014 again as General Manager at Break O’Day Council.
Glen Jacobs - World Trail
Glen has achieved global success in the mountain bike industry and is one of the most well-known mountain bike trail designers in the world. A talented artist, Glen has a tireless enthusiasm for the development of mountain biking trails that are not only stunning to look at, but also exhilarating to experience. Glen constantly pushes the boundaries of trail design, and is looked to as a source of inspiration by trail builders around Australia and the world.
Galeo Saintz - World Trails Network
Galeo Saintz is the Founding Chair of the World Trails Network, an active global network of the world’s leading trails and trail destinations. He is also the co-founder of South Africa’s two longest distance hiking experiences, the Rim of Africa Mountain Traverse (700km) and the Eden to Addo Corridor Hike (400km). As the Co-Chair of the IUCN CEESP Theme on Environment and Peace and its Task Force on Migration, Environmental Change and Conflict, Galeo plays an influential role in conservation both in his home country and internationally.
Jen Fry - Wild Bush Luxury
Jen Fry is the Director of Projects for Experience Co, under the Wild Bush Luxury banner. She has worked with the Salmon industry in Tasmania, with the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, and as the Senior Advisor in the Tasmanian Premier’s Office. Jen is the Chair of the East Coast Tasmania Regional Tourism Organisation, Board Member of Tourism Industry Council Tasmania, is a founding Board member of the Landscapes Recovery Foundation and is a member of the kunanyi Mountain Run steering committee. Jen holds a Masters of Science in Environmental Management, a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management, a Bachelor of Environmental Studies, certificates in Marketing and in Volunteer Management. Jen Fry is a graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders i-LEAD program, is an IA Georgie Waterman winner and was the emerging leader scholar for Public Sector Management, Tasmania. Jen has worked with multiple tourism sites within Tasmania’s Parks and Reserves systems and now turns her attention to continuing that adventure with private enterprise, both within her daily work but also guiding others who imagine tourism opportunities within Tasmania.
Clint Wright - Converge Marketing
Clint is a marketing and communications expert with over 20 years’ experience using digital marketing technology in tourism businesses and destinations to attract visitors. His clients and experiences include award-winning tourism and destination campaigns for Visit Sunshine Coast, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Visit Canberra, Snow Victoria, Stromlo Forest Park, and a range of government, council, and regional tourism organisations across Australia. He enjoys helping his clients evolve their marketing approach through understanding and harnessing the power of digital media. Homebase is the Sunshine Coast recently announced as a UNESCO Biosphere, where you’ll find him hiking the Glasshouse Mountains or riding through the subtropical rainforest trails of Noosa.
Nicholas King - Destination Gippsland
Nick, a mean as custard mountain biker, is an experienced recreational and educational specialist working across education, outdoor recreation, and the tourism industry sectors. Nick is skilled in government, policy, planning, procurement, grants, wellbeing, tourism, Smart Specialisation Strategy, and the visitor economy. Nick is passionate about outdoor and environmental sustainability and conservation education, risk management, sustainable outdoor events, and trail maintenance, management, design, and construction. Nick is a Project Manager – Tracks and Trails – Smart Specialisation, Visitor Economy at Destination Gippsland.
Chris Ord – TRC Tourism
A specialist in outdoor active, nature and trail-based tourism, Chris has worked in the tourism sector for more than 18 years, advising government departments, tourism organisations, not-for-profits, operators and outdoor brands.His project experience covers market research and economic impact assessments, trail scouting, auditing and geospatial data collection, strategic product and service development, tourism experience design, and events and media content production, all with specific relevancy to the outdoor active, adventure and trail sectors. Chris has developed a reputation as a go-to expert for the development of leading-edge outdoor active and adventure tourism experiences that proactively engage with and benefit local communities. His projects benefit from an extensive network of contacts and knowledge base covering active pursuit communities as diverse as mountain biking, trail running, bushwalking, paddlesports and climbing.
Jo Larkin - TRC Trails
Jo is enthusiastic about life and everything outdoors. She is most at home on a mountain bike and in 2014 launched Bike Betty providing progressive and supported mountain bike coaching for every rider. Jo specialises in all-inclusive retreats for women in NSW locations at Tathra and the Snowy Mountains and junior academy programs. Jo also coaches for Thredbo Mountain Bike Park where she hosts the Gravity Girls program and is passionate about the development of professional trail management. Jo is also a strong communicator with a passion for business and cultural development. She has a Bachelor of Business degree and is a qualified marketing specialist with over 20 years of practical experience in the tourism, recreation and the events industry with successful executive roles held at Tourism Snowy Mountains, Tourism Thredbo, and Lake Crackenback Resort.
Craig Meinicke - Blue Sky Trails / Trail Vision
Craig is the Founder and Director of Blue Sky Trails and Trail Vision. Combining his skills in system and process development, with an in-depth knowledge of trail design and development, and a degree in environmental science, Craig has established businesses that facilitate the creation and management of trails for generations to enjoy. Craig was previously the Chair of the Mountain Bike Australia Trails and Advocacy Commission which developed the Australian Mountain Bike Trail Guidelines, and is a member of the AusCycling Queensland State Advisory Council.
Alan Gould - Trail Vision
Alan Gould is the CEO of Trail Vision, the platform that Government Departments, Councils, Land Managers, Commercial Park Operators, Builders, Consultants, Contractors and Clubs use to professionally manage trails and mitigate risk. Alan has over 20 years of experience designing and developing IT systems. He is passionate about building innovative software that is easy to use and solves real problems.
Craig Young - Somerset Regional Council
Craig is the Director of Operations at Somerset Regional Council and has delivered rail trail projects on both the east and west coast of Australia, including the extension of the Wadandi Track south of Margaret River and more recently, improvements on Australia’s longest rail trail the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. Craig is an engineer by day and a slowing MTB rider outside of work hours, spending more time appreciating the trail building technics than riding these days.
Jarred Parsons - Parks Victoria
As Tourism Partnerships Manager at Parks Victoria, Jarred leads engagement with tourism industry partners and licensed tour operators to facilitate appropriate sustainable nature-based tourism opportunities and support positive visitor experiences across Victoria’s 4.1 million hectares of spectacular parks and waterways. With over 25 years experience in tourism, communications and marketing, including more than 20 years at Parks Victoria, Jarred has long been a passionate advocate for nature-based tourism, accessibility and connecting people with nature.
Dr Allison Anderson - TRC Tourism
Formerly the Head of Research and Insights at Tourism Tasmania, Allison built and led a team of researchers and specialised in the development and communication of insights to a complex and varied industry. She has directed major marketing programs such as the Tasmanian Drive Journeys Project, brand health benchmarking and segmentation, special interest tourism market analysis (including mountain biking), been a part of the 2020 Tourism Recovery Working Group and represented Tasmania on the Australian National Tourism Research Committee. Since joining TRC in 2021, Allison was the co-lead consultant on the Victorian State-wide Visitor Economy Masterplan project, the Wellington Park Visitor Recreation Strategy and she is currently working on Western Australia’s Golden Outback and Coral Coast Destination Masterplans. She has also been working on mountain biking projects in Queenstown and Cairns.
Kylie Ruwhiu-Karawana - TRC Tourism
Kylie is an experienced tourism marketing specialist with over 20 years’ working in the tourism sector, in both a public and private capacity. Kylie has an extensive portfolio of knowledge related to international and regional trade marketing, visitor strategy development, event management, stakeholder relationship management and small business management. She has in-depth knowledge of New Zealand and global tourism in general, but she has passion and expertise in values-based tourism, specifically Māori and Indigenous tourism experiences.
Gerard McHugh - World Trail
Gerard has been designing and developing trails for over twenty years. Starting with World Trail in early 2007, Gerard manages the consulting and planning arm of the business, and generally takes the lead role in most of the consulting projects. Gerard has played a key role in every big project World Trail has undertaken, including Falls Creek, Atherton, Hidden Vale, Smithfield, Derby, St Helens, George Town and Warburton, all of which are amongst the most successful mountain bike trail projects in Australia.Gerard has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Monash University and a Graduate Certificate in Landscape Architecture from the University of Melbourne.
Matt Harrington - Yarra Ranges Council
After more than 20 years in recreation outdoors and parks management Matt has found his dream job with Yarra Ranges Council as the Senior Project Manager for the Warburton MTB Destination. Currently seconded from Parks Victoria for two years, Matt brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in parks and recreation management, asset management, project delivery, master planning and business planning. Combining these skills with a passion for cycling, a drive to see more people more active in the outdoors and a preference for big picture thinking he hopes to deliver beyond world class outcomes.
Cormac McCarthy - Manningham City Council
Cormac has over 20 years experience working in local government as an Open Space Planner/ Coordinator, responsible for the funding, design, consultation, construction and ongoing management of many shared use trails in Melbourne. He has been instrumental in the production and implementation of two Regional Trails Strategies covering half of greater Melbourne. He is a former Chair of Rail Trails SA, Rail Trails Australia committee member, Bicycle SA Executive Officer and Camping Association of Victoria Executive Officer.
Chris Halstead - TRC Tourism
Chris has over 25 years involvement in park management, strategic planning and visitor experience development. He has recently developed and implemented significant trail planning projects including the Macedon Ranges Shared Trails Feasibility Studies, Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley Trails Master Plan, Shire of Exmouth (Ningaloo) Trails Master Plan, Manawatu Gorge Mountain Bike Trails Business Case (New Zealand) and design of the 240 kilometre Red Centre Adventure Ride Cycling trail in Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park. Chris has extensive experience in community engagement and working collaboratively to promote cultural, recreation and park-based initiatives.
Lachy Mackay-Wiggins - TRC Trails
Lachy Mackay-Wiggins is the director of TRC Trails, specialising in trail planning and construction/maintenance project management. With a trade background, Lachy brings expertise in managing teams to implement practical on ground projects such as trails, signage and other land management activities.
Hamish McCallum-Smith - World Trail
Hamish is a young, enthusiastic and passionate engineer from Launceston, Tasmania. Being an avid mountain biker, he spent much of his youth developing trails on the family property. His combination of interests in engineering design and sustainable trail development, compliments his drive to create and promote healthier and stronger communities through trail development.
Phil Saxena -Velo Solutions
Phil Saxena is a pioneering mountain bike trail designer from the UK. With over 25 years experience building trails for all levels, from balance bike riding toddlers, through to Olympic level elite competitions, he’s seen the industry develop from the grass roots up. Having grown up as a keen cyclist and lover of all things outdoors, Phil developed a taste for creating his own mountain bike trails, in a time when few purpose built MTB trails existed. Whilst at University his reputation grew, leading to freelance trail building work around the UK. In 2002, Phil became the UCI World Cup track designer. After 8 years travelling the globe designing and building MTB trails he returned to the UK to focus on the domestic trail scene. Phil has been instrumental in the development of trail building techniques in the UK, as well as overseas. He now turns his attention to the Australian market with the establishment of “Velosolutions Australia”. With this enterprise Phil intends to help more Australians than ever, access safe sustainable and fun mountain bike trails.
Lincoln Quilliam - Trail Ventures
After living and working overseas for 20yrs, Lincoln is super stoked to be back home in Tasmania building the trail running scene and pursuing big wilderness adventure runs. Lincoln grew up off track bushwalking in the Tassie wilderness and rafting Tassie’s wild rivers. His background is Civil Engineering, chasing backcountry snowboarding across continents, and putting up new ice and mixed alpine routes with the NZ Alpine team in NZ and Peru. Lincoln has recently created world class trail running events in Tasmania from scratch, and his company Trail Ventures, is also a trails maintenance business. His passion for community has built the Hobart Trail Runners group, co-founded the Tasmanian Trail Running Association, and he is a Churchill Fellowship recipient.
Chris Rose - TRC Tourism
Chris has had a long career in working to grow and improve economic outcomes to regions and cities, particularly through tourism. He has strong experience in community engagement, service delivery, investment facilitation, tourism infrastructure and product development and working with land management agencies and regional tourism organisations (RTOs). He has developed numerous business cases and tourism plans for clients throughout Australia and New Zealand. These have included developing a business and governance model for ecotourism developments in Victoria, investment frameworks for Tasmania, accommodation supply and demand assessments (3) for Tasmania, a business case and feasibility for a new hotel in Victoria, business frameworks for investment in Marlborough, and the Wellington Regional Trails Framework. Other projects include preparing a business case for trail development in Rutherglen and Yarra Valley (successful in attracting grant funds), regional Tasmanian Destination Management Plans, and the Gippsland Destination Management Plan. Chris has led projects to facilitate investment in ecotourism in Tasmania and developed governance models to grow partnerships aimed at improving the visitor experience in National Parks.
Geoff Gabites - Cycle Journeys
My involvement in Cycle Tourism originated in 1992 when we set up a Guided Cycle Tour company based out of Christchurch. This later morphed in Cycle Journeys, set up as a trail Outfitter on the Alps2Ocean trail and then expanded to cover the West Coast Wilderness and Tasman Great Taste Trails as well as a shuttle business on the Paparoa Track. During this time, I have been active in trail Governance and am currently elected to the board of NZ Cycle Trails.
Chris Hunt - HD Surveys
Chris is the Director of HD Surveys Pty Ltd, specialists in small to large scale civil works in earthworks and structures. Chris has gained varied experience with 10+ years in the field working in the NSW mining industry, on inner-city construction projects in Sydney, large scale civil projects on the Mid North Coast and a regional surveying consultancy practice. Chris is enthusiastic about the possibilities and applications that new and emerging technologies can offer to the construction and agriculture industry. Through seeing the shortfalls from various projects over the years, Chris has become passionate about safety, quality, time efficiency and lowering costs by embracing new technologies such as LiDAR, Photogrammetry and Laser Scanning.
Henry Talbot - Capra
Henry Talbot is the managing director and co-founder of Capra. He is a Sydney based software entrepreneur with two decades experience in delivering new digital products. He is a keen trail runner and hiker having raced and explored across Asia-Pac, Europe, North and South America which included his honeymoon spent racing 250km in Patagonia. Side projects included helping to launch Joe Bonington’s adventure training facility in Sydney. His team is building Capra to help people make better informed decisions when they’re hitting the trails.
Brett Pengelley - Outdoors Great Southern
Brett Pengelley is the Project Manager in Trails at Outdoors Great Southern. Brett has a background in construction and trail construction and has been involved with projects on the east and west coast of Australia. Brett currently runs Outdoors Great Southern’s Trail Carer program, maintaining trails utilizing volunteers. Brett also delivers Trail Maintenance Training to groups here in Southern Western Australia. Brett has been involved in the Mountain Bike community for over 20 years with roles ranging from Racer, Videographer, Brand ambassador and Trail Construction & Maintenance.
Janet Purdey - Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails
Janet Purdey is General Manager of Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails, the national organisation for Ngā Haerenga Great Rides of New Zealand. Covering almost 3,000km of cycle trails the Great Rides contribute over a billion dollars of visitor expenditure annually to regional economies. Janet has a management and marketing background and a passion for active travel. Previous roles include 9 years as Marketing Manager for Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, where she became acutely aware of the power of transformative tourism experiences on communities and individuals. Covid 19 has been a silver lining for cycle tourism. Kiwis have embraced cycling and cycle holidays with many discovering Great Rides for the first time. NZCT research shows that both our domestic and Australian visitors are looking for meaningful experiences where they can disconnect from their everyday lives, and reconnect with nature, friends and family in a sustainable way. Janet is passionate about developing Great Rides to be truly regenerative tourism experiences.
Simon Allen - CSIRO
Simon Allen has, in no particular order: Explored historic wrecks with robot submarines. Inspected Offshore Oil and Gas Infrastructure with remote controlled vehicles. Made digital twins of ancient cities in the middle east with robot aircraft. Chased pirates in the South China Sea. Mapped, designed, analysed for ballistic safety, and built field archery ranges around the world. Helped establish Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System. Analysed the localised climate signal to help agriculture adapt to climate change and become more resilient.
Greg Milne - Hobart City
Greg is a natural area practitioner who is passionate about involving the community in nature. He brings wide ranging experience in managing natural areas and recreational facilities, developed through varied roles for NGO’s, state and local government around Melbourne and Hobart. Since 2009, Greg’s focus has been to improve visitor experiences across the City of Hobart’s 4,600 ha bushland estate – including an incredible 120 km track network stretching from the River Derwent to the summit of Tasmania’s most visited natural attraction, kunanyi / Mount Wellington. Over this time he has delivered many high profile and complex projects, involving strategic plans, track and trail capital works delivery, visitor services initiatives, community programs and natural area management. Most recently Greg oversaw the development of the City’s Riding the Mountain plan.
Ashley Rushton - Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania
Ash Rushton, Regional Manager for Southern Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service for 15 years – Project Director Three Capes Track experience and Tasmania’s Next Iconic Walk. The Southern Region of Tasmania incorporates sub Antarctic Macquarie Island, the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and the Darlington Convict site World Heritage area along with six National Parks and a diversity of reserves including Marine Reserves and Heritage sites. Ash has also been very privileged to be a part of some major conservation initiatives and projects including the Macquarie Island Pest Eradication project and island restoration projects around Tasmania. He is a passionate ambassador for Tasmania, its diverse and unique natural, historical and cultural values and an advocate for increased shared history opportunities.
Rod Annear - Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions WA.
Rod Annear has been in protected area management for more than 40 years. He has worked as a National Park Ranger, natural area interpreter and has overseen the planning and implementation of capital works developments in parks across Western Australia (WA). He is currently the Assistant Director for Parks and Visitor Services with the Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions in WA. Balancing community expectations for facilities and services in parks with available resources and protecting the nature and culture of parks is an ongoing challenge.
Rod loves working with communities to deliver facilities and services that benefit WA and help nurture relationships with nature. He works with a team of creative designers, interpreters, architects and community partners to deliver high quality, innovative experiences and facilities to Western Australian national parks. He can be a bit nerdy when it comes to gadgets and has a weakness for coffee, hazy pale ale and 1970s fashion.
Kirsten Seeto - Alpine Community Plantation
Kirsten has over 15 years experience as a business architect, 10 years experience as a leader (volunteer) in sports administration and 3 years as a board director in health. An experienced paraglider pilot, she has also been an advocate of women’s participation in paragliding and developed a national program that has seen the female participation rate double in clubs that were keen to get on board. Kirsten decided to build a tiny house in 2016 and despite no prior building experience now lives in her off-grid tiny house in Bright that utilises smart technology to optimise efficient power management. A project that seemed easier in theory, required a lot of problem-solving and faith that she was on the right path has been useful experience for tackling Mystic Park’s future as it’s current Executive Officer. Her passion for clear process, good governance and sustainable (if not popular) business strategies have set the tone for the organisation moving forward.
Thomas Holden - Warrgamay Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC
Thomas Holden is a proud Warrgamay Traditional Owner and is currently the chairperson of the Warrgamay Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC. Thomas has accrued more than 18 years’ experience working for government and establishing First Nation’s businesses which has positioned him to be a First Nations Shape Changer across regional Queensland and Northern Australia. Over the last fifteen years as founder and managing director Thomas has also led the development and growth of at his high-risk Indigenous security services and training firm. Over the past 18 years Thomas has been a strong advocate and leader for creating First Nations employment and training opportunities and most recently has led the development of a proposal for a culturally immersive 125km dual use walking trail from Paluma to Wallaman Falls that will provide training, education, employment, and economic benefit to First Nations communities.
The Sustainable Trails Conference provided an excellent opportunity to share best practice across a variety of topics from trail building to governance. Each session was valuable in its own right. Great to see the collaboration between our two countries as we all strive to make the most of this growing community.
The sustainable trails conference is a must do for all those involved in the planning, development and marketing of tracks and trails.
Anthony Burton | Principal | Anthony Burton & Associates
A well run and organised conference, excellent speakers who certainly provided a range of information in the topics presented. Took away some key learnings.
Jane Tito | Marlborough
I have been to a lot of conferences before, this was one of the best I have ever attended.
Mick Tucker | Mayor, Break O'Day Council
A fantastic conference. Great speaker line-up with leaders in the field. Learned a lot and made new connections.
Francesca Governali | Conservation & Tourism Fellow | Dartmouth College
The Sustainable Trails Conference provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the importance of trails to local economies and tourism, the amount of work going on in this space, and to share and learn from others working in the field.
Suky Thompson | Trust Manager | Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust