Friday, 11 November 2016

Women in Travel Awards Finalists Revealed!

The inaugural Women in Travel awards is just round the corner and will recognise women who have achieved success in the industry as well as their contribution through leadership and innovation.

We are chuffed to have received close to 200 fantastic entries for these inaugural awards, with winners to be announced at the Women in Travel Awards gala cocktail event on 17 November at the Ovolo Woolloomooloo Sydney. Make sure you grab Earlybird tickets now – it's running out fast!

Travel Weekly are also indebted to the elite panel of Judges, who used their expertise and gave up hours to score entrants fairly and without bias. Without the time and effort of these 39 individuals, we would not be able to produce the final list of finalists.

Congratulations to all the finalists (in alphabetical order). Please note, some categories have additional finalists due to tight scores


Anca Sbenghe – Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines
Felicity Brown – Chinta Air Tours
Gai Tyrrell – Hawaiian Airlines
Nicole McMahon – Virgin Australia
Roheena Gidwani – Malindo Air


Cherie Drummond – Corporate Travel Management
Leanne Ralston – Spencer Travel
Melissa Gillman – Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Rebecca Crosbie – Global Travel Management

Employer of the Year:

American Express Global Business Travel
Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Excite Holidays
Flight Centre Travel Group
Globenet Travel
GTI Tourism
InterContinental Hotels Group
Klick Communications
The Travel Corporation
The Africa Safari Co

Entrepreneur of the Year: 

Bella Tipping – Kidzcationz
Emily Warbrick- Snowscene
Gayle Dawson – TravelManagers
Lisa Pagotto – Crooked Compass
Nadine Jones – Jones & Co Collection
Rachel James – Bestjet
Reena Tory – Mantra Wild Advenutres
Renee Welsh – Booking Boss
Sarah Anderson – GTI Tourism


Amelia Karcher – Ibis Adelaide
Amery Burleigh – Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach
Megan Pechey – Mantra Group
Nicole Cheramie – InterContinental Hotels Group

Male Champion of Change: 

Craig Owens – Cruise Office
Gaston Guernik – Excite Holidays
John Veitch – The Travel Corporation
Warren Payne – Carlson Wagonlit Travel


Justine Lally – APT Travel Group
Karen Cooke – Flight Centre Travel Group
Lee Siefken – InterContinental Hotels Group
Lisa Ronson – Tourism Australia
Lucy Piper – Intrepid Group
Meagan Maynard – Excite Holidays

Mentor of the Year: 

Debra Fox – APT Travel Group
Dyan McKie – Intrepid Group
Jo Sully – American Express Global Business Travel
Joleen R Hurst – Accor Hotels
Kim McKay – Klick Communications
Meg Salter – Auridian Training & Consulting
Sarah Anderson – GTI Tourism
Sue Badyari – World Expeditions
Tracey Bremner – Globenet Travel

PR of the Year: 

Jen McDermott – WE Buchan
Karena Noble – Voyages
Lauren Coughlan – Tourism New Zealand
Nicole Crowley – InterContinental Hotels Group
Rae White – The Travel Corporation


Carly Hulls – Tour Radar
Chriss Perry – Travel Partners
Debbie Collins – Spencer Travel
Debra Carr – Helloworld Surrey Hills
Dr Rita Benckendorff-Malik – Tailor Made Travelling
Kim Mason – TravelManagers
Maria Pandalai – TravelManagers
Penny Spencer – Spencer Travel
Robyn Davies – WOW! Travel

Rising Star: 

Breeanna Perez – Globenet Travel
Gisela Bell – Excite Holidays
Kass Scarlett – Tui Marine
Kate Wickham – Contiki
Lauren Smith – Intrepid Group
Lucy Potter – TravelEdge
Madeline Georgiadis – Accor Hotels
Nidhi Menroy – CVFR Consolidation Services

Salesperson of the year:

Amanda Castle – Busabout, TTC
Deanna Varga -Australian National Maritime Museum
Felicity Allan – Malaysia Airlines
Mary-Jane Devine – Fusion Marketing
Melissa Elf – FCM Travel Solutions
Susan Haberle – APT Travel Group

Social Media: 

Caroline Brunel – GTI Tourism
Katherine Ong – Erdigroup Hotel Collection
Marie Sulda – Kaleidoscopic Travel
Melaine Banyard – Champagne Travel
Natalie Siagian – Contiki


Gemma Sherwood – Intrepid Group
Kaylene Shuttlewood – Travelport
Michelle Beveridge – Intrepid Group
Narelle Smythe – Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Rachel James – Bestjet
Renee Welsh – Booking Boss

Tourism Board: 

Anne Morris – GTI Tourism
Mona Tannous – Sultanate of Oman Tourism
Stephanie Sng – Japan National Tourism Organization
Sarah Seddon – Destination Melbourne


Alex O'Connor – Insight Vacations
Alison Mead – Collette
Fiona Dalton – Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Simla Sooboodoo – Hands On Journeys
Susie Potter – The Africa Safari Co

Also a huge thank you to all our judges: Adrian Pinotto, Aida Osta, Áine Leonard, Ainslie Hunt, Alex O'Connor, Amber Wilson, Andrea Robinson, Andrew Macfarlane, Ann Sherry, Anna Guillan, Barry Mayo, Carole Cooper, Christian Hunter, Deb Corbett, Debra Fox, Fiona Dalton, Gai Tyrrell, Gil McLachlan, Ginni Post, Jacqui Walshe, Joana Bonto, Julie King, Julie Primmer, Julie Reid, Karen Christensen, Karin Sheppard, Lisa Akeroyd, Lisa Ronson, Lynne Clarke, Melissa Schembri, Michelle Black, Nicole Backo, Penny Spencer, Rachel Argaman, Robyn Nixon, Sarah Anderson, Sarah Built, Sarina Bratton and Tom Manwaring.

Congratulations to all the finalists! We look forward to celebrating with you on the 17th at the Ovolo Woolloomooloo. Buy tickets now.

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