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Updated as speaker information is received

 30+ international and speakers from across Australia will converge on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to impart their knowledge. Join these tourism and public art leaders, researchers, CEOs, consultants, and festival organisers, all of whom are passionate individuals whose energy and determination is transforming destinations.

“So much valuable information gained.”

Tiffany Thornton

Tourism & Economic Development Coordinator

Narrandera Shire Council

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Deborah McCormick



With 25 years’ experience bringing art into public spaces, Deborah is an industry leader and visionary with expertise in public and private partnership models, project delivery, arts management, public arts policy, strategic business planning and public and international relations. Well-known for her work creating and moulding SCAPE Public Art into a respected and recognisable organisation on the international stage, Deborah is passionate about taking art into context outside of gallery spaces, where people can get exposure to public art. Deborah brings her considerable experience in the arts and cultural landscape of Aotearoa (New Zealand) to Deborah McCormick Consulting (DMC) Limited: a new company formed to bring together a range of opportunities and partnerships in the public art sector. DMC helps organisations, councils, government, businesses and individuals’ source, commission and curate significant works of art.

Bill Hauritz AM



Bill Hauritz AM is the founder of the internationally renowned Woodford Folk Festival and its former Executive Director of 35 years. The festival is the biggest community-driven cultural event in Australia and is acclaimed for its exploration of creative ideas. Under his leadership the Festival extended its reach to regional communities through the Festival of Small Halls, secured tens of thousands of volunteers, and helped build arts sector capacity both locally and across the nation, with more than 30,000 artists gaining work and mentorship under his guidance. Bill remains Vice President of Wordfordia Inc and continues to play a pivotal role in the festival’s success. In 2018 he was named as one of the Queensland Greats by then Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

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Cindi Drennan


Cindi Drennan is a multimedia artist and one of two Managing Directors at illuminart stories in light, an award-winning Australian light projection company.  Cindi specialises in projection art for over 25 years, with a passion for community building at the heart of her practice. She pioneered techniques for pixel mapping, video art and painting with light in the 1990s, before establishing illuminart in regional South Australia. In 2023 Cindi was recognised for outstanding contribution to regional art tourism by the Australian Street Art Awards

Dr David Gration


David Gration is the Director of Events Tourism Associates, a company established to provide research, workshops and events tourism-related design and planning services. One of Australia’s leading events tourism experts, he brings together academic qualifications, research and 30+ years of event management and marketing in venues, festivals, special and business tourism. He has worked in both metropolitan and regional destinations from Hobart to Townsville, helping communities achieve success through sustainable event design. In 2011 David became only the 2nd person to be made a Life Member of the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association (APACA), now known as PAC.

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Robyn Russell


Robyn is continuing a century-old legacy. For the past 20 years she has owned and operated Charlotte Plains, a sheep station half the size of Singapore that has been in her family since 1923. In those hey days it was home to 67,000 head of sheep, yielding nearly 1500 bales of wool annually. Under Robyn's stewardship Charlotte Plains has now been transformed into a tourism drawcard while maintaining its pastoral heritage. Offering camping, Great Artesian Bore bathing under the stars, birdwatching, and historic property tours, this station stay is now a 'must visit' experience in outback Queensland. 

Pauline Mason


Pauline is committed to championing the rights, needs, and interests of older Australians. She is passionate about leveraging marketing technology to enhance the experience of stakeholders, ensuring their voices are heard and their needs are addressed. National Seniors Australia has access to data-driven insights on what mature-age travellers are seeking - where they find their information, their likes and dislikes, and their triggers to higher spending. Pauline is dedicated to fostering a community where seniors feel valued, supported, and connected, and will help you achieve the same.

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Susan Lee


Susan brings in-depth regional tourism know-how to create memorable visitor destinations. She works with organisations to fully realise their tourism potential by mastering the fundamentals of storytelling, creating emotional experiences, capturing the self-drive market and how to tap into the weird traveller mindset. Susan is a marketer, product developer and consultant to the cultural tourism sector and author of Booked Out! How to Start and Grow a Successful Regional Tourism Business - an essential read for anyone considering entering the industry.

Margret Meagher


Margret has worked in arts marketing, event management and the visual and performing arts for 50+ years. Since 2000 she has been a leader in the international field of arts, health and creative ageing, founding ‘Arts and Health Australia’ to promote the positive impacts on health and wellbeing for individuals and communities through creative engagement. In 2010, Margret embarked on developing a public art project in Port Macquarie called ‘Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail’. Four years later it launched with 50 one-metre-high fibreglass sculptures hand-painted by local artists. These days it encompasses 88 sculptures and has added the title of ‘Best Sculpture Park or Trail’ in Australian to its long list of award accolades.

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Julie Hauritz


Julie has more than 25 years’ experience of working with community and individuals across the education, private and public sectors within the arts. She works from the basis that Public Art has the unique strength to draw crowds and provide a meaningful, memorable and sometimes transformative experience for locals and visitors alike, one that is unique to each destination. With a deep understanding of the way humans interact and respond to creative expression in public places, Julie’s curatorial approach to Public Art development on the Sunshine Coast is driven by its capacity to contribute to and to reflect the regions identity.

Paul McIver


Paul is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and heritage enthusiast dedicated to preserving his hometown's legacy while fostering economic growth. Inspired by the tenacity of Charters Towers' pioneers, and his experiences over 35 years as a widely travelled global businessman, Paul is creating a vibrant community with the development of his passion project, Goldtower Central; a thriving commercial precinct which combines captivating, world-class street art along with modern facilities to draw visitors to the town and enhance business and lifestyle opportunities for locals alike. Paul will share with delegates the 'how to' steps he took to create the biggest mosaic in Australia - a massive history wall that stretches a whopping 80 metres long and seven metres high, containing more than five million pieces!

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Roxanne Lorenz


As Arts Law's Principal Solicitor, Roxanne advises artists and organisations on subjects including small to large scale public art and commission projects, intellectual property (copyright, moral rights and trade marks), contracts, confidentiality, consumer, defamation and insurance issues. Roxanne understands the commercial realities for creators and creative organisations dealing with intellectual property. Prior to joining the team at Arts Law, Roxanne worked at Creative Australia (the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body), Brisbane Festival (one of Australia’s leading international arts festivals) and Queensland Theatre Company (Australia’s third largest and Queensland’s flagship theatre company).

Kerry Neil


Kerry is a descendant of the Kabi Kabi, Waka Waka, South Sea Islander peoples and has strong cultural and family ties with the Sunshine Coast and surrounding areas. He is the Director of TribalLink Pty, the home of the Goombuckar Indigenous Cultural bus and TribalLink Activity Centre. Kerry has worked within community services, health, training and education, creating and delivering Indigenous education experiences and lessons in line with the National Curriculum, with cross cultural training recognised and accredited by the Royal Australian Collage of General Practice and Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Affairs.

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Sarah Sculley


Sarah is a Sunshine Coast-based urban artist who creates large scale stencil murals with a kick of colour and energy. Using acrylic and spray paint, she works with communities to develop meaningful murals. Sarah has been in the creative art space for more than 20 years. She studied a Bachelor of Design Studies at QCA and received a scholarship to study abroad at the Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland. Sarah has painted murals in China, USA, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, and Australia. She is best known for her community focused murals plus her education and mentoring programs.

Steven Bordonaro


Steven is a Sunshine Coast-based artist working in the mediums of paintings, murals and design. His work explores the interconnectedness of individuals and community through highly stylised figurative work with a Pablo Picasso-esque quality that reinforces both personal and community-orientated identity. He has been influenced by his love of surfing, nature and the emotional and evocative rhythms of Spanish flamenco. Having travelled all over the world, where art and architecture has inspired him, Steven aims to pass on a creative expression and sense of shared humanity through his art.

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Susan Maynard


Susan is a qualified trainer and presenter with a devilish smile, a great sense of humour and a down-to-earth approach that accompanies a passion for all things digital content and development related. Highly regarded for her group workshops, webinars and one-on-one mentoring, her capabilities have bolstered the online reach of dream destinations such as Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands alongside those closer to home. Susan is all about giving practical tips to get great results!

Mandy Schoene-Salter


Mandy is an interdisciplinary artist who explores various mediums including mural art, photography, and community art. With a focus on public art, Mandy has collaborated with Councils across Australia, as well as notable institutions such as Melbourne University and Sydney Olympic Park. Currently based in the Blue MountainS, Mandy's artistic reach extends beyond her local surroundings. She has embarked on street art projects in Germany, Singapore, Italy, Sweden, Thailand and South Africa, under the pseudonym MAN.De, Her work uniquely highlights the often overlooked aspects of the natural world, making a mark both locally and internationally.

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Dr Betty Sargeant


Betty is a globally recognised artist. She has won numerous awards in recognition of her outstanding and ground-breaking international arts practice. Betty uses art and technology to address the leading questions and concerns of our times. She has made commissioned artworks for institutions such as the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taiwan), the Karachi Biennale (Pakistan), the Asia Culture Centre (South Korea), Questacon (Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre), Experimenta (Australian Media Art Triennial) as well as for numerous local councils from around the world. Her work is featured across Asia and Australia as well as in Europe and America.

Lavinia Letheby


If you’ve travelled to Townsville and beyond, chances are you’ve seen one of Art by Lavinia's vibrant murals. Adorning walls in small, remote and beachside towns throughout coastal North Queensland, each mural is exquisite, vibrant and captivating.  As a muralist she endeavours to not only beautify walls, but to tell stories, raise awareness of endangered species and reinvigorate tourism through the creation of these larger than life pieces. Inspired by the natural beauty of the landscape around her, Lavinia’s choice of colour, imagery, and contemporary design elements celebrate the magic of each unique geographical location. 

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Roz Abercrombie


Ros has 20+ years’ experience in the creative industries working as a CEO, creative consultant, and festival director.

She was Program Director of Moomba Festival for eight years, Creative Director of the City of Melbourne NYE, CEO Shepparton Arts Festival, Visual Arts Director Midsumma Festival, as well as strategic events consulting with many local councils and independent organsations.  Now Executive Director of Regional Arts Australia, facilitating cross-sector, multi arts and intergenerational connections across the arts and creative industries in rural, regional and remote Australia.  Ros’s qualifications include: Executive Education Yale School of Management, Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management, BA Hons Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London and she is a graduate of AICD.

Damien Arena


Damien is a Melbourne-based artist who works across a multitude of mediums and in a range of environments. He has a meticulous approach to design which has been crafted over 11 years working as a professional creative. He has worked alongside many councils, private business and large enterprises, collaborating with stakeholders to combine ideas to deliver striking, relevant and thought-provoking projects. His artistic style is adaptive; taking into consideration the purpose, environment and viewership of the project at hand. He often incorporates photo-realistic subjects amongst hyper-colour abstract backgrounds, playfully exploring the dichotomy between reality and imagination.

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Patrycja Hannagan


Best known as PJ, she has been sharing her artistic passion for well over a decade through art classes, commissions, and personal projects. In 2021, PJ discovered her true calling in mural painting and street art after recognising its therapeutic power and positive impact on mental health. PJ's art aims to reconnect viewers with the natural world through her vivid representations. Currently, she is travelling and working on her ambitious 100 murals project, which has gained nationwide acclaim through major media outlets. This initiative has revitalized remote towns and allowed her to create art for wonderful art-loving clients.

Leanne Abernethy


Leanne spent 30 years working in publishing as a journalist, editor, managing editor and multi-media director for community and regional newspapers before joining the tourism industry in 2021. She now promotes Bowen as the hidden gem at the top of the Whitsundays and she’s passionate about showcasing the town and the Greater Whitsundays region. A strong believer in the slogan “tourism is everybody’s business”, Leanne believes Bowen’s country hospitality is an attraction in itself for mature aged travellers while the town’s murals draw art lovers. As Manager of Bowen Tourism and Business, she heads a not-for-profit with more than 200 members.

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Leo Gester


Leo is an award-winning Artist and Creative Producer delivering public outcomes across the arts spectrum - from sculpture, large scale murals, interactive installations, and community arts, as well as major events including the Archibald Prize. Leo co-founded Artbox in 2015 with artist / technologist Alex Gibson, as a sandpit to trial novel and better ways to create paid work opportunities for artists while addressing socio-economic objectives such as cultural tourism, placemaking, and economic development. As the Executive Producer of Artbox, Leo has overseen and collaborated with artists and technologists on over 100 public art commissions throughout Australia.

Wayne Tindall


Wayne is the renowned film maker, writer, poet, print maker, photographer and multimedia artist who was instrumental in the creation of Heesco Town – the rebirth of the Victorian Gippsland town of Yarram. He is a long-time contributor to art tourism and the creative behind Melbourne’s ‘Artists Lane’, a unique laneway revitalisation and activation that remains a visitor magnet 15 years after its beginning. Wayne grew up in Auckland, went to art school in Christchurch, then launched a few exhibitions (which were banned) before deciding to move to Melbourne in the 1980s. It was not long after that he started his own film production business and continues in the creative fields of film and publishing to this day.

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