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"Unlocking the Law of Attraction"

Speakers & Presenters

International and speakers from across Australia will converge on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to impart their knowledge at the 2024 Art of Attraction Tourism Summit. 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. This page will be updated as speakers' information is received.

“So much valuable information gained.”

Tiffany Thornton, \ Marketing, Tourism & Economic Development, Narrandera Shire Council NSW

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Deborah McCormick

DIRECTOR, DEBORAH MCCORMICK CONSULTING (DMC)

FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SCAPE PUBLIC ART (NZ)

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

FOUNDER, WORDFORDIA INC

Bill 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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Susan Lee

REGIONAL TOURISM SPECIALIST AND AUTHOR

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.

Cindi Drennan

FOIUNDER, ILLUMINART

Cindi 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

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Robyn Russell

PASTORALIST AND TOURISM OPERATOR

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. 

Dr David Gration

FOUNDER, EVENTS TOURISM ASSOCIATES

David 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 events, and 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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Julie Hauritz

PUBLIC ART CURATOR

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.

Wayne Tindall

FOUNDER, CHOATICA

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.

Margaret Meagher

FOUNDER, ARTS AND HEALTH AUSTRALIA

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.

Speakers: Speakers

Liz Rivers

CO-FOUNDER, ART OF ATTRACTION

Liz has extensive experience in the business tourism sector. She is the founder of Awards Absolute, a pioneering awards and business events management company that was the first of its kind in the world. That resulted from a client asking her to create an awards program. In response, she set off down the path of researching what makes awards successful. That cutting-edge research led to the International Special Events Society (now International Live Events Association) recognising her expertise on the global stage. She has spent more than six months of each year for the past five years travelling Australia for the Grey Nomad Awards and Australian Street Art Awards, experiencing life as a digital nomad. Liz co-founded the Art the Attraction in 2019.

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Damien Arena

PROFESSIONAL CREATIVE

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.

Dr Betty Sargeant

PROFESSIONAL CREATIVE

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.

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Sarah Sculley

PROFESSIONAL CREATIVE

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.

Cindi Drennan

FOIUNDER, ILLUMINART

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

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CP Tour Robyn LOW.jpg

Robyn Russell

PASTORALIST AND TOURISM OPERATOR

Robyn Russell 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. 

Dr David Gration

FOUNDER, EVENTS TOURISM ASSOCIATES

David 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 events, and 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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Julie Hauritz

PUBLIC ART CURATOR

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.

Wayne Tindall

FOUNDER, CHOATICA

Wayne Tindall 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.

Margaret Meagher

FOUNDER, ARTS AND HEALTH AUSTRALIA

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.

Speakers: Speakers

Liz Rivers

CO-FOUNDER, ART OF ATTRACTION

Liz has extensive experience in the business tourism sector. She is the founder of Awards Absolute, a pioneering awards and business events management company that was the first of its kind in the world. That resulted from a client asking her to create an awards program. In response, she set off down the path of researching what makes awards successful. That cutting-edge research led to the International Special Events Society (now International Live Events Association) recognising her expertise on the global stage. She has spent more than six months of each year for the past five years travelling Australia for the Grey Nomad Awards and Australian Street Art Awards, experiencing life as a digital nomad. Liz co-founded the Art the Attraction in 2019.

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More speakers added as information is received

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