Image Alt Text

Our Board


Chairman, Tom Manwaring

Chief Executive Officer, Express Travel Group

Tom was educated at John Curtain High Fremantle WA, joining Qantas as a Commercial Trainee Program, in the summer of 69!

A year on he joined Cathay Pacific (CX), when they commenced Airservices in WA, in 1970. For the next 30 years, Tom built a career with CX in Australia, principally based in Sydney, successfully being promoted across roles in Operations, Sales, Marketing and National Management. During this time, successfully oversaw all CX routes during the handover of Hong Kong and the Japanese financial crisis.

Tom and his wife Julie, plus two sons, returned to Australia in 2000, where he invested in Orient Express Travel, eventually taking ownership of the business in 2003. Orient Express Travel rebranded to Express Travel Group which now includes Independent Travel Group, italktravel and cruise franchise, Select Travel Group and Alatus Corporate brands. ETG has continued to grow with the acquisitions of Creative Cruising in 2017 and First Travel Group NZ, in 2019.

Tom is currently the CEO/Director of Express Travel Group; Managing Director of Creative Cruising; Chair of First Travel Group NZ; and the Chair of ATIA.


Vice Chairman, Christian Hunter

Chief Executive Officer, Travellers Choice

Christian Hunter is a travel industry executive with more than 30 years of experience in both Australia and the United Kingdom. Starting as a frontline travel consultant, his career has encompassed a variety of roles within travel agency businesses across sales, finance and management functions. He is currently Managing Director of Travellers Choice, an Australian network of 140 independent travel agents. A role he has held the role for the last 8 years.

Christian is an experienced Director, serving on a variety of Boards over the last 10 years. He is a current Director of ATIA, one of its Vice Chairmen, and a member of its Audit & Risk Committee. Christian has also been a Director and Chairman of the Worldwide Independent Travel Network (WIN), which is a global group of independent travel consortia.

Christian holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Curtin University in Western Australia and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Vice Chairman, Graham Turner

Managing Director, Flight Centre Limited.       

Graham “Skroo” Turner was raised on an apple orchard near the Queensland town of Stanthorpe and later trained as a veterinarian at the University of Queensland.

After graduating from university, he worked as a vet in western Victoria before moving to London in the early 1970s. In London, Skroo and friend Geoff “Spy” Lomas, both of whom were working as vets, took their first steps into the travel industry in 1973 when they invested the equivalent of $AU1300 in an ageing bus and started operating budget double-decker bus trips around Europe, North Africa and Asia

After an eventful start, that company, Top Deck Travel, grew quickly and its success cemented Skroo's future in the travel industry. Top Deck Travel had grown into a thriving business with some 80 buses by the early 1980s when Skroo returned to Australia and launched the Flight Centre leisure travel business.

His initial involvement with Top Deck ended in the mid-1980s when he and his colleagues sold the business to management and devoted their full attention to Flight Centre, which had less than 30 shops at that time.

As the long-serving chief executive officer and managing director of the public company that grew from the small band of Flight Centre shops, Skroo has since presided over a golden era of growth and prosperity for the Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT)

Skroo and his wife, Judith, have a strong commitment to conservation and the environment, both personally and through the Turner Family Foundation, which oversees the flagship research facility The Hidden Vale Wildlife Centre


Director, Shelley Beasley 

Group Chief, Commercial Officer Webjet.

With over 30 years in the travel and travel technology fields, Shelley Beasley has dedicated her professional life to the industry. She has held significant local, regional, and global roles in companies such as United Airlines, Travelport and most recently, Webjet Limited.

Throughout her career, she has led teams across sales, account management, marketing, operations, and technology – with a focus on how the creation and implementation of technology can improve the travel experience. She seeks to use her in-depth knowledge of the travel value chain and the evolving technologies and policies that are impacting the future of travel to help address the issues relating to all travel agencies in Australia.

She currently holds the positions of Global Chief Operating Office for Webjet Limited, and the CEO of Webjet’s B2C division. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Director, Laura Ruffles

Global COO, Corporate Travel Management. 

Laura Ruffles has significant local, regional and global industry experience.

In a career of nearly 20 years, she has led teams across strategy, operations, product development, relationship management, sales, business planning and technology.

Laura’s responsibilities at Corporate Travel Management (CTM) include team leadership and establishing, managing and optimising sales performance. Service delivery, client satisfaction, employee retention and profitability to achieve the company’s business goals globally. Her strengths include managing leadership performance, strategy and business planning, sales and client management, process engineering and optimisation.

In December 2015, Laura was appointed to the CTM Board as an Executive Director.

Laura advocates for women in business and leadership roles fostering a culture of equal career opportunities. Laura is passionate about the travel industry and is an active member of the Global Travel Executive Committee (GTEC) working closely with IATA on global interests


Director, Spiros Alysandratos

CEO, Consolidated Travel.

Spiros is the founder of the Consolidated Travel Group and is actively involved as the Chief Executive Officer. He commenced operations in Melbourne in 1967 and has developed the company into one of the largest organisations in the travel industry today. Spiros knows the company and its business intimately and is highly respected within the industry for his vision and commitment.

He was presented with the ATIA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 in recognition of his service to the industry.


Director, David Smith

General Manager Mergers and Acquisitions, Flight Centre Travel Group Limited

David Smith is a long-standing and senior member of Flight Centre Travel Group’s (FLT’s) senior leadership team. 

Based in the company’s global head office in Brisbane, David fulfils a variety of important functions for FLT. He is FLT’s company secretary, in addition to overseeing mergers and acquisition activity and maintaining an active involvement in the company’s strategic planning and government relations activities. 

David is also an active and respected industry advocate, as evidenced by his long-standing involvement with AFTA. 

David was appointed FLT’s company secretary in February 2008 after initially joining the company as general counsel in 2002. 

Prior to joining FLT, he held positions with Wilson HTM, Blake Dawson (now Ashurst) and Clayton Utz 
David has tertiary qualifications in commerce and law.  



Director, Danielle Russom

Vice President SM&E APAC, Amex GBT

Since having commenced her career at American Express in 2004, she has held a variety of roles within American Express including within Merchant Services, Corporate Card, and now Global Business Travel. Danielle currently leads the small, medium and enterprise team of account managers across the APAC region. This team are responsible for managing the end to end travel program of a diverse range of customers across varying industries. She is also responsible for the team who engage in new business sales in Australia.

Danielle has extensive sales, client management, and leadership experience spanning many industry sectors including Pharmaceutical, Health Sciences, Travel, and Financial Services. Danielle has over 20 years experience in people leadership and in leading successful client management teams.

Danielle holds a Diploma of Executive Coaching, a BSc (hons) and PhD in Biochemistry (University of Newcastle) and an MBA (Macquarie Graduate School of Management). She is passionate about focusing on team member training, coaching and development, and working alongside her team to assist them in achieving their client’s objectives


Director, Roy Merricks

Managing Director, MTA Travel.

Roy Merricks is a founder and Co-Managing Director of MTA – Mobile Travel Agents P/L (MTA) and with his wife Karen, pioneered the mobile or home-based agency model within Australia on a national scale over twenty-two years ago … MTA commenced in February 2000 following an extensive two-year research and planning period.  In addition to his role as a director of the company and general management, Roy provides finance, legal and administrative expertise to the business, and is involved in representing the mobile or home-based model within the industry.

Roy oversaw the transition of the business from a license to a modern franchise structure in 2014/15, and a partial sale to Helloworld Travel Services (Australia) P/L in 2016.

Prior to MTA, Roy had been self-employed since the age of seventeen, initially in architectural drafting and moving on later to high-end residential construction in NSW and QLD.  His wife Karen had been in the travel industry since 1991, and for Roy to join her in establishing MTA it was a major career change … but not once regretted. 

Roy has been married for 45 years and has two adult children Ben and Sara, who have both worked within the business from its establishment. 

Roy is a long-term member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).  


Director, Cinzia Burnes

Executive Director, Helloworld Travel

Ms Burnes brings extensive sector and management experience to the Board.

In 1982 she founded, and became Managing Director of the Australian Travel Bureau (ATB) prior to becoming a shareholder and Director of Caleidoscopio SRL, growing the business to become the 2nd largest wholesaler in Italy in 1989. She was also appointed Head of Travel, Italy Australia Association in 1983, just one year after joining the organisation.

From 1991 to 1998, Ms Burnes was General Manager of The Australian Outback Travel Company (AOT), founded by husband Andrew in 1987. She played a pivotal role over 26 years in growing AOT from a small regional safari operator into one of Australasia’s leading travel distribution businesses with 500 staff in 15 locations worldwide with annual revenues in excess of $350 million. The AOT Group was privately owned by Andrew and Cinzia Burnes until its merger with Helloworld Travel Limited in February 2016.

Ms Burnes served on the Board of Tourism Victoria as a Director from 2013 to 2015. She has also served as a Board Member of Health Services Australia (H.S.A) from 2006 to 2008 and as a Director of the Australian Tourist Commission (ATC) from 2000 to 2004.

Ms Burnes holds qualifications in Tourism and Commerce from the Metastasio Institute of Commerce (Rome) in 1982 and is a graduate of the Mt. Eliza Executive Education Business School. Advanced Management Program (May 2011) and Senior Executive Program Modules 1 & 2 (November 2014).


Director, David Hosking

CEO, The Travel Corporation (Australia)

David Hosking is a lifetime travel industry leader, serving as both a director and c-level executive in one of the largest private global Tourism businesses. The Travel Corporation (TTC) operates over 40 award-winning travel and hospitality brands that span across 70 countries. Family-owned and run since 1920, TTC is the world leader in immersive travel

David’s passion for travel began as a trip leader for Contiki in 1976, quickly progressing in his career to oversee Contiki’s dynamic expansion, setting up operations and offices in Europe, New Zealand, Australia and America. David became Contiki CEO in 1990 and remains a director of the company. 

In 1996 David established the TTC Geneva office with expanded TTC group responsibilities that included global insurance. He became a director of the Travel Corporation in 2001. A strong belief in sustainability and travel for good, inspired David (together with TTC Global CEO Brett Tollman) to create the Swiss based TreadRight Foundation in 2008. TreadRight has since evolved to become central to TTC’s business ethos. Its five-year sustainability strategy – How We Tread Right – selected 11 of the 17 UN sustainability and development goals (SDG’s) to guide the way TTC operates, and the People, Planet and Wildlife projects supported. 

Since 2012, David has been a director of TTC Australia and in early 2021 stepped into the CEO role.


Director, Peter Muller

Director, CT Partners

Peter Muller is an International Board Director for the ATPI Group, based in Australia, responsible for Australia, New Zealand and Africa. His remit includes third-party negotiations and contracting across the group, and the strategic direction for sales and operations in the highly specialised mining and resources sector.

Relocating to Australia from the UK in 2017, Peter directed ATPI’s expansion into the southern hemisphere with the acquisitions of Voyager Travel, Plan B Travel, and The Travel Authority in Australia, and Business World Travel in New Zealand, streamlining the businesses through the adoption of the Group’s technology platform, and establishing the ATPI brand in Australasia.  As a senior leader with the ATPI group of over 20 years and dealing at the highest levels of the corporate travel management sector, Peter provides a wealth of experience and insight in an ever-changing and challenging corporate travel landscape.



CEO, Dean Long

Dean has been at the head of two of the country’s most important peak industry bodies during COVID, successfully leading two of the hardest hit sectors through the devastating and complex challenges.

As CEO of the Accommodation Association of Australia from June 2019 to October 2021 and in his current role as CEO of the Australian Travel Industry Association, Dean’s leadership, strategic acumen and extensive policy and political experience have come to the fore.

In these roles, Dean’s inclusive and innovative leadership has underpinned his ability to navigate complex, issues-rich regulatory environments, and engage varied stakeholder groups to progress difficult reforms. This has included successfully leading reform programs including the deregulation of Australia’s travel sector, legislative reform of the working holiday maker visas, the establishment of the Destination NSW Act and the third round of the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program.

Dean also brings over 15 years as a government relations and corporate affairs professional with experience operating across government, enterprise and the not-for-profit sector. Dean has leveraged his deep expertise in assisting businesses to understand, navigate and influence governments to deliver tangible commercial outcomes. Dean has also held positions at American Express, the NSW Government and the University of Western Sydney where his collaborative mindset improved each organisation and their understanding of key strategic interactions with community and Government.

Dean holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, Environmental Management and Tourism from Western Sydney University and a Masters of Management from the University of Technology Sydney.