Meet the team - Choose Brisbane

Meet the team

You know the goals of your business or major event. Brisbane Economic Development Agency's Tourism, Business and Major Events team knows Brisbane, and how to help you get there. 

Lorelle

Lorelle Chittick, General Manager - Tourism, Business and Major Events

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Lorelle Chittick is the General Manager of Tourism, Business and Major Events with Brisbane’s economic development board, Brisbane EDA. In this role, Lorelle leads a team generating long-term economic growth for Brisbane through the attraction and support of meetings, conferences and incentives; major events including sporting blockbusters, cultural performances and exhibitions, and increasing visitors and visitor spend in Brisbane. Lorelle has a strong conventions, tourism and events background, having worked across a diverse range of organisations in the UK, Canada and Australia. Working with Brisbane EDA since 2005, Lorelle has been instrumental in raising Brisbane’s profile as a world-class destination to visit, meet and do business. 


Business Development and Bidding  

Holly Aldridge, Head of Business Events

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As Head of Business Events, Holly Aldridge leads the business development team who are focused on identifying and securing high value national and international conference and incentive business events.  Working with clients, industry and members, Holly provides expertise in business development, managing bidding strategies, lobbying decision makers and strategic event leveraging. Holly joined the Business Events team in 2012, following previous roles at Queensland Tourism Industry Council and VisitBritain. Holly has a Bachelor of Business Management (Tourism Management) from The University of Queensland.  

Stephanie Heyneke, Senior Advisor - Business Development

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Stephanie joined the team in 2017, working in business development across national and international business events. Stephanie’s focus sectors include Agriculture, Food and Beverage, Mining and Resources, Air and Sea Transport, and Business, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. Stephanie’s background is in communications and events in the political and non-profit space. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and English Literature, and a Graduate Certificate in Marketing. 

Gary Pearce, Business Development Manager

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Gary Pearce joined the Business and Major Events team in 2015, bringing 15 years’ experience in hotel sales, having worked at Australian and international hotels and resorts. As Business Development Manager, Gary ensures Brisbane is front of mind for clients considering locations for conferences and events. 

Belinda Nuske, Business Development Manager

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Belinda joined the team in 2021 after a career of 20+ years in business development and sales within the tourism and hospitality industries. Her focus industries for BEDA include Healthcare, Technology and the Arts. Belinda holds an MBA and is currently studying Law at Queensland University of Technology.

Jessica O'Gorman, Business Development Manager

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Jessica joined the Tourism, Business and Major Events team in 2017 and has been in the business events industry for over 18 years. Jess brings a broad range of experience having worked in event operations, live sport, destination management, research and business development. Jess predominately collaborates with clients in the Allied and Mental Health, Science and Business Management industries to host events in Brisbane.

Hannah Xue, Business Development Manager (ASEAN)

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Hannah Xue joined the Business and Major Event team in march 2022, bringing 10 years’ experience in international tradeshow management. As Business Development Manager (ASEAN), Hannah works to make sure that Brisbane is on top of mind when ASEAN-based clients choosing their destination for corporate events. Before embarked on BEDA, Hannah had five years’ experience in finance industry.

Ree-Ann Thomsen, Business Development Coordinator

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New to Brisbane Queensland, Ree-Ann joined the Business Events team in September 2021 in the role of Business Development Coordinator. Ree-Ann provides administration support and assists the business events team to develop qualified conference and incentive leads through industry sector research.

Julia Vernon, Head of Major Event Acquisition 

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An experienced business development, event operations and stakeholder engagement professional, Julia Vernon joined the Business and Major Events team in 2019. Julia's role as Head of Major Events Acquisition focuses on research, development and procurement of city-defining events that drive sustainable economic growth, showcase Brisbane nationally and internationally, and deliver lasting social benefits for Brisbane’s residents. Julia works closely with government and city stakeholders to position Brisbane as a leading event destination with a world-class calendar of major events.

 

Events Services

Matt Bialkowski, Acting Senior Manager - Event Partnerships

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Matt Bialkowski joined the Business and Major Events team as Senior Manager, Event Partnerships in 2022, overseeing the Event Partnerships team whilst Alyce Renderos is on maternity leave. In this role, Matt manages the marketing, leveraging and activation of confirmed business and major events to maximise attendance, length of stay and expenditure in Brisbane. Matt brings extensive leadership, event and stakeholder management expertise to the team with a background across private and public sector organisations and national governing bodies including the AFL, Commonwealth Games, G20, Federal and State Government as well as Olympic Sports.

Teagan Thompson, Senior Advisor - Event Partnerships

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Teagan Thompson joined the Business and Major Events team as Senior Advisor, Event Partnerships at the end of 2021. In this role, Teagan works closely with event partners on marketing, leveraging and activation of confirmed business and major events to maximise attendance, length of stay and expenditure in Brisbane. Teagan brings a diverse range of experiences to the team, having worked across the public sector, tourism, events and arts industries.

Tenneal Bourke, Senior Advisor - Event Partnerships 

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Tenneal Bourke joined the Business and Major Events team as Senior Advisor, Event Partnerships at the end of 2021. Tenneal works closely with event partners on marketing, leveraging and activation of confirmed business and major events to maximise attendance, length of stay and expenditure in Brisbane. Tenneal brings experience from previously working for a national non-for-profit organisation, in the events management and property industries.  

Lucinda Hunter, Event Services Coordinator

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Lucinda Hunter joined the Business and Major Events team as Event Services Coordinator in 2020. In this role, Lucinda is responsible for confirmed business and major events administration including records management, marketing, city activation and leveraging. Lucinda’s previous experience at QUT bluebox involved end-to-end event management of entrepreneur accelerator programs and innovation events for Brisbane’s founder community.   


Tourism & Partnerships

Tas Webber, Head of Tourism & Partnerships 

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Tas Webber joined the Tourism, Business and Major Events team as Head of Tourism & Partnerships in 2022. Leading the Tourism & Partnerships Team, Tas oversees the organisations membership program, trade distribution, experience development and visitor services to increase length of stay and expenditure in Brisbane. Tas brings an extensive leadership background within the tourism industry as previous CEO of Mackay Isaac Tourism, and as Tourism and Events Manager for Fraser Coast Tourism and Events.

Kylie Smith, Trade & Distribution Manager

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Kylie joined the team in February 2022 as Trade & Distribution Manager, focusing on maintaining and growing BEDA’s relationships with Brisbane operators and Key Distribution partners both domestic and international. Kylie has a strong background in the tourism trade space with over 20 years’ experience, during which time she has worked for Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) in both Australia and the US, in addition to having worked for two external agencies in the US where she was the Marketing Manager for TEQ and lead on the Tourism Western Australia account. Kylie’s past roles have seen her managing existing trade distribution channels and also working in market development roles, to develop new channels and partners. Most recently Kylie has been back with TEQ, as a lead on the recent Great Queensland Getaway campaign.  

Cathie Johnston, Experience Development & Partnerships Manager

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Cathie Johnston joined BEDA in 2011 and performs a lead role in destination and experience development, delivering major tourism industry initiatives and overseeing collaborative annual tourism planning agreements with all local government area industry partners across the Brisbane Region RTO. Current key initiatives within her remit aligned to the industry development pathway and directly supporting tourism business needs include the Best of Brisbane Region Experiences Support Program, Brisbane Region Transformational Experiences Program, First Nations Tourism Relationship Building Program and the Accessible Tourism Strategy. Overall, her position addresses opportunities and gaps in the Brisbane Destination experience supply chain across the city and surrounding region that in turn serve to drive significant visitor demand. Cathie’s prior career experience includes positions in local government tourism management and visitor interfacing roles across the tourism and events industry spectrum. Her formal qualifications include a Master in International Tourism & Hotel Management.

Courtenay Brown, Senior Advisor - Tourism Partnerships

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Courtenay Brown joined BEDA in 2017, bringing experience in marketing and event management. As Senior Advisor, Tourism Partnerships, Courtenay is responsible for maintaining local, state and national partnerships within the tourism industry. Key to this role is the delivery of BEDA’s Regional Tourism Organisation remit including daily management of the organisation’s relationship with its six Local Government Area Partners in addition to nurturing relationships with key industry stakeholders and organisations. Courtenay is also responsible for the development of industry partnership events and capacity programs that will enable Brisbane’s visitor economy industry to better service the needs of visitors both international and domestic markets.

Morgan Howie, Membership & Events Services Advisor

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Morgan joined the team in January 2022 as Membership and Event Services Advisor. Her role focuses on providing support to members, ensuring they’re accessing the benefits of their memberships and have access to updated resources. Additionally, Morgan provides project management and operational logistics to the team for their participation in national and international tradeshows and events, as well as coordinating client experience programs, familiarisations, and site inspections. Morgan has a diverse background in the events industry with strong experience in end-to end event management and event operations.

 

Jess Hart, Membership & Events Services Advisor

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Jess Hart joined the Tourism, Business and Major Events team in 2022 as Membership and Event Services Advisor. Jess provides vital support to member services, ensuring members are optimising their membership benefits,  providing direct leads through RFIs and RFPs, ensuring up-to-date resources are available and connecting members through networking opportunities. Jess also delivers the operational logistics and project management of the team’s participation in national and international tradeshows, events, conferences and client experience programs, including site inspections and familiarisations. Jess brings strong event management experience in hotels and the public sector.


Marketing   

Bec Evans, Marketing Manager

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Bec Evans joined the Tourism, Business and Major Events team in 2019. Bec leads the marketing strategy to drive demand for Brisbane as a sought-after destination to visit, meet and do business. Having led domestic and international destination marketing campaigns across the broader visitor economy, Bec brings a diverse range of experience from brand marketing and strategic partnerships through to digital and content marketing.

Shannon Boyde, Marketing Executive

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Shannon joined the Tourism, Business & Major Events team as a Marketing Executive in 2022. Shannon implements the marketing strategy to drive demand for Brisbane through marketing activities, collateral, promotions and deliverables across the website, social, email and digital marketing platforms to support the broader business needs. Shannon brings extensive communication, marketing, public relations and event management expertise to the team.