The GALTA Board of Directors is elected to represent all Members and is supported by dedicated Representatives from across Australia.
Ph 0419 743 143
Louise was voted in as GALTA President at the 2019 AGM and has been involved as a Board Director since 2012. Her expertise and passion is in destination marketing and tourism strategy, drawing on over 20 years’ experience across State Government and regional tourism in Australia. Louise has held senior marketing positions with Tourism Noosa in Queensland and also at Tourism Victoria, where she led segment marketing for the State in a range of niche areas including gay and lesbian travel. She now runs her own tourism marketing business, Kindred Tourism, working with national and international businesses and destinations to enhance their tourism performance.
Ph 0416 290 291
Rod was the President of GALTA between 2011 – 2016 and was awarded Life Member of GALTA in 2016. Rod was the first Australian to receive an IGGY award (in 1995) for services to gay tourism internationally. He served three years as a board member and Director of Tourism Noosa, was a committee member of the Sydney Gay Business Association and still proudly represents Australia for the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA).
Ph 0406 384 886
Ben Woodward has grown up in the tourism industry, with his parents pioneering one of Tropical North Queensland’s premier attractions, Rainforestation Nature Park Kuranda, in the late 70s. He completed a Degree in Bachelor-Business (Journalism) at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.
Ben lived in the UK where he worked as an LGBT+ Youth Worker, returning to Cairns to work for the family business, The CaPTA Group, which has become the region’s largest privately owned group of attractions and touring companies, consisting of Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, Jungle Tours, Tropic Wings, Wooroonooran Safaris, Rainforestation, Cairns ZOOM & Wildlife Dome, and Australian Butterfly Sanctuary.
Basing himself between London and Cairns for several years whilst managing Western Markets for the group, Ben now has the role of Director of Sales & Marketing.
Ben has participated in Strategic Advisory Panels with Tourism Tropical North Queensland was Chair of the NQ YATEC Committee in 2012 and the National YATEC Chair. In 2013 he was awarded the Len Taylor YATEC Award for Excellence, and was was re-elected to the ATEC National Board in 2017. Ben has also been on the Board of Tourism Port Douglas & Daintree since 2014, serving in the role of Chair in 2018 and 2019 was also President for SKAL International Cairns.
Ben has volunteered with the Cairns Tropical Pride Festival, later becoming President, and DJs at regular events for the LGBT+ community, and is the organiser of gAyTE, a popular industry event at the annual Australian Tourism Exchange.
Acting Company Secretary
Ph 0435 555 868
Sean has developed a successful career in tourism over the past 15 years spanning many facets of the industry encompassing roles in revenue management, food and beverage, front office, reservations, sales and guest services across a range of properties throughout Queensland. He has a Bachelor of Tourism Management from James Cook University, a Certificate III in Hospitality Operations and a Certificate of Hotel Revenue Management from Cornell University.
Sean has completed the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) Young Professionals Mentoring Program, has judged and mentored high school students undertaking QTIC’s Salute to Excellence Program and in 2018 was appointed a Young Tourism Leader by Hon Kate Jones MP of the Queensland Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games Since 2015 Sean has been a volunteer with GALTA as an individual and as a business member representative, and was pleased to accept a formal role with the organisation in 2019 and step in as Secretary in 2020.
Ph 0421 109 775
Dennis officially joined GALTA in 2011 as Director and Company Secretary and also volunteered previously introducing tourism products to GALTA.
Dennis has a long career in the airline & tourism industry spanning over 25 years and is currently with new airline start-up, Bonza. Previous roles include Global Head of Marketing, Partnerships, Distribution with On The Go Tours, Country Manager APAC for Back-Roads Touring, General Manager Australia for Scoot Airlines, 15 years with Virgin Australia in various commercial roles, Ansett Airlines and various hotel positions.
Dennis enjoys all things about travelling and connecting with the community and was welcomed as a Life Member at the 2018 AGM.
Ph 0432 351 533
Gerry is a highly experienced tourism professional, working in hospitality, sales and accommodation management for over 15 years in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
Currently General Manager of two Quest group properties in regional Victoria – Quest Ballarat Station and Quest Wangaratta – Gerry has also managed properties for the group in Rockhampton, Sydney Olympic Park, in Melbourne CBD as well as Hawthorn and Kew.
From his time in accommodation management, Gerry brings an impressive range of skills spanning corporate travel, domestic leisure, inbound and wholesale, revenue management and strong leadership in shaping great teams. With degrees in Hospitality Management and Event Management, Gerry has also been a small business owner – running the iconic Kin Kin General Store and Post Office in the Noosa hinterland.
During this time he was also pivotal to the success of regional events in the area, driving sponsorship and marketing for the Pomona King of the Mountain Festival and chairing the Kin Kin Art, Wellbeing and Bush Tucker Festival.
His capacity for analysis, strategy development and sales, along with strong industry relationships, will support GALTA in further evolving its business strategy.
Gerry has previously served on the Board of GALTA and is excited to return to the team and contribute to the organisation’s continued growth on behalf of members.
Jai Leighton is a proud gay man, who has grown up amongst the entertainment and tourism industries, working from a young age to help others have fantastic experiences!
He loves travelling, food and beverage and his female German Shepherd Kleo.
He has worked in senior Operations, Food & Beverage and Commercial roles, for some of the world’s largest
hospitality/tourism operators, enhancing his strategic leadership expertise, within different geographical markets, for international hotel chains such as Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide and large scale, publicly listed integrated casino and entertainment complexes with the Star Entertainment Group (ASX: TSEG).
In his current role as Director of Operations, Jai was part of the Executive Committee that brought the first JW Marriott branded Hotel (classic luxury brand for the biggest hotel company in the world, Marriott International) into the Australian, New Zealand and Pacific region.
During his time with The Star Gold Coast, he was a key stakeholder and executor of the 2014-2018 $375million capital redevelopment. Jai holds a Master’s in Business Administration and is studying a Bachelor of Laws.
Jai currently volunteers with Out for Australia, as their Chief Business Officer responsible for the Partnership, Commercial and Strategic areas of the not-for-profit organisation. Past volunteer work has included being a Young Tourism Leader with the Queensland Department for Tourism, Innovation and Sport, an Indigenous Employment Champion with the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) and a Council Member for the Restaurant and Catering Association of Australia.
Ph +61 448 866 977
For the past fourteen years Peter has managed Waterfront Dunsborough – thirteen prestige holiday homes located in the south west region of W.A.
Peter has been in the industry since 1984, starting at Merlin Hotels in Malaysia.
Peter has also worked in Perth, Sydney, the Sunshine Coast, Canberra and Auckland, and he knows his way around a hotel, at every level! He has won many awards for his work.
He is a founding committee member of Busselton Pride (WA). He has two degrees.
Sydney and NSW Representative
Ph +61 412 358 249
Adam is the Founding Director of Points of Difference Travel & Events, a boutique tours, events and travel business based in Sydney and operating since 2008.
He is an active member of the Australian LGBT+ community with memberships including Sydney Gay & Lesbian Business Association (SGLBA), Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) and Melbourne’s Gay & Lesbian Organisation of Business & Enterprise (GLOBE).
Adam’s vision is to create legendary, exciting and memorable tour and travel experiences, with a touch of sophistication. He does this by developing, creating and sourcing the best products, suppliers and properties to work with, adding a fabulous gay layer to their standards. His guests experience safe, welcoming and fun environments, for like-minded people, particularly members of the gay community, both locally and internationally.
His favourite events to produce include Gay Ski Week Australia and the Celebration NYE party on Sydney Harbour.
He’s looking forward to connecting with GALTA members in Sydney and beyond as the industry recovers and grows in the new normal.
Whitsundays + FNQ Representative
Ph +61 401 075 693
Nathan has worked in the tourism and hospitality sector for the past 20 years, managing backpacker hostels/bars/nightclubs and also as a travel agent, and brings a wealth of tourism marketing and social media knowledge.
For the past 7 years he has been the Sales Captain for multi-award winning companies Ocean Rafting in the stunning Whitsundays and Ocean Safari in Cape Tribulation in far North Queensland, locally owned and family operated for over 23 years.
He is also on the board of the Airlie Beach Backpacker Assoc (ABBA) and has been working with Whitsundays tourism and hospitality operators since 2008.
He was on the board of Adventure Queensland for a few years and in 2018 was voted Tourism Industry Legend by his peers at the Adventure Tourism Awards – Australia and New Zealand.
Ph 0481 746 287
With a background in arts administration and event management of more than 20 years, Rohan has had the opportunity to work on a diverse range of productions from intimate theatre through to large-scale events.
Key appointments have included General Manager for the former Riverina Theatre Company in Wagga Wagga, Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA) in Lismore, Feast Festival in Adelaide and Jigsaw Theatre Company in Canberra. Additional appointments have included Presenters’ Coordinator for the Victorian Arts Council (now Regional Arts Victoria), Precinct Operations Supervisor for the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Creative Producer for the Adelaide Queer Film Festival (2008) and Interim Company Manager for Red Stitch Actors Theatre (2012).
He has completed the Associate Diploma in Small Companies and Community Theatre through Swinburne University, and has completed the Graduate Diploma of Management (Arts and Cultural Management) through the University of South Australia. He regularly appears on JOY 94.9’s Sunday Arts Program as a guest.