Introducing the Goulburn River Valley Tourism Board
Committed to stamping "The Heart of Victoria" on the Victorian regional tourism map, delivering outcomes for all stakeholders and exhibiting good governance practices.
The Board is comprised of one representative and one skills based director from each of our four member council - Greater Shepparton, Mitchell, Murrindindi and Strathbogie - as well as up to four independent skills directors and an Independent Chair.
Annie is an experienced company director, serving on the boards of government businesses, not-for-profit organisations and private SMEs.
She is currently a Director of Docklands Studios Melbourne and is Chair of Seymour Health.
Her professional career saw her working at the highest level of corporate communications. As Managing Director of one of Australia’s largest public relations companies, owned by Clemenger Advertising, she lead a team of practitioners who provided advice to many of Australia’s leading corporations and public entities.
This in-depth understanding of strategic communications and marketing brings an important perspective to a board in an era where an organisation’s public profile is monitored by instant communications and a 24/7 news cycle.
Annie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from ANU and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Greater Shepparton Skills Director
Amanda is an experienced tourism and event professional, having worked on large scale regional events and marketing campaigns for State Government, Local Government, private enterprise and the non-for-profit sector.
A board member of the Australian Regional Tourism Network and awarded the Australian Young Regional Tourism Achiever (2011) Amanda established Big Rocks Consulting out of a desire to make things happen in regional areas.
Through Big Rocks Consulting Amanda has delivered a variety of events and marketing campaigns from Masterchef Australia, to Gin on the Lawn music festival, Opera in the Orchard, the AFL Footy Festival, Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour and Shepparton Festival.
With a Masters in Marketing and Bachelor of Communications, Amanda is the current Executive Officer of philanthropic trust the Fairley Foundation, General Manager of the Shepparton Festival and co-founder of Lady Boss Events.
Greater Shepparton Representative Director
Anthony commenced his career in tourism via his studies which included a Bachelor of Business Management majoring in marketing and Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management. Since graduating, Anthony has continued to grow his knowledge and expertise in the Tourism sector through his employment, professional development and involvement in tourism committees and associations. He has held positions at Essendon Football Club, Racing Victoria Limited and various roles at the Greater Shepparton City Council in visitor economy portfolios for over a decade.
Anthony has been instrumental in developing the region’s major events calendar and visitor economy program which is currently generating over 1 million visitors and $170 million into the economy annually to position Greater Shepparton as a leading major regional destination.
Anthony’s current role as Manager of Economic Development at Greater Shepparton City Council comprises tourism, major events, event facilities, business and industry attraction and development, business incubation, grants, international relations and visitor experience.
Mitchell Skills Director
Mitchell Representative Director
Cr Rhonda Sanderson is the Mayor of Mitchell Shire and was first elected to Council in 2012.
Born and raised in Seymour and with deep community networks, Rhonda is passionate about regional economic development and tourism. With Mitchell Shire’s population projected to grow from its current level of 45,000 to 230,000 over coming decades, Rhonda strongly advocates to Federal and State representatives for local and regional priorities including tourism. She believes that for our region to flourish, strong partnerships are required between our communities, our businesses and all levels of government.
Rhonda holds a Bachelor of Arts (ANU, 2007), is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (2015), a Member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia (2018) and a Graduate of the GRVT Industry Leadership Program (2011).
Murrindindi Skills Director
Andrew is the owner of Landmark Embling Stock and Station agents and rural merchandise in Alexandra. Born in Alexandra, Andrew spent 18 years working with businesses across the Goulburn Valley before returning to the Murrindindi Shire 20 years ago.
Andrew is active in the Murrindindi Shire as President of the Alexandra Traders and Tourism Association, Board Member of Murrindindi Inc, Board Member of Kellock Lodge and a council member of Rubicon Outdoor Centre. With a passion for regional events Andrew also sits on the Board of Alexandra Events Inc, a committee responsible for the Truck Show, Eildon Big Fish Challenge and many smaller events in the region.
In 2008 Andrew was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for Services to the Community, a community which he is deeply passionate and proud to be a part of.
Murrindindi Representative Director
Stuart McConnell started with Council in January 2017 in the role of General Manager Infrastructure and Development Services. Stuart brings a range of executive experience from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and the Environment Protection Authority. He has a strong commitment to delivery of outcomes for the community, working in partnership, customer service and community engagement.
Stuart leads the Infrastructure and Development Services division in delivering services across a diverse portfolio including planning, economic development, local laws and environmental health, environment, asset management, waste capital works and maintenance.
Strathbogie Skills Director
Born and raised in Shepparton, Bruce, holds degrees in Wine Marketing and Masters of Business Administration. His working life, spanning some 30 years, has centred on Direct to Consumer marketing in the cinema, wine and dating industries in Australia and Canada. Currently he is the Wine Club and Cellar Door Operation Manager at Tahbilk Pty Ltd, Nagambie and a committee member of Nagambie Lakes Tourism and Commerce Inc.
Heading up the tourism activities at Tahbilk, Bruce’s belief is that collectively a region can be much more effective in attracting visitors than a single business and hence his interest in being on regional tourism boards.
Strathbogie Representative Director
Cr Amanda McClaren is the Mayor of Strathbogie Shire and was first elected to Council in 2016.
Passionate about the region, and in particular local food production, Amanda and her husband, Ian, and their two sons, run their farm in Graytown based on regenerative farming systems. Their quality pasture-raised chickens are distributed via various farmers markets, butchers and fine dining restaurants around Regional Victoria and Melbourne.
Amanda has a strong background in communications, marketing, community engagement and leadership.
Amanda has a Bachelor of Applied Science, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Fairley Leadership Program (2011)
Independent Skills Director
Janelle Toomey has worked in both agency and client roles during her career as an accomplished business, brand and product developer.
As Business Director at Best. Design to Life a Melbourne based company who operate in the built brand, design and brand space - creating new integrated brand solutions for brands and immersive experiences for consumers in retail and hospitality.
Janelle is also the co-owner and operator of renowned Bank Street Pizza in Avenel, which she started with her husband five years ago and has become one of Victoria's loved regional food destinations.
Independent Skills Director
Alan is a senior executive, with a technology background, currently in the role of GM Corporate Services for Goulburn-Murray Water. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Tech2Kids, a charity committed to getting technology into the hands of disadvantaged children.
With most of his career spent in tourism and hospitality, Alan has worked in Australia and internationally, and been part of the senior executive for a variety of organisations from small local businesses through to global enterprises. His tourism experience includes bars, hotels, treetop walks, ski resorts, aquariums, island resorts and theme parks.
With his background, Alan appreciates the importance of using technology to attract and retain visitors, and to complement and enhance the visitor experience.
Alan lives in Kialla with his wife Kirsten, and two young children, Hannah and Hamish.
Behind the Board there's a passionate team carrying out the work that goes on at Goulburn River Valley Tourism.