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
Cheryl Hammer is a proactive and long-time tourism operator in Greater Shepparton. She has owned her current business, The Churches Accommodation in Orrvale, for 10 years.
Cheryl is also well known throughout the community for her media and marketing work with a range of businesses, including Emerald Bank Leisure Land, the site for the filming of the Australian movie, Spin Out. Cheryl has a background in community engagement, journalism, marketing and event management and is currently the CEO of not-for-profit organisation The Community Fund Goulburn Valley.
Cheryl served on the board of Tourism Greater Shepparton for more than a decade and has been on the board of Goulburn River Valley Tourism since December 2014.
She brings a wealth of industry and community experience and contacts to the Board.
Greater Shepparton Representative Director
Geraldine Christou has been Manager Investment Attraction (now retitled Manager Economic Development) since 2010, following eight years in the Governance department of Council and roles in the private manufacturing sector. Geraldine’s portfolios include tourism, events, business and industry attraction and development, business incubation, grants, international relations and visitor experience.
Geraldine has a Bachelor of Business, an associate certificate of applied management, and Prince2 project management. Geraldine is also involved with Industry and Employment Ministerial Taskforce, La Trobe University Regional Advisory Board, Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry, GV Link and Shepparton Show Me. Geraldine was appointed to the Board in August 2014.
Mitchell Skills Director
With a background in law, data processing and the motor industry, John spent most of his working life at the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, where from 1973 until 1993 he was the Chief Executive.
Following retirement John moved to Seymour in 1998 and commenced his consultancy from home. Here, he started a new career which was to last nearly 15 years with Seymour Coaches and which led to other work in the passenger transport industry.
John is a member of the Rotary Club of Seymour and is currently the President of Seymour Business and Tourism.
Mitchell Representative Director
Kellie is an experienced senior leader, specialising in customer experience, stakeholder engagement and business transformation. She has over 15 of years of leadership experience across a range of sectors including utilities, tertiary and indigenous education and local government.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diplomas in Education and Business and is a fellow of the Fairley Community Leadership Program. She has lived in the Goulburn Valley most of her life and has a passion for supporting and developing sustainable regional and rural communities.
Kellie is currently the Manager of Active Communities at Mitchell Shire Council overseeing a range of portfolios including leisure services, recreation and open spaces, customer and library services, economic development, arts, culture and tourism.
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
Cr Jackie Ashe
Cr Jackie Ashe moved to the Shire in 2002 and has been actively involved in the community ever since. Her background is hospitality and tourism and she has volunteered on a number of community associations and event committees. These include Murrindindi Food and Wine Inc, World’s Longest Lunch in Marysville, Cittaslow Yea, Grow Food Network and the Community Garden Project.
Cr Ashe and her husband live on a farm where they operate a farm store and restaurant. She also works with local education and training institutes including The Outdoor Education Group (2010-2014), Holmesglen and CEACA. Cr Ashe has a Diploma in Hospitality Management, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and an Advanced Permaculture Design Certificate.
Cr Ashe was elected to Murrindindi Council in November 2016.
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.