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Be My Guest Speakers.

Passionate Global Locals Sharing their Stories

Making a difference

We knew we needed to engage our participants with inspirational people who have made their mark on their city in some way via their commitment and passion to being remarkable.  Here are just a few of the many speakers who motivated us with their stories as part of the Be My Guest Program.

With Marion Charlton COO Gold Coast Airport
Marion Charlton COO Gold Coast Airport shared her experiences with our tourism professionals of when she worked at Atlanta & Sydney Airport during the 1996 Atlanta & 2000 Sydney Olympics; how her learnings from 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games is helping her to lead the airport team in preparing to host the GC2018 Commonwealth Games. People made Glasgow amazing – can the Gold Coast rise to the challenge? With passionate Global Locals like Marion, we definitely can!
Charlie Robinson
Charli Robinson – celebrity and TV host spoke passionately about the Gold Coast, its changes from a brash energetic city to one that still has bundles of energy, but more sophistication than ever. A perfect place to host GC2018 Commonwealth Games. Visionary Josh Sattler encouraged the creativity, and “out-of-the-box” thinking with TravConsult to develop the Be My Guest Program, a legacy program for our Queensland Tourism industry.
Mayor Tom Tate
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate encouraged our tourism industry to be the best they can to WOW the 70 nations coming for the upcoming GC2018 Commonwealth Games.
John Stainton, Julie McDonald, DJ, Dimity Dornan
Brisbane tourism industry can deliver fantastic guest experience through collaboration and partnerships: key messages from leaders John Stainton co-founder Eat Street North Shore, Julie McDonald OAM Olympian, David James Tangalooma Resort, Dr Dimity Dornan AM Hear and Say
Bede Durbidge
Champion professional surfer Bede Durbidge with Lilly & Trevor. Bede inspired the participants of this Be My Guest workshop with his amazing story of recovery from his near-fatal accident surfing Pipeline. Now one of the owners of the local craft beer brewery Balter Brewing Company Bede is a proud and passionate Gold Coast Global Local. We loved his quiet courage and professionalism all around.
Kane Elgey & Karl Lawton from the Gold Coast Titans
Kane Elgey and Karl Lawton, rising stars of the Gold Coast Titans, were two of the first Be My Guest speakers to inspire our participants. Passion, hard work and pride in the city were key messages. Thanks for taking time to share those insights!
Peter Savoff
General Manager for Emporium Hotel Brisbane, Peter Savoff, joined us in Brisbane as a guest speaker to share his insights on what makes a wow guest experience – ultimately, investing into the training of your teams, ensuring they are valued and feel special is a key to success.
Peta Fielding
Peta Fielding is a local girl with an international story - she is the epitome of a global local who has travelled overseas and returned home to the Gold Coast to spearhead Burleigh Brewing Co. with her husband Brennan, who, legend has it, was born reaching for a beer rather than milk!
Rob Borbidge
Honorary Rob Borbidge AO Chair of the Advisory Committee for the GC2018 Commonweath Games was the instigator of a concept to lift the customer service of host and event cities, not just during the Games but as a legacy for tourism.
Chef Josue Lopez was born in El Salvador & raised in Brisbane. He has worked at the Emporium and now Executive Chef of Qld Art Gallery. His story is beautiful & food even more so!
Paul Donovan
Paul Donovan Executive General Manager Business Development & Marketing for Queensland Airports, also Destination Gold Coast Chairman, amongst other board related work, has been a long-time friend and mentor in the aviation and tourism industry. He joins us, along with Josh Sattler, to provide participants his views on what makes a destination worth visiting and how we as a city can warmly host guests coming for leisure and the Commonwealth Games.
Kate Madison
Kate Madison is the coffee Queen icon, bringing real coffee & delicious pastries to Broadbeach in the 1990's, now hosting guests at the legendary Bumbles Cafe at Budd's Beach. She is funny, passionate and generous in every way.
Stirling Howland
Stirling Howard is the quintessential Gold Coast Global Local having made his mark in the surfing world with cool marketing campaigns for Billabong & now weaving his magic for the Balter Beer Brewery owned by world surfing champions Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Bede Durbidge & Josh Kerr.
Prof. Mark von Itzstein
Professor Mark von Itzstein AO talked with passion about the legacy of the health & science precinct for the City post-Games. Mark is Director of Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics which is the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere and only one of a few in the world. He made us all want to become scientists & save the world from killer diseases! A truly brilliant, gentle and humble human being & we were so lucky he could share his global local story with our tourism industry.
Jeremy Davidson & Chloe Hubbard
Young entrepreneurs Jeremy & Chloe who came up with a brilliant concept, made it work into the reality of The Collective Palm Beach. Their love of food & motto of "Better together" was perfect to inspire our tourism industry to chase their dreams & be the best they could be.
Bern Young
Bern Young from 91.7 ABC Gold Coast came straight after her morning show as one of the first speakers in our series. If you tune into her breakfast show you know Bern is a passionate Gold Coast global local with a strong connection to the history, music and drama that makes the Gold Coast so vibrant and dynamic. Bern talks about our city's "coming of age" as we become more comfortable with our personality and embrace the wonderful aspects of people and place that draws international guests.
Warren Young
Warren Young is the consummate passionate Gold Coast Global Local - we hear him reporting on the surf conditions but he does so much more than that! Wonderful to have him as one of our Gold Coast guest speakers for the program.
Gail O'Neil
Councillor Gail O'Neill has strong connections to community not just through her work but through her previous life working in the tourism industry of the southern Gold Coast. Gail brought a genuine passion and belief that when the 70 nations of the Commonwealth converge on our city for the GC2018 games, they will be wowed, not just by our sensational weather, beaches, hinterland, but by our people!
Ken Wallace
Ken Wallace is a wonderful ambassador as a Kayaking Olympian & Gold Coast advocate. His story of what it takes to win any medal in the Olympics was inspirational to all participants & assured us we could deliver GC2018 with confidence.
Jenny Yuen
Jenny Yuen has shown how determination and hard work, coupled with a vision to transform a fruit & vege shop into a hub of cool restaurants can happen. Jenny shares how important great customer service and guest experience is to success in any business and her "can do" attitude reflects so many entrepreneurs that have shaped the City of the Gold Coast.
Dion Reweti
Dion Reweti from Wicked Wheelchairs. Dion inspired the participants of that day’s workshop with his back story and views on accessible tourism and the opportunities for us to rise to host the GC2018 Commonwealth Games.
Bridget Woods
Bridget Woods from Townsville Enterprise was another inspirational speaker and passionate advocate for her hometown of Townsville.
Hayley Letson
Dr Hayley Letson wowed us with her commitment not just as a researcher at James Cook University specialising in Heart, Trauma and Sepsis Research Laboratory developing a small-volume resuscitation fluid as a frontline defence for haemorrhagic shock, traumatic brain injury, sepsis, and prevention of inflammation, coagulopathy and infection during surgery (!), but also her passionate commitment to Townsville and surrounding region for tourism.