TEQ was established as a statutory body under the Tourism and Events Queensland Act 2012 and is subject to the Financial Accountability Act 2009 and the Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982.
Chief Executive Officer, Tourism and Events Queensland
Leanne leads the state’s tourism marketing, experience development and major events agency to achieve its vision of ‘inspiring the world to experience the best address on earth’.
Leanne’s broad industry experience includes senior executive roles with the Hyatt Hotel Group in both Canberra and Melbourne, before her return home to Queensland in 1996 to take up the role of Human Resources Manager at Tourism Queensland.
The role sparked a love affair with the Queensland tourism industry which has spanned Leanne’s career to the current day, holding roles as Executive Director Strategic Services, Executive Director Human Resources and most recently prior to being appointed CEO, overseeing TEQ’s partnerships with Queensland’s regional tourism organisations and industry as Group Executive Destinations.
Leanne is an Adjunct Professor, UQ Business School, The University of Queensland; a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management; and a graduate with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).
About Our Board
TEQ's Board represents the organisation within the Queensland tourism industry.
TEQ's Board come from a range of backgrounds, which equips them to provide expert guidance to TEQ and the tourism industry.
James currently holds the position of General Manager – AAT Kings Day Tours and Short Breaks and serves as President of the Far North Queensland Tour Operators Association, is a Committee Member of Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC)’s Transformation Consultative Committee.
Nancy is Founder and Director of Black Drum Productions, an Indigenous-owned and operated consultancy that has been operating in Queensland since 2000, focusing on celebrating the diversity of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures through the presentation of traditional and contemporary art forms.
She has been instrumental in the arts industry development in Queensland and is committed to promoting and empowering Indigenous artists, enabling them to access opportunities that will lead to their financial stability. Nancy has programmed Indigenous content for major events such as the G20 Summit, the British and Irish Lions Rugby Tour, the Australian Performing Arts Market, Clancestry Festival at QPAC and Brisbane City Council’s Gathering in the Queen Street Mall and Black History Month.
Nancy was previously Manager of Queensland Aboriginal Creations for over a decade, gaining unique insights and developing lasting networks with Indigenous people throughout Queensland. In recognition of her support for Indigenous Arts, Nancy received an International Women’s’ Day Award in 2011 and was nominated for Australian of the Year 2013.
Nancy has links with Thabu/Samu Clan from Saibai Island in the Torres Strait Islands and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Indigenous Community Management and Development from the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University Perth, Western Australia.
Karen Hanna Miller’s 22-year broadcast media career has seen her become a leader in television and commercial production. She has been the driving force behind some of Queensland’s favourite television shows including the Great South East, Queensland Weekender, Creek to Coast, Broncos Insider, Maroon Zone, Brisbane’s annual LIVE spectacular, Riverfire as well as countless specials and documentaries for free-to-air Networks, cable and digital.
After 11 years with the Seven Network she established her own video production company, TPD Media, which went on to become one of the most successful video content providers in Queensland. In addition to the company’s broadcast credits, they managed many event productions such as the Australia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), The Lord Mayors Business Awards, Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week and the Queensland and Australian Tourism Awards, as well as one-off events like the Advance Queensland Innovation and Investment Summit, Queensland’s successful Commonwealth Games bid and the Global Café in conjunction with the G20 Summit.
Karen now sits at the helm of Edge Studio as Executive Producer which is part of the Cutting Edge Group and is charged with the task of delivering affordable high quality content and internal communications production for companies, high quality corporate video solutions, short-shelf-life video, event videos and online marketing content.
Karen previously Chaired the Board of Outback Queensland Tourism Association (OQTA) and sat on the Board of St Joseph's Nudgee College. She has served as a judge for both Queensland and Australian Tourism Awards and was a finalist in the 2015 Queensland Telstra Business Woman of the Year.
Dr Sarah Kelly
Sarah is an Associate Professor in Law and Marketing and the Marketing Discipline Leader in the UQ Business School. She recently completed four years in the role of MBA Director at the UQ Business School, in which she led the program to a ranking of Number 1 in Australia and 10th globally.
Sarah is also leading a global sports innovation accelerator at UQ, and has been a judge and mentor for two of these accelerators, including pitching finals during the NBA Allstars event in LA and the Commonwealth Games. She has interdisciplinary expertise in marketing, psychology and law and is globally known for her research and consulting in the sports field.
Sarah holds a PhD, MBA and Bachelors of Law and Commerce and has practiced previously as a commercial lawyer and manager. She has extensive international experience in education and sport. She holds several non-executive directorships, including as Deputy Chair of the Brisbane Lions AFL Football Club, Events Management Queensland, The Gregory Terrace Foundation and the Wandering Warriors. She is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors National Education Advisory Board, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra Marketing Advisory Board and the State Minister’s Sport Advisory Council.
Brenda LaPorte is currently Vice President and a Non-Executive Director on the board of Athletics Australia and Deputy Chair of the Sunshine Coast Events Board.
Brenda has held executive roles for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and also for the Organising Committee of the 2006 Commonwealth Games. She has been a Senior Advisor to the Australian International Sporting Events Secretariat.Brenda has extensive experience in the business of sport and major events, providing strategic, project and change management services within the Sports, Event and Entertainment sector including the creation of Cricket Australia's Big Bash League and consulting to the International Olympic Committee.
Formerly a Partner in global consulting firm Accenture, Brenda holds a Bachelor of Business, a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters of Business – Sport Management.
Chris Mills is CEO of Queensland Airports Limited (QAL), which owns and operates airports in Gold Coast, Townsville, Mount Isa and Longreach. Chris oversees investment in the airports with a focus on growing international and domestic passenger numbers into, and throughout, Queensland. QAL is a sponsor and supporter of many community and industry events throughout the state, including the annual Queensland Tourism awards.
Chris has almost 30 years’ experience in diverse industries including tourism, leisure, retail, finance and property planning and development. His passion for tourism is evident in his current role in the aviation industry, and has been central to previous executive roles in businesses such as Dreamworld theme park, d’Albora marinas and South Bank.
Chris is currently a Board Member of Tourism and Transport Forum Australia, and the Australian Airports Association. His previous board roles included the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and state government authorities.
Johnathan Thurston AM
Johnathan Thurston AM is a former Australian professional rugby league footballer and captain of the North Queensland Cowboys in the National Rugby League (NRL). He was an Australian international, Queensland State of Origin and Indigenous All Stars representative, and has been awarded the Golden Boot Award (World’s best player) and Dally M Medal (NRL season’s best player) on multiple occasions. He has won multiple NRL premierships, awards and honours including the 2008 Wally Lewis Medal, 2015 Clive Churchill Medallist for Grand Final Man of the Match, and being named as halfback of the Australian Aboriginal team of the century in 2008.
Johnathan is a shareholder of Collings Aviation Holdings which in March 2015 bought out Cairns-based airline Skytrans. In 2017 Johnathan was recognised for using his impressive sport profile to help Indigenous people throughout Queensland reach their full potential and was named Queensland's Australian of the Year and in December that year he was awarded the Australian Human Rights Commission Medal for his work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders communities.
Johnathan has championed Indigenous education through Achieving Results Through Indigenous Education Academy [ARTI] and is also the face of Synapse's campaign to prevent acquired brain injury in the Aboriginal communities and actively supports the Beanies for Brain Cancer initiative. He is also an Ambassador for the Queensland Reconciliation Awards and for the Apunipima Cape York Health Council's anti-ice campaign.
Johnathan was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2019 Honours List as a Member in the General Division (AM) for significant service to rugby league, and as a role model.
Damien Walker is Director General of the Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development.
Previously, Damien was Deputy Director-General (DDG) within the Department of Housing and Public Works, Deputy Director-General in the former Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, and has been Queensland’s Deputy Coordinator General and was a Board member of Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC).
Before leaving Adelaide to live in Queensland, Damien held senior executive roles in the South Australian Government in infrastructure planning and delivery, investment facilitation, contract management and reform implementation. Just prior to his move, Damien led the delivery of major health infrastructure, including the $2 billion New Royal Adelaide Hospital; the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute; and the Glenside Campus Redevelopment.
Damien holds academic qualifications in public policy and planning, and has broad experience, particularly in the economic development and strategic planning arena.