Travel Agents

Women In Travel Awards – Winners Revealed!

Travel Weekly

The inaugural Women In Travel Awards were held last night at a gala ceremony at the Ovolo Woolloomooloo.

The significance of the first ever Women in Travel Awards was clear, with a sold-out attendance of over 300 of the Australia’s travel industry’s elite.

Setting the tone for the occasion was Former NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally who gave a rousing keynote about women in politics and the workforce, and how more needs to be done to empower females to rise to the top.

MC’d by Travel Weekly Editor, Tara Harrison, the ceremony continued with the hotly contested top 15 Powerlist – check who made the cut here.

Keen on seeing who attended, who wore what, or you’re just wanting a sticky beak? Check out the gallery of photo’s from the night here.

Champagne corks will be popping in the offices of these successful ladies today, and rightfully so for their hard work, dedication and contribution to the industry.

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So, without further ado, here are the winners along with the finalists in each category.

Aviation

Finalists:

Anca Sbenghe – Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines

Felicity Brown – Chinta Air Tours

Nicole McMahon – Virgin Australia

Roheena Gidwani – Malindo Air

Winner: Gai Tyrell, Hawaiian Airlines

 

Corporate

Finalists:

Leanne Ralston – Spencer Travel

Melissa Gillman – Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Rebecca Crosbie – Global Travel Management

Winner: Cherie Drummond, Corporate Travel Management

 

Employer of the Year

Finalists:

Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Excite Holidays

Flight Centre Travel Group

Globenet Travel

GTI Tourism

InterContinental Hotels Group

Klick Communications

The Travel Corporation

The Africa Safari Co.

Winner: American Express Global Business Travel

 

Entrepreneur of the Year

Finalists:

Bella Tipping – Kidzcationz

Emily Warbrick- Snowscene

Gayle Dawson – TravelManagers

Lisa Pagotto – Crooked Compass

Nadine Jones – Jones & Co Collection

Rachel James – Bestjet

Reena Tory – Mantra Wild Adventures

Sarah Anderson – GTI Tourism

Winner: Renee Welsh, Booking Boss

 

Hotel

Finalists:

Amelia Karcher – Ibis Adelaide

Amery Burleigh – Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach

Nicole Cheramie – InterContinental Hotels Group

Winner: Megan Pechey, Mantra Group

 

Male Champion of Change

Finalists:

Craig Owens – Cruise Office

Gaston Guernik – Excite Holidays

Warren Payne – Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Winner: John Veitch, The Travel Corporation

 

Drive & Rail

Winner: Ingrid Kocijen, Rail Plus

 

Marketer of the Year

Finalists:

Justine Lally – APT Travel Group

Lee Siefken – InterContinental Hotels Group

Lisa Ronson – Tourism Australia

Lucy Piper – Intrepid Group

Meagan Maynard – Excite Holidays

Winner: Karen Cooke, Flight Centre Travel Group

 

Mentor of the Year

Finalists:

Debra Fox – APT Travel Group

Dyan McKie – Intrepid Group

Jo Sully – American Express Global Business Travel

Joleen R Hurst – Accor Hotels

Kim McKay – Klick Communications

Meg Salter – Auridian Training & Consulting

Sue Badyari – World Expeditions

Tracey Bremner – Globenet Travel

Winner: Sarah Anderson, GTI Tourism

 

PR of the Year

Finalists

Karena Noble – Voyages

Lauren Coughlan – Tourism New Zealand

Nicole Crowley – InterContinental Hotels Group

Rae White – The Travel Corporation

Winner: Jen McDermott, WE Buchan

 

Retail

Finalists

Carly Hulls – Tour Radar

Chriss Perry – Travel Partners

Debbie Collins – Spencer Travel

Debra Carr – Helloworld Surrey Hills

Dr Rita Benckendorff-Malik – Tailor Made Travelling

Kim Mason  – TravelManagers

Maria Pandalai – TravelManagers

Robyn Davies – WOW! Travel

Winner: Penny Spencer, Spencer Travel

 

Rising Star

Finalists

Gisela Bell – Excite Holidays

Kass Scarlett – Tui Marine

Kate Wickham – Contiki

Lauren Smith – Intrepid Group

Lucy Potter – TravelEdge

Madeline Georgiadis – Accor Hotels

Nidhi Menroy – CVFR Consolidation Services

Winner: Breeanna Perez, Globenet Travel

 

Salesperson of the Year

Finalists

Amanda Castle – Busabout, TTC

Deanna Varga -Australian National Maritime Museum

Felicity Allan – Malaysia Airlines

Mary-Jane Devine – Fusion Marketing

Melissa Elf – FCM Travel Solutions

Winner: Susan Haberle, APT Travel Group

 

Social Media

Finalists:

Caroline Brunel – GTI Tourism

Marie Sulda – Kaleidoscopic Travel

Melaine Banyard – Champagne Travel

Natalie Siagian – Contiki

Winner: Katherine Ong, Erdigroup Hotel Collection

 

Technology

Finalists:

Gemma Sherwood – Intrepid Group

Kaylene Shuttlewood – Travelport

Narelle Smythe – Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Rachel James – Bestjet

Renee Welsh – Booking Boss

Winner: Michelle Beveridge, Intrepid Group

 

Tourism Board

Finalists:

Anne Morris – GTI Tourism

Mona Tannous – Sultanate of Oman Tourism

Stephanie Sng – Japan National Tourism Organization

Winner: Sarah Seddon, Destination Melbourne

 

Wholesale

Finalists:

Alex O’Connor – Insight Vacations

Alison Mead – Collette

Fiona Dalton – Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Simla Sooboodoo – Hands On Journeys

Winner: Susie Potter, The Africa Safari Co

 

The Women in Travel Awards could not have been held without our sponsors, dedicated judges and you – the travel industry for entering! Thank you for your support and congratulations to all the finalists and winners. We’ll be back next year for another terrific celebration of female talent in the industry! Stay tuned.

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