Our Board Members
Scott Chapman - Chair
Scott has held chief executive and senior leadership positions in the private, public and not for profit sectors over many years and is currently the CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria.
Previous to his current position Scott was Director, Commerce and Marketing at the City of Melbourne where he oversaw the marketing, communications and media, tourism, major events, business, trade and investment and international portfolios for ten years.
He is a Fellow of Leadership Victoria, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia. He is Chairman of Doutta Galla Aged Care, Chair of Dafydd Lewis Scholarship Trustees and Deputy Chair of Cottage by the Sea and sits on the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board and Chairs the Committee for Melbourne Not for Profit Taskforce.
He has previously been Chair of Destination Melbourne, the People and Parks Foundation, the Outdoor Education Group and Outdoors Victoria and Deputy Chair of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria. He is dedicated to building the visitor economy in the West.
Dr Colin Drake - Deputy Chair (Victoria University Representative) Colin is a lecturer in undergraduate and postgraduate marketing, tourism and events and is the course co-ordinator for the Bachelor of Business Event Management program at Victoria University. Colin has over 20 years of practitioner experience encompassing senior roles in Event Management, Tourism, Hospitality and the Aviation sectors in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Susan Lee - Treasurer Susan is a creative and professional leader in tourism and passionate advocate of small business growth and community engagement. She established CVC Clear Vision Consulting in 2011 and as Principal Consultant Susan has designed innovative industry engagement activities nationally to help bring about change and development in Indigenous and regional tourism sectors; including the inaugural Desert Guides Program (NT), the first ever Adelaide City Council Tourism Action Plan and event managing ‘Industry Walkabouts’ in regional SA, NT and WA.
Cr Heather Marcus (Wyndham City Council Representative)
Cr Marcus is currently serving her fifth term at Council. A passionate advocate for Wyndham, Cr Marcus is the portfolio holder for Destination Wyndham. The Portfolio celebrates the many tourism and natural attractions Wyndham has to offer and explores ways to attract visitors and businesses to the region.
A successful businesswoman and entrepreneur, Cr Marcus brings a wealth of experience having ran successful retail and building businesses and currently, co-ordinates large scale events across the City.
Cr Julie Shannon (Melton City Council Representative)
Cr Shannon truly values learning about and understanding the needs of residents and giving them a voice on the issues that matter to them. In her first term as a councillor, she’s very interested in making Melton a destination for visitors and, among many ideas, would love to advocate for the Weir to be developed one day. Family violence, homelessness and food security are issues Cr Shannon plans to help address in her role.
Cr Shannon lives, works and volunteers in Coburn Ward. She has been married to husband Paul for 35 years and has three daughters and four adorable grandchildren. Her life experiences include small business, education, retail, hospitality, not-for-profit and faith-based activities. Cr Shannon has served on various industry and not-for-profit boards over the past 25 years which have taught her to appreciate diversity and value a difference of opinion.
Cr Maria Kerr (Brimbank City Council Representative) Cr Kerr is a newly elected Councillor, representing the Brimbank City Council in Taylors Ward. She was born and raised in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne, her parents are both Italian immigrants. She is a passionate advocate for the West and aims to be a voice for her community, her aim is to bridge the gap between East and West. Cr Kerr is championing the Proud Portfolio which includes Brimbank Branding, Tourism, Marketing, Communication and Community Engagement. Cr Kerr has a background in Financial Services, Insurance and Community Advocacy. She is excited about promoting the West, including its cultural diversity and world class cuisine. Her aim is to showcase the west as a culinary destination.
Cr Ava Adams (Moonee Valley City Council Representative)
(Hobsons Bay City Council Representative)
Craig Bray (Parks Victoria Representative) Craig is the Manager of Parks Victoria’s Western Melbourne District. The district includes visitor attractions such as Werribee Park, Brimbank Park, Organ Pipes National Park, Woodlands Historic Park and various other parks and reserves stretching from Craigieburn in the north to Point Cook in the south. Together these parks and reserves attract over 500,000 visitors annually. Craig has over 25 years’ experience managing high profile parks, bio regions and other tourism assets across the state.
Asha Bee Abraham (Arts Industry Representative) Asha is the Industry Development Coordinator at Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC), and also coordinates Arts West, an alliance of artists and arts organisations. Arts West has an extensive and diverse reach, providing cultural services to over 200,000 people annually, collectively delivering the bulk of arts and cultural activities and engagement throughout Melbourne’s west. FCAC itself, makes a significant contribution to the Australian cultural footprint with an average visitation of 90,000 per year since 2015.
Robyn Grattidge, Zoos Victoria - (Industry Representative) Robyn is Director of Business Development at Zoos Victoria, a zoo based conservation organisation with three properties across Victoria including Werribee Open Range Zoo, Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary. Robyn’s portfolio includes Visitors, Tourism, Retail, Catering, Membership, Sponsorship and Philanthropy.
Anthea Dimitrakopoulos, Quest Apartments (Industry Representative) Anthea Dimitrakopoulos is an inspiration leader that is passionate about bringing a company’s vision, mission and purpose alive through its people. A lifelong learner who has spent her career in numerous leadership roles across multi sector industries and in particular the last decade in the hospital and tourism sector. Currently the General Manager for Quest Apartment Hotels, where she is focused on delivering customer centric sales strategies that deliver profitable and sustainable outcomes for all stakeholders. She is passionate and enthused for having the opportunity to work alongside talented folk to share the best kept secret in Australia re the western tourism catchment.
Richard Ponsford – Executive Officer, Western Melbourne Tourism
Richard has a broad range of experience in tourism both in government and the private sector.
Until September 2012, Richard was employed at the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) where he had responsibility for the development and promotion of tourism at the MCG including the National Sports Museum and MCG Tours. Prior to joining the MCC in 2007 he worked in a range of different tourism development and visitor management roles at both Tourism Victoria and the City of Melbourne, including as project manager for the development of Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square, the development of the City Precinct program, and coordination of city visitor services for the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Richard has also worked in regional Victoria as Marketing Manager for Bendigo Tourism.
He has served as a Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) board member and has been a member of Tourism Australia’s market advisory panel. He is also a graduate of Destination Melbourne’s Tourism Industry Leadership Program. Richard has also worked as a judge on a range of tourism, business and student award programs.
Richard has been working with Western Melbourne Tourism since October 2012 and since then has been gradually increasing his weekly commitment of time to this role (now 4 days each week). He has become a very passionate advocate for the West.
Contact Richard Ponsford:
Phone: (03) 9317 5794
Mobile: 0417 545 141
Amy Gardner - Communications Coordinator, Western Melbourne Tourism
With over ten years of tourism industry experience covering sales, marketing, hotels, tourism and events roles, Amy has established a strong passion for developing exceptional visitor experiences. She has travelled, studied and worked overseas and interstate, and has completed a Bachelor of Business – Tourism and Hospitality Management at La Trobe University. She currently works in various contracted roles throughout Melbourne’s west in both the tourism and non-profit sectors. Amy is on the committee for the Young Tourism Network and is motivated to support new industry professionals through networking and professional development activities. She calls Newport home and enjoys sharing and spreading her love of the west. Amy hopes to continue to contribute to the tourism advancement in Melbourne’s west and can’t wait to see where it is in years to come.
Contact Amy Gardner:
Joyce Watts - Communications Coordinator, Western Melbourne Tourism
Joyce is a digital marketing specialist with expertise in search engine optimisation, email marketing and social media. As a digital content creator and publisher of Melbourne’s biggest family travel blog she has worked with numerous Victorian tourism clients for over a decade, as well as servicing clients in the financial services, local government and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to this, she practised as a solicitor specialising in intellectual property, IT and media in Australia and in the UK.
Joyce lives in Footscray and is passionate about promoting Melbourne’s west to locals and visitors.
Madeleine Blake - MB PR
Madeleine Blake is a public relations consultant and copywriter with over 18 year’s experience in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. She manages the PR accounts for various tourism bodies and attractions within Australia.
Prior to establishing her own PR consulting business in 2015, Madeleine worked at Tourism Victoria (now Visit Victoria) in various roles over a 12-year period, holding positions in the Media, Regional Marketing and Government Communications teams.
An avid traveller, Madeleine spent several years travelling and working overseas. She worked for the media team at Tourism Whistler in Canada, helping to promote Whistler in the lead up to and during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. She also did a stint at the Sea Fish Industry Authority in the UK, helping to promote sustainable seafood consumption.
Madeleine has worked with the Melbourne’s west team since 2018, helping to share the word on the many reasons to visit Melbourne’s west. A former Westsider, she now lives in regional Victoria – where she greatly misses the amazing multicultural cuisine available in the west.