The THRIVE 2030 Workforce and Skills Working Group will identify new approaches to help Australia’s tourism industry build a highly skilled workforce.

Australia’s visitor economy needs a workforce with the right skills. This is so it can meet the needs of domestic and international visitors.

The THRIVE 2030 strategy identified workforce shortages as a great barrier to industry recovery. To overcome this, governments and industry will work together towards building a workforce that is:

  • resilient
  • flexible
  • innovative
  • world-class.

Roles and responsibilities

The Workforce and Skills Working Group will support Austrade to identify new mechanisms and improvements to existing programs and activities. This is to attract, train, and retain a world-class visitor economy workforce. The group will provide advice from industry and government to:

  • increase workforce participation
  • improve workforce capability
  • champion the visitor economy as a career of choice
  • inform the long-term visitor economy workforce strategy.

An Austrade secretariat will support the working group.

Download the Terms of Reference (Word 55.4KB).


Membership is a cross-section of industry and government expertise from the visitor economy.

Members were selected for their industry expertise. They are based across Australia:

  • The Hon Martin Ferguson AM, former Tourism Minister and Reimagining the Visitor Economy Expert Panel Chair
  • Deborah Fulton, Acting General Manager Economy Policy and Programs Division, National Indigenous Australians Agency
  • John Hart OAM, Executive Chair, Australian Chamber – Tourism
  • Brett Kapernick, General Manager – Business Strategy and Deputy CEO, Queensland Tourism Industry Council
  • Jessica Keen, National Manager, Industry Development and Capability, Australian Tourism Export Council
  • Sharon Ninyette, Senior Indigenous Programme Manager, Crown Perth
  • Dr Donna Odegaard AM, Co-Chair, Indigenous Tourism Australia

Representatives from relevant Commonwealth agencies are:

  • Margaret Kidd, First Assistant Secretary, Workforce and Engagement Division, Department of Education, Skills and Employment
  • Michael Willard, First Assistant Secretary, Immigration Programs Division, Department of Home Affairs.

Representatives from state and territory governments are:

  • Jonathan Kobus, Director Visit Canberra, ACT Economic Development Directorate
  • Stephen Mahoney, General Manager Product, Policy and Engagement, Destination NSW
  • Valerie Smith, General Manager, Destination Development, Tourism NT.

Meeting outcomes

More information

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