THRIVE Workforce and Skills Technical Working Group

Identifying new approaches to help Australia’s tourism industry build a highly skilled workforce.

Australia’s visitor economy needs a workforce with the right skills 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 Workforce and Skills Working Group Terms of Reference (DOCX 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 Chair of Reimagining the Visitor Economy Expert Panel
  • John Hart OAM, Executive Chair, Australian Chamber – Tourism
  • Brett Kapernick, Strategist
  • Jessica Keen, National Manager, Industry Development and Capability, Australian Tourism Export Council
  • Dr Donna Odegaard AM, Co-Chair, Indigenous Tourism Australia and First Nations Broadcasting Australia

Representatives from relevant Commonwealth agencies are:

  • Carl Binning, Group Manager, Economic Policy and Programs Group, National Indigenous Australians Agency
  • Miranda Lauman, Group Manager, Workforce Australia for Business Division, Department of Employment and Workplace Relations
  • Michael Willard, Group Manager, Immigration Operations, Department of Home Affairs.

Representatives from state and territory governments are:

  • Jonathan Kobus, Executive Branch Manager, Visit Canberra, ACT Government
  • Stephen Mahoney, Deputy CEO, Destination NSW
  • Valerie Smith, Executive Director, Industry Development, Tourism NT.

Meeting outcomes and reports


Workforce and Skills Technical Working Group 12-month Status Report (DOCX 934 KB)

Meeting outcomes

More information

Read the THRIVE 2030 strategy

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