Expert Speakers & Panelists
Centre for Aviation
What’s around the corner for the Australia-Pacific aviation industry? What trends are we seeing in digital innovation, AI and biometrics across the aviation industry, and how will the development of aircraft technology change travel over the coming years? All this and more from Illuminate speaker Peter Harbison.
Peter Harbison is Executive Chairman of CAPA-Centre for Aviation (formerly the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation), which is today the world’s largest publisher of B2B commercial aviation information and analysis. Peter established CAPA in 1990. It now produces the leading range of executive analysis, numerous newsletters, data and information reports, covering the global airport, air navigation services and airline industries. CAPA’s Knowledge Centre also presents major conferences on key aviation topics and provides education and training courses for the aviation and tourism industries.
Over the past 20 years, he has conducted more than 200 consultancy projects in aviation, including airport privatisations, airline startups, strategy formulation and regulatory development. He has authored and/or edited numerous reports on the aviation industry, including a recent comprehensive 300-page report on the global low cost airline industry.
What are the key airfare trends for Australian corporate and leisure travellers and what can travellers expect from domestic and international fares 12 to 18 months from here? What should be a focus area for Procurement Managers over the next six months when it comes to air programs and contracts. Airfare and corporate travel program expert Felicity Burke will share her insights at Illuminate 2018.
Felicity Burke has over 20 years’ experience in the travel industry, most recently spending 13 years with the Flight Centre Travel Group. She is an experienced Business Consultant with extensive knowledge in cost management, contract management, procurement and supply of travel management services for corporations. Having previously worked on the client side as a business consultant, managing a fortune 50 travel program, she shares knowledge and experience of the various challenges that occur when managing travel as a buyer and a supplier.
Chief Experience Officer
Flight Centre Travel Group
How will innovation in travel technology shape corporate travel programs of the future? How will different tools, platforms and apps re-define the customer experience and what can you expect from your travel management company when it comes to technology and harnessing the new world of New Distribution Capability (NDC).
Appointed to the role of Chief Experience Officer in May 2018, John Morhous is responsible for bringing innovation and new digital mobile platforms to the group’s corporate customers globally. John also oversees the development of other key tech tools for clients and contributes to the group’s global strategies for thought leadership, and broader technology pipeline and innovation plans.
He works closely with FCTG’s national leaders and business divisions to ensure a streamlined approach to technology innovation, implementation and management for corporate clients. John has been with FCTG for 11 years, most recently serving as the Chief Strategy Officer for corporate brands in the Americas, including FCM Travel Solutions, Stage and Screen, cievents and Corporate Traveller.
CEO & Executive Director
The online booking experience for customers is rapidly changing. How can TMCs, technology companies and their customers ensure travellers are equipped with technology that makes booking work travel easy, flexible and fast? Technology and online booking guru Darrin Grafton will be talking online booking technology at Illuminate 2018.
Darrin has more than 25 years experience in travel technology and is recognised industry innovator. He has been responsible for leading major changes in the corporate travel industry throughout his career and was named one of the top 25 most influential executives in the travel industry by the BTN Group in 2014.
He has held senior management positions with Gullivers Travel Group (listed on the Australian and New Zealand Stock Exchanges between 2004 and 2006) and Interactive Technologies. Darrin has previously been awarded the NZX Hi-Tech Entrepreneur Award, has been a finalist for the NZ Hi-Tech Company Leader Award and the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
He is also a member of the Institute of IT Professionals NZ, the Institute of Directors NZ.
Head of Uber for Business
Australia & New Zealand
As one of the leaders in the ride sharing economy and a key disrupter to emerge in the past few years for the taxi cab, food delivery, and transportation industries – what’s next for global tech company Uber? Hear from Georgia Foster, Head of Uber for Business, Australia & New Zealand on what’s new and in the development pipeline for Uber and for the broader industry.
Georgia joined Uber in 2016 to launch Uber for Business across Australia and New Zealand. For the past 15 years, she has developed and lead sales, product and marketing teams across Australia, New Zealand, the US and Latin America.
Primarily working for innovative US-based organisations such as LinkedIn and Uber, Georgia brings ground breaking products and concepts to the Australian and New Zealand market.
A strong strategist, builder and collaborator, Georgia focuses on customer obsession in everything she does and believes this needs to be at the forefront for sustainable customer and team success.
Georgia says she's excited about the future of the technology industry and what new developments will bring for the travel and transport industry across this region.
Executive General Manager
James Kavanagh will be conducting the official conference welcome for Illuminate 2018.
James Kavanagh is the Executive General Manager for the Flight Centre Travel Group’s corporate division. As part of this role James overseas the growth of six corporate and specialist travel brands.
James brings to the role 20+ years’ experience in the travel industry, having worked across a broad variety of roles in organisations in Europe and Asia Pacific. Most recently James was at the helm of FCM Travel Solutions, where he had been driving the strategic direction of FCTG’s flagship national corporate business since 2013.
Well respected and known within Australia’s corporate travel sector, James has been part of the Flight Centre Travel Group for the past 14 years. He has an excellent understanding of the differing requirements of the corporate customer, having worked in numerous FCTG brands including Campus Travel and Corporate Traveller. He has also worked with two multi-national travel management companies in Europe. James is an experienced leader, who has a deep understanding of how FCTG’s corporate business works - across operations, account management, product, technology and marketing.
FCM Travel Solutions Australia
Melissa Elf will be moderating the client panel session at Illuminate 2018. ‘The Customer’s Voice’ will feature Procurement Managers from across sectors, with the Q and A style panel focusing on their challenges and how trends in decentralisation, mobility, risk and technology is impacting travel programs.
Melissa Elf launched her career with Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) in 2006 after 10 years at Qantas. She initially came on board at FCTG to head up the account management team. Fast-forward 12 years and Melissa has made her mark in several senior leadership roles across account management, operations and sales.
Melissa has a proven track record of transforming client travel programs by simplifying processes, boosting savings, adding value and maximising return on investment. Additionally, her leadership prowess, stellar sales background and well-rounded skillset have made Melissa a highly regarded leader within Flight Centre Travel Group’s (FCTG) corporate division.
Melissa also takes a proactive role in mentoring and developing the professional talent of rising females within the FCTG business.
Chief Executive Officer
Flight Centre Travel Group
Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner will join fellow Flight Centre Travel Group founder Geoff Harris in the opening panel at Illuminate 2018 to talk about the past, present and importantly what’s ahead for the travel industry and broader business sector.
Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner was raised near Stanthorpe and trained as a veterinary surgeon in western Victoria before moving to London in the early 1970s. It was in London in 1973 that he and his mate and fellow vet, Geoff Lomas, invested the equivalent of $1300 in an ageing bus and started operating budget, double-decker bus trips around Europe, North Africa and Asia.
Graham together with one of his other friends Bill James renamed the original bus touring business (Argus Persicus) to 'Top Deck Travel'.
By 1980, Top Deck had a fleet of nearly 80 buses, and a few years later, Graham and his colleagues sold the business to management in order to establish and run what is now the Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG).
It was in 1982 that Skroo suggested his long-time friend and a marketing graduate of Melbourne’s Institute of Technology, Geoff Harris, open a Flight Centre-type business in Melbourne.
Initially including a stable of 30 shops, it was an opportune moment in travel history when Skroo and his partners started out, as the airline ticketing industry had recently been deregulated. This allowed for the sale of discounted tickets for the first time, and under Skroo’s dynamic leadership Flight Centre took off, providing the cheapest possible pricing and deriving profits from the volume of sales.
Skroo joined the FCTG board and floated the company in 1995 to not only raise capital, but to give employees the opportunity to become part-owners of the business. Despite the Global Financial Crisis, the company continued to prosper and it is now a truly iconic international brand with over 19,000 employees.
While Flight Centre remains the flagship brand, the company has also expanded into specialised markets under a range of other brand names, and its corporate travel management network now spans more than 90 countries.
As the long-serving CEO and Managing Director of one of the world’s largest travel agency groups, Skroo has played a critical role in growing and guiding the business, and demonstrated high energy, great vision and a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit.
Flight Centre Travel Group Founder
Geoff will join fellow Flight Centre Travel Group founder Graham Turner in the opening panel at Illuminate 2018 to talk about the past, present and importantly what’s ahead for the travel industry and broader business sector.
The son of a World War II veteran who served in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, Geoff began his career in marketing and co-founded Flight Centre in 1982 along with Graham Turner and Bill James. He served as a company executive until 1998, and as a non-executive director until 2008 when he left the Board, however is still a current shareholder.
In later years, he went into business with Janine Allis to spearhead Boost Juice’s success, helped resuscitate travel company Topdeck, and helped get the Hawthorn football club to a premiership four years after joining the club as Vice President.
In 1999, Geoff acquired a $2.5 million house for the Reach Foundation, a non-profit organization whose aim is to provide unprivileged young people with access to mental health. Similarly, in 2013, he acquired a $2.5 million mansion in order to rent it for $5 a year to STREAT, a non-profit organisation that teaches the homeless skills to start a career in hospitality. Geoff also covers the annual rent for the headquarters of Whitelion Open Family, a non-profit organisation for at-risk young people.
In the future Geoff is looking to travel more and he continues to turn his focus to charities including STREAT and the Reach Foundation. As Geoff himself says, “I’ve always felt since Australia has given me the chance to become what some people would term a successful business person, that investing in future leaders and young Australians is an important thing”.
Australia and New Zealand,
Vic will be sharing news on what’s trending in the North American aviation sector. He’ll also be discussing what’s ahead for Air Canada in terms of the carrier’s product and services, and what has made Vancouver International Airport one of the most awarded airports in the world.
Vic Naughton joined Air Canada in November 2017 as the airline's Sydney-based General Manager - Australia and New Zealand. He is responsible for driving all regional commercial activities for Air Canada, which operates non-stop services from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to Vancouver and beyond. Vic joined Air Canada from American Airlines where he played an integral role in the carrier's return to the Australian market in 2015. Prior to joining the aviation sector, Vic spent more than 10 years with global travel company STA Travel, during which time he held a series of key commercial roles in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Middle East and Australia.