Our Board

11 October 2011

Destination NSW is a statutory authority and is governed by an independent chairman and a Board of Management.

The Minister directs Destination NSW in accordance with the Destination NSW Act 2011 and the NSW Government is represented on the Board by the Director-General of Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services (DTIRIS).

Board Member Details

John Hartigan (Chairman)

John Hartigan was appointed as Chairman of Destination NSW in March 2014. With more than four decades in the media industry, Mr Hartigan previously headed the Australian operations of News Corporation as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of News Limited. Mr Hartigan is a former Director of News Limited and its subsidiary companies, Queensland Press, Advertiser Newspapers and The Herald and Weekly Times Limited; a former Director of FOXTEL and a former Chairman of the Australian News Channel, which owns and operates Sky News.

Mr Hartigan has been an advisor to the Australian Government, sat on the Independent Steering Committee for the Australia 2020 Summit and co-chaired The Future of Australian Governance stream at that conference. In addition, he was appointed to a new business advisory group to advise the Australian Government on new workplace legislation.

He has worked in advisory positions for the American Australian Association and the NSW Export and Investment Advisory Board.

Among his external board and community responsibilities Mr Hartigan is a Director of The Bradman Foundation and is a Trustee of the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust.

Russell Balding AO (Deputy Chairman)

Russell Balding is Chairman of the Visitor Economy Taskforce established by the NSW Government to develop a tourism and events strategy to double visitor expenditure to NSW. Mr Balding is also a Non-Executive Director of Cabcharge Australia Limited and recently retired as Chief Executive Officer of the Sydney Airport Corporation. He is a former Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and was its Director, Funding, Finance and Support Services. Prior to joining the ABC, he was Director of Finance at the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority and Financial Controller at the NSW Department of Housing.

Leslie Cassar AM KSJ MOM

Mr Cassar is a former Chairman of both Tourism NSW and the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF). He began his career in travel and tourism with Qantas and has now accrued over 40 years experience in the tourism sector, both in Australia and internationally. In 1979, he became CEO and partner of The Concorde Group of Companies, where he oversaw the expansion of the company, the establishment of World Aviation Systems and final sale of the company to ABN AMRO in 2002. The Australian and Maltese Governments have recognised his long service to both countries with prestigious accolades including the Division of The Order of Australia (AM) and the Knight of the Order for St John of Jerusalem. More recently, Mr Cassar was awarded the National Award of Merit by the Maltese Government for his contribution to the country’s aviation industry.

Mark I Paterson AO B.Bus, FAICD, FAIM, FRMIA

Mark was appointed Director-General of the Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services on 1 June 2011. Prior to this, Mark was Secretary and Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. He was appointed to this position on 3 December 2007. Preceding these appointments Mark was Secretary for the former Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources from January 2002, and Chief Executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australia’s leading business representative organisation. Earlier experiences involved heading up the Retailers Council of Australia and the Retail Traders Association of NSW, prior to that he was with the Australian Chamber of Manufacturers, the Chamber of Manufacturers - NSW, and the Australian Medical Association. Mark has held a wide range of Directorships and was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2007.

The Hon. Patricia Forsythe

Ms Forsythe is the Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, a position she has held since September 2006. Patricia represents the Chamber on a number of NSW Government steering committees including NSW Employment Lands Taskforce, NSW 2015 AFC Asian Cup and the Development of Tertiary Sector Degree Pathways. Ms Forsythe also represents the Chamber on the City of Sydney Retail Advisory Panel and the Sydney Airport Planning Coordination Forum. She serves on a number of boards in the Government and Not-For-Profit sector including the Council of Macquarie University, the Hunter Development Corporation, the Hunter Medical Research Institute, Business Events Sydney, the Anglican Board of Mission and Cricket NSW. Patricia is also an Honorary Associate of the Graduate School of Government at Sydney University. Ms Forsythe was a Member of the NSW Legislative Council from 1991 to 2006 when she served a variety of shadow portfolios.

Rod McGeoch AO

Mr McGeoch is Chairperson of Skycity Entertainment, and Australian and New Zealand based casino operator. Mr McGeoch was the leader of Sydney’s successful Olympics 2000 bid. He is a past-President of the Law Society of New South Wales and a Member of the Order of Australia. He is also Chairman of Vantage Point Equity Group, Saatchi & Saatchi’s Trans Tasman Advisory Board and Co-Chairman of the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum. He is a former Chairman of the Committee for Sydney and plays a leading role in a variety of cultural, community and welfare organisations. He has published two best-selling books: McGeoch and The Bid.

Wendy Machin

Ms Machin is President of the National Roads and Motorists Association. She was the first female National Party member of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales. She successfully contested three elections from 1985 to 1996. Ms Machin was Chairman of Committees from 1989-93 and served a variety of shadow and ministerial portfolios. She was vice chairman of the Australian Republican Movement in 1998-2000 and was one of its delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1998. She was President of the Save the Children Fund 1996-2000. In 2005 she was appointed by the Insurance Council of Australia to review their general insurance privacy code. Also, in 2005, she was appointed to the Board of the NRMA and became President in 2008. She was a member of the Migration Review Tribunal. She owns and runs a beef cattle property near Wingham and runs her own consultancy business, Machin Consulting.

Sandra Chipchase

Sandra Chipchase is the CEO of Destination NSW. Ms Chipchase has had an outstanding career in international and domestic tourism and business events marketing, major events acquisition and management, sponsorship, business and asset management. Her current roles include: Board Member, Visitor Economy Taskforce, Board Member, Business Events Sydney, and Steering Committee Member, Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Centre Precinct. She also sits ex-officio on the NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust, the Gap Bluff EOI Panel and the Goat Island Expression of Interest Steering Committee.

Ms Chipchase was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau, President, Australian Association of Convention Bureaux (AACB), President - BestCities Global Alliance, Member - Tourism and Transport Forum Advisory Board, Board Member - Business Events Council of Australia (BECA), Member - Federal Government’s Business Events Strategy Implementation Group and Member - Federal Government’s Brand Australia Advisory Board. Her previous roles include: Executive Director - Australia Pavilion - World EXPO 2000, Executive Director - Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, GM Marketing – Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau and she held senior management roles with Australian Tourist Commission/Tourism Australia in Frankfurt, Chicago and New York.