Keynote Speakers

Chris Veitch, Access New Buisness (UK)

Chris Veitch is a specialist in tourism management and accessible tourism. He has worked on a range of tourism projects that are strategic, policy and training based. Visit Britain contracted Chris as the access specialist on the two-year EU ‘Europe for All / OSSATE’ project to provide digital information on accessible tourist accommodation and attractions across Europe.  Chris has been, and is currently, involved in major European projects, including helping to develop accessible tourism in Georgia and Turkey. Nearer to home Chris works closely with Visit England, Visit Scotland and Visit Wales, to help promote Accessible Tourism.

More recently Chris has supported initiatives by the Australian Government and tourist destinations in Australia to improve their accessibility. This includes working with Austrade, Gold Coast Destination Management Organisation, Destination Melbourne, Local Government New South Wales, Parks Victoria, Discovery Parks and Department of Transport and New South Wales, Queensland.

Chris is a trustee of the UK charity ‘Tourism for All’, and in 2017 he was appointed by the UK Government to be the Disability Champion for the tourism sector. He is a member of the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) and regularly speaks on their behalf.  He has co-authored chapters in ‘Accessible Tourism: Concepts and Issues’ and ‘Accessible Tourism: International Best Practice’ (2010). He is also a guest lecturer in Destination Planning and Destination Management at London South Bank University and a guest lecturer at the Universities of Exeter and Liverpool John Moore.

In 2011 he co-founded Access New Business, and works as a consultant helping destinations and tourism businesses improve the quality of their offer, with particular focus on improving accessibility and inclusion for all. His clients have included the London Development Agency, East Midlands Tourism, ONE North East, Yorkshire Forward, South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA), Bath Tourism, the Kent Tourism Alliance (Visit Kent) and Brent Council.

Nicki Hutley, Partner, Deloitte Access Economics

Nicki is a highly experienced economist with broad-based experience in economic policy, gained over nearly three decades of practice. In particular, she has expertise in the application of economic modelling and analysis in the fields of urban economics, addressing issues such as affordable housing, social and economic infrastructure investment, urban renewal, precinct planning, climate mitigation and social policies. She leads Deloitte Access Economics’ Urban Advisory practice.
Nicki has extensive experience in Cost Benefit and Social Return on Investment Analysis, strategic land use analysis, economic impact assessments, and policy and regulatory reviews. She spent the first half of her career as a macroeconomist for commercial and investment banks. She is a regular commentator on economic and financial issues in the media and is a sought-after keynote speaker. Nicki is keen to use economics to improve the quality of lives from cradle to grave.

Amy Child, Associate, Transport & Cities, Arup

Amy Child is an Associate at Arup, a global design and engineering firm. She is a transport planner specialising in urban strategy and active mobility. Amy has lived and worked in the UK and Australia and has spent the majority of her career as a consultant providing transport solutions which are equitable, considerate of the urban fabric and enhance the user experience.  She is an expert in developing integrated transport strategies, with a focus on walking and cycling. Career highlights include developing the transport strategy for the new Perth Stadium and providing travel planning advice to businesses impacted by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. Amy holds qualifications in transport planning and management, urban and environmental planning and civil engineering. In addition to her position at Arup, she is an active member of a number of industry initiatives, including the Victorian Government’s Liveability International Think Tank, the Victorian Woman’s Trust Here She Is initiative, and Smart Cities Council Urban Mobility Task Force.Amy is a regular national and international speaker at industry conferences on the subjects of liveability, walkability and future mobility.

Kevin Cocks AM, EGM, Integrated Accessible Transport Network at TMR

Kevin Cocks is a highly respected human rights and disability advocate. He was Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner from 2011 to 2018. He is currently Executive General Manager of Integrated Accessible Transport Network under the Department of Transport and Main Roads in the Queensland Government. Kevin has also been Director of Queensland Advocacy Incorporated. He is the recipient of several awards including the Australian Human Rights Medal and the Centenary Medal. Kevin’s work focusing on building relationships across different stakeholder groups for a better understanding of economic and social inclusion is recognised nationally and internationally. Kevin holds a Master of Social Welfare, Administration and Planning from the University of Queensland. He was also a member of the Independent Advisory Council to the NDIS.

Bill Forrester, Founder, Travability 

Bill has over 35 years experience in both the private and public sectors and is an
acknowledged world leader in accessible tourism, universal design and social inclusion and the economic impact the retiring Baby Boomers will have on the tourism sector. Bill is the founder of Travability which provides a valuable resource and knowledge base for travellers with disability. Bill spent most of his working life in the corporate field in both financial and operation roles. He specialised in corporate and cultural change. He has extensive experience in facility management, major project delivery, stakeholder relations and corporate training programs. He is using his corporate experience to drive cultural change within the Travel and Tourism sectors to provide a truly inclusive experience of all travellers through the concept of Universal Design.

Kieran O’Donnell, Senior Project Officer, ABCB

Kieran O’Donnell is a senior project officer at the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) in Canberra. Kieran is the project manager for the ABCB’s regulation impact assessment on the possible inclusion of accessibility standards for housing in the National Construction Code, along with other key ABCB projects. Kieran holds a Bachelor of Australian Politics and Public Policy and a Diploma of Building Design and Technology. Prior to this, he worked in the building industry, starting out as an apprentice carpenter in 2005.

Nadia Feeney, Australian Tourism Data Warehouse

Nadia Feeney is an experienced digital program manager with extensive knowledge of the tourism industry.  Working for ATDW over the past eight years, Nadia has been centrally involved in delivering Australia’s internationally unique digital database of tourism products. Working closely with Australia’s state tourism organisations, Nadia has influenced, and project managed many changes and advancements to the ATDW-online platform – the latest being the incorporation of accessible facility content for tourism products nationally. This project was developed in conjunction with Destination NSW and Local Government NSW, which aims to provide accurate and comprehensive data for the growing accessible tourism sector.

Lenna Klintworth – Master of Ceremonies

Lenna has worked in the tourism industry for over 23 years.  After 19 years in varied roles with Qantas Airways, Lenna is now leading the tourism industry development programs for the regional tourism organisation Destination Gold Coast.  As Destination Management Officer, this includes facilitating effective linkages between government agencies in the region and ensuring local council includes tourism in planning.  In 2017, Lenna developed the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Initiative and launched the Accessibility Pledge. She is incredibly passionate about inspiring the tourism industry to discover and promote their accessible guest experience. Lenna will also bring this passion and enthusiasm to her role as Master of Ceremonies for the conference.

Willie Prince -Acknowledgement of Country 

Willie’s Cultural Connection to Country is the Kalkadoon Clan Group from the Mt Isa area in Queensland. He also has Cultural Connections to Wakka Wakka Clan Group from Cherbourg in Queensland. Willie was born at a time when the Government of the day looked after the affairs of Indigenous People. Because of his disability, the Chief Proctor (person appointed by the Government to administer the lives of Indigenous Peoples living on Reserves and Missions) and the State Medical Doctor consulted, and together decided to remove him and placed him in the Royal Children’s hospital before being transferring him to Xavier Home for Crippled Children. Willie was separated from Family, Culture and Community for a period of 17 years.