About Thrive

The Riverina Visitor Economy (Thrive Riverina) is the tourism body for The Riverina. Working alongside Destination Riverina Murray, Thrive Riverina is a marketing collective, promoting experiences, attractions and destinations across the Riverina. Thrive Riverina is a member-based organisation. Current members are:

  • Carrathool Shire Council
  • Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council
  • Griffith City Council
  • Leeton Shire Council
  • Lockhart Shire Council
  • Murrumbidee Council
  • Snowy Valleys Council
  • Temora Shire Council
  • Wagga Wagga City Council

The Board

Thrive Riverina is governed by a board of directors from across the region, with a mix of representatives from Councils and industry. Our current directors are:

Craig Sinclair (Chair), Temora Shire Council

Craig is currently the Economic Development Officer at Temora Shire Council. He grew up on a broadacre farm in Temora and obtained a degree in Business and Hotel Management from the Australian International Hotel School in Canberra.

Craig gained much of his experience in a range of marketing, events and project management roles during 14 years living in the United Kingdom. Craig returned to the Riverina in 2013 to work with the Temora Aviation Museum and has a passion for developing tourism products and promoting the region.

Michael Harper (Deputy Chair), Hotel Rescue Temora

Michael resides in his hometown of Temora with his wife and children. He lives on a 5-acre property with a small boutique winery. He has a background in business and product development, sales & marketing, strategic planning and customer service.

Michael runs his own business coaching firm, Bizscaping, in parallel with his other company, Hotel Rescue, which focuses on delivering hotel performance strategy and revenue management for accommodation businesses.

He has spent time working with large corporations including Rydges Hotels and Resorts, as well as Telstra. Michael continues to develop his skills in complex selling, digital marketing and business scaling to help grow the companies he works with.

Paige Campbell (Treasurer), Griffith City Council

Paige Campbell is currently the Marketing and Promotions Officer at Griffith City Council, and is responsible for driving visitation to the region. 

Paige has an Agribusiness degree from Monash University and has more than 15 years’ experience in marketing, events and agribusiness roles. 

Paige moved with her family to Griffith ten years ago and loves the diversity and energy of the Riverina.

Brent Lawrence (Secretary), Leeton Shire Council

Brent Lawrence brings over 13 years local government workplace experience across a range of tourism, events and communications portfolios. 

He brings to the Thrive Riverina Board a proven ability to successfully deliver major projects across various areas within local government, 7 years’ experience managing Visitors Information Centres and a strong understanding of regional tourism product and events. 

His strong commitment and professionalism saw him formally acknowledged in August 2017 when he was awarded the RH Dougherty “Outstanding Individual Contribution in Communications Award”, as part of the 2017 NSW Local Government Week Awards. 

This award recognised his impact and achievements in implementing a wide range of communications platforms to significantly improve internal communications with staff and councillors as well as external communications for Council with the community.

Jennifer Connor, Lockhart Shire Council

Born and bred in the Riverina, Jennifer, who has over 20 years of marketing, travel and tourism industry experience in both Australia and overseas destinations, began her career in Sydney before taking up roles in London and Dublin. 

Passionate about developing and promoting tourism experiences and attractions, Jennifer returned to the region in 2013, commencing as Tourism and Economic Development Officer at Lockhart Shire Council. Jennifer joined the Board in 2015 and is committed to raising awareness of regional experiences and to increasing visitor numbers from across the globe.

Sara Marley, TAFE NSW

Sara Morley is passionate about Food. Well that’s how she used to describe herself until it seems that that just wasn’t enough! She now considers herself ‘obsessed’ and that is evident in her zealous involvement in the Riverina Hospitality Industry.

Sara’s work role sees her lead the Student Services Branch of TAFE NSW for the south region of the state. She has 25+ years’ experience in the Hospitality sector including working in, managing and owning restaurants and also taught Commercial Cookery to apprentices and other students for a number of years for TAFE NSW. 

Sara continues to share her obsession for all things food through her weekly ‘foodie’ segment on ABC Riverina radio where she shares recipe ideas and information on local and seasonal ingredients. 

Sara has also been on the Taste Riverina Committee since its inception providing valuable connections between the paddock, the plate and education.

Luke Piccolo, Limone Dining

Luke is the chef and owner of Limone Dining restaurant in Griffith. He grew up in Griffith and has been involved in the local hospitality industry for over 10 years. In 2011, Luke moved to Sydney to complete his studies and worked for 3 years in various fine-dining establishments in Sydney. 

In 2014, Luke had the opportunity to travel and work in Italy and gained a wealth of experience working in Michelin Starred restaurants. 

Since moving back to Griffith in 2015 and opening his restaurant in 2016, Luke has been working hard to promote the region, its producers and products.

Rachel Whiting, Regional Development Australia Riverina

Rachel has a passion and enthusiasm for development in regional and rural communities. Rachel’s has worked in three states in mostly regional areas including Central Queensland, the Pilbara in WA and the Hunter Valley, NSW. 

Whilst working in business development in the Pilbara, Rachel assisted with the start-up of the first Aboriginal owned and run tour business. Ngurrangga Tours have now been featured on ABC’s Back Roads, in The Western Australian, WAITOC marketing campaigns, and receive top reviews on Trip Advisor. During this period much of Rachel’s work consisted of championing the Pilbara region as a tourism location.

As Director of Regional Development for Regional Development Australia, Riverina, Rachel works with and on behalf of the RDA Riverina Committee, with all levels of government, community and industry to assist in growing the Riverina and ensuring prosperity for the region. RDA Riverina’s broad and diverse skills base and demonstrated networks and alliances is its greatest strength. RDAs are champions for local communities, working towards developing local solutions to local problems. 


Destination Management Plan – https://riverinamurray.com.au/resources/

Memberships

Thrive Riverina is a member-based organisation that aims to promote the Riverina and encourage visitation. If you are a Council within the Riverina and are interested in joining Thrive Riverina, please contact the Executive Officer on admin@riverinatourism.com.au.

Please note: Only Councils within Riverina Local Government Areas can become members.

Partnerships

Thrive Riverina works with Destination NSW, Destination Riverina Murray and member Councils to promote destinations, products and experiences in The Riverina.

If you are an organisation or business interested in working with Thrive Riverina, please contact the Executive Officer on admin@riverinatourism.com.au.