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. 2020/2021 members are:

  • Bland Shire Council
  • Carrathool Shire Council
  • Coolamon Shire Council
  • Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council
  • Hay Shire Council
  • Leeton Shire Council
  • Lockhart Shire Council
  • Murrumbidgee Council
  • Narrandera Shire Council
  • Snowy Valleys Council
  • Temora Shire 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:

Brent Lawrence (Chair), Leeton Shire Council

Brent Lawrence brings over 15 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, 9 years’ experience managing Visitors Information Centres and a strong understanding of regional tourism product, destination marketing 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.

Miriam Hewson (Deputy Chair), Snowy Valleys Council

Miriam moved to the Snowy Valleys, where the Riverina meets the mountains, in 2017 after spending years visiting the region and falling in love with the rugged beauty of the area.

Although she grew up in Brisbane, Miriam has always felt a strong connection to the Riverina, and enjoyed many childhood holidays visiting extended family here.

Shortly after relocating to the Snowy Valleys, Miriam landed her dream job as Tourism Marketing Officer for Snowy Valleys Council (now Destination Marketing Officer).

With a background in marketing, Miriam has spent a number of years working in the visitor economy, and is passionate about delivery of authentic experiences to visitors in regional Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing from Griffith University.

Tiffany Thornton (Secretary), Narrandera Shire Council

Tiffany Thornton is an experienced local government professional with more than 15 years of involvement in the tourism industry in visitor servicing, marketing, events and industry development. Beginning her career in tourism as a tourism intern within a local government council, along the way she has worked within a variety of business sectors including university and local government.

Tiffany holds a Bachelor of Business in Tourism and Hospitality from Southern Cross University and an Executive Certificate in Event Management through University of Technology, Sydney. Tiffany is a passionate advocate for regional tourism involved in regional and state tourism award programs and local community organisations. Tiffany is currently the Marketing, Tourism and Economic Development Coordinator for Narrandera Shire Council.

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 Riverina and 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.

Miriam Crane (Treasurer), Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council

Marina Uys, Bland Shire Council

Matt Lucas, The Coffee Pedaler (Industry Director)

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


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 executive.officer@theriverina.com.au.

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


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 executive.officer@theriverina.com.au.