-How did you get into the caravan industry, and what was your career/background beforehand?
I started my career as an accountant in an advisory and insolvency based role. I learnt so much and got a crash course in business fundamentals; what made businesses successful and what made them fail. I got involved in a huge range of different industries including hospitality, transport, accommodation, agriculture and mining.
-What does your current role involve day-to-day?
My day to day role includes looking at opportunities to grow our business – through acquisitions, developments in our properties and strategic partnerships. Our business has seen some amazing growth over the last five years and it’s such a thrill to be part of.
-Can you tell us a little bit about how it felt to win the Future Leaders Award and how it will enable you to grow and move forward with your career?
It was such a privilege! The recognition was a timely reminder that age does not correlate to impact. I have just taken on a greater level or responsibility and accountability in our business and the award really gave me to confidence to jump in with both feet.
The sponsorship from Caravan and Camping Sales will allow me to broaden my skill base and pursue some digital transformation training – totally outside of my prior experience, but an area that I see as critical to our future.
–How would you like to see the industry grow as a Future Leader?
I’d love to see us adopt the digital transformation of our age and embrace the sharing economy. I see the industry heading in this direction and I think it’s great! It’s what customers want; easy booking methods and transparent, timely information from peers (i.e. customer reviews). It’s what is so attractive about Airbnb, Uber and the like – so let’s embrace it to not get left behind.
-What do you love about the caravan and camping industry?
I love how connected it is. There is a real recognition that we are not in competition with each other, but that our sector, united, offers something unique and special that Airbnb, metropolitan hotels, or a trip to Bali doesn’t offer. And there’s a real and honest pride in that, that I’m inspired by.
-Is there anything that currently frustrates you or that you find challenging about the industry?
The lack of information available on a sector specific level. I think what Peter Clay and Hugh Fitzpatrick are doing is such an asset to our industry! They’re facing an uphill battle and they need our help. Data is key to understanding how we can meet our customers’ needs and build strong, robust businesses in a sustainable industry.
-What would be your top piece of advice for somebody starting their career in the caravan and camping industry?
Get involved! There is so much value in being connected to others in the industry and to recognise that we all benefit when our industry is stronger. So, get involved in the caravan and camping events, get involved in local tourism and be an advocate for our sector.