National Advisory Committee for Employment

The NACE is to provide strategic advice to the Accommodation Association on all employment matters within the Australian Accommodation industry, representing the broad base of members and our industry.

The NACE will contribute current sector insights and requirements to the Accommodation Association; support and recommend to the Association (The Hub) on employment programs, training and recruitment activities and; identify with the Association (The Hub) opportunities for rebuilding industry reputation and talent attraction post Covid.

Chair of the National Advisory Committee for Employment Lynda Ugarte

Head of Human Resources - Australasia and Japan - IHG

Lynda’s role encompasses 73 hotels and more than 12,000 colleagues across two diverse and mature markets. She partners with corporate and hotel leaders to deliver HR Services and IHG People offer in a locally relevant way, taking advantage of the power of IHG’s global brands. 

Starting her career in hotel operations, Lynda then owned her own business for several years and developed her career as senior lecturer in hotel school education, building graduate career programs for industry. She joined IHG in 2006 as Talent Development Manager for InterContinental Sydney before taking on roles of increasing seniority and scope that led her to her current position.

Lynda has a deep passion for engaging and enabling people to reach their potential while contributing to business success. She was instrumental in designing and launching RISE, IHG’s mentoring initiative for female colleagues who aspire to becoming a hotel General Manager.

Janette Illingsworth

Learning & Development - People & Performance - The Star Entertainment Group

Janette has worked in the field of Travel, Tourism, Education and Leadership Management for the past 25+ years. The past two years working for The Star Entertainment Group. Janette’s role is responsible for managing external Organisational Learning & Development relationships to provide high quality candidates and programs for The Star Entertainment Group to build organisational effectiveness and a culture of guest excellence.

Her career has been spent in the field of adult education and training, program design and delivery for talent development within the travel and tourism industry.  Working in large complex premium branded organisations, to support organisational goals and strategy through building leadership and team capability

Janette has a strong strategic mindset and enthusiasm for coaching and mentoring, supports leaders to embed a talent development culture for future business growth and talent development and retention. 

Michelle Bevan

Director of Human Resources - TFE Hotels

Michelle has more than 20 years experience in customer service and human resource management, having held senior management roles in the Hospitality, Information Technology and Financial Services sectors.

Michelle has a breadth of experience from undertaking both specialist and general human resource management roles and combines this with general management experience where she transformed and built customer service teams and business units.

Michelle  was appointed Director of Human Resources for TFE Hotels in 2014, with responsibility for human resources strategy and practice including service culture development, learning and organisational development, talent and career development, attraction and selection, rewards and recognition and employment policy.

She has been part of many business change projects and cross functional team to drive improved customer experience, finance transformation, systems implementations and preparation for and delivery of new hotel openings.

Con Katsinas

Chief Executive Officer – International Hotel Services (IHS)

Con has over 30 years of Hospitality and Cleaning industry experience. He graduated from University with a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Marketing, and joined Southern Pacific Hotel Corporation where he developed his career over eleven years through a number of Parkroyal properties. As a key member of the team at the then flagship Hotel (Landmark Parkroyal), Con accomplished a great deal in turning the property into one of SPHCs success stories. 

When this task was completed Con sought a position that could best capitalise on his strong rooms background and interest in human resources issues. This coincided with International Hotel Services (IHS) joining the market in housekeeping and labour provision to the Hospitality industry.

Since 1998 Con has been using his Hotel knowledge and experience to build IHS to the successful business it remains today.

Anthony Willoughby - Specialist Advisor

Employer Liaison Officer – Department of Jobs and Small Business

Anthony has over ten years’ experience in government with a background in communications, regulation and relationship management. He is the Employer Liaison Officer for the greater Sydney region and the national lead for the accommodation and hospitality sectors. Anthony works with employers to understand their needs and collaborate to develop solutions from a variety of employment services and initiatives.

By working with industry to design employment pathways and investing in unemployed and inexperienced job seekers, we can meet industry’s workforce needs while providing opportunities for people who simply need a job. This is what the NABE has set out to do and Anthony is happy to be able to assist this important initiative.

Helen Wood

Executive Manager, Client Relationships and New Business

Helen has almost 30 years’ experience working within the superannuation sector, predominantly in leadership, consultancy and client facing roles both in the UK and Australia. Helen joined the national Industry Fund for those who live and love Hospitality, Tourism, Recreation and Sport and aligned sectors, Hostplus, 7 years ago and currently leads the national employer and member facing teams in her role as Executive Manager Client Relationships and New Business.

Helen is passionate about championing consumer access to meaningful financial education, guidance and advice to support the achievement of retirement goals and to improve financial literacy. Her passion for the Hospitality and Tourism sector is born from a family history of ownership of travel and hospitality businesses.

Outside of work Helen enjoys family and friend time, good food and wine, travel, walking and tennis.

Sarah Derry

Senior Vice President Talent and Culture - Pacific, Accor

Currently Senior Vice President Talent and Culture - Pacific. Sarah joined Accor in April 2017 as VP Talent & Culture Australia. Sarah is degree qualified and has completed post graduate studies in Human Resource Management, Training and Coaching. Currently completing her Masters in Human Resources and Organisational Development.

Sarah has worked extensively in the hospitality and tourism industry and has significant work experience in the fields of education, marketing and recruitment. Prior to this role Sarah was Director of HR Consulting firm People Reaching Potential (PRP) and was previously Regional Director of Human Resources for an international company responsible for the businesses in Australia, New Zealand and Pacific region. Currently SVP of Talent & Culture Accor Pacific.

Sarah specialises in the areas of culture transformation, strategic business planning, leadership development, employee engagement and organisational behaviour.

Jessica Turnbull

Head of People, Minor Hotels

Jessica joined Minor Hotels as the Head of People for Australia and New Zealand in September 2019. This role sees Jessica responsible for leading the People and Culture agenda which encompasses Employee Relations, Talent Acquisition, Organisational Capability, Culture and Engagement across more than 60 properties and 2000 employees. In addition to this, Jessica also plays a critical part in driving key executive projects.

Jessica is a results driven HR professional who enjoys operating both strategically and operationally.  She has been fortunate to have experienced diversity of industry in her professional career, having held senior roles within the Human Resources function within a number of large organisations.

Sam McIvor

Partner, Mullins Lawyers

Sam leads the Business team at Mullins Lawyers. He specialises in employment law, including employment relations, industrial relations and health and safety.

Sam combines practical business acumen and a high level of legal expertise to deliver clients with a full range of employment law representation across contentious and non-contentious issues including unfair dismissal, adverse action and discrimination claims an advice on contracts and policies and procedures.

His focus on achieving commercial outcomes makes him a valued advisor to clients across many industries; particularly building & construction, pubs & restaurants, clubs, and hotels, resorts & accommodation, where he also advises on enforcing and restraint of trade issues.

Approachable and pragmatic, Sam has significant experience in large-scale employment litigation across a number of jurisdictions and appears regularly for clients before the Fair Work Commission, the State and Federal Courts, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland.

Simon Tufrey

Human Resources Director – Australia, NZ & Fiji, Wyndham Vacation Clubs Asia Pacific

Simon joined Wyndham Destinations in early 2019 as Human Resources Director for its South Pacific operations. In his current role, Simon is focused on driving the company’s employee experience, leadership capability, talent and organisational development strategies across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Simon has forged his career in a number of roles spanning Accommodation Services, Insurance Development & Construction and corporate settings; with a mix of in-house and consulting experience throughout his career journey. 

Simon is regarded for his authentic and visionary leadership, passion for developing our future HR stars and commitment to the delivery of meaningful and impactful people initiatives through true business partnering.

He is presently Talent Acquisition Lead for Women in Travel, Wyndham Destinations’ internal peak body dedicated to gender diversity and in 2020 was both an Excellence Awardee at the Australian HR Awards, and recognised as HR Associate of the Year at the HM Awards.

Simon holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hon.) from the University of New England, having majored in Employment Law. Outside of work he is a passionate cyclist, sports nut and father of two.


Cass Champion

Chief Operating Officer, Accommodation Association

Cass is a strong leader, with a proven reputation for removing obstacles and making things happen. Cass is a highly analytical and enthusiastic change agent with a proven track record for increasing efficiencies, implementing processes, with a demonstrated ability to scrutinize technical and operational data to guide senior-level strategic corporate initiatives. 

Cass has held senior management positions across the hospitality and education sector as these industries need to work more cohesively together. Cass is also Secretariat for the National Advisory Board of Employment and oversees all Advisory Boards conducted by the Accommodation Association. 

Before being appointed as COO of the Accommodation Association Cass owned a Training Organisation with a national footprint, catering for the training needs within the hospitality sector and numerous other industries. Cass holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Hotel Management and all relevant vocational training qualifications ensuring our members have the highest quality training networks available to them.

A family girl foremost, with two beautiful children and a one-eyed Hawthorn supporter, who also enjoys tennis, horse racing, golf and a fine wine.