National Council

President Leanne Harwood

Senior Vice President & Managing Director for Australasia, Japan & Pacific, IHG

Leanne Harwood is IHG’s Managing Director for Australasia & Japan, responsible for the operations, growth and performance of more than 80 hotels. In this role, she oversees the success of IHG’s business at a time when it continues its fantastic growth momentum in Australia and prepares for some major upcoming sporting events in Japan.

Leanne has more than 20 years’ hospitality experience with more than a decade at IHG, and has worked in many countries including Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and French Polynesia.

Originally from NZ, Leanne is a relentless globetrotter, avid reader and wannabe wine connoisseur.

Vice President David Mansfield

Managing Director, The Ascott Limited- Australia

With more than 30 years experience in hospitality and asset management, David joined Quest as the Chief Operations Officer in July 2019 before being promoted to Managing Director of The Ascott Limited for Australia in February 2021.

David is responsible for overseeing Ascott’s managed operations throughout Australia, in addition to ongoing global leadership of business format franchise brand, Quest Apartment Hotels, which has over 170+ hotels throughout Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the United Kingdom.  

Previously, David worked in senior corporate and strategic management positions in various locations across Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific. 

Prior to working at Quest, he held senior leadership roles with InterContinental Hotels Group and Hyatt International, where he gained extensive experience working in both hotel and resort operations.

These roles provided David with a broad range of experiences, and today his expertise spans operational capability and excellence, asset management, wealth creation, strategic alignment, concept development and cultural change. 

David graduated from the University of Newcastle, Australia with an MBA and is certified in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University.

He is currently the Chairman of the National Advisory Board of Employment with the Accommodation Association.

  • Datoship awarded by the HRH Sultan of the State of Pahang, Malaysia, 2010
  • Multiple Hyatt property awards for performance, service and industrial accolades

Industry Associations and Boards

  • Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) – Victoria
  • Accommodation Association – Australia

Treasurer - Bruce Copland

Independent Director

Bruce Copland is a professional company director and hotelier who has worked in the hotel, hospitality, tourism and related consulting business since 1969.  He has many years’ experience in the international arena spanning the United Kingdom, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Mexico, and Australia.

Bruce first migrated to Australia in 1986 to work for Western Resorts in WA as Group Development Manager. He has since held other senior group management positions with Quality Pacific, Country Comfort, Austotel and was CEO of Toga Hospitality until June 2007.  During his tenure at Toga both Vibe Hotels and Travelodge were coupled to the already successful Medina brand and the first Adina Hotels were opened in Europe.  

Bruce continues to serve on the board of TFE Hotels.  Bruce is also a Director of McKenzie Scott & Associates, providing consulting services and back office systems to a wide variety of companies across Australia.

Bruce is the Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee overseeing all remuneration, accounting and compliance issues for the Association.

Simon McGrath AM

AccorHotels - Hotels Sector

Simon McGrath is the Chief Executive Officer for AccorHotels Pacific responsible for over 385 hotels, 53,000 rooms and 21,000 employees in the Pacific region.

Simon has had an extensive and highly respected career in the hotel sector having worked in executive management positions throughout Australia in key cities and iconic destinations. In addition to his local experience, Simon has worked throughout Asia in key locations including Malaysia and Thailand.

In addition to his role as Chief Executive Officer for AccorHotels Pacific, Simon holds the following Directorship Roles:

  • Director of AAPC Limited
  • Director of Accor Vacation Club (AVC)
  • Director for Reef Casino Trust

Simon also currently holds positions on the following industry Boards:

  • Deputy Chairman of Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) 
  • Councillor, Accommodation Association 
  • Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School Industry Advisory Board

In 2018, Simon participated in a special Taskforce for the NSW Government – Visitor Economy Taskforce.

Outside of tourism and hospitality, Simon holds the position of Independent Director of Genesis Care (leading healthcare company).

Simon has played a major advocacy role in advancing Indigenous employment in hospitality and wider economic employment. He has also championed and taken a lead role to greatly improve gender diversity in the tourism sector. 

Simon has been recognised for his contribution to the hospitality industry with numerous individual and company awards of excellence. He was awarded Australasian Hotelier of the Year in 2009 and again recently in 2017 and 2018 at the HM (Hotel Management) Awards. Also at the HM Awards, AccorHotels was named Best Accommodation Chain 2013. In addition, Simon received a Gold Bernache, the highest accolade for AccorHotels globally, for Performance in 2012.

Julian Clark

Independent Investor / Owner – Boutique Hotels Sector

Julian is CEO of The Lancemore Group, a family owned and managed business and one of the largest boutique hotel operators in Australia.

Julian has extensive experience in the accommodation industry and in his current role manages several iconic properties across Australia that regularly feature in Gold List’s and Good Food Guides.  

Julian is also a board member for the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) and a past board member of Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC). 

Heidi Kunkel

Vice President of Operations, Australasia, Hilton

Heidi Kunkel was appointed Vice President Operations, Australasia at Hilton in April 2018. Heidi is responsible for the overall performance of the growing portfolio of Hotels & Resorts in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific that currently encompasses 27 Hotels and over 12 new properties in the pipeline.

As a member of the Asia Pacific Executive Committee, Heidi reports directly to Alan Watts, Area President Asia Pacific, and leads Hilton’s ambitious growth strategy to increase Hilton’s footprint and awareness across the Australasia region. 

Heidi is a results-driven hospitality expert with over 20 years’ experience in both operational and commercial functions of the business. In her previous role, Heidi worked for Club Med for 15 years, most recently as CEO of New Markets Europe & Africa (based in Paris) where she was responsible for over 15 commercial markets, including the UK, South Europe, South Africa, Russia and the Middle East – a region which achieved double digit growth during her tenure. Club Med was awarded Brand of the Year at the 2018 World Branding Awards, an accolade which recognised the holiday chain’s worldwide achievements. 

Chris Sedgwick

Chief Operating Officer, TFE Hotels

Chris Sedgwick has been the Chief Operating Officer for TFE Hotels since April 2017, and is responsible for over 70 hotels, 10,000 rooms and 2,500 employees across Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark and Hungary. 

Prior to TFE Hotels, Chris worked with Accor Hotels for 10 years in various leadership and executive roles, including Regional General Manager Northern Territory & South Australia, General Manager Operations Accor Vacation Club, Vice President Operations Queensland & Northern Territory and more recently Senior Vice President New Zealand, Fiji & French Polynesia.     

Chris has over 22 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and has held senior leadership, management and executive positions in key Australian city and tourism destinations including; Hamilton Island, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Gold Coast as well as internationally in New Zealand & Thailand.

Damian Quayle

Chief Operating Officer - The Star Sydney

Damian Quayle was appointed to the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) at The Star Sydney in July 2019.

Damian joined The Star in 2011 and has since served in several senior executive positions including The Star Gold Coast’s COO.

He has more than 30 years of hospitality and gaming experience, including a comprehensive understanding of VIP and mass gaming markets and integrated resorts across Asia and Australia.

Prior to joining The Star, Damian worked in executive roles in Macau at Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd and Wynn Macau Ltd.

Damian is currently responsible for the guest experience, and operations at The Star Sydney leading a team of 4500, and entertaining 13 million guests to the property every year through our extensive Gaming, Food and beverage and hotel functions.


Barry Robinson

President and Managing Director - International Operations, Wyndham Vacation Clubs

Barry Robinson serves as President and Managing Director of International Operations for Wyndham Vacation Clubs, overseeing operations of the company’s timeshare business outside North America.

Barry served as president and managing director of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific for 14 years, driving significant property acquisitions and enhanced resort developments, including growing the business to become the world’s largest vacation ownership development operation outside North America.

Barry was also responsible for leading Wyndham Hotel Group’s growth across South East Asia and the Pacific Rim.  Under Barry’s leadership a renewed customer focus was instilled across both businesses. The service culture that Barry continues to emphasize across Wyndham Vacation Clubs is to create personalised and memorable experiences at every customer touchpoint.

Dean Long

Executive Director

Dean is a Public Policy professional with 15 years of experience providing advice to Governments around Australia and the business sectors with a focus on delivering advocacy outcomes that are mutually beneficial. Throughout his career Dean has created and maintained strong and trusted relationships across the political, private and public sectors. 

Dean was the CEO of the Accommodation Association from June 2019 until September 2021, following roles as a Senior Adviser in the NSW Government, Head of Public Policy for the Australian Federation of Travel Agents and the National Manager of Government Acquisition (merchant services) for American Express. Dean has successfully led industry responses to regulatory changes across financial services, taxation, consumer affairs, immigration and planning. 

Dean is currently the CEO of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents and continues to be actively involved with the Association to fulfil the responsibilities of the position of Executive Director. Dean was elected to the position of Executive Director in September 2021.

Dean holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, Environmental Management and Tourism from Western Sydney University and Masters of Management from the University of Technology Sydney.

Dean is also an avid adopter of new technology, a soon to be owner of the NFL franchise - the Greenbay Packers, passionate follower the Australian Test Cricket team and an aviation geek.