When I was in my early 20's, an accident forced me to look for a new career. My professional ballet life was suddenly over. Remembering the words of Mark Twain which my father had regularly quoted to me ...
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Explore! Dream! Discover! ”
I decide to venture into the world of travel, a job which would soon become a passion.
For nearly 40 years, I have worked in this exciting industry. I started my career with Jetabout Holidays in Global Reservations; I moved through the company, gaining experience in ticketing, South Pacific touring, Asia (Product Department) and finally ‘Inbound' working as Assistant Manager and concentrating on Japanese groups visiting Australia.
From Qantas, I moved to Hong Kong and joined Peggy Craig Travel, a company specializing in cultural tours and adventure travel throughout Asia. I was the ‘go to' person for scuba diving, whitewater rafting, trekking in Asia and safaris to Africa. American Express soon came calling and asked me to join them as Manager of two large departments – Corporate Home Leave and Card Member Travel. I was the obvious person for locals and expats when it came to organizing travel to ‘the land down under.'
Returning back to Australia, I was able to combine my love of classical music, dance and history with work when I joined Renaissance Tours, the leading cultural tour operator in Australia. Wearing my Tour Director hat, my travels with various groups took me to Europe, America and South America and enabled me to experience some of the most fabulous performances (opera, music, ballet) in the company of like-minded people.
Looking for a new challenge, I joined Abercrombie and Kent, arguably the world's #1 wholesale tour operator. I gained in-depth knowledge of countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. I still think they are a truly professional organisation and I happily entrust my clients to them when they want a high quality (small) group or private tour.
Next, I ventured into the world of cruising managing the Private Travel Desk for Wiltrans International (who were originally the GSA for Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruising and Paul Gauguin.) This expanded my knowledge of the cruise industry in general and luxury hotels in particular.
There are not too many countries I have not visited and I do have a bucket list and high on that list are two places: Antarctica and Rwanda (to see the mountain gorillas).
I take great pride in my work; I have meticulous attention to detail and 99.9% is not good enough. Every file must be 100% correct with all boxes ticked and requests fulfilled. I always endeavour to offer the highest level of personalized service and I constantly remind myself that I am helping people fulfil their travel dreams.
I love being part of this dynamic company. MTA is a 'going places' company and, workwise, I have never been happier. The connections they have e.g. organisations such as Virtuoso, Belmond Bellini Club, Cruiseco and Virgin Galactic allow me to offer so much more.
I understand with all the information now available on the internet, it can be confusing, frustrating and overwhelming trying to organize a holiday. It doesn't have to be this way; a good Travel Agent can take away all the hassle and make it stress-free. It would, therefore, be my pleasure to discuss your travel plans with you and to make sure your dreams turn into realities.
Wiltrans International (7 yrs) Manager - Private Travel Desk, offering clients a professional, individualised travel service with the emphasis on the luxury cruise industry. Expanded over time to include tailor-made holidays, land-based tours, flights, hotels, car hire and rail holidays.
Abercrombie & Kent, Sydney (2 yrs) Specialist Travel Consultant - (covering the entire A&K portfolio with particular emphasis on India, China, South America, Europe and the Middle East.)
Renaissance tours (8 yrs) Cultural Tours Manager – Involved in the organisation of cultural tours (opera, classical music, ballet, art and historical tours) for clients such as Opera Australia, Sydney Symphony, Australian Ballet and Art Gallery Society of NSW.
American Express Travel, Hong Kong (7 yrs) Manager - Corporate Holiday Travel and Card Member Travel
Peggy Craig Adventure Travel, Hong Kong (5 yrs) Manager Wholesale - (specialising in travel to China, Vietnam, Laos, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. Specialised in diving, whitewater rafting, trekking in Asia and safaris to Africa.)
Jetabout Holidays (10 yrs) Assistant Product Planner - Asia and Inbound (Australia); Senior Travel Consultant (USA, Europe, Asia and South Pacific)
Areas of specialty
On a personal level, when I travel this is what I love: to get back to nature and explore the ‘less travelled’ paths. To be near water be that ocean or river (so it follows that I am passionate about cruising), I love to scuba dive, to sail, to find that pristine beach and disappear from the world for a week or two. Finally, I love to learn especially about past cultures so I am in heaven when I am in countries such as Italy, Greece and Egypt. These then are the type of holidays I love to plan.
Favourite Cities: Paris, Rome and St Petersburg
Favourite Countries: Italy, Botswana, Brazil
Give me a free holiday and I would go to East Africa without hesitation especially Rwanda to see the gorillas.
UFTAA - Student of the YearWorldwide (1977)
IATA – Tourism and Hospitality DiplomaTop Student – Australia (1977)