Treetop Walkway, Daintree Discovery Centre, QLD

Our Board

Ecotourism Australia is governed by a Board of Directors located around Australia. They provide strategic guidance, ensure accountability, and drive the organisation’s mission and impact.

Image Caroline Densley Board Member

Caroline Densley

Acting Chair

Caroline Densley is an owner and Director of Diverse Travel Australia a ROC Accredited inbound tour operator that specialises in wildlife, nature and Aboriginal cultural experiences across Australia. For over 24 years Caroline has been actively involved in the inbound tourism sector and is a passionate advocate for responsible and sustainable tourism across Australia. Her dedication was acknowledged in 2019 when she was awarded the Australian Tourism Export Council’s (ATEC) prestigious Captain Trevor Haworth Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to the Tourism Export Industry award.

As an Australian destination specialist Caroline has an intimate knowledge of remote and regional Australia and understands the strength and value of Ecotourism accredited members to Australia’s story. Caroline believes that post pandemic Australian tourism experiences will continue to lead the way in fostering a competitive and sustainable tourism industry.

Caroline’s passion for travel started way back in high school when she undertook and AFS exchange to Oregon in the USA. This experience opened her eyes to the wonderful value of travel to learn, share and give back, and this passion continues today.

Caroline’s personal commitment for conservation and wildlife protection led her to become a founding member of the Koala Clancy Foundation, a not-for-profit incorporated association that supports the wild koalas of the Western Plains of Victoria. The Koala Clancy Foundation is inspiring travellers and local communities to help ensure a future for wild koalas through enhancement and protection of their natural habitat.

Through tourism mentoring opportunities Caroline has established ongoing strong relationships with Aboriginal owned and operated businesses across Australia and she continues to educate the wider inbound tourism industry on the value of including Aboriginal experiences into visitor itineraries.

Caroline has been an active Director of Ecotourism Australia for the past two years and is the current Deputy Chair. She is enjoying immersing herself in the Ecotourism community and looks forward to the opportunity to continue.

Nat Burke Board Member

Nat Burke

 Acting Deputy Chair

Nat Burke has more than 18 years’ experience in program management, policy advocacy, and applied research in the fields of social development, conservation, education, and public diplomacy.

Nat is Senior Manager, Social Development at WWF-Australia. He leads a team of conservationists working with Indigenous and local communities in Australia and across Asia and the Pacific to achieve conservation outcomes while supporting sustainable and inclusive development.

Nat is a strong advocate for community-led approaches that put local people and their social, cultural, and economic aspirations at the heart of conservation and sustainable natural resource management.

From his early career working with the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, to designing and leading inclusive conservation and sustainable development programs in Nepal, Solomon Islands, and bushfire-affected communities in Australia, Nat has seen firsthand how sustainable nature-based tourism can be a powerful force for environmental, social, and economic change. Nat believes that high-integrity ecotourism is one of the best ways to demonstrate that we don’t have to choose between a healthy environment and a strong economy.

Alysia Brandenburg

Alysia Brandenburg

Alysia is an active Director of Ecotourism Australia, and serves on the Executive, Finance and Audit Committee, is Chair of Business Development Committee, Co-Chair Governance Committee and a member of the Policy & Advocacy and Conference & Awards committees.

As the tourism industry faces challenges, she aims to ensure the recognition of the sector’s value and the importance of sustainable practices. A strong advocate for EA’s certification programs, Alysia champions quality standards, auditing, and skills training. Her commitment extends to strengthening services and support for members as EA expands its offerings, engaging with regional destinations, leadership organisations, governments, and the visitor economy.

Alysia holds a Masters of Tourism Monash University, is a Tourism Award Judge/Team Leader, an ART Regional Ambassador and Director on Walhalla Committee of Management. She has an IAP2 Australasia Certificate in Engagement and has a passion for engaging in a collaborative manner, focused on sustainable destination planning, public land activation, responsible tourism, accessibility, and innovative partnership development. 

As a tourism advisor Alysia’s recent clients include Tourism Australia (Policy Development), Tourism Events & Visitor Economy (Victoria’s NBT Action Plan), Business Victoria (workshops/ seminars/mentoring), Wine Yarra Valley (Grant management), Shire of East Gippsland (Tourism 101), Destination SNSW and SSS (DMPs), ART (Be a Grant Ready Organisation training module). 

Wendy Hills Board Member

Wendy Hills

For over 25 years, Wendy has worked in the Australian tourism industry in various marketing and development roles, including destination, product, and industry development with a proven expertise in sustainable indigenous tourism and the importance that this sector plays in identifying Australia’s cultural strengths and ‘point of difference’, in a very competitive global marketplace.

She has worked for private enterprise companies, two State Tourism Organisations, Indigenous Business Australia, and Tourism Australia as the head of the Australian Experiences team, responsible for the development and marketing of Australia’s 7 key experiences, including ‘Natural Australia’ and ‘Aboriginal Australia’.

Wendy joined the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in December 2011, and has managed several portfolios, including Aboriginal cultural tourism development, marketing and campaigns, nature-based tourism, and partnership development, and now currently manages the Volunteer and Education Teams, responsible for program development within relevant NSW National Parks and Reserves.

Wendy is a current Director of Ecotourism Australia, and a Board member of the Booderee National Park Joint Board of Management.

Peter Johnson Board Member

Peter Johnson

With his wife Kerry, Peter is the owner/operator of Diamond Waters Treehouse Retreat, a multi-award-winning luxury eco retreat and events centre on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. The Treehouse Retreat is currently Advanced Ecotourism and Climate Action Business certified.

Peter and Kerry have been engaged with the Tourism industry since they started the exciting journey of rehabilitating their 13-acre rural property in 2004. They have, over many years participated in their local community through work on the Slice of Haven Food and Wine Festival, local Chamber of Commerce, and the Camden Haven and Great Port Macquarie Tourism committees. Together, they have developed a strong and lasting passion for the Tourism industry since moving to Dunbogan.

Prior to his engagement with tourism, Peter was the CEO of several private and public hospitals. It is in this capacity he honed his skills in the areas of corporate governance; financial management; risk management; standards compliance, and in particular, performance management and benchmarking. He has recently retired, (after 28 years) from his position as an Assessor for the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, the certification body for hospitals and healthcare systems. In this role, he contributes to EA with his experience in various national and international certification systems.

Peter is a current member of the Ecotourism Board and Chairperson of the Certification Committee and has worked through the 2019-2022 challenges of bushfires and Covid. He values contributing to the introduction of new online certification processes and shaping future outcome-based performance indicators for tourism operators. Peter is enthusiastic about continuing to represent tourism providers and EA in these vital development areas.

Janet Mackay Board Member

Janet Mackay

Janet Mackay is a well known consultant in sustainable tourism and strategic destination planning with a career spanning over three decades. She is the Director of TRC Tourism, an Australian-based consultancy renowned for its innovative and impactful approach to tourism development and management across Australia, NZ, Asia Pacific and beyond. Janet’s leadership at TRC Tourism has been instrumental in delivering over 500 projects worldwide, consistently promoting sustainability, community benefits and economic growth. Janet’s expertise covers a wide array of areas including eco-tourism, First Nations tourism support and business mentoring, visitor experience design and tourism infrastructure planning.

Under Janet’s guidance TRC Tourism has become a trusted advisor to governments, NGOs, and private sector clients across the globe. Her projects often emphasise collaboration with local communities to ensure that tourism initiatives are both culturally sensitive and economically beneficial. Janet is particularly adept at integrating indigenous perspectives into tourism planning, fostering respect for traditional knowledge and practices.

Beyond her professional achievements, Janet is committed to mentoring the next generation of tourism professionals. She is actively involved in various industry associations and serves on a number of advisory boards. Her dedication to advancing sustainable tourism principles and practices continues to inspire and influence the tourism sector.

Robert Taylor Board Member

Robert Taylor

Robert, a Nhanda Yamaji man, offers over 38 years of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry. He has owned and managed hospitality, tourism, mining, sport and recreation and construction businesses. Having an entrepreneurial spirit, he has proved his capability of diversification, utilising his skills and knowledge to cross over industries to develop diverse income streams. Robert became CEO of Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council WAITOC in 2015. During this time, he has successfully delivered the Aboriginal Tourism Development Program, growing 39 new Aboriginal businesses across W.A.

He has taken the organisation from a marketing and advocacy Aboriginal tourism organisation and introduced business development to build business leaders for the future and create a strong Aboriginal tourism sector for Western Australia. His drive to ensure the country understands the value of Aboriginal tourism has been rewarded through securing funding at a local state and federal government level for Aboriginal tourism.

He has been a leading voice to the government, successfully advocating for 40 million dollars invested into Aboriginal Tourism Nationwide from this work. He sat on the National Indigenous Tourism Advisory Group to NIAA, advocating for further change across the nation.

Robert continues to create new partnerships with prospective stakeholders to improve Cultural understanding, respect, and positive social outcomes for the Australian Aboriginal People and create a strong, diversified, sustainable organisation model.

Jane Goodall Quote:

“Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved.”

Our Team

Our team is located in Brisbane (Meanjin) on Turrbal Country working behind the scenes for our members across Australia. 

Elissa Keenan

Chief Executive

Elissa has vast executive experience within the tourism, aviation, government and peak body sectors including with Queensland Airports Limited, Airservices Australia, Virgin Australia, the REIQ and Surf Life Saving. Passionate about the tourism industry, Elissa is on the Board of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and a former non-executive Director with Reef Check Australia an innovative citizen-science environmental charity dedicated to empowering people to take positive action for conserving reef and marine environments.

She has been a member of the Australian Tourism Awards Judging Panel, Chair of the Queensland Tourism Awards Panel, and judge with the Outback Queensland Tourism Awards. Elissa is a keen advocate for female representation in leadership and is a mentor and former Corporate Executive Board Member with Women in Aviation International. She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from SCU, Master of Business (QUT), Bachelor of Business (QUT), and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Elissa loves to travel across Australia and beyond, has just two continents still to see (Africa and Antarctica), but firmly believes our beaches, wildlife, rainforests, outback and nature-based experiences are among the best – if not the best – in the world.


Nadine Schramm 

Head of Sustainability and Business Operations

Nadine oversees all of Ecotourism Australia’s sustainability programs and certifications as well as the audit and compliance program for over 500 businesses and destinations. After completing her degree in Tourism Management with a major in International Sustainable Tourism Management in Germany, Nadine lived in London before permanently relocating to Australia in 2017. Nadine is passionate about enabling tourism businesses to reach their sustainability goals and creating long-term positive impact.

Nadine sits on several sustainable and ecotourism panels and committees with the aim to improve global standards and sustainable practices in tourism.

Alyssa Sanders 

Head of Destinations and Member Services

Alyssa has worked with local government in South Australia, supporting tourism operators in their capacity building and promoting local experiences through in region and online presence. She has also supported Visitor Information Centres, events venues and hospitality businesses during her career. 

At Ecotourism Australia, Alyssa leads regional tourism organisations and local government through Ecotourism Australia’s eco and sustainable tourism destination certification program. She has grown the program from the ground up to what it is today. Her role also includes overseeing Ecotourism Australia’s communications, events and member services and managing various grants and industry partnerships.

Alyssa holds a Bachelor of Tourism and Event Management, and a Bachelor of Business majoring in marketing, both from the University of South Australia. She is trained in global sustainability practices through Green Destinations, a global organisation supporting sustainable destination management. In 2022 Alyssa was awarded the Len Tylor Young ATEC award for leadership, recognising her extensive work to support the development of young professionals in the tourism industry.

Alyssa’s passion for the tourism industry has stemmed from her travels throughout Australia and abroad. She believes that tourism has a responsibility in educating visitors on the value of the surrounding environment and unique cultures.

Shea Wittig 

Sustainable Tourism Specialist

Living in Australia, the UK and the Middle East has inspired Shea’s actions to reflect those of a global citizen. It was during her first visit to Africa that she saw first-hand how ecotourism operators are well placed to have a lasting and positive impact on their local communities, which left her determined to be involved with this exciting and influential industry. She enrolled at Bond University, successfully graduating with a qualification in Sustainable Environments and Planning, was awarded a first in class for Environment and Economic Impact Assessment, as well as Planning Processes and received two Dean’s Awards for Academic Excellence.

Shea has held positions as an Intern, Data Entry Officer, Membership Coordinator and Certification Coordinator at Ecotourism Australia and now, as an Ecotourism Specialist, is passionate about building relationships and supporting operators with their journey towards a more sustainable future.

She is a Mental Health First Aider, has completed the AIATSIS Core Cultural Learning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Course and in 2023 was accepted into the QTIC Young Professionals Mentoring Program. 

Contact Shea for any enquires regarding Ecotourism Australia’s certification programs and internships.

Corinne Lewis

Sustainable Tourism Specialist

Corinne joined the Ecotourism Australia team, after returning to Brisbane following a 10-year hiatus, living and working in remote Northern Territory and rural Queensland.

Corinne holds a bachelor’s degree in Tourism with majors in Marketing and Management from The University of Canberra. Her long professional career in the Travel and Tourism industry includes over 10 years with Flight Centre’s Global Head Office in various roles, and 3 years with Nitmiluk Tours and Cicada Lodge on the Stunning Nitmiluk Gorge as National Marketing and Partnerships Manager. Corinne was key in driving the Refresh Noosa initiative for Tourism Noosa, the project winning the QTIC Prize for Innovation in 2018.

Corinne is looking forward to utilising her diverse experience to support tourism operators and partner with them through their Ecotourism development and pathway to certification and beyond.

Outside work, Corinne can be found walking with her dog and enjoying cafes, markets and time with family and friends along Brisbane’s beautiful bayside where she now calls home

Martin Lopez Behar

Sustainable Tourism Specialist

Martin started working in the Certification team in February 2023. He has an Accounting Degree and is currently studying a Master’s in Management of Eco and Sustainable Tourism at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. As a Sustainability Specialist, Martin oversees the Strive 4 Sustainability Program, being the primary contact for registered businesses and leads.

Martin has spent time in New Zealand and Southeast Asia before travelling all around Australia, working for many ecotourism certified operators. Martin aims to inspire others about ecotourism and sustainable travel. Outside of work, you will find Martin hiking, diving, and snorkeling.

Jillian Santry 

Communications & Events Officer

Jillian is a marketing and communications specialist with over 12 years’ experience working in the travel and tourism industry, including 9 years working for Flight Centre as a digital and direct marketing specialist. More recently she worked for Spicers Retreats helping launch the Spicers Scenic Rim Trail 5-day walk, an ecotourism venture in partnership with the Queensland Government.

Jillian has a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Anthropology, Sociology and History and a love of different cultures and the natural world from having travelled extensively. She loves to get out into nature with her family regularly, so appreciates the importance of educating people about the natural world and protecting what we have so that future generations can enjoy it in years to come.

Intern Program

Ecotourism Australia takes on several interns a year from across Australia and all over the world. We run a highly regarded program that provides interns with real-world experience and insights into the sustainable and ecotourism industry. We benefit as a business too, as they bring a fresh perspective, increases our productivity, and are potential future talent. If you would like to learn more about our intern program or would like to apply email eco@ecotourism.org.au