Rugby league legend Johnathan Thurston is set to join the board of Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced today.
The Premier said she believes Thurston has the skills and experience to take tourism and events in Queensland to the next level.
“JT is a much-loved Queenslander, an influencer and a leader both on and off the field. I am looking forward to hearing his advice and insights as to how we can grow an industry that is vital to regional communities,” she said.
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Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said in addition to his record as a sporting great, Johnathan Thurston also brought experience in regional aviation and a unique understanding of indigenous culture through his work as a community leader.
“Not only is JT one of the best footballers in history, he’s one a Queensland icon,” Ms Jones said. “It makes sense to have JT on the TEQ board.
“Major events help to drive visitors to our state and are an important part of our strategy to create more tourism jobs in Queensland.
“JT has an intimate knowledge of major events and will help to guide our strategy in regional Queensland.”
Thurston said Queensland’s tourism offering and lifestyle is something to be celebrated.
“As a proud Queenslander, I am really looking forward to working with the Tourism and Events Queensland board to showcase what’s great about our State to a national and international audience,” he said.
“Living in regional Queensland, I also know and understand how important events are to our communities, not only attracting visitors but also providing a great source of pride.”
Thurston is one of five new board members for TEQ, with Nancy Bamaga, Chris Mills, Brenda LaPorte and Sarah Kelly joining him as new members.
Brett Godfrey will continue as chair of TEQ, while two of the existing members, James Dixon and Karen Hanna Miller will return for a second consecutive term, with Cairns-based Mr Dixon becoming Deputy Chair.
The new board takes effect as of August 3.