Board of Directors

The Advance Cairns Board comprises of the Chair, two Deputy Chairs, Chair of Finance & Risk Management Committee, Chair of Events & Membership Commitee and four Directors.

The Committee meets monthly to consider matters affecting Advance Cairns Limited, both strategically and operationally.

Trent Twomey, Chair

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Trent is a pharmacist and a partner in a group of four pharmacies.

He is a National Councillor of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Chair of the  NQ Primary Healthcare Network, a member of the James Cook University Council, Interim Chair of the Northern Australia Alliance and has been a member of the Northern Australia Advisory Group, providing expert advice on developing Northern Australia to the members of the Strategic Partnership — the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, the Premiers of Queensland and Western Australia and the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory.

Trent is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Council Member of the Queensland Futures Institute, Committee for Economic Development Australia Trustee, and the Australian Institute of Management and the Australian College of Pharmacy.

Trent is married with two children.

Michael Delaney, Deputy Chair

Michael has been in public practice in Cairns since 1987 and has worked in the audit and business services areas since.

Michael is a BDO accredited advisor in Family Business and consults to a wide range of family businesses.

Michael is the President of the Cairns Amateurs and a Director of Access Community Housing Company.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Science (UQ), Bachelor of Commerce (UQ), Graduate Certificate in Forensic Studies (Accounting) (Monash), is a Chartered

Accountant and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Chris Boland, Director

Chris Boland is the Chief Executive Officer of Ports North.

Ports North is responsible for the management and operation of the Ports of Cairns, Karumba, Thursday Island, Mourilyan, Skardon River, Cape Flattery, Quintell Beach, Cooktown and Burketown as well as the Cityport project in Cairns.

Chris was born in Queensland and attended university at the University of Queensland gaining an honours degree in Engineering before working in Melbourne, the United Kingdom and Cairns.

Mark Hope, Director and Chair of Finance and Risk Managaement Committee

Mark Hope is the Chief Financial Officer at North Queensland Airports, which operates the Cairns and Mackay Airports. He leads a team responsible for all financial, procurement and information technology activities across the airports and has extensive experience in all aspects of financial strategy, risk management and business leadership. Mark has held a number of senior roles primarily in the media and transport industries and has worked in London, Auckland and Brisbane. A keen advocate for promoting regional growth, since moving to the Far North he has discovered the joys of zip lining in the Daintree, tubing down the Barron and snorkeling on the reef. In his free time Mark can be found supporting his children’s sporting pursuits.


Andy Taylor, Director

As sole Director of Prime Group and Prime Constructions, Andy Taylor has established two new and dynamic businesses incorporated in 2008. Both businesses have been carefully and strategically positioned with knowledge gained from 35 years of experience in the construction and development industry.

With a history of experience ranging from on-site management of complex residential and commercial projects to managing all aspects of one of Australia’s largest privately owned Construction companies,he is well equipped with the necessary skills to drive a modern and sophisticated development and construction business.

Andy is a recognised leader in construction and development management in North Queensland and brings considerable personal and professional skills and strengths to his new business. He is well-known for his achievements and extensive experience in business, construction, property and the development industry throughout Queensland.

Andy’s core strengths include advanced skills in property acquisitions, development feasibility, and the management of technical design and construction risk including complex negotiations with local councils and authorities with whom he has maintained an excellent working relationship.


Professor Sandra Harding, Director

sandra-harding-small-09Professor Sandra Harding took up her appointment as Vice Chancellor and President of James Cook University Australia in January 2007. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring clear and effective leadership and management of the University across all operating sites, including campuses in Cairns, Singapore and Townsville.

Professor Harding has extensive academic and academic leadership experience. An economic sociologist by training, her areas of enduring academic interest include work, organisation and markets and how they work. She also has a keen interest in public policy in two areas: education policy and related areas; and the global Tropics, northern Australia and economic development.

Professor Harding has undertaken a wide variety of external roles within the business community and the higher education sector.

Sean Adams, Director

With over 20 years experience working within the construction industry, Sean Adams has a wealth of knowledge and a passion for all facets of business. As a hands-on Director, he is dedicated to his staff, improving efficiencies and providing cost effective supply solutions to his clients.

Having graduated from The University of Queensland with an honours degree in Structural Engineering, Sean has worked as a design engineer with national firms located in both Australia and the UK.

Joining CSF Industries in late 2003, Sean became Managing Director in 2009. Under his leadership, CSF Industries has diversified and Sean now oversees three separate business units: CSF Steel Fabricators, CSF Roofing and Townsville Steel Fabricators. In 2014, he launched a start-up transport company, Intrans Logistics, where he remains the Managing Director.

Born and raised in Cairns, Sean believes in the opportunities our region has to offer for current and future generations.

Jodie Duignan-George, Director

Jodie Duignan-George is an Associate Vice Chancellor of CQUniversity. The primary focus of this role is to set the strategic direction for CQUniversity’s Cairns and Far North Region and lead activity in pursuit of the University’s engagement agenda.

Jodie has a strong background in corporate and commercial service management and business development within the higher education sector. Jodie’s real strength lies in community engagement. She has experience leading teams and setting strategic direction, for social and economic impact, in collaboration with industry and community.

In addition to her role at CQUniversity, Jodie is the Vice President of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of Study Cairns and Company Secretary of Engagement Australia.

Jodie is a firm believer that the Cairns region has enormous potential yet to be unlocked. As a Cairns local of 26 years, she is passionate about the region’s development and is dedicated to strengthening opportunities for education and industry alike.

Melissa Nielsen, Director

Melissa has extensive experience in all facets of business, commercial and property law with her clientele base ranging from larger publicly-listed corporations through to privately-owned companies and self-employed clients.

Her extensive experience in commercial and property matters includes advising on all aspects of the acquisition and sale process, drafting contract documentation, negotiating contract terms, completing due diligence enquiries and finalising the conveyancing process. She provides practical and effective advice in relation to all aspects of property and commercial transactions, with a strong background in rural and agricultural dealings.

Melissa has a special interest in leasing – commercial, rural and retail, acting on behalf of Far North Queensland’s largest corporation in this field. Highly results driven, she specialises in transactional work and has a strong background in providing advice on contracts and agreements, property development, building, conveyancing, mortgaging and franchising.

Melissa has valuable local experience. Born and raised in tropical north Queensland, she is a true local with strong ties to the community and the region. She is a current director of Advance Cairns Limited.In 2013 Melissa was awarded the James Cook University Outstanding Alumni Award for the Faculty of Law, Business and the Creative Arts.


P.O. Box 3065
Cairns, QLD 4870 Australia


New office location
4/16 Minnie Street, Cairns, QLD, 4870, Australia


Phone: +61 (0)7 4080 2900
Fax: +61 (0)7 4031 3994