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
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.
Richard Ireland, Deputy Chair
Richard is joint Managing Director and Dealer Principal of FR Ireland Pty Ltd, the only new vehicle dealership in Cairns fully owned by long term ‘locals’. With 10 new vehicle marques, the business was commenced by the Ireland family in 1923.
A director of 7 other family owned companies, a local business owner and, the 5th generation of his family to live in Cairns, Richard has a strong belief in giving back into the community.
Richard was Chair of the Reef & Rainforest Research Centre Ltd since its inception in 2006 until 2014, and Chair of its prior interim board; President of the Far North Queensland Youth Assistance Fund; Past President and Past Secretary of the Rotary Club of Cairns; One of the founding Directors and Shareholders of the Cairns Taipans NBL Basketball Team; Chairman of the Regional Holden Dealer Council; and a past Board Member of the Motor Trades Association of Queensland as well as a number other motor dealer advocacy organisations. Richard holds a Bachelor of Commerce from JCU and was a JCU Outstanding Alumni Awardee in 2013.
Richard is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
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 & Chair of Finance and Risk Committee
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.
Professor Sandra Harding, Director
Professor 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.
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.
Norris Carter , Director
Norris Carter is responsible for growing Cairns and Mackay airports as gateways to the unique natural assets of the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and the Bowen & Galilee Basins. He joined NQA as a member of the Board of Directors in 2015, and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in December 2016. Norris has extensive experience in aviation, including leading airline business development at Auckland Airport and international network planning, revenue management and loyalty at Qantas.
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.
P.O. Box 3065
Cairns, QLD 4870 Australia
51 The Esplanade
Cairns QLD 4870 Australia
Phone: +61 (0)7 4080 2900
Fax: +61 (0)7 4031 3994