Our Team

Nick Trompf, CEO
Nick Trompf Advance Cairns CEOSince moving from Victoria to tropical north Queensland in 2001, Nick has played an active role as a senior business leader as well as in the wider community.

Before joining Advance Cairns as CEO, he had a 34-year career in media, initially as a journalist and editor and then moving into commercial management.

He was General Manager of Cairns’ oldest business, the Cairns Post Pty Ltd, for 11 years before promotion into more senior roles at News Corp Australia – ultimately heading all of its regional divisions from Hobart to Darwin (while still based in Cairns).

Nick has been a passionate advocate for the region serving on a variety of voluntary boards including Advance Cairns (two terms), the Far North Queensland Amateur Turf Club, AFL Cairns, the Salvation Army Red Shield Business Appeal and Events Cairns. He and his family also run a stud beef cattle business on the Atherton Tablelands.

Danielle Carey - Policy and Economic Development
Danielle returned to Cairns in 2015 following 10 years away to take up the role of Regional Planner with the Department of Education and Training, identifying and addressing skills gaps affecting regional economic and business growth in TNQ.

Prior to this she managed Townsville Enterprise’s North Queensland Emerging Leaders Program to drive the future growth of the Townsville region. While living in Townsville she was also actively involved with the Townsville Fire WNBL, Townsville Business Women’s Club and sat on the Townsville Fashion Festival Board.

Before moving north, Danielle managed Study Brisbane (Brisbane’s international student arm) developing initiatives to increase Brisbane’s international student enrolment numbers and improve the international student experience.  She also facilitated international relations and multicultural partnerships to generate economic development and create business opportunities for Brisbane on behalf of the Lord Mayor’s office.

In her current role, Danielle analyses current and emerging economic trends and industry development opportunities to address the challenges of economic growth and industry diversification in the TNQ region. She is a member of the Study Cairns Executive Board, Skilling Cassowary Coast and Workforce North.

Sonya Fetherstonhaugh - Business Operations
Before moving to Cairns in 2014 Sonya worked for 20 years in a Gladstone law firm specialising in Criminal and Family law and Wills and Estates.  She was also involved in the Federal Elections in 2007, 2010 and 2013 working alongside the first member for Parliament for the Flynn Electorate.

Sonya also owned and operated a successful commercial fishing business and Mango and Pawpaw farm during this time.

Prior to commencing her employment at Advance Cairns in 2017, she worked as Senior Account Administrator in marketing and advertising.

Sonya has been a Commissioner of Declarations since 1994.

Professor Paul Gadek (BSc Hons), PhD, FAICD, FQAAS - Consultant, AGTNQ
Professor Gadek’ is developing a strategic protocol for engagement with the Agricultural sector, generally in the TNQ region, to drive economic diversification.

His academic research interests and professional activities encompass experience and expertise in many aspects of plant biology, plant biotechnology, management of pure and applied competitively funded and consultancy projects, and fungal and plant pathogen research.

Professor Gadek has significant experience and expertise in academic leadership, policy and governance. Professor Gadek continues to be active in raising awareness and developing opportunities in collaborative regional biobased industries in northern Queensland.

He has served directorships in James Cook Australia Institute of Higher Learning (JCAIHL Pty Ltd), which operates out of Singapore; Regional Development Australia FNQ&TS; and on the Board of the Australian Tropical Herbarium (ATH).  He has been a member of several regional development organisations including ATEC, DEEDI’s Mentoring for Growth, and Sustainable FNQ. He is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors course, and is a Fellow and Chair of the Cairns Committee of AICD, and a director and Chair of Skill360 Australia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences (QAAS) and an adjunct Professor with CQU.


P.O. Box 3065
Cairns, QLD 4870 Australia


51 The Esplanade
Cairns QLD 4870 Australia


Phone: +61 (0)7 4080 2900