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Management Profiles

Andrew Burnes

Andrew Burnes

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director

Mr Burnes is Helloworld Limited’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director. Upon completing his studies in Law and Commerce at Melbourne University, Mr Burnes was employed by Blake Dawson Waldron where he completed his Articles and worked as a solicitor.

On 1st November, 1987 Mr Burnes founded The Australian Outback Travel Company (The AOT Group) at the age of 26.  After the merger of AOT and Helloworld in January 2016, he was appointed CEO of Helloworld Limited on 1st February, 2016.

Mr Burnes was appointed as the Honorary Federal Treasurer of the Liberal Party of Australia in July 2015. Prior to this appointment he was the State Treasurer of the Victorian Liberal Party from May 2009 to early 2011. He was appointed as a Director of Tourism Australia in July 2004 serving as Deputy Chairman from 2006 to 2009. Mr Burnes chaired the Audit and Finance Committee of Tourism Australia during this period, was a Trustee of the Travel Compensation Fund from 2005 to 2008 and a Board Member of the Australian Tourism Export Council (“ATEC”) from 1998 serving as the organisation’s National Chairman from 1999 – 2003.

Cinzia Burnes

Cinzia Burnes

Executive Director

Ms Burnes brings extensive sector and management experience to the Board.

In 1982 she founded, and became Managing Director of the Australian Travel Bureau (ATB) prior to becoming a shareholder and Director of Caleidoscopio SRL, growing the business to become the 2nd largest wholesaler in Italy in 1989. She was also appointed Head of Travel, Italy Australia Association in 1983, just one year after joining the organisation.

From 1991 to 1998, Ms Burnes was General Manager of The Australian Outback Travel Company (AOT), founded by husband Andrew in 1987. She played a pivotal role over 26 years in growing AOT from a small regional safari operator into one of Australasia’s leading travel distribution businesses with 500 staff in 15 locations worldwide with annual revenues in excess of $350 million. The AOT Group was privately owned by Andrew and Cinzia Burnes until its merger with Helloworld Limited in February 2016.

Ms Burnes has been a Director of the Tourism Victoria Board since August 2013. She has also served as a Board member of Health Services Australia (H.S.A.) from 2006 to 2008 and as a Director of the Australian Tourist Commission Board (ATC) from 2000 to 2004.

Ms Burnes holds qualifications in Tourism and Commerce from the Metastasio Institute of Commerce (Rome) in 1982 and is a graduate of the Mt. Eliza Executive Education Business School. Advanced Management Program (May 2011) and Senior Executive Program Modules 1 & 2 (November 2014).

Michael Burnett

Michael Burnett

Chief Financial Officer

Michael joined Helloworld in April 2016 from the Transurban Group where he had been their Chief Financial Officer in North America since August 2013. Before this role he was Transurban Group’s General Manager of Finance for six years. Over his time at Transurban he played key roles in the financial management of the Group including capital and debt management, large acquisitions, and more recently, the development, restructuring and management of businesses in the USA.

Prior to joining Transurban, Michael spent three and a half years in various Global finance roles at CSL Behring. He completed his professional qualifications at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Melbourne, before being seconded to London, where he spent eight years before returning to Melbourne. Michael is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne.

David Padman

David Padman

Head Of Associate Network

David Padman was appointed Head of Associate Networks at Helloworld Limited in August 2013.  David stepped into this position following his role as General Manager at Travelscene American Express, which was part of the former Jetset Travelworld Group (JTG).  Prior to this, David was General Manager of Travelscene Corporate, where he worked with since 2008.    

Previously, David was Executive General Manager at Flight Centre Ltd NSW/ACT from 2006, overseeing all leisure, online and corporate brands.  Before this, David was General Manager of the Corporate Traveller brand at Flight Centre from 2004.  

David has been part of the travel industry for 22 years, starting his career as a travel consultant at Flight Centre.  
Julie Primmer

Julie Primmer

Head Of Branded Network

Julie Primmer was appointed Head of Branded Network at Helloworld Limited on 13 August 2013.  Immediately before her role at Helloworld, Julie was General Manager at Jetset at the former Jetset Travelworld Network (JTN) from 2011.  

Prior to this, Julie was National Franchise Manager and General Manager, Retail, at JTN from 2004.  Julie was State Manager at Harvey World Travel from 2001 to 2004.  

Julie has held other positions in the travel industry, including Manager Retail for Melbourne Location, and Regional Manager Travel and Foreign Exchange Thomas Cook.  

Julie is a Director on the Board of Australian Federation of Travel Agents and sits on the advisory Board for TFE Hotels.

Russell Carstensen

Group General Manager, Air Services and QBT

Russell Carstensen was appointed Group General Manager at Air Services and QBT in 2012.  

Russell has more than 25 years’ experience in the air ticket consolidation business and has managed the Air Services division at Helloworld Limited since 2010.

Mike Thompson

Head Of Strategic Partnerships

Mike Thompson was appointed Head of Strategic Partnerships at Helloworld Limited in 2013.  

Mike joined Travelscene, part of the former Jetset Travelworld Group (JTG), as General Manager in February 2001.  A former lawyer, Mike was instrumental in the successful implementation of the alliance with American Express to form Travelscene American Express.

Currently, Mike is Chairman of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA).  Previously he has been an AFTA Board member and Trustee of the Travel Compensation Fund.

Simon McKearney

Group General Manager - New Zealand

Simon McKearney’s has more than 15 years experience in executive management roles including with Adidas New Zealand and Flight Centre. Prior to joining Helloworld, he was the Executive General Manager Corporate for the Flight Centre Travel Group. 
Desmond Fielding

Desmond Fielding

Chief Financial Officer - AOT Group

Desmond is a Chartered Accountant, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and a Fellow of Finsia.  He is currently CFO of the AOT Group and has over 35 years’ experience in senior finance roles within a number of large public and private companies involved in the service, investment and manufacturing industries.

Anthoney Woodyard

Group General Manager – Business Systems and Applications

Anthoney has an Information Technology career spanning over 17 years of which the past 14 years have been focused on Online Technologies. In his current role of Group General Manager – Business Systems and Applications he currently heads up a team of 70 staff across offices in Melbourne, Sydney, New Zealand and Mumbai. The Business Systems team is responsible for the development and maintenance of over 100 websites and 120 XML connections all operating within a high transactional volume, high up time environment. Before joining Helloworld, Anthoney had between with AOT for 10 years in the role of General Manager – Distribution Systems. Prior to his time at AOT, Anthoney spent 4 years as a Senior Consultant at Ernst and Young specializing in Tax Technologies, and prior to that was at Accenture.

Yusuf Ahmed

Group General Manager - IT Services

Yusuf is a true tech enthusiast and began his IT career in 1996 building websites and networks for local businesses. Upon completion of his Degree in Information Systems, in 2001 he joined the IT Department at Hyatt hotels in Melbourne, marking the beginning of his career in the travel and tourism industry. After a short stint working for Staples in Canada, Yusuf joined The AOT Group in October 2005. He worked his way up from the helpdesk and in 2010, was appointed Systems Manager. Yusuf is currently responsible for all IT Services and technology infrastructure throughout Helloworld offices worldwide.

Stan Scott

Head of Commercial

Stan Scott was appointed Head of Commercial at Helloworld Limited in February 2014.

Stan has been a part of the travel industry for over 20 years, and prior to joining Helloworld, spent close to 18 years at Qantas Airways in a range of Commercial Management roles covering Trade & Corporate Sales, International Sales & Alliances, Customer & Relationships and Commercial Mergers & Acquisitions.