Gender flip on the Board – first time in 87 years!

Written by Binna Burra

May 19, 2021

For the first time in the nine decades Binna Burra Lodge will have more women than men on its Board of Directors.

The newest addition to the Board is Rachel Brown, an experienced non-executive director across various sectors including sporting, disability, property, construction, transport infrastructure and environmental.  She holds degrees in Economics and Law and has served as Legal Counsel, Senior Associate and Legal Advisor in public sector bodies such as Queensland Motorways and SEQ Water as well as in the private sector for a major law firm and commercial property organisations.

‘The Board is delighted to welcome Rachel’ said Chairperson Steve Noakes.

‘After the bushfire devastation in 2019, and one year of closure and our reopening in September last year, it’s another significant step in setting the foundations for the future generations who will value and enjoy the Binna Burra Cultural Landscape.’

The Binna Burra Lodge Board of Directors will now consist of three women and two males (see attached list).

‘The remodelling of the Board is not just about gender’ explained Noakes.

‘It’s also about our commitment to sustainable development and bringing cross-generational ideas around the table. Along with our Company Secretary and key senior staff members, our Board meetings draw the views of shareholders in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s & 60s. This is healthy as the organisation continues to rebuild the ‘spirit of Binna Burra’ with services and facilities required for future generations of visitors to the Binna Burra side of the Lamington National Park.’

About Binna Burra Lodge.

Commencing in 1933 and incorporated as an unlisted public company in 1934, Binna Burra Lodge has been a social enterprise with a strong environmental focus and one of Australia’s longest operating nature-based tourism. No individual shareholder can own more than 2.5% of the shares, and currently almost 1,000 people and their families are shareholders. New shareholders are welcome to invest in the company at $1 per share, minimum of 500 shares.[1]

Sustainable development and gender in tourism.

The tourism industry has a majority female workforce worldwide.  At the global level, tourism has a key role to play in achieving the objectives at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular the commitments to gender equality and the empowerment of women of Sustainable Development Goal 5.

The United Nations World Tourism organisation (UNWTO) reports:[2]

  • In most regions of the world, women make up the majority of the tourism workforce
  • Women tend to be concentrated in the lowest paid and lowest status jobs in tourism
  • Women perform a large amount of unpaid work in family tourism businesses

COVID 19 – An Inclusive Response for Women

As a sector with a majority female workforce worldwide (54%) and most women in low-skilled or informal work, women have felt the economic shock to tourism caused by COVID-19 quickest and hardest.

Looking ahead … UNWTO firmly believes that the pandemic has presented tourism with a golden opportunity to redefine its gender balance, building on the huge strides forward it has taken in women’s empowerment by reducing barriers to entry, elevating female employees recovery efforts, increasing protections and reporting how the effects of the pandemic are affecting men and women in tourism differently.

Contacts for media:

Rachel Brown [email protected]  Tel: 0414584579

Steve Noakes [email protected]  Tel 0418774295

Leighton Pitcher [email protected] Tel 0431303346



Board of Directors, Binna Burra Lodge Ltd. May 2021


STEVE NOAKES. Chairperson

  • Local Beechmont/Binna Burra resident
  • Extensive 45 years of engagement in the tourism and travel sector as an entrepreneur, academic and volunteer in various not-for-profit organisations
  • Councillor, National Parks Association of Queensland
  • Received (2008) the inaugural Ecotourism Australia Medal, recognizing active engagement in the Australian and international ecotourism industry
  • Tertiary qualifications in business, tourism, hospitality and teaching
  • Has served as an Adjunct Professor in Sustainable Tourism at Universities in Australia, Finland and Norway



  • Finance Director at Tourism and Events Queensland
  • Previously Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at St John Ambulance Qld Limited and CFO and interim CEO at the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia
  • Experience in private equity and corporate advisory firms
  • Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1999 – has worked as a forensic accountant in Brisbane and Toronto, Canada.
  • Board member of Paddle Queensland
  • Tertiary qualification in Business/Accounting and Chartered Secretary


HAL MORRIS, Director  

  • In April 2020, Hal Morris was invited to re-join the Board of Binna Burra after the September 2019 bushfires.
  • Previously been Chairman of Binna Burra for eight years from 2007 to 2015
  • CEO of the Gold Coast Waterways Authority 2013 – 2021
  • Graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1981
  • Has held senior executive roles in the Queensland Public Service and Queensland Rail
  • Past CEO of the Australian Logistics Council then the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (Australia)
  • Tertiary qualifications in Government and Business


HELEN MOORE, Director 

  • Chair of the Binna Burra Lodge Ltd Board Committee on Audit & Risk
  • Chairperson, Family Planning Queensland
  • Former General Manager Finance and Business Services, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (2012 – 2018)
  • Independent Chair of Audit and Risk Management Committee, Queensland Department of Education
  • Independent Member, Audit and Risk Committee, Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation
  • Member: Audit, Risk & Compliance Committee, Great Barrier Reef Foundation
  • Tertiary qualifications in Business/Accounting and Chartered Secretary



  • Managing Director & Company Secretary, RE Brown Consulting. Advisory services to property and agricultural family businesses.
  • Previous experiences include:
    • Secretary/Treasurer, Brisbane Triathlon Club
    • Director & Company Secretary & Risk Committee member, McIntyre Centre Riding for the Disabled Ltd
    • Senior Legal Counsel, Queensland Motorways
    • Senior Associate, King & Wood Mallesons
    • Principal Legal Advisor, SEQ Water
    • Commercial Property Lawyer, HerbertGeer
  • Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Laws, Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance


ROBERT MCDOWALL, Company Secretary

  • Managing Director, Arabon Accountant
  • CPA Australia – Certified Practicing Accoutant
  • Non-Executive Director, HardFizz
  • Company Secretary, BALNCE
  • Public Practice Program Facilitator, CPA Australia
  • CPA Public Practice Certificate
  • Tertiary qualifications in Commerce/Accounting, Teaching

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