Our business partnership managers

TravelManagers has a team of state based Business Partnership Managers (BPMs). They are commonly referred to as Angels; always ready to help you out; a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen to. They’ll ‘have your back’ and assist you to grow your business. You’re only a phone call away from your Angel.

Networking & community

Meeting and sharing knowledge with fellow personal travel managers is invaluable, that’s why your BPMs arrange cluster meetings in your area.

These ‘destination days’ are a great opportunity for networking with other personal travel managers and suppliers. You’ll feel part of a supporting community and come away with great ideas for your business. You’ll have some fun too!

Business planning

One-on-one business advice is provided regularly for the first 3 months to help your business get off to a good start. Your Angel will work with you to develop a business plan and structure that’s just right for you and then provide on-going support.

Supplier relationship management

As Australia’s premium home-based travel network, we have very strong relationships with suppliers providing reliable access to product updates, training and famils (we know you love to travel).

It’s up to you to choose the level of local support you want.  Participation is as individual as you are, and isn’t mandatory.  It’s your business.


Business development support

BPMs help you keep abreast of tested business methods to find new clients, share marketing ideas and strategies so you can achieve the goals you’re aiming for.

Meet our business partnership managers

Our ‘angels’ are at the front line, so if you’d like to have a confidential chat with them about the support they offer or get some insider knowledge of what it is like to be in partnership with TravelManagers, give them a call or send an email.

Julia McLean, BPM Southern NSW / ACT

Hi, I’m Julia and have been in the travel industry since 1997, working in various retail agencies. I started my career as a work experience student and then climbed the ladder to agency manager. I wanted to offer a more personalised experience so I joined a mobile travel agency and enjoyed six years of success with a great work/life balance. I fell in love with this model so I have been in ‘your shoes’. I understand the challenges but also appreciate the wonderful opportunities that have come my way by being a home-based travel agent.

I’ve got heaps of experience in the industry and enjoy motivating, coaching and offering marketing advice to all the personal travel managers in my region. I’ll help you make the transition from travel agent to personal travel manager easy, smooth and seamless. Nothing gives me greater pride than seeing you succeed.

Travel has always been part of my life – and to say I love to travel is an understatement! My favourite destinations include; Africa, Alaska, Thailand, UK and Europe. I have travelled the world, so no doubt we have some stories to share!

I’m passionate about the travel industry and excited about its future – which of course is mobile!

Feel free to give me a call:

Julie Anderson, BPM Northern NSW

I’ve been in the travel industry since 1981, and still as passionate about this industry as I was when I joined. The industry is constantly evolving and I enjoy sharing my knowledge with personal travel managers. I love seeing the growth in their businesses and helping identify opportunities to make positive life changing decisions. I get inspired daily when I see their success as they take their travel business to the next level.

I began my travel career as a consultant and after seven years became a Manager of a Thomas Cook Travel and Foreign Exchange location. For nine years I managed various stores and then the Sydney flagship store, before working as a regional auditor for Thomas Cook in the Australia/Pacific Region. Yes, I bucked the system (i.e. using a pink pen instead of a green one!) but it provided a great insight into how various sized locations can become profitable by revisiting policies, procedures and business plans.

As a Trainer for Thomas Cook I delivered and developed Selling Skills courses and Business Planning and Change Management workshops for the business – a skill set that I lean on today, which has been valuable in my role as Business Partnership Manager. The cruising bug caught me and I moved to P&O Cruises (now Carnival Australia) working in various management roles. I then did a short stint outside the travel industry as Operations Manager at Bunnings.  My idea of DIY is to call someone, so it made for an interesting time!

It’s been five years since I joined the TravelManagers family, and with my diverse experience it has given me the right background for my role as a Business Partnership Manager. I listen and support people and help personal travel managers grow their individual travel businesses. I am passionate about providing ongoing support and training to encourage personal travel managers to succeed in business and in life.

I’ve attended several Management Development programmes during my career including Train the Trainer as well as marketing programmes and various travel industry accreditations. My determination, drive and diversity of skill-set allows me to enjoy my multi-faceted role. No two days are the same and that’s the way I like it!

Call me to have a chat about my role and how I can help you:

Kellie Browning, BPM VIC

For over 30 years I have worked in an industry that I love – travel. I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience ranging from Retail Sales, Wholesale, Retail Management, Sales and Business Management. These roles have enabled me to develop a skill set where I can provide support, guidance and mentoring to personal travel managers in maintaining and building their individual travel businesses.

Working at TravelManagers allows me to partner with first class personal travel managers and, as a Business Partnership Manager, I wear many hats. It’s wonderful to see the growth of the Victorian network. I am proud to say the figures have doubled since I’ve joined and I attribute that to my attitude and determination to do what it takes for my personal travel managers.

One of my initiatives that I championed is the Travel Club, where individual personal travel managers can set up a Travel Club at a Lifestyle Village. This enables them to build a new client base and offer superior personalised service to their clients. It has been a huge success and a wonderful contribution to the Victorian network.

In 2015, I organised the first TravelManagers National Charity Golf Day. Now, every year TravelManagers is a proud sponsor of a charity, the most recent being “Love Your Sister”. Personal travel managers, their clients and suppliers take part in a fun-filled day of networking and golfing all for the purpose of raising money and awareness for charity.

I’m passionate about the travel industry and my goal is to continue mentoring personal travel managers by inspiring excellence in each individual travel business.

Your success is my success – if you’d like to have a chat – call me:

Karen Dowling, BPM QLD

I’ve been in the travel industry for nearly 30 years and over that time have developed a diverse range of skills and a plethora of experience. My background comes from major domestic and international airlines across many roles including Account Executive, National Account Manager and Business Development Manager for a major wholesaler specialising in Asia; a Hotel Sales executive and 7 years’ experience in the role of Business Partnership Manager at TravelManagers.

With my experience across Retail, Airline and Wholesale I’ve got many connections in the Queensland market. I believe in supporting and surrounding myself with great people which has proven successful and tripled the growth of personal travel managers in Queensland.

I enjoy the multi-faceted role of a Business Partnership Manager and how I can offer guidance, inspire excellence and encourage personal travel managers to succeed in their travel business. I also believe in ongoing training and championed sharing days and networking events where PTMs can share their expertise in a relaxed environment. One great success is the Airline Training Days I set up in QLD and now rolled out nationally for all PTMs.

I’m a great advocate of TravelManagers and pride myself in growing brand awareness in QLD. I’ve supported personal travel managers in charity fund raising events and attended many overseas conferences for the travel industry. My passion for travel and my many years in the industry has allowed me to develop a strong travel portfolio and a genuine love of Asia. I’ve escorted many groups overseas to New York, Las Vegas, Hawaii, LA and Orlando, The Maldives, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Northern and Southern India, to name a few.

I hold a diploma in the Neuroscience of Leadership which is a great asset for my role. My goal is to continue to inspire all personal travel managers through strong mentoring and personal development and in turn my ultimate goal is to inspire every Australian to take advantage of the TravelManagers unique personal service offering for individual travel needs.

Give me a call and I’ll share my knowledge with you:

Alison Banks, BPM WA/SA & TAS

Hi, I like to be called Ali and I’ve been part of the TravelManagers Team since early 2010. After initially graduating and working as a Teacher, ultimately it was my first-hand travel experiences as an Exchange Student and then as a European Tour Director that led me to this industry, which I’ve now been part of since 1993, and I’m absolutely passionate about!

My background includes previous roles as a Travel Consultant, Agency Manager, Business Development Manager for a major tour company and Senior Sales Executive for an International Airline. These roles have prepared me to perfect my role as Business Partnership Manager and given me the experience to help personal travel managers in building their successful mobile travel businesses. The area I look after has expanded from WA & SA to include also NT & TAS. It’s been wonderful to see the growth in the representation of personal travel managers across my territory.

From assisting new personal travel managers with business planning and marketing ideas to coaching those who’ve been in business for a while and providing an analytical approach to strategic planning so they can take their business to the next level is exactly the variety, challenge and reward that inspires me daily.

In early 2017, I fulfilled a life-long dream of visiting Antarctica, the last of the seven continents and it was so exciting to not only experience this amazing ‘last wilderness’ but also to pass this experience and first-hand destination knowledge on to personal travel managers.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel widely and have lived overseas for 6 years, working in the UK and Europe and leading tours in Europe, Russia, Scandinavia and parts of the Middle East as well as Australia. Extensive independent and organised travel throughout the US, Canada, Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands has left South & Central America to be discovered – but I plan to ‘dip my toe’ into this region soon!

Give me a call:

Despina Madden, BPM VIC

I’ve been in the travel industry since 1990 and spent most of that time with Qantas. I started my career in telephone sales then worked my way up holding various roles including Group Sales Consultant, Account Executive Group Sales and Account Executive Industry Sales. Throughout my career, I’ve worked with high profile and emerging companies across all levels of management and I believe that delivering outstanding customer service and building positive relationships has been my success.

I’m enthusiastic, highly motivated, and people describe me as a well-rounded professional. I’ve a passion for meeting targets, winning business and bringing people together and love being part of a team. My wealth of experience within business development and account management in travel and aviation can be drawn upon and I’m always excited to share my experience with personal travel managers.

I’m passionate about the travel industry and love the opportunities and challenges that come along with it. My favourite holiday spot is Hawaii where there is so much to do; and I really like the North Shore, swimming, relaxing in the sun whilst reading a good book. Plus, who wouldn’t enjoy shopping ‘till you drop and eating non-stop!

Developing relationships, establishing new ones and working closely with all the personal travel managers is something I really enjoy.

You can contact me as follows:

Noree Kahika, BPM QLD & Northern NSW

Being a seasoned professional with nearly 20 years in travel, I bring a unique diverse set of skills. By background has included various roles – State Business Development & Sales Manager for a luxury cruise Line, Groups Co-ordinating Manager for Wyndham Club Tours, Fares, Ticketing & BSP Reporting Officer and Senior International Travel Consultant, to name a few.

I’ve successfully managed multi-million dollar accounts and I believe the key to succeeding in business is having both passion and determination. Nothing inspires me more than witnessing a personal travel manager grow and prosper in their business where I have supported, provided guidance and mentoring. Working for TravelManagers allows me to successfully wear ‘many hats’ where I am I able to partner, mentor and work alongside personal travel managers who also live my ethos in their businesses – passion and determination.

I’m a creative at heart  and hold a Diploma in Tourism Operational Management & Marketing, a Certificate III in Creative Writing and Diploma from the Australian Television & Film Academy. I’ve got a creative flair, a fun personality and love networking.

My approach is authentic and genuine and these attributes I bring to help grow personal travel manager’s individual travel businesses into successful businesses. I’ve escorted numerous groups and have travelled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, North America, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

Travel is my passion – it is one of the great loves of my life!

Give me a call to discuss your travel career:

Graciela Craig, National Partnership Executive

Grace is ‘the rock’ in the Partnership Team. She has worked in the travel industry for over 30 years, and her exceptional knowledge continues to grow in this ever-changing industry. She is the main point of contact for our Business Partnership Managers and her role is extremely varied, from assisting new personal travel managers, business negotiations through to everything else in-between when it comes to travel.

One of Grace’s first roles within the industry was working for McGann Travel as an Accounts Manager where she was trained in Tramada/MYOB/Sabre. It was the start of her travel career and she quickly realised she had a genuine love for this industry. Her adaptable nature allowed Grace to adjust to her next role with a global company where she held the position of 2nd level Customer Support Officer for Sabre Agency Manager and Sabre Online/Explore. Grace then moved to the National Partnership Office of TravelManagers Australia learning Amadeus and Tramada Next Gen to name a few of the systems – she has never looked back!

With TravelManagers now for 4 years, Grace began in Operations, adding a whole new range of different aspects to her career. An experienced operator in travel, along with her varied skill-set, allows Grace to now truly embrace her role as National Partnership Executive. Grace is constantly helping the Network grow and attract great new talent and with over 500 Personal Travel Managers running profitable travel agencies from home, it’s never a dull day!

Grace has travelled the world and loves the fact that she comes from an international and cosmopolitan background. She loves visiting different places and enjoys the diversity of our cultural differences. Travel is a big part of her life and continues to be so in this ever-evolving world.

A true advocate for TravelMangers, Grace knows how to juggle well and keep up with this fast-paced industry and most importantly, hold the fort for the Partnership Team. Her bubbly and energetic personality is infectious; and her drive, determination and flexibility is what makes Grace tick!

Suzanne Laister, National Partnership Manager

Suzanne began her travel career in 1990 having huge success as a retail travel consultant as well as a short stint consulting in corporate travel. She has lived and worked in London and Papua New Guinea as well as on board cruise ships and to say that Suzanne is well travelled is an understatement! She lives and breathes travel – has visited over 60 countries and, having recently been to Antarctica, now all 7 continents. She is passionate about discovering new destinations and absorbing herself in the different cultures this world offers. As much as Suzanne loves everything that travel has to offer she is also happy to call Australia home.

Suzanne has a varied career which she has enjoyed immensely. From manager of customer service at a large retail agency to manager in travel recruitment and then joining TravelManagers Australia as National Partnership Manager in early 2011. Suzanne holds a BA (hons) degree in Business Management majoring in Leisure and Tourism and the numerous courses throughout her travel career has allowed Suzanne to balance theory with practice and grow and evolve in this constantly changing industry.

Suzanne holds a busy role but you wouldn’t know it! She is calm, cool and collected and handles pressure well, enjoying the constant challenges that keep her on her toes. She manages the partnership team of seven interstate based Business Partnership Managers (BPMs) and a Partnership Executive, in the on-boarding process and retention of 500+ personal travel managers (PTMs) around Australia.

Suzanne is an excellent communicator and encouraging leader who leads by example. Her role requires her to wear ‘many hats’ and by being self-motivated, proactive and reliable, Suzanne enjoys work requiring initiative and independent thought while taking pleasure in new challenges and pride in her ability to learn. An enthusiastic manager, Suzanne’s strong organisational skills allow her help people better themselves and find solutions to improve their lives. She loves seeing the success of so many personal travel managers transforming daily and appreciates a positive team culture which is flexible and quick to adapt to any environment.

She is very proud of the evolution of TravelManagers Australia and is grateful for having the opportunity to develop the team, identify opportunities for growth and contribute to the success of the organisation. Her role is multi-faceted requiring strong management, reporting and interpersonal skills which Suzanne masters well. Relationship management and initiative have been the winning formula for Suzanne’s success as National Partnership Manager.