24 April 2023

You could call it a full circle moment for Roger John.

After falling in love with Carnarvon Gorge on a Kombi road trip ‘many moons ago’, Roger’s now returned to the Central Highlands to drive tourism development in the region.

Roger has been appointed as the new Visitor Economy Coordinator at the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC).

“In this role, I’ll be endeavouring to assist businesses and the community in seizing new tourism opportunities and collaborating with State agencies to highlight the region’s unique features as an iconic destination,” he says.

“We often talk about the visitor experience but what I’d like to see happen is that our effort to increase visitor numbers also helps to make the Central Highlands a better place to live and work.”

Originally from England, Roger’s working holiday evolved into settling down and starting a family in Queensland, and he officially became an Australian citizen in the mid-nineties.

Roger’s carved out a wide and varied career, including a range of roles at TAFE Queensland and in Gladstone’s tourism and events space. Most recently, he worked on investment attraction projects and coordinating events on the Fraser Coast.

CHDC CEO Peter Dowling says CHDC and the local tourism industry are lucky to have him.

“It wasn’t just his experience in tourism and events that got our attention,” Peter says.

“Roger also brings a much broader skillset that’s really going to enhance what he does in this role.

“He’s also a friendly bloke and a great conversationalist, which counts for a lot in an industry that thrives on collaboration.”

Roger will spend the next few weeks exploring the Central Highlands, familiarising himself with the local industry, and introducing himself to tourism operators and partners.

“Despite having bid farewell to my trusty Kombi and old camera – they have made way for a Ute and drone – my love for discovering new adventures and experiences remains undaunted,” Roger says.

“It’s an honour to be here and I’m excited to be working with you all.

“Please don’t hesitate to give me a call or drop by and say hello.”