Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

“Tourism Is Everybody’s Business”

At the helm of Bowen Tourism and Business is its dynamic leader, Leanne Abernethy, who over the past two years has become the daily driving force behind innovations and ideas.

By coincidence, Leanne started her role the day before the Big Mango turned 19 and, if it were not for this fact, the upcoming milestones could have been completely missed.

Fortunately, she flagged the date and Bowen Tourism and Business (BTB) hosted a small 20-year celebration last year while planning for the big festivities this year.

Speaking on ABC radio Brisbane earlier this week, appearing on Channel 7’s Sunrise breakfast show on Thursday and hosting 4MK and ABC Tropical North during the week as well – it is clear that Leanne shines in her role.

Originally from a small country town called Bogan Gate in Central New South Wales, Leanne moved to Canberra where she completed a degree in journalism.

She then took on a cadet journalist position in Eden before spending the next 21 years working for various newspapers across three states.

In 2007 she moved to the region to take on the Editor’s position for the Whitsunday Times and within seven years she became the Managing Editor of two local mastheads - the Proserpine Guardian and the Whitsunday Times.

She then became a Multi-Media Director for Newscorp, working on newspapers from Bowen in the north to Lismore in the south.

After six years in that role, a reshuffle of regional newspapers across Queensland saw Leanne become redundant, which presented an opportunity to become Sales and Marketing Manager of BTB and she has since been promoted to Manager.

Her current role allows Leanne to harness the vast wealth of knowledge from working within the media industry and combine it with her love of tourism.

During her time with the organisation, Leanne has witnessed many highlights.

“We’ve expanded our range of merchandise and local produce at the information centre, increased the number of members, promoted Bowen and the region heavily, produced the Bowen and Collinsville Visitor Guide and we have just hit a record number of mango sorbet sales for the second year in a row!” said Leanne.

“It’s been an honour to help boost the Bowen brand and I look forward to continuing to grow the organisation.

“I am lucky to have such a dedicated team of staff and volunteers who are so passionate about what we do.

“I would also like to thank each of our 222 members. We appreciate their support and we strive to ensure they are all promoted.

“We believe that ‘tourism is everybody’s business’, and you can see this is true by the diverse range of members we have.”

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