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Ignite Norfolk Island 2019 Featured Speaker: Donna Carrier

Ignite Norfolk Island 2019 is an exciting and inspirational upcoming 3-day event presented by Regional Development Australia Norfolk Island. The event is scheduled to run from 19 – 21 November and will include engaging workshops, inspirational speakers, networking events and a pitch fest to celebrate the success of the recently completed tourism incubator.

In our first interview of presenters and mentors that will be attending Ignite Norfolk Island 2019 we are featuring Donna Carrier.

Donna Carrier is a Hospitality and Tourism Entrepreneur with a passion for agritourism and a dedication to her community. She is the founder and operator of the multi award winning Bent on Food, a regional café and catering company based in Wingham on the Mid North Coast of NSW. Donna is also the proprietor of Bent on Life, a homewares store that promotes sustainable goods and helps customers to upcycle furniture that would have made it to landfill.

With a passionate approach to changing the way the hospitality and tourism is viewed and to help promote working in the profession as a career for school leavers, rather than just a job that fills the gaps.

Before starting her business in 2004, Donna spent 18 years in the wine industry where she worked in sales, marketing and public relations for companies such as Brown Brothers, Yalumba Wines and Cassegrain Winery.  She holds a Degree in Wine Marketing from Roseworthy Agricultural College.

Promoting her business through good news stories, awards programs, excellent customer service and successful brand strategies has helped Carrier become a skilful submission writer.  Donna’s businesses employ 12 staff and deliver positive outcomes for the region with an increase in tourism numbers. Her business, Bent on Food has been instrumental in the development of a tourist culture in a town that previously suffered financially.  

Growing her business from a small café to a successful small events venue and catering company. With over 35 National, State, Regional and local awards in Tourism, Restaurant & Catering and Business programs, Bent on Food is not just a café – but a destination. Donna has judged regional and State Tourism, Business, Accommodation and AHA awards for many years.

As a Director of Destination North Coast, Donna works with five board members and a small team to help drive the visitor economy on the North Coast of NSW. She was chosen from 600 applications to fulfil this role.

Donna also sits on the Mid Coast Council Tourism Advisory committee and was President of Wingham Chamber of Commerce for seven years up until 2017.

Qualified as a trainer and teaching marketing, communications, tourism, events management and hospitality subjects at TAFE. Recently working with TAFE as an industry advisor and on the development of the hospitality training café at Taree ‘Your Café’, where she was also instrumental in training staff and new cohorts of students.

Having travelled extensively, she feels she has learnt more from her travels, than from any other method of learning. 

A country girl at heart, she goes by the mantra of “walk tall, think big, act small”.

Thanks Donna and we look forward to seeing you at Ignite Norfolk Island 2019.

Ignite Norfolk 2019 will be an amazing event and not to be missed, don’t forget to mark it in your diaries.

The event will culminate in a celebration of the first Norfolk Island Tourism Incubator participants. The participants will showcase their business in a ‘pitch fest’ which will be held at Ferny Lane Theatre from 5pm on Thursday 21 November. This is strictly a ticketed event (tickets available via projects@rdanorfolkisland.org.au)

For further information please contact: Elise McCaskie: projects@rdanorfolkisland.org.au

Programme for the event can be found at this link : https://rdanorfolkisland.org.au/ignite-norfolk-island 

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