North Queensland Future Leaders 2024

The Future Leaders Program, designed by Townsville Enterprise, educates the next generation of regional leaders on the issues, opportunities, and challenges impacting Townsville North Queensland. The program is a succession plan for the region, ensuring the skills, knowledge and talent within Townsville North Queensland are retained and developed. 

About the program

The Future Leaders Program will run for eight months, commencing February 2024. The Graduation event will be held at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in September 2024. The Program consists of seven, full day modules, which will focus on key themes of the Townsville North Queensland region.

  • Media, Marketing and Public Relations
  • Defence, Logistics and Transport
  • Mining, Resources and Green Energy
  • Health, Innovation and Education
  • Tourism, Events and Sports
  • Government and Business
  • Agriculture and Water

The program includes one-on-one mentoring with the participants and key business leaders within the region. This part of the program is self-managed by the participant.

Key dates:

  • Meet the Leaders Networking Event - 16 January 2024
  • North Queensland Future Leaders Program commences - February 2024
  • Module days throughout 2024 (over eight months)
  • Graduation Event at Queensland Country Bank Stadium - September 2024


Townsville Enterprise, alongside program partners, Queensland Country Bank, have officially announced the 2024 North Queensland Future Leaders at the first networking event of the year, held at Queensland Country Centre, Townsville. 

“Townsville Enterprise has proudly delivered this program over several years, and we’re thrilled to bring this opportunity back to North Queenslanders in a revitalized format,” Ms Brumme-Smith said.  

“Our mandate is to secure the future of Townsville North Queensland and we can’t do that without providing development pathways for the talent in our region, and today’s launch reconfirms that Townsville is already home to a pool of talented professionals eager to drive success and innovation in this region.”  

“Having received a record number of applications and all very high calibre candidates, we knew there was a hunger for a program like this to return and looking at the pool of Future Leader participants for this year’s program, I am confident the region is in good hands for the years ahead.” 

Read full media release

Meet the 2024 North Queensland Future Leaders

Amy Dorling



Amy is the Chief Finance Officer at Hurst Constructions Qld and Director of KNA Accounting Pty Ltd. She has over 12 years of experience as a Chartered Accountant and enjoys working closely with her clients to help them grow. Amy is a Mum to 2 daughters and when not taking her girls to swimming lessons, she spends her spare time renovating properties with her husband. Amy prides herself on providing well-thought out innovative solutions at home and in business.  

Connor Harding



I currently work for Pacific Islands International as a Sales Manager, servicing countries such as Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu and more. I have been here 5 years and loved the fast paced and flexible work dealing with International Trade. I am born and raised in Townsville and had an amazing year last year in getting married in June and welcoming my first child on Boxing day a few weeks ago.    

Tim Hansen



Tim is a civil/structural engineer with a passion for knowledge and excellence. A proud JCU graduate with over a decade of industry experience, Tim enjoys delivering complex infrastructure projects that benefit his community.  

Tim enjoys a challenge and is always striving to find innovative solutions and efficiencies. He believes in respect, honesty, and professionalism.  

When he’s not at work you’ll find Tim involved in business and industry committee roles, working on his home, perfecting his lawn, and following the Cricket.  

Connor McKay



Connor McKay is a driven Partnerships Executive at the North Queensland Cowboys, where he spearheads commercial growth initiatives. With a wealth of local experience as the Former North Queensland Director of an Allied Health company spread throughout Queensland and New South Wales, Connor brings a wealth of strategic leadership to the table. Prior to his corporate roles, Connor made his mark as a professional Triathlete, travelling the world and being exposed to sponsorship throughout his youth. Nearing completion of his MBA at Queensland University of Technology, Connor was recognised in 2022 as a Finalist for the 7News Young Achiever of the Year award. Connor seamlessly combines business acumen, athletic discipline, local knowledge and connections, as well as a commitment to continuous learning in his constant pursuit of success. 

Jane Passmore



Jane is an innovative and versatile professional with strong business acumen and extensive hands-on experience in strategy, marketing, management, and project delivery.  

Jane’s career journey follows a progressive trajectory across industries and international markets, showcasing Jane’s adaptability and commitment to personal and professional growth. Jane commenced her career undertaking a Business Traineeship in ground-floor media sales and since has successfully held roles in advertising, marketing, consultancy, strategy, and management.  

Jane is currently the Registrar of The Cathedral School. Previous roles included Group Manager, Brand and Communications for Navitas, and Executive Manager Brand and Marketing Communication at RACQ. Jane has also worked for Flight Centre in the UK and local consultancy, AEC Group. She holds a Bachelor of Business Majoring in Marketing, an Executive MBA and a Company Directors Course Diploma.   

Jane's deep connection to Townsville, her hometown, is evident in her upbringing and education. Raised in Kelso, having attended Rasmussen State Primary School, Thuringowa State High School, and James Cook University, Jane's roots are firmly planted in the local community.   

Jane credits the combination of her local upbringing with her global career experiences for her balanced business approach, blending creativity and commercial pragmatism. Jane describes herself as a hardworking, well-rounded, people-person with a diverse perspective. Her hometown passion, diverse skill set, and extensive international experience position her as an innovative and inspiring figure in the community. 

Nathan Toll



Nathan Toll is a communications professional who has called the Townsville North Queensland region home for the past 20 years. After graduating from both James Cook University with a Bachelor of Laws/ Bachelor of Arts majoring in Journalism and the APM College of Business and Communication with a Diploma of Marketing in 2016, Nathan has gained experience across both the public and private communications sectors in Townsville and the Burdekin. In February 2023, Nathan stepped into the role of Central and North Queensland Communications and Engagement Manager for Mater, Queensland’s largest network of not-for-profit hospitals. With his role overseeing internal and external communications for Mater’s facilities in Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton and Bundaberg, Nathan’s passion for regional Queensland having access to equitable and high-quality care is able to shine. Recent accolades include being named the 2021 Local Government Association of Queensland Communications Professional of the Year, receiving a 2021 Local Government Managers Australia Award of Excellence for coordination of the Sweet Days Hot Nights Virtual Festival, and winning the 2023 Campaign of the Year at the North Queensland Media Awards for Mater’s state-wide Heart Week campaign, produced and delivered from Townsville North Queensland.  

Kyle Morris



Hailing from Townsville, Kyle boasts a 14-year background in aviation, specialising in airport operations. Kyle commenced his career at Townsville Airport in 2009 and later contributing to Gold Coast and Longreach Airports before returning to Townsville in 2020 in an airport management position. This position oversees key airport and airline operational teams and stakeholders to ensure the safe, secure, and financially viable operation at the airport. Devoted to securing the connectivity and prosperity of Townsville Airport for years to come, Kyle’s aim is nurturing the airport as a key critical infrastructure asset that connects and grows essential business and the Townsville community.    

Brendan Cartwright



I have dedicated the past 15 years of my career to McDonald’s/Parcorp Group, commencing in Charters Towers in 2008 and gradually advancing to the position of department manager. In 2012, I relocated to Townsville, where I continued my journey with Parcorp at the Willows restaurant. There, I assumed the role of 2IC before earning a promotion in 2014 to Restaurant Manager. This promotion also granted me the privilege of overseeing the opening of a new restaurant in Thuringowa, providing invaluable experience and learning opportunities.  
In 2016, I furthered my responsibilities by taking on the role of operations supervisor, overseeing a portfolio of 2-3 restaurants. At that time, our organisation comprised a total of 6 restaurants, including 4 in Townsville, as well as Ayr and Charters Towers. In 2017, we strategically sold Charters Towers as part of our growth plan for Townsville. By 2019, I became an equity partner in the organisation and promoted to a senior operations consultant.  
In 2021, we acquired 4 additional restaurants, and I continued my role of supervising a group of restaurants while nurturing a team of restaurant managers and other operations supervisors. Transitioning into 2022, I took on the position of Operations Manager, overseeing the operations of 8 restaurants within the organisation, a role I am currently holding.  
Simultaneously, I am in my final year of pursuing a Bachelor of Business with a major in economics through JCU. I harbor aspirations of becoming a McDonald’s Franchisee, driven by my passion for the diverse experiences and opportunities I have encountered. My goal is to extend these opportunities in my own capacity.   

Dan Humphreys



I was bought up in the family Earthmoving & Property Development business with experience in the administration of construction services, as well as risk management, regulatory compliance, and private-sector governance. With over 12 years in the industry, my role currently at Townsville Earthmoving consists of maintaining a heavy focus on quality assurance, planning and subcontractor management. I have also furthered my business knowledge by completing a Adv Dip in Business.   

Jason Donoghue



Jason Donoghue is a Senior Accounting Manager for PVW Partners with over a decade of experience advising on complex matters pertaining to income tax advice, business restructuring and financial business performance.  

Emma Mooney



Emma Mooney is a highly-skilled marketing and communications professional with an extensive background in the communications industry. Currently employed as a Marketing & Communications Coordinator at Townsville Catholic Education, Emma manages a network of schools to deliver marketing objectives that align with the strategic direction of the organisation. Throughout her career, Emma has delivered strategic marketing and communications support for several local, state, and national campaigns, across a broad range of industry sectors.  

Emma is passionate about making a positive impact in her community through volunteer work. She serves on the Management Committee of the Townsville Business Women's Circle (TBWC), promoting women in business in the region. Emma is also a member of the Organising Committee for the annual North Queensland Media Ball, which promotes and celebrates the various media sectors locally. Additionally, she provides strategic advice as a Critical Friend to the Board of Directors for Volunteering North Queensland (VNQ).  

Emma has grown up in Townsville and is deeply committed to the growth and development of the city. She brings a breadth of industry experience and community engagement to the table and is excited to contribute to Townsville Enterprise’s Future Leaders Program.  

Simone Sullivan



Simone is North Queensland local with a passion for telling the region’s unique story. Charged with managing all marketing channels for Townsville Enterprise and Townsville North Queensland, Simone promotes the region to visitors, investors and relocators from across the country and the world.

Ashley Pillhofer



Ashley is an experienced communications professional with a background in print media.  

Currently she works as a public affairs officer, focusing on media engagement and internal communications, working to deliver key health information to the diverse population across the Townsville Hospital and Health Service 149,500km footprint.  

Ashley emigrated from South Africa with her family as a child and has made regional Queensland her home.  

She attended Bond University on a collegiate academic excellence scholarship and relocated to Townsville as a young adult.  

With an innate passion for people, Ashley has spent her whole career telling regional Queensland’s stories. 

Sean Howe



As the General Manager at EV2 Sportswear Sean enjoys assisting sporting clubs with their teamwear, supporters gear and merchandise. He has been employed at EV2 Sportswear for 13+ years based in the Townsville head office. He leads a team that supplies custom sportswear to clients locally, across Australia and internationally. When he's not at the office, Sean enjoys playing cricket and football competitively.

Samuel Shaw



Sam Shaw is a media and communications professional employed in local government in Townsville. With a passion for storytelling, relationship building and advocacy, Sam works to break down communications barriers with both internal and external audiences at Townsville City Council.  

Raised in north Queensland, Sam has a profound love for Townsville, whether it be the region’s natural beauty, its business community, the region’s future potential or the diverse community that proudly calls Townsville home.  

Having previously worked and advocated across regional north Queensland, Sam is vocal in the untapped potential of northern Australia and is proud to have worked alongside some of the region’s biggest advocates. Sam has a keen interest in accessibility and strongly believes everyone has something to offer regardless of their physical ability.   

As a proud father, Sam believes in the power of strong leadership and has a keen desire to contribute to the betterment of the region, seeing Townsville grow into a resilient, prosperous, sustainable and accessible city of the future. 

Key Projects

Prinicipal Partner
Major Partners
Platinum Members