Local Leader Appointed as CEO

Townsville Enterprise has appointed Claudia Brumme-Smith as its CEO, effective 10 May 2021. Ms Brumme-Smith was chosen after an extensive national search for the position previously held by Ms Patricia O’Callaghan.

Currently the Port of Townsville’s General Manager Business Strategy and Sustainability, Ms Brumme-Smith brings a wealth of experience across private industry and government, as well as well-established local and state-wide business networks.

She has worked internationally for large global companies such as Proctor and Gamble, L’Oreal, Novartis and Johnson & Johnson in marketing, business development and management before taking the local natural cosmetic company Larissa Bright Australia into Asia, ensuring major business and export growth for this homegrown small business.

Ms Brumme-Smith has an exceptional knowledge of North Queensland’s industry base and strong insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the region. She is an experienced manager who has led her team at the Port of Townsville to deliver projects of national and state significance.

The Port's growth strategies have driven major infrastructure projects such as the port channel widening for container growth, minerals exports, agricultural exports, fuel and hydrogen, as well as cruise attraction.

Claudia's deep knowledge of our region's diverse industries, supply chain management, critical infrastructure investment and economic development in general will be invaluable to move our region forward.

Townsville Enterprise Chairman Kevin Gill said Ms Brumme-Smith had attracted and grown numerous industries to the region and had grown port trade substantially.  

“Last year the Port saw a 6.5% increase in freight over its wharves and a very strong profit,” Mr Gill said.“Claudia and the Port team also worked tirelessly during COVID-19 with customers to ensure supply chains stayed open to deliver essential goods to the 700,000 people of North Queensland. 

"We know she is particularly keen to hit the ground running to support our region’s tourism and events industry which has been significantly impacted by COVID-19.

“She was also an extremely active member of the region’s COVID-19 Recovery Taskforce and worked with political leaders, industry and community organisations across the region to help secure jobs and keep our economy strong.

"On behalf of the Townsville Enterprise Board, I thank and acknowledge the efforts and hard work of Interim CEO and Director - Regional Development & Investment Wayde Chiesa who has managed the team over the past few months."

Kevin Gill
Townsville Enterprise

Ms Brumme-Smith’s capabilities have been recognised through a number of awards including:  Top 20 Business Leaders under 40 in Queensland (Courier Mail Queensland Business Monthly (QBM) Magazine 2016); winner of the Townsville Australian Institute of Management Young Manager Award; Townsville Young Chamber of Commerce Young Employee Award; and North Queensland Emerging Export Award. 

She holds a double Bachelor Degree in International Management and Business with honours from universities in Germany, the US, and Spain. She is Fluent in German, English, French, and Spanish and is studying Mandarin. 

Ms Brumme-Smith said she was humbled and excited to be taking on the role at such an important time in the region’s history.  

“I am absolutely delighted with the opportunity to lead the Townsville Enterprise team and work closely with our members at such a critical time for our region, state and country," Ms Brumme-Smith said.

“We have a strong pipeline of projects in our region that can and will support our local, State and Nation’s economic recovery over coming months and years.

“I have worked closely with Townsville Enterprise over the past decade and I know how good the team is and how passionate they are about the development of North Queensland. 

“I am enthusiastic about building on the reputation of Townsville Enterprise as a fearless advocate for our region and expanding our influence and ability to secure investment and shape policies that advance our interests here in the north.” 

Claudia Brumme-Smith

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