TCA is a great place to work.  And these are the people who make it so.



Danial Rochford - Chief Executive Officer          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Over his career Danial has walked an extraordinarily diverse and successful path as a change manager in tourism, economic and community development and aviation sectors.

Danial is the CEO of Tourism Central Australia, the peak regional tourism authority for Central Australia. He is a former CEO of Whitsundays Marketing and Development Ltd as well as CEO of Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd as well as Director of Tourism for one of Australia's leading World Heritage listed tourism attractions, the Port Arthur Historic Site.

He has also held various roles in regional economic and social development organisations including CEO of Rural Alive and Well in rural Tasmania, Manager of Economic Development for the Roma Town Council, and early in his career, a Regional Business Advisor in rural and remote Queensland. He has also worked on two occasions in both tourism and aviation roles in the Pacific.


Steve Jarrett - Marketing Manager          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Steve joined TCA in October 2017 following a move from Perth to be closer to family. A regular visitor to Central Australia since December 2000, Steve is passionate about the landscape and the untapped potential for tourism growth in the Red Centre. Whilst much of his career has been spent in cooler climate wine growing regions of WA and SA, Steve’s focus has always been on ensuring visitors have the best possible experience. Steve says “There are many great wine regions in the world, but there is only one Central Australia. What are you waiting for?”


Merrilyn Spencer - Finance Manager          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Merrilyn first visited Central Australia in 2008 and immediately felt a connection to the red earth, blue sky and stark white ghost gums. She returned home and began planning a move to the region, arriving permanently on Australia Day 2009. Merrilyn worked extensively in many sectors of the tourism industry both in and out of the region, before joining TCA in July 2021. Every evening as the escarpment around Alice Springs begins to glow Merrilyn is truly thankful that Central Australia is now home. 

James 2022

James Acklin - Membership & Industry Support Manager          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

James has had an off-again on-again relationship with Tourism Central Australia for the past 7 years. His association began and as an Ambassador, then as a Sales and Information Consultant and now he is the Membership & Industry Support Manager. He came to Alice in 2011 for “a couple of years” looking for change of pace from his busy life in Brisbane and has been here ever since. James has filled several roles in the tourism industry, including tour guide, information consultant, business owner, travel guide sales manager, and tourist.


Susan Silvester - Team Leader (Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre)          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Susan is a serial busybody, which makes her a perfect fit for tourism as she is legitimately interested in her clients. For more years than she cares to admit she has worked in the local and international tourism industry. Originally from Melbourne she has lived and worked in the NT for 37 years, the last nine with Tourism Central Australia. She has worked on major cruise ships, as a sales manager for the Darwin casino, Hotel Manager Darwin’s City Gardens apartments and began her working career as a Navy Aviation Medic. She speaks fluent Italian and loves Italian food, but prefers to explore that passion at the dining table rather than the kitchen.


Karl Herzog (Manager Battery Hill Mining Centre)          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Karl has lived and worked in Tennant Creek for more than 50 years, so you might say he qualifies as a local. He came to Tennant Creek in the late 1960s and was apprenticed with Peko Mine where he worked as a carpenter, and engine driver (Power Station Operator). Most recently Karl was training volunteers with the Northern Territory Emergency Service. He is a passionate, professional photographer and looks forward to driving tourism in the Barkly. 


Ben Urquhart - Marketing Specialist          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ben has ten years of international marketing experience and has led marketing strategies for a range of tourism boards ranging from New York to the Vanuatu Tourism Office. He has a proven record in developing integrated and creative marketing projects, overseeing everything from strategic development through to implementation and analysis to drive visitation for destinations. Ben is a first mover in digital and content marketing in the travel industry and focusses on producing insight led, imaginative and beautiful work.


Meg Aston - Membership & Industry Support Coordinator          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Meg was working as a history teacher when a holiday to the NT changed her life. Deciding to become a tour guide, she spent a few years travelling around Europe, before coming home to work between Australia and New Zealand. In 2019 this took her to Uluru, where she decided it was time to hang up her suitcase and make the Red Centre her home. Meg has also worked as a travel agent, driver/guide, operations supervisor and business manager. She loves a good chat, getting out into nature, reading and music.


Georgia Tidey - Events Specialist          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Georgia is a recent graduate of a Business degree majoring in Marketing from Victoria. She has a passion for the outdoors and the natural beauty of the world, which is why she is bringing her expertise to help promote the opportunities on offer in the beautiful Alice Springs and surrounding regions. Georgia has travelled all around Australia during her childhood as well as New Zealand as an adult. She enjoys the Adrenaline rush of outdoor activities like Skydiving whilst also appreciating the uniqueness of the desert night sky.

David West (Assistant Manager Battery Hill Mining Centre)

Dave has always said that once his kids were old enough he wanted to move to the Northern Territory and now he finally has after selling his business in Victoria to make the move. He has extensive management experience with several different transport companies and six years experience as an emergency response rescue Fire Fighter with the Country Fire Authority in Victoria. Dave has a passion for gold prospecting and is looking forward to exploring the gold mining region that is in Tennant Creek. 


Kylie Payne - Office Manager

Kylie spent the first 31 years of her career working in retail for Wesfarmers where she has held various management roles across Coles and Bunnings. She moved to Alice for a two-year contract in 2016 – five years later and a career change into our Visitor Information Centre Kylie is still enjoying her time here in Alice. Kylie loves travelling and has visited many places around the world; her favourite international destination is Africa with the beautiful people and animals. 

Emily Ilgen

Emily Ilgen - Visitor Centre Travel Consultant (Alice Springs)

Emily has been in the tourism industry since arriving in the Northern Territory in 2017. She formally studied wildlife biology in the USA before backpacking New Zealand and travelling to Australia. She settled into the NT working as a tour guide, cameleer, and reptile keeper, allowing her to share her love for animals with tourists from around the world. Emily found her home and true love in the Red Centre and is passionate about helping others explore this beautiful region.

Emily Ilgen

Alex Tolcher - Marketing Coordinator

They say you become an Alice Springs local when you’ve seen the Todd flow three times. Alex saw it this many times in his first month back in December 2016 and he's been here ever since. In that time, he has worked in, and fallen in love with, Central Australia and the tourism industry. He started out working in the reception of a local backpacker’s hostel before moving outside to work as tour guide around Alice Springs, Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon. Alex loves sharing his passion and knowledge with traveler’s and continues to do so in the in the Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre.

Emily Ilgen

Nataliea Laughton - Visitor Centre Travel Consultant (Alice Springs)

Nat found her passion in the tourism industry after finishing her traineeship at Uluru in 2019 and made her way back to Alice Springs in early 2021. She enjoys being able to share her knowledge of this beautiful region. When not working she loves hanging out with friends and her animals, taking the beaten track, and traveling on dirt roads.

Emily Ilgen

Ola Rzeszowska - Visitor Centre Travel Consultant (Alice Springs)

Alice Springs was meant to be the very last stop in her twelve-month travel around Australia, before returning to Poland. Absolutely stunned with the desert nature, sunny days, and the night sky, she decided to stay here for a little longer. Almost a decade later, she is still here loving the Territory. Ola also works in the events industry and travels around a lot for work and leisure, which makes it a very valuable combination of professional life and passion for travel. Ola is happy to chat and share some tips on making the most of exploring the Red Centre!

Amani correct size

Amani Jensen-Bentley - Visitor Centre Travel Consultant (Alice Springs)

Amani has an undergraduate degree in International Studies and Anthropology and is currently studying a postgraduate degree at ANU in Culture, Health and Medicine. After travelling and living overseas for years she decided it was time to see her own country. After two years of solo travel around Australia she came across Alice Springs and has never looked back. She's moved from traveller to travel consultant and loves using her learnt skills to help visitors experience the best of Central Australia. She'll chat to you about travel until the cows come home so make sure you come into the Visitor Centre with time for a yarn!  

Emily Ilgen

Rhiannon Brown - Visitor Centre Travel Consultant (Tennant Creek)

Rhiannon is new to the NT moving to Tennant Creek from Melbourne in March (2022) with her partner and his father. She would love to travel the world some day, but currently has only managed to make it to Bali. Rhiannon has worked in the hospitality industry previously and enjoys making coffee (although she doesn't drink it). She is looking forward to learning more about the tourism industry and Tennant Creek, and expand her knowledge about the Battery Hill Mine Tours. 


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