Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park – Chief Executive Officer

Tjapukai sun top halfTjapukai LogoThe client:

Founded more than 25 years ago, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park is one of Australia’s iconic cultural assets. Located near Cairns in North Queensland, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park is Australia’s largest Indigenous cultural park and is a major employer of Indigenous Australians. Watermark Search International was recently engaged to recruit a Chief Executive Officer who would lead the business through a relaunch following a major redevelopment.

The brief:

The Board of Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park was particularly interested in attracting an outstanding leader to take the business through a major relaunch. The CEO would drive the implementation of a new vision and strategy aimed at maximising profitability and visitor satisfaction while enhancing and refining cultural content. Other highly desirable characteristics included strong commercial acumen along with excellent stakeholder relationship management and team building skills.  Candidates with industry experience in the tourism and hospitality sector, with a particular focus on arts and culture, were of particular interest to the Board.  A challenging aspect of the search was to identify candidates who possessed a strong affinity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, a capacity to balance commercial outcomes and achieve enhanced Indigenous employment and training outcomes.

Watermark’s solution:

Our search reflected the breadth of Watermark Search International’s capacity to reach a talented, experienced and culturally aware group of people with a genuine interest in delivering commercial outcomes aligned to Indigenous community culture and values. We utilised our extensive database, our in house research capability and an extensive network in the tourism and indigenous sector to deliver a high-calibre shortlist of candidates.

The outcome:

The successful candidate brought a combination of high level commercial leadership within the tourism and hospitality sectors and demonstrated competency in marketing and business development.  In addition, his strong relationships with leaders in Indigenous communities combined with a history of achieving 90% Indigenous employment in his previous role inspired confidence that he could meet the Board’s brief.

For more information, contact Felicity Stalley on +61 2 9233 1200 or

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