Our Team

Meet the team behind the scenes:

Rod Hillman Chief Executive

Rod has a life-long involvement in tourism, protected areas management and education with lengthy stints as a tour operator, National Park Manager and teacher all over Australia, and many years overseas. He has been involved with Ecotourism Australia since 2001 when he was elected as a Board member (then Deputy Chair) for six years where he created the ‘Tourism in Protected Areas Forum’ (TAPAF) and managed the Annual Conference program. After four years in Papua New Guinea, managing the Kokoda Track, he returned to Ecotourism Australia as its Chief Executive.
View his Linkedin here.

Emily Ellis Operations Manager

Emily first joined the Ecotourism Australia team in 2013 as an intern and returned in June 2014 as Operations Manager. She has over 12 years experience working in hospitality and tourism industries around the world and across various departments from front-of-house, food and beverage, to reservations and marketing, to general management. Emily has studied in the fields of communications, business, and international tourism management. Her academic and work experiences have taken her around the globe, to destinations including Scotland, Canada, and Samoa. 

Contact Emily for any matters related to certification, auditing, internships, marketing and communications.
View her Linkedin here.

Andrea (Aya) Pigdon Programs Administrator

Aya joined the EA team in July 2016. She has spent time as a tour guide along the Western Australian coast and in Kakadu National Park leading 4WD and boat tours through national parks while educating tourists on the local flora and fauna, history and culture. She has also worked and travelled in the Asia-Pacific region, including an 18-month volunteer assignment in Vanuatu as an Ecotourism Development Officer. There, she worked with Government and local communities in the development and implementation of the national Tourism Standards and Accreditation Program. Her academic background in International Development, Australian Indigenous studies and sustainability has contributed to her extensive knowledge and passion for working with and encouraging eco, sustainable and culturally responsible tourism.

Contact Aya for any inquiries regarding Ecotourism Australia’s certification programs and membership.

Melanie Grevis-James Marketing Consultant

Melanie is the most recent person to join our team. As a marketing consultant Mel is assisting with increasing our marketing efforts and presence both internally with members, and externally with consumers. Mel’s tourism marketing career spans over 26 years in domestic and international marketing, including five years in Germany with Tourism and Events Queensland, and two years in Sydney with Tourism Australia, along with working for regional tourism associations and private operators. She has tourism marketing business and owns Our Planet Travel – an online campaign and print magazine building consumer awareness for sustainable travel. Mel holds a Bach. of Business degree in Tourism & Hospitality Management.

Contact Melanie for any inquiries regarding Ecotourism Australia’s marketing activities.

Fay Dawson Accounts Manager

Fay is the Accounts Manager for Ecotourism Australia and has worked in accounts for the past 10 years. She very much enjoys being part of the team, and will be only too happy to assist you should you have any queries with regard to your invoice.