Rod Hillman, CEO of Ecotourism Australia (EA), has announced his resignation today during the organisation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), after almost nine years as its Chief Executive.
The Chair, Claire Ellis, and Board of Directors wish him all the best in his future work and thank him for the massive contribution he has made to Ecotourism Australia.
During his tenure, Rod significantly strengthened the organisation, introducing new programs, forging new partnerships and building up the organisation’s strong and professional team.
He leaves the organisation in a strong and secure financial position, having built a mutually beneficial partnership with the protected area management agencies around Australia and introduced the ECO Destinations program.
Rod also led the organisation’s transition to run its programs 100% online and further cemented the international and national recognition of the value and quality of Ecotourism Australia’s certification programs.
Despite the difficulties that COVID, and before that drought, bushfires and other natural disasters placed on Ecotourism Australia members, Rod continually led improvement and change, helping shift the organisation from being seen as a certification business to an organisation that leads and supports the industry to improve.
An example of this is the recent partnership with WWF-Australia, which uses the ECO Destination program to sustainably develop regions impacted by bushfires and help contribute to their resilience.
Ecotourism Australia Chair, Claire Ellis, said a testimony to Rod’s achievements was the ongoing strength of the organisation’s membership levels, with 50% of certified members having been certified for ten years or longer.
“Ecotourism Australia is currently undergoing a number of major changes,” Claire added.
“Ecotourism Australia’s new vision and strategic planning will allow us to deliver even greater value to our members and build on the solid platform Rod has created to provide the thought leadership the industry is seeking around sustainability – a current major global and domestic trend.
“While his drive and commitment to the role and the organisation will be missed, the Ecotourism Australia Board and staff wish him well, knowing he will continue to be a passionate supporter of Australia’s nature-based tourism industry,” she said.
Rod leaves the organisation in a strong position. The recruitment process for his replacement is starting immediately and an advert will appear on SEEK within the next few days.
The updated list of Ecotourism Australia Board members, as also voted during today’s AGM, is available here.