Public Affairs and Communications Committee

The Public Affairs and Communication Committee is composed of advocacy, public policy and communication specialists from the accommodation sector.

The purpose of the PACC is to provide strategic advice to the Accommodation Australia Board on all public affairs, public policy and communications activities within the Australian Accommodation industry representing the broad base of members and our industry.

Chair of Public Affairs and Communications Committee Anthea Dimitrakopoulos

General Manager Brand & ESG, Quest Apartment Hotels

Anthea is the General Manager of Brand and ESG for Ascott Australia, responsible for the Environmental, Social and Governance plan, the strategic brand and marketing direction for the Australian Team. The Brands include, Quest Apartment Hotels, lyf, Citadines, Oakwood Premier and Somerset. A seasoned professional with over 16 years hospitality experience and 11 of those in franchising.  Anthea has a passion for franchising, marketing, bringing brand and product ideas to life, maximising operational excellence, delivering financial performance and equally: championing gender and broader diversity rights, environment, and social issues.

Anthea oversees the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategies including Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives across The Ascott Limited brands in Australia. Key milestones already achieved include growing gender diversity at a senior leadership level and implementing a new Gender Equality Policy that includes paid parental leave.

The Quest Apartment Hotels Brand team, led by Anthea, developed the award winning Local as you Like It Business Owner (franchisee) stories that won the 2022 Franchising Council of Australia National Excellent in Marketing Awards and the 2022 Hotel Management (HM) Awards for the Marketing Campaign.

Anthea graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors in 2022 and currently is the industry advisor on the Western Melbourne Tourism board.

Deputy Chair Chris Waite

Director of Communications Australasia, IHG Hotels & Resorts

Chris Waite is Director of Communications – Japan, Australasia & Pacific (JAPAC) for IHG Hotels & Resorts. 

Appointed to the role in 2017, Chris sits on IHG’s Global Corporate Affairs EMEAA Leadership Team is responsible for building IHG’s reputation in the JAPAC region, including corporate communications, colleague engagement, responsible business and public affairs. 

Prior to his current role with IHG, Chris was based in Bangkok as APAC Head of Corporate Communications for Amadeus, and had previously worked in the UK for Flight Centre Travel group and Business Travel World Magazine. 

Claire Haigh

Vice President of Communications Accor Pacific

An established communications leader who is committed to great results, Claire Haigh has delivered global integrated campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands, including Coca-Cola, Oakley, Pernod Ricard and Accor hotels. Claire’s campaigns have a true commitment to creativity and quality, from strategic inception to measurement, which connect with global and local audiences. 

Claire is a champion for creative ideas and obsessed with positioning brands exactly where they need to be, from developing customer-focused strategy through to clearly communicated ideas and initiatives that convert into business growth.  

A winner of multiple marketing communications awards, Claire believes that a good reputation is earned and develops corporate and consumer campaigns inspired by cultural insights, sustainability, reputation management and thought leadership. 

Born in Manchester, England, Claire now lives and works in Sydney, Australia.

Chris Logan

PR and Communications Manager at Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific

Maddison Moloney

Public Relations & Communications Manager

Melissa Rodrigues

Group Director of Brand & Marketing, Minor Hotels

With two decades of extensive industry experience working with a bevy of high-profile brands, Melissa Rodrigues is Minor Hotels’ Group Director of Brand & Marketing for Australia and New Zealand - where it currently holds a portfolio of over 60 properties under its Oaks Hotels, Resorts & Suites and Avani Hotels & Resorts brands.

Since joining the company in 2018, Melissa has successfully guided the brand and marketing strategy and provided thought leadership for the business. She has achieved exceptional growth in company revenue and overall brand measures, effectively led the corporate communications strategy, and demonstrated exceptional skill in negotiation and partner management at a global scale. An expert in the varying disciplines in marketing, digital and corporate communications, Melissa is a valuable mentor to her team, with a genuine approach to leadership. 

Prior to this, Melissa held senior brand & marketing positions at several prominent brands, including Qantas, P&O ANZ, Telstra, Menulog and Ninemsn.  

Melissa is based in Minor Hotels’ Sydney office.  

Michael Johnson

Chief Executive Officer

The inaugural CEO of Accommodation Australia - National, Michael has more than thirty years of experience at the highest levels of the tourism accommodation sector across Australia and New Zealand.

As head of Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA National and NSW) since May 2019, Michael spearheaded the sector’s response to COVID, steering it through its darkest days in more than 100 years and representing the accommodation sector in the halls of power in Canberra and Sydney and in the media. A former long-time general manager of four- and five-star hotels, Michael lives and breathes the industry and is committed to providing all members with the highest levels of service and representation.

As CEO of TAA – and interim CEO of the Accommodation Association of Australia since October 2022 (the first person to hold both roles) – Michael has been pivotal in the amalgamation of Australia’s two peak accommodation bodies – a merger he has described as a long-held “dream come true.”

Michael epitomises the resilience of the accommodation sector and whether it’s encouraging the next generation of young hotel workers to build a successful career in hospitality or drawing attention to the needs of the industry at the highest levels, he is an enthusiastic and effective ambassador for the accommodation sector.