Rob Gallagher, the Chief Executive Officer of Adventures Group Holdings (AGH), which publishes Caravan World, will vie for the title of Future Leader in the 2017 Caravan Industry Association of Australia's CaravanCampingSales Future Leaders of industry awards.
The Future Leaders Award recognises the commitment, energy and achievements of the caravan and camping industry's under-40s. The finalists have all been named as "outstanding participants" in the industry.
Gallagher is the former General Manager of the Adventures group of titles under Bauer Media. In 2016, he led a management buyout of the Adventures business and established AGH, which he now runs as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.
AGH is a content and marketing business which also publishes CAMPER Trailer Australia, Outdoor, Motorhome and Caravan Trader, Adventures, and The Wanderer magazines, as well as associated websites in the caravanning and camping space including caravan park booking site Turu.com.au
Gallagher said, as Youth Ambassador, he would focus on the promotion of talent within the industry and advocacy with government (federal and state) to acknowledge the value of the market to the broader economy.
"I would hope to be able to help break down the perceptions of the industry that don’t accurately reflect the scale and dynamism of the market such as the well-worn 'cottage industry tag'," he said.
He said technology had changed the way people engaged with the caravanning and camping industry
"From the enhanced manufacturing methods adapted from other sectors (in particular Marine and Automotive) to the consumer facing interactivity at the holiday parks to the vehicles that traditionally take us on our caravan and camping journey, there is rapid and major change occurring."
Gallagher said he believes the future of the caravan and camping industry is bright,with technology, aggregation of businesses and collaboration between major players leading the way.
The five other finalists in the 2017 Future Leaders Award include:
Stephen Edwards: CEO of Edwards Group.
Stephen has been working in the caravanning and camping industry for more than 15 years, with experience in all aspects of caravan park operations. He first became the Major Projects Manager of the Edwards Group, before becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2014.
Amanda Ferguson: Investment Analyst, Discovery Parks.
Amanda is a registered Chartered Accountant with a passion for analysis and data, and providing insights for informed decision making.
Michael McIvor: Operations Manager, Broken Hill Tourist Park.
In 2010, Michael's family purchased the Broken Hill Tourist Park and have since focused on adding a number of tourism related businesses to their holdings, such as tour company and a range of other accommodation services.
Daniel Tilton: CEO, Next Generation Holiday Parks
In 2015, Daniel's family purchased the Rowes Bay Beachfront Holiday Park in Townsville and started Next Generation Holiday Parks of which Daniel has taken on the role of Chief Executive Officer.
April Whiston: General Manager, Merool on the Murray.
April has been employed as General Manager at their family owned and operated park for three years. Merool is a large park with a licence for 494 sites and a turnover of $3.5 million per year. She is also the sole founder of Cabin Connect and the blogger behind Mrs Caravan Park.
The winner of the Future Leaders Award will receive up to $15,000 towards industry study or professional development and an opportunity to attend a Caravan Industry Association of Australia National Board meeting, to observe and provide input into important industry discussions. The winner will be announced at the Industry Gala Dinner at the National Conference on Friday 12 May.