Sunshine Coast Events Board
  • Last updated:
  • 23 Oct 2016

Sunshine Coast Council aims to position the region as Australia’s premier regional major events destination. It adopted the Sunshine Coast Major and Regional Events Strategy 2013-2017 and appointed the Sunshine Coast Events Board to help reach this goal.

Role of the board

The board’s role is to:

  • provide strategic advice to council on issues and collaborative opportunities to support the region’s investment in existing major events (including reviewing sponsorship applications)
  • identify other possible sources of sponsorship funding
  • secure new major events for the region
  • oversee implementing the Sunshine Coast Major and Regional Events Strategy.

Board members

The members of the board have a diverse range of business skills and a wealth of event industry knowledge and experience. Collectively they offer strong leadership and sound advice in support of the Sunshine Coast Major and Regional Events Strategy.

Chair – Ralph Devlin AM QC

Ralph brings a wealth of experience in managing community-oriented boards as well as his long and distinguished legal career. He has been actively involved in the Sunshine Coast community since 1971 and has a home in Maroochydore. Ralph is Surf Life Saving Queensland President and a director of Surf Life Saving Australia.

Deputy Chair – Paul Smith

Paul has extensive business expertise specialising in marketing, events, business management, consultancy and finance. He has run his own company for over 35 years and is also a Director of several other companies. He has developed many major events locally and internationally, including sport, entertainment, cultural & special one-off events. Paul also serves on the Board of The Events Centre Caloundra.

Maya Gurry

Maya’s successful PR and Marketing career spans more than two decades and three continents including the likes of Marks & Spencer and Volkswagen SA. She is currently a director of Fresh PR & Marketing which has managed a diverse range of local and national accounts including Gymnastics Queensland, the Queensland Garden Expo, Noosa Long Weekend Festival, the Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Reed Property Group and Sunshine Plaza.

Andrew Lofthouse

Andrew is a news presenter with Nine Network, with many years of previous broadcasting experience from ABC radio and television. He lives on the Sunshine Coast and has a strong understanding of the arts and cultural space. Andrew has previously been named ‘Queensland TV Personality of the Year’ and is Patron of the Buderim Male Choir.

Garth Prowd OAM

Garth has worked for more than 30 years at the highest level in all aspects of local, national and international sport, lifestyle and entertainment events. This includes Managing Directorship of USM Events. USM was responsible for the successful delivery of more than 750 national and international events during Garth’s period of ownership. Following the sale of USM Events Garth sat on the Board of Tourism and Events Queensland for three years and provides a consultancy service to the sports marketing, media and events industry.

Lynne Banford (Tourism and Events Queensland representative)

Currently Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) director for the Sunshine Coast, Lynne has nearly 20 years in the tourism and events industry. She led the international marketing arm of New Zealand’s largest Regional Tourism Organisation and worked on New Zealand’s successful '100% Pure'. Lynne subsequently joined the New Zealand Government’s Trade and Industry Department as Major Event Manager.

Simon Latchford (Visit Sunshine Coast representative)

Over the past 14 years Simon has played a lead role influencing and implementing positive change at regional, State and National level, having operated both in the private and Government sectors. Simon is a highly successful fundraiser and sponsorship hunter, and has played a senior role in the marketing and strategic development of leading destinations such as regional Queensland, the Whitsunday’s, regional Victoria, the Margaret River Region in Western Australia where he delivered record visitation growth and Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

Fraser Green (Visit Sunshine Coast member’s representative)

Fraser is a Board Director of Visit Sunshine Coast, the Regional Tourism Organisation, and has extensive business experience through his interests in tourism, retail and property investment on the Sunshine Coast. Over the past 25 years he has established a chain of women’s fashion and swimwear stores located in major tourism precincts throughout South East Queensland. Fraser also has a long history of being actively involved with local Sunshine Coast community organisations that promote business, events and tourism.

Cr Jason OPray

Jason is the Sunshine Coast Division 8 Councillor. His portfolio responsibility being Tourism, Events and Sport. Jason also sits on the Embracing 2018 Sunshine Coast Steering Committee and Visit Sunshine Coast’s Participatory Sports Advisory Panel.


During the financial year 2014-2015 the Board considered 27 major event sponsorship applications: 21 were supported and subsequently endorsed by Council and 10 of the 21 were contracted across multiple years, ranging between 2015 and 2018. The 21 sponsorship applications supported comprised 30 individual events of which 18 existing events were retained and 12 new events were attracted to the region.

It is anticipated that these events will draw over 70,000 participants, supporters, family and friends from outside the region to the Sunshine Coast.

For more information, please download a copy of the Sunshine Coast Events Board 2014-2015 Annual Report[3023KB].

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