Advisory Committee

The Arafura Games Steering Committee has established an Advisory Committee to support the planning and delivery of the Arafura Games 2019. The Advisory Committee is governed by a Terms of Reference.


Andrew Hopper (Chair)

Andrew’s role as Deputy Chief Executive Officer for the Department of Tourism and Culture (DTC) incorporates responsibility for tourism and events for the department and overseeing 130+ staff.

Andrew is a strategic and passionate senior executive who delivers business objectives with a track record of success. He has proven success in the development and implementation of strategic business plans and the management of revenue and budgetary targets. Andrew also has demonstrated experience in the public and private sector at sporting, entertainment and corporate organisations, working across all levels of the business while managing teams of various sizes.

He has an extensive record in leading the planning and delivery of major national and international projects including events. Successful completion of an MBA at Macquarie Graduate School of Management and graduate of the Company Directors Course, Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Kate Worden MLA

Kate is the Member for Sanderson and the Assistant Minister for Small Business, Multicultural Affairs and the Arafura Games.

In 2017 Kate led a steering committee that made recommendations to Cabinet to reestablish the Arafura Games. Kate’s representation on the Arafura Games Advisory Committee will ensure the initial vison for the Games is implemented.

Kate is a long-term Territorian who, prior to be being elected, worked for the NT Government for 20 years in departments including housing, health and consumer affairs.

She has extensive experience as a former NT Government Sports Adviser that included delivery of previous Arafura Games. Kate also has strong connections to the Darwin and Territory sporting community having been a former sports administrator across local AFL, Netball and Basketball Clubs.

Kate has a degree in Indigenous Affairs and is a graduate of the Institute of Company Directors, and has previously served as an elected member of the City of Darwin Council.

She has served on a number of school councils and is currently a Board Member at Casuarina Senior College and the Duke of Edinburgh NT Chapter.

Kate also has business experience having run a small home-based painting business with her husband for more than 20 years. Kate has four children and eight grandchildren and in her spare time she enjoys cooking, going to the gym and reading.


Tim Watsford

Tim is the General Manager of Northern Territory Major Events Company. He recently relocated to the Territory from Sydney where he was the General Manager of Major Events and Engagement with the National Rugby League.

He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration qualification coupled with 12 years of industry experience in the facilitation of national and international events.

Tim comes with a diverse skillset which includes strategic event development, commercial operations, and senior event management coupled with experience in managing local, state and national industry stakeholders.

Mark Hunt

Mark Hunt

Mark is currently employed by Landbridge Australia and oversees the company's property development activities in Darwin.

With 20 years' experience in the property industry within Australia and abroad, he has proven planning and project management experience of large scale, complex and multi-disciplinary projects. He continues to play an important role in external relations and business development activities.

Mark is also currently active as a Board Director of the Darwin Festival.

Glen Hingley

Glen Hingley

Glen is General Manager of Tourism Top End, and is an experienced tourism executive with over 30 years in private and public sector marketing and event tourism. Glen arrived in Darwin in 2018, after 16 years based in Shanghai as a director of a range of companies specialising in travel management, destination management, event management and tourism representation.

He is currently a Director of the Australian Tourism Industry Council representing the NT focusing on tourism industry development, government policy review and tourism awards. Glen also sits on various Top End management or steering committees, focused on improving the economy of the region.

Glen’s career experience has been in managing and coordinating events for corporate and government clients across China, Asia and globally. Some of these projects have included client events as part of the Beijing 2008 Olympics, World Expo 2010 in Shanghai and multiple corporate events involving up to 10,000 delegates for companies such Porsche China, Qantas Airways, Emirates Airlines, Jaguar China, Amway China, ANZ Bank, Bluescope Steel, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment USA and various Australian government agencies.


Louise Partos

Louise has an extensive background in the not-for-profit arts and culture sector including project management and cross cultural development.

Having worked previously at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Centre, Melbourne Museum, Museum Victoria, Ernabella Arts and Bula’bula Arts in Ramingining, Louise remains passionate about empowering artists and communities in both her professional and personal capacities.

Louise received an Asialink Arts Management Residency where she worked in partnership with Afalyca Arts, a community art centre in Baucau, to deliver Timor Leste’s first ever music and art festival in 2013, before being remounted in 2016.

In 2015, Louise completed the Asialink Business Leader’s Course and is committed to building relationships and developing a range of activities, which allow for genuine cultural exchanges and the creation of long-term partnerships for future collaborations and presentation opportunities.

Louise has been Executive Officer of Artback NT, the Northern Territory’s visual and performing arts touring agency, for over ten years. She is passionate about the arts sector, in particular the role of arts in creating healthy communities and in supporting diversity, creativity and critical pathways for employment and well being.

Stacey Farraway image

Stacey Farraway

Stacey is the Director International with Charles Darwin University and is an international education marketing specialist.  She has worked at universities in Queensland and the Northern Territory, leading the development and implementation of internationalisation and international marketing strategies.

Stacey holds degrees in marketing and public relations, and international business and is currently finalising her Doctoral thesis on international student choice with the University of Newcastle.


Judith O’Hearn OAM

Judith was born Darwin and after completing schooling at Nightcliff High School began her teaching career at Moil Primary School. At the age of 26, Judith was diagnosed with a cyst on her spine and after two operations was confined to a wheelchair. During rehabilitation Judith enjoyed using the pool and this was the catalyst for commencing competitive swimming.

Judith first represented the Northern Territory in 1994 at the National Wheelchair Games in Melbourne. She won silver in the 100m backstroke event, and by 1996 Judith was equalling games records in the pool at the National Wheelchair Games. Judith set new Australian records from 1997, including the 400m freestyle which was swiftly followed with achieving world record times for 200m Breaststroke and 50m Breaststroke.

She competed in three events at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, setting new Australian records for each event and triumphing to win Gold in the 100m breaststroke. Judith was awarded an Order of Australia medal for service to sport as a gold medallist at the Paralympic Games Sydney 2000. At the height of her swimming career in 2000 Judith was ranked number one in the world for 100m Breaststroke SB6 and 200m Breaststroke SB6.

Judith’s additional accolades include NT Sportsperson of the Year in 1999 and 2001 and NT Institute of Sport International Athlete of the Year in 2000 and 2002. In 2008 Judith was presented the NT Steve Abala Role Model Award. She is the first (and to date) the only NT female athlete to win a Gold medal at a Paralympic Games. Judith is a role model for young women and anyone dealing with a new disability later in life.

Judith’s career in education has included working in the Sport, Health and Physical Education sector promoting sport for people with a disability and providing awareness of people with a disability. Through this Judith supported Territory athletes including CJ Grogan and Tom O’Neil Thorne as they began their wheelchair basketball journeys.

Judith currently works for the Department of Education as a Career Advisor within a senior secondary school and enjoys being mum to son Connor and wife of Gary.


Sean Mahoney

Sean is the CEO of the International College of Advanced Education (ICAE) based in Darwin, Australia (  He established the College in 1997 and has overseen growth since inception to its current status as a recognised International institution offering courses in hospitality, cookery, business and management for Australian and international students.

In 2017 Sean completed seven years as a National Board member for the peak body in the private education sector, the Australian Council of Private Education and Training (ACPET). He remains an active member on the International Education sub-committee.

Sean has been a member of the International Business Council (IBC) of the Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce, and has held the role of Chairman since 2005. The IBC is a strategic advocacy group for international trade, representing IBC Members conducting business to and from the Northern Territory.

Sean holds postgraduate qualifications in Management Development (Education and Training) and Australian Migration Law and Practice. He is a registered agent with the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority, providing visa advice and processing services to clients including students.

Sean is a former Board member of Squash NT.


Jeannette Button

Jeannette has more than twenty five years’ experience in public relations and has worked across the telecommunications, tourism, mining, government and not-for-profit sectors.

In 2014 she established her own strategic communication and public relations consultancy, PR Button.

Jeannette is an accomplished practitioner, experienced in crisis and media management and a skilled writer.

She has proudly called the Territory home for the last 19 years and is inspired by its people and opportunities. With a strong belief in giving back to the community, Jeannette is also the Chair of the Australia Day Council NT and a Board member for Carpentaria Disability Services.

Matt Grassmayr

Matt Grassmayr

Matt is the Manager of Leisure, Events & Customer Experience at City of Darwin. His team is responsible for Council’s recreation and sporting assets as well as producing community events including the annual Bombing of Darwin Day Commemoration Ceremony.

Matt commenced his career in chartered accountancy before roles in the corporate sector, academia and local government. He has been working in the sports sector for over 20 years.

He has a passion for sport, exercise and biomechanics and holds an honours degree in Exercise & Sports Science from Sydney University.

Matt has published and presented his research findings regarding compensatory muscle activity in injured athletes, golf biomechanics and athlete’s knowledge and understanding of performance enhancing substances.


Sam Burke

Sam was raised and educated in the Northern Territory and is passionate about business growth and tourism development. He brings a dynamic perspective as a former commercial lawyer, prosecutor, Ministerial Chief of Staff and now General Manager of the Darwin Waterfront Corporation and Executive Director of Strategic Infrastructure and Projects.

The Waterfront Precinct enjoys an average of 1.2 million visits every year and the Corporation has broad responsibilities including the Convention Centre and Stokes Hill Wharf.

The Strategic Infrastructure and Projects team in the Department of Trade Business and Innovation lead the delivery of major Northern Territory Government infrastructure projects and seek to proactively engage private investors to grow the economy and create jobs.

Sam is committed to developing the Northern Territory in both roles and is proud to be raising his young family here.