To further HYP’s ‘Contribute’ journey, members are invited to join Brett and Lou Dann, from Hunter Travel Group, in their brand new space where travel and innovation merge.

While sipping a cold beverage and grazing on canapes, you might be mistaken for thinking you’re waiting to board an international flight in ‘The Explorer Lounge’, modelled off a first-class airport lounge.

Be inspired by this couples incredible journey of travel and business, and the beginnings of the most extraordinary new office space in Newcastle’s Hunter St. With over 40 years in the travel industry, hear from two successful leaders why and what encourages them to contribute.

About Brett Dann

Brett started his travel career in 1984 at the original iconic Jayes Travel Services as a 16 year old junior trainee travel consultant. With sheer dedication, education, focus & drive Brett progressed to become one of the youngest ever Managers at Jayes Travel, managing his first store at just 21 years.

From managing a team of 20 to 100 within 5 years, across 21 locations from the Hunter to the Central Coast, Canberra and the Mid-North Coast, Jayes Travel was rebranded Traveland and Brett appointed NSW State Manager. In 1999 Brett moved on and set up his first travel business partnership in Toronto and that office still stands today. Following the collapse of Ansett in 2001, a significant number of local jobs were jeopardised and it was at that point Hunter Travel Group expanded in a bid to protect as many local jobs as possible within the tourism industry.

Fast forward to 2018, Brett is now the Founder, CEO & Managing Director of one of Australia’s largest privately owned travel groups that has grown from humble beginnings in Toronto to a network of 25 locations across Australia, including the largest regionally based travel agency in Australia right here in Newcastle.

About Fiona Cushing

Fiona Cushing has over 20 years experience in finance and accounting. She started her career with Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) before moving to Hunter Water Corporation where she worked for over 19 years in a variety of roles within finance and IT, including as Chief Financial Officer for the last 6 years.

Over her time in the role of CFO, Fiona led a team of around 25 people and was responsible for all aspects of the financial performance of the business including statutory reporting, management accounting and financial analysis, taxation, debt management, and business performance reporting; as well as liaising with external stakeholders such as economic regulators and the shareholders; the procurement function and business strategy.

Fiona is now an independent consultant and is currently working on a project for a water industry association.

HYP Community Partnership

$1 of every ticket sold for HYP events in 2018 will be donated to Lifeline Hunter Central Coast through our community partnership. Lifeline Hunter Central Coast saves local lives to prevent suicide, the number one cause of death for people under 45. You can make an optional extra contribution when you purchase your ticket.



The Explorer Lounge, 450 Hunter St., Newcastle


24 May 2018 at 6PM - 8PM