COUCH Directors

Ron Holden – Chairman

Ron Holden was born in Cairns and attended the University of Queensland and completed a Bachelor of Engineering. After earning a commission at the Officer Training Unit, Scheyville in 1970, Ron Served for two years as a Pioneer Platoon Commander in the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment in Townsville, Singapore/Malaysia and South Vietnam.

Ron has practised as a consulting engineer and project manager since 1972. He has worked both in Australia and overseas specializing in leading multidisciplinary teams for the delivery of complex investigations, studies and projects in the fields of civil infrastructure, residential, tourism and commercial development and planning and the environment.

Ron is now semi-retired and resides on the Atherton Tablelands with his wife Paula. He is committed to serving the local community and has provided COUCH with his expertise and experience since 2009.


Michael Woodward – Secretary

Michael Woodward was born in Cairns and attended the University of Queensland where he completed a Bachelor of Commerce.

He has worked as the Group Accountant for the Capta Group before taking on roles of General Manager at both the Cairns Wildlife Dome and Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.

Michael then took on the role of General Manager at Cairns Wildlife Dome during the construction and implementation of the Cairns ZOOM attraction.

Currently Michael’s role is Systems & Projects Manager for the Capta Group.

In previous years, Michael has undertaken committee roles with Cairns District Rugby Union and JCU Mariners Rugby Union. He has also been treasurer and a member of both Skal International Cairns and Kickstart Toastmasters Club.

Michael resides in Cairns with his wife Darlene.

Peter Phillips – Treasurer

Peter Phillips moved to Cairns in the mid eighties to take up a senior role with the old Northern Building Society. A chartered accountant by trade, he is now the General Manager of Cairns’ local financial institution, Cairns Penny Savings & Loans as well as being a member of the governing Council and chair of the Audit Committee of James Cook University. He is passionate about the local community and serves in less formal roles on a number of other organisations.

Michael Nelson – Director since 2011

Michael Nelson is Director of Pinnacle Tourism Marketing a company that offers consultative and representation service to tourism businesses. He has lived in Cairns since the early 90’s and during that time has held senior sales and marketing positions at some of the regions most iconic tourism products. He started his own company in 2006. Michael also sits on the board of the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC). He is married to Suzi and together with their 3 children continue to make Cairns their home.

Luckbir Singh – Director since 2014

Luckbir Singh is a Partner of the MacDonnells Law 40-person-strong, state-wide commercial team.  He became a partner in 2007 and was the youngest modern day partner appointment in the firm’s 130 year plus history.  He has been recognised for his legal skills and client outcomes by Lawyer’s Weekly as a finalist in the 2016 Australian Partner of the Year Awards.

Luckbir has been involved in many significant large scale commercial matters across the state. His areas of practice include corporate advisory and governance.

Luckbir is the chair of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Cairns Regional Committee and a director of the North Queensland Primary Health Network Ltd.


Rob Giason – Director Since 2016

Rob Giason has over 40 years’ of tourism and regional economic management and marketing experience, specialising in growing destination capacity and promoting sustainable visitor economies.
He has been actively involved in administration, management, governance and marketing-communication disciplines across seven diverse Australian regions, including 10 years as CEO Tourism Tasmania and for four years during this period he was also the Deputy Secretary of the Tasmanian Department of State Development. Rob also held the position of CEO of Tourism Tropical North Queensland for eight years.

  • At senior executive level, Rob’s experience incorporates the following strategic disciplines:
  • Regionally designed strategic destination planning, economic development, events and marketing;
  • Trusted and valued stakeholder relationship;
  • Established respectful and productive working relationships across government and industry.

Rob has served on many regional, state, national and international boards. This experience enhances his strategic planning, marketing, business administration and management skill set.

  • Board Directorships include:
  • Chair Queensland College of Wine Tourism (August 2015)
  • Regional Development Australia, FNQ&TS (March 2015)
  • Gurriny Yealamucka Health Services Aboriginal Corporation (December 2014)
  • Tourism North East Victoria (December 2014)
  • FNQ Heat FC (June 2015)

Professional Memberships include:

  • Fellow AMI,
  • Fellow & Life Member, AITO.
  • Member AICD

Rob is currently the Acting CEO of Advance Cairns.

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