Board Profiles

Graham Turner, Managing Director, appointed to FLT board 1995

Graham “Skroo” Turner was raised on an apple orchard near the Queensland town of Stanthorpe and later trained as a veterinarian at the University of Queensland.

After graduating from university, Skroo worked as a vet in western Victoria before moving to London. In London, he and friend Geoff “Spy” Lomas, both of whom were working as vets, took their first steps into the travel industry in 1973 when they invested the equivalent of $A1300 in an ageing bus and started operating budget double-decker bus trips around Europe, North Africa and Asia.

After an eventful start, that company, Top Deck Travel, grew quickly and its success cemented Skroo's future in the travel industry. Top Deck Travel had grown into a thriving business with some 80 buses by the early 1980s, when he returned to Australia.

Skroo’s initial involvement with Top Deck ended in the mid 1980s, when he and his colleagues sold the business to management and devoted their full attention to Flight Centre, a business that had less than 30 shops at that time.

As the long serving chief executive officer and managing director of the public company that grew from the small band of Flight Centre shops, Skroo has since presided over a golden era of growth and prosperity for Flight Centre Travel Group Limited.

In addition to his involvement with Flight Centre, Skroo and his family own a string of prestigious resort properties in Queensland and New South Wales. His hobbies include mountain biking and marathon running.

He is also a keen environmentalist and supporter of the Australian Bush Heritage Fund.

Gary Smith, non-executive Chairman, appointed to FLT board 2007

Gary has vast tourism industry experience and has served on a diverse range of boards and tourism industry related bodies during the past 20 years.

He is currently managing director of Tourism Leisure Corporation and the Kingfisher Bay Resort Group of companies.

During his career, Gary also served for ten years as Queensland Tourism Industry Council chairman, an Ecotourism Australia Board member and deputy chair and a member of the Queensland Tourism Minister’s Tourism Strategy Steering Committee.

After completing a Bachelor of Commerce degree at University of Queensland, Gary joined international accounting and consultancy firm Arthur Andersen & Co’s financial consulting division, where he qualified as a chartered accountant. He then became founding director and full time executive of Queensland Tourism Industries Limited, a public company that listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 1987.

In 1996, Gary founded Tourism Leisure Corporation, a diverse business that today operates the Undara Lava Experience in the Gulf Savannah region, Twin Waters Golf Course on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, a number of backpacker-related businesses and the Kingfisher Bay Resort (KBRV) Group.

As a director of the KBRV Group, Gary has maintained an active involvement in strategic, financial, managerial and operational aspects relating to Fraser Island’s multi award winning Kingfisher Bay Resort & Village project since its inception in 1987.

Gary, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Institute of Chartered Accountants, was an independent director of S8 Limited from soon after its inception until its acquisition by MFS Limited in 2007.

John Eales, non-executive Director, appointed to FLT board 2012

After retiring from rugby in 2001, he has served in executive or advisory positions with a number of companies and organisations. Mr Eales cofounded the Mettle Group in 2003 – a corporate consultancy which was acquired by Chandler Macleod in 2007 – and currently sits on the GRM International, International Quarterback, Fuji Xerox – DMS and Australian Rugby Union boards. He was also a director of QM Technologies in the lead-up to its IPO in 2007 and its subsequent acquisition by Computershare in 2009. In addition, he is an occasional lecturer at Sydney’s University of Notre Dame and continues to consult to other major Australian and international companies. Mr Eales is the author of two books, Learning From Legends Sports and Learning From Legends Business.

Robert Baker, non-executive Director, appointed to the FLT board 2013

Rob was appointed as a non-executive director on 20 September 2013. His other positions with FLT are Audit & risk committee chairman and Remuneration & nomination committee member.

Rob was formerly an audit partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, with experience in the retail, travel and hospitality sectors.

Rob holds numerous positions outside of FLT, these include Chairman of John Goodman & Co Ltd since October 2014, chairman of International Justice Fund Limited since April 2015, advisory board member and Audit and Risk Committee member for the Catholic Development Fund, Archdiocese of Sydney since 2011, and chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Australian Catholic University Limited since May 2015.