Ian McEachern


Ian McEachern joins the TropLinks Committee as the 2015/2016 incoming President and has extensive experience in the area of training and would be considered as a generalist having held management positions in Transport and Logistics, Project Management and WHS management in various industry sectors.

Ian spent 13 years in Papua New Guinea and is part owner (with his wife) of KAI Training & Consulting which was involved in training of Nationals involved in Transport, Fuel Transport, Aviation Fuel and many other areas involved with the PNG LNG project.

Ian combined technical and managerial strengths with his excellent organisational skills in developing staff and achieving strong business growth and strategic objectives, particularly in the compliance side of businesses.

Ian has held many consulting and voluntary positions within PNG and was extensively involved in the establishment of the PNG Training Qualification Framework as well as having past experience in Australia as President of numerous sporting and other not-for-profit organisations.

Since returning to Cairns in early 2015 Ian has been employed at McLeod Training Organisation as a Business Manager.  He is looking forward to his new role as President and helping lead the TropLinks membership forward.

 Graham Poon


Graham Poon has extensive Australian and International commercial experience through the work he has done for over 30 years throughout Australia, South East Asia, North Asia, Guam, Micronesia and the Pacific, both in the private sector and the Australian State and Federal Governments.

Graham is the Principal of G.K. Consulting, a business consultancy located in Cairns in Northern Australia and specializes in strategic planning, export development, aid/development-funded projects and tender analysis and writing. He was elected Vice-President of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce previously and served four terms on the Management Committee. Graham is also a member of the Queensland Government's "Mentoring for Growth" panel in Cairns, a member of the Australian Institute of Export and a previous judge for the Telstra Business Awards and Queensland Government Export Awards.  He is also a committee member of both the Cairns Regional Council's Sister Cities Advisory Committee and the Multicultural Advisory Group.

He also brings much knowledge to business from his previous role as Austrade Trade Commissioner based in the Australian Embassy in Manila specialising in helping Australian companies access projects funded by the Asian Development Bank and other development institutions such as AusAID and the World Bank. He has also held positions as CEO of TropLinks in the field of promotion of Tropical Expertise, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce NT, Austrade Regional Trade Commissioner NT and GM of a major tourism operation in Guam.

Graham was educated at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia and has a Bachelor of Commerce degree.  He also possesses the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

Sebby Zappulla


Mr Sebby Zappulla, Principal of Export Grant Professionals since 2001, specialising in assisting clients access the Export Market Development Grant administered by Austrade. This has involved assisting clients in industries that include tourism, manufacturing, software design, education and primary production in preparing, submitting and the audit process in applying for the Export Market Development Grant.

Sebby is a member of the Export Council of Australia and the Australian Institute of Export. Within the Institute Sebby has been an active member of the Export Consultants Group (ECG) since 2001. Sebby is the only full time Export Market Development Grant consultant based in North Queensland, that participates in all CPD offered through the Australian Institute of Export and Export Consultants Group.

Sebby has in working with clients in the diverse export sector that operates in North Queensland developed an extensive knowledge of the different and effective marketing strategies utilised.

Sebby has been a member of Tropical Tourism North Queensland since 2001.

Sebby has worked jointly with Mr Chris Buck of Australian Export & Industrialisation Advisory Corporation Pty Ltd over the last two years in assisting clients in Cairns and the Gold Coast prepare their R & D submissions for AusIndustry/ATO for research funding.

Sebby is a currently a member and Treasurer in the Management Committee of Troplinks. The primary goal of Troplinks is the development of a globally competitive tropical economy in which Australia is recognised as a world leader in the tropical sciences, knowledge and innovation.

Prior to 2001 Sebby taught Economics, Business and Technology subjects at high schools in Ingham and Innisfail for 12 years.

David Donohue

Over more than 30 years, David has built a well-respected reputation in communication strategy, issues management, and stakeholder engagement. With a background in Government communications, he founded niche consultancy QCCN which has grown to dominate its market sector, focussing on developing relationships between organisations and their many stakeholders (especially with regional, marginalised and remote communities in Australia and elsewhere).

David has significant international experience as a current Fellow and former President of the Australian Public Relations Institute (PRIA), a previous Global Councillor and awards judge for the International Public Relations Association (IPRA), and as an advisor to both the University of Southern Queensland (Australia) and Universitas Trisakti (Indonesia). His particular interest is in the development of international communication and cooperation.

With post-graduate qualifications in communication, public relations and management; David is also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Management.

Jayne Keane

Dr Jayne Fenton Keane is Manager of Queensland's Inspiring Australia initiative, the national science engagement strategy. Jayne leads Queensland's Inspiring Australia's national strategic approach to establish a scientifically engaged Australia. The Queensland Museum, the federal Department of Innovation and Science, the Queensland Department of Science and Innovation and the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist are lead partners of the initiative.

In her role Jayne works closely with broad sections of the Queensland government, research, education, communication and business communities to develop and execute an integrated strategy to elevate the impact and reach of current and future science engagement activities.

National Science Week and the World Science Festival are two key initiatives she manages. Jayne is also responsible for the development of science tourism and science club pilots, the establishment and management of regional hub networks and development of a pathways program that supports year round science communication and engagement initiatives.

Ian McLeod

Mr Ian McLeod, principle of I and W McLeod since 1993, specialists within the Forest, Construction, Rural, Horticulture, Transport and Business Industries providing technical and leadership education, training and consulting in all states of Australia and Internationally.

Forming the company McLeod Training Organisation Pty Ltd in 2003 and registered as a private Registered Training Organisation in 2004, providing accredited qualifications in Australia and overseas.

In 2009 the MTO Group Pty Ltd was formed of which Ian McLeod is the Managing Director which now umbrellas:
• Safety Management Systems International (SMSI)
• McLeod Training Organisation Pty Ltd (Registered Training Organisation 30187)
• MTO Training PNG LTD (Registered Training Organisation NTC.191. PNG)
• McLeod Training (PNG)
• HS Business School (Registered Training Organisation 32493)

Ian has extensive experience internationally including very remote areas in Sth America, Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands, PNG and Indonesia. Ian is work fluent in Bahasa Indonesian, Bahasa Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands Pidgin.

Ian is a sector council member of AgriFoods, Forestworks, and Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Councils and voluntarily provides expert industry and educational advice to industry and Government.

Ian was chairman of Australian Tropical Expertise Consortium (ATEC) which prepares businesses for export readiness and matches businesses within the Tropics to business opportunities.

Ian is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Cairns, Port Moresby and Lae PNG.

Ian is a vocational education and training expert and a consultant to industry on training and safety management developments and works tirelessly helping business in the Cairns region with International Seminars, Workshops and has led several Missions to PNG.

Norman Welsh

Norman has been working as a development assistance project specialist in Asia for more than 30 years. In that time he has undertaken numerous short - term consultancies and has been a long term advisor on 7 projects.

His initial involvement in projects was largely technical, in rural development but through time he has moved into roles that relate more to overall project management and leadership of technical assistance teams. This has encompassed a wide range of activities - staffing, financial, procurement, donor and recipient government liaison. In recent times he has developed a focus on evaluation and quality control and has introduced some effective and innovative practices into his projects.

His technical expertise lies in agriculture, participatory community development (in which he has been a pioneer in adapting processes) and in Human Resource Management, especially competency based training.

Norman is now a freelance consultant basing himself in Cairns having recently returned to semi-retirement after having lived in 5 different countries overseas and worked in several more.

Growing Tropical Economies