Chief Executive Officer
With significant international trade experience, Justin was appointed to the leadership role to drive Queensland’s investment and export future.
Justin McGowan has held Senior Executive roles within the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and is an accomplished diplomat. Most recently, he led the Capability Taskforce driving Australia’s Foreign and Trade capabilities to meet future challenges and deliver economic potential.
He was previously Australia’s Commissioner General to the World Expo in Dubai for four years (2017 to 2021), facilitating engagement opportunities for government representatives, business councils, investors and entrepreneurs across most markets and sectors.
In previous roles, Justin has held senior leadership positions a range of private sector companies, has delivered on major global programs with the Department of Defence and served in the Royal Australian Navy on numerous operational deployments, including enforcing United Nations sanctions in the Middle East.
He has been awarded the Australian Active Service Medal, Australian Service Medal (Solomon Islands), Operational Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Australian Defence Medal and the Maritime Commander Australia Commendation.
Mr McGowan holds a Master of Management and Graduate Certificate in Management from the Australian National University and has studied at Melbourne and Harvard Kennedy Business Schools and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Richard Watson joined Trade and Investment Queensland in 2017 as General Manager, Queensland Operations, most recently stepping into the role of Acting CEO. Richard has more than 20 years’ commercial and government experience in senior executive roles in sports management and events.
His career has spanned consulting, business development, financial control and management, and stakeholder engagement and management. Richard joined the public sector in mid-2005 and since then has had wide experience in Queensland Government operations, including regional services and sport and recreation services at all levels.
Prior to joining Trade and Investment Queensland, he was Deputy Director-General – Sport and Recreation Services with the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing. Richard holds a Bachelor of Financial Administration from the University of New England.
Chief Operating Officer
Matt Rigby was appointed Chief Operating Officer in August 2023, taking responsibility for Trade and Investment Queensland’s Finance, Human Resources, Information and Technology, Facilities, Governance and Procurement divisions.
Matt has more than a decade of experience in senior leadership roles across Queensland Government having also worked at Queensland Health, Metro South Hospital and Health Service the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and the Queensland Police Service.
He is an accomplished leader with demonstrated performance in customer focus, change management, government relations, stakeholder engagement, strategy, project management, and governance.
Matt has been awarded the National Emergency Medal (NTH QLD 2019 and TC DEBBIE 2017) and the Queensland Police Service Medal (15 Year Service). He holds qualifications in Hospitality Management and worked in the industry prior to commencing with the Queensland Government in 1997.
Global Investment Commissioner
Ross Buchanan was appointed Global Investment Commissioner in August 2019. He leads Trade and Investment Queensland’s International Investment Attraction Unit.
Prior to taking up that role, he was Executive Director of the Economic Policy team in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.
Ross has held senior executive roles in the Queensland Government for more than 17 years, working on trade, industry and investment projects. He was the Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Japan for 3 years, and also drove business expansion efforts for Queensland across the UK, Europe and Africa on a later 2-year posting in London. He also spent 6 years as Director of the Queensland Government’s Investment Attraction Division, and 3 years as Executive Director, Trade for the Queensland Government.
Ross is a lawyer by training, and spent 10 years working at major firms in Brisbane and Japan. While working for an international legal firm in Tokyo for 3 years, he provided advice on international commercial business transactions. Other roles included working in the infrastructure advisory area of a mining company and for a private-sector advisory firm.
Ross holds an MBA from Queensland University of Technology and bachelor’s degrees in law (hons), commerce and arts from The University of Queensland.
A/Chief Financial Officer
Trang Yen joined Trade and Investment Queensland in July 2022 as Director, Finance and Procurement. Currently acting Chief Financial Officer, Trang has over 20 years of experience in State Government delivering complex financial statement and budget processes for multiple agencies.
Trang has in depth knowledge and understanding of state government corporate processes including financials, grants, procurement and contract management, governance, and human resources.
Prior to joining TIQ, Trang was Director Corporate Services and PMO for the Quarantine Management Taskforce at Wellcamp facility. She has also acted as Chief Finance Officer and Director, Finance at the Department of State Development, Planning, Infrastructure and Local Government (DSDPILG).
In 2016 Trang led a team as Director, International Students Program at Education Queensland International (EQI) which included international student admission and enrolment into Queensland’s state schools, along with systems and processes in compliance to CRICOS.
Trang holds an MBA from Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
General Manager, Queensland Operations
Matthew Andrew was appointed General Manager, Queensland Operations in January 2020.
Matthew has more than 20 years’ experience in economic development for the Queensland Government, including roles with the Department of State Development and with the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. He has held senior and executive roles in investment attraction and led a number of initiatives to promote growth sectors in the Queensland economy, including food and agribusiness, manufacturing and biofutures.
Matthew also has an in-depth understanding of regional Queensland and the challenges and opportunities facing regional communities, having held the role of Executive Regional Director for north and central Queensland for the then Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning.
Prior to joining government, Matthew spent time in the private sector in the fields of market and advertising research.
Matthew holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University and a Master of Business Administration from Griffith University. He is also a long-term board member and Vice-President of Diabetes Queensland and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
General Manager of Study and Migration Queensland
Toni Brownie was appointed General Manager, International Operations in January 2018 and General Manager for Study and Migration Queensland in 2023.
Toni joined Trade and Investment Queensland from City of Gold Coast, where she managed a team of 35 staff as Manager of Economic Development. In this role, she led the team that delivered some of the city’s most significant portfolios, including Economic Development, International Trade and Investment, City Marketing, and Tourism. She was also responsible for delivering Trade 2018, the business program associated with the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018.
Prior to joining City of Gold Coast, Toni was COO for Recover Canterbury, a post-earthquake business recovery organisation established after the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010–11. Recover Canterbury provided a range of services and resources to earthquake-affected businesses in the Canterbury region to accelerate their recovery.
Toni also spent 15 years with the Canterbury Development Corporation, where she held various roles, including General Manager of Strategy and Planning, Industry Development Manager, and Business Services Manager.
Toni holds business qualifications from the Christchurch College of Education and the New Zealand Institute of Management.
Executive Director of Strategic Engagement and Communication
Maria was appointed Executive Director of Strategic Engagement and Communication in May 2023, previously leading development, implementation, monitoring and reporting for the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training’s stakeholder and communication strategies. She also led the department’s strategic partnerships and events activity, as well as media, social media, and digital communication strategy.
Maria’s experience in strategic engagement and communication within government services has supported her leading key programs and initiatives that have contributed towards the overall enhancement of public service delivery mechanisms in Queensland.
Maria championed the needs of the state’s small businesses leading to the formation of the revitalised Queensland Small Business Advisory Council, and the development of the $8.76 million Small Business Wellness package.
She’s worked closely with local, state, and national stakeholders on small business recovery efforts following the 2019 Monsoon Trough in North Queensland and was integral in the department’s engagement with small businesses during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maria also led the delivery of the 2022 Queensland Workforce Summit which informed the development of the Good Jobs. Good People: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032.
Maria holds an Advanced Diploma of Management, Advanced Diploma of Project Management and a Diploma in Business Marketing.
A/Executive Director, Study Queensland
Kylie Cooper was appointed Acting Executive Director of Study Queensland in March 2023. She leads a high performing team that supports Queensland’s International education and training sector and leads implementation of the Queensland International Education and Training Strategy (2022-2027).
Kylie has extensive experience working across the Queensland Government in economic policy, regional development, research and innovation strategy and program delivery. She has designed and delivered a wide range of innovative grant, partnership and procurement programs across government, and represented the state on Commonwealth, State and Territory forums on innovation and international education and training.
Her background also includes tertiary education, with four years at The University of Queensland (UQ), where she developed the first UQ Entrepreneurship Strategy and delivered new entrepreneurship programs, events and activities. Kylie has spoken at numerous conferences and events and been a university guest lecturer on innovation and government policy.
General Manager International Operations
Anna Fedeles was appointed as General Manager of International Operations in November 2023.
Over the past 20 years, she has held senior roles inside government and private organisations, with a focus on international trade, investment and education.
Anna was most recently Australia’s Consul General in Frankfurt and Austrade’s Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner responsible for Germany, Switzerland & Poland. In this role she was instrumental in building demand for Australian green hydrogen and critical minerals. As Consul General, she was also responsible for delivering Australia’s consular crisis response during COVID-19, including managing government-assisted Qantas repatriation flights.
She was previously Deputy Consul General and Trade & Investment Commissioner Dubai, with a special focus on Australian education and technology across the Middle East and Africa. Anna has held several internationally focused roles including managing Austrade’s operations in Italy; heading strategy teams in Austrade’s trade and investment divisions; creating an Australian tourism investment attraction program; developing start-up programs for Australian tech companies; running WWF’s climate action campaign Earth Hour; and managing student recruitment promotions across 35 countries for Australia’s largest education agent IDP.
Anna holds qualifications in international relations from the University of New South Wales.