Acting Chief Executive Officer

Richard Watson

Richard Watson

Richard Watson was appointed Acting CEO in September 2021. He joined Trade and Investment Queensland in 2017 as General Manager, Queensland Operations and for the past two years has been Deputy 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 TIQ, 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.

Global Investment Commissioner

Ross Buchanan

Ross Buchanan

Ross Buchanan was appointed Global Investment Commissioner in August 2019. He leads TIQ’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.

General Manager, International Operations

Toni Brownie

Toni Brownie

Toni Brownie was appointed General Manager, International Operations in January 2018. She leads the division responsible for managing TIQ’s 16 overseas offices.

Toni joined TIQ 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.

General Manager, Queensland Operations

Matthew Andrew

Matthew Andrew

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.

Executive Director, Strategy, Engagement and Communication

Bryony Hilless

Bryony Hilless

Bryony Hilless was appointed Executive Director, Strategy, Engagement and Communication in January 2020.

Prior to taking up that role, she was Executive Director of Marketing, Communication and Media at the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

Bryony has more than 15 years’ experience at executive level in complex government and private-sector organisations, where she has led corporate affairs, marketing and stakeholder engagement, and media operations. She has also led high-profile business transformation and organisational change programs, including New Zealand’s first social housing stock transfer in 2015. This complex 12-month project involved the sale of 2,800 homes (including vacant land) and the transfer of 8,000 tenancies, with a total project value of $1.65 billion. Bryony led all aspects of the transfer, including the overarching commercial negotiation.

Bryony has worked across a range of sectors, including health, social housing, construction and property development, state economic and industry development, and telecommunications.

She holds an Executive Master of Public Administration, a Bachelor of Arts in Media, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Communication Management.

Executive Director, Study Queensland

Shannon Willoughby

Shannon Willoughby

Shannon Willoughby was appointed Executive Director of Study Queensland in October 2018. She leads Study Queensland in its implementation of the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

Before joining TIQ, Shannon was CEO of Study Gold Coast, the peak education and training body for the Gold Coast region. In this role, she developed a strategy and led a team that positioned the Gold Coast as a domestic and international study destination of choice. Key achievements included developing an offshore student attraction strategy; implementing the ‘Education City’ brand (now embraced by more than 55 Study Gold Coast members); growing membership by more than 33%; and launching a global marketing campaign during the Commonwealth Games, which had more than 23 million views. Study Gold Coast also played a lead role in the Trade 2018 Commonwealth Games program, and operated the Gold Coast Student Hub in partnership with TIQ.

Shannon is a former chief reporter for News Limited and a long-term president of Young Professionals Gold Coast. She is also the Deputy Chair for Regional Development Australia Gold Coast, and a board member for Ohana for Youth.

Shannon holds a Bachelor of Communication from Bond University and is a graduate of Melbourne Business School and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Chief Financial Officer

Justin Muller

Justin Muller

Justin Muller was appointed Chief Financial Officer in April 2021. He leads the team responsible for providing TIQ’s financial management, risk management and procurement services.

Justin came to TIQ from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, where he was the Chief Financial Officer for 4 years. Prior to joining the public sector, Justin held senior management positions in leading commercial and consulting organisations in Queensland and Europe over a 19-year career.

Justin has gained significant exposure to a wide range of industries and sectors domestically and internationally. He has extensive technical experience in governance and internal control frameworks, budgeting and forecasting, performance management frameworks, cashflow management, business planning, and large-scale change management programs. This is underpinned by a consultative and collaborative approach, and a commitment to partnering with stakeholders at all levels to deliver optimal organisational performance.

Justin is a Fellow of CPA Australia and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.