Sunshine Coast Events Board
  • Last updated:
  • 25 Sep 2019

Sunshine Coast Council's vision for the Sunshine Coast Major Events Strategy 2018-2027 is for the region to be recognised as the premier regional events destination in Australia - where major events deliver maximum results. The Sunshine Coast Events Board was established to help achieve this goal.

Role of the Board

The Board’s role is to:

  • support the region’s investment in existing major events
  • identify other possible sources of sponsorship funding
  • secure new major events for the region
  • oversee implementation of the Sunshine Coast Major Events Strategy.

Board members

The Board comprises regional leaders who represent a wide range of foremost experience in various professions, the events industry, including a generous breadth of sporting, artistic and cultural areas.

Chair – Ralph Devlin AM QC

Ralph brings a wealth of experience in managing community-oriented boards as well as his long and distinguished legal career. He has been actively involved in the Sunshine Coast community since 1971 and has a home in Maroochydore. Ralph was President of Surf Life Saving Queensland 2011-2016 and Deputy President of Surf Life Saving Australia 2013-2016. Ralph was made a member of the Order of Australia in January 2016 for his services to Surf Life Saving and to the Law.

Deputy Chair – Brenda La Porte

Brenda has extensive experience in the business of sport including the creation of Cricket Australia's Big Bash League. She is currently a board member of Tourism Events Queensland, Non-Executive Director on the board of Athletics Australia and Chair of the Local Organising Committee for IAAF World Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021.

Brenda held the role of General Manager Planning and Strategy for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and also as part of the Organising Committee for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. She has been a Senior Advisor to the Australian International Sporting Events Secretariat and was formerly a Partner in global consulting firm Accenture.

Andrew Lofthouse

Andrew is a news presenter and reporter with the Nine News Network and has many years' experience in the TV and radio industry. He lives on the Sunshine Coast and has a strong understanding of the arts and cultural space. Andrew is also a keen triathlon and marathon competitor. 

Maya Gurry

Maya’s successful PR and Marketing career spans more than two decades and three continents including the likes of Marks & Spencer and Volkswagen South Africa. She is currently a director of Fresh PR & Marketing which has managed a diverse range of local and national accounts including Gymnastics Queensland, the Queensland Garden Expo, Estia Health, Hall Contracting, Reed Property Group, Wishlist, United Synergies, Sunshine Coast Business Council and Sunshine Plaza.

David Ryan (Visit Sunshine Coast Chairman)

David has an extensive background in commercial and investment banking and operational business management. He has over 20 years’ experience as a Non-Executive Director including First American Title Insurance Company of Australia Pty Limited, First Mortgage Services Pty Limited and Sunshine Coast Airport Pty Ltd, and formerly with Virgin Blue Holdings Limited, Hamilton Island Limited and Lend Lease Corporation Limited.

David is the Chairman of Visit Sunshine Coast. 

Simon Latchford (Visit Sunshine Coast representative)

Over the past 15 years Simon has played a lead role influencing and implementing positive change at regional, state and national level, having operated both in the private and government sectors. Appointed CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast in 2016, Simon is a highly successful fundraiser and sponsorship hunter, and has played a senior role in the marketing and strategic development of leading destinations such as the Whitsunday’s, regional Victoria and the Margaret River Region in Western Australia. Simon also sits on the board of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux dedicated to marketing the Sunshine Coast as a premier business event destination to domestic and international markets.

Cr Jason O'Pray

Jason is the Sunshine Coast Division 8 Councillor. Born on the Sunshine Coast and part of a family who has resided in the region for three generations, Jason has been heavily involved in community activities and sport his entire life. A life member of the Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club, rewarded through his many outstanding achievements in national and international Surf Life Saving. Jason's portfolio includes Economic Development with his sector of responsibility and interest being Tourism, Events and Sport. Jason also sits on the Embracing 2018 Sunshine Coast Steering Committee and Visit Sunshine Coast's Participatory Sports Advisory Panel.


During the financial year 2017-2018 the Board considered 38 major event sponsorship applications: 35 were supported and subsequently endorsed by Council with 11 of the 35 being contracted across multiple years. Events supported will be held between 2017 and 2021.

For more information, please download a copy of the Sunshine Coast Events Board 2017-2018 Annual Report[3010KB].

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