Laurie O'Meara

Laurie O’Meara was born in Kununoppin in 1938 and grew up on the family farm at Trayning in the Western Australian wheatbelt. He commenced a twenty year career in local government administration at Bencubbin in 1961 before moving to Kojonup, Kalamunda and Swan. He left local government when appointed chair of the WA Planning Board in 1981. Laurie and his family entered the tourism industry in 1989 when they took on management of a 103 room city hotel, the Emerald. With his wife Marlene, he operated the Emerald until May, 2008 when the property was sold. Laurie became involved in industry politics and chaired the Tourism Council for six years before being appointed deputy chair of the WA Tourism Commission in 2002, a position he held until September 2008. During this time he was involved in the establishment of the National Tourism Accreditation Program, the goal of which is to ensure the maintenance of high standards of tourism and hospitality product and service. This has now operates nationally. He was appointed to the Rottnest Island Authority in 2000 and chaired the Authority from 2004 until he retired in June 2012. Laurie represented tourism as a member of the board of the Perth International Arts Festival for six years until April 2009. For these efforts he was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2002, the Sir David Brand Medal in 2006 and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2007 Queens Birthday honours. His efforts in tourism were recognised at a national level when, at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Melbourne in 2008, he was awarded the inaugural “Outstanding Contribution by an Individual (National)”. Now fully retired, he and Marlene live in South Perth with his interests being bike-riding, golf, reading and family.
Bio last updated 03 Feb 2016

Article Timeline

Positions - Previous

PositionCompanyYearCompany's current rankWA staff
Rottnest Island Authority
Rottnest Island Authority
2004 - 201220
Deputy Chairman
Tourism WA
Tourism WA
2002 - 2008

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