AFTA has appointed Nina Hedges as its new compliance manager, taking over from Naomi Menon who will depart on 16 October.
Hedges joins the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) after five years as customer liaison and risk manager at Flight Center Travel Group, bringing extensive experience in building relationships at every stage of the travel ecosystem, Australian Consumer Law, dispute resolution, and both travel agency management and mentoring from her previous roles.
She brings a proven track record in the travel business with a career spanning 17 years and will begin in her new role from today.
Menon is leaving next week for an exciting new position outside of the travel sector. She first joined AFTA in April 2016 as its national manager for compliance and membership.
AFTA CEO Dean Long said it was important to choose the right person for such a crucial role.
“It was critical we chose the candidate who understood that as a member-based organization getting to know AFTA’s members and build mutually beneficial relationships was vital for this role,” he said.
“We’ve found that in Nina. Her proven record of lei in managing a variety of stakeholder relationships with business, industry and government will support AFTA in supporting our members in our ongoing efforts to uphold our code and charter, and maintaining the value of booking with ATAS accredited travel professionals and businesses.
“While it’s sad to be farewelling Naomi after 6 and a half years of exemplary service, including as an essential member of the team that kept AFTA running during COVID, I am so excited to see her progress in her career. I know the Board and members feel exactly the same way. I would like to thank her for her outstanding contribution of lei during her time here. “
Menon said that while the last two years have been challenging, she was honored to support members throughout.
“I would like to thank the AFTA team for their support, Dean and the AFTA Board, in particularly the amazing Chair, Mr Tom Manwaring, who it has been an absolute privilege to have worked with,” she said.
“It had always been my intent to move to a new challenge once I was admitted as a lawyer, and I am excited for the new chapter ahead.”
Hedges said she was delighted to join the company as it transitioned into a “post-COVID golden age” for travel professionals.
“Having worked my way up through the industry from an individual branch manager into global sales and more recently Customer Liaison and Risk Management, I’m passionate about travel and travel businesses and understand the challenges AFTA members face across multiple levels,” she said.
“In my new role I’m committed to building on the great work AFTA is already doing in growing awareness of the benefits for consumers that only come from booking with an ATAS accredited travel business.
“I look forward to meeting and engaging with AFTA members as we work together to maintain the integrity of the ATAS scheme in the evolving travel landscape.”