Slide
Meet The Team
Our Committee

ABOUT OUR MEMBERS

The BYTAP committee is made up of professionals with diverse travel industry expertise and a common enthusiasm for the development and expansion of youth, student, and educational travel throughout Australia.

ABOUT OUR MEMBERS

The BYTAP committee is made up of professionals with diverse travel industry expertise and a common enthusiasm for the development and expansion of youth, student, and educational travel throughout Australia.

WENDY AYLWARD

CHAIRPERSON

MANAGING DIRECTOR - AIFS AUSTRALIA

Wendi has worked in the youth tourism sector for the past 25 years including management roles with DFAT and CIEE. She has lived and worked in Boston, London, and Tokyo, and speaks Japanese. Wendi has been a member of the Backpacker & Youth Tourism Advisory Panel (BYTAP) for the past 6 years, was a founding member of the Australian Internship Industry Association (AIIA), and was co-founder of the Cultural Au Pair in Australia Association (CAPAA) in 2014 – serving as its chair until 2019. Since 2005 Wendi has been the managing director of AIFS Australia, a cultural exchange provider facilitating programs for over 3,000 young people into and out of Australia every year.

SILKE KERWICK

SECRETARY

CONSULTANT & EDUCATOR - UNSW & NEXTED

Silke has many years of experience in youth tourism and cultural exchanges, gained on several continents. This includes working for YHA Australia in marketing, communications, and corporate affairs, promoting a network of 100 youth hostels. Silke was also with The British Council in Australia, developing bilateral cultural and educational exchanges, as well as having worked in student travel in London, for CIEE (Council for International Educational Exchanges) in New York, and for Scouts NSW in Sydney. She currently serves as a board member and secretary of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.
Silke speaks Spanish and Greek and is a lecturer and tutor at UNSW, as well as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language and an excursions and events manager for several international student organisations.
She is passionate about the benefits that cultural exchanges can bring to the lives of young people and their host countries.
Originally a working holiday maker herself and an author for Rough Guides, Silke’s still a backpacker at heart and was honoured to be named ‘Industry Legend of the Year’ at the 2023 Adventure Tourism Awards Australia.

MARK BALDWIN

DIRECTOR THE TOURISM CO.

Mark has been working in the youth tourism industry for 15 years. He started as a hostel manager in Bath, UK, followed by 3 years in of operating and opening new hostels in London. After a year in Canada, he made his way to Sydney to continue managing hostels before landing at the newly opened Bounce Sydney in 2010. He still contracts with the Bounce company overseeing operations of their current assets and their future development. Mark has a management company looking after multiple backpacker operations and the development of a backpacker resort in Noosa which he shares ownership.

GEORGE JOSEVISKI

DIRECTOR - LEISURE & TOURISM SOLUTIONS P/L

George brings over 30 years of experience in tourism businesses to BYTAP. He built a fledgling company running tours of Neighbours’ “Ramsay Street” into an award-winning major transportation business that was inducted into the Hall of Fame in The Victorian Tourism Awards. George was also a co-founder and vice president of the Backpackers Operators Association of Victoria, a judge at the Victorian Tourism Awards (2010-2015 & 2019), and a National Tourism award Judge in 2013. He currently serves as a Director of the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) and as a member of the Adventure Tourism Victoria (ATV) Committee.

BRENDAN McKENNA

GENERAL MANAGER AUSTRALIAN - JUCY GROUP

Brendan has been involved in the Tourism & Hospitality sector for almost 30 years working in numerous locations with multinational hotels to island resorts & casinos. The past 15 years have been in the youth & adventure sector where he as been a board member of Adventure Queensland & BYTAP for the past 10 years. Brendan holds a Masters of Hotel Management from Griffith University on the Gold Coast & is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

ANDY COWAN

GROUP SALES & MARKETING MANAGER - MILLETT GROUP

Andy has been working in the tourism and hospitality sector for the last 15 years. During his time at the Millett Group over the last 9 years, he’s transitioned from operations to his current role with a key focus on connecting the international youth market to the group’s flagship brand Wake Up! Hostels.
Andy joined the Youth Tourism NSW committee (formally Backpacker Operators Association NSW) in 2017 and currently holds the position of President. He took out the ‘Young Industry Legend Award’ at the 2019 Adventure Tourism Awards.

PETA ZIETSCH

DIRECTOR OF SALES - CAIRNS ADVENTURE GROUP

Peta has been immersed in youth tourism for 25 years working in sales, marketing & operational roles for much-loved brands such as Fitzroy Island, Wayoutback Australian Safaris, and most prominently, Raging Thunder Adventures.
Over this time, Peta has held multiple positions on the boards of both Adventure Cairns and Adventure Queensland and is currently Secretary and Chair, respectively. Peta joined BYTAP in 2022 and is passionate about helping rebuild the youth tourism sector.

WENDY AYLWARD

CHAIRPERSON

MANAGING DIRECTOR - AIFS AUSTRALIA

Wendi has worked in the youth tourism sector for the past 25 years including management roles with DFAT and CIEE. She has lived and worked in Boston, London, and Tokyo, and speaks Japanese. Wendi has been a member of the Backpacker & Youth Tourism Advisory Panel (BYTAP) for the past 6 years, was a founding member of the Australian Internship Industry Association (AIIA), and was co-founder of the Cultural Au Pair in Australia Association (CAPAA) in 2014 – serving as its chair until 2019. Since 2005 Wendi has been the managing director of AIFS Australia, a cultural exchange provider facilitating programs for over 3,000 young people into and out of Australia every year.

SILKE KERWICK

SECRETARY

CONSULTANT & EDUCATOR - UNSW & NEXTED

Silke has many years of experience in youth tourism and cultural exchanges, gained on several continents. This includes working for YHA Australia in marketing, communications, and corporate affairs, promoting a network of 100 youth hostels. Silke was also with The British Council in Australia, developing bilateral cultural and educational exchanges, as well as having worked in student travel in London, for CIEE (Council for International Educational Exchanges) in New York, and for Scouts NSW in Sydney. She currently serves as a board member and secretary of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.
Silke speaks Spanish and Greek and is a lecturer and tutor at UNSW, as well as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language and an excursions and events manager for several international student organisations.
She is passionate about the benefits that cultural exchanges can bring to the lives of young people and their host countries.
Originally a working holiday maker herself and an author for Rough Guides, Silke’s still a backpacker at heart and was honoured to be named ‘Industry Legend of the Year’ at the 2023 Adventure Tourism Awards Australia.

MARK BALDWIN

DIRECTOR THE TOURISM CO.

Mark has been working in the youth tourism industry for 15 years. He started as a hostel manager in Bath, UK, followed by 3 years in of operating and opening new hostels in London. After a year in Canada, he made his way to Sydney to continue managing hostels before landing at the newly opened Bounce Sydney in 2010. He still contracts with the Bounce company overseeing operations of their current assets and their future development. Mark has a management company looking after multiple backpacker operations and the development of a backpacker resort in Noosa which he shares ownership.

GEORGE JOSEVISKI

DIRECTOR - LEISURE & TOURISM SOLUTIONS P/L

George brings over 30 years of experience in tourism businesses to BYTAP. He built a fledgling company running tours of Neighbours’ “Ramsay Street” into an award-winning major transportation business that was inducted into the Hall of Fame in The Victorian Tourism Awards. George was also a co-founder and vice president of the Backpackers Operators Association of Victoria, a judge at the Victorian Tourism Awards (2010-2015 & 2019), and a National Tourism award Judge in 2013. He currently serves as a Director of the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) and as a member of the Adventure Tourism Victoria (ATV) Committee.

BRENDAN McKENNA

GENERAL MANAGER AUSTRALIAN - JUCY GROUP

Brendan has been involved in the Tourism & Hospitality sector for almost 30 years working in numerous locations with multinational hotels to island resorts & casinos. The past 15 years have been in the youth & adventure sector where he as been a board member of Adventure Queensland & BYTAP for the past 10 years. Brendan holds a Masters of Hotel Management from Griffith University on the Gold Coast & is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

ANDY COWAN

GROUP SALES & MARKETING MANAGER - MILLETT GROUP

Andy has been working in the tourism and hospitality sector for the last 15 years. During his time at the Millett Group over the last 9 years, he’s transitioned from operations to his current role with a key focus on connecting the international youth market to the group’s flagship brand Wake Up! Hostels.
Andy joined the Youth Tourism NSW committee (formally Backpacker Operators Association NSW) in 2017 and currently holds the position of President. He took out the ‘Young Industry Legend Award’ at the 2019 Adventure Tourism Awards.

PETA ZIETSCH

DIRECTOR OF SALES - CAIRNS ADVENTURE GROUP

Peta has been immersed in youth tourism for 25 years working in sales, marketing & operational roles for much-loved brands such as Fitzroy Island, Wayoutback Australian Safaris, and most prominently, Raging Thunder Adventures.
Over this time, Peta has held multiple positions on the boards of both Adventure Cairns and Adventure Queensland and is currently Secretary and Chair, respectively. Peta joined BYTAP in 2022 and is passionate about helping rebuild the youth tourism sector.

WENDY AYLWARD

CHAIRPERSON

MANAGING DIRECTOR - AIFS AUSTRALIA

Wendi has worked in the youth tourism sector for the past 25 years including management roles with DFAT and CIEE. She has lived and worked in Boston, London, and Tokyo, and speaks Japanese. Wendi has been a member of the Backpacker & Youth Tourism Advisory Panel (BYTAP) for the past 6 years, was a founding member of the Australian Internship Industry Association (AIIA), and was co-founder of the Cultural Au Pair in Australia Association (CAPAA) in 2014 – serving as its chair until 2019. Since 2005 Wendi has been the managing director of AIFS Australia, a cultural exchange provider facilitating programs for over 3,000 young people into and out of Australia every year.

SILKE KERWICK

SECRETARY

CONSULTANT & EDUCATOR - UNSW & NEXTED

Silke has many years of experience in youth tourism and cultural exchanges, gained on several continents. This includes working for YHA Australia in marketing, communications, and corporate affairs, promoting a network of 100 youth hostels. Silke was also with The British Council in Australia, developing bilateral cultural and educational exchanges, as well as having worked in student travel in London, for CIEE (Council for International Educational Exchanges) in New York, and for Scouts NSW in Sydney. She currently serves as a board member and secretary of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.
Silke speaks Spanish and Greek and is a lecturer and tutor at UNSW, as well as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language and an excursions and events manager for several international student organisations.
She is passionate about the benefits that cultural exchanges can bring to the lives of young people and their host countries.
Originally a working holiday maker herself and an author for Rough Guides, Silke’s still a backpacker at heart and was honoured to be named ‘Industry Legend of the Year’ at the 2023 Adventure Tourism Awards Australia.

MARK BALDWIN

DIRECTOR THE TOURISM CO.

Mark has been working in the youth tourism industry for 15 years. He started as a hostel manager in Bath, UK, followed by 3 years in of operating and opening new hostels in London. After a year in Canada, he made his way to Sydney to continue managing hostels before landing at the newly opened Bounce Sydney in 2010. He still contracts with the Bounce company overseeing operations of their current assets and their future development. Mark has a management company looking after multiple backpacker operations and the development of a backpacker resort in Noosa which he shares ownership.

GEORGE JOSEVISKI

DIRECTOR - LEISURE & TOURISM SOLUTIONS P/L

George brings over 30 years of experience in tourism businesses to BYTAP. He built a fledgling company running tours of Neighbours’ “Ramsay Street” into an award-winning major transportation business that was inducted into the Hall of Fame in The Victorian Tourism Awards. George was also a co-founder and vice president of the Backpackers Operators Association of Victoria, a judge at the Victorian Tourism Awards (2010-2015 & 2019), and a National Tourism award Judge in 2013. He currently serves as a Director of the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) and as a member of the Adventure Tourism Victoria (ATV) Committee.

BRENDAN McKENNA

GENERAL MANAGER AUSTRALIAN - JUCY GROUP

Brendan has been involved in the Tourism & Hospitality sector for almost 30 years working in numerous locations with multinational hotels to island resorts & casinos. The past 15 years have been in the youth & adventure sector where he as been a board member of Adventure Queensland & BYTAP for the past 10 years. Brendan holds a Masters of Hotel Management from Griffith University on the Gold Coast & is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

ANDY COWAN

GROUP SALES & MARKETING MANAGER - MILLETT GROUP

Andy has been working in the tourism and hospitality sector for the last 15 years. During his time at the Millett Group over the last 9 years, he’s transitioned from operations to his current role with a key focus on connecting the international youth market to the group’s flagship brand Wake Up! Hostels.
Andy joined the Youth Tourism NSW committee (formally Backpacker Operators Association NSW) in 2017 and currently holds the position of President. He took out the ‘Young Industry Legend Award’ at the 2019 Adventure Tourism Awards.

PETA ZIETSCH

DIRECTOR OF SALES - CAIRNS ADVENTURE GROUP

Peta has been immersed in youth tourism for 25 years working in sales, marketing & operational roles for much-loved brands such as Fitzroy Island, Wayoutback Australian Safaris, and most prominently, Raging Thunder Adventures.
Over this time, Peta has held multiple positions on the boards of both Adventure Cairns and Adventure Queensland and is currently Secretary and Chair, respectively. Peta joined BYTAP in 2022 and is passionate about helping rebuild the youth tourism sector.