Chief Sparrow, Giovanna Lever
Giovanna Lever’s first experience of business was as a child working on her family’s vegetable farm in Bundaberg. Mentored by her father, she supported the operations of the family agribusiness. So business became a way of life for her - as natural as sleeping and breathing.
From brand marketing and positioning, product development, through mentoring and training, Giovanna is well known for building and transforming brands into sustainable business models. With 20 years experience working as an integrated commercial marketer in tourism, hospitality, entertainment and sport, Giovanna has held the Director of Marketing for the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay, leading the successful opening of the hotel. As a senior member of Tourism Australia led the Business Events Strategy and as a key member of the commercial team at Australian Rugby Union was responsible for driving awareness and engagement with the Australian Rugby brand.
She began Sparrowly Group with a clear vision to create a better workforce for the future. She has been at the helm of high profile projects across all disciplines for destinations, businesses and brands across Australia, including the Hawkesbury, Destination NSW, Cradle Coast Authority, Macadamias Australia, Inner West Neighbour Aid, Bundaberg Tourism, Ingenia Communities, City of Karratha, City of Shepparton and the Star Gold Coast.
As well as providing strategy and consultation for large and small businesses, she runs impactful leadership and development and reflective mentorship programs. These have previously been utilised by Virgin Australia, Reserve Bank of Australia, Hamilton Island and Bundaberg Tourism, as well as small to medium sized businesses that need support to thrive.
Smart Sparrow - Vanessa Campbell
Vanessa Campbell is an experienced business manager with a demonstrated history of working across a diverse range of industries while always delivering strong commercial outcomes.
With over 30 years experience in arts, media, events, and education she has highly developed skills in the fields of space management, sponsorship, negotiation, event management, compliance management, policy writing, project management and stakeholder management.
Vanessa has worked previously on a variety of projects with Fairfax Media and has held a number of different roles at the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.
As a business consultant she has collaborated with Vanity Group, InterContinental Sydney Double Bay, Elizabeth Quay development WA and Lady Denman Market.
As an events professional, she has managed entertainment and catering for the Catholic Youth Festival, coordinated entries and nominations for the Actors Equity screen awards and organised the Australian International Education Conference (AIEC Brisbane 2014) with 1250 domestic and international delegates.
Smart Sparrow - Annmarie Liddle
Annmarie Liddle has close to 20 years’ experience in supporting innovative and profit-driven businesses to achieve their goals. Her track record in strategic marketing and communications covers a range of industries with a specialty in tourism, events and hospitality.
Annmarie has worked as the Regional Director of Marketing and Communications at InterContinental Hotels Group. In addition to this, she has led a number of communications and marketing projects with NSW Treasury, Staging Connections, The Star Casino, Pacific Retail Management, CJC Management, CaSE International, Tourism NT and NT Conventions.
As such, she possesses broad-based, transferable skills in strategic marketing, stakeholder relations, communications and management, while specialising in creative marcomms strategy, brand/product management, strategic business planning, internal communications management, market research & planning and team leadership.
Creative and passionate, she has an excellent ability to remain focused on the big picture without losing sight of the project details.
Smart Sparrow - Ben Lever
Ben Lever has over 17 years of experience building and leading research and development teams, working with commercial and government organisations across Australia and Asia. His experience spans data analytics and data partnering, to technology evaluation and solution development.
Ben previously led data engineering and research at CSIRO’s Data61 prior to operating it as the CTO of the spin-out company Ambiata. There, he was instrumental in evaluating and researching cutting-edge techniques in the areas of data analytics, AI, and computer vision, then developing solutions for their application to pain-points and opportunities in government and business.
In the commercial sector, Ben has engaged with tier-1 telecommunication, financial services, retail, and media companies in designing evidence-based work programs and deploying technology-based solutions for automated data-driven decisioning.
In recent years Ben has had an interest in the nascent market garden industry and has completed training in permaculture as well as volunteering with local urban farms. He is also a board member of Inner West Neighbour Aid.
Ben has been an invited speaker on technology and data in Australia, UK and USA, and has strong relationships within the start-up ecosystem.
Smart Sparrow - Jacqueline Hicks
Jacqueline Hicks holds a Bachelor of Tourism Management. She is passionate about the tourism industry and the future of travel within Australia and the world.
Jacqueline has contributed her exceptional attention to detail and thorough research to many of Sparrow Group’s projects. Most recently, she was the lead research and co-authored with Giovanna Lever Sparrowly Group’s white paper on accessible tourism.
Jacqueline was the lead researcher on the Destination NSW Drives Project. Her ability to quickly acquaint herself with operators and their offering through her research skills was an advantage when managing the research component of the program, ready for the development of 12 new driving itineraries by copywriting teams.
She has supported Sparrowly Group’s delivery of the Hawkesbury Destination Management Plan through product and event auditing and training stakeholders as part of the Digital readiness workshops. Jacqueline actively supports tourism operators training them on the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse. She actively reviews operators to identify areas for learning, in particular around visitor experience.
She has been instrumental in the delivery of several other successful projects for clients in the travel and tourism industry, including the delivery of the Infrastructure and Investment Opportunity review for Ingenia Communities, as well as a city marketing project for Greater Shepparton City Council and in the health and disabilities sector, a strategic plan for IMPACT Community Services.
Smart Sparrow - Avril Dunn
Avril Dunn has over 10 years’ experience working in media, marketing and advertising. She is a rare hybrid of creative and business mindsets.
She believes in collaboration and always putting people first, striving for a team that is instrumental in the entire creative process from concept to delivery.
Avril has extensive experience working across all aspects of advertising/marketing operations, creative services and integrated production on both national and international projects.
She has worked with some of the largest and most iconic brand including Qantas, Tourism Australia, Audi Australia, Taubmans, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, ICC Sydney, Mazda, You, Linfox, The Cheesecake Shop, Chanel, Carnival Cruise Lines, Sydney Olympic Park, National Parks and Wildlife Services, Destination NSW, Ronald McDonald House, Sheraton, Zip Water, Novotel, Jarlsberg, UTS, Wine Australia, NSW EPA, Starwood Hotels, News Corp Australia, BridgeClimb Sydney, AAP, Vittoria Coffee, Getty Images, Transport for NSW, With Collective, DDB, OMD, Clarins, Maybelline, Nude by Nature, Endota Spa, Skoda Australia, Pandora, Aussie Farmers Direct, Heineken, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Taronga Foundation and Rotary International.