Sky-high goals for Rockhampton growth
For Scott Waters, one simple word has guided him throughout an impressive career in the tourism and local government sectors.
“I think the key word for me is ‘passion’ and that’s what has informed my career to date,” Mr Waters said.
“I think if you are passionate about what you do it makes things so much easier.”
With Rockhampton and Central Queensland on the crest of a tourism and economic wave, the 38-year-old Rockhampton Regional Council general manager of regional development and aviation has a great deal to feel passionate about.
He admits it’s a fantastic time to be in charge of Rockhampton Airport as he begins the process of upgrading it to become a hub for international flights and a greater economic driver for the Central Queensland region.
And, with extensive experience in tourism, aviation and local government, Mr Waters is ideally placed to lead the airport, and region’s, growth.
Born in Mackay in 1979, Mr Waters completed his secondary schooling at St Patrick’s College before heading to James Cook University where he graduated with a business degree majoring in tourism management and human resources.
From there he moved to Cairns where he worked for Qantas, before heading to Canberra as part of the national carrier’s special services unit.
A desire to see more of the world saw Mr Waters work in Ireland, Great Britain and France before he returned to Australia as the area sales manager for Qantas in Townsville.
After nearly 18 months with Qantas, Mr Waters became head of commercial operations for the North Queensland Fury, the Townsville-based A-League soccer club.
In September 2010, he was on the move again, this time to Townsville Enterprise as the general manager of destination marketing, development and the convention bureau.
In mid-2011, the State Government approached him to take on the role of general manager of the Whitsunday Coast Airport and, in late 2012, he was appointed Whitsunday Regional Council chief executive officer.
It was, Mr Waters said, something of a dream job.
“I jumped at the opportunity to run the airport and then had about three and a half years running the council,” he said.
“That was a fantastic experience and I was able to continue the work with the Whitsunday airport as sort of a pet project.”
Mr Waters made the move to Rockhampton in 2016 and says his role as airport general manager with a focus on regional development combines his great passions.
“I’m really focused on aviation and travel and how local government can play a part in regional development,” Mr Waters said.
“What I love about working in local government is that you are part of something far bigger than yourself.
“There is a real sense that you are performing a valuable role that will benefit the community and region.”
While he admits that a hectic working life leaves little time for relaxation, not surprisingly given the nature of his job, Mr Waters admits to a love of travel.
He recently returned from a trip to Cambodia, which he thoroughly enjoyed, and he loves nothing better than seeing more of the world.
“In a way I’m very lucky that so much of my job involves a fair bit of travel anyway because it is something I love doing,” he said.
“I also work hard at staying healthy and family and friends are a big part of my life.”