Meet The Team

 

Wings Away Travel & Cruise

Was founded by Anne Rogers in 1985, after a 12-year Career with Ansett Australia. The company continues growing and expanding to this day with its dedicated staff at its core, embodying the values of its founder.

 

 

Andrew Cross - Managing Director

 

As Wings Away Travel & Cruise expanded, the logical step was to appoint a General Manager to manage the day to day running of the business.
In August 2010 Andrew accepted the position. Andrew came from a hospitality background and being in the travel industry for over a decade, sparked an interest in travel after spending time overseas.

Prior to joining Wings Away Travel, Andrew was the Regional Operations Manager for the highly successful and award-winning organisation: Globetrotter Corporate Travel. Previous roles at Stage & Screen also saw Andrew expand his knowledge into Groups/Bands/TV and Movies.

Andrew then took over ownership of Wings Away Travel in 2017.

In his spare time, Andrew likes reading and catching up with friends for long leisurely dinners. His favourite holiday destination "Would have to be continental Europe, for its diverse range of cultures being such a short distance from one another."

 

Maree McClelland - BDM / Tour Escort

 

Maree joined us in 2000 and is another travel veteran having decided on a career in travel after a year in the United States as an exchange student. She was a long-time employee - from junior to Manager, with the prestigious Wandana organisation, and during her years there developed a passion for Norfolk Island.

Fast forward 40 years, and Maree has done more than 120 trips to her beloved Pacific Isle, and there is nothing she doesn't know about this gem of a destination. Maree also spent a number of years on the supply side of our industry managing a large wholesale company specialising in South Pacific destinations.

During the course of her career, Maree has managed countless group tours to all corners of the world, and she is renowned as one of the finest Tour Managers in the business - we are indeed lucky to have her on our team. Maree's role with us also includes concept and design of our group tours programme - she is always on the look-out for an idea for a special interest tour!

 

Patricia D'Angelo - Travel Designer

With over 25 years of experience in the travel industry Patricia has been with Wings Away Travel
for 17 years specialising in tailor made itineraries.

 

Patricia's passion for the industry is reflected in her diverse array of travel knowledge and the attention to detail with which she crafts each customised itinerary.
Apart from travelling she believes that frequent product training, and networking with specialist suppliers are invaluable assets in the ever-evolving world of travel.

Her recent adventures have found her climbing up to Machu Picchu Peru, river cruising down the Rhine, exploring the Cinque Terre in Liguria and walking the neighbourhoods of New York city.

She truly enjoys sitting down with clients and planning the perfect trip for them.

 

Paula Kanakaris - Front of House Coordinator

 

Paula Kanakaris has joined the Wings Away team as Front of House Coordinator.

As well as supporting our experienced team of Travel Designers, Paula is responsible for a myriad of administrative tasks to ensure the office runs smoothly.
For 12 years Paula was in the educational publishing world as a senior customer service officer, experience which qualifies her well for this role.

Paula has furthered her knowledge of the industry over her years at Wings Away Travel.Along with Paulas personal travels, this ensures that our clients are placed with the Travel Designers best suited to their travel needs. 

 

Tim Beckensall - Groups Coordinator/ Travel Designer

 

Tim is an experienced tour escort and has come to us with a wealth of travel experience having travelled to over 25 countries in Asia, Europe, the Pacific and the Middle East.

When joining Wings Away, he had recently returned from 4 years in China, where he held the position of Community Liaison Officer at the Australian Embassy and owned and managed a bespoke tour company in Beijing.

Tim has a degree in Archaeology and spends a lot of his spare time researching and exploring hidden sites to include in his next travel adventure.
His travel highlights include lazing on the white sands of the Blue Lagoon and leading over 120 explorations of various sections of the Great Wall of China. He hopes to continue his hunt for China's lesser known tombs and ruins and is still searching for the perfect travel photograph.

He is eager to pass on his knowledge and advice and is looking forward to designing the best possible experiences for our clients.

 

Natalie Bazzano - Travel Designer

 

Natalie has worked in the retail travel industry at management level since 2006 specialising in groups, corporate and retail travel before becoming a cruise specialist in 2012.

Having managed a cruising agency for 12 months, Natalie is well suited to offer advice on this exciting and innovative sector of the travel industry.
With a passion for all things travel and having travelled extensively, Natalie is highly qualified to design itineraries to suit individual client needs.

 

Gillian (Jill) Barros - Travel Designer

 

Jill Barros joined the Wings Away team as a part time Travel Designer. Having been in the travel industry for over 23 years, Jill is highly qualified with a wealth of experience both as a travel designer and traveller.

Her career in the industry began when she returned to Australia and attained an Associate Diploma in Travel and Tourism having spent three years working and travelling in Europe and the USA.

Having worked in the business travel sector for the 13 years, Jill was refreshed to return to leisure travel and excited at the opportunity of designing dream holidays for her clients.

Jill provides the office, and her clients, with a good laugh, along with a BIG helping of travel info along the way.

 

Mike Yiamkiati - Travel Designer

 

Mike has joined the Wings Away team after having worked in the retail and leisure travel industry for over 6 years specialising in tailored packages, snow journeys and cruising.

Having lived in Downingtown, Pennsylvania in USA until moving to Australia to complete the rest of his education, Travel has been a part of his story and wants to help those write their next chapter in travel.

His background varies from hiking to the Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park for the Monkey Hot Springs in Hakuba, discovering the beauty of Hawaii's local beaches on an ATV (all-Terrain Vehicle) through the North Shore, Enjoying the dining and entertainment on board Cunard's Queen Elizabeth to enjoying a helicopter tour over the Las Vegas skyline as the Bellagio Fountains dance below.

Passionate to share his experiences from snowboarding to relaxing, Mike can help you tailor your own holiday to create your own tale to share with friends and family.