Meet the Committee
The Dandenong Ranges Tourist Network is a not-for-profit organisation run by it's members, for it's members. The committee are all volunteers, tourism business owners and operators from the Dandenong Ranges area.
Mary Wiking - President
Wife, Mother and Grandmother plus President of The Dandenong Ranges Tourism Network. Owner with her husband Anders of Yarra Ranges Country Apartment in Mount Evelyn, which they have operated for 6 years. She is also the Secretary of The Tourism Network Yarra Valley.
Mary is very passionate about tourism in The Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley and has travelled all over Australia with her husband and friends as Grey Nomads in their 5th wheeler for many months at a time. She believes our region is up there with the best and has so much to offer tourists from all over the world.
Kine Haugland - Vice President
Kine moved to Melbourne from Norway in 2008 to study Tourism Management and soon found herself working as a Marketing Executive at Puffing Billy Railway. Kine is a seasoned marketing professional with experience across tourism, hospitality and not for profits in Australia and Norway.
Currently, she manages Puffing Billy's partnership program and fosters relationships with operators across the Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Valley and beyond.
She contributed to the community through a range of volunteer roles at Australian Tourism Export
Council, Dads Group Inc, City of Melbourne and Cancer Council Victoria before joining the Dandenong Ranges Tourism Network as the Vice President in 2019.
She is passionate about camping, and takes every opportunity to travel throughout Australia with her family.
Karen Steele - Secretary
Karen gave up her corporate Executive Assistant role early in 2015 to change career focus and has since operated as an AirBnB host in Olinda, up-scaled to the beautiful Cambridge Cottages in March 2017, but has now scaled back to working as Receptionist at Valley Ranges Getaways and operating Your BnB Angels, a respite service for other B&B owners. One day she hopes to own and manager her own BnB again. She is a member of the Yarra Ranges Tourism Network, a volunteer with the Olinda Rural Fire Brigade and loves being part of the hills community on both personal and professional levels. Karen and Tony both love to travel and have been to many countries in Europe, Asia and the USA, and spent the first few years of their married life in Cockatoo, before having a family and moving closer to their workplaces for many years. Karen and husband Tony are enthusiastic participants on both sides of the tourism industry and love being back in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, enjoying the wonderful parks, gardens, wildlife and boutique shopping and cafes, and they’re passionate about and dedicated to sharing it all, not just with paying guests, but their friends and family too.
Rhonda Fergus - committee member
Rhonda has a background in the education sector and has been the owner and operator of The Gallery B&B in Olinda) since its opening in 2014.
Rhonda and her husband have lived in the Hills most of their lives and consider the region one of Victoria’s most valuable tourism assets. She joined the DRTN committee in 2016 and enjoys sharing her love of the Dandenong Ranges, particularly its cool-climate gardens and stunning natural environment. Rhonda has been an active participant in several local community groups and projects. An enthusiastic ‘people-person’, she believes in the importance of community connection and the potential in networks of positive people.
Julie Azzopardi - Committee member
Julie is a relatively new resident to the Dandenong Ranges, making the move here from the western suburbs in 2014.
With a background in medical practise management, Julie is the owner operator of Mountain Lodge B&B , which she and husband Joe opened in January 2016.
Being involved with the DRTN was an opportunity she welcomed, allowing Julie to actively support and contribute to the local tourism effort, and work towards continuously improving the Dandenong Ranges experience, for visitors and locals alike.
She loves living in the “Hills”, only wishing they had made the move here much sooner.