Graeme Wood

Graeme Wood, founder

Graeme Wood revolutionised the travel industry in Australia when he created the concept for, and cofounded, in 2000. From his simple and innovative idea, Graeme has grown into a global company with a team of over 145 employees worldwide.

Graeme's background is in information technology, with more than 30 years experience in the field of information systems and software development, beginning with NCR and later IBM. His career as an entrepreneur began in the early 1980s with the first of several technology start-ups.

Since's inception Graeme and the company have been awarded several times for contributions to the industry and excellence in all areas of operation including:

- Overall Winner and Winner of Outstanding Achievement by an Organisation in the Services Sector - Premier of Queensland's SMART Awards 2004
- Australian Institute of Management Medal for Management Innovation - 2004 Management Excellence Awards
- National winner of the Technology, Communications, E-Commerce and Life Sciences category - 2005 Ernst and Young, Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
- National winner for a contact centre with under 50 seats CSIA Australian Service Excellence Awards 2005/2006.
- Winner of the Inspiration iAward and the Tourism & Hospitality category AIIA iAwards 2006.

Graeme is a graduate of the University of Queensland, Australia, with a Bachelor of Economics and Master of Information Systems. He is a frequent speaker at functions covering topics relevant to the travel industry as well as entrepreneurship and innovation.

His not-for-profit interests through the Graeme Wood Foundation and the Wot's Next Programme support youth development programmes in the arts, sailing, and conservation.


Article founder wins state gong - Brisbane Times - 1st June 2008

Accommodation website founder Graeme Wood has been named Queenslander of the Year for his remarkable community work, including the donation of 10 per cent of his net worth to charity.

Premier Anna Bligh today announced the accolade, sponsored by Suncorp, at an awards ceremony at Parliament House.

Ms Bligh honoured Mr Wood for his savvy business sense in revolutionising Australia's travel industry in co-founding the website in 2000 through which hoteliers sell cut-price accommodation.

But it was Mr Wood's generous spirit that set him apart, she said.

"From his simple and innovative idea, Graeme has grown into a global company with a team of over 160 employees worldwide but it's his community generosity that is truly remarkable," she said.

Ms Bligh applauded Mr Wood for his donation of more than 10 per cent of his net worth to benefit young Queenslanders through his charity, the Graeme Wood Foundation.

The charity funds programs including the University of Queensland Endowment Fund which supports scholarships and research programs in areas of social need.

It also funds programs encouraging young performers in conjunction with Opera Australia and the Australian Theatre for Young People.

"His business success and his philanthropy for the benefit of young Queenslanders is a real inspiration," Ms Bligh said.

Meanwhile, Afghan refugee and University of Queensland student Homa Footan, 21, was named Young Queenslander of the Year in recognition of her work tutoring refugee students and speaking at schools to encourage tolerance and acceptance.

And rehabilitation centre Fresh Hope founder Karen Bartlett was named Community Spirit winner for her work helping mothers with substance abuse.

Her live-in, family-orientated centre allows mothers to stay with their children while receiving treatment.




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