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2008 Northern Territory Managers of the Year

Public Sector - Professional Manager of the Year


Debra Farrelly
Director, Student Services at Charles Darwin

Debra has managed University-wide changes to Admission processes and, as a result, CDU has gained between 4 - 9% growth in the number of applicants to higher education courses over the past three years, which is significant, given the current national trend is decreasing numbers.

Debra strongly believes that as a leader it is important to create an environment where people want to belong and feel that they are valued for the contributions they make.


  • Debra Farrelly, Director, Student Services at Charles Darwin
  • Maddy Caust, Claims Manager, Territory Insurance Office
  • Robert Romaldi, Regional Manager, NT Emergency Services

Private Sector - Professional Manager of the Year


Malu Barrios
General Manager, Darwin Convention Centre

Malu is General Manager of the Darwin Convention Centre and is summed up by one of her staff members who said:

Malu has a very distinctive and unique style for a manager. Attention to detail is paramount. She knows every staff member (over 100 of them) by name and she acknowledges that everyone has their part to play in the business success and therefore each person is just as important as herself

Malu believes in getting it right the first time, no-one is perfect, delegate don't abdicate and the best advice given to her during her management career is "Focus on what is at hand, deliver on what is under your control."


  • Malu Barrios, General Manager, Darwin Convention Centre
  • Dwayne Hameister, Managing Director , Australian Financial Advisers
  • Andrew Hay, General Manager, Palmerston Sports Club
  • Greg Constantine FAIM, Chief Executive Officer, Larrakia Development Corporation
  • Julie Crisp, Client Manager, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Owner Manager of the Year

Read more about the Owner Manager of the Year.


Marian Taylor
Owner and General Manager, Fingers Aluminum

Marian Taylor is Joint Owner and General Manager of 'Fingers Aluminum' which is a business that has grown from sole trader status to now employing over 20 staff and engaging in significant contracts across a wide range of industry sectors.

Marian describes her management style as a 'Permissive Democrat' and believes giving staff the opportunity to work within their own space and only providing them with direction when it is required. This philosophy is obviously working as the business enjoys an enviable staff retention rate.

Marian believes in leading by example, having a vision for the future and acknowledging and rewarding staff achievements.


  • Marian Taylor, Owner and General Manager, Fingers Aluminum
  • Gaynor Beck, Owner Manager, The Pearl Galleria
  • Tony Coleman AIMM, Managing Director, Colemans Printing
  • Julee Hocking, Director, Jatar Holdings Pty Ltd
  • Tracy Jones, Managing Director, Creative Territory

Young Manager of the Year

Read more about the Young Manager award category.


MunLi Chee
Director, Audit Division, KPMG Darwin

MunLi is the Director, Audit Division at KPMG Darwin and sees her greatest achievements as having increased the audit staff from 6 to 11 over the past 3 years and having lost none of her team over the past 4 years, whilst growing revenue by 60% above budget for the Audit Division last year.

To develop her team member's potential, MunLi has utilised a nurturing style of management which allows team members to constantly grow and learn progressively.


  • MunLi Chee, Director, Audit Division, KPMG Darwin
  • Natasha Angelo AIMM, Project Manager, NT Industry Training Bureau
  • Katie Fowden, Director, Media & Corporate Communications, NT Police