Saturday 24 January 2015
BILL SPURR has worked his way from lowly cadet to an influential and widely respected role in the state’s tourism and education success during a 50- year career.
Mr Spurr, 67, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia.
He was acknowledged for distinguished service to tourism, to education, particularly through international marketing, to the arts and sport as an administrator of institutions and events, and to the community of South Australia.
“I’m deeply honoured and feel very humble because you haven’t done it by yourself, but rather in working alongside a lot of very committed and motivated people,” he said.
Regarded as genial and accessible, Mr Spurr, has been at the forefront of most of the major tourism achievements in South Australia in the past 20 years.
He credits his success to teamwork, communications and the support of the many great people he has worked alongside.
Mr Spurr was chief executive of the SA Tourism Commission from 1999 to 2007, overseeing one of the tourism sector’s most successful periods. It led to him becoming chairman of Education Adelaide/Study Adelaide for more than 10 years during a period of tremendous growth in which more than 30,000 people have come here to study each year.
His extensive role in the hospitality and tourism industry started when he was appointed executive director of the Australian Hotels Association, beginning his role in promoting South Australia in a variety of areas.
Positions as head of school at TAFE when it started the School of Tourism and Hospitality in 1986, and then as chief executive of the Adelaide Convention Bureau followed in 1992.
When Adelaide lost the Grand Prix in 1995 and the State Government set up Australian Major Events to work out what to do, Mr Spurr was its inaugural chief executive.