Speakers Profile - Brett Godfrey

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Brett Godfrey is the man who convinced Richard Branson to open Virgin Blue in Australia. As the CEO of Virgin Blue, his ambition was affordable and fun flying within reach.

He was educated at Victoria University in Melbourne, graduating with honours with a Bachelor of Business Degree before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Touche Ross. He also spent time working for the firm's Canadian arm.

The aviation bug bit soon after when he returned to Australia and joined Sherrard/National Jet in Melbourne as their Financial Controller.

Brett's Virgin career began in the early 90's when he moved to the UK to join the hugely successful airline Virgin Atlantic, the premier international carrier based in London, as Finance Manager.

After three years in that role, he moved on to Belgium and his next challenge when he was hand picked to represent Virgin's interests in the acquisition of a new European low fare carrier - Virgin Express. Brett was part of the team that took the airline public in 1997 and was promoted shortly after to the role of CFO.

With Richard Branson they planned and plotted during 1999 making a surprise announcement in Sydney on November 30th 1999 of Virgin's intentions to become Australia's newest and freshest airline. His vast experience in both the premium and low fare markets perpetuated by his passion for the aviation industry ultimately led to the plan to help shake up the cozy Australian aviation market.

Following his retirement from Virgin Blue, Godfrey bought Tasmanian Walking Company, then partnered with former competitor Geoff Dixon, (former CEO of Qantas) to launch the Australian Walking Company (AWC) a luxury walking company.