Q&A with Michael Whytcross


Q&A with Michael Whytcross Michael Whytcross General Manager – Finance and Commercial, The Star Entertainment Group Limited Why are you an advocate for gender equality in the gaming and hospitality industry?   Gender equality, not only in our industry, but across all workplaces is a benefit to everyone. Not only is it the right thing do but it makes sense from a business perspective. At The Star, our goal is to create an environment where every team member is valued, feels welcomed, has a voice and the same opportunities to thrive regardless of their gender, sexuality or background. I believe it is important to be a visible leader in promoting gender equality, and it’s one of the major reasons why I am an advocate within our industry. Across The Star, we have had the opportunity to undertake wide-ranging diversity and inclusion training, including a module that focused on ‘unconscious bias’. This training was a catalyst for me to reflect on how I approach gender equality within my team and across the business. Being an advocate for gender equality has provided me an opportunity to help break down barriers within The Star, as well as the gaming and hospitality [...]

Q&A with Michael Whytcross2021-11-29T11:01:29+11:00

Q&A with Matthew Ballesty


Q&A with Matthew Ballesty Matthew Ballesty  Chief Casino Officer, SkyCity Entertainment Group Why are you an advocate for gender equality in the gaming and hospitality industry?   I believe to get the best results you need diversity of thought and leadership. My wife was the HR Director for a very large casino business in Macau and I remember her saying to me that her team was a mix of personalities, genders and ethnicities and it makes for well-rounded decisions. I have always remembered that. If we were all the same, you would get the same result. Diversity is a must.  I have also heard the many stories where external people arrive for a meeting and talk to the oldest male in the room assuming they are in charge. We need change and need to challenge our bias.  What have you done, personally, to support gender equality?   I have done a number of things, however, there is still a lot to learn and do. Specifically, I ensure I am aware of the gender make up of my various business units and assess decisions with this information. Always ensure that when recruiting or promoting a female candidate is a considered part of that [...]

Q&A with Matthew Ballesty2021-10-27T13:33:07+11:00

Q&A with Alexandra Hoskins


Q&A with Alexandra Hoskins Alexandra Hoskins Principal, Senet Compliance Academy What do you consider to be the greatest achievement of your career so far? For the past 25 years I have been very fortunate to work with some outstanding organisations in a range of countries including KPMG, ANZ Bank, Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland in Australia, UK and Jersey in the Channel Islands, which is where I met my husband and now business partner, Julian Hoskins.   The highlight of my career, however, has been consolidating my strategic, risk and compliance knowledge from decades in management consulting to help build specialist gambling law and regulatory compliance advisory firm, Senet.  What excites you most about working in the gaming and/or hospitality industry?  There are so many facets to the gaming industry and, in terms of the work we do, the legal, regulatory and compliance framework is very complex. More complex than any other industry because there are so many pieces of legislation.  Being highly regulated and a ‘issue-rich’ industry, it affords the opportunity for advisors like me to work across a range of sectors and advise on a diverse spectrum of issues across risk and compliance. I also have [...]

Q&A with Alexandra Hoskins2021-10-27T11:50:37+11:00

Q&A with David Jack


Q&A with David Jack David Jack Commercial Strategy, Aristocrat Technologies Australia Why are you an advocate for gender equality in the gaming and hospitality industry?  Fair and equal treatment regardless of gender is the baseline expectation of a 21st century industry; and seeing an industry focused on this equitable treatment of all must be the common aim of all participants from all levels of work.  What have you done, personally, to support gender equality?  I have recently been able to put together an executive development program at Aristocrat APAC (Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific) delivered entirely by women leaders within our business, either experienced or emerging. The first point to mention about that is to note the amazing talent in women leadership that we have at Aristocrat.   The program itself is designed to ensure that learning opportunities in key knowledge areas, that make up the fundamentals of our business, are made available to leaders across APAC, both current and emerging. I’m delighted to say that 58% of participants of the program have been women, providing them with enhanced career opportunities within the group.  In what ways have you assisted in normalising flexible working?  I normalise it by [...]

Q&A with David Jack2021-10-20T15:14:45+11:00

Q&A with Heather Joung


Q&A with Heather Joung Heather Joung Lead Game Designer, AGS How did you find your start in the industry and how did you arrive at your current position?  After graduating from university with a degree in math, I because a math teacher, but quickly got burned out and realized that teaching just wasn’t my passion. I then went to work for the State of Colorado as a data scientist but found myself wanting to do something more creative. A friend of mine told me about a role at IGT that required a math degree, so I interviewed and was hired as a junior game designer there. After leaving IGT, I moved to Australia and worked in the online space for a company called Virtual Gaming Worlds, before coming across the opportunity at AGS. I love my role at AGS; being able too use math AND be creative are the best of both worlds; I’m creating the story with the numbers. And I love the fact that me and my team are creating an actual product that people can go and enjoy; it is so meaningful. What excites you most about working in the gaming and/or hospitality industry? I [...]

Q&A with Heather Joung2021-09-28T10:02:24+10:00

Q&A with Josephine Dalton


Q&A with Josephine Dalton Josephine Dalton General Manager People Transformation, Star Entertainment Group How did you find your start in the industry and how did you arrive at your current position?  I have enjoyed an extensive career spanning 20 years working in people and talent areas for a variety of sectors including local government, telecommunications, tourism, hospitality, gaming, global packaging and manufacturing, and fashion. I was attracted to the hospitality industry as it seemed like such a fun, fast-paced and very guest-focused sector. I originally started out at Australian Leisure & Hospitality Group. I then began working for the formerly known ‘Jupiters Hotel & Casino’ – now ‘The Star Gold Coast’ – in 2008 and have remained working at The Star Entertainment Group ever since. I love helping organisations get the best out of its people, and vice versa, and I’ve spent a large portion of my career at The Star thanks to fantastic career growth across many people and talent streams. I’m currently the General Manager People Transformation leading The Star Entertainment Group’s future talent attraction and retention strategy, as the company and its consortium partners continue to forge ahead with exciting $5billion plus expansion plans on [...]

Q&A with Josephine Dalton2021-08-25T10:14:52+10:00

Q&A with Danielle Barnes


Q&A with Danielle Barnes Danielle Barnes General Manager, Springwood Sports Club How did you find your start in the industry and how did you arrive at your current position?  When I started in hospitality, I was not looking for a career. I had experience working in cafes and restaurants, and I loved being around people. I was looking for a role I enjoyed, that also allowed me enough flexibility to study at Uni. My start in Clubs was not actually inside the Club at all – as part of the promotions team, I was out on the road, at beaches and holiday parks, talking to locals and connecting with businesses. Over the next ten years, I dipped my feet into almost every department within the organisation – Catering, Beverage, Member Services, Gaming, Fitness & Aquatics, Operations and Marketing. In March this year, after a decade with Mingara Recreation Club, I accepted the role of General Manager at one of our sister clubs; Springwood Sports Club. What excites you most about working in the Gaming and Hospitality Industry? The gaming and hospitality industry is fast-paced and ever-changing. I love the role we play in our customers’ lives, and the [...]

Q&A with Danielle Barnes2021-08-25T10:17:01+10:00

Q&A with Mandy Chen


Q&A with Mandy Chen  Name: Mandy Chen Current Position: Gaming Operations Supervisor How did you find your start in the industry and how did you arrive at your current position?  I first joined Treasury Brisbane in 2012 as a food and beverage attendant in Luke Nyguen’s Fat Noodle restaurant. I made the decision to transition to a career in gaming to build on the experience I gained in the restaurant and service industry. I had the opportunity to work as a Croupier at Treasury in 2013 and was promoted to a Higher Duties Dealer Dealer/Floor Manager just four years later, having developed strong technical skills and excellent guest service. Following that, I was promoted to my current position as a Gaming Operations Supervisor in 2019. There are no short cuts to developing a career in gaming and operations. It’s paramount to take opportunities when they arise and believe in yourself and your skills in order to achieve everything you set out to do. What do you consider to be the biggest achievement of your career, so far?  Since having joined the Gaming team at Treasury Brisbane, I have competed in the Croupier of the Year competition in 2017, 2018 and 2019. In [...]

Q&A with Mandy Chen2021-08-24T17:07:21+10:00

Q&A with Kim Anderson


Q&A with Kim Anderson   How did you find your start in the industry and how did you arrive at your current position? In 1993 I was completing my final year of a Diploma in Primary Teaching. At the time, teaching roles were competitive, and I was about to be married. With a mortgage and an upcoming wedding, full-time employment was important. Crown Melbourne was opening a temporary Casino and had advertised for Croupiers in the Herald Sun. My father who was always fascinated by mathematics had seen an advertisement in the Herald Sun and suggested I apply. After a rigorous recruitment process, I was hired as a Craps Dealer. Becoming a part of the gaming industry I was fortunate enough to progress to a Higher Duties Dealer and obtain additional game training. In 1997, when Crown Melbourne commenced operations at the current Southbank site, I was promoted to Game Supervisor. From 1998 my journey of motherhood began. My children born in 1998 and 2001, respectively. My return to the business was in a part-time capacity. My passion for the industry and drive to progress in my career remained, despite limited opportunity and care giving responsibilities. In 2012 Crown [...]

Q&A with Kim Anderson2021-08-24T17:08:05+10:00

Q&A with Julie Irwin


How did you find your start in the industry and how did you arrive at your current position?   I originally started my career in Sydney in publishing at SRA then McGraw-Hill Book Company where I designed brochures and catalogues. From there I moved into a Finance support role then a Marketing role within Polaroid Australia. I had also completed study in the area of IT and was able to help support Polaroids team move into Microsoft Office products at the time. My husband was part of a teaching scholarship which took him to the Newcastle Region. It was there I began with Aristocrat and the Gaming Industry. With Newcastle being a regional office, I was fortunate enough to have exposure to all areas of the business including sales order management, inventory, installs and logistics which gave me a cross functional view of the company and the gaming industry. With that exposure and my ability to pick up on IT software application processes quickly I was seconded to train the sales team with the Configuration tool and CRM and from their enlisted to work on a Project to incorporate the Australian National Sales Support Function into one team which resulted [...]

Q&A with Julie Irwin2021-02-27T16:05:29+11:00

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