Q&A with Hugh Fraser


Q&A with Hugh Fraser Hugh FraserGeneral Manager, Table Games, Star Entertainment Group Why are you an advocate for gender equality in the gaming and hospitality industry? The industry has been very male dominated in the past, both in the workforce and in its patronage and I don’t believe that we moved fast enough to accommodate a more gender balanced workforce. Over the past ten years, there has been a shift towards making gaming a more entertaining and exciting proposition for a broader and more gender-balanced customer base. Unfortunately, that shift in recognition has been slower in the workforce and career pathways for women have not been as progressive as they should have been. I believe that diversity and gender balance in the workforce is always positive and provides a wider perspective in decision making, however for a business to achieve optimum impact an increase in female leaders is required. What have you done, personally, to support gender equality? As a mentor for upcoming talent at The Star and the National Association of Women in Organisations (NAWO) I personally want to encourage and support more female leaders. It is important to acknowledge the career paths for females has been [...]

Q&A with Hugh Fraser2022-03-30T13:28:07+11:00

Q&A with Rebecca Bell


Q&A with Rebecca Bell Rebecca Bell Venue Manager, Ballarat and District Trotting Club  How did you start in the industry and arrive at your current position?  From the age of 16, I started working casually at a small café in Dunolly, Central Victoria for some pocket money, I was completing my Certificate 2 in Hospitality Operations at school over Year 10/11 to give me extra credit towards my VCE. I had decided I wanted to study nursing so picked all my subjects based on getting into nursing, after a few months of working in Aged Care I decided nursing wasn’t for me.   I started working at Target Country in Maryborough and enrolled in a Diploma of Hospitality Management and Certificate 3 in Function and Event Management. I decided I needed to work in Hospitality to fully understand what I was getting into, so I dropped in my resume to the Maryborough Highland Society where I was interviewed on the spot and offered casual work as a food/beverage/gaming attendant. I kept both jobs and studied for a while before leaving Target to take on a Duty Supervisor position with the Highland Society. I completed my diploma two years later and [...]

Q&A with Rebecca Bell2022-03-30T13:20:11+11:00

Q&A with David Christian


Q&A with David Christian David Christian Chief Operating Officer, SkyCity Australia Why are you an advocate for gender equality in the gaming and hospitality industry?   Increasing gender diversity across all levels of seniority in a business is proven to have a measurable positive impact on the bottom line of business, and we’re certainly seeing that at SkyCity.  Having more women at the table helps more women get to the table, and this fuels growth, strengthens leadership values, and creates more sustainability not just within our organisation – but all organisations.   Women are an important pillar in our community and our organisational make-up should reflect that.  What have you done, personally, to support gender equality?  When I commenced I made a decision to change the balance of our SkyCity Adelaide Senior Leadership Team from 9% to almost 40% female representation, and in my view our increased performance can be attributed to this shift in dynamics; improved decision making, respectful and open communication and debate, as well as making us more empathetic leaders.   Do you have gender metrics you measure? What are they are when did you introduce them?   SkyCity Group has been formally recognised for investing in technology that puts systems in place [...]

Q&A with David Christian2022-02-23T13:57:24+11:00

Q&A with Nick Linnett


Q&A with Nick Linnett Nick Linnett Chief Operating Officer, Federal Group Why are you an advocate for gender equality in the gaming and hospitality industry?    As a husband, brother and son to exceptional women who each experienced professional and/or educational barriers unique to women, I believe in creating the capacity for everyone to have the opportunity to make their best contribution to our society.         Organisationally, performance is fundamentally underpinned by people. Without the capacity to bring the best possible people into the team and enablement of full representation, you are playing with one hand tied behind your back.       What have you done, personally, to support gender equality?   My personal focus has been to actively model those things that can create greater participation. Normalising flexible working has been an important part of this. The Executive Team I work with has 43% female representation, and 35% of the Team are working part time, in job share or have other flexible working arrangements.   The other thing I actively encourage is for women who express feelings of ‘guilt’ towards their own perceived constricted contribution in any aspect of their lives to be kind to themselves.  They are making the best contribution in the [...]

Q&A with Nick Linnett2022-01-27T11:11:59+11:00

Q&A with Meg Leahy


Q&A with Meg Leahy Meg Leahy General Manager Table Games Operations Crown Resorts What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in the industry?  Don’t underestimate the power of a mentor.  Mentors are terrific sounding boards that provide guidance, clarity, and a space free of judgement. Actively seeking out and establishing mentor relationships much earlier, and at every career stage, holds immense value in the learning and networking opportunity.  Just as the leaders and mentors ahead of you, always make time for the upcoming women. By establishing these networks early and generously sharing knowledge we are better placed to grow, learn, and pay it forward to the next generation of leadership.  What excites you most about working in the gaming and/or hospitality industry?  The industry is fast paced and dynamic in its operations with a unique suite of offerings and varied stakeholders with differing needs. Although within Table Games, my current peer-to-peer interaction across sectors provides insight into the intricacies of integrated resort operations.  Within my current role, the exposure to Executive and Board level strategic objectives and planning is both energising and insightful. This preview of the holistic view of the company, and where key [...]

Q&A with Meg Leahy2022-01-27T11:10:20+11:00

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

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