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 the Gold Coast and in Brisbane – together requiring thousands of team members, including women, to join the company in the next three years.
What do you consider to be the greatest achievement of your career so far?
One of my first projects as the head of Talent Acquisition for The Star was working with our executive team to build our leadership talent at the general manager level across Sydney, Brisbane and Gold Coast. I was particularly proud of the fact that we developed gender diversity at this level and set ourselves a new benchmark for the future.
What excites you most about working in the gaming and/or hospitality industry?
The infinite possibilities working in a fast-paced constantly evolving industry like gaming and hospitality. No other industry provides the diversity of roles and a multitude of career paths across operational and corporate services. People working in the industry are customer and people focused. We come from different backgrounds and work collaboratively to positively support our colleagues, customers and communities. What has kept me in the industry for this long is attributed to the people, career options, the opportunity to make a difference and have fun at work.
What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in the industry?
As much as possible be your authentic self, harness your strengths, volunteer for opportunities, you don’t need to have all the answers or experience, you can learn on the job and from those around you, work hard (not necessarily long hours) and find a mentor/advocate outside your network.
What do you think is the most significant barrier for women in the industry today, and how do you think this barrier can be overcome?
Attracting women at the leadership level to the industry can be difficult. We need to work together to educate and promote the challenging and rewarding careers that are possible in our sector. Our industry is highly specialised, innovative, socially responsible, and sustainably focused. It is essential organisations have programs that identify and nurture your women aspiring to be leaders or an expert in their field.
What advice would you give a woman entering the gaming and/or hospitality industry?
Get yourself a mentor. Early on at The Star, I was teamed with a female leader who mentored me and I still maintain that relationship to this day – whether we catch up for coffee or I reach out to her on the phone or by email. These kinds of relationships are beneficial for anyone, but especially young women aspiring to become leaders, as they not only nurture you, help grow your skills and self- confidence, but also challenge you to think differently and push yourself.