How did you find your start in the industry and how did you arrive at your current position?
I think I’m one of the few graduates from my degree that actually ended up working in the Leisure Industry – I did a BA in Leisure Management (I missed out on Journalism and this was my next option). After university I worked in F&B until I saw an ad in the newspaper – the paper type that people read to find out what was going on in the world back in the 90’s – advertising all sorts of job vacancies at the New Treasury Casino that was opening in Brisbane. I had never stepped foot in a casino but had grown up reading Dad’s Ian Fleming, James Bond novels. What I didn’t know about casinos wasn’t worth knowing… I was successful in my application for Croupier. There were some long months of working full time as a restaurant supervisor and learning to deal cards by night. It was very exciting opening a brand new property – everyone was new; everyone sharing the same performance anxiety that comes with having to work out payouts with a full table of strangers watching (no James Bond type characters in sight I might add). About 6 months after Treasury launched, Sydney opened its temporary casino (across the road from the current property). Sydney was offering supervisor positions to those that had experience. I took my 12 months of experience and accepted one of those positions. I’ve always taken advantage of opportunities as they have come along in Gaming and that’s how I found myself as Operations Manager – Premium and VIP in 2013.
What do you consider to be the biggest achievement of your career, so far?
My biggest achievement was earlier this year acting as a Program Manager with Capital Projects. We opened the temporary VIP Sovereign Room – a space where our VIP guests will play over the course of the next 2 years until we launch their brand new Sovereign Resort. My past experience in Gaming set me up well but I also had to up-skill in some unfamiliar areas very quickly. I acted as the liaison point between all property operations teams and the Capital Project team and contractors. A really challenging project with a tight timeline and budget but so satisfying to see the space open and then function well.
What advice would you give your younger self, starting out in the Gaming Industry?
Run towards chaos. Don’t be afraid to put yourself amongst the unfamiliar. Trust in your ability to work through things. You’ll be amazed at what you can do and you’ll get paid more.
What is the best decision you’ve made, professionally and what is something you would change if you could?
I could have taken a few more risks earlier on. The ‘Run towards chaos’ thing is still pretty new for me. I’ve been too concerned with making bad decisions but it’s only through failing that you learn and get better.
Who or what inspire you and why?
Kelli Underwood who is a regular panellist on the ‘The Back Page’ hosted by Tony Squires and is the only woman on a panel of 5 talking sport. Kelli is a radio and television sports journalist and sportscaster specialising in AFL, Netball and Tennis. She was the first women to call an AFL match on TV and radio. I like her insights into what makes a successful sportsperson tick AND… she keeps her male counterparts on The Back Page on track when they start to lose their way.