The Michelle Pascoe Hospitality Podcast


Welcome to my podcast established in 2019, where I focus on the hospitality industry while also bringing you inspiring stories, expert insights, and valuable advice from leaders across various fields. Whether you're dedicated to creating unforgettable guest experiences, igniting your team's potential, or simply learning from a diverse range of professionals, this podcast is for you.

Join me as we celebrate the incredible people and opportunities within the hospitality industry. Our interviews feature industry leaders and subject matter experts who share their experiences, insights, industry trends, and practical advice. Tune in to gain knowledge and inspiration, no matter your role in hospitality.






The Michelle Pascoe Hospitality Podcast Newsletter

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Episode 232:  Celebrating 30 Years of Excellence!  Igniting Potential and Achieving Dreams

Join me in this special episode as we commemorate three incredible decades in business. This journey wouldn't have been possible without the amazing clients, business associates, and mentors who have shared their wisdom, listened, and cared. To the thousands I've had the privilege to train, thank you. Your dedication and growth have been inspiring.

A heartfelt thank you to my incredible team at O.O.P.S. Your insights and reports have made a profound impact on our clients. To everyone who has allowed me to be part of their leadership and business journey, I'm deeply grateful.

A special shoutout to my family, friends, business mentor Tina Tower, and the best EA ever, Sarah Hall. Your support has been unwavering and invaluable.

In this episode, I share the story of these past 30 years—the catalysts, the importance of self-belief, perseverance, and the drive to achieve your full potential. Learn how to ignite the potential in others and choose the life you deserve, not the one other’s choose for you.

Tune in and reminisce with me as we celebrate this milestone and look forward to many more years of success! 🚀✨

Episode 231:  Redefining Camping: Inside Reflections Holidays' Brand Evolution

Get ready for an inspiring episode of my podcast as I welcome Peter, the CMO of Reflections Holidays. Leading the largest outdoor hospitality brand in NSW, Peter is at the forefront of an incredible brand transformation. In just two years, he has driven Reflections to new heights, increasing brand awareness by 35%, boosting revenue by 18%, and doubling the loyalty club to an impressive 300,000 members.

Under Peter's visionary leadership, Reflections is redefining camping, evolving from a traditional accommodation provider to a purpose-led experience brand. With a new brand identity launching in 2024, Peter and the team is spearheading the development of a cutting-edge e-commerce platform, a centralised reservations function, and a robust partnership program.

Before joining Reflections, Peter was the Managing Director at Enigma, where he played a pivotal role in doubling the agency's size and expanding its footprint to Sydney and Brisbane. With over 20 years of experience in the advertising industry, including leadership roles at Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and J Walter Thompson Melbourne, Peter brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

Peter is not just a marketing guru; he's also a keen outdoorsman and a passionate advocate for Regional Australia. He serves on the advisory board for marketing at the University of Newcastle and is a board member of the Merewether Carlton Rugby Club and the In-House Agency Council of Australia.

Join us as Peter shares the exciting journey of launching Reflections' new brand to an enthusiastic team and a supportive community. Discover how their loyalty program focuses on genuine guest loyalty, their market segmentation strategies, and their commitment to connecting guests with nature and adventure. This episode is packed with insights and inspiration for anyone interested in the dynamic world of hospitality and marketing. Don't miss it!

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Episode 230:  

Connecting Culinary Excellence: An Inside Look with Tawnya Bahr & Lucy Allon from Straight To The Source

Join me for an insightful conversation with the dynamic duo behind Straight To The Source, Tawnya Bahr and Lucy Allon. In this episode, we delve into the world of culinary excellence, sustainability, and the importance of connecting with the origins of our food.

Tawnya Bahr, an esteemed culinary expert, Group Executive Chef, and Director of Straight To The Source, shares her extensive experience and passion for the food industry. With over 26 years in the field, Tawnya is a prominent advisor and judge for organisations like Sydney Royal Fine Food and the Australian Culinary Federation. She is also a mentor for Women in Hospitality and FoodLab, actively shaping industry standards and championing sustainability.

Lucy Allon brings over 20 years of food and hospitality industry experience as Director at Straight To The Source. Her career highlights include owning and managing three award-winning Sydney restaurants, presenting an Australian showcase dinner at the James Beard Foundation in New York City, and co-founding Appetite for Excellence, a renowned awards program for chefs, waiters, and restaurateurs.

Don’t miss this inspiring discussion that sheds light on the future of food and the vital role of Australian farmers' markets.

Book your free tickets to attend Fine Food Melbourne. FINE FOOD AUSTRALIA MELBOURNE 2024

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Episode 229:  Crafting Careers Beyond Conventional Paths with Rebekah Di Blasi

In this episode, I have the pleasure of hosting Emma MacGregor, a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in the Events and Hospitality Industries. Her extensive background spans venue management, catering, and sales, making her a true connector of like-minded individuals. Emma is passionate about sustainability and is committed to driving significant changes in an industry she deeply loves and understands.

Emma's expertise as an Event Producer is unparalleled. She has a natural eye for design and flow, ensuring that every event she touches runs seamlessly. Known for her hands-on, solution-driven approach, Emma is always ready to dive in and get things done, ensuring her clients enjoy a flawless experience while she works behind the scenes.

With professional connections across Australia and a deep understanding of Stage Management, Emma brings a wealth of on-ground qualifications, including RSA, Safe Food Handling, and First Aid Certifications. Her versatility allows her to seamlessly transition between front-of-house and back-of-house roles as needed, adapting to the dynamic demands of any event.

For the past four years, Emma has been the driving force behind the Little Food Festival held annually at Federation Square. This wonderful event encourages children to explore the food system and understand how their food choices impact their health and the environment. Emma’s dedication to creating engaging and educational experiences for kids showcases her commitment to making a positive impact through her work.

Tune in to this episode to hear Emma share her journey, insights, and passion for creating sustainable and seamless events. Learn how she continuously generates innovative ideas, provides creative solutions, and ensures every event is a memorable success. Whether you’re an industry professional or simply interested in the world of events, this episode is packed with valuable takeaways.

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Episode 227. : From Ambience to Menu: Making Your Venue the Place to Be

In this episode, I delve into how to prepare your hospitality venue for the upcoming Long Weekend. With cold weather setting in, it's essential to make your space appealing to both regulars and visitors. I'll discuss creating cozy spaces that invite guests to linger, the impact of fresh flowers on your decor, and how to craft an inviting ambience that sets your venue apart. Additionally, I highlight the importance of introducing a new, short menu that caters to the season, ensuring that your team are having fun and creating an environment that customers want to talk about and share on social media. 

My goal is to help you make your venue the talk of the town and a must-visit destination. By focusing on these key elements, you can create a memorable experience that encourages guests to return and recommend your place to others. I'll also provide tips on how to encourage social media sharing, turning your venue into a hotspot for the Long Weekend. Tune in for practical advice and creative ideas to boost your venue's appeal and make it the go-to place for this special occasion. 

Episode 226:  Lessons from the Hospital: Cross-Industry Insights for Business Improvement

In this podcast episode, I delve into a personal experience at St. Vincent's Hospital, highlighting the valuable lessons we can learn by looking beyond our own industry. During my time at the hospital, I observed various operational practices, communication strategies, and cultural aspects that significantly enhanced efficiency and teamwork. By sharing this story, I aim to illustrate how we can draw inspiration from different sectors and integrate these insights into our own businesses to foster better communication, streamline job roles, and cultivate a positive workplace culture.

Through this narrative, I emphasise the importance of cross-industry learning and the benefits it can bring to our professional environments. By adopting successful practices from other fields, we can address challenges more effectively and create more cohesive, efficient teams. This episode encourages listeners to remain open-minded and proactive in seeking out innovative approaches from various industries to drive improvements and achieve greater success in their own organisations.

EPISODE 225:  The Big Four: Common Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

Discover essential strategies to steer your business towards success and sidestep common pitfalls.

Are you making one of the four biggest mistakes that can derail your business? In my latest episode, I uncover the critical errors many business owners overlook. From setting a clear vision to the essential skills you need to lead, I’ve got you covered. 

Join me as I tease out the hidden traps and share strategies to steer your business towards success. Don’t miss out on these game-changing insights—tune in and transform your approach to business management!


Episode 224:  Boost Your Revenue: Guide to Direct Bookings and Digital Mastery

Join me for an insightful conversation with Bart Sobies, the powerhouse behind The Accommodation Show, iBooked.Online, and the STRIVE to Thrive Conference. Bart's entrepreneurial journey began at just 15 with his first online business, which grew into a successful tech company. With his deep expertise in technology, marketing, and investment, Bart has become a guiding light in the hospitality industry.

As an authority on direct bookings, marketing, branding, and digital products, Bart has helped thousands of hospitality owners generate millions in additional revenue through iBooked.Online. He also leads the Accommodation Professionals Network, a vibrant community of over 2,500 professionals sharing industry insights.


In 2023, Bart led the ground-breaking 5-Day AI Challenge, educating hosts on leveraging AI to boost direct bookings. His influence spans the globe with speaking engagements at prestigious events like ASTRA Conference, The Book Direct Show, Vintory Mastermind, and No Vacancy.

This year, Bart is touring Australia, presenting at key conferences, and sharing his knowledge on industry podcasts. Tune in to discover how you can elevate your direct bookings and thrive in the competitive tourism landscape!


Episode 223:  A Taste of Innovation: The Stomping Ground Brewing Co Experience

In this episode, we delve into the captivating journey of Steve Jeffares, a filmmaker turned craft beer pioneer. Steve's story begins with a pivotal moment in 2000, when he experienced a beer revelation while living in Los Angeles. Upon returning to Melbourne, he, along with Guy Greenstone and Justin Joiner, co-founded The Local Taphouse in Melbourne and Sydney. These pubs not only introduced Australians to a new level of craft beer appreciation but also laid the foundation for what would later become the renowned GABS festival (Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular).

From these humble beginnings, GABS has evolved into Australasia's premier beer festival, attracting over 55,000 enthusiasts annually across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Auckland. Inspired by a year in New York City, Steve ventured into brewing, co-founding Stomping Ground Brewing Co in 2016. With its popular Beer Halls, Stomping Ground has revitalised Collingwood as a hub for independent brewing, harking back to the suburb's rich brewing history.

In this episode, we explore Steve Jeffares' journey from filmmaker to beer visionary, tracing the evolution of craft beer culture in Australia and the impact of initiatives like The Local Taphouse and GABS festival. Join us as we raise a glass to the spirit of innovation and community that defines Stomping Ground Brewing Co and its quest to make great beer accessible to all.



Welcome to this exciting episode of our podcast where we delve into the vibrant world of Sydney's specialty coffee and hospitality scene with Alex Williams, a seasoned entrepreneur and co-founder of three renowned retail brands: The Commune Project, Dachshund Coffee, and Anvil Coffee Co. With over fourteen years of experience, Alex recounts his entrepreneurial journey, starting with the launch of Anvil Coffee Co on Kirribilli Wharf in 2013, which quickly gained recognition for its inspiring location and exceptional service. He discusses the philosophy and values that drive his brands, focusing on sustainability, inclusivity, and high-quality products that resonate deeply with his community.

In this engaging conversation, Alex reveals five key strategies for enhancing customer interactions, transforming everyday transactions into meaningful relationships. These insights are a testament to the foundational belief of Dachshund Coffee—that relationships, not mere transactions, are essential in connecting with others. The episode also highlights how Alex’s ventures, including The Commune Project, integrate their mission into every aspect of their operation, from menu design to community engagement, fostering a culture of sustainability and inclusiveness.

Listeners will also learn about the notable achievements and media recognition that Alex's cafes have received, such as winning The Daily Telegraph's and Urban List Sydney's best coffee awards. This recognition has helped cement his businesses as top destinations for coffee lovers and those seeking a dog-friendly cafe experience. Tune in for a dose of inspiration and discover how intentional business practices can lead to success in the competitive hospitality industry, all from one of Sydney’s leading entrepreneurs.


Once a high-flying chef in the world’s most prestigious kitchens, Jose Chavez has swapped his chef’s hat for the digital cap of SEO and blog growth mastery. With 15 years of stirring sauces and seasoning steaks in hatted establishments like Jacques Reymond and on shows such as MasterChef, Jose’s transition from kitchen to keyboard is nothing short of remarkable. Imagine cooking for culinary legends like Heston Blumenthal and Marco Pierre White – now he's using that precision and creativity to enhance digital dining experiences!

In this not-to-be-missed episode, we dive deep into Jose’s thrilling culinary adventures, including the times he impressed Heston Blumenthal not once, but twice. Discover how his passion for gastronomy and knack for storytelling are now fuelling his current venture, Digital Chef, where he crafts SEO-optimised blog posts that skyrocket online visibility for the hospitality industry.

Hear about his journey from high-level culinary arts to founding Digital Chef, a hub for robust social media strategies, influencer marketing, and mouth-watering menu consulting. Learn how Jose’s innovative SEO tactics and web design expertise are revolutionising digital marketing, making it a one-stop solution for dynamic online engagement.

Whether you're a food enthusiast, a budding chef, or a digital marketing professional, this episode offers valuable insights into balancing a passionate career with family life, and mastering the art of visibility in the digital age. Get ready to be inspired by Jose’s story of transformation and his strategic approach to driving organic traffic and enhancing Google rankings for the hospitality sector.



Richard Jeffares' journey from craft beer enthusiast to gluten-free brewery pioneer is a tale of passion, resilience, and innovation. Diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2015, Jeffares faced the stark reality of a gluten-free diet, stripping him of the craft beer diversity he cherished in Australia. This seemed to mark the end of his craft beer adventures with friends, until a 2017 American road trip unveiled a surprising discovery: breweries producing gluten-free beer that rivalled, and sometimes surpassed, traditional offerings.

Motivated by this revelation, Jeffares founded TWØBAYS Brewing Co in 2018, revolutionising the gluten-free beer scene in Australia. TWØBAYS now offers a wide range of delicious, gluten-free craft beers, accessible nationwide in bottle shops, venues, and at its dedicated Mornington Peninsula Brewery.

We chat about all things brewing and the impact that Gluten Free Beer is having on the market as it is offered at major sporting arenas, even the MCG and complements menus in many fine dining establishments to ensure that all guests are catered for and included.


Episode 219:  Innovation Through Experience: Unpacking Jess McDonald's Business Mastery 

In this episode, I delve into the intricacies of building businesses, navigating through evolutions, fostering innovative ideas, and leveraging corporate world experiences with none other than Jess McDonald. With a remarkable 25-year journey in retail that has taken her across the globe—from Japan to Australia and Europe to New Zealand—Jess stands as a testament to what it means to be a global business dynamo. As the visionary founder of Agents of Innovation, a boutique business coaching and consultancy firm, and High Tees, an ethical fashion social enterprise, Jess embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and strategic investment. Her role as a Director, in her family's investment company further accentuates her business acumen and investment savvy.

Jess's conversation with me not only highlights her extensive career but also her unique approach to business. Her journey from the shop floor to the boardroom illustrates her unparalleled expertise and adaptive strategies in the face of change. Engaging with Jess offers an amalgamation of fun, creativity, and effective problem-solving, all while emphasising tangible outcomes. Our discussion also covers the essence of drawing on experiences from the corporate realm to fuel entrepreneurial ventures, making this episode a must-listen for anyone looking to navigate the complex yet rewarding world of business building and innovation.

Episode 218:  Competitive Socialising!  Indoors and It's Fun...

In this engaging episode, we dive into the world of Competitive Socialising, a concept that redefines the balance between work and leisure. Join us as we uncover the story of Sportsplus, a ground-breaking idea born out of a simple frustration with golf, which has since transformed into a thriving business in Australia. Whether you're a staunch non-competitor or someone who thrives in competitive environments, this story of innovation and fun is bound to captivate you.

Discover how turning common leisure activities into a competitive yet social event can change the way you think about playtime with family, friends, and even business colleagues. This episode is more than just a tale of business success; it's a reminder that joy, engagement, and friendly competition can be found in the most unexpected places. Tune in to get inspired, and perhaps you'll find yourself eager to join the world of Competitive Socialising after this!

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Episode 217:  Unlocking the Essence of Customer Service:  Beyond Efficiency

In this episode, I delve into the essence of customer service and how it is so much more than mere efficiency and that it is all about unforgettable experiences. Reflecting on my recent travels across the east coast of Australia, where I've been training frontline teams and nurturing leadership development, I've observed the remarkable dedication and service levels exhibited by individuals in various establishments. Amidst this exploration, a fundamental truth emerges: while skills can be trained, attitudes are deeply rooted and often resistant to change unless nurtured authentically. 

I've always emphasised the importance of connecting with employees beyond the hierarchical boundaries of 'boss' to foster genuine commitment. Although outliers may exist, whose approach remains transactional despite guidance and training, the focus remains on cultivating exceptional teams whose collective performance delights customers consistently. Through analysing customer feedback and reviews, certain patterns emerge, highlighting the key elements that contribute to exceptional service. These insights illuminate six fundamental pillars that underpin the guest experience, providing a roadmap for enhancing service excellence and fostering lasting customer relationships. Join me as I share these pillars and chat about how we can all go about crafting memorable experiences for every customer. 

Episode 216:  Exploring Service Industry Challenges & Innovations

🎧 Tune in to the latest episode of The Michelle Pascoe Hospitality Podcast! 🌟

In this week’s episode, I take the guest seat to share my invaluable insights and experiences gained over three decades dedicated to the customer experience. Prepare to be inspired as I dive deep into the customers' insatiable quest for the most unforgettable moments.

Joining Michelle as the host is the remarkable Yanique Grant, founder of the highly acclaimed Navigating the Customer Experience Podcast. Together, they uncover the challenges faced by the service industry and provide invaluable global perspectives on the matter.

Discover how my own proprietary software program OARS has become a renowned "mystery shopping" program helping my clients elevate their businesses in both scale and service. Gain valuable knowledge about the significance of having dedicated employees who ensure that every customer's experience is balanced between objectivity and subjectivity.

But that's not all – buckle up as I delve into the importance of active listening, proactive engagement, and the ability to empathise with customers, especially during tense moments such as handling complaints. Remember, behind every customer interaction lies a real person with genuine emotions.

Prepare to be inspired, informed, and empowered by this episode filled with wisdom and actionable strategies. So, grab your headphones and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey into the world of hospitality and customer experience.

Click the link below to listen and share this incredible episode of The Michelle Pascoe Hospitality Podcast. Get ready to become a master in creating unforgettable moments for your customers. Happy listening! 🎙️✨

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Episode 215:  Amplifying Women's Voices in Business

In this week’s episode my guest is an extraordinary woman shaping the business landscape. We unravel the remarkable journey of Jules, founder of Handle Your Own PR, She’s The Boss Group, and Australian Women Speakers. With over a decade of teaching small business owners the art of securing free publicity, Jules initiated the She’s The Boss group during the pandemic in 2020, becoming a hub for online and offline events for female founders. Explore the She’s The Boss Chats podcast, the She’s The Boss YouTube channel featuring successful women in business globally, and a digital magazine called Maggie. Jules, a force to be reckoned with, has recently embarked on a Livestream video show in 2024.

Through the interview we chat about her course and mentoring service, "How to Become a Woman of Influence," where she imparts a comprehensive strategy encompassing LinkedIn, Networking, Podcasting, Speaking, Awards, PR, and Online Courses. In late 2023, fuelled by the realisation that only 30% of speakers are women, Jules founded the Australian Women Speakers group on LinkedIn and Facebook, with a directory launching very soon.

Jules is on a mission to make women more visible, with a particular focus on businesswomen over 45. Join us in this episode as we explore the inspiring story of Jules and her relentless efforts to showcase the incredible women changing the world through their businesses.



Welcome to a heart-warming episode. In today's edition, we delve into the incredible impact that Learning Links has on children facing learning difficulties. Don, my guest, walks us through the remarkable work done by this organisation, highlighting their mission to help thousands of children not only learn to read but also to build confidence and overcome the challenges of learning.

In the 2021-22 period alone, Learning Links touched the lives of 4,738 children, 3,477 families, 115 schools, and 3,470 professionals, offering crucial support to those with additional needs. Don shares beautiful stories, including his own personal journey in the classroom, supporting a young boy on the path to reading success. Moreover, we hear of a volunteer who once benefited from the program as a young girl, illustrating the lasting and positive impact Learning Links has had on her life.

Tune in as we explore the synergy between Learning Links and Registered Clubs in NSW, united by the common goal of helping children make measurable gains in literacy and numeracy, building confidence and meaningful engagement in the classroom.

Don't miss this episode filled with heart-warming tales of transformation and the incredible power of education. 

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Episode 213:  Mindstuck - A Tale of Two Minds - Interview with Author

In this episode I interview Michael McQueen, multi-award-winning speaker, change strategist and best-selling author of 10 books, sharing insights into his recent book Mindstuck - Mastering the Art of Changing Minds.

Mindstuck is a wonderful book blending straight talk and neuroscience.  Having spent the past two decades helping Fortune 500 brands and leaders embrace the changes they'd rather fight or ignore, Michael McQueen understands what it takes to change even the most stubborn minds.

Whether you are a leader trying to help your team keep pace in changing times, a businessperson who needs a potential partner to see your value proposition or a parent who wants to get your teenager away from their screen, this book will show you how to persuade even the most mindstuck people in the world.

Listen to Michael unpack Mindstuck, his must-read guide to persuading even the most stubborn and strong-willed individuals.

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Episode 212: From Waste to Wonder:  Unlocking the Power of Circular Economy

Beyond Design:  Building a Better World

 Dive into a world of visionary leadership and sustainable innovation in this week's episode of my podcast! Meet Vanessa Cullen, a seasoned professional with two decades of management expertise as the Founder and Principal of Forward Thinking Design & FTD Circular. Vanessa, a trailblazer in the industry, guides us through her inspiring journey as a B Corporation and Certified Social Enterprise leader specialising in transforming clubs, hospitality, and charity organisations. Armed with a Bachelor of Design (Hons, UNSW) and a wealth of post-graduate qualifications, Vanessa's commitment to eliminating waste extends beyond the physical realm to wasted potential and resources.

Join me as Vanessa shares her mission to revolutionise the way we view and utilise space, drawing on her multifaceted skills in business, brand development, circular economy, and consumer advocacy. Discover how she seamlessly intertwines creativity and expertise to craft solutions that are not only locally focused and sustainable but also inclusive, profitable, and enduring. Vanessa's dedication to mentorship and innovation shines through as she empowers us all to contribute to a better world.

In this episode, Vanessa challenges businesses to rethink their spaces, emphasising the critical connection between sustainability, place, and people. Explore the transformative concepts of repurposing, reusing, and recycling, as she encourages a holistic approach to building a brighter and more responsible future. Don't miss out on this captivating conversation with Vanessa Cullen, where every insight leaves you inspired to embrace your best self for a more sustainable and harmonious world. Tune in now and be part of the change!

Episode 211:  Leading the Talent Charge:  Strategies for Success in 2024 and Beyond

Welcome to a special episode of "Leading the Talent Charge." Today, we're diving into the core strategies that will empower you to attract, recruit, and train top-notch talent in 2024. We're cutting through the complexities and focusing on three key pillars: Communication, Change, and Connection. Learn effective communication techniques that streamline your recruitment process, embrace change as a catalyst for growth, and foster genuine connections that make your team thrive. Whether you're a seasoned HR professional or a business leader looking to enhance your workforce, these practical strategies will equip you to navigate the evolving landscape of talent management. Get ready to lead with impact – this is "Leading the Talent Charge: Strategies for Attracting, Recruiting, and Training Staff in 2024."

Episode 210:  Connectivity Unlocked: Navigating Corporate Communications in the Social Media Age

Emma Duxbury, the visionary CEO of ED Media Management, stands at the forefront of revolutionising marketing and communications within the dynamic realm of the hospitality industry. As a seasoned leader, Emma has successfully steered her boutique agency to new heights, emphasising the crucial intersection of corporate communications and social media strategy. With a keen understanding of the ever-evolving digital landscape, Emma has orchestrated a remarkable online presence for her clients, leveraging the power of various social media platforms to amplify their brand stories. Her innovative approach extends beyond traditional marketing, embracing the dynamic nature of online interactions to foster meaningful connections with the audience.

With an unwavering commitment to excellence, Emma Duxbury continues to shape the narrative of her clients in the hospitality sector, proving that in the digital era, effective communication is not just a necessity but a powerful tool for sustainable success.

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Episode 209:  Inviting Aliens to our Planet – AI and the Metaverse 

"If we follow the fun we find our purpose" (Laurel) AI, Metaverse, vigilance, transformation, personal experiences and human connection.  This podcast has it all.   

Laurel Papworth is a global AI consultant and workshop facilitator with a focus on generative AI (ChatGPT) through licensing her course, “AI Is My CoPilot,” at the Australian Institute of Management. Since 2008, she’s taught diverse AI subjects, including behavioural, semantic and computer vision AI. A pioneer in virtual currencies and Play-to-Earn fitness, she patented decentralised currency three years before Bitcoin. Named by Forbes as a Top 50 influencer in online communities, Laurel has consulted for the Malaysian Government, Singapore Departments, Parliament House Australia, Sony, and various banks. She has over 22,000 students and decades of teaching at various Australian universities. Laurel hosts the “Alchemy of Innovation” podcast and enjoys MMORPGs like World of Warcraft in her free time. 

The use of AI and the Metaverse in your Hospitality venue, truly transformational.   

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Episode 208:  Refreshed and Ready for 2024

In this episode I share with you my experience on the Disney Wonder and why the three observations I took away are key for every organisation to be successful in 2024.


Episode 207:  Beyond the Plate: Eilish Maloney's Culinary Vision with The What If Society

"A Zero-Waste Culinary Haven"

In this episode, I sit down with the visionary chef and founder, Eilish Maloney. Join us as we delve into her thrilling ten-year global odyssey—from the bustling kitchens of London to the picturesque landscapes of Italy, Sweden, and South Africa. Eilish's journey comes full circle as she returns to her roots in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, where she planted the seeds of The What If Society in 2020.

Discover the magic behind The Studio in Moss Vale, an open-plan eatery with a commitment to zero waste and a unique approach to whole butchery. Eilish shares the philosophy that drives The What If Society: "Work with nature, not against it." Learn how this culinary cooperative is reshaping the narrative around sustainable living, from its local impact to the global ripple effect.

But that's not all! Eilish takes us behind the scenes of the recent expansion with "The Exchange" in Burrawang, revealing gardens, masterclass events, and the community-driven ethos shaping the future. Stay tuned for exciting announcements, exclusive events, and a sneak peek into a new "place" on the west coast.

Are you ready to be inspired, educated, and tantalised by the world of culinary possibilities? Click now to join Eilish Maloney on this culinary journey.  Don't miss out on this feast for the senses and a glimpse into a future where sustainable living is not just a choice but a way of life. 

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Episode 206:  Tales from the Tinsel Trenches: Leadership Lessons for the Holiday Season


Tis the season for jingling bells, bustling malls, and the merry chaos of year-end projects in the hospitality industry! Join me as I guide you through the festive whirlwind, offering five indispensable tips to keep your sanity intact and lead your team to victory as we wrap up 2023.

From maintaining composure and spreading Christmas cheer to engaging customers and implementing time management strategies, we've got your hospitality hustle covered. Learn how connecting with your team and expressing gratitude can create a well-oiled venue, ensuring a professionally fulfilling end to the year.

Episode 205: Unveiling Global Insights:  Women in the Gaming Industry

Unlock the Power of Leadership with Christie, the Trailblazing Chief People & Culture Officer of the Aristocrat Group and Co-Chair of the International Sub-Committee for Global Gaming Women (GGW).

Get ready to enjoy an inspiring journey as I sit down with Christie Roser, who is a powerhouse in the gaming industry. For several years, she served as the Chair of Women In Gaming & Hospitality Australasia, playing a pivotal role in bringing the GGW brand to Australia & New Zealand. Her tireless efforts have significantly advanced the careers of women across the gaming spectrum.

But that's not all! Christie wears multiple hats as the Deputy Chairperson of the Board of Central NSW Business HQ (BizHQ). Her dedication is evident in her efforts to foster thriving regional communities through the support and promotion of small businesses. In her remarkable journey, Christie became a catalyst for change at BizHQ, leading the appointment of the first female CEO in the company's 30+ year history.

Recently, Christie achieved another milestone as the first female Board member of Windsor Income Protection. Specialising in Group Insurance, they create comprehensive insurance solutions and boast a stellar claims management team, making them the preferred partner for their clients.

And here's the kicker – did I mention that Christie listens to podcasts while manoeuvring her sit-down mower in the countryside? She's not just breaking barriers in the boardroom but also defying norms when it comes to podcast listening habits.

Christie is passionate about using her platforms and voice to break down barriers, allowing others to make their best contributions without facing roadblocks and red tape. Join us as she shares insights, experiences, and maybe a few stories from her sit-down mower adventures!

Don't miss this opportunity to learn from a leader who not only shatters glass ceilings but does so with grace and determination.

Episode 204: Michelin Stars and Men's Health:  Ant's Culinary and Movember Adventures

In this episode, we embark on a culinary odyssey through the career of Ant Power, a seasoned chef and influential figure in the hospitality industry. From his early days in top restaurants globally to co-founding Michelin Bib Gourmand awarded Pilgrim Restaurant, we explore the intersections of culinary innovation and cultural influence. Ant's journey takes a compelling turn as we delve into his integral role at the Movember Foundation, where he played a key part in transforming a pub idea into a global movement, raising over AU$1.8 billion for men's health. Throughout the episode, we weave a narrative that emphasises the intrinsic link between sustainability, extraordinary dining experiences, and the impact of Movember's mission on global culture.

The theme of solidarity among men in the hospitality industry takes centre stage. Building on Ant's ongoing involvement with the Movember Foundation, we dive into the unique challenges faced by men in the profession. This episode explores Movember's role in fostering open conversations about men's health, emphasising the significance of building a supportive community within the industry. Listeners are encouraged to engage in a dialogue about men's health, mental well-being, and the potential for positive change through shared experiences and camaraderie within the hospitality profession.

We peel back the curtain to reveal the behind-the-scenes dynamics of Ant's recent leadership roles in Melbourne's iconic restaurants and his co-founding of Root + Bone Magazine. We discuss the challenges and rewards of managing operations in the competitive hospitality scene, highlighting the delicate balance between creativity, operational excellence, and customer satisfaction. Root + Bone Magazine's impact on the industry is illuminated, showcasing its 'rock 'n roll' perspective on food and drink culture. The episode concludes by celebrating Ant's passion for bringing people together, revealing the heart of hospitality lies not just in culinary artistry but in the creation of extraordinary moments that leave a lasting impact on those who partake in them.

There's still time to donate to Movember.  Changing the face of Men's Mental Health globally.

A copy of the official Movember Cook Book: Cook Like A Man can be found on Amazon Australia

Root + Bone Magazine and Podcast

Episode 203:  MUCHO Unplugged:  Cocktails & Conversations with Jeremy Blackmore

Welcome to this week’s episode where I delve into the dynamic and endlessly creative world of hospitality with the incomparable Jeremy Blackmore. Renowned for redefining the limits of what's possible in the industry, Jeremy's career is a testament to relentless creativity and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. 

In this episode, we peel back the layers of Jeremy's journey—inspired by the rich tapestry of a multicultural city and fuelled by deep dives into art, design, history, and academia. As the co-founder of MUCHO, Jeremy shares the fascinating backstory of the venture, from the early days of Mucho Aloha, navigating the highs and lows, to the evolution that brought us to the present day. 

Their belief in an earnest and inspired future of hospitality takes centre stage as we explore the ethos of MUCHO. It's not just about making fantastic drinks; it's about serving them incredibly, with a genuine connection to people and an unwavering commitment to pushing past the ordinary. Join me in this spirited conversation with Jeremy Blackmore, where we go beyond the surface and embrace the extraordinary.  

To see an amazing website and to learn more about MUCHO


Step into the extraordinary journey of self-discovery and resilience with Brad Smith, Director of Marketing & Brand for the RSL & Services Clubs Association, as he unveils the transformative experience of trekking the iconic Kokoda Trail. In this compelling podcast, Brad shares the gripping tales of the Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge, a program supported by local RSL Clubs.

As participants navigate the rugged terrain, they not only push their physical and mental boundaries but also cultivate unwavering commitment, forge lifelong friendships, and gain profound insights into the challenges faced by veterans during World War II in Papua New Guinea. Join us as we delve into the heart of this challenging adventure that goes beyond the trail, shaping leaders and fostering a deep understanding of history and camaraderie.

To Learn More go to:

Episode 201:  Legacy of Service:  A Hospitality Odyssey with Douglas Kirkham

Welcome to this week’s podcast, where we delve into the heartbeat of the hospitality industry, unravelling its intricacies and unearthing the stories that breathe life into this dynamic world. In this special episode, we reunite with the wonderful Douglas Kirkham, (my first podcast guest in 2018) a living legend with four decades of enriching experience within the hospitality landscape of Australia and the South Pacific.

Prepare to be inspired as we explore the depths of his journey, laced with unwavering dedication and an unyielding commitment to serving his community.

Join us as we uncover the defining moments that shaped Douglas’s exceptional career, from overcoming industry challenges and embracing diverse leadership roles to fostering an inclusive workplace culture that thrives on the richness of community diversity. With his profound insights into the ever-evolving realm of hospitality, we'll glean timeless wisdom on effective leadership, the transformative power of mentorship, and the relentless pursuit of creating extraordinary workplace environments, all driven by a deep-seated "Service to Community" ethos.

Through engaging anecdotes and lessons learned, this episode promises to ignite your passion for excellence and invigorate your approach to the dynamic world of hospitality. Tune in too and embark on a journey of inspiration and enlightenment, as we uncover the essence of true hospitality with the incomparable Douglas Kirkham.

Episode 200:  Gratitude and Reflection: 200 Episodes of Hospitality Excellence


Join me from a very special place in this special 200th episode celebration as I express my heartfelt gratitude to the incredible guests from the hospitality industry who have appeared on the podcast sharing their invaluable insights and experiences. I also extend my appreciation to the extraordinary experts from various other fields who have generously shared their wisdom and expertise, enriching our discussions beyond the realm of hospitality. This milestone episode is a tribute to the diverse voices that have contributed to our journey, shaping our understanding together.


Episode 199:  From Chance Encounter to Creative Excellence: McRae & Lynch Unfolded

Delve into the insightful discussion on my latest podcast episode featuring the renowned building and interior design duo from McRae & Lynch. Join me as they unfold their inspiring journey, from their chance encounter on their inaugural day at university to the establishment of their thriving business, which has now spanned over three decades.

Distinguished by their unwavering commitment to excellence, accountability, and sustainable design practices, they share their passion for crafting tailored and distinctive interiors for a diverse clientele. From residential homes to expansive cruise liners and bustling commercial enterprises, they highlight their ongoing project, the highly anticipated refurbishment at Bondi RSL, showcasing their dedication to transforming spaces with a harmonious blend of creativity and practicality.

Beyond conventional design processes, they reveal their unique strategy of curating immersive experiences through carefully selected elements, reflecting the distinctive essence of each individual or organisation. Join us as we uncover the remarkable synergy of innovation, functionality, and personalised craftsmanship that defines the legacy of McRae & Lynch.

Grab your Free 

Style Foundations Guide – Elevating Your Design Project


Welcome to this week's episode as we gear up for the festive season and the imminent transition into the new year. With only 68 days left until Christmas and the start of 2024, many businesses, particularly in the hospitality and tourism sectors, are bracing themselves for the surge in demand during the bustling summer months. In this high-stakes environment, the challenge of recruiting and retaining a dynamic workforce, ranging from fresh-faced school leavers to globe-trotting backpackers, has never been more critical. However, the traditional practices of demanding round-the-clock availability, especially on weekends and holidays, are facing an urgent need for a transformation in order to align with the expectations of the contemporary workforce, particularly the vibrant and adaptable Gen Z employees.

My goal is to elevate your workforce and redefine the standards of service excellence. Limited dates are available, so reach out to us today and let's craft a training experience that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of the ever-evolving landscape of the hospitality industry.

Go to

Episode 197:  Building Stronger Teams: The Importance of Skilful Workplace Dialogue

In this episode, I sit down with Jen Bicknell, a seasoned employment lawyer with over 30 years of experience. Jen's career took an inspiring turn eight years ago when she decided to shift her focus from big global law firms to a unique mission – preventing workplace disputes through the power of difficult conversations. While her firm handles traditional employment law services like contracts and policies, Jen's true passion lies in equipping business owners, managers, and employees with the tools to navigate the emotional and legal aspects of the workplace. She emphasises that these difficult conversations are not problems but opportunities for improved communication and enhanced relationships. 

Join me as I delve into Jen's remarkable journey and learn how her approach is transforming workplaces, one conversation at a time. 

To learn more about Jen and subscribe to her Newsletter go to:

Episode 196: Social Colin: Where Hospitality Meets Heart!

Join us on a journey that started with three friends who spotted a gap in the hospitality universe and decided to fill it with passion, creativity, and a whole lot of heart. Meet Clayton Ries, one of the Directors, juggling roles from business operations to marketing to financial wizardry. He's the director with a knack for turning dreams into reality.

But that's just the beginning! Enter Colin Fassnidge, the Irish-Australian culinary genius, author, and TV sensation. You might know him from My Kitchen Rules, where he's been the charismatic judge since 2013. And guess what? He's just about to rock the grand finale of the latest season!

Now, picture this: Three buddies with a world of experience in events, entertainment, arts, and hospitality coming together with a vision. That vision? To bring electrifying, unforgettable social experiences to communities that have been yearning for a taste of the good life outside the city lights. Thus, Social Colin, the hospitality management and consultancy wonder, was born!

What's the secret sauce, you ask? It's all about creating social hubs that weave quality produce with a sprinkle of that legendary hospitality magic. It's about crafting authentic, warm, and downright honest experiences that'll make you feel right at home.

But here's the twist – Social Colin isn't your average hospitality player. They've got a superpower: listening. They delve deep into demographics and tap into the heartbeats of local communities to cook up the perfect recipe for success.

And speaking of success, there's "The Castlereagh by Fassnidge" at The Castlereagh, part of the City Tattersalls Group, brought to you by Social Colin, and it's setting the town on fire! It’s not just a place to eat; it's a culinary journey you won't want to miss.

So, if you're hungry for inspiration, eager to explore the world of hospitality, or simply craving some good vibes, tune in to "Social Colin: Where Hospitality Meets Heart." Get ready to discover the secrets of building a business that not only thrives but also paves the way for lasting greatness.

To learn more go to:

Episode 195:  Gin Dreams: A Tale of a Small Town Distillery Triumphs and Awards

In this engaging podcast episode, I have a conversation with Cat Coathup, one-third of a dynamic trio who've shared a lifelong friendship since childhood. Together, they made the bold decision to depart from their corporate careers and embark on a remarkable journey of fulfilling their dream by establishing their own Gin Distillery. Their venture is nestled in the picturesque small town of Pambula, situated on the far south coast of New South Wales.

Cat provides insights into the meticulous research and unwavering patience that spanned two years, a prelude to the momentous day when they opened the distillery's doors. In just a few short months, their dedication bore fruit as they earned multiple prestigious awards for their Nine Circles Distillery Signature Gin and an exquisite Pink Gin.

Notably, their commitment extends beyond their craft; they actively support local small businesses, propelling their enterprise to national recognition. They've even made waves on the international stage, captivating the attention of cruise liners that dock in Eden as they proudly showcase their Gin to travellers from around the world.

What's remarkable is their approach to marketing—eschewing social media, they have chosen to attend numerous events and markets, tirelessly spreading the word about their Gin and the soon-to-come Whisky. Their story is a testament to dedication, connection, and unwavering commitment.

As their Cellar Door prepares to open later this year, Nine Circles Distillery is unquestionably a business worth keeping a close eye on. And, of course, tasting their exquisite Gin is an experience not to be missed.

Episode 194: Journeying Through Southwest WA: Embracing Excellence in Hospitality

Join me on this exciting episode as I take you on a virtual trip to the stunning Southwest of Western Australia, where we explore the breathtaking landscapes, thrilling adventures, and most importantly, the exceptional hospitality that made this journey truly unforgettable.

Whether you're planning your own trip or simply seeking inspiration for your next adventure, this episode will shed light on the power of dedicated frontline team members who transform a simple trip into an extraordinary experience.

We must recognise the crucial role that leadership development plays in shaping exceptional frontline team members. Behind every outstanding service experience are leaders who invest in their teams, nurture their talents, and set the stage for success. 

Investing in leadership development, like the Middle Management Movement program, is not just a key to business growth; it's the secret sauce for ensuring customer happiness. Don't miss your chance to be part of this transformative journey.

I'm thrilled to announce that doors are now open to book the last two remaining intakes for the Middle Management Movement program in 2023. Additionally, there will be just six slots available in the first quarter of 2024. This is a unique opportunity to invest in your organisation's future success and create a culture of excellence.

To learn more about Middle Management Movement

Episode 193: She Leads, She Inspires:  A Woman's Path to Hospitality Success


Welcome to our third episode of Women in Hospitality Leadership, where we delve into the experiences, wisdom, and achievements of remarkable leaders.  Today, I have a truly exceptional guest joining us, Ms Andy Abey, Group Chief Operating Officer – CHRG (Castle Hill RSL Group) a seasoned leader with a remarkable 25-year track record of success spanning both Australia and the Middle East.

In this episode, I sit down with Andy where she shares her wealth of experience that has shaped her journey as a leader. With her impressive tenure in leadership roles, we'll explore the insights she's gathered along the way.

We'll delve into the milestones and pivotal moments that have contributed to her outstanding record of achievement.

For my listeners aspiring to become influential leaders, Andy will provide valuable advice and actionable insights drawn from her extensive leadership journey.

Join us for this insightful conversation as we uncover the leadership insights and lessons learned by Andy during her impressive 25-year career. Whether you're a seasoned leader or just starting your leadership journey, there's something here for everyone. So, let's dive in and gain valuable wisdom from one of the best in the field.


Register now for the Future Proofing Webinar


Episode 192:  Striking Balance:  How a Woman Leads in Hospitality and Gaming

In this episode, we delve into the inspiring journey of a remarkable woman who has not only shattered the glass ceiling but has done so in two dynamic and traditionally male-dominated industries: hospitality and gaming. Our guest, Sandy Thefs, is a trailblazer, an advocate for diversity, and a master of balancing the demands of leadership with a fulfilling personal life. Join us as we uncover her story and the invaluable insights, she shares on achieving balance in high-stakes careers.

Throughout this episode, Sandy reflects on her path to leadership, highlighting the unique challenges and opportunities she encountered in the hospitality and gaming realms. Her experience offers a compelling narrative of resilience, mentorship, and a dedication to fostering diversity and inclusion. As we explore her remarkable journey, we also dive into the concept of minimalism and financial wisdom, discovering how these principles have played a pivotal role in her ability to maintain equilibrium between her professional and personal life.

Whether you're an aspiring leader, a gaming enthusiast, or simply seeking inspiration on balancing career and life, this episode will leave you with valuable takeaways and a renewed perspective on what it means to lead with grace and determination in two thriving industries.

Webinar:  20th September - 1.00pm - Future Proofing Hospitality:  Developing Leaders to Thrive in Tomorrow's Industry.  Register at

Episode 191:  Caring for our Veterans and their  Families

In this episode I chat with Janet Muir CEO - RSL LifeCare, a leader in veteran services and aged care across NSW and the ACT.

Providing veterans and their families veteran-centric support and well being programs.  For many it is not an easy journey transitioning out of service to civilian life.  From aged care villages, Wellness Centres, Employment Assistance, RPL in University courses and the Spur Equine program, Janet shares how RSL LifeCare helps so many.  

Even though RSL Lifecare has been around for over 100 years, the word still needs to get out to veterans and their families that this service exists and how to connect.  If you know someone please share.

To learn more about RSL LifeCare go to

Episode 190:  Elevating Spaces:  The Art and Impact of Decor In Hospitality


Join us as we unravel the enchanting world of decor's influence on the hospitality experience, guided by Tara Solberg, founder of Few and Far and Indigo Love.

Explore the psychology of design, the allure of statement pieces, and the fusion of timeless elegance with innovative trends.

Discover how decor shapes emotions, narratives, and sustainability in hospitality, offering a new lens through which to view the spaces we inhabit.

To learn more about The Retail Academy go to

Listen to Trade Wins Podcast on your favourite streaming service.

Episode 189:  For Change to be Successful Leaders Need to show their Heart


No one ever said Change was easy but without change you and your organisation will fall behind your competitors. 

In this episode I share 5 tips on successfully implementing change in your organisation.   

BIG NEWS:  On the 20th September I am presenting two live webinars.

Future Proofing Hospitality: Developing Leaders to Thrive in Tomorrow's Industry

From Buddy to Boss:  Igniting Your Potential for Career Advancement 

To register go to:


Episode 188: Closing the Gap:  Unravelling Organisational Expectations and Real-Life Experiences

Welcome to this week's podcast episode, where it's just me sharing my thoughts and recent experiences about how organisations expect things to go versus how things actually happen on the ground. Ever wonder why there's sometimes a gap between what leaders want and what actually takes place? Are leaders really clear about what they want from their team and how they want guests to feel, or is everyone left to figure it out on their own? 

In this episode, we're going to dig into this topic. We'll talk about why things don't always match up, and we'll explore whether leaders are doing a good job explaining their plans to the team or if there's a bit of confusion in the mix. Join me as we unravel the mystery of expectations and experiences in the world of organisations.  

Episode 187:  Cutting Edge in Kitchen Tech 

Strolling through the many aisles of the National Restaurant Association trade show in Chicago this year, we came across a stand that displayed kitchen technology that absolutely amazed me.  After a demonstration I wished I could have one in my kitchen to help me cook! 

In this episode I interview Mark Caplin from Alto-Shaam sharing his journey of more than 46 years as a chef in the UK and Australia before changing careers and becoming Regional Sales Manager for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. 

“Alto-Shaam is recognised as a true family business that delivers the very highest level of support and service to its customers. Its complete range of kitchen equipment solutions are designed to deliver the greatest flexibility and cooking performance, and I look forward to helping partners and customers across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific’s understand how the benefits of these solutions can convert to profits.” 

Episode 186:  Hospitality Powerhouse - Toni Clarke

Toni Clarke (aka TC) is a phenomenal powerhouse woman in the hospitality industry.  Toni delivers a blend of practical hands-on experience with extensive management expertise and a sound knowledge of successful hospitality operations having held positions ranging from Chef, Food and Beverage Manager, Operations Manager and General Manager in a diverse range of restaurants, hotels and Clubs. 

Toni’s commitment to the industry ensures she remains in touch with the latest consumer trends in food and beverage and as a result is a frequent speaker at industry forums.

She is the co-founder of RT Hospitality Solutions providing a comprehensive range of management and advisory services to the hospitality industry.

Toni is also “tour guide” extraordinaire.  I have had the privilege to travel to the USA several times with Toni as she heads up a wonderfully curated food and beverage tour for those in the hospitality industry co-ordinated with Jodie Tipping and her team from Total Travel Management.  Each year the tour takes in the National Restaurant Association trade show in Chicago and then one or two other cities exploring back of house as well as dining at some amazing establishments.  This year was no exception as we explored fine dining in Chicago and Nashville.

Toni shares her knowledge and wisdom in this podcast, her connections with community and the amazing work she does with other volunteers in New Zealand in providing food through Baskets of Blessings.

If you know Toni you know this longer than usual podcast is worth listening to every single second. 

Episode 185:  Champagne, AI, Global Community Builder

Rebecca Saunders is a Business & Life Advisor for ambitious women wanting to do life and business unapologetically on their terms.

Building a 7 figure business, moving to the country and gathering a global community of women in The Champagne Lounge, has us discussing the use of AI, business growth, development, true connection with strangers and building their best lives.

Loneliness is the third biggest killer in first world countries after Heart and Cancer.  Recent studies show that Gen Z were the loneliest generation with experts stating that we're in the middle of a loneliness epidemic.  It only takes one person to make a connection, how are you and your organisation connecting and building a community?

To learn more about Rebecca, the Champagne Lounge and those amazing dinners go to

Episode 184:  Reimagining The Workplace - Designing Environments That Inspire


Melissa Marsden is a Workplace Dynamics Strategist, reimagining work environments to drive high performing teams.  Her unique Workplace Dynamics BlueprintTM guides organisations to create a magnetic workplace that attracts to tier talent by aligning the hearts, bodies and minds to create next level results.

In this episode Mel shares her COMUNiTI Methodology, the impact of the hybrid workplace and how she has spent over 20 years guiding organisations and professional services firms to navigate a new world of work. 

This episode will have you thinking about how you and your team connect by utilising the space in the workplace and the dynamics of the environment. 

Her expertise in designing truly magnetic workplaces has seen 90% of employees reporting increased Job Satisfaction and direct financial increases to their bottom line. How’s the Job Satisfaction in your organisation?

To learn more about the amazing work that Mel designs for workplaces, listen to her podcast or purchase her book "The Next Workplace".  Click on the the link below:


Episode 183:  Hospitality Industry Recreated with AI and Applejack Hospitality

In this episode Joanna Steuart, Director of Marketing & Partnerships at Applejack Hospitality shares behind the scenes of the campaign “Create Your Dream”, how this came about using AI, selecting a winner and the execution of the pop-up restaurant in Sydney this month for 7 days only.

The ethos of Applejack Hospitality is to lead the industry by delivering unique venues that bring people together, creating epic concepts and magic experiences.  Joanna is dedicated to creating impactful and innovative marketing strategies to develop a strong and consistent premium brand identity, increase brand awareness, drive customer loyalty, and build a strong community.  Joanna is passionate about developing a positive and inclusive marketing culture to attract and retain great people who embrace the Applejack ethos of collaboration, community, creativity, and celebration.

The connection between the industry and AI is remarkable.  Hear about the journey from conception to execution and all the steps in between.

The AI restaurant will be popping up at RAFI North Sydney from Sat 29 July - Sat 5 August.  On Wednesday 5 July, bookings will be available from 9am. You can view the full details for Luminary by the link below. 


Episode 182:  1:1 With The World Food Champion

Beating over 80,000 entries worldwide.  John McFadden (who competed solo) has just returned from Bentonville, Arkansas taking out Final Table and the overall World Food Champion competing against the other 9 category winners and their teams of 3. 

John is an accomplished Australian Chef, starting as a humble kitchen hand at the age of 12. 

John shares how he prepared for this competition, his mindset, believing in himself, honing his skills and creativity.  The connections he has made and the fulfilment of a dream come true.  This is an amazing interview of courage and determination.  Listen closely as John makes an important announcement (we have the scoop!) 

Earlier Interview with John McFadden Listen to Episode 130 - Food is about Enrichment:  Now is the time to enrich your career 

Episode 181:  Copywriting - Strengthening your Brand Image

Amanda Paul from Brand Injection shares with us her strategies and tips on the importance and impact of “Copywriting”, for start-ups to give them a head-start and established businesses a rebrand they need.

Her extensive B2B background in business marketing, client relationship and project management has seen her ride the waves with companies that were just beginning to those who grew so rapidly that their messaging couldn’t keep up.

Amanda has created a great offer especially for my listeners - click on the link below to access;

Episode 180:  International Recruitment - Why it doesn't have to be so hard

In Australia the hospitality industry is growing at a staggering 14% every year. Yet according to government statisticians, we will experience a 69% drop in workers across the tourism and hospitality industries, equating to over 123 000 jobs.

Too often the thought of recruiting Internationally is put in the too hard basket!  In this episode I chat with Abigail Jones, CEO & Founder of You Solved, who holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Australian Migration Law & Practice and is a certified Migration Agent based on the Central Coast (NSW).  Abigail has worked in the hospitality industry in the UK and Australia and knows first-hand the impact that the shortage of Chefs is having on our industry in the cities and regional areas.

International recruitment doesn’t have to be hard by knowing the facts.  Abigail has provided a FAQ for questions you may have to making the pathway easier.


Episode 179:  Howdy Y'All

Dining in the US is always fun.  Big menus and big plates.  Spending time in 3 states in the US over the past few weeks on a food tour has been interesting from the service, menu, decor and experience.  If you know me, I love food and taking photos, so this episode provides you the verbal experience while you will find my food photos by clicking the link so check them out.  The presentation is what it is all about.

Episode 178:  Downtown Chicago - Takeaways from the National Restaurant Association Trade Show

It's been 4 long years since I have walked the floors of this amazing trade show and I certainly wasn't disappointed. In this episode I will share with you trends, insights and experiences had at the trade show and restaurants across Chicago, Nashville and Austin.   

Hearing Danny Meyer (Union Hospitality) and Pinky (Slutty Vegan) share their thoughts on the industry now, where it will be in 2030 and the mental health of those in the industry was very enlightening. 

Episode 177:  Growing a Global Community of Women in Hospitality

In this episode Naureen Ahmed who by the age of 10 had already lived in 4 different countries, shares with us her journey and why she is travelling around the globe bringing together women from all areas of hospitality. From a young age she knew she was going to be part of a multicultural environment and it was in hospitality that she found where she belonged. 

After completing her hospitality management education in Switzerland, she moved to London where she worked in operations for a few years, which taught her the ins and outs of how a hotel functions. It was all about team collaboration to deliver a great guest experience. 

Throughout her 15 year career in hospitality she has had the opportunity to meet with incredible women all around the world, which drove her to set up 'Inspiring Women in Hospitality' where she shares the incredible stories of women from this industry.

Episode 176:  Ending Burn Out (For Good)

Filipa Bellette is the co-founder of multi-award winning health practice Chris & Filly Functional Medicine.  A PhD Scholar, clinical nutritionist and accredited in Functional Medicine, Filipa and her husband Chris have worked with over 2,000+ burned-out clients in the past combined 20+ years.  In this episode Filipa shares her knowledge, ideas and resources to help you end Burn Out and live a fulfilled and healthy life.

Ending Body Burnout Assessment 

Take Chris & Filly’s test to find out to what extent your body burnout is a concern! You’ll also discover which of the three indicators of burnout is costing your body (and your family, work & life!) the most.

This Scorecard has been designed to show high-achieving parents (and other burned-out peeps) how body burnout is affecting your energy, productivity & happiness. You'll receive instant, actionable steps on how to escape fatigue, mood & gut issues, and end your burnout...for good!

Episode 175:  The Love of Food Bringing People Together

Elia Donati is a passionate young entrepreneur who has a deep appreciation for his Italian heritage and the power of food to bring people together. Having spent the past nine years in Australia, he has blended his cultural background with his experiences to create a unique approach to food service and entertainment. Elia believes that food is not just about nourishment, but also about evoking emotions and creating memorable moments. He takes pride in using his culinary skills to create dishes that not only taste amazing, but also have a story to tell. Whether he is catering a small gathering or hosting a large event, Elia is committed to providing his guests with an unforgettable culinary experience that brings people together in a meaningful way.

In this episode Elia shares his journey starting a business in a foreign land, believing in himself and his lifelong dream to bring people together around the table through food.

Pre-launch discounted price for those who want to jump onboard and save a few hundred dollars. Link for paymentCookingBond Course Payment
Link for more info -

Episode 174:  Understanding What Makes Customers Buy and Teams Buy In

Kieran Flanagan helps you laugh while you learn to unlock your genius and discover how to "think different".  Kieran is rated in the top 25 C-Suite Speakers and in this episode shares her journey building the business with her partner Dan Gregory, writing books, and the secrets of Behavioural Trends and Strategy.

To learn nore visit The Behaviour Report

Episode 173:  What's Actually Behind the Doors of Your RSL

Margot Smith shares her journey in the non-profit and corporate sector before taking on the roles as Company Secretary of the Veterans Benevolent Fund and CEO of the RSL & Services Clubs Association.  Discussing veterans, stakeholders, members, guests, and those who work in our Clubs in NSW and their deep connection with the community.  You may see your local RSL as just a building, but it is so much more.  Get to know more about the association, the services that are available and how you can be part of a caring collective of people.

To connect with Margot and to learn more click on the link below.

Episode 172:  $100 Backyard Bar into a $100 Million Pub Empire

In this episode Stephen Hunt, Managing Director of Hunt Hospitality International shares his journey from a family business, building an empire, putting his team first through Covid, the importance of the customer journey and being named one of Australia's Top 10 Business Leaders of The Year.  His latest book; Find Build Sell, published by Wiley is the foundation of how you can turn an underperforming business into a roaring success.  Stephen is a private fund manager with over $100 million under management and has over 300 staff.  Too learn more about Stephen after this episode you can connect with him on social media @officialstephenhunt 

His book "Find Build Sell" can be found in all good bookstores, online and Airports.  It's an excellent book and one that may just change your future.

Episode 171:  Profit is NOT a dirty word

In this episode I chat with Laura Elkaslassy, aka the Profit Pioneer runs 4 successful businesses.  She is a sought after Money Mentor, Trainer and a certified Profit First Professional. 

Laura shares her 15 years experience in the financial services industry discussing the importance of financial literacy and the connection between wealth and wellness.   

If you think PROFIT is a dirty word then think again. 

Click on the link to download your free resources including the Profit First Instant Assessment

Profit First Podcast


Episode 170:  Snores For A Cause

A challenge to embrace better sleeping habits and support veterans and families.

The Veterans Benevolent Fund (the charitable arm of the RSL & Services Clubs Association) is launching the inaugural fundraising month ‘Snores for a Cause’, creating awareness for veteran wellbeing.

Healthy sleep habits is an area that isn’t discussed enough in health and wellbeing circles but is gaining traction. The concept is to put a spotlight on veteran wellbeing, by asking participants in the month of March to log at least 8 hours a night of sleep.

Snores for a Cause is an opportunity to support Veteran wellbeing but also for self-improvement. It’s an initiative that’s accessible to all age groups and our hope is that participants see some positive changes in their lives.

Join Now: Solo, Family, Friends or Work Mates.  Become the "Captain Snooze" of your team and raise money for our veterans and their families. Click on the link below.


Anna Porter is the Principal of Suburbanite.  As an accomplished valuer for almost 20 years, Anna has worked on many institutional portfolios with thousands of assets across various property sectors.  She still enjoys working one on one with “Mum and Dad” investors, while rolling out the very first National Franchise Company in the property investment and buyer’s agent sector. 

A regular on TV and national press, Anna regularly joins the team on Sunrise, Nova Radio, AusBiz and 2GB. Shared the stage with Mark Bouris and Andrew Morello as the property expert.  Anna is a published author, “Whistleblower” and runs programs for companies like Caltex, Optus, Flight Centre and Cricket NSW. 

Whether it’s working with McDonald’s choosing sites or working with Club’s and other organisations to diversify and utilise their properties, Anna is passionate about helping others and is an avid advocate for the property sector.

To learn more about Anna and Suburbanite

Episode 168:  Leverage the MEDIA - it's in your hands.

Take your business from Best Kept Secret to Household Name.  Share the stories of your business, customers and team to build connections that will lead to increased business. 

Liz Nable from Nable My Business has a passion for entrepreneurship and business.  Originally a TV journalist, Liz spent 15 years working around the world, including 6 years in New York. 

Now more than ever you need to take control of your media and PR.  It's easier than you think. 


DOORS ARE OPEN NOW to Media Masters Academy to learn more go to:

Episode 167:  Story Telling = Connection and Belonging

In this episode I share with you the importance of story telling and my recent travel experiences where story telling both verbally and visually have created long lasting memories and a deep connection with the people and land. 

Sharing stories with your team, members and guests connects each one of.  The feeling of belonging.  Stories are a part of being who we are.  We all tell and share stories bringing us joy and a deeper understanding of who, what, where and why. 

Episode 166:  Out with the Old and in with the New?  Not anymore!

Fiona Keary founder of Style Liberation. She helps women 35+ to create a wardrobe full of outfits they love without starting from scratch through her in-person and virtual consultations, online program The Style Transformation and Super Styler membership.Fiona shares with us it's not just about the look, it's how we feel inside.  Wearing the right clothes gives us confidence.  This episode is full of actionable tips and resources.

Episode 165:  CEO at 28.  The Next Generation

Jason Linke, at 28 is the CEO of North Bondi RSL Club.  A Club steeped in history, respect and mate ship.  Raised in beautiful Ulladulla, by his Dad and grandparents with his sister Pam, community and family have always been close to his heart.  

His strong work ethic and values from his family has provided Jason the foundation over the past 10 years for his career. Starting out sharpening KENO pencils to today where he has a team of 60+ from all parts of the world coming together in one of Australia's most iconic landmarks, providing an amazing experience to all members and guests. 

Jason shares his journey, passion for the industry and the connection with the community.

Episode 164: Bringing Domestic & Family  Violence Awareness to the Workplace

Twelve months ago, Arely Carrion took a sabbatical from Mounties to become a Domestic and Family Violence advocate, facilitating education and awareness programs across the Club industry.  Arely has now returned to Mounties as Executive Manager Community, to build on and expand the current community initiatives already in place. 

This allows Mounties an opportunity to do a deep dive and really focus on the social issues that are impacting the lives of their 200,000 members and communities across the ten clubs, and support those most in need. 

In this episode Arely shares her journey, the connections she has made and the impact of the programs and awareness. 

Episode 163: From Couch to Mountain - Health, Self Belief, Confidence & Community

Yvonne Shepherd is the Founder and CEO of Women's Fitness Adventures - Australia's premier hiking community for women. 

Yvonne shares her love of hiking and connecting women globally through her online and in person hiking programs and adventures. 

Not only is Women's Fitness Adventures changing women's lives through increased health and wellness, it is creating connections and community amongst women across the world.  

For more information go to:

Couch2Mountain program visit

Episode 162:  Applying for a GRANT?  WHY, WHO AND HOW

Prue is a Grant Master – an accomplished grant writer who gained $49.8 million in grant funds for clients in six years. From $5,000 trailers to multi-million-dollar community-changing infrastructure, the grants helped businesses, community groups and non-profit organisations realise their big and little dreams.

With this achievement still settling in her slipstream she set a fresh direction in 2020 and founded the Grant Writing Academy. Unique in Australia’s grant industry it’s ‘Grantopia’ – everything you need for a relaxed grant journey; from easing the drag of grant-finding to creating a high-quality application so your grant application lands accurately in the ‘yes’ pile.

Discover how Prue can help you:

Episode 161:  How High Tech impacts the connection between venue and supplier.

Paul Tory - CEO & founder of Foodbomb provides an insight into their modern online platform that has moved the antiquated ordering practices of supplies of the past to the 21st century.   

Looking at the past two years challenges, the impact of staff shortages, the growth of suppliers and what lies ahead in 2023. 

To learn more about Foodbomb go to:

Episode 160:  Is LINKEDIN where you should be?

Jo Saunders is the LinkedIn Demystifier, helping people connect since the early 90's.  In this episode Jo shares her knowledge and expertise on why you should be present and connected on LinkedIn.  Personally, I've been on LinkedIn for well over a decade and a Premium Member since 2013.  I highly recommend you listen to this episode.

Connect with Jo:


Episode 159:  A love of people and community.  The impact of being a Board member.

Sallianne Faulkner is the President of Ramsgate RSL, Director of Clubs NSW, Netball NSW, small business owner, farmer and the GM of Bayside Women's Shelter.  In this episode Sallianne, shares her journey as someone who is committed to making an impact on their community, seeking to make her corner of the world a little better than how she found it.

To learn more about the Bayside Women's Shelter and how you can help, go to:  Bayside Womens Shelter

Episode 158:  Does having Boundaries make you a better person?

In this episode I chat with Luke Richards, CEO of Culburra Bowling Club about setting boundaries.  Why they are important to him and why he wants to share the difference that it has made to his work life and home life and how it can make a big difference to you.  

Why do you need to have work emails on your phone or take calls after you leave?  Start by analysing your daily routine especially at home and think do I need to make a change.  Am I happy taking work home, does it have a positive impact?  Does it lead to poor mental health?  How does it impact on my team and the culture of the organisation.

App:  Brain Dump

Tommy Herschell - Find Ya Feet


To Do Sheet for the Day

Set a Roster for yourself

Auto email reply - Out of the Office

Always be polite when reinforcing your boundaries

No emails, CCTV or Club Social media on your phone

Set do not disturb on your phone after 6pm

Write a memo on a Friday for the team covering all the areas that need addressing - What's On, Events etc

Set 1 hour a day "Do not disturb" uninterrupted and focused time.

Connect with Luke Richards - (02) 4447 2266 Email:  [email protected]

Episode 157:  How Does A Biscuit Help Sick Kids In Australia? 

Jeremy Dakis, CEO of Bite Size Coffee Treats shares how his family business changed from cafes to creating biscuits from their kitchen in Bankstown to a nationwide company employing 35. 

With strong family values they kept their business family together during Covid even though many of their hospitality clients closed overnight.  They launched Bite Size Kids Appeal alongside Bite Size FUNraising helping over 100 organisations so far successfully raise funds for their initiatives whilst also raising funds for sick kids in Australia. 

Listen to learn more about this amazing award-winning biscuit that creates a memorable experience when served at over 1,000 businesses.


Episode 156:  Cup of Kindness - Youth Off The Streets

Celebrate International Coffee Day by supporting Youth Off The Streets (Father Chris Riley) with Cup of Kindness. Christina Roberts shares with us the story behind Cup of Kindness, who it helps and how you can support the very important work they do while enjoying your favourite hot beverage.


Head Office Phone:  (02) 9330 3500 Youth Off The Streets

Episode 155: How to Recruit and Retain in Today's new world of work

Natasha Hawker, MD of Employee Matters a leader in the Australian HR space shares with us the Employee Value Proposition, Mental Health, War for Talent, How to Hire and Liability.  We even came up with an amazing idea of a new group to recruit for the hospitality industry.

Resources: 'From Hire to Fire & Everything in Between'

  1. Where are you now? Video to assess where your business sits now and where you might be aiming to get to
  2. Employee Value Proposition - EVP video

Recruitment Genius Model

  1. Employees Matter podcast


Episode 154:  Intentional Listening - Lessons from inside a Cessna

If we all talk, nobody listens.  Knowing when not to speak is just as important as knowing what to say.  Ignoring and interrupting others can lead to fatal outcomes in the skies.  On the ground, it destroys conversations, relationships, and the healthy exchange of ideas. In this episode I share what I learnt from my trip to the Kimberley.

Episode 153:  Personal Branding Photography?  Why you need it.

Claire from Oak Street Images shares her creativity and passion for personal branding photography.  Photos allow you to tell the complete story of who you are, what your brand represents and what you do.  Do your photos truly represent you and your business?

Oak Street Images

Oak Street Creative


Episode 152:  When it comes to Branding Be a Flamingo not a Seagull

Jen Bowers founder of Jen Be and Pink Pom Pom shares her 30+ years experience as a branding specialist.  Her passion for colour and life has lead her to being the creative branding coach who weaves strategy and design together to create magic!   

No matter the size of your business Jen shares her tips and expertise on the branding journey. 

For Jen's download go to her instagram page:


Episode 151:  Hope and Care - Connection

Last week I attended the RSL Conference where Gus Worland was the Opening Keynote Speaker and it had me thinking about hope and reaching out to the ones we love especially over this Easter holiday period.  It all begins with a meaningful conversation and connecting.

Episode 150:  Disney Expectations -v- Experience - How does your business rate? 

Where is the detail in your Customers Journey?  That's one thing I've learnt from Disney, is that the Customers Journey has been walked through by many to eliminate the friction.  On my recent trip to Disney my customer journey was not what I had expected.

Episode 149:  Why Travel Now

In this episode I share my expectations and experience to my trip to the US this month.  The love of Palm Springs and the magic of Disney.  Is it worth the hassle of documents and masks to travel now, heck yes it is.

Episode 148:  Together We Rise

This years theme for International Womens Day is BreaktheBias I believe is more than just gender bias.  Unconscious and conscious bias impacts on how we turn up in the workplace. We all need to support and work together.

Episode 147:  Ten Peaks Challenge - March On

Nicole Heinrich, COO of Ramsgate RSL and 2 of her team are scaling 10 peaks in 4 days to raise money and awareness for Veteran Suicide with Soldier On.  Taking on Australia's most iconic and challenging walking track within Mt Kosciuszko National Park. 

Nicole shares her story in the industry, the strong connection with community and the preparation for this challenge.  This is what community spirit is all about.  Please donate to Soldier On - Ten Peaks Challenge throughout March.

To donate throughout the whole of March:  DONATE NOW

Episode 146:  Career Evolution Post Covid

Jenny White, CEO of WhiteNow and the guru of recruitment in the industry for over 20 years shares the career evolution, opportunities and the deeper connection that leaders have with each other post Covid.



Episode 145:  Why Have a Personal Brand?

Chef Paul Rifkin shares his journey as a consultant to the Hospitality industry and becoming a Brand Ambassador.  Building a business not only on his amazing skillset and knowledge but on his “personal brand” defines him as one of the top consultants to seek out for your hospitality business.

To learn more about Paul and to try one of his amazing recipes, click on the link. Chef Paul Rifkin

Episode 144: First Impressions Really Count

A fabulous first impression, a lasting memory, help or assistance in a crisis (or ouch!), or a moment that makes you say "WOW!".  This is known as FLOW.  Make the most of every guest, every visit, every experience.

Episode 143:  Back to Basics:  Organisational Culture

If you don't get back to basics and begin building the team again a "toxic culture" will eventually infect every crevice of your business.  Get the basics right and everything flows from there.

Episode 142:  Your Customers are looking to you for the MAGIC..

With all that is happening at the moment your customers are looking to you not just for a product or service!  Be the person and the business that gives them the experience, the transformation, the MAGIC!

Episode 141: Forget the Silver Lining!! Here comes 2022

The resilience of the Hospitality industry even though it feels like it is on its knees is certainly trying to keep its head above water has been outstanding. Leaders you are wonderful, teams you are doing an amazing job.  Tips on thanking your customers, leadership styles and a free E-Book all in this episode for the start of the year.  Welcome to 2022.

Click on the link below for your free copy: Ways to Connect and Build a Unified Team


Episode 140:  Be the Change - DV in the Workplace

Arely Carrion brings her two passions together; Registered Club Industry and Domestic Violence in her new role with Insight Exchange.  The industry connects with millions of members, guests and 62,000 employees in NSW and can become the change makers in helping those who need support.

For resources, programs and how to connect with Arely and Insight Exchange, go to:


Episode 139:  Hospitality Recruitment on an Island

Claire Boscq-Scott the CEO of Jersey Hospitality Association shares with us her journey and her new role in rebuilding the industry on the island of Jersey post Pandemic and Brexit.  She shares tips on recruitment local and globally.

If you've ever thought of expanding your wings and working on an Island then go to

Episode 138:  Why is email so much better than Social Media?

The great outage of October, 2021 reverberated around the globe as business revenue plunged because of the reliance on a third party connecting with their customers. Who has the power over your revenue? 

Episode 137: The Future of Event Sales Training - More than the cake & flowers

The amazing Bree Wailes founder of We Surge Events & Wedding Training and a whole lot more shares her insights of the industry over the past 20 years and the new direction.  This is a must listen to those in the events and wedding industry who want to increase their sales revenue, have an engaged team and care about the customer journey.

Go to Bree's website to grab the freebies she mentioned.


Episode 136:  Think Strategically and Believe - The Growers Shoalhaven

It's easy to make plans the difference is when you believe in them and see them all come true.  The Growers Shoalhaven is the new place to be seen, to enjoy amazing local produce in beautiful surroundings.  Andrew Gunn talks about his career and his role as COO in bringing this food concept alive on the south coast.

Episode 135: Start where you are.  Find out what you have.  Map your VIP Journey. (Bringing your data alive)

Why should you measure what you do?  More than ever, you a dealing with a diverse public and workforce.  Creating unforgettable guest experiences is the benchmark today, getting that service out of your team on a regular basis is the goal.  Mystery Shopping is an excellent research tool.  Not every mystery shopper or survey is created equal, I should know I’ve been doing it for nearly 30 years.



Episode 134:  Don't disconnect just because your doors are now OPEN

Before you go back to "business as usual", how inclusive will your offering be now to those customers who supported you when your doors were closed?

Episode 133:  What is Hospitality Culture after a Pandemic?

Ken Burgin shares with us in this podcast his love of research and being curious in how to take the industry to the next level in service, automation, systems, recruitment, marketing, diversification and why “culture” is key to the success of a business, whether it’s a small café of 2 or a large hotel chain.

 Ken works with foodservice operators to assist them to be more popular & successful. He is a former cafe and restaurant owner in Sydney, and started the online management platform Profitable Hospitality, merging this with hospitality finance company SilverChef in 2016.

Ken has a weekly newsletter "The Hospo Reset".

His list of interesting TikTok creators to watch!

Episode 132:  Leader with a Heart - team unity, empowerment, respect and care

Tash Callewaert a Quest Hotel owner, shares her passion for leadership.  Operating a business both sides of the border over the past 18 months has shown how being a heartfelt leader and truly living her values has created an amazing united team.  This is a must listen for everyone.

Episode 131:  Heartfelt Connections - The doors are nearly open!!

With a date just over the horizon NSW gets ready to go further than 5km.  Are you ready and more importantly are your team?  In this podcast I share tips and insights on creating memorable experiences for your guests and members while recognising your team for getting through to the other side.

Episode 130: Food is about enrichment! Now is the time to enrich your career

John McFadden, State Manager of Goodropoils began his career in the kitchen at the age of 10.  In this episode he shares his amazing career, those who have inspired him and his desire to help others who are seeking a career as a Chef. 

Connect with John McFadden through LinkedIn. 

Episode 129: Creating Positive Hospitality Experiences: From Ayers Rock Resort to Club Taree

Learn how to create positive experiences through every interaction with this year's recipient of the Clubs NSW Heart of the Community Award Paul Allan. Paul shares his journey in the industry from Ayers Rock Resort to Club Taree leading a small and mighty team.

Episode 128: How would your customers describe their online experience?

Online ads are in our feeds every day, promising us youthful skin, losing weight, puppy toys and everything in between!  So I clicked and was amazed by the wonderful customer experience that Urban Brew delivered.  Do you deliver an online experience that is memorable?

Episode 127: Merry Christmas - Don't give your customers a reason not to buy from you 

Let’s end this year with 3 key points to make both the internal and external customer experience journey magical for you and your customers.  Communication, links and options. 

Merry Christmas to you all. Thank you for being loyal to this podcast Customer Retention Revolution.  I will be back on Wednesday 6th January with a new line up of guest speakers and topics for 2021. 

Episode 126: Loyalty from a Franchise Brand 

Whether it be a car, pair of glasses or a loaf of bread in most cases we are committed to a franchise brand because of the product, however, how does the impact of the service provider have on your decision when it comes to choosing the location of the business that you will travel to? 

Episode 125: 5 Tips to Improve the Customer Experience Journey 

Today more than ever the Customer Experience Journey has become the top priority as businesses manage and serve the shifting customer demands. 

Mapping the Customer Experience Journey is critical in delivering on these demands and exceeding their expectations. 

Have you mapped the Customer Experience Journey of your prospective and existing customers?  Please enjoy this podcast where I share 5 tips to improve your Customer Experience Journey. 


Episode 124: 95% of sales are emotion based.  Is your brand message still focussing on features and benefits?

Today, businesses like yours are expected to be doing everything! Video, photography, Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, sophisticated sales funnels, webinars and have high performing websites that capture leads, converts them into real business and continually pumping out content that inspires! 


Divine Creative is a complete content production and marketing agency.  Hear from the CEO Melissa J Scott a powerhouse in marketing brands globally.   

Link to Divine Creative 

Link to Live Webinar 

Link to Second Momentum website 

Episode 123: Chook Raffles, Chocolate Wheels and Christmas Hams Where Are They?

This maybe a controversial podcast but I am all for the raffle, promotion or the thank you gift to your customers.  It’s about bringing them joy and gee we all need this after the year we have all had. 

Don’t use COVID as an excuse to be Scrooge. 

Episode 122: R U OK? Taking care of yourself 

Thursday 10th September is the day when we ask “RUOK?”  It’s been a bloody struggle for everyone.  Being a leader the pressure of making sure your team are okay has impacted on your own mental health.  It’s important to be honest with yourself, seek out help or at least have a cuppa with a friend and tell them how you are feeling.  Don’t shrug it off saying “It will be alright”. 

“There’s more to say after R U OK?”

Link to Download guide:

Episode 121: The Secret Diary of a Mystery Shopper 

In this episode I chat with Claire Boscq-Scott all the way from the Jersey Isle who shares with us her tales, strategies and implementation of her mystery shopping company over the past decade with her clients throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa. 

With the launch of her “tell all” book The Secret Diary of a Mystery Shopper, if you have customers this is a must listen. 

Link to book:


Episode 120: Is connections all about numbers or people?

 Having thousands of followers maybe amazing for some, however, for others, it's about connections actually recognising the person you've been talking to or who has been liking your posts or you've liked them when they walk into your business.  Which are you?

Episode 119: What are your team saying to your customers?

No matter who they are no one will ever love your business like you do.  When it comes to your reputation what are your team saying to your customers? 

In this episode I share a story of a good friend and the questionable customer service. 

Episode 118: Tackling Technology 

How would you describe yourself:  early adopter, geek or frustrated? 

When it comes to technology, we take for granted what we know and that what comes easily for some in our team or even our customers may not be as easy for others.  Is technology connecting or disconnecting your customers? 

Episode 117: We are one. Thinking of you all in Victoria 

As Victoria goes into lock down for 6 weeks, as a business owner I want you know that we are in this together and that as a leader now more than ever you need to connect with your team and customers.  You will survive and thrive. 

Episode 116: Reflecting on Your Leadership

Your team is a reflection of YOU!  Right now is the time to undertake a complete internal customer service audit. 

In this podcast I share with you 4 key areas in your business to commence your audit.  I have also included a link to register for a free Leadership speaker showcase on Thursday 6th August, 11.00am. “Transform and Thrive.  I am joined by 7 other leadership expert speakers who will share their knowledge that will certainly assist in your role of leader and the growth of your business. 

Register for Transform and Thrive Leadership Showcase: 

Link to DIY Mystery Shopping Audits 

Episode 115: Celebrating Achievements and challenges. It's my 26th business BIRTHDAY 

Join me in celebrating 26 years in business, it may not be Hawaii where I was hoping to be recording this podcast but I am here sharing with you my wonderful moments of joy and why it’s so important for YOU to celebrate your wins with your team and customers. 

Episode 114: The reason why high touch marketing and customer service is KEY at this time 

Roslyn a mobile travel agent with  itravel for over 5 years shares the importance of customer contact during these unprecedented times.    As an entrepreneur of a business that focuses on group and international travel during these past few months the focus on “customer retention” has been key for her and her team.

There are two facets to her business, the travel agent and her passion to help others in the industry and this has certainly been instrumental in helping other travel agents during this time with her podcast and online course “Travel Agent Achievers”. 

Link to Travel Agent Achievers

Episode 113: 7 day challenge to grow your customer base

The 3 keys to growing your customer base are: 




In this weeks episode I have 7 easy challenges for you to re engage, attract and retain your customers. 

Choosing your social media channel(s) is important, there is no point being somewhere and your customers aren’t.  Understanding that their algorithms are only showing a very small percentage of your followers your posts and that’s why it is so important for YOU to get out there to be seen and heard. 

Measure your results and continue to grow your customer base.  You are in control of the success of your business. 

Episode 112: When you can't give the customer what they want 

When it comes to policies whether they are yours or legislative how you handle the customers wants when you can’t say yes can escalate to a critical level if not handled with empathy and speed.

So how do you respond to the customer’s emotional state?

Episode 111: How are you and your team creating memorable connections with your customers?

As life slowly starts to normalise this is the key time to spend some quality time with your customers to ensure that you are creating a truly memorable connection. By surprising and delighting your customers with a true connection you are choosing the customers and clientele that you want. There are many ways you can surprise and delight your customers which all stem from your skill set, values and energy that you bring to the role. This is the time where you can really make a difference in your business

Episode 110: What about the service needs of your customers and team members?

Being welcomed by a smiling face Is important and so is reassuring your customer that you have their health and safety foremost in your mind, following the policies and maintaining social distancing.  It’s time now to make the connection with your customers, make them feel welcome.

Website link:

Episode 109: Loyalty programs do they encourage customers to be “really” loyal?

Carly Deards is the founder of Membership + Loyalty Solutions specialising in working with small to medium sized clubs to build loyalty programs, design effective promotions, improve membership databases and generate loyalty through targeted marketing campaigns.  She loves analysing data and delivering customised loyalty programs.

Episode 108: Communicating with your Customers 

The doors are now open so how do you communicate to your customers and your team? Where are your customers and how do they hear about you? Communicating your offering and listening to your customers and team is key to successful business. 

Episode 107: Have Your Customers Changed? Or Have You?

In this podcast I share with you the 3 Step process for business success and growth.  Looking at your customer of today are they the customer you want or has this time in ISO provided you the opportunity to review your services, products and the customer you love to serve?

Appeal to your ideal customer first, gain momentum, brand recognition and loyalty then others will come.

Continually measure your business by reviewing your business from your customers eyes.

 Link to shopify store:

Episode 106: PART 2 Tips and Strategies on Leading Your Team to a Grand Reopening

In this podcast I interview Chris Miller who has worked as an emergency and crisis manager, planning for and dealing with many disasters including floods, terrorist bombings and a tsunami. Most relevant to the current challenges of COVID-19/SARS-CoV2/Coronavirus, she continues to work as a pandemic continuity planner. 

This podcast follows on to Episode 105 on my podcast Customer Retention Revolution discussing further tips and strategies on bringing back your team and leading them in “new business norm”. 

Episode 105: Tips and Strategies on Leading Your Team to a Grand Reopening

We have seen from the first relaxation of the isolation rules that people are “bursting” out of their homes. Crowd control and the health and safety of your customers and team needs to be planned in advance, no use waiting to see “what happens”. 

In this episode I share with you tips and strategies on leading your team to a grand reopening. This is part 1 of a two part series as next week I will be interviewing a continuity business specialist sharing more tips and strategies for a successful and well planned reopening / relaunch of your business. 

Episode 104: Bonus Episode: Thinking Like a Spy? Undercover Boss 

As business owners / managers we can learn a lot from the world of espionage, working undercover allows you the opportunity to pay attention to the information, systems and processes, team engagement and even advantage over competitors.

Find out in this episode how going undercover can result in your business success.

Episode 103: How to lead a multi-generational team

This week Kerri Salis and her podcast 3X Value Growth interview me for a change on How to lead a Multi-generational team – ensuring they turn up for work tomorrow. What we’re looking for is a team leader who goes, ‘Okay, I’m actually going to be vulnerable in the workplace. I’m going to show the actions and behaviours that are behind the values and the vision of my business, or the business that I work for. And then I will trust my team, and I will show them how we can do things together.’ Not just being that micromanager or demanding from their point of authority.

Episode 102: Measuring All Your Hard Work 

You’ve put the hard yards in growing your business, hiring a team, developing a product and/or service that has customers coming to you but do you ever feel that you could be doing more, you hear rumblings from customers about lack of consistency, sales flat lining, frequency of long term customers purchasing down?

 There are four keys to business success when you have a team who are representing you and your brand: Recruiting, resourcing, training and measuring.  A continual circle of long term growth and business success.

 In this podcast I share with you the turn key tool and the wisdom of my business success and the success of my clients that will ensure your success and long term business growth.


Episode 101:  The Impact of Personal Styling 

Julie Hyne is a professional image consultant and knows what it takes to succeed in the business world. Julie delivers tangible results through combination of real-world experience, technical knowledge and ongoing image management.  This lady is amazing. Julie joins us today to share with us the challenges women face in gaining positions on the boardroom table and how with her guidance women walk away with a  new magnetic executive presence.

Episode 100: Celebrating the 100th episode in isolation. Who would ever have thought

Join me as I celebrate my 100th episode of Customer Retention Revolution.  Connection is the key to unlocking our business journey of the future.  Connecting with our internal and external customers as leaders we need to lead the way.

You are a strong leader and you are not alone.

Episode 99: One Life- How to have the life of your dreams 

A rare insight into the life an entrepreneur is the way Naomi Simson, Red Balloon & Big Red Group, Shark Tank Australia describes Tina Tower in her recently launched book One Life. Tina built the National Begin Bright franchise and has won multiple top business awards. Having started businesses solo and having done everything in those businesses Tina brings a wealth of knowledge to share with you in my podcast today.

Don’t forget to download your Marketing Planner for 2020.  It’s all there you only have to fill in the spaces.

Fun Link to make you laugh:  Check out the Instagram page for Doggy Day Care Farm Trips.

Episode 98: The Power of Video 

 Joyce Ong is an international Videographer, Photographer, Author and Educator who runs her own company New Heights Media based in Sydney Australia. From filming documentaries in Africa, to running Workshops in Thailand; over her 10 year career Joyce has worked with the likes of Richard Branson, Johnson & Johnson, Sony Music, Marina Prior, Jack Jonson, John Mayer, and is one of the most highly sought after event photographers for business leaders across Australia and L.A. Today she joins us to discuss the challenges she has faced along the way and the organic evolution of her business.

Episode 97: Straight from Social Media Marketing World trends and tips for 2020

Serena Dorothy 'Dot' Ryan is an award winning Entrepreneur, Podcaster and Digital Marketing Strategist. Serena is spot on when it comes to Facebook and marketing strategies working with a variety of industries and in particular Accountants and Cloud Accounting Service Providers.  Serena believes in self education and giving back by doing this she is now an intricate part of Social Media Marketing World, an annual event that is held each March in San Diego.  In this episode Serena shares with us the latest trends in marketing strategies.

Social Media Marketing World 2021 28th Feb until 2nd March 2021

Episode 96: Operating your business from afar

How do you manage to run a business on a daily basis without being to confined to the 4 walls of your office? Michelle travels a lot: for work, for professional and for personal development so has embraced her business moving into the digital age. Being able to work remotely involves putting trust into your team and today Michelle shares how she does this successfully.

Episode 95: Evolving from sole trader to a brand as a counsellor and business mediator

Josephine Byrnes-Luna is an accredited Counsellor and Mediator working with corporations, individuals and families.  As a sole trader with the full support of her husband and 2 sons Josephine has built a business over the past 13 years that has evolved to include the new space of “Collaborative Law”.  In this interview Josephine shares her wisdom and knowledge on building a business, a reputation through relationships, looking after herself and the importance of a mentor.

Episode 94: The importance of planning for your future

There’s a common myth that in order to be wealthy, you must earn a lot of money. But it’s not about what you earn – it’s what you choose to do with it. In this episode I am joined by Kylie and Anthony Sultana from Creo Wealth. Kylie and Anthony discuss the importance of education when it comes to your planning for your future and provide some tips of what you can do now to ensure you can live a financially comfortable life.

Episode 93: Are you confusing your customer?

Is your branding sending mixed messages to your customer that leaves them confused and moving onto your competitor?

In this episode I am sharing with you the importance of brand recognition (even if you are a solopreneur) and a Brand Experience Audit download for you to complete on your own business. 

Kajabi is offering an exclusive 28 days for FREE to try out their platform and see what all the hype is about hit the link at take a look;

In addition to the 28 days, you also get access to some of their awesome training programs! A Kajabi team member (which let me say, are the best of the best in the course creation world) literally walks you through step by step in setting up your online business.

Tech headaches can now be a thing of the past! 

Brand Audit freebie on Kajabi. Enter your name and email address to download.

Episode 92: Raising awareness and funds for the Cancer Council via the Shitbox Rally

Trisha Cashmere has a lot on. She runs The Healthy Body Company with her life partner, she is on the Board for the  Cancer Council and she is now participating for the 2nd year running in the Shitbox Rally driving a 2003 Ford Fairmont with her dad from Alice Springs to the Gold Coast to raise awareness and funds for the Cancer Council. Trisha takes us through her professional and personal life until now and what is keeping her busy right now including planning a trivia night where you can pay to cheat coming up on March 14th.

For tickets to the event

Details about Shitbox Rally

Michelle Cox. Death doesn’t have to be morbid

Episode 91: Bonjoro's Papa Bear Matt Barnett

We love a human connection and you can’t fight 2 million years of evolution. As business evolves and we have all moved online we can hold more relationships now than ever before so how do we use technology to sustain it rather than replace it.  Matt Barnett, Papa Bear AKA CEO of Bonjoro joins me this week and discusses the almost accidental creation of Bonjoro and why it is so effective as a business communication tool.

Episode 90: Working on the business, not just in the business

Paul Rifkin, better known as Chef Paul, chats with Michelle about the growing of his consultancy business in 2019. Paul was interviewed by Michelle in May 2018 when employed by Campbelltown Catholic Club and then in December 2018 when he took the leap of faith and began his own consultancy business. He chats about the transition period, working on the business not just in the business particularly when it comes to marketing for new clients. Paul shares with us tips and the challenges, evolving his business and the journey ahead. To know more about Paul Rifkin, his website is

Episode 89: Don't let data drive you crazy

Times have changed, your customers have higher expectations than ever before, and in learning to attract and retain today’s customer, you need to know how they see and engaged with your business.  If you are not in the business of listening to them, you may not be in business for long. We discuss the 6 key measuring tools to assess and analyse your customer offering. 

Episode 88: Connect Learn Grow 2020

Deanne Boules a former NSW Police Officer, Workcover Inspector, accomplished WHS and HR executive for a number of iconic Australian and Global Companies joins me today to discuss the moment she made the decision to move from being an "employee" to starting her own business;  Insync Workplace Solutions (, 8 years ago.  Dee discusses the importance of education, continued professional development and her passion to help others who are less fortunate in Australia and globally. Two years ago Dee a member of Business Chicks decided to travel with 19 other members of Business Chicks to Ghana arranged by the Hunger Project on the 25th April this year.  Dee discusses what the Hunger Project means to communities, what it means to her and how she is raising funds.  
With the recent bush fire devastation Dee has decided that the profits from the Connect Learn Grow Retreat happening 3rd-7th March at Kingscliff, will be split between the Hunger Project and Women in Business who have been affected by the bushfires here in Australia.  This is a "doing retreat", where you are working on your business for 4 days, hearing from amazing presenters facilitating workshops over the 4 days.  But this is no ordinary "retreat" where you live and may or may not implement as part of the retreat there is a 12 month accountability coaching program for all attendees. To learn more go to to support this wonderful fund raiser that will help our women in business in Australia and families in Ghana.

Episode 87: DELEGATE: Double the Results! Halve the Effort!

Do you have more work to do than hours available? Do you start your work when everyone has left for the day? Do you have a never ending ToDo List?

Sally Foley-Lewis talks to us about her new book DELEGATE: Double the Results! Halve the Effort!

Episode 86: Public speaking - when it does not come naturally

Ten Top Tips in presenting in the Board Room or to the team.

Episode 85: How to Build a Business that you've always dreamed of in 2020

Here are 4 key steps for you to review, realign and reset for an amazing year ahead.

Episode 84: Understanding the Power of Branding 

Does your business have a position? What is branding and how important is it to know your customer?

Johan Marais-Piper from Favour the Brave joins us to talk about branding you business.

Episode 83: Mastering Social Media for venues and organisations in 2020

How does one get started on mastering their socials? What are the key elements for success on social media and what social media marketing trends will take off in 2020? 

Mia from That Marketing Girl joins us to talk all things Social Media.

Episode 82: 3 Step plan to get you and your team through to Christmas 

The worlds gone crazy or is it just my local shopping centre!  With only a few weeks till Christmas and after a big weekend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, shopping is in full swing as is the rush to complete projects before the office shuts for 2019.

Episode 81: Reviewing your business from the eyes of your customers

Take a moment to step back and take on a new perspective

Episode 80: Are you embracing your second momentum?

I'm announcing something exciting coming up!

Episode 79: The Work Christmas Party

The bells are jingling and the mistletoe is calling! 

4 tips to make your work Christmas party one to remember...for all the right reasons.

Episode 78: Why the first day needs to make an impact

4 quick tips to make a big impact on your new recruit

When it comes to the first day for the new recruit ensure you are there or if not assign someone who believes in the vision and values of your organisation to greet them and create their first impression.

Episode 77: Interview with the CCO Sydney

Chief Customer Officer Conference 

Ahead of my presentation at the Chief Customer Officer Conference in Sydney, CCO Sydney interview me about the ways to help drive value and insert decision making through business, the shift in organisational culture to be more customer centric, key drivers to build better employment engagement and much more.

Episode 76: New Business in Town!

How to stand out for all the right reasons

There is a three-step process when it comes to service recovery:  Listen, Empathise, Action. 



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