Updated: Dec 8, 2019
Since the 1800s, publicans have been known as pillars of the community ready to lend a hand, and an ear, to the local communities they serve.
Over the years, when it comes to design, style, and what's on offer, pubs have certainly grown a lot. But there is also one thing that has stayed exactly the same, and that is the relationships they have with their local communities.
Over the past year, Australian Hotels Association (AHA) Newcastle Hunter and their members together have provided in excess of $1 million to community groups, sporting teams and individuals in need.
As an organisation, AHA Newcastle Hunter provided more than $150,000 in sponsorship and support to groups and events including Variety - the Children's Charity, Mark Hughes Foundation, Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Rural Aid, Surfest, Hunter Children's Research Foundation (HCRF), and the Kurri Coalface Pedal in association with Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
In the past year, AHA Newcastle Hunter and their members together provided in excess of $1 million to community groups, sporting teams and individuals in need...
Individual member venues across Newcastle and the Hunter each dug deep providing a combined $968,000 to organisations and individuals.
Hunt Hospitality, local operators of the Duke of Wellington Hotel at Lambton, the Kent Hotel at Hamilton, Lakeside Village Tavern, Raymond Terrace and the Seabreeze Hotel, Nelson Bay provided an incredible $330,881 to community groups, events and individuals including 24 sporting teams, Variety - the Children's Charity, Westpac Rescue Helicopter, and Soul Cafe.
"To be a publican should be, and always has carried, a responsibility to the community," Hunt Hospitality managing director Stephen Hunt said.
"You employee the community, you serve the community, and local suppliers count on you to put food on the table of their families. As the role of the publican evolves over time, we still instill in our people these same community values."
While it would be impossible to list every venue's contribution across the region, AHA venues played a massive role in supporting their communities from Shoal Bay Country Club in Port Stephens, which provided more than $56,000 to sporting teams, the Yacaaba Community Centre and youth organisation Jupiter - to the Horse and Jockey Hotel at Singleton which offered in excess of $42,000 to sporting teams, the local Men's Shed and children's organisation Heart Kids.
Hunt Hospitality, in a single year, has provided an incredible $330,881 to community groups, event and individuals...
In the Maitland region, the Family Hotel provided more than $14,000 to local sporting teams, while the Commercial Hotel at Morpeth also contributed almost $6,000 to Autism Australia.
O'Hara Group venues the Bradford Hotel, Rutherford Hotel and Windsor Castle Hotel together contributed more than $136,000 to the local and wider community through sponsorship of 10 sporting teams, fundraising for Movember, sponsoring Camp Quality events, and supporting non-profit organisations such as Genes for Jeans, Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Rural Aid and individual fundraisers such as Josie's Cause.
"It’s simple - the community supports us, we want to support them in any way we can," O'Hara Group local spokesperson Georgia Duff said.
"If we are in a position to help, why wouldn’t we? They are at the heart of what we do every day so it’s important to us to be a part of their every day."
O'Hara Group venues the Bradford Hotel, Rutherford Hotel and Windsor Castle Hotel together contributed more than $136,000 to the local and wider community through sponsorship of 10 sporting teams, fundraising for Movember, sponsoring Camp Quality events, and supporting non-profit organisations such as Genes for Jeans, Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Rural Aid and individual fundrasiers such as Josie's Cause...
Venues owned by Iris Hotels Group including the Gunyah at Belmont, Shaft Tavern, Elemore Vale, Peden's Cessnock, Sydney Junction Hotel at Hamilton and Edgeworth Tavern together provided more than $80,000 to sporting teams, community groups and schools over the past year.
Closer to Newcastle, Carrington House provided more than $22,000 through its support of the Trevor Drayton Scholarship, which offers hospitality opportunities for young people, and the Great Northern Hotel, still in its first year, provided more than $17,000 to various groups including sporting teams, Breast Cancer Foundation, Men's Shed, local schools and the Mark Hughes Foundation.
The Lucky Hotel also provided more than $15,000 to non-profit groups including WIRES, Children's Cancer Institute and NSW RFS, while the Albion at Wickham provided more than $30,000 to sporting teams and drought-affected schools in rural NSW.
The Burwood Inn at Merewether provided more than $50,000 to various sporting and community groups, while the Wickham Park Hotel sponsored sporting teams and individuals to the tune of just over $10,000. The Blackbutt Hotel, New Lambton also provided more than $45,000 to various sporting teams and women's support groups.
The Nag's Head and Shortland hotels also provided a combined $90,000 to various community organisations, Lake Macquarie Tavern at Mount Hutton contributed just over $25,000 in sponsorships and donations and the figures continue to roll in for remaining AHA venues.
"Overall we are incredibly proud of what our members have achieved in terms of local support this year and as an organisation we applaud their generosity and community spirit," Mr de With added.
"After 30 years in this business it's things like this that remind me why I'm still here three decades on. It's the people and what they put in that really makes the difference."