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AHA Newcastle Hunter Launches Scholarship for Women in Hospitality

Members of the local hospitality industry (left to right) Shanaye Pennings  Claire Hamilton  Jessica Fitzgerald  Nicole Carden
Members of the local hospitality industry (left to right) Shanaye Pennings, Claire Hamilton, Jessica Fitzgerald, and Nicole Carden

Supporting women in hospitality will be a focus of AHA Newcastle Hunter this year, with the launch of an inaugural scholarship designed to shine a spotlight on women’s careers in hospitality and offer a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills and industry network connections.

The AHA Newcastle Hunter Women’s Scholarship, which will be open to staff currently employed in AHA NSW Newcastle-Hunter member venues, is unique within the industry and has been designed with a focus on development using a balance of coaching, mentoring and thinking preference profiling using the HBDI (Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument) tool.

The program will be awarded to three recipients and run for six months led by former Solotel CEO and industry powerhouse Justine Baker and author, founder, international business leader and strategy consultant Gill McLaren.

“This scholarship is the first of its kind for AHA Newcastle Hunter,” AHA Newcastle Hunter President Mick Starkey said.

“In hospitality, we give so much back to the community in the form of sponsorships, fundraisers, disaster appeals, you name it and we’re the first to dig deep because that’s what we love to do, but we also need to support those within our industry.

“We want women working at all levels of our industry both now and into the future and this scholarship is just one way we can make sure hospitality is viewed as a career that can take you anywhere. It doesn’t have to be a transient role. It’s a place that can and will support you to be whatever you want to be.”

Scholarship facilitator Justine Baker called the program a ‘unique opportunity to take a development leap within leadership skills’.

“This personalised six-month program will give the candidates a better understanding of their authentic leadership style, their strengths and how to put their ideas into action,” she said.

Applications are NOW OPEN and will close at 11.59am Wednesday, 1 March 2023.

To apply or learn more about the scholarship go to

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