Hotelier Georgia Duff was relying on her expertise in strategic planning to ensure the arrival of their first baby would be a smooth transition for she and partner Nick Quinn. But little Sage Rose had other ideas…
In her work life, Georgia and partner Nic Quinn together run The Bradford, The Rutherford, Windsor Castle and The Bank hotels, along with Lakeside Village Tavern.
Her role encompasses a broad range of responsibilities from managing all marketing and promotions, to events and gaming. So, when the couple decided to start a family, a complex plan was put into place that would allow Georgia the time she needed to create that sought-after balance between work and family.
And then baby Sage was born premature. By eight weeks.
“Like most premature births, hers was not without its complications and it was a really intense time for Nic and I,” Georgia said.
“She is well out of the woods now and in perfect health, but our plans kind of went out the window when she came so early.”
“Had it not been for the support of our staff and extended hotel family we would have been lost, but thanks to them we could drop what we were doing and it allowed us to be fully present with such an incredible experience.”
In both her professional and personal life, partner Nic has always been Georgia’s biggest fan and after the birth of Sage, he said there’s not a day goes by she doesn’t surprise him with her unwavering strength, determination and energy.
“It’s as though she was born for this,” Nic said.
“Watching her become a Mum for the first time, as well as how successful she is in our business, has just blown me away.”
“Over the years she’s always been there to keep me walking in a straight line rather than running in circles like I often do, and she has the courage to tell me when I am looking at something within the business from the wrong angle. I’m really so proud of everything she does.”
“From the moment we met in a country pub when I was 18, this industry really has given me my whole life and it’s a
Likewise, Georgia said it has been an incredible experience to watch her partner become a first-time Dad and she is the first to admit had it not been for her job behind the bar at a country pub 10 years ago, life would have turned out a lot different.
“Nic and I first met when I was 18 and we both worked at the Farmer’s Home Hotel in Wagga. From there we moved to Newcastle together when the opportunity came up to acquire the Windsor Castle Hotel.
It was just the two of us at first with no family nearby and from there we’ve made an entire life for ourselves. The extended family we’ve created through our pubs is something I couldn’t imagine being possible in any other industry.”
In addition to her own responsibilities across their hospitality venues, Georgia also believes it is important to recognise the changing role of women within the industry.
“We have around 100 female staff members across our venues and it’s so great to see a high number of those women stepping up and putting themselves forward for management roles,” she said.
“I feel so inspired to know we can provide those opportunities for so many women and empower them to step up. We recently announced one of our female employees as the new licensee of Lakeside Tavern which we are proud of within the O’Hara Hotel Group.”
“And now there’s also that common ground between myself and other women who are mums, who are pregnant, or maybe even thinking about starting a family.”
“For me, there were staff members who are mums and supported me through this experience and now I feel like that’s something I can give back to women on our team having their own children.”
Looking forward, Georgia said she is incredibly grateful for the ability to juggle motherhood, her relationship, and career goals without the stresses of having to spend long periods away from Sage.
“We are so lucky in our lives that we will be able to make this work without my having to sacrifice being a full-time mum,” she said.
“I have that ability to pursue my career goals with Nic’s support and finding that balance of working remotely when I need to be with Sage and having Nic be with her when I need to spend time with staff.”
“We work as a team both in the business, and more importantly, in life, and we balance each other really well.”
“From the moment we met in a country pub when I was 18, this industry really has given me my whole life and it’s a beautiful one.”