Brad Shields, hotelier of The Central Hotel, Cootamundra was recently appointed along with seven other NSW hoteliers and industry representatives as a delegate to the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) NSW Council.
The move marks a return to the role for Mr Shields – who was previously an AHA NSW delegate from 2004 to 2009.
“I was a delegate for around five years, however, at that time I had a young family and was somewhat tied to the pub so relinquished the role to Garry Cummins from The Young Hotel,” Mr Shields said.
“Garry recently stepped down and now that my kids are older, I decided to throw my hat in the ring again.”
Mr Shields brings a lifetime of experience to the role having worked in the industry since 1992.
“I worked for an insolvency firm specialising in the hospitality sector while studying at university and during that time I also worked on a casual basis at The Sefton Hotel,” he said.
“In 1998, I moved to Cootamundra to lease The Central Hotel, full of enthusiasm but with no idea how to run a pub. I thought I would be there for two or three years but in 2002 I purchased the freehold and am still there today.”
Mr Shields said he is looking forward to contributing to discussions as a long-term operator of a country hotel and providing insight into the level of understanding experienced business owners have of day-to-day operations.
“AHA NSW delegates play an extremely important role in our industry by representing their sub-branches and providing valuable insight into the issues faced by hotel operators across many different areas of the state,” AHA NSW President Scott Leach said.
“Together, their collective voice provides an in-depth understanding of the state’s hospitality landscape. I congratulate Mr Shields on his return to the AHA NSW Council.”
Mr Shields said the role would provide a great opportunity to advocate for country pubs, many of which feel like a second home for patrons and provide young staff with a chance to grow into confident, mature adults.
“I’m looking forward to being a delegate for our region once again and contributing to the growth of our staff and industry.”