When Rosalie DeAraugo started managing the Best Western Cathedral Motor Inn, Bendigo, “I had no background in hospitality whatsoever.”
But she quickly learned and in just three years took the 31-room property from outside the top 10 to #1 on TripAdvisor’s Bendigo ranking.
Sharon Carlson came to Bendigo to study more than 20 years ago and never left. It’s that kind of place, she says.
With a population of 112,000, Bendigo is the third largest city in Victoria, offering many of the opportunities of Melbourne, without the hassles of traffic, commuting and overcrowding.
Like so many people in far north-western Australia, Barry Harrison comes from somewhere else. In his case it’s Melbourne, 5000km and light years removed from the brutal but beautiful place he now calls home – Karratha.
“Karratha is an amazing place – beautiful, harsh, dramatic – and while people always think of it as a mining town, there’s so much to do – you just have to get out and make your own fun,” says Barry.
Raj Patel came to Australia 27 years ago chasing love, following his Australian girlfriend Bronwyn from the famous British port of Bristol to Warrnambool on Victoria’s rugged Shipwreck Coast.
New life, beautiful spot, one problem – Raj didn’t have a job.
Friends and family, that’s what life is all about for Gail and Graham Wilesmith.
The couple run the Best Western Motel Farrington in Tumut, a “beautiful country town” perched on the northern edge of the spectacular Snowy Mountains, southwest NSW.
How they came to be in Tumut – famous for its autumn colour – is all about family.
When Sherry Jones moved from Gippsland to Brisbane in 1980 she needed work.
So, the mother of three applied for a housekeeping role at the Best Western Sunnybank Star Motel, got the job and – almost 40 years and three owners later – is still there, the beating heart of the place.
Sometimes you’ve just got to dive in and have a go.
That’s the basic philosophy driving Linda Powell and Ian Henderson, who have just taken over the Best Western Meramie Motor Inn Albury, entering the hospitality industry from vastly different directions.
Two’s company, three’s a crowd. There’s some truth to that cliché but not when it comes to Jean Muller, business partner David Richardson and her husband Tony.
The three are best mates. Jean and David have worked together for more than 30 years and owned the Best Western Balmoral Motor Inn in Hobart for the past quarter century.
Less than a year ago Rob Page and Georgie Pontoni worked together selling properties at a real estate agent in Sydney’s trendy eastern suburbs.
Fast forward to the present and their business lives are still intertwined but the setting and job couldn’t be more different – they now are managing the Best Western Sanctuary Inn in Tamworth, country NSW.
Some people inflate their age to join the army. For 16-year-old Darryl Brown, fresh out of school in Grafton, northern NSW, it was to get his first job as a kitchen hand in a local restaurant.
It was an inauspicious beginning to a hospitality career that continues to this day – Darryl is now the owner of the Best Western Zebra Motel in Coffs Harbour, 90km away from where it all started.