International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the achievements of women around the world. It is a day to recognise the progress that has been made towards gender equality and empowering women not only in the workforce but in all facets of society. At The Prince Consort we have strong women in our management team and throughout the business who are a crucial part of the company’s success. We want to take the opportunity to shine a light on some of the female leaders within our team and the work they do, their journeys, aspirations and what they hope to achieve in the future through a couple of questions.

Brooke Allen (Functions & Events Manager)

Brooke has been a massive inspiration to the team through her level-headed approach to hospitality and attention to detail. When asking Brooke what inspired her to pursue a career in hospitality she said, “Growing up in a small country pub from the age of one, I always say I was born into Hospitality. I tried other pathways but always came back to hospitality – I love that no day is ever the same. I love the rush, I love meeting all kinds of different and wonderful people and most of all, I enjoy the team I work with every day”.


While being a mentor herself, Brooke has learned from prominent rolemodels within the industry stating. “I have been lucky enough to work with some of the best in the business. My three main mentors have been Jason Hirt, David Ovenden and Cathy Fitzgibbons. If we’re talking female, Cathy has had a huge impact on proving to me that you can do it all – run a successful, multifaceted business, have a family and make time for yourself. I thoroughly enjoy our catch ups and always walk away feeling I’ve learnt something”. This mindset can be seen in her advice to women starting their careers and aiming for leadership roles. “Believe in yourself and stick to your guns. Make mistakes, learn from them, and move on. Surround yourself with like-minded people. Being negative is exhausting”.


Brooke hopes to one day own a venue of her own, but for now she is focusing her time into growing the Tilley and Wills group within Queensland and seeing where the journey takes her.

Ella Maitland (Duty Manager)

Ella came to the venue as a bartender before quickly moving into a leadership role once everyone saw her potential. She came to the venue experienced in managing pubs and provided a new dynamic to the team with her charismatic and bubbly personality. When asking Ella the driving force behind her career path she said “I like making people happy and putting a smile on their faces. I believe my position allows me to do this while teaching my team to share my values and to go above and beyond for the customer”.


When it comes to role models, Ella spoke only of one person, her former venue manager Alannah. “She was the first manager to give me a shot and promote me to a leadership role. She helped me grow into the person I am today and is still someone to lean on and I know that I can reach out to her for guidance or advice”. Ella’s role involves managing a large team in a fast-paced environment, She says the key is to “not take yourself too seriously, manage your team with respect instead of fear and lead by example. I won’t ask the team to do something I am unable or unwilling to do myself. If you show respect, you get respect back”. Ella goes on to say “you need to have thick skin and to be charismatic and approachable, this helps to build connections not only with your team, but with your patrons also”.

Olivia Meiklejohn (Assistant Functions Manager)

Starting in October 2021, Olivia has grown a lot in her time with the company and has been a driving force in securing functions for the venue due to her rapport with the customers. Being a single mother and working full-time, Olivia has a lot on her plate. When asking Olivia how she managers her work/life balance, she said “Out of all the venues I have worked since being a parent, The Prince Consort has been one of the most supportive and flexible when it comes to having this balance between work and my family. Having a team that understands the struggles of raising a kid and working full-time really helps to be able to not worry about implementing strategies and just being transparent instead”.


Olivia has worked in hospitality since she was 14 years old and says, “hospitality is something that is in my blood and always draws me back in when I have tried other industries. I love the service focus of hospitality and forming connections with your patrons. It is where I feel I thrive”. Olivia is always looking for ways to upskill, whether through the many courses provided by the company or by pursuing further training outside of work. “At The Prince they do a lot of training to assist in growing within your role, while providing opportunities to transition into new positions through career pathways. There is no limit on how much you can grow and learn within this environment that fosters growth and improvement. I have also begun my diploma of event management to further my skillset”.


Since working at The Prince, Olivia has worked closely with Brooke and cites her as one of her main role models. “I have never had the experience of working with a strong female leader until working with Brooke. I have learned a lot watching her work with the team and clients. I have always had male superiors and never really seen what a strong female in a leadership role looked like – it has been a refreshing change.

Emily Wright (Functions Team)

Emily works alongside Olivia in the functions team. Originally joining the team a year ago as a gaming attendant before being moved into the functions team due to her skillset and drive. Emily has also been in hospitality her whole life and has been lucky enough to have strong females around her during this time. “Erica was the functions coordinator at my previous job and was the person to give me my first role where I had responsibility. Erica saw the potential within me and gave me a shot to take on more. My other inspiration is my mother, she has always been a restaurant owner and in the industry from a young age. She has always been a strong female figure in my life and has instilled the mindset of not being afraid to take a chance and not be intimidated going for a leadership role”.


Emily enjoys the creative aspect of the job as it allows her to incorporate parts of her visual design studies. “Due to covid I had taken a break from study but continued developing my skills through menu design, booklets, signage and other design elements required of the job. It has motivated me to continue my studies and pursue this avenue more. I hope to finish my studies and move into graphic design with the hopes of one day opening my own agency and working to create brands for products that I am passionate about”.


When we asked what advice she had for women looking to take a similar pathway as her, she said “If I could go back and give myself some advice, I would tell myself to stop saying you will start tomorrow and just take the leap of faith. Once I stopped putting things off, I began seeing myself grow and opened new avenues for myself. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, as this is where the magic happens”.

We are proud of the women within our team and look forward to the next generation of hospitality professionals that will come from their strong leadership. We have used today to highlight the great work they do, but we appreciate the work they do all year round for the venue and the team.