Taking the lead in hospitality

14 Jun, 2022

Collette has worked at The Ville since 2013. Starting as a bartender at what was then known as Jupiter’s Hotel & Casino, she quickly became a valued member of the team known for her work ethic and reliability.

In 2017 she took her first step up into a shift leader position before being appointed Venue Manager of the Casino Bars team, overseeing operations on the casino gaming floor, Sports Bar, Spin Café, and the VIP rooms. She’s also had experience managing some of the property’s other venues including Quarterdeck, Splash Bar, and The Palm House. In August this year she won the North Queensland Manager of the Year Award at the Restaurant & Catering Association Awards for Excellence.

Have you had a leadership role before now? Did you always aspire to be in a leadership position? How did you get there?

I previously managed a family arcade centre which included events, private functions and a small cafe. Prior to this I worked at the Telstra Inbound Call Centre in sales and eventually moved into a Team Leader Position. I found this wasn’t enough for me and I wanted to work more face-to-face with people in a more challenging and rewarding role.

What’s your approach to leadership? How do you motivate your team?

I have a hands-on approach and enjoy working alongside my team and getting involved in the day-to-day. I love a busy shift interacting with customers and the team. I have an open door policy and encourage honesty and communication from my team. I try to motivate and empower everyone in the team to make positive decisions; and I always encourage my team to do their best and enjoy their time at work and make the most of it. I believe that happier staff means better customer service. Great customer service means, a better customer experience and return customers.

What do you love about being a leader? What motivates you?

Over my time at The Ville, I’ve always been recognised and rewarded for the work that I was doing, which is one of my biggest motivators to stay with the company. Knowing that my efforts weren’t going unnoticed and I was a valued member of the team that management was willing to invest in has given me a reason to build my career in the industry.

The thing I enjoy most about my job is mentoring and coaching staff, and watching them grow through the business like I have. Be it new starters that have never worked in the industry but have a passion for fast-paced work and customer service; or people who are seasoned hospitality workers. I love that we also provide work experience for community-based programs like Dream Believe Achieve, school-based trainees. They give opportunities to people from all backgrounds to better themselves and grow.


“Everyone has the potential to grow and learn, and I like being part of that,”

Collette Seage, Venue Manager – Casino Bars, The Ville Resort-Casino

What are some of the challenges that come with being a leader? Are there particular challenges you face because of the industry you work in? How do you overcome them?

At the moment one of the big challenges in hospitality is staff shortages which is industry-wide. It’s hard to keep the venue operating at its best, when we have a high staff turnover due to the natural progression of our mostly young team – uni students who graduate from their studies and move onto their careers, travellers on working Visas going home, and that kind of thing. Working one-on-one with individuals can be challenging at times too, but it’s also really rewarding. By being approachable and keeping communication open, people feel appreciated and valued so you get the best out of them.

What advice would you give to aspiring leaders?

Work hard and always give 110% – hard work does pay off! Don’t act on anything if you are tired, frustrated or unhappy. Sleep on it and re-evaluate the next day. I can guarantee you will see things in a different light. Always be honest, kind, and open-minded. Always listen. Be adaptive and welcome change. And importantly… back yourself, always!

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