Tourism identity Gus Maher to lead Hunter Culinary Association in 2018
HCA has confirmed tourism identity Gus Maher will take over as chairperson from next year.
Under Neil’s guidance over the last 10 years, the HCA has established a number of industry scholarships including the First Creek Front-of‐House scholarship and Apprentice Support Scholarships, and has built a long-term partnership with Tafe NSW – Hunter Institute to introduce the highly-coveted $10,000 Brett Graham Scholarship.
Neil said he was thankful to have worked alongside the enthusiastic and hard-working industry identities who have supported the association as a committee.
“I was asked by the original association founders Robert Molines, Andy Wright and Nick Vivian to take over the running of the association to guide the association towards a more business-focused approach,” he said.
“I have remained as chair for so long because the position was made so pleasurable and rewarding thanks to the relationships we’ve built between local operators, industry people and the HCA partners. For me personally, it has also been amazing to see kids as young apprentices or frontof-house professionals beginning their careers then years later taking out key HCA scholarships or competitions and going on to become some of the region’s best operators.”
Neil said he was “extremely confident” the HCA would be in good hands with Maher.
“Gus is a well‐known identity in the industry,” he said. “He has worked across tourism, wine industry as well as the event and marketing industries for many years and has always had an involvement with HCA. He is a keen foodie and passionate flag waver of the region’s tourism.”
The 2018 committee with include Gus Maher as chair, Lisa Margan (Margan Family Wines) as vice chair, Garreth Robbs (Bistro Molines), Clare Bremerkamp (Spicers Vineyard) and Kyle Whitbourne (Restaurant Mason Catering).