Gus Maher has resided in The Hunter with his family for 22 years, firstly in the wine region and more recently in Newcastle. Gus’ background is tourism marketing, which has refined into food and wine tourism specifically. Gus is a Director of Hunter Valley Events (a 10 year HCA member), General Manager of Newcastle Tourism and more recently was appointed as Chairman in 2018 of Hunter Culinary Association.
Lisa Margan lives in the Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest and most visited wine region. She is the Managing Director of Margan Wines and Restaurant and has pioneered agri-dining and environmental sustainability in the region.
Her background includes commercial cookery, nutrition (Master’s Degree) and teaching (B.Ed). She is a passionate advocate of the Hunter’s food and wine industry, its people and products and has been involved in many regional committees including the Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association. Currently, Lisa is Vice Chair of HCA and has been a committee member for seven years and a business member since HCA launched in 2006. She is also a founding board member of Sydney based Women of Hospitality (WOHO).
Garreth Robbs has lived in the Hunter Valley his whole life. He started his career at Peppers Guest House before traveling to London where he staged in various Michelin Star restaurants. Garreth is currently the head chef at Bistro Molines where he works alongside Hunter Culinary Association founding member, Robert Molines. After ten years in the industry, Garreth joined the HCA committee in 2017, as he wanted to give back to the industry and help develop the careers of the next generation.
Kyle Whitbourne grew up on the Central Coast before relocating to Newcastle with his wife three years ago. Kyle has worked his way through the ranks of kitchens in hotels, restaurants and cafes to now be the Head Chef of Mason Catering which is part of the one-hatted Restaurant Mason in Newcastle. Kyle has been a member of the Hunter Culinary Association for two years before recently taking on a role as a committee member at the beginning of 2017.
Dominique Sheehan is a Novocastrian and an advocate of the Hunter Valley as a destination for fine food and wine. Dominique is the Sales & Marketing Manager of the Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens. With over 27 years experience in the hospitality industry she has a passion for marketing, events and exceptional customer service. Dominique has been a committee member of the HCA since August 2018.
Warren Fouracre is currently Head Chef at The Junction Hotel in Newcastle. He is a passionate advocate for the Hunter wine & food industry and joined the Hunter Culinary Association as a committee member in 2018 to pass his skills and passion on to the next generation.
Our commercial partners make possible so much of what we achieve with our scholarship programme's. For that we thank them and recommend their products and services to you.