The QHA has welcomed its first female board members this week, acknowledging the experience and insight these two women can bring to the Association moving forward.

The move to introduce women has been welcomed by the board with QHA Chief Executive Bernie Hogan saying the Association will greatly benefit by having both Mel Tait (above left) of Murrumba Downs Tavern and Rachael Johnson (above right)  from Prince Alfred Hotel on board.

"We all know that our industry is made up of many family businesses that have thrived thanks to the talents of both men and women,” Mr Hogan said.

“So we are particularly delighted to not only welcome but recognise these two experienced industry operators as leaders at the QHA. I am sure we will benefit greatly from their advice and counsel.”

Having been in the industry for about 20 years, Ms Tait had shown an active interest in the QHA and was grateful at the opportunity to join the board, hoping to bring a positive yet different perspective.

“I had shown an interest in the QHA as I've been in the industry for 20-odd years and I had started to take a more active role and attend quite a few meetings,” Ms Tait explained.

“I hope I can bring some balance. I have a real passion for the regional hotels as well as city hotels, and I hope that's where I can sit in the middle. I just want to get in and see the industry as it is, which is progressive as it's moving forward. And haven't we got some challenges at the moment?”

Ms Tait said that while she doesn’t want to wave a female banner, she does believe that women can grasp a different perspective when speaking with people within the industry and she hopes she can bring that experience with her to the board.

“I like to think I'm pretty well rounded, I'm not polarising by any means,” she added.

Similarly, Ms Johnson grew up in the hospitality industry and like many children of publicans, attempted to follow a different career path before finding herself back where her heart lies.

“I grew up in the industry so I’ve been here for a very long time, but I was an accountant before coming back to the industry. I've been back full time for about four years now,” Ms Johnson said.

“I was working as a tax accountant, but hospitality gets in your blood and it's hard to get away from. I think when you grow up in the industry, you become so passionate about it. So I really believe it's something that people love and it's hard not to go back to,” she added.

Mr Johnson and Ms Tait both said they were extremely honoured to be accepted on to the board.