Beth Wilson













About Beth Wilson


Beth Wilson enrolled as a student at William Angliss Institute in the Diploma of Catering & Hotel Operations in 1981, a time she remembers very fondly as one full of new ideas, knowledge and social relationships. Beth describes her course as being:

filled with excursions around Melbourne and learning all about food and beverages, practical hands-on experiences through night shifts at the Angliss Restaurant, and classes that covered a huge range of topics like finance, communication and management, as well as cookery. All the necessary skills and abilities that have served me well during my long hospitality career. … Once I was out I understood all of it, and what it was all about.

After working in the hospitality industry, supervising and managing a restaurant in London and in Melbourne, Beth decided to try her hand at teaching and training the skills she had refined, working at the Gordon Institute and Chisholm Institute, before returning to WAI, where the marked difference in facilities made it easy to share her knowledge of the hospitality industry.

I’ve taught at two other institutes, with one restaurant, a couple of very basic classrooms, where we struggled to put students in. … Coming to William Angliss … with three restaurants, decent classrooms, training bars, lots and lots of kitchens, lots of student facilities; it was just a huge difference. We would get them [students] in on the open days, and if they saw the facilities they were sold, they wouldn’t even consider anywhere else if they were serious about this industry.

Beth enjoys teaching new generations of hospitality-focussed students, as well as being able to work within the Angliss family, sometimes alongside teachers still there from when she was a student herself. “I just love working there, such a friendly, social atmosphere.” Her time at WAI has been invaluable and has provided her with important skills that are still in use today.

William Angliss has given me the skills to use in my long career, and long relationships with people all over the place. They’ve been my teachers, colleagues, managers, friends. 

Summary of the Interview


Interviewer: Carmel Cedro
Interviewee: Beth Wilson
Date of Interview: 20/08/2012
Location of interview: Beth’s house, Flemington
Recording Format: MP3 






WAI Student Life 1981-1983

  • Close relationship with other students (four groups split across Diploma of Restaurant Management)
  • Amazing social relationships with staff, excursions around to learn food & beverage
  • Classes were full time but usually free day for working in hospitality
  • Night classes to work in restaurant, learn specific skills, like interaction with customers & how things work
  • Communication classes, interesting perspectives
  • Cookery classes were a great mix of skill & knowledge that useful for managing restaurants
  • Finance classes
Diploma of Restaurant Management; Kilmore; class camping trips; private schools; food knowledge; Sir Robert Peel Pub; Ferguson’s Winery; Duty of Care; night classes; Silver Service restaurant; customer relations; Communications; Tolarno’s; Missoni’s; Cookery Classes; Lea Hoyle; Chisholm College; Cookery the Professional Way Textbook; 


Reasons for Choosing WAI

  • At the time only two real choices for hospitality
  • Started in kitchen at Moonee Valley Racecourse, waiter
  • WAI only needed year 11, but was knocked back, because not enough background
  • Tried again after year 12, interview went much easier, determined to get a place
  • Course structure then required 12 months of related work before course commencement, she worked at Food Hall at Myer
Footscray Institute of Technology; Moonee Valley Racecourse; Cox Plate; Kitchen Staff; Wallan; Gordon Institute; Members’ Dining Room; CEO’s waiter; Footscray; South Yarra; VU (Victoria University); HSC (High School Certificate); Myer Food Hall; Work Experience;


Keeping in contact with students/staff

  • Get together for dinner twice a year at Angliss restaurant
  • Thirty Year reunion organised for next year from a database of contacts
  • Most opted out of hospitality industry
  • Many teachers still at Institute
  • Computer Classes where students were bussed to Collingwood TAFE, an important skill to learn for industry which grew to become computerised
Angliss Restaurant; Victoria Market; Kmart; Hospitality Industry; Chisholm Institute; Head Housekeeper; Noahs; Diploma of Management; Cookery Course; Wayne Crosby; Head of International; Evelyne Collins; Gary Collins; Robert Bender; Tolarno; Menzies’;


Important Skills still in use today

  • Cooking skills gave her invaluable knowledge of techniques and methods of cookery
  • A new knowledge base about food
  • Customer Relations skills, restaurant & waiting skills
  • Joy of training students, where all skills learnt have been honed
Moonee Valley; Pastry; sauces; stocks & bases; housekeeping; functions; cocktail parties; Langham Hotel; training;


Facilities at WAI

  • Much smaller campus
  • Campus Cafeteria where students were required to do a stint as part of cookery course
  • Cocktail classes in the Cellar
  • Awards
Flagstaff building; Debutante Ball; Library Building; Peter Finn; Cafeteria; Wine Studies; Phil Barker; Cocktail Class; The Cellar; Wine Studies Awards; Chalet;


Balls at WAI

  • Held every six months
  • South Melbourne Town Hall & Glenferrie Town Hall*
  • Black & White Ball
  • ‘P’ Ball, where students dressed as something  beginning with ‘P’
  • War Themed Ball
  • Superheroes Ball
  • Outside catering, organised by students the year above
South Melbourne Town Hall; Glenferrie Town Hall;


Student Facilities

  • Comparing student facilities at WAI to other institutes
  • Students were sold on the number and package that WAI offered in a hospitality career
Training rooms; Dandenong; Angliss open days; Frankston; Berwick;


Career Highlights

  • Tolarno Hotel 
  • Menzies at Café Rialto- Supervisor
  • London, Restaurants
  • Traralgon to open a restaurant
  • Teaching Hospitality then the next step at Gordon Institute in Geelong
Leon Missoni; Tolarno; John Horner; HR Manager; 24 Hour Café; Jill Dyer; Hilton; Menzies at Café Rialto; ‘Flavour of the Month’ Bar; Airport Travel Lodge; London; New Zealand; West End; BBC Radio; Portugal; Europe; Windsor; Singaporean restaurant; Morwell; Traralgon; Gordon Institute; Geelong; Ballarat University; 125th Gala Gordon Institute;


Interview Concludes


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