About Lance BrownAs his secondary schooling came to its end Lance Brown had already decided that he wanted to ‘run a pub’. He liked the idea of being behind the bar, entertaining and serving beer to all his friends. He came for his interview dressed in his Carey Grammar Uniform late in 1979 and was accepted a few weeks into the start of the school year in 1981. “I had already started reading the English texts”, he remembers.
Lance completed a Certificate of Catering and says it was a requirement to do 2000 hours of industry work. He had a job at The Old Melbourne Hotel and often came to lectures after coming off a night shift. “You had to be very dedicated,” he remembers.
At the end of 3 ½ years Lance knew two things: that he loved the industry and had not been deterred from following a career in hospitality like many of the other students, and that he did not want to own a pub. Instead he travelled overseas and landed a job managing the internal crews of luxury yachts cruising the Mediterranean. This was an amazing job.
When he came back to Australia he worked for the Keg chain and from there he opened the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Not long after that, he was approached by coffee company Douwe Egberts, to work as an Account Manager. Within six weeks he was the Southern Manager and State Manager. Lance adds that he had no knowledge of coffee and no knowledge of sales! After seven years he moved to National Foods – now Lion – as National Account Manager of Commercial Coffee. He has been in this role at Lion Foods since 2005.
Lance still sees fellow students in his management role – many are clients of Lion. He says, ‘It is amazing to see the paths that people have gone on … some have diversified and others have left hospitality. But they all use the skills they learned at William Angliss.
Lance remembers parking his car at Spencer Street Station – illegally – and having beers after work at the pub on the corner and sharing the yard at lunch time with butchers with their bloodied aprons and prim and proper hairdressing students. But the best thing he learned was that he wanted to stay in the industry. “I loved it!” he concluded.
Summary of the InterviewInterviewer: Jill Adams
Interviewee: Lance Brown
Date of Interview: 03/10/2011
Recording Format: MP3
||Student life at WAI
||William Angliss Institute (WAI); William Angliss College; TAFE; Carey Grammar School; HSC; Certificate of Catering; Old Melbourne Hotel; Diploma of Hotel Management; Pub; boat crew; Alan Bond; Motor Yacht; Antibes; France; Interior Crew; Mediterranean; Chef; cookery core subjects;
||Leonda; function waiter; restaurant waiter; Peter Rowland; Como Centre; Toorak Road; Chapel Street; Keg Chain of Restaurants; Whitbread UK; hotel industry; dish pit; salad tender; grill cook; broiler cook; appetizer cook; modules; back of house; front of house; manager; assistant manager; liquor manager; general manager; human resource manager; Melbourne Exhibition Centre; Douwe Egberts; National Foods (Lion)
||Insights on the Coffee Industry & WAI
||Coffee industry; froth; ‘wet spoon’ coffee; International Roast; Moccana; Australia; Maxwell’s; expresso machines;
||Memories of Student Life at WAI
||Campus; Hospitality students; hairdressers; butchers; travel and tourism; IHG Hotel Group; healthcare catering; hotel general managers; group or regional GM; Thailand; resorts;
||Memories of working on a boat
||Luxury yacht; Jersey; France; stewards; Mediterranean
||Reflections on WAI Experience
||Spencer Street Station; Golden Age; Peter Filshce; Graham Brown; Tony Nicholls; Evelyn Thomas; data management; Alumni