Henry Wines (SPC 2011-16) at home in hospitality

March 25, 2024

Henry Wines (SPC 2011-16) is an emerging young leader in the hospitality world.

Old Collegian Henry Wines (SPC 2011-16) is showing he has what it takes to be a success in the world of hospitality.

At the relatively tender age of 25, Henry is already a part-owner of one of Ballarat’s most well-known and popular pubs.

He is now also earning the praise of his peers by taking home the gong in the national Australian Hotels Association awards late last year.

Henry won the award for the Best Industry Rising Star for General Hotels in Australia in November, after previously taking out the state award for excellence in May.

Henry says he was surprised at the win after landing up against some “pretty hot” and more experienced competition.

But while Henry, who is a part-owner of The Western Hotel alongside fellow Old Collegian Dan Cronin (SPC 1986-90, PY1991), may be young, he is not afraid of hard work.

“There’s been a few curveballs, but you just need a good attitude and a good work ethic,” says Henry.

“I don’t like sitting at a desk, I like walking around communicating and talking to customers. And I love that hospitality can take you anywhere.

“It’s never the same thing every day. There is always something happening at a pub and the amount of people you see and talk to every day is amazing.

“Dan and I always say there’s a bit of an adrenalin hit at the end of the night.”

It’s always been Henry’s dream to work and own pubs.

“I’ve always wanted to own a pub, even my primary school teachers would say that, that I’ve wanted to own a pub, so when the opportunity came, I was definitely jumping at it and getting my foot in the door.

“It is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I didn’t expect it to happen this fast.”

Henry, pictured in his Year 12 class photograph, as published in the 2016 College Annual.

Henry finished Year 12 at St Pat’s in 2016 and started a four-year Hospitality and Tourism course at William Angliss Institute in Melbourne.

Just before the onset of COVID, Henry transferred and completed a Business Management course at Federation University in Ballarat.

In between, he honed his skills and clocked up plenty of experience working in cafes and bars in both Melbourne and Ballarat.

And since starting at The Western three years ago as a supervisor and fast-tracking to a part-owner in somewhat of a “baptism of fire”, Henry has not looked back.

He credits Dan (Cronin) as an incredible mentor, with his extensive knowledge and experience of pubs and the world of hospitality, and Henry says he especially loves their work giving back to the community.

Together, Dan and Henry work with school kids as part of the “make It instagrammable” program through Highlands LLEN group, helping kids get some industry experience by learning skills like making pizzas, coffee making and pizza making in a commercial setting.

“The kids really enjoy it because they’re out of the classroom and they’re actually making coffees and making food and it’s really practical for them. The kids come in later on with their parents and show them where they were making the coffees, so it boosts their self-confidence as well.”

“It’s great fun and I learn from the school kids as well, and it helps me progress my skills in teaching as well.”

Henry pictured at his Year 12 Valedictory in 2016, with classmates Nicholas Hewitt and Seamus Hoffmann.

Henry sees many of his own previous teachers and school mates walk through the doors, along with many Old Collegians keen to continue reminiscing with classmates at The Western after attending official College class reunions.

“I enjoyed the friendships and the teachers (when I was at SPC), and a lot of my teachers come in here and it’s nice to catch up, there’s a lot of connections there”.

While it was suggested to Henry that hospitality wasn’t a viable career path, Henry says he “wanted to prove otherwise”.

“My dream has always been hospitality”.

He hopes to own more pubs one day, but his eye is firmly focused on The Western at this stage.

For Henry, there are not many other young part-owners in the game, and sadly many have exited the profession altogether during COVID.

While Henry often puts in long hours, he has realised the importance of balancing this out with other things which also bring him joy.

“I used to play soccer, and then I suffered a big injury, so now I’m a goalkeeping coach and I really enjoy it, it’s been a great outlet and keeps me active as well.”

As a young leader, Henry strongly encourages other young people to consider hospitality.

“It can be a career path for anyone who chooses it.

“You don’t have to have good grades, you just have to have a good work ethic and be approachable as well. There are a lot of students who have come through and they may be the quietest person but no longer, it really opens up their personality.

That’s the best thing about it, it really pushes you outside your comfort zone but in a good way definitely.”