Restaurant & Catering Industry Association Australia is proud to announce the appointment of its new Chief Executive Officer, Belinda Clarke.
Belinda has won the hearts and minds of Australia’s 55,000 restaurants and cafes in her former role as the Association’s Chief Operating Officer, during the toughest period the country’s hospitality industry has ever had to endure.
She joined the association following senior executive appointments with leading international restaurant, hospitality and travel retail groups, bringing a unique combination of leadership, operations, marketing, business development and hospitality training skills.
Belinda will be ably supported by the organisation’s new Chief Operating Officer Laura McLachlan, elevated from the role of Head of Partnerships for R&CA, where during her first two years tenure she has driven record levels of sponsorship interest and engagement, despite covid pressures.
Laura brings 30 years management experience including a decade delivering dynamic sales and marketing strategies through her own company Executive Republic, together with roles at Sandhurst Fine Foods, Hospitality Training Network, Valcorp Fine Foods, Unilever and others.
Belinda and Laura’s new roles have been announced by R&CA President Mike Palmer, following the resignation of CEO Wes Lambert and during the organisation’s centenary year.
“We start the next 100 years with great confidence. Belinda and Laura are outstanding industry professionals, who will work with the new government, our members, partners and the wider hospitality community to see us through an exciting but challenging covid recovery period,” says Mike Palmer.
“The board and I wish to acknowledge Wes Lambert’s tireless energy and advocacy over the past three years. He has lifted the Association’s profile and relevancy to new heights and we wish him very well in his future endeavours,” he says. The Association will be seeking increased support from all levels of government together with its larger member groups and sponsors as it emerges from the difficult trading climate.
“We look forward to working with new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the Labor government to advance the cause of Australia’s hospitality industry. The crippling skills and staff shortage, immigration, rising costs, and supply chain bottlenecks are monumental issues that require collaboration and consultation to address,” says new CEO Belinda Clarke.
R&CA would also like to thank the Coalition and Scott Morrison for their support of the industry during their time in government, especially during the pandemic.