I-LEAD Scholarship winners – 2022

Three scholarships awarded

In June this year, WITH Tas (assisted by the Tasmanian Government's Women in Leadership program) offered two WITH Tas Members a $470 scholarship on successfully applying to the I-LEAD Tourism & Hospitality program.

The calibre of candidates and their regional range was such that the Committee agreed to contribute further funds, enabling two women to complete the course free of charge* and assisting the third with travel costs to attend the in-person sessions.

Meet our three successful candidates, Alex, Nicky and Nita, below. We look forward to hearing more from them on completion of the program.

*Usually costing $1,470, the August-September program is generously subsidised by Federal Group and the THA by $1,000 leaving the $470 payable by participants. WITH's scholarships will enable two women to complete the course free of charge. Our aim with this scholarship was to help emerging women leaders in our industry fast-track their leadership skills and business acumen.


Nicola Macdonald

Nicola (Nicky) Maconald | Mudita Tamar River Retreat | Gravelly Beach, North

Nicky worked in supervisory and management roles in the hospitality industry before changing career paths to become a Chinese Medicine Practitioner. She has travelled and worked internationally (including in the Queen Mary II’s Spa Club) and owned her own clinics for the last 22 years, managing all aspects of the business.

After moving from Phillip Island to Gravelly Beach, just north of Launceston, in early 2022, Nicky worked with an acupuncture clinic in Launceston before then setting up her own rooms.

Alongside her practice, she is now setting up Mudita Tamar River Retreat, short stay accommodation providing retreats that showcase the local produce, wine and natural beauty of the region as well as health and wellness classes, treatments and workshops.

Nicky is undertaking the I-LEAD program as she is keen to learn more about her new home state – the place, the people and the tourism and hospitality industry - and network with like-minded people.

Nicky says "My experience with the I-LEAD course has been very positive so far. It has given me a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and network from a broad spectrum of the hospitality industry. We have had some great speakers and the programme managers have been incredibly supportive. It is inspiring to interact with so many leaders and new leaders in the industry who are passionate about hospitality and Tasmania.

Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity, I am super grateful."

Alex Sumner | The Waterloo | Swansea, East Coast

Alex is the co-owner (and front of house manager, part time dish washer, social media whizz and head toilet cleaner) of the Waterloo Inn in Swansea.

Alex and her partner, Zac Green, started the Waterloo in December 2021. Alex's experience in hospitality had been as a very enthusiastic patron until that point, her work history was in stakeholder engagement and project management with a particular passion for large scale infrastructure and civic development projects. Just for fun, she's also studying urban planning part-time.

Alex says “I-LEAD has been great – doing it on my honeymoon in Europe for two weeks had some challenges but I got through!

The opportunity to carve out time to pursue this course is so valuable and exciting to me. I am making sure I lean in to and consider new and difference perspectives on topics like finance and direct conflict resolution – I'm very good at eschewing these topics under the guise of being "too busy" but really just loathing my lack of understanding of them.

I'm so grateful to WITH for the scholarship, because the confidence boost that came from it really encouraged me to go forth and do the course, as it's something I might have otherwise considered myself not ready for."

Juanita (Nita) Walker | King Island Property Management | King Island

Nita owns and operates King Island Property Management, managing luxury short stay accommodation and has built a high quality portfolio.

She also owns Flow - Mind, Body, Spirit, King Island’s community access gym and is a sports trainer with Geelong and Forth Football Clubs and with multiple other disciplines. Nita has also recently accepted a position with the Royal Flying Doctors Service, on occasion helps out at the local pub and supports with community engagement for Portside Barbell in Devonport.

Nita’s aim for King Island Property Management is simply to meet, and exceed, customer expectations.

Nita says “I-LEAD is the opportunity to develop, build on and share industry knowledge and success tools. It's fantastic for networking and we are already functioning as a fantastic group. The WITH scholarship has been fantastic in assisting with flights for the in-person workshop, and I look forward to sharing knowledge in early October.”