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Ryan Chetiyawardana to speak at Coleman’s Academy

Ryan Chetiyawardana

Iconic bartender and bar owner Ryan Chetiyawardana will join Krystal Hart in presenting at the next Coleman’s Academy session, taking place at Maybe Sammy on Sunday 15 September.

Chetiyawardana’s trophy cabinet is something to behold having been named the world’s best bartender in 2015, his Dandelyan bar in London was named the world’s best bar in 2018 and he’s recently been named as the world’s most influential bar industry figure by Drinks International.

Coleman’s Founder, Paige Aubort told Bars and Clubs that she was delighted to have locked in Chetiyawardana as a speaker and just how important it was to her to have him and Hart available to chat with Coleman’s attendees.

“I remember when I first started off in the industry, I was attending training sessions, and I remember one really specifically that attended, and I was the only woman in a room full of 40 men.

“I didn’t feel like I was in an environment where I had the ability to ask those questions, because I was embarrassed. And I thought it was a waste of time. Afterwards this amazing presenter was swamped by all these people asking him lots of questions and I really didn’t feel like I had the right to approach him.

“So I think that’s the first thing I’m really stoked about is to be able to put people like Ryan and Krystal in an environment and a space where they are approachable, there is no judgment you can ask them the most simplest of questions, because I think that actually, the vast majority of us want to ask the same things? We’re just a little bit embarrassed do it. So I really like the accessibility of having to really high calibre speakers available to the women that attend.”

Aubort added: “The second thing that I like, and this pertains to any of male speakers that I’ve started to have this year, and that is the men in our industry are our allies, right?

“We cannot do this without them. And there are so many and they are so fucking brilliant. So as much as it’s an opportunity to showcase people like Ryan and put them in a space where they can be learned from. I think it’s also really important to have these men that are so powerful and influential and hold these positions of privilege, to come across to Australia to be in a room with like 40, 50, 80 women that are representing, that are doing well, that a killing it, so that like one Ryan can go back home and say ‘man, Australia’s doing so well’.”

This is the latest stage in the life of Coleman’s Academy, as Aubort explained it has evolved rapidly over the last year and she’s taken time to ensure the Academy is still everything it should be and make a few big decisions about doing some things a little differently.

Things are going really well. At the beginning of the year, I took some time to really think about what I wanted from Coleman’s, because it had grown quite exponentially. Within a year it had received national sponsorship, it was in four different states and I think that it needed to grow in that direction.

“But after doing it, I thought ‘OK, I’m so glad I’ve done that, but that’s not what I want it to be’.

“So I really took some time to like to step back and think, why was it created? Does it still feed that into that same ethos? Do I want it to? What I really wanted to do was pull it back and really focus on very high quality speakers. So more quality over quantity for the sessions.

“And I feel like that’s definitely been reached. This was the first year that men have spoken at it, and I think that’s been really fantastic. The attendance has been amazing, and Moya’s Juniper Lounge host it because it’s at night time, that’s made it more accessible. I’m fucking stoked, it’s been amazing.”

Coleman’s remains, quite rightly in the humble opinion of this scribe, an event that is only open to those who identify as female. But the sessions are videoed and made available to watch afterwards, so there is still the opportunity for everyone to learn from the high calibre speakers talking at these events.

So who should attend this Coleman’s Academy session, Aubort told Bars and Clubs: “Any and all women in hospitality. And then we obviously encourage any men to watch the videos, they’ll be released after the talks. You can be of any experience, any age, any sector of the hospitality industry.

“Ryan just has so much experience and he’s done so many things. I also think Krystal is one of the most formidable forces in the industry. I have spent so much time with her over the past six months and I’m just constantly in awe her. She is a phenomenal presenter, she’s so intelligent, and she’s so varied in her experience. I just think that the combination of those two together is going to be so powerful.”

It does indeed sound like an amazing event, one not to be missed, if you would like to attend RSVP to info@colemansacademy.com or on the Coleman’s Facebook page head to the Facebook event page and click attending.

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