Meet our Team
Mel has worked in the Hotel Industry for over 25 years pouring her first beer at the London Hotel in Balmain. After completing high school at Frensham, Mel jumped at the opportunity to become Licensee of Briars Historic Inn & Country Lodge in 2003 and continued working for the owners for over eight years. Mel then headed back to Sydney to work for Keystone & Redcape in both Hotel Operations & Project Management.
Mel moved back to the Southern Highlands in 2017 & successfully took over the operations of Briars in 2020 working closely with the owner to open the doors once again in 2021.
With her experience reaching over 80 hotels, Mel is thrilled to finally have a venue she can call her own & is looking forward to giving Briars back to the locals and visitors for many more years to come.
Katie comes to Briars with an impressive 25 years experience in the hospitality industry. Kick starting her career in the Saloon Bar of the Paddo Tavern in Brisbane, she relocated to Sydney and spent 8 years in Kings Cross working for Palace Leisure Group. From there she moved on to Group Marketing Manager roles for Redcape and most recently Taphouse Group where she opened the AHA award winning venue, Kingscliff Beach Hotel.
Having worked with over 80+ venues in her career to date, Katie brings passion, creative & true industry know-how to hospitality brand communication - and is still pretty good at pouring a beer.
Dexter joins the Briars team with over 15 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. From the beginning Dexter was heavily involved in the tourism and hospitality sector of Tropical North Queensland before relocating to Sydney in 2007 to pursue his career in large scale, multi-facet hotel operations.
Having now worked for, and alongside some of Sydney’s largest pub barons in 20+ venues, Dexter is considered a passionate hospitality professional who has established a successful record in overseeing high end operations in Sydney’s largest venues – including most recently, for Merivale. Dexter looks forward to bringing his experience and guest centric approach to the Briars team.
Michael has spent the last decade as Group Executive Chef for Oscars Hotels Group. Opening numerous venues including The Port Darling Harbour, Pepe’s on the Beach, Holiday Inn Warwick Farm and Towradgi Beach Hotel, he is well versed in large volume venues and operations. With multiple AHA award wins – including Best Steak Venue – he has a true passion for produce and meats, hand selecting all our meat cuts and curating our premium list of suppliers. He is looking forward to making the Southern Highlands a home for his family after many years in the big smoke.