Night-of-nights for Canberra's hospitality industry

Nic Crowther
Mon 17 Jul

Tonight, the who’s-who of Canberra’s hospitality industry gathered at QT Hotel to celebrate the Australian Hotel’s Associations’ ACT Hospitality Awards.

Representatives from the city’s favourite restaurants, bars and hotels gathered to acknowledge the huge advances the industry has made over the last 12 months. From record tourism numbers to reformed licensing requirements, there has been a lot of activity in this space.



AHA ACT President Michael Capezio used the evening as a platform to further reform the industry, particularly around the issuing of poker machine licenses and Aquis’ casino proposal.

"If the casino is permitted to have poker machines, there needs to be a level playing field across the industry"

Equally important were the evening’s many awards. The John Press Award, granted to an individual with a dedicated and ongoing commitment to the industry, was given to Ryan Sabet from Kicks Entertainment and Academy nightclub.

"To be honest. i wasn't expecting this - but it's fantastic to be recognised as a part of the industry that I love," said Ryan as he accepted the award in front of a crowd of almost 500 people.

The evening featured plenty of other winners. Here is the full list.



John Press Award

Ryan Sabet

Member of the Year

Patina Farnham

Best Restaurant Service Employee (Accommodation Division)

Paola Passone Vasconcelos, Premier Hotel & Apartments

Best Restaurant Service Employee (General Division)

Sharni Watson, The Dock

Best Restaurant Cookery Employee (General & Accommodation Division combined)

Damian Barbender, OTIS Dining Hall 

Best Apprentice Chef

Jasmine Sawa, Hotel-Hotel

Best Front of House Employee (Accommodation Division)

Hannah Krippner, Hotel-Hotel

Best Hotel Restaurant

Capitol Bar & Grill

Best Cocktail Bar

Bar Rochford

Best Wine List (General & Accommodation Division combined)

Buvette Bistro & Wine Bar

Best Café Restaurant

The District Crace

Best Restaurant


Best use of Local Produce

Pialligo Estate

Best Bar Presentation and Service


Best Meetings and Events Hotel

Hotel Realm

Best Meetings and Events Venue

National Convention Centre

Best New/Redeveloped Hotel

Agostinis, East Hotel

Best New/Redeveloped Venue

The Duxton

Best Marketed Hotel

Little National Hotel

Best Tourism Initiative

King O'Malley's

Best Environmental Practice

Little National Hotel

Best Late Night Entertainment Venue


Best Live Entertainment Venue

King O'Malley's

Best Sporting Entertainment Venue

The Dock

Best TAB Licensed Venue

The Duxton

Best Beer (draught or craft)

The George Harcourt Inn

Best Burger

Ducks Nuts Bar & Grill

Best Steak

Capitol Bar & Grill

Best Pub Bistro

Casey Jones

Best Local

The Duxton

Outstanding Community Service & Achievement 

King O'Malley's

Best Suite/Apartment Hotel

East Hotel

Best Mid-Range Accommodation (3-3.5 Star)

Brassey Hotel

Best First Class Accomodation (4 Star)

Little National Hotel

Best Superior Accommodation (4.5 Star)

Burbury Hotel & Apartments & QT Canberra 

Best Deluxe Accommodation (5 Star)

Jamala Wildlife Lodge

Best Deluxe Accommodation (5 Star)

Hotel Realm