At the age of 33, The Star Gold Coast has appointed its youngest female General Manager Jessica Mellor, who started this week in a newly created position leading the property’s Hotel, Food & Beverage, and Events department – the largest on property with more than 1500 employees.

In her new role, Jessica is responsible for overseeing The Star Grand hotel; The Star Gold Coast’s 20-plus restaurants and bars; and the smooth and efficient delivery of all events on property, from intimate celebrations to large-scale banquets of more than 900 people. “I’m incredibly excited to be part of The Star Gold Coast team – the property has been an iconic destination for over three decades, and its recent transformation has solidified that position into the future,” Mellor said. “The diversity of contemporary offerings across accommodation, dining, and events means there’s something here for everyone, and I’m really proud to be part of continuing to expand on those, especially with the Dorsett hotel and apartments tower now under construction.”

Originally from Brisbane, it marks the second time Jessica has called the Gold Coast home after first moving to the region in 2007 to study at Bond University, and remaining on the coast for nine years. After graduating with a degree in Property and Sustainable Development, Jessica began her career as an Assistant Design Manager for a multi-national construction company, and has since worked across multiple sectors including infrastructure and property development, funds management, and corporate advisory.

In 2013, she moved into the hospitality and entertainment industry after taking on the role of Executive Director, Strategy, and Project Development with the Aquis group. From there, she quickly progressed to be appointed as a director on the board of ASX-listed Aquis Entertainment, before becoming the company’s first female Chief Executive Officer in 2016. In this role, she took on the challenging task of returning its Casino Canberra business to EBITDA profit following many years of sustained losses – a feat which she achieved within 18 months. Mellor, who is now completing an MBA, credits two key factors that have helped fast-track her career into senior management and leadership positions at such a relatively young age. “Firstly, I’ve always had a mentor that I could turn to for support – the insight and confidence they can help build is critical,” Mellor said. “Those relationships have typically been informal and unstructured but I owe a great debt to those who have helped me become a more compassionate and decisive leader. The best mentors I’ve had have really challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone and put my skills and resolve to the test. It may not feel great at the time, but it turns out to be invaluable!

“The biggest lesson I’ve learnt from these experiences is not to take things personally – sometimes it’s ok to ‘let go’, otherwise emotion can override logic and reason. The second key factor is that I have a never-ending appetite for learning new things – and within that sits the ironic realisation that the more you learn, the more you discover that you don’t know as much as you thought you did.”

Mellor said she is a big supporter of The Star Entertainment Group’s focus on developing female leaders across the business. “As a female General Manager, I want to ensure we have a more diverse and inclusive workforce – where women who have passion and capability are given the opportunities to showcase that and can continue to develop and be promoted wherever possible,” Mellor said. “There’s a saying that ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ – so we definitely need to see more women in leadership roles to continue raising confidence among other women that anything is possible.”

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