Skip to main content

This browser is not supported. Please upgrade your browser.

Mahalia Hicks

Position: Manager, Wine, Dairy & Fine Food
At the RAS since: July 2009

Tell us about your role and team at the RAS?

As part of the Wine, Dairy & Fine Food team, I coordinate the Sydney Royal Wine Show which is held in February each year. The other events my team put together are the Cheese and Dairy Show, the Fine Food Shows and the Beer & Cider Show.

What made you want to join the RAS?

To be honest, it was the job title…the fact that it had Wine, Dairy & Fine Food in it, made it pretty appealing! It sounded like a great role and also seemed very varied in terms of the events I would be working on, so I thought I should definitely go for it. I was really excited when I got an interview, and even more excited when I was offered the job.

What has been your most memorable moment working at the RAS?

It would have to be when I was told I would be managing our prestigious awards ceremony in 2010, the President’s Medal. I was still fairly new to the role, so I was given a great amount of responsibility and I saw this as a big challenge. The fact that I managed to pull it off and that the event had 320 people attend, was a very rewarding moment for me, and it also made me realise that I was in the right industry.

What do you enjoy most about working for the RAS?

First and foremost, the people. When you have worked at the RAS for a while, you see your fellow team members as being a part of your family. Also, I enjoy the type of people that I am exposed to, including celebrity chefs and well established people in the wine industry, which I never pictured myself having in my mobile phone! A big moment for me was talking to Christine Manfield over the phone. Even though she was calling to ask about parking, and initially she couldn’t get my name right, it still gave me a buzz!

How can you be your best at the RAS?

The RAS has been very flexible with me in terms of giving me work/life balance. After I returned to work from maternity leave in 2013, they enabled me to work part-time, whilst still delivering the events that I had previously done in a full-time capacity. For me, the fact that they trust me enough to keep my job open for me, as well as letting me have flexibility in my role is a huge thing.

What’s your favourite show food?

I have trouble going past fairy floss; I tend to act like a 3 year old when it comes to fairy floss! On the flip side, I also enjoy the delicious gourmet food at the Sydney Royal Café which is made up of amazing medal-winning produce. So as you can see, I don’t discriminate, I will go for your typical Show food through to the gourmet delights!