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Sep 22nd 2021
The Blend
Australia

Training Program of the Year - Bar Awards 2021

We’ve got some big news. We’re proud to say that The Blend and The Exchange were named the Training Program of the Year at the 2021 Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards on Tuesday night.

The last two years have been the most challenging our hospitality industry has ever seen. But seeing the resilience, the courage, and the creativity of this big-hearted industry in recent times makes us so proud to play our part in growing and inspiring hospitality professionals of all levels across the country. To be recognised for our efforts by you, the industry, means so much to our dedicated and passionate team.

“I am very fortunate tonight to accept on behalf of what is an incredibly talented and passionate team,” said Hayley Morison Trade Advocacy Manager. “This award is shared by many people across Australian tonight, who make up The Exchange and The Blend,    who really, truly dedicate their day to day to this industry. Their passion is really their purpose.”

We’d like to thank our team across Australia:

  • Brendan Grey and  Elaine Jones in WA
  • Cameron Pirret and Josh Davies in NSW
  • Chris Brittain and Erica Richards in SA
  • Brady Retschlag and Glenn Morgan in QLD
  • Cian O’Neill, Tom L’Huiller and Tom Scott in Victoria and Tasmania
  • John Humphreys and Matt Smith
  • Helena Naprta, Valentine Maguire, Sanae Edwards, Bree Forster and Hayley Morison


As a result of COVID, plans had to dramatically change. The Perfect Blend program evolved this year into The Scholarship, to address the needs and the environment our industry operates in today. The Scholarship is an online workshop program designed to level up the skills of hospitality professionals of all levels, and in the last three months has already connected some 170 of our Scholars with internationally recognised and awarded industry mentors.

“The aim of our program is to  provide so much more than training and support to the hospitality industry but to give you the tools and resources to drive you all forward, and hopefully through our ambassadors our mentors inspire you to achieve great things,” said Morison. “We thank you for all your support, as it just pushes us to build, evolve and be better year on year.”

We were also proud to present the Rookie of the Year award on Tuesday night to the impressive and talented Grace Rawlins, from Memphis Slims in Adelaide. She’s a talented and creative bartender, and we can’t wait to see what she does next — we’re sure a bright career is ahead of her.

Helping the people of our industry is what we love to do. We’re going to keep pushing, to bring you the latest knowledge from inspiring and creative people at the top of their game, and hopefully help you to create bright future for those who come next in this wonderful hospitality industry of ours.