The business faces of Cowra: Ellie Garlick

Cowra Bowling Club Functions Manager, Ellie Garlick.
Cowra Bowling Club Functions Manager, Ellie Garlick.

Whether it's behind the bar, in the kitchen or helping with functions, there's a good chance you've seen the friendly face of Ellie Garlick at Cowra Bowling Club.

As part of our ongoing series, the Cowra Guardian chatted to Ellie about her career so far.

How long have you been at the Cowra Bowling Club and what is your role?

I've been at the Bowling Club for three years in different roles and my current role is Functions Manager.

I started through work experience at St Raph's, I was still in school. I did hospitality at school, so I did work placement at the Bowling Club and they offered me a job in the kitchen. I was a little wash up girl until I tunred 18 and got my RSA, then I came into the bar and I've just gone from the bar and progressed forward.

What does a typical day look like for you?

That is a hard question. There are no typical days, every day is so different here. I'm not in the office full time, only part time so only a couple of days a week. I still do a few shifts in the bar of a weekend, mainly in the coffee shop making pizzas and coffees and I also still do a Duty Manager role as well. I'm all over the shop.

Without naming any names, are there any regular patrons that are your favourites?

There's a lot. We have all different sorts because we have so many different roles - the people who come in at night time for dinner, then you also have your bingo ladies early of a morning. It's such a range of people, got young ones of a weekend and oldies during the week, we get all sorts of different people, it's really good.

A lot of young people in Cowra, once they have finished school, move away for further education or job opportunities. What has made you decide to stick around?

I really like the people I work with and I like the customers as well. I like customer service facing roles. I really enjoy it.

All of my family is here so I had no intention to move away from Cowra either and I just really enjoy my job at the Bowling Club all round.

Despite being a younger staff member, you're obviously trusted enough to take on leadership roles. How does that make you feel?

With COVID and changing situations, there were a lot of gaps opening for me. One of our old Duty Managers, he hurt himself and there was a gap and he said to me, 'do you think you can do this?'

I think I was only 19 at the time and I was like, 'yeah I'll give it a go'. The Manager part has been the one that's been really overwhelming, especially because of my age and I work with older Duty Managers but it doesn't worry me, I'll give anything go.

Would you have any advice for younger people looking to get into the hospitality field?

There's always room to progress in this industry. While it faces as being a night time and weekend casual, couple of hours a week sort of industry, if you want it and you work hard enough, there's a lot more out of it. There's full time positions, there's management roles and it's not all it seems to someone who has never worked in the industry, there's a lot more to it.

What are your plans for the future?

Honestly, I have no idea but I am currently looking at possibly branching out of Cowra and going somewhere a little bit bigger, a bit more exciting.

Whether that means I'll stay in the clubs industry somewhere else or not, I'm still not sure about that.

I really don't know, I have no idea but I am at that weird age where I'm thinking 'ok, do I continue on here or do I go bigger and better? What do I do?'

I'm not in a massive hurry, I'm pretty content here. If I don't work anything out soon, that's no worry. I am starting to think about what the future does mean for me.

What is something people may not know about you?

I don't know... that's a really hard question.

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