Five Minutes With
meet your colleagues

PAUL HOMEWOOD, INSPECTOR – GAMING

A Table Games Inspector, Paul was part of the team when Crown Perth first opened doors in 1985. At the end of last year, Paul celebrated his 35th anniversary at Crown.

THEN: Paul Homewood back in 1985 when he first started at Crown.


NOW: Paul today - he loves to play the drums when he’s not busy working!


Q1. Congratulations on being one of our ‘day one’ opening team employees and on 35 years of service! Which roles have you held in your time at Crown and how did you first find out about a job opportunity at Crown?
 
A: Thank you! It doesn’t feel like that long. I started at the casino as a roulette dealer. I was in the very first group of Dealers trained by Burswood (now Crown) to be promoted to Inspector, and I have been in that role until now.

 As for how I found out about the job; my Dad found an advertisement in The Sunday Times for dealers in the new Perth casino and slipped it under my girlfriend’s front door. I was an out of work musician at the time, so I thought, "Why not ?". At the time I didn't even know what a casino dealer did!

Q2. What are some of your best memories of working at Crown?

A: After 35 years, I have a lot of fond memories. The one thing that stands out above all, is the people. If it hadn't been such a good group to work with, both past and present, wouldn't have stayed this long.

The very first training school was at 8 St Georges Terrace in Perth in an old bank building across from the Perth Concert Hall. The chips were kept in the bank’s walk-in safe. 

The first 3 nights we were open was for "industry nights". 

As if that wasn't enough excitement, my son was born that same month that I started at the casino, and my daughter was born a year and a half later.

I have worked night shift for the last 12 years and prior to that did morning shift for 16 years. The first 7 years were a mix of all 3 shifts.

Q3. When the property opened in 1985 what do you remember about that time period?

A: When we first opened, people would dress up to come to the casino. Men had to wear dress shoes and a collared shirt, there were no jeans allowed and women wore evening dresses – it was a very classy night out and definitely the place to be seen!

Q4. When you’re not working at Crown, what do you love to do in your free time?

A: I have played the drums now for over 40 years and still play with friends and do the odd gig. I also like pottering around my backyard.

Q5. If you could give a piece of advice to a new employee starting at Crown, what would it be?

A: Remember when you’re at work you’re not just representing the company, you're representing yourself. Try to see the good in things and keep a positive mindset. It doesn't just apply to work either. ;)

CHRIS SCHOENMAEKERS: FAVOURITE BBQ DISHES AND TOP TIPS

Image Caption: Chris Schoenmaekers


Chris Schoenmaekers, Crown Perth General Manager of Table Games, leads a team of over 900 employees. According to Chris, he’s been amazed by the incredible dedication and resilience they all displayed as WA came out of shutdown just a short few months ago.
 
Known to many by his nickname ‘Schoey’, Chris joined Crown Melbourne in 1997. He moved to Crown Perth ten years ago and has spent time in the roles of Croupier, Supervisor, Pit Boss, Senior TG Shift Manager, Operations Manager, Director of Casino Operations TG and his current role, Acting General Manager Table Games.

When Schoey isn’t busy on the job, he is a bit of a BBQ master and loves nothing more than spending time with family and mates over a barbie by his pool.
 
CHAT spent five minutes at the BBQ with Schoey

How did you learn to be such a BBQ master?
 
Nothing beats a great Aussie barbie. I actually went to Perth BBQ School which is on Guildford Road in Maylands. I picked up loads of great techniques, tips and recipes and had a lot of fun along the way – I’d highly recommend it!
 
What are your top five BBQ dishes?
 
It’s hard to cut it down to five, but my favourite dishes to cook on the BBQ are…
  1. Siracha Lollipop Chicken Wings - BBQ School showed me the easy way to lollipop
  2. Any Roast – Leg of Lamb is my go to
  3. Rib Eye
  4. Smoked Brisket (that’s a long day!)
  5. Burgers and if I have to, some sort of vegetable. 
A trick is to cook Brisket over 7-8 hours, you use a snake method for your charcoal so you get a nice slow burn. The snake method works by lining up your charcoal in rows of two all around the weber. By then placing a few lit pieces at one end you are able to keep a low temperature for quite a long time.
 
Tell us about one of your favourite BBQ moments.
 
My older brother came over from Victoria last year with his wife – he actually thinks he’s the best on the BBQ – I showed him how we do it over here in the West! We shared some great moments and laughs over Brisket, Burgers and Wings.
 
BBQs are an ingrained part of the Aussie culture, what do you like about BBQs and why do you think sharing meals and eating together is important?
 
BBQs are an easy way to bring family and friends together. Especially this year, being able to have friends around is a privilege, we used to take it for granted and now we all value it more than ever.
 
Who are three Aussie legends that you’d love to share a BBQ with?
  1. Greg Norman – I used to play golf but not as much now. Greg really opened up golf for Australia internationally!
  2. Dane Swan – As an avid supporter of the Pies I’d love to meet this Collingwood legend, he always has a good story.
  3. Olivia Newton-John – she is a great Actress and Singer and has been through so much – she would have many stories to tell. 
Schoey lives with his wife Christine and they have three children – Alex (23), Ethan (14) and Brayden (12), as well as his two dogs Rocky and Loki, two birds, Des and Troy and some fish.
 
His family enjoy Sunday Roast on the BBQ every week and his top tip is to pair a Roast with Hassleback potatoes or ‘Jamie Oliver’ potatoes, plus some cooked asparagus or broccolli for good measure! Another piece of BBQ advice from Schoey is that ‘it doesn’t matter if you stuff it up and eat late – everyone still has fun!’

BRIAN LEE: FIVE LIFE LESSONS AND FUN FACTS

Image Caption: Brian Lee


Brian Lee, Crown Perth General Manager of Security and Surveillance, has the very important job of ensuring Crown Perth is a safe place to work and visit. Outside of work, Brian is a Kung Fu master and enjoys family time with his wife, three children (Caitlin 17, James 14, Sophie 12) and two Labrador fur babies.
 
Brian has been a member of the Crown community for almost 14 years. Brian joined Crown Perth in December 2006 as Development Manager (Training) – Security before progressing to his current role which he has held for six years.
 
Throughout his career at Crown and working with WA Police, Brian has learnt many valuable life lessons. He sat down with Crown CHAT to share his five most valuable, and some fun facts you may not know about him.
 
Five life lessons I’ve learnt through my job…
  1. Everyone plays a role in Security – everyone is responsible for Security….if you see something (not matter what department you are from) then say something and call Security. Although we may all work for different departments, we are all one big team.
  2. Resilience is important to get through challenging times - the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties is important, particularly in Security where you do come face to face with more challenging tasks on a regular basis. Having a good team culture is an important aspect in developing resilience.
  3. Trust and integrity are critical – This is particularly important in working in a highly regulated environment. Once trust is broken it’s hard to recover to regain that trust and your integrity so it’s critical to always “play with a straight bat” and if you are unsure of something, ask before doing so you don’t compromise yourself or others.
  4. Listen to the advice and input of others as you never know what gems will come your way – On many occasions I’ve had suggestions tabled with me from Security Officers and other staff outside Security which we’ve taken on board and implemented. It’s important to keep an open mind and not become narrow-minded in your thinking or outlook.
  5. Understand leadership –This is an ongoing journey but through my experience, leadership is a critical element to getting the best out of individuals and the broader team. In my view, a couple of key aspects for good leadership that resonate with me in no order are - approachability, good communication, integrity and empathy. This list could go on but these are some personal standouts for me.
Five things you may not know about me…
  1. I’ve been to the Shaolin Temple twice for Kung Fu
  2. I participated in the World Wushu (Kung Fu) Games China in 2001
  3. I have been involved in Triathlons for 5 years over Sprint and Olympic distance
  4. I have been a drummer since the age of 14 (not in any bands)
  5. I’ve got a real sweet tooth!

5 MINUTES WITH MODO MIO’S LIZ KLOEKEID

Image Caption: Liz Kloekeid


Food has always been a passion for Modo Mio’s Commis Chef, Liz Klokeid.
 
Having recently been announced as one of three finalists for WA Apprentice of the Year in the 2020 WA Training Awards, CHAT sat down with Liz to ask her about her career to date and where she sees it going in the future.
 
Where does your passion for food come from? 
Food has always been a passion of mine, starting at a young age with my Father’s influence exposing me to different cultures and cuisines due to his extensive travel experience. I believe food creates a strong sense of community and has a universal ability to bring people together.
 
What are the best bits about being a chef and some of the most difficult?
Being a chef is an extremely rewarding career pathway. It’s a creative industry where I feel I am constantly being challenged. What I love about it is that I’m continuously learning on a day-to-day basis, about the industry, cooking techniques, cuisines, and new skills. It’s also really rewarding working as part of a team.
 
Some of the more difficult aspects are the hours and workload, however it is satisfying at the end of a busy day to know that you have challenged yourself and met your own and your team’s goals. You can walk into a shift and think “I am going to have to push myself today” and look back at the end of a service with a great sense of accomplishment.
 
What goals do you have for the future in the industry?
I currently want to focus on continuing to challenge myself and learn as much as I can from my fellow chefs and mentors. There is so much going on in the hospitality industry in WA now and I just want to immerse myself in it. I want to continue to learn about the amazing produce we have here in WA. Reflecting on the last three years as an apprentice, I have taken the initiative when various opportunities have presented themselves and at this stage, I would like to continue to challenge myself and see where it takes me.
 
What attributes do you think you need to be successful in the industry?
Firstly, you need to be passionate. You need to be able to work together as a team, be a good communicator, be driven, be able to take criticism and be accountable to turn it into a learning opportunity. You need to be organised and be able to multitask. You need to have confidence in yourself and be resilient. 
 
“Being a finalist for the WA Training Awards has been fantastic. I would love to continue to promote this long-term career pathway as it has been the best decision I have made and has led to endless opportunities”.
 
Please join us on congratulating Liz on this incredible achievement!