Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith

Publican + Owner / The London Hotel + China Diner

Business Owner

Back in the day women called the shots in pubs all over Australia. They pulled beers, listened to weary traveller tales, and stopped all the beer brawls. Nowadays female publicans are few and far between, and that is why I am so excited for this #careerstory.

Meet Natasha Smith, Journalist turned Publication with one hell of a smart wit and audacious spirit.

Natasha grew up in Mosman, and after high school took up a cadetship at News Limited. What followed was five strenuous years, working as a journalist, writing for newspapers such as The Sydney Morning Herald – but her journey doesn’t stop there.

I hope that after reading this #careerstory that many of you will jump on the publican bandwagon, or better yet… See a future career in the exciting and fulfilling world of hospitality and management.

Personally, I am obsessed with Natasha and her ah-mazing career, and know that you will be as well

Happy International Day of The Girl, Let’s dive in.


Can you tell us a bit about where you grew up and how your experience shaped the person you are, and the career that you are in today?

I grew up in Mosman, NSW and went to Queenwood School for Girls, where I had a great group of friends that I am still in contact with today. Queenwood provided me with a great education, confidence and the mentality that working hard pays off.

Did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and future career?

High School was a great part of my life and helped me become the person I am today. The teachers at Queenwood School for Girls were very nurturing, happy and always taught us that you could do anything you set your mind to.

Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school? Tell us about that experience.

I completed a cadetship at News Limited (now, News Corp Australia). During my 5 years at News Limited, I worked in each sector of the company and proudly wrote numerous articles for newspapers such as The Australian. During my cadetship, I not only developed connections but also gained a new found respect for the news industry.

Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? Take us through the courses that you studied and why you chose them?

With the completion of my cadetship, it meant that I was a qualified/ graded Journalist.

Journalism was something that I was always very interested in, which is why I pursued it and stayed at News Limited for 5 years.

Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for, and explain any highlights.

After working as a journalist, I opened up my own daycare centre in Centennial Park. When I had my children, my interests shifted and I decided to get into the family business of pubs. When the opportunity arose for me to buy my family members out and take the challenge of owning The London I grabbed it.

Around about the same time, my husband Kingsley and I decided to buy out the shareholders of China Diner Bondi. Since we bought out the shareholders, we have expanded the China Diner brand and have recently opened a second venue in Double Bay. It has been a very exciting journey over the last three years.

China Diner in Double Bay

What is the hardest part of your current job?

The hardest part of my job would be balancing over 140 different staff members personalities.

What does a typical business day look like for you in your current job?

In the morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is check my emails and go through each venue report from the night before. Should there be any complaints or issues this is something that is dealt with first thing.

After I have finished with my emails, I head onto the Sydney Morning Herald Online and scroll through the homepage to see what’s happening in the world.

From here I wake up my kids, make sure they’re fed and drop them off to school. Once the kids have been dropped to school I head to Parsley Bay to have a morning training session. Once training is finished I head straight to The London Hotel / East London to have a management meeting about the venue.

After the meeting concludes I head over to China Diner Double Bay where I meet my friends for lunch. Before I collect the kids from school, I quickly stop by China Diner Bondi to ensure all staff are ready ahead of dinner service.

Once I leave Bondi, I had straight back to school to collect the kids and take them home for the day.

Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?

My hero and greatest inspiration would have to be my dad. His constant support and guidance has meant the world to me.

What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?

Go for it!

Natasha and her partner Kingsley.

List your most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration in your profession?

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