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The Tusk Takeover

Helena Game

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the hospitality industry, as a customer or as a worker, you may have noticed something.

Did it seem as though there were more men than women serving in places like bars and high-end hotels? If it did, you aren’t alone, and this is an issue that is particularly close to Tusk founder Charlotte Stevens’ heart.

Tusk is Charlotte’s brainchild, (born just one month ago!) and a collaboration with an all-female crew that aims to uplift the status of women to be on par with men in the hospitality industry, where they are traditionally under-represented, especially in specialist or managerial roles.

“I’ve been working in hospitality for six years, and the lack of women [working in the industry] really started to weigh on me,” explains Charlotte. “You see it behind the coffee machine, there aren’t many women baristas, there aren’t many female managers, there aren’t enough women behind the bar and there aren’t as many female chefs.”

Tusk founder Charlotte Stevens

Tusk founder Charlotte Stevens

Charlotte says there is a widespread assumption within the industry that women will not be as knowledgeable about aspects of their jobs, even down to alcohol preference.

“There is a systemic prejudice that women don’t drink whiskey, don’t drink beer, and that they aren’t interested in it,” she says.

Charlotte also tells the unsettling story of a previous boss being reluctant to hire additional female staff, because he was worried that men would not want to be sold whiskey by employees who were women.

The Tusk Takeover at Bar Rochford will be a four-course dinner with two sittings on Sunday 30 April, one from 6pm-8pm, and the second from 8.30pm-late, with a strict turnaround policy in between the two. Gender diverse music group Good Content will provide the music for those who want to kick on.


The menu has been designed by AKIBA head chef Laura Dale, and while it remains a surprise, Charlotte says it’s been inspired by a mother’s cooking.

“Laura has done a fantastic job with the menu… it’s food that you’d find at Mum’s house… it’s an homage to good food, but food that’s also humble.”

All proceeds from the event will go to White Ribbon.

the essentials

What: A four-course meal with two sittings, the first from 6pm-8pm, the second from 8:30pm-late. Tickets are $80 per person, and will be released on the Tusk website on Monday 10 April
Where: Bar Rochford, 65 London Circuit, Canberra City
When: Sunday 30 April
Find more information and book tickets here: www.tuskcollaborative.com/whatson

All photos by Lean Timms


Helena Game

Helena is a wannabe journalist studying Communications and Journalism at the University of Canberra. Canberra born and bred, she is hopelessly in love with writing, stories and travel. She recently wrote her way around Japan for a creative writing study tour, and spent another two weeks in the Middle East on a journalism exchange, both of which have left her with a proper case of the post-travel blues. While she plots her next adventure, Helena is hoping to gain as much industry experience as humanly possible, and somehow finish her degree at the same time. More about the Author