AHA Victoria President David Canny has been elected unopposed as the new National President, after Scott Leach stood down, following an unprecedented five years in the position.

Canny will now lead the nations hotels as they recover from the impacts of the pandemic and will be joined by AHA South Australia’s David Basheer, the new Senior Vice-President, the Tasmanian Hospitality Association’s Ben Carpenter who is the new National Secretary/Treasurer, while the Northern Territory’s Paul Palmer remains Vice-President.

Leach – who has also been the AHA NSW President since 2008 and will continue in that role – was elected to the national presidency on 31 October 2016 and led Australia’s hotels through the most tumultuous times in their history.

“It has been an honour to serve as National President for the last five years – during what has been a particularly challenging time for our sector,” Leach said.

“Hotels were at the economic front-line of the pandemic – were among the first businesses to close and last to fully re-open. I am particularly proud of the resilience and community spirit shown by hoteliers’ right around Australia during my time in office.

“The AHA really is a family and I thank everyone for their assistance and advice during my time as National President – especially my wife Clare who has given up a lot of family time to allow me to fulfil this role.”

Incoming National President, David Canny, a second-generation hotelier, has been licensee at the Red Lion Hotel, Ballarat since 1995 and is director of the Montague Hotel, South Melbourne.

He joined the AHA (Vic) Council in 1998 and in 2008 was elected to the AHA (Vic) Executive Committee. He is now in his fourth year as Victorian AHA President. A life member of AHA (Vic) he has been a delegate on the National Board since 2013 – and most recently served as AHA National Senior Vice-President.

He said it was a privilege to be elected to the position of National President.

“I thank Scott for his leadership at the national level – particularly during the darkest days of the pandemic. He has commanded a unified and committed Board,” Canny said.

“It’s an honour to be elected as National President and I look forward to working closely with all state and territory branches as the industry continues to recover from the pandemic and we work to solve issues such as the chronic worker shortage.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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