By Peter Owen
AFTER 19 years at the helm of one of Australia’s finest golf resorts, Mark Brady announced he’d be leaving Noosa Springs Golf and Spa Resort for a life of retirement.
But he plans to spend the first part of the rest of his life doing what he loves best – playing Masters cricket for Queensland and Australia.
Brady joined Noosa Springs as a casual golf attendant when the resort opened 23 years ago.
“My job was to tie golfers’ clubs onto their carts, then wash the carts down when they were finished,” Brady said.
Clearly, he was destined for greater things at Noosa Springs and four years later Phil Starkey, whose family owned and developed Noosa Springs, offered him the job as general manager.
“It came out of the blue and I was a bit stunned,” said Brady, who at the time had become golf superintendent, reporting to golf director Chris Rutherford.
“I thought about it, then told Phil to put me on a six-month trial,” Brady said. “If I was doing okay then I’d stay on. If not, I’d get my old job back.”
There was no going back for Mark Brady.
He looks back at his 19 years as executive general manager with pride, and a sense of satisfaction.
“I’m really glad to see that Noosa Springs has grown and developed, and gone from strength to strength,” he said. “It’s a credit to the people I’ve worked with for nearly two decades.”
Only two members of Noosa Spring’s team have been at the resort as long as Brady – greens superintendent Wayde Leech and greenkeeper Darren Nopper.
Though he says his greatest achievement is being a parent to daughters Summer, Jakarra and Kaycee, Brady has been responsible for developing Noosa Springs into a tourism showpiece, and overseeing the growth of the resort’s golf course into one of Australia’s finest.
He plans to take part in a masters’ cricket carnival on the Sunshine Coast during July. Then he and his wife will head to Darwin on the first leg of a round-Australia caravan holiday that will keep them away until January.
The trek will be briefly interrupted when Brady returns to the Sunshine Coast to represent Australia in the Over 60s cricket World Cup from September 2 to 15.
Brady will be replaced by Dan Chandler, who has been at Noosa Springs for 14 years, initially as a food and beverage supervisor, then Front of House Manager and, most recently, Operations Manager.
Chandler, who has degrees in business management and hospitality management and managed restaurants in Hastings St before joining Noosa Springs, said he was honoured to have been given the role.