Wanita Henricus is basically part of the furniture at The Club, Beaudesert.
For someone so young, Wanita has a long association with the place formerly known as the Beaudesert RSL.
Wanita, now 38, first did casual shifts in the bistro as a teenager in the late 90s and is even pictured in a framed staff group photograph from 1998, titled ‘Our Grand Opening Year’.
She returned in 2006 after uni, switched from bistro to bar and eventually worked her way into her current role as Marketing and Events Supervisor.
But Wanita’s value at The Club transcends job titles and can be seen as much in the cheeky banter with regulars as the way she expertly handles her many responsibilities.
When Wanita really wants to relax, she watches a horror movie.
Her favourite is 1994 classic ‘Interview with the Vampire’, starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.
She loves the adrenaline rush and has happy childhood memories of watching horror movies with her dad, William, on the family farm at Kerry.
“He’d go, ‘I’ll give you five bucks if you go outside and run around the fig tree’, and this was in pitch black after watching Freddy Krueger,” she said with a laugh.
Wanita counts her mum Elizabeth, as one of the most inspiring people in her life.
They’ve worked together over the years, including at Kooralbyn Resort years ago and at the RSL until Elizabeth was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in 2013.
“I just think about when mum was in her best state. It’s good here (at The Club) because I have all those good memories of her,” she said.
“Mum would do anything for anyone.”
If all goes to plan Wanita will visit Fiji with her friends later this year.
It’ll be her first overseas holiday in a decade.
She hasn’t travelled widely but has grown up with a strong Sri Lankan influence at home via her dad, who emigrated from Sri Lanka in his 20s before meeting her mum.
They moved to their 33-acre property in the Kerry Valley when Wanita was 3, adding her little brother Damien to the mix on Wanita’s fifth birthday.
Working in hospitality was never the plan, but Wanita loves where she’s landed.
She majored in Creative Writing and Cyber Studies (including website coding) at Griffith Uni on the Gold Coast but found her niche closer to home.
She gets to flex her creativity, doing advertising, website and social media for The Club, and loves her side hustle selling long-lasting makeup.
“I got very excited when they offered me this position at The Club. It was a bit of validation that I had a degree, I could do it,” she said.
“The thing I love is I know our regulars, I know what they’re going to have to drink, and I can gee them up. That sense of community is nice, and I’ve known some of them since the 90s.”