A moment for the lessons we learnt from Dad this Father’s Day

We love a good dad joke, but there’s something about the lessons our dads teach us that we think is worth celebrating this Father’s Day. We asked three of our Starward team members what life lessons they’ve learned from their dad — and what drink they’re serving up in his honour on Sunday September 4.

Two guys laughing making cocktails

David Vitale, Starward Founder

Originally a craft beer fan from Tasmania, David turned to whisky after realising everything he loved about beer were evident in single malt whiskies. For David, creating Starward was about patience and belief, because at the time creating a distinctly Australian whisky that was going to mature in wine barrels was unproven. The rest, as they say, is history (and award winning).

A father of three himself, David remembers his own father as a man with a strong work ethic and deep generosity — it’s what he loved the most about him. ‘Dad was a kid at heart, and loved being around them,’ says David. The lesson that remains with him to this day is ‘you can judge the character of a man based on the shine of their shoes.’ Although his dad never got to taste Starward, David knows he’d be a fan. ‘If I could fix him a drink, it would be the Founder Spec Starward Manhattan. Pour 2 (generous) parts Nova, 1-part Cocchi di Torino Vermouth and Peychauds Bitters — and make sure you give it a good stir.’  

 Morgan Bell, Starward People and Culture Coordinator

Delivering all aspects of the employee lifecycle and HR services at Starward is what Morgan does best —and helping support a team creating new world whisky is a fulfilling job she enjoys every day.

For Morgan, the lessons of hard work and always making time for your passions are what her dad imparted. ‘Dad is a hardworking rock star!’ she says. ‘I love that he’s always willing to give things a go — from trying new recipes and listening to new bands, to discovering places he’s never been before.’ Morgan also admires the fact that her dad always finds the time to do things that he enjoys, and he encourages her to do the same.

Natalie with her dad at the Starward Distillery

Natalie Powell, Starward Brand Manager
From managing Starward’s pipeline of innovation to new product development, Natalie has the pleasure of working cross functionally with Starward’s award-winning distillers and blenders. It’s playing a part in taking Starward to new horizons — and audiences—that is so rewarding for Natalie, who loves seeing whisky lovers around the globe enjoying Starward.

‘My Dad, Kevin, has always been a wise man. He is a wonderful storyteller and encouraged me to pursue a career in marketing,’ Natalie shares. ‘A respected business professional and leader in his day, Dad was “just Dad” at home; humorous, spontaneous, full of surprises and adventures. He was always present and eagerly interested in my education and sporting activities in my early years — something I’m mindful of
when juggling work and my own family commitments with 3 busy boys.’

Growing up, Natalie remembers several of Kevin’s values and lessons in which she still lives by today: be kind, helpful, grateful and respect others; work hard; make time to celebrate life’s rewards and live a life with no regrets.

When asked to describe Kevin in one sentence, Natalie says: “Dad is a big kid with a heart of gold, who loves making people smile.” Finding it an (understandably) hard task to summarise all the reasons she loves him, Natalie tries to narrow it down to just a few: “He’s a proud, dedicated and generous family man and caring pop — he’s also a reliable and loyal friend.”

On September 4, Natalie will be making sure Kevin is enjoying a neat Starward Octave Barrels Single Malt Whisky with a delicious slow cooked lamb and red wine casserole. “And for dessert, a coffee old fashioned served over ice with my son’s homemade sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce.” Lucky Kevin!