A Legacy of Dedication: The Rising Sun Hotel’s Stewards Awarded the 2024 Nikakis Benchmark Award 

AHA (Vic) and National President, David Canny said in his speech, “One half of tonight’s Nikakis Award recipient was born into a life in the pub, filling fridges, cleaning glasses and by 12 years of age, pulling beers. Training as an accountant and then working in a factory in Kyneton, returning to the pub was an easy choice. A future in pubs was cemented. Being elected as an AHA (Vic) Councillor in 1982, provided the avenue for their important contributions to industry affairs, including being the long-standing Chair of the Bendigo Division. And like so many successful country publicans, having a partner by your side, equal to the task, is the cornerstone of a community driven pub. The family custodians of this pub since 1953. Pat Sheehan and Marilyn Bell of the Rising Sun Hotel in Bendigo have dedicated their lives to their community, championing the rights of pubs and hotels in their region. They have continually embraced change by innovating to meet the needs of their customers, and through their longstanding engagement with the Australian Hotels Association (AHA), they have significantly contributed to the success of the pub and hotel industry.”

Marilyn Bell and Pat Sheehan

Pat and Marilyn have been the family custodians of the Rising Sun Hotel since 1953. Together, they have played a significant role in their local community through involvement in Bendigo Tourism, the Strathdale-Maristians Cricket Club, Sandhurst Footy Club, Bendigo Racing, the Marong Cup Committee, and the Bendigo Rotary. Their sustained performance and commitment to their customers, community, and peers serve as an inspiration to all.

Their dedication extends beyond their local community. They have shown unwavering commitment to the AHA, supporting numerous events, and have always been eager to travel and socialise with their colleagues. This spirit of camaraderie and shared purpose has furthered their contributions to the industry. 

Rising Sun Hotel Bendigo