Sandy Oatley's winning ways

Sandy Oatley, owner of Hamilton Island, says keeping staff happy – even in paradise – is a challenge.

“Staff.” It’s the first word to issue from the mouth of Hamilton Island’s executive chairman when I ask him what makes a luxury resort tick. And Sandy Oatley should know: he’s invested $350 million in the island since acquiring it, owns the resorts, controls the restaurants and relies on more than 800 people to help run it. To achieve this, he must overcome a twin challenge: First, there’s the hospitality industry’s notoriously high staff turnover. Then, there’s the 'easy come, easy go' nature of island life.

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