pre employment program hospitality, pre employment programs, getting a job in hospitality, getting a job in hotel, employment in hotels, entry level hotel jobs Success Stories

Success Stories from the AAoA Academy

One of the many success stories is Rahn Hedley who participated in one of the AAoA Academy Training Programs - Certificate II in Hospitality. He was placed into work placement as a dish washer at the Novotel Sydney Rockford Darling Harbour. 

Rahn Hedley (L) and David Sude, Hotel Manager at Novotel Sydney Rockford Darling Harbour (R)

“I personally spoke to Rahn to enquire if he was happy with his work placement. He mentioned he had tried to apply for several jobs in the hospitality industry and had not been given a chance due to lack of experience. He was happy to do any task and he just wanted his foot in the door to prove himself,” said Troy.

With the support from the Novotel Sydney Rockford Daring Harbour, Rahn was employed post his work placement as a dish washer and, in conjunction with training from Accor Hotels, has now worked his way up to holding a key role as a Guest Service Agent on the Front Desk  at reception. 

“The AAoA Academy program was great to give me the skills and opportunity to prove myself to the staff at Novotel Sydney Rockford. I want to thank all the key people and look forward to a long term career in the industry and at Accor Hotels” Rahn said.

Nada Alameddine, The HR Manager, at the Novotel Sydney Rockford Darling Harbour said “When we have industry bodies such as the AAoA training and re-skilling job seekers with an active interest in the hospitality industry we can’t help but provide a work placement spot at our hotel for these candidates.  To give them the opportunity to kick start a career in hospitality is a wonderful initiative that we are proud to be associated with” 
“Rahn is one of many stories and I am thankful that the industry and many employers like the Novotel Sydney Rockford Darling Harbour continue to support the AAoA Academy which is important to the industry” said Troy.

For more information on the AAoA Academy, or to provide your support through job placement, please contact Troy Schufft, AAoA Academy Director at

Another success story from a recent program the AAoA Academy supported in Melbourne was Ba See, a Burmese refugee now working at the Mantra St Kilda Road Hotel. Ba See attended pre-employment training supported by the AAoA academy, delivered by Training Unlimited, and completed his PaTH internship at the Mantra Tullamarine Hotel.

“Through the training Ba See was drawn to the kitchen and expressed a significant interest in becoming an apprentice chef. With the fantastic support of the Mantra Group, Ba See completed his 4-week internship and was subsequently offered an apprenticeship with the Mantra Group,” Troy Schufft, AAoA Academy Director said.

“Ba See travelled over an hour each way for his internship in Tullamarine and with the support of his jobactive provider, Sarina Russo Job Access; his ongoing employment was transferred to the Mantra St Kilda Road Hotel which had an existing need for an apprentice chef and is closer to Ba See’s home,” Troy said.

Ba See, a refugee at age 11 from Burma, through the Youth Jobs PaTH, now has a long term career ahead of him, in our industry. “The AAoA Academy, through its support and training program, gave me the chance to prove myself to the Mantra Group. I wouldn’t have had that opportunity without this program and I would like to thank the AAoA Academy, Mantra Group and Chef Patil for all their support,” Said Ba.

“The AAoA Academy is fully supportive of giving job seekers, of all ages, opportunities to gain employment in our industry, especially where they’re unlikely to progress through the mainstream recruitment processes – due solely to lack of experience. The work placement / internship enables employers to assess the job seeker in a live work placement which, in some ways, is the interview process. I personally would like to thank the Mantra Group and Sarina Russo Job Access for supporting the initiative,” Said Troy.

For more information or to support future initiatives, please contact Troy Schufft, AAoA Academy Director at