From Five-Star to Gold Star

Working for a 5-star luxury property is a common dream for many hospitality students. Few consider something a little more wholesome, such as working with a charity or non-for profit. There is however one BMIHMS graduate who has done both. He has worked in the nation’s capital with a premium brand, and now works with disadvantaged communities in western NSW.

I had the pleasure of meeting alumnus, Max Rabbett, at the 2016 BMIHMS at Torrens University Alumni Awards. Max was the recipient of the Social Responsibility Award for his work with the Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation. Below is some insight into his career so far.


Could you outline your career to date since graduating from BMIHMS?

On graduation, I started work at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra, as a Food and Beverage Team Leader. In conjunction with the Restaurant Manager we progressively restructured and raised the standard of the food and beverage outlets in the hotel. I was able to implement a lot of ideas which built up the presence of each outlet.

More recently, an opportunity arose in Dubbo which gave me the chance to move closer to my family. Whilst a world away from the luxury accommodation industry, I have experience, and am passionate about working with charities.


With both personal and professional interests invested I began an appointment with Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation, a non-for profit organisation, who offer training and assistance to long-term unemployed and disadvantaged people in communities throughout western NSW.

What specifically does your role with Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation involve? 

As the Food and Beverage Manager, I have opened and now manage a café. I am responsible for training and developing the trainee staff whose groups start every 6 months. As they learn the tricks of the trade and their confidence grows we assist them to find permanent jobs. All profits made by the café are put back into funding projects which directly aid members of the community.

Explain the type of training provided to staff working in the cafe?

There are two areas staff members will be trained in – hospitality operations and career skills. Hospitality operations covers barista skills, food safety and preparation, and customer service. Career skills training consists of resume writing, interview techniques, grooming and professionalism (all things I learnt at BMIHMS!).


You initially began your career with a luxury brand, do you see yourself remaining with a non-for profit, or returning to hotels?

I never imagined my career would take me back to where it all began – Dubbo. I am very grateful to be able to work with such a diverse group of people at Murdi Paaki. For my career now the rewards of watching the staff grow professionally and personally is fantastic. I always tell myself with passion comes great success, and for me this is where my passion is right now!

Eventually I will move back into hotels, most likely working within a luxury 5-star property. The experience I am gaining now will work in my favour. I am gaining a great deal of management experience and I love equipping people to succeed.

Max certainly has a CV differnt to most graduates. I look forward to seeing if he pursues his passion for luxury accommodation, or if helping those in need becomes his true calling.

Congratulations Max on winning the 2016 BMIHMS Alumni Corporate Social Responsibility Award.

Until next time… Joshua

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