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David Smith

David Smith's journey to success with Marriott International

David Smith was finding it challenging to stay in a job for very long, before he decided to enrol in the Marriott Journey to Success Program. David confesses,

“In the past I’ve only had jobs for a couple of weeks because I would always quit. I would find the smallest issue…and I would just quit.”

The Marriott Journey to Success Program, in partnership with Allara Learning, aims to help Indigenous and disadvantaged youth by providing skills training, employment opportunities and long-term careers in the hospitality industry.

The program includes a blend of practical skills training and on-site work experience, with a focus on customer service, teamwork, conflict handling, and safety and hygiene.

Trainers and mentors from Allara Learning and Marriott International also help to build participants’ confidence and resilience.

Andrew Lewis, CEO of Allara Learning said:

“We are excited to be a part of this wonderful initiative. Marriott International is a global industry leader and the Journey to Success program has the potential to offer participants incredible opportunities and affect real change in their lives.”

The first program kicked-off in August 2019. Marriott International hotels that participated in the inaugural program include: Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay, Courtyard by Marriott Sydney-North Ryde, Pier One Sydney Harbour, Autograph Collection, Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Central Park and Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park.

David Smith was one of 23 participants who successfully finished the first Journey to Success program.

“In the past, I didn’t really have a good work attitude, because I would quit too easily and didn’t really see things through. After this course I’ve turned into a completely different person.”

David Smith, Food & Beverage attendant, Marriott Courtyard Sydney-North Ryde

Following the course, David remarked: “In the past, I didn’t really have a good work attitude, because I would quit too easily and didn’t really see things through. After this course I’ve turned into a completely different person.”

Davis also attributes the course to helping him to come out of his shell;

“Before this course I was really shy and wasn’t very good at socialising with people. But because of the course, even just the 15 or 20 other people that were in the course, being around them and talking to them really opened me up to social experiences, and it helped me to be confident in dealing with customers.”

Following the completion of training and work experience, David was offered a job as Food & Beverage attendant with Marriott Courtyard Sydney-North Ryde.

Speaking of his new job, David says, “I really love this job”, adding “My managers have been the best managers I’ve ever had in any job. They’re really supportive and understanding…they really trust me and it feels really good that they have that trust in me.”

““There are plenty of opportunities to grow in this company, and because it’s a Marriott hotel they have thousands of hotels all over the world.””

David Smith, Food & Beverage attendant, Marriott Courtyard Sydney-North Ryde

Today, David has been employed with Marriott for over three years. Looking ahead David says he could see himself stepping up to becoming a Food & Beverage Manager, before adding:

“There are plenty of opportunities to grow in this company, and because it’s a Marriott hotel they have thousands of hotels all over the world.”

Asked for his reflection about participating in the Marriott Journey to Success program David says simply:

“Thank you for the opportunity, it’s honestly turned my life around.”

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To participate in the next Marriott Journey to Success Program or for more information, please contact us


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Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of approximately 8,000 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 139 countries and territories. For more information, please visit Marriott’s website at www.marriott.com