Matt was the first winner of our ‘Get Real Events Experience’ scholarship program when it first started in 2010. At the time of the program, he was a Year 11 student studying at The Riverina Anglican College in Wagga Wagga. As a finalist of the program, he was given a week of valuable working experience at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre (now the International Convention Center (ICC) in Darling Harbour.

When Matt won the scholarship and went on to study at Kenvale, the Convention Centre was quick to offer him employment. Matt worked there for the two years while he was at Kenvale and was promoted as their Catering Shift Leader even before he graduated.

Soon after his graduation in 2012, Matt landed the role as the Operations Manager at Zest Waterfront Venues at The Spit, in Mosman.  This involved everything from hiring, ordering, rostering, stocktake, execution of events and more – with approximately 30 staff working under him. Matt worked here till late 2015 when he was offered his current role as Restaurant Manager at Searock Grill which is a prestigious restaurant in the iconic Sydney Harbour.

And now, things have come full circle – last year Matt participated in Get Real as an employer, hosting his first Get Real student for a week of work placement!  He was able to give them the same opportunity that once started him on his own career path.  This year he will continue to support the program, taking on another lucky Get Real student for a week of experience under his guidance.

“Kenvale gives you the opportunity and confidence to seek and explore different working environments.  This may be human resources, front desk, event management, operational work, restaurant etc. Kenvale supports you every way as you explore the real world after high school.

Their experienced lecturers, small class sizes and extensive mentoring program give you ample opportunity to exceed in this dynamic industry.”

Matt Cairns, Restaurant Manager at Searock Grill and

Kenvale Graduate


Thank you for inviting us – we really did appreciate it. I must say I was really impressed by the Briar Ridge team – one of them (… Aiden) did a really great job explaining who they were, what they were about etc., and really took the time to give us the background on the person behind it all (Gwyn Olsen). He’d clearly immersed himself in the project, and I think she’d have been really pleased if she’d seen that. Happy to reach out and tell her so if you think it would help pave the way for future events.

- Anonymous, Winefest Guest 2015

I just wanted to express thanks and congratulations to all at Kenvale for the magnificent lunch provided on Thursday.

I have been to many hatted restaurants this year and can honestly say that they would have struggled to produce such fantastic dishes.

The lunch was a credit to your students and your staff.  It would be a privilege to enjoy another visit next year.

Best wishes to your graduating students for success in their career and to your staff to continue to guide students to reach such a high standard.

- Anonymous public guest at Kenvale Restaurant 2015

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