Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia CEO, Matthew Cameron-Smith

What was your first job in the accommodation industry and how long were you in it?

I was the national sales manager for the Rydges Nautilus Resort in Coffs Harbour and I loved it! I held the role for around two years before moving into a national leisure sales role with Rydges Hotels and Resorts and I still believe Coffs Harbour is an amazing destination.  

Can you tell us a funny, embarrassing or memorable story involving you from the early part of your career?

There are a few…starting with being a breakfast cook in a mining camp and forgetting to turn on the hotbox one morning, so I served cold food to unhappy hungry miners!

One other that comes to mind is having had to ask someone what FOC stands for! I’m still not sure I know…..

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to young people assessing whether hospitality or tourism is right for them as a profession?

It is an amazing industry that offers a diverse range of opportunities. I have been fortunate to work for hotels in London, Asia, the Middle East, New Zealand and across Australia and believe you can achieve anything if you are prepared to work for it.