College Connections – The Merivale Group

Beresford Hotel

If you’ve read any of our blog articles or visited our website you may have noticed that we are a bit obsessed about connecting our college—particularly our students and graduates—with the lovely people in the big ol’ events industry. Our Managing Director, Boris Kelly likes to call it, ‘being plugged  into industry’.

And when we say ‘connecting’ to industry, we don’t just mean clicking the ‘connect’ button on Linkedin and sending out a few emails, we mean actually getting out there and forging professional relationships and negotiating rewarding partnerships with industry movers and shakers who are aligned with CoEM standards and values.

In an industry that works on a tried and true ‘who you know’ system, connections of this sort are essential, ideally coming together in a mutually beneficial scenario that works like this; our students need industry placement for volunteering, internships and employment and industry needs exceptionally reliable and skilled-up event management students and graduates…WIN/WIN!

So, with all that said, we thought it was about time to let you, our audience, know who some of our excellent industry friends are. The following groups in this series are at the top of our list as being particularly awesome organisations to partner with…

Ivy Pool Club

Ivy Pool Club – Sydney

The Merivale Group

Everyone in Sydney, not to mention the rest of Australia, knows the name Merivale. What started as a mecca of fashion and style in the 1970s, has become Sydney’s premier venue management group with a huge portfolio of venues—around 34 at last count—including Ivy, Establishment and Coogee Pavilion. Of course the Team at Merivale love putting on innovative and exciting events as much as we love teaching them; events such as regular gig Pacha, Italian Festival Week and the brilliant ‘March Into Merivale’, an annual event that showcases all that’s on offer in Merivale venues; all under one roof (and two laneways). Of course with so much going on, their event team is ever growing and that’s good news for CoEM graduates. We’ve had plenty of grads go on to work in a variety of positions in the Merivale Team; in event sales, in event operations and in event coordination.

Lachlan Burdis, a CoEM graduate who was employed by Merivale a few months after graduation happily chatted to us about his experience in Merivale’s Ops Team, “I love being a part of something—an event—that others go to, to escape their everyday lives and will treasure in their memories (hopefully even till they’re extremely old).” He adds, “Everyone at Merivale is so friendly and eager to help you in any way they can. A lot of companies claim to have the ‘family’ feel but I have never truly felt it until working at Merivale”.

“I love being a part of something—an event—that others go to, to escape their everyday lives and will treasure in their memories (hopefully even till they’re extremely old).” – CoEM Grad Lachlan Burdis

Kathy Savill, Director of Sales and Events at Merivale is a very busy lady. Can you imagine what it would be like to oversee that many events in that many venues? We sat down for lunch one day and chatted about what it was like to work in such a fabulous organisation. It was really obvious just how truly passionate she was about her role and the company she worked for. “I love working at Merivale because every second of the day is different to the previous. I work with incredibly professional, inspiring and innovative people who just want to get better and better all the time.” She was also forthcoming with some tips for those wanting to enter the event management industry, “Be prepared to do anything to get in. Ideally, you should have ‘worked the floor’ and never, ever, ever say ‘That’s not my job. Learn to question rather than speak. Be passionate and interested – in people, food, drinks, service, design.’

Merivale Establishment


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