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Salute to Excellence Awards kick-start student tourism and hospitality careers

Six students from North Lakes State College, Helensvale State High School, Stanthorpe State High School, and Albany Creek State High School have been recognised for their dedication to excellence in food and beverage, cookery and tourism training at the 2015 Salute to Excellence Awards.

The Awards were announced during a presentation ceremony at Dreamworld (Gold Coast) on Friday 17 July where industry representatives, judges, sponsors, teachers, friends and family gathered to celebrate the achievements of finalists and winners.

The annual Salute to Excellence Awards program is hosted by Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) to celebrate outstanding achievement among Year 11 and 12 students from Queensland’s state, independent and catholic secondary schools.

The group of student participants undertaking stand-alone vocation education and training or a school-based traineeship in Queensland were judged by a panel of industry leaders representing Queensland’s tourism and hospitality sectors.

Shortlisted finalists attended a Skills Test Day in June at Franklyn Scholar’s Spring Hill campus which comprised an interview, theory test and practical evaluation.

QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the Awards program highlights the importance of vocational education and training among secondary schools across Queensland.

“The Salute to Excellence program encourages these graduating students into forging a rewarding and successful career in their chosen industry,” Mr Gschwind said.

“The high calibre judges of the Salute to Excellence program gladly share their knowledge with participants.

“This is a highly valuable and critical element of the program where judges provide constructive feedback, encouragement and insight into how students can best shape a career in tourism or hospitality.”

The QTIC Salute to Excellence Awards program is proudly supported by major partners BUSY At Work, One Step Further and Hostplus.

BUSY At Work’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Miles said he was delighted to be a major sponsor of the awards.

“BUSY At Work is thrilled to once again be major sponsors at this year’s Salute to Excellence Awards. BUSY are enthusiastic promoters and supporters of school-based traineeships and apprenticeships,” Mr Miles said.

“I encourage all students to consider vocational education and training, giving you the best head start either into university or to gain employment in your chosen career. There are now more than 600 qualifications available in Australian Apprenticeships, including many opportunities in hospitality and tourism.

“I congratulate our Year 11 and 12 winners for this year’s awards. You have been recognised for your dedication and effort that you have given to your training.”

One Step Further CEO Jo Smith said she is proud to support the Salute to Excellence program which encourages students to work hard and achieve their career aspirations.

“The One Step Further International Institute of Excellence has a clear focus on attitude, supported by the belief that every student will succeed – just like the students who have proven their dedication to learning and growing through the 2014 Salute to Excellence program,” Ms Smith said.

Hostplus CEO David Elia said as the national super fund for people working in hospitality and tourism, Hostplus is thrilled to support the Salute to Excellence Awards.

“It’s just one of the many ways we are helping to support these industries by providing structured pathways for future talent,” Mr Elia said.

Program partners and supporters included BUSY at Work, One Step Further, HOSTPLUS, Tourism and Events Queensland, Franklyn Scholar, Aria, Institute of Culinary Excellence, Emporium Hotels, Australia Zoo, Noosa Boathouse, Story Bridge Adventure Climb, reamworld and MAV.

QTIC is the peak industry body for tourism in Queensland, acting as “The Voice of Tourism”. QTIC is a private sector, membership-based organisation representing the interests of the tourism and hospitality industry across Queensland.

Queensland’s tourism industry generates 241,000 jobs and delivers $23 billion in Gross State Product for the state.

1st Prize Food and Beverage Cookery Tourism

Emma Tobler
North Lakes State College


• Diploma of Hospitality at One Step Further

• “A Day in the Life” work shadowing experience at the Emporium Hotel, Brisbane.

Monique Howell
Helensvale State High School


• $5,000 scholarship to the Institute of Culinary Excellence

• 2 weeks’ work experience at Aria restaurant and two cookbooks

Matthew Williamson
Stanthorpe State High School


• Diploma of Tourism at One Step Further

• “A Day in the Life” work shadowing experience at the Queensland Tourism Industry Council.

Runner Up

Jade Sims
North Lakes State College


• Di Bella Coffee course, production house tour and gift bag

• $150 Noosa Boathouse dining voucher

Sylvia Regan
Helensvale State High School


• 1 day Allison Taafe Cooking School program and cookbook.

• $200 Aria dining voucher

Regan Tunnicliffe
Albany Creek State High School


• Australia Zoo experience and tour

• Story Bridge Climb experience

Encouragement Award Food and Beverage

Alexandra Rayner

St Monica’s College (Cairns)

Category Judges

• Paul Shakespeare, Training Consultant at Franklyn Scholar

• Sean Langford, Sales Executive from Kingfisher Bay Resort

• Aanat Abdelhak, Cookery Teacher from Franklyn Scholar

• Udayasen Mohite, Deputy Executive Chef from Royal International Convention Centre

• Jules McMurtrie, Relationship Manager at Gateway Schools to Food, Wine and Tourism Industry

• Laura McGrath, Marketing Coordinator at Southern Queensland Country Tourism

Image: Winners and Runners Up (L-R): Sylvia Reagan, Jade Sims, Emma Tobler, Stephanie Wright, Matthew Williamson, Regan Tunnicliffe and Alexandra Rayner

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