Three students from Albany Creek State High School battled it out with 21 other students from Queensland at the recently concluded 24th annual QTIC Salute to Excellence Awards Skills Test Day to gain the title of the best in the state in three categories: Tourism, Food and Beverage and Cookery.
At the start of 2021, the next generation of tourism and hospitality leaders participated at the Vocational Education and Training (VET) schools.
On 28 June 2021, all 24 competitors successfully completed the Skills Test where they went through a rigorous program comprising a cookery competition in a commercial kitchen, a food and beverage service competition, and a tourism holiday itinerary presentation. The students were also interviewed and assessed by a panel of judges.
The final judging round will close on 8 July and the winners will be announced during a special ceremony on 26 July at the Hilton Hotel.
“After I began my tourism course, working in the tourism industry became a serious consideration for my after-school career options. Salute to Excellence has given me the opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge and expand my experience with tourism,” Georgia Newell, the Albany Creek student said.
“I enjoy the ability to help people achieve and enjoy their dream holiday or experience. Having to push myself to prepare for Salute to Excellence has taught me so much about the tourism industry while also allowing me to expand my career options and passion for tourism.”
Fellow student Linh Nguyen was inspired to join the Salute to Excellence Awards after virtually witnessing the activities in 2020.
“After listening to the guest speakers front QTIC, and Young Tourism Ambassador, I was amazed by the opportunities available in the tourism industry. By entering the competition, I have challenged myself and gained valuable experiences,” Linh said, adding that the experience allowed the student to gain valuable and develop a professional resume.
Leisel Clements believed she could do well in the Salute to Excellence program after getting a nudge from her teacher.
“I read into it and became really interested as its a great opportunity to become a part of the tourism industry,” Leisel said.
“I most enjoy learning about the domestic tourism in Australia, specifically Outback Queensland as not many people hear about it too often. I’m hoping to gain more knowledge and experience that in future I can apply in the tourism industry.”
QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said that it was inspiring to watch the students compete with passion.
“With the current skill shortages, it has never been more important to support emerging professionals and equipping them with the skills to take on the opportunities our industry offers,” Mr Gschwind said. “It is important to put a spotlight on the importance of vocational education and training in secondary schools across the state, that is where we will find the next leaders in for industry”.
To learn more about the Salute to Excellence Awards, visit the Queensland Tourism Industry Council website.