Albany Creek SHS Students Clinch Top Honours at the Salute to Excellence Awards

A student of Albany Creek State High School clinched the top prize for Tourism whilst two other locals were recognised for their abilities in the annual 24th annual Salute to Excellence Awards. 

After completing a rigorous Skills Test in June 2021, Linh Nguyen was named the Tourism winner with Georgia Newell as runner-up and Leisel Clements as a finalist. They all attend Albany Creek State High School. 

The yearly event, mounted by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council’s (QTIC), is a tough competition involving students, schools, employers and training organisations in the tourism and hospitality industry. The competitors were judged on their cooking skills in the commercial kitchen, abilities in food and beverage service, and tourism holiday itinerary presentation.

This year had one of the highest numbers of participants. Some 128 schools across Queensland take part in QTIC programs to encourage young talents to consider the tourism and hospitality industry as a career choice is essential to the growth of the sector. 

“The Salute to Excellence Awards is a great stepping-stone into the industry and we take pride in seeing participants continue their journey to go on to be a chef, hotel manager, travel consultants, event managers and more,” QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said. 

“The Salute to Excellence Awards is a terrific way to promote careers and to inspire both students and teachers in the incredible opportunities in tourism,” Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe  as he congratulated the winners.

“Quality training leads to quality services and quality experiences for visitors – a vital ingredient for Queensland’s continued success. We need to celebrate the passion and achievements of these young, aspiring professionals and support them on their tourism journey.”

Photo Credit: Supplied

Here is the full list of winners:

Cookery Category

  • Winner: Abbey Kuhnell – Mount Saint Patrick College Murwillumbah
  • Runner Up: Erik Brown – Rochedale State High School
  • Finalist: Charlotte Fehser – South Bank Tafe
  • Finalist: Ethan Alborn – Helensvale State High School 
  • Finalist: Hayden Drewett – Brisbane Bayside State College
  • Finalist: Henry Bibby – Brisbane Bayside State High School 
  • Finalist: Cadence Purkis-Arthur – Kirwan State High School 
  • Finalist: Shaeleigh Shearer – Calamvale Community College
  • Finalist: Liam Wooltorton – Helensvale State High School 

Food & Beverage Category

  • Winner: Paris Foody – Riverside Christian College
  • Runner Up: Jay Lyblác – Tafe Queensland, Brisbane State High School 
  • Finalist: Ava Croatta – Endeavour Christian College
  • Finalist: Emily Hudson – Riverside Christian College
  • Finalist: Jharlee Mcdermott – Kirwan State High School
  • Finalist: Micah Johnson – Riverside Christian College
  • Finalist: Sophie Doyle – Riverside Christian College

Tourism Category

  • Winner: Linh Nguyen – Albany Creek State High School 
  • Runner Up: Georgia Newell – Albany Creek State High School 
  • Finalist: Clay Robertson – St Patricks College
  • Finalist: Leisel Clements – Albany Creek State High School 
  • Finalist: Chloe McConnell – Kirwan State High School  

Teacher/Trainer Category

  • Winner: Leah Cremen – Calamvale Community College
  • Runner Up: Donna Jenkin – James Nash State High School