Why did you want to study a Bachelor of Tourism?
When I was younger I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I grew up in Rockhampton, Central Queensland, and went to North Rockhampton State School. I managed to get a traineeship in the tourism industry through school. I worked in the tourism industry for three years and wanted to learn more, so I thought the best way to do that was to go to university.
How did you hear about the Accor Hotels scholarship?
I applied for a few universities, but then I learned that Bond University had an Indigenous scholarship available. I applied for it but missed out. Then an Indigenous corporation contacted me to say there was another Indigenous scholarship through Accor Hotels designed specifically for studying tourism. So I called Bond University and asked if I could go for that one, and they said, “Yes, absolutely!”
What did you enjoy most about your time at Bond University?
Lots of things. The people that I met were great. And I was in one of the only departments with an advisory board. So we got to meet people working within the hotel and tourism industry, such as Carnival Cruises. We were able to ask them about the best ways to get jobs. So that’s how my network started to grow. I was also involved in the Bond Indigenous Awareness Society, which promotes Indigenous culture on campus and throughout the local community. And I was president of Bond University’s Hotel and Tourism Students’ Association.
What were the challenges?
Moving away from my family in Rockhampton – that was really difficult. Also, at first, the study/work balance was hard to maintain. I got a job at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth when I moved down here, but because of the constraints of uni, it was a real challenge to work as well. But after I got used to studying, it was okay. Then I was able to get a job at the Mercure Gold Coast Resort and I’ve worked here for a year or so.
What difference has Accor Hotels’ support made to your life and future?
A big difference. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to go to university. Accor Hotels has given me the chance to do that. And I’ve fallen more in love with the industry now than when I started. I’ve learned so much about the tourism industry – and the hotel industry in particular.
What does an average day at Mercure Gold Coast Resort involve for you?
At the moment I’m working in a few different departments. I’m helping out the concierge. My usual day is working in Banquets, setting up for functions. And I work in the restaurant as well. So I’ve been developing my skills in several areas of the hotel.
What’s the best part about working for Accor Hotels?
The people – at every level. It’s really cool to get to know so many different people. I get to know the people on my team so well, and they get to know me very well. Then I get to know people in housekeeping and the concierge. I’m working with people who are there to do a good job, to help other people have a good holiday.
What are your plans for the immediate future?
I’ve been offered a job at Pullman Melbourne Albert Park, so I’m looking to move down there early next year. I’ll be working in Banquets full-time for a little while, and then I’ll move across to the Events Management team. Accor Hotels is really great like that – I applied for a graduate position, but what they’ve done is actually tailor-made roles for me to cover what I want to learn, which I think is really cool. It’s very exciting.
Where do you see yourself in a couple of years?
I’d love to travel around different hotels getting more experience. And hopefully become a director of sales and marketing one day.