While COVID-19 put a stop to most face-to-face events throughout the year, the students were undeterred and pressed forward with their plans to organise and execute a successful fundraising event for the charity as part of their final assessment.
Twenty-four-year-old student, Chantelle Burkin spent six months working virtually with her team mates on their ‘Neverland’ event concept and said it was all worthwhile when they were able to finally host it in November.
“Training during the pandemic was challenging, however it made it all the more rewarding when restrictions were lifted and we had the chance to come together and see our vision come to life,” she said.
“Neverland was a fundraising dinner for a local children’s volunteer ran charity called Paradise Kids Gold Coast, who were deeply impacted by COVID-19 so this was the perfect opportunity to help them out.”
Other TAFE Queensland cohorts from the Southport campus also pitched in to assist the group with their event, displaying a great example of working collaboratively with other industries.
“We had the pleasure of working with other students as we enlisted the cookery students to cater for the event and hospitality students to operate the bar and wait the tables - we couldn’t have done it without them,” said Chantelle.
“Having other TAFE Queensland students volunteer for the evening both broadened the awareness of the charity’s work and gave them the opportunity to gain real world experience while studying.”
“Together we created a night of magical fun through live music, dinner, drinks and illusion show with the aim to bring out the inner child in us all and the goal to raise $1,500 which we are proud to say we exceeded” she said.
Paul Reis who is the General Manager of Wesley Mission Queensland, which is the operational partner of Paradise Kids, said it was a brilliant result and congratulated the students on their amazing efforts.
“Congratulations to all involved and on behalf of the children and their families who we need to support – many thanks for helping those vulnerable to some of life’s most difficult moments,” he said.
Chantelle said she credits TAFE Queensland for her achievement.
“Studying the Diploma of Event Management (SIT50316) has set me up for success through building my confidence in my own abilities and made me realise if I put my mind to something I can achieve it,” she said.
“I chose to study at TAFE Queensland because of the hands-on learning experience and practical assessments rather than being solely focused on theory and exams which is a learning style more suited to me.”
Chantelle graduated in December and said her next step is to turn her small bar and wait staff hiring business into an event planning company.
“Planning and creating memories has always been a passion of mine so graduating with the Diploma of Event Management has put me on the right pathway to being able to create my dream event planning business.”
To others who are thinking of studying at TAFE Queensland, Chantelle said to absolutely go for it.
“TAFE Queensland is a training organisations that supports the individual instead of focusing on results and percentages; while the teachers are understanding and helpful across all situations.”