A desire from a young age to travel saw Ian leave Adelaide to live in America and Europe. There he worked as a teacher and tour guide before establishing his own international travel company in Far North Queensland.
Ian juggles his business with teaching the Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management (SIT50116) at the Cairns campus.
"I really enjoy interacting with my students face to face. It's wonderful to be able to share industry knowledge with them and to bring my experiences into the classroom," Ian said.
"I love watching my students learn and grow and helping them gain new skills so they'll be ready for the workforce when they graduate."
Tourism has been identified as one of five super growth industries driving the future prosperity of Australia. Despite recent industry challenges, Ian remains upbeat about the future of travel.
"I think it's an industry that will always be with us; people have been travelling for a long time and they will want to continue doing so."
Ian said to support people in need of flexible or distance learning options, the Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management (SIT50116) can be studied in a classroom or online.
"Right now is a fantastic time to study and develop your skills to get ready for the travel and tourism rebound."
"Having a positive approach to learning and adapting is the key right now because there will be a lot of new markets emerging that we don't even know about yet," Ian said.
"I think there's going to be a lot of good things to come and exciting new trends on the horizon."
"Already my travel company is fielding a lot of interest for closed or private group travel bookings. Families and close friends want to travel together instead of touring with people they don't know."
"Independent travellers are also looking for more assistance now to help plan their trips," Ian continued.
"These are real growth areas for the sector which is great news. It's an exciting time to be in the industry right now and I really believe that."
Ian had this advice for anyone considering a career in tourism.
"You can't learn how to operate in this industry — which is a people-focused industry — by sitting behind a computer and just studying," Ian said.
"There are people in the sector who love sharing their experiences and they will be delighted if you just go along, listen and see what they're doing because you are their future employees."
Ian said it's important that travel and tourism students be open to new opportunities.
"I always say to my students that their journey in tourism starts here and it's going to end up where they hopefully want to be. Their path will take turns and they'll do things along that way that they never thought they'd do," Ian said.
"So my advice is to be open to new ideas and ways of doing things because they can get you to where you want to be in a roundabout way. The journey to get to your goal can be incredibly rewarding and a lot of fun."