Shaping our Young Tourism Leaders

The next generation of tourism leaders are stepping up to the plate by nearing completion of the QTIC Young Professionals Mentoring Program. 
This year has had the biggest intake yet with 45 young professionals being matched with experienced tourism industry leaders from across the state.  
QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the future of tourism depended on the passion, commitment and skills of young tourism professionals.  

“This year we have another group of extraordinary young people who are driven and enthusiastic about not only their careers but our industry. 

“They’ve signed up to our mentoring program to be inspired by highly qualified tourism professionals and experts. 

 “I have no doubt the inspiration will flow both ways, with mentors also gaining something from the experience.  

“We look forward to seeing this year’s mentees becoming part of rebuilding our industry.  Our industry will need the combined efforts of young and more experienced leaders for the future,” Mr Gschwind said.  
The Program provides an important and valuable opportunity for young Queensland professionals in the tourism industry to progress their careers to the next stage. 

Mentee Lisa Cameron, Event Planner at Royal National Agriculture and Industrial Association of Queensland, is enjoying the program and despite the current challenges has maintained regular contact with her mentor.  
"The program presents an exciting and unique opportunity for emerging industry leaders to learn from and network with established industry professionals. 
"I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with my mentor who has provided a wealth of advice based on years of industry experience. The suggested session structure has provided a good base for our discussions, which have free flowed into topics relevant to me, and enabled our mentor-mentee relationship to develop organically. 

“The industry knowledge and experience my mentor has shared with me to date has been extremely valuable. The program encourages open and honest conversation, self-reflection and facilitates meaningful discussion on the topic of career progression,” Ms Cameron said.  

The mentors in the program act as a critical friend to help direct employees thinking, work on their strengths, identify strategies to minimise weaknesses and plan a pathway for a long and prosperous career. 
Mentor Andrew Cameron-Smith, Owner and Director of Wonderment Events and Consultancy, has been involved in the program for a few years now and describes it as an incredibly rewarding experience and one of the highlights of his year.  

"This year offered another opportunity to engage in the career/educational experience of my mentees – to exchange my learnings and seek to enhance their forward aspirations. 

"My hope is the program will foster a capacity to step away from the ‘now’. More than this, for my mentees to ‘back themselves’ – believe in their value and how to package their brand. 

"I have and will continue to recommend this program as it is entirely unique and a much-needed resource," Mr Cameron-Smith said.  
The QTIC Young Professionals Mentoring Program is scheduled to conclude in September, with applications opening for the 2021 Program in October 2020. 
The Program is free and can open doors and provide employees with experience and knowledge that is priceless. Mentees who have participated in this program have shown that they have gained a multitude of skills that they can put to practice in their chosen field.