Hosted by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the Salute to Excellence Awards celebrated and encouraged the next generation of chefs, and tourism and hospitality professionals.
“The awards are an important link between the tourism and hospitality industry and students. It’s also one of those occasions that is as inspiring for industry representatives as it aims to be for the students and their parents,” Mr Gschwind said.
The 18 Year 11 and 12 students studying tourism and hospitality came from across Queensland – including Brisbane, Emerald, Gold Coast, Innisfail, Logan, Stanthorpe, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Townsville – to compete against each other in a series of practical and written tasks, and an interview.
Winners of the 2018 Salute to Excellence Awards:
- Cookery category – Jestine Llewellyn from Kirwan State High School
- Food & Beverage category – Thomas Keegan from Helensvale State High School
- Tourism category – Molly Dobbins from Albany Creek State High School
Runner-Up of the 2018 Salute to Excellence Awards:
- Cookery category – Jenna Sundstrom from Helensvale State High School
- Food & Beverage category – Clarizzele Tumaca from Good Counsel College, Innisfail
- Tourism category – Breeanna Gibb – Albany Creek State High School
Cookery winner Jestine Llewellyn, from Kirwan State High School in Townsville, – who also placed third in the Worldskills Australia National Championships for commercial cookery earlier this year – said her motivation for entering Salute to Excellence was her passion for the industry, along with the encouragement and support of her teachers and school.
“I find a lot of interest not just in cookery, but in all aspects of the tourism industry – I just really love it,” she said.
Food & Beverage winner and second time Salute to Excellence entrant Thomas Keegan, from Helensvale State High School, said he'd taken away different things from both experiences.
“This year I learnt you’ve got to lead from the front if you want to show what you’re made of,” he said.
“Where as last year, I learnt the importance of team work and prioritising tasks to get a job done.”
Tourism winner Molly Dobbins, from Albany Creek State High School, advice to other students thinking about participating in the awards in simple: “Just have a crack. And don’t just be in it for the competition and to win but go for the opportunities and everything else you can get out of an experience like this”.
Mr Gschwind said the Salute to Excellence Awards was an important program to promote the many career opportunities on offer in the tourism and hospitality industry.
“Over the years we have seen past participants go on to further their studies and build successful careers – from hotel managers and chefs to travel and event managers,” he said.
“There has never been a more exciting time to consider a career in tourism with global tourism growth exceeding most other industry sectors.
“Tourism in Queensland has grown 9 per cent in the last year alone and is showing no signs of slowing down.
“We congratulate the finalists of the 2018 Salute to Excellence Awards and wish them all an exciting and rewarding career in their chosen field.”
The 2018 Salute to Excellence Awards was proudly sponsored by TAFE Queensland, the Queensland Government’s Young Tourism Leaders program, Gateway to Industry Schools, The Star Entertainment Group and Tourism and Events Queensland.
Judges of the 2018 Salute to Excellence Aards were Kawren Hellsten (Mountain Wine Tours), Josh Lawson (Hospitality Staffing Solutions), Pamela Lester (Rydges South Bank), Dustin Osuch (The Star Gold Coast), Adrienne Putelli (Hilton Hotel Brisbane), Karen Thorburn (Dreamworld).
Congratulations to 2018 Salute to Excellence Awards Finalists:
- Michael Bae – Helensvale State High School
- Jacqui Byrnes – Corinda State High School
- Van Hardie – Groves Christian College
- Jestine Llewellyn – Kirwan State High School
- Ellie-Rose Priest – Canterbury College
- Jade Smith – St Ursula’s College
- Jenna Sundstrom – Helensvale State High School
FOOD & BEVERAGE
- Hannah Bugg – Marist College Emerald
- Thomas Keegan – Helensvale State High School
- Jessica Munson – St Joseph’s College, Stanthorpe
- Matthew Ring – Maroochydore State High School
- Clarizzele Tumaca – Good Counsel College
- Molly Dobbins – Albany Creek State High School
- Breeanna Gibb – Albany Creek State High School
- Findlay Matthews – Coolum State High School
- Belinda Smith – Albany Creek State High School
- Tallulah Tutt – Lourdes Hill College
- Ella White – Albany Creek State High School
PHOTO: Tourism winner Molly Dobbins from Albany Creek State High School, Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development Meaghan Scanlon, Cookery winner Jestine Llewellyn from Kirwan State High School in Townsville, and Food & Beverage winner Thomas Keegan from Helensvale State High School.