The Salute to Excellence Awards recognise exceptional secondary students, employers, schools and registered training organisations for their participation in and contribution to the tourism, food and beverage and cookery qualifications through VET in Schools (VETiS), and School Based Apprenticeships or Traineeships.

The Salute to Excellence Awards are proudly supported by the Queensland Government. 


Salute to Excellence Award categories

The Salute to Excellence Awards recognise outstanding contributions to tourism and hospitality education through five award categories:
  • Employer of the Year Award
  • Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award
  • Secondary Student of the Year Award - Tourism 
  • Secondary Student of the Year Award - Food & Beverage
  • Secondary Student of the Year Award - Cookery 

Who can enter the Awards

  • Must be currently completing year 10, 11 or 12,
  • Studying VET in tourism or hospitality at school in Queensland, or 
  • Be a school-based trainee or apprentice in Queensland studying a SIT training package qualification 
  • All student nominations must be endorsed by a teacher or trainer 

  • Must be a qualified teacher/trainer employed (or regularly contracted) by an RTO, and 
  • Have delivered training to secondary students enrolled in VETiS or School Based Traineeship and/or Apprenticeship from 1 January 2019, which will lead to nationally recognised qualifications or Statements of Attainment
  • All teacher/trainer nominations must be endorsed by the RTO

  • Must be a tourism business in Queensland, and 
  • Provide school-based traineeship or apprenticeship employment opportunities to secondary students completing qualifications within the SIT Training Package
  • All employer nominations must be endorsed by an eligible school or RTO

Why enter the Awards

Secondary students
  • Receive industry and state recognition of achievements, 
  • Create important industry contacts and networks, 
  • Gain assistance with career goals and aspirations, 
  • Hear success stories from industry leaders, 
  • Meet like-minded students, teachers, trainers and employers, and
  • Gain access to quality work experience opportunities and great prizes!
  • Highlights the importance of VET to secondary students across Queensland, 
  • Recognises your school or RTO's contribution to the future workforce,  
  • Demonstrates your school or RTO’s commitment to its workforce and aspiring future leaders, 
  • Gain access to quality work experience opportunities and great prizes! 
  • Provides valuable business and networking opportunities
  • Increase your brand profile, 
  • Gain recognition as an employer of choice,
  • Recognises your organisation's contribution to the future workforce,  
  • Demonstrates your organisation’s commitment to its workforce and aspiring future leaders, and
  • Provides valuable business and networking opportunities

How to enter the Awards

Step 1: Download the applicable nomination kit below:

Step 2: Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements, then sign the terms and conditions, and consent form (if applicable) 

Step 3: Click the Nominate Now button to submit your entry and complete your nomination online

2022 Key Dates 

  • 9 March - Nominations Open,
  • 5 June - Nominations Close,
  • 14 June - Round one of judging ends and finalists announced
  • 27 June - Round two of judging: Virtual Skills Test Day for secondary students, and online interviews with Employer and Teacher/Trainer of the Year
  • 25 July - Formal Awards Dinner in Brisbane

2022 Judges

Secondary Student - Cookery
Aaron Holt
Queensland Art Gallery - Gallery of Modern Art
Secondary Student - Cookery
Nick Baker
The Mantle Group, Hospitality
Secondary Student - Food & Beverage
Adrienne Putelli
Hilton Hotel Brisbane
Secondary Student - Food & Beverage
Michelle Christoe
NightQuarter and Malt Shovel Taphouse
Secondary Student - Tourism
Karen Hellsten
Mountain Wine Tours
Secondary Student - Tourism
Steve Wheatley
Teacher/Trainer of the Year
Arwen McGregor
Devon Pixies
Teacher/Trainer of the Year
Karan Suji
Brisbane Airport Hotels Group
Employer of the Year
Jai Leighton
JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa
Employer of the Year
Dr Natasha Montesalvo


QTIC Salute to Excellence Sponsors


Marketing Kit

We encourage you to promote the Salute to Excellence Awards program through your networks. Simply download and utilise the assets from this marketing kit.

More Information

For more information, please email QTIC: or phone: 07 3236 1445.


Use of Photographs and Personal Information

Award entrants, nominees and ticket purchasers are advised that we will collect your personal information for the purpose of communicating with you about the awards and associated events. This information may be kept on file (hard copy and/or electronic) for future reference.  

The Salute to Excellence Skills Test Day and Awards Dinner will be filmed and photographed for publicity and marketing purposes in printed publications and the Internet (websites and social media). If you do not give consent for your voice and/or image to be used in our printed or electronic publications, you must advise photographers in attendance that you do not want your image captured for publicity purposes.

For more information, view our Privacy Policy or request a hard copy by contacting us on 07 3236 1445 or, or write to Queensland Tourism Industry Council, C/- Office Manager, PO Box 13162, George Street QLD 4003.


Contributes to the following SDG: