2019 NSW Training Awards School-Based Trainee of the Year
Certificate III in Tourism
Figuring out what you’re going to do with your life when you have more than one interest can be tough. That was the case for Arcadia Meldrum, the former Newman Technical College student who’s just as passionate about sport as she is about event management. Luckily, VET gave Arcadia a taste of both fields before she finished school.
“I chose a Certificate III in Tourism because I have a real passion for the industry and event management,” says Arcadia. “It was exciting to meet new people and make heaps of industry contacts, and I knew working with one of Australia’s largest hotel chains would give me skills for life and make me employable after my HSC.”
The school based traineeship with Sails by Rydges definitely delivered plenty of opportunities. Arcadia worked on high profile events like the Salvation Army Dinner and the Cancer Council’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ gala. But as much as she loved the experience, Arcadia wanted to keep her options open.
"I've been playing hockey since I could hold a stick.”
As an experienced player and coach, Arcadia thought a career that revolved around her passion for sport might be worth exploring, so she also did a Certificate III in Sport Life Recreation as part of her HSC. After graduating, Arcadia returned to Newman to try out a Teacher’s Assistant job in the school’s Sport and recreation faculty. It wasn’t what she thought it’d be.
“While I loved aspects of the job, I found that I didn’t enjoy teaching as much as I thought I would,” says Arcadia.
No problem. The 2019 School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year (Tourism) regrouped, refocused on event management, and began looking at her training options. Before long, she’d found the perfect course at the University of Newcastle and went for it.
“Take every opportunity that’s offered to you, whether it’s scary or not.”
The Bachelor of Business degree allows Arcadia to focus on events and tourism, and even involves a lengthy work placement, which she’s looking forward to. As for the different approach to learning, Arcadia is thriving thanks to some of the transferable skills she picked up in VET.