• Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC)
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Todd Blake Student Award presented to outstanding young tourism leader

06 /09/ 2013 Comments are Closed

Victoria University Bachelor of Business (majoring in Tourism and Event Management) graduate, Tessa McLachlan has been named the inaugural recipient of the Todd Blake Student Award 2013, which is presented annually to an exceptional student in the tourism, events or hospitality fields.

Following the tragic passing of Todd Blake in August 2011, this award was established by Todd’s employer, the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) and the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC), of which Todd was CEO, and his alma mater, Victoria University.

The award is a legacy project in Todd’s name to be presented to the student who best demonstrates Todd’s spirit, commitment and passion as a leader in these vibrant industries, as well as Todd’s leadership and can-do approach to life.

The award was officially announced at the Victoria University 20th Annual Tourism, Hospitality and Events Expo, the major annual careers event for Victoria University students and graduates seeking careers in those fields.

Worthy recipient Tessa McLachlan was presented this year’s award for displaying continued passion, commitment, leadership and eagerness to immerse herself in the opportunities presented to her in her time with the Tourism Victoria Media and Trade Relations department via student placement.

Judges stated that Ms McLachlan’s submission demonstrated a high sense of excellence dedication, maturity and pride in a variety of industry responsibilities, an indication of her potential as an industry leader and champion.

In Ms McLachlan’s entry, her supervisor stated they would “find it hard to see how [they] could have had a better person in the student placement role.”

One judge commented that “Todd would be impressed!”.

Ms McLachlan says she is passionate about the potential of the Victorian industry and determined to help shape its future success.

“It’s an honour to receive this award, and I strongly encourage every future student to apply,” says Ms McLachlan.

“It’s a great opportunity and it reinforces the importance of the young tourism workforce.”

VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith says, “Tessa is an outstanding example of the bright future of our tourism industry.

“Just like her industry colleagues, Tessa will continue the journey of this important sector and lead the way of its continued essential contribution to the Victorian economy.”

Todd’s wife Kirsty, who helped assess the award along with some of the industry leaders, says, “It’s an honour to be involved in the award for Todd, and it’s an honour for the industry to have an award that represents his passion and drive.”

The Tourism, Hospitality and Events Expo will welcome in Victoria Tourism Week, which celebrates the success and potential of Victoria’s tourism industry from 2 – 7 September 2013.


About the Author


The voice of the Victorian tourism industry, representing key industry associations, operators and government agencies.

Media Manager:

Media enquiries: media@victorianchamber.com.au,

Anne Wright, Media and Communications Manager, (03) 8662 5310 / 0423 883 945

Ellana Katos, Social Media and Communications Advisor, (03) 8662 5205 / 0400 976 889



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