• Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC)
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VTIC Celebrates Young Talent

25 /07/ 2019 Comments are Closed

Last week at the 2019 Victorian Tourism Conference, VTIC awarded a number of young achievers as part of our ongoing support of students and young professionals in our industry.


In the second year, the VTIC Student Entrepreneurial Award attracted six participating institutions; William Angliss Institute, Victoria University, La Trobe University, Holmesglen Institute, Melbourne Polytechnic and The Hotel School. The award asks students to develop a visitor economy related idea that solves a current industry problem. Through the award, VTIC aims to encourage the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship amongst tertiary students. Entrants do not have to be studying tourism, events and hospitality, encouraging all students to discover the possibilities in our industry.

An independent judging panel was convened in June to judge the presentations of a finalist from each participating institution. The winners’ and finalists’ each receive a cash prize to assist in bringing their idea to life. The winners’ were announced at the 2019 Victorian Tourism Conference, and VTIC would like to congratulate:

WINNER: Marine Laine, Shamara Ruwais & Pujiani Ni Luh Wayan – Melbourne Polytechnic 

SECOND: Tom Smith & Nathan Cleeland – Victoria University

THIRD: Soodivya Hurry, Solina San, Vo Phuong Anh Nguyen- Holmesglen Institute

FINALISTS: Antony Baldwin – William Angliss Institute, Ashish Singh, Yunan Chu & Liseang Huy – The Hotel School & Alejandra Angeles Gonzalez

VTIC gives great thanks to industry sponsors of this award, Peninsula Hot Springs and Phillip Island Nature Parks. Without their support this award would not be possible.

Pictured: Melbourne Polytechnic winners- Marine Laine, Shamara Ruwais & Pujiani Ni Luh Wayan – Melbourne Polytechnic



The Lynette Bergin Tourism Award is a grant for an individual seeking professional and personal growth, who strives to benefit the Victorian tourism and events industry. The Award offers a grant for the recipient to undertake an industry related case study. In naming the Award in honour of Lynette Bergin, VTIC seeks to perpetuate the skills and contribution Lynette made to the industry and celebrate the guiding hand she offered to many new recruits.

The 2018 winner, Matt Sykes, conducted two workshops during the conference, taking delegates on a journey of transformational travel and giving practical tools to implement this in their businesses.

The 2019 Lynette Bergin Tourism Award winner was announced at the Conference Celebration Dinner as Brendan Sanders, Business Manager at Tourism Greater Geelong & The Bellarine. Brendan will be undertaking study into purpose driven businesses over the next year, in which he will look at international and more local examples. We look forward to hearing the results of Brendan’s research and how this can be applied within the Victorian tourism industry at the 2020 Victorian Tourism Conference.

Pictured: 2019 Lynette Bergin Tourism Award winner Brendan Sanders with Lynette Bergin’s family members Kevin Shinners and Pam Bull, and award judge George Josevski.



The Todd Blake Student Award is named in memory of VTIC Chief Executive and Victoria University (VU) Alum Todd Blake. The award is granted annually and is open to all VU students in Hospitality, Tourism or Event Management programs who have displayed the same passion, commitment, leadership and can-do attitude as Todd.

Pictured: The 2019 Todd Blake Student Award winner was announced at the 2019 Victorian Tourism Conference as Shaneal Williams. Shaneal is an outstanding student who more than fulfilled the criteria outlined above for the award. Shaneal has just completed her studies and already has gained employment in the industry. Congratulations Shaneal.

VTIC thanks all involved in the delivery of these important awards, from judges to sponsors, to the dedicated staff at the participating institutions. Together in recognising our young achievers we are enabling them to progress their careers in our industry with confidence.

Pictured: 2019 Todd Blake Student Award winner Shaneal Williams with Kirsty Blake and Victoria University’s Barry Broons.

Kate Rickwood

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Kate Rickwood


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