Last year, Queensland’s hospitality industry was sent into a standstill. Yet, despite the uncertainty of COVID-19, CTA Training Specialists knew that staff still needed opportunities for personal and professional development. This saw the creation of Brainwaves; an educational initiative designed to invest into the Community Clubs sector and keep staff connected, engaged, and invested in their workplaces.
Meet Julie – One of CTA’s talented Brainwaves and Diploma of Hospitality Management students! Julie’s career journey has been vast and diverse, with senior administration roles in the Australian Public Sector and engineering industry. Today, Julie uses these strong administration skills at Gympie RSL, integrating her new knowledge to enhance operations and provide exceptional customer service.
Sitting Down with Julie
Tell me a bit about yourself and your professional background.
I have worked in senior administration for most of my life. My career started in the Australian Public Service, working with the Veterans’ Affairs Department, State Government in the Police Department and Primary Industries, and also Government owned Corporations. I then moved into technical administration roles in the field of engineering and energy, working for Stanwell Corporation and engineering companies. This involved working on pre-feasibility studies, specifications, and document control!
I began working for Gympie RSL in administration and reception approximately five (5) years ago when I moved to the Wide Bay region. Through CTA’s Brainwave training program, I was given an exciting opportunity to undertake a Diploma of Hospitality Management during last year’s lockdown. I have almost completed this Diploma now – only a few more subjects to go! It’s been a really good experience.
What inspired you to move into the hospitality industry?
Older people tend to find it hard to find employment in our society, but I was able to find some great opportunities in hospitality. I sent my resume to the Manager of the Gympie RSL back in 2017 and was offered an interview and trial of work. There are opportunities for many different roles in hospitality and CTA Training Specialists have a complete range to choose from depending on preference and requirement!
What is involved in your employment at Gympie RSL?
I have worked in a reception role, helping to provide customer service requirements, produce memberships, assist the Head Chef in a monthly stock take, and take on administration duties as required. I offer support in all areas of the Club to assist my colleagues as and when needed.
How has your Diploma impacted your professional experiences at Gympie RSL?
It has been wonderful! I still feel fortunate to have the Diploma offered to me during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Everything that I have done has been so relevant, including rostering staff, managing conflict, understanding diversity in the workplace, and enhancing customer service experience.
When I started at Gympie RSL, my Manager asked if I could work on stock take for the Head Chef. The Diploma has helped me achieve this, teaching me how to research better ways to improve my operational plans and streamline tasks. I often discuss my training with Gympie RSL’s Operations and Duty Managers to see where enhancements can be made and where I may be able to assist.
The other important impact was with regulatory requirements. I found that this Diploma put me up to date with everything, especially with the COVID-19 lockdown. When I went back to work after the lockdown was lifted, I was able to use that knowledge and know how to remain ahead of hospitality’s ever-changing regulatory requirements.
What has been your favourite part of undertaking a Diploma?
I have really enjoyed the flexibility! The course would have been different if I had to travel down the coast or to Brisbane each week, but completing the Diploma over Zoom worked very well for me. It was great motivation and I enjoyed that! Also, the tutors are very helpful! I could log into Zoom and the tutors were always there if wanted to follow up with anything at all.
What piece of advice would you give businesses looking to support an employee in their hospitality education? Training and communication to staff is so important! There are a lot of implications if staff are not trained and informed adequately, followed by fairness, equality and respect for the diversity of skills that make up a workforce.
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