In late 2021 Flinders University announced its partnership with the peak industry body TiCSA (Tourism Industry Council of South Australia), just in time for the 25th anniversary of Flinders’ Tourism program – one of the oldest and most established in Australia.
Through the new partnership, Flinders hopes to build even stronger ties with TiCSA’s 1000+ members. Tourism lecturer Dr Gareth Butler tells us, “Our partnership with TiCSA has increased the visibility of our program (and Flinders) amongst key tourism stakeholders across the state. This means that our students will encounter greater access to placements and long-term employment opportunities. Moreover, the partnership will enable us to offer more industry-led workshops and networking events, meaning that our students can engage directly with leading professionals. We are proud to be in partnership with the peak body for the South Australian tourism industry, this relationship underlines the excellent reputation Flinders has built over the past 25 years.”
Key benefits of the partnership with TiCSA
- Free membership for all Flinders Tourism students
- Opportunity to attend state conferences
- Placement opportunities with members
- Volunteer opportunities
- Guest speakers at lectures
- Tourism student of the year award (presented at the Tourism Award Night)
- Potential employment
A student membership with TiCSA, which is only free for Flinders University Tourism students, provides opportunities to grow your industry connections and enhance your professional development through networking, events and workshops. Student members will also receive insightful industry news via TiCSA’s communications.
The key benefit of the Tourism degree at Flinders has always been the hands-on experience and connections our students foster with employers – something TiCSA CEO Shaun de Bruyn, one of the first to graduate from the Tourism degree in 2000, can attest to:
“Flinders really helped me build my networks, both personal and professional. The tourism cohort is small and I made some lifelong friendships. I still see at least 30-40% of the graduates in the industry from time to time and we connect. Both the formal education and the informal networks and peer groups I had, will stick with me for the rest of my life.
“I got my first tourism job after uni through the industry placement program Flinders offered. The partnership between Flinders and TiCSA is all about supporting people that are starting their careers, whether young or more mature. It’s about creating future opportunities for people that have passion and the right energy, and who have made a commitment to getting an education. The tourism industry is awesome and we are very well positioned within it.”
Several Tourism and Events students have found employment or completed a placement at TiCSA already. Current student Finn Vanderzalm is working as TiCSA’s Event Coordinator, graduate Rebecca Uphill has taken on a role as the Industry Programs Coordinator.
Student Sara Kenewell enjoyed her placement at TiCSA, “I learned so much about the tourism industry from a different perspective and developed new skills. I would encourage students to apply for a placement at TiCSA as the team was extremely knowledgeable, supportive and you can learn so much about the business side of tourism.”
Every year, students also get the chance to attend TiCSA conferences. Student Isaac loved going to the Restart Conference in November 2020, “Experiencing the Tourism Restart Conference and seeing the industry in action was a fantastic opportunity. Being introduced to numerous stakeholders and networking first-hand made us realise what a great industry we are stepping into.”
TiCSA CEO Shaun de Bruyn
Are there still jobs in Tourism?
While tourism is having a tough time at the moment due to the challenges presented by COVID 19, there is no doubt that medium to long term the industry will be an absolute superpower again and provide opportunities in the decades ahead. With the Australian borders open again, now is the perfect time to start your degree and lay the foundation of a career in a sector that is characterised by growth.
Having travelled for 5 years and both living and working in different countries and cultures, led Shaun to take up a degree in tourism. “I love tourism. It’s the best industry in the world. It’s a very positive, new industry that has got a lot of opportunities as well for minorities. Tourism is a great way of broadening our understanding of others. It’s a great way of experiencing culture, it creates employment, it creates so much prosperity, but it also goes into areas of environmental and community development and sustainability.
How to succeed in the tourism industry
Most students focus on getting a job out of their degree. Shaun’s hot tip is to keep one eye on your studies but also keep your future in mind from the very start and engage with the opportunities that Flinders provides. “Build your industry contacts and networks so that on the day that you graduate it’s a smooth transition into the industry because you are a known person, you have contacts within industry and if you’ve done it right, an opportunity should open up for you.”
“What the partnership between TiCSA and Flinders University provides, is a formal structure for students to be able to engage in the industry. We do business development and industry advocacy with all our members, so it’s a great way to establish those connections. It was the formal network that was most helpful to me during my studies and ultimately got me my first job. If you love the industry and are enjoying the education you’re getting, also invest time and energy into building networks and your contacts within that industry while you’re at university.”