Riding the detour
My HSC journey
When I reached the end of year 10 in 2006, I knew I was about to embark on a new journey which would lead me towards the end of my thirteen years of schooling. The first thing I had to do was pack my bags, in other words, this meant picking the subjects I was going to complete over the next two years. Believe it or not, picking subjects can be fun although it was fun within reason because I was given a list of subjects to pick—English was compulsory and the other subjects I chose were general mathematics, society & culture, legal studies, PDHPE and a TVET journalism class at TAFE. As you can see, tourism was not on this list.
My HSC journey took a detour when my TVET journalism class was axed due to low numbers, so I had to pick another subject to have the right amount of units so I could gain a UAI. The deputy principal at my school gave me a list of subjects and TVET tourism sounded like the best one.
Riding the detour
To complete TVET tourism, I had to go to Wagga Wagga’s campus at the Riverina Institute of TAFE every Wednesday afternoon from 1.30 until 4.30. I was in the class with about ten other girls, 7 of them were from Kooringal High School, 2 were from Wagga Wagga High School, which is across the road from the TAFE campus and another girl was completing her HSC at the TAFE campus. It was different learning this subject at the TAFE campus, but it was nice being in a different environment, we were treating more like adults and it was more relaxed.
What I’ve learnt
Despite the fact that TVET tourism wasn’t my first choice, I did learn alot and had fun in the process, so much fun that I did briefly consider a career in tourism. Over the course of the two years I completed TVET tourism, I complete fifteen different units ranging from vital office skills such as financial transactions, documentation and phone skills to tourism destination information, which involved spending half a year documenting the flight codes, the sites and health risks of visiting nearly every single country in the world. I also had to complete mandatory work placement twice as we had to complete one week’s worth of placement for both year 11 and year 12.
Real world experience
I completed my first work placement at a travel agency, Travelscene. I had always been interested in learning how travel agents work. In that week, I learnt how bookings are made, exactly how many brochures a travel agency needs in stock (a hell of alot) and I even answered the phones and helped out customers. I completed my second work placement at Charles Sturt Motor Inn where I learnt how pillowcases are ironed, how rooms are cleaned, how guests are checked in and how good chicken parmigiana and chips are at the Roundabout Restaurant (the motel’s restaurant). What I found interesting was how the motel system works, especially with guests.
At the end of my HSC journey, I graduated with a Certificate II in Tourism (Operations) with Distinction. Even though it wasn’t my first choice, I loved every minute of my “detour” and learning about an industry which is the eighth largest in the world.
The next journey
Writing about my TVET tourism studies is the first time I’ve actually used some of the skills I’ve learnt. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to incorporate my writing and tourism skills more in the future.