On the 9th of September 2012, 30 second and third year DEPM students together with Mrs Goh CL and Mr John Chan embarked on an overseas study trip to Queensland, Australia. The entire trip was packed with interesting activities that provided us an enriching and memorable learning experience.
The itinerary included extensive travel from Gold Coast to Brisbane and included visits to University of Queensland and Bond University. We also enjoyed an authentic Aussie Experience at the Paradise Country, carried out site inspection of the Jupiters Conrad Hotel & Casino as an event/conference venue, attended a “Back of House Educational Programme” and Talks on Challenges of Running Events in Dreamworld, Events Marketing at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, attended various fringe activities at the Brisbane Festival and visited the Australia Zoo at Sunshine Coast.
The visits to the two prestigious Australian Universities - University of Queensland and Bond University provided us with a better insight into overseas education and information on event-related degree programmes. The campus tours led by student representatives were well received as we got to ask questions about the degree programmes, accommodation, living expenses, etc. The 2 Universities were very hospitable and had arranged very good sharing sessions for us including presentations from their management/teaching staff and guest lectures by industry professionals. SP graduates who are doing their degree programmes in the universities also shared their experiences with us. There were ample opportunities for us to interact with the Universities’ Management and teaching staff, their students and also the industry partners.
Besides visiting universities, the trip included visits to various event venues and theme parks. We visited Paradise Country and gained a first-hand authentic Aussie Experience on sheep shearing, making of billy tea, etc. At Dreamworld, there was a “Back of House” educational programme arranged for us, including Talks on Challenges of Running Events in Dreamworld, Who owns Dreamworld, How the Dream began, etc. We were indeed surprised to learn about the variety of events that could be held in Dreamworld. Of course, we also got to enjoy the thrilling rides after attending the talks!
In Gold Coast, we were fortunate to have a site inspection tour of Jupiters Conrad Hotel & Casino as an event/conference venue. A knowledgeable and friendly manager led us on a tour to view the various facilities available for hosting different indoor and outdoor events.
In addition, we visited the flea market along the Surfers Paradise Beach (near our hotel), an event only held on Wednesday and Friday nights. It was a bonus for us as we were to see many Australians selling their own unique arts and wares.
We also visited the well-known Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and the Australia Zoo where Events Marketing Talks were organized for us. The Zoo was set up by the late Steve Erwin who is a major natural world conservationist and we get to see how conservation goes hand in hand with education and events management. From the visits, we gained better understanding of the type of work involved in hosting events in natural environments. In addition, we get to get to touch and feed those wonderful kangaroos and took tons of photos with koalas, wombats, elephants, ……….
Our study trip was actually planned to coincide with the Brisbane Festival which was held from 8 to 29 Sept 2012. The Brisbane Festival was developed by the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council in 1996 as an initiative to foster the arts. The Brisbane Festival was held as a biennial festival from 1996 to 2008. In 2009, the festival merged with Riverfestival and was held annually from then on. We were fortunate to experience the Santos City of Lights which illuminated Brisbane in a brand new light laser and the special effects show which was presented nightly during the Festival. The special light effects show was indeed fantastic.
Overall, we have really enjoyed ourselves very much. The study trip has indeed benefited us and the experiential learning opportunity gave us more than what we have paid for. Apart from the knowledge gained from the various visits, the 30 of us have bonded well during the trip and become good friends. Many unforgettable memories have also been forged. We look forward to more study trips.
9 Sept 2012 Departure, Terminal 1, Changi Airport, Singapore