A love for planning pays off for Event Management Award

Alix Gillett Tourism & Events Student of the Year


A natural born planner, Thirroul’s Alix Gillett’s big dream is to run an event management company. The 20-year-old is now one step closer to that dream, being named TAFE Illawarra’s Tourism and Events Student of the Year.

As soon as she finished school, Alix set out to give herself the educational backing she needs to succeed. “I wanted to get hands-on, industry-specific events training, backed with a University degree.”

“I found the joint TAFE Illawarra and the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) course in event management, which offered just that. It combines an Advanced Diploma of Event Management with a Bachelor of Commerce.

“It’s an ideal combination,” she says.

“It’s given me both the theoretical knowledge and practical experience that is essential to hit the ground running in the fast-paced events industry.”

Alix says the best part of her studies was: “Building real relationships with local businesses. We had the chance to manage our own annual corporate golf day and volunteer for events as part of our course. This was an unbeatable way to put my passion for planning and organising into practice.”

“One of the highlights was volunteering as assistant stage manager for major special events, such as the Commemoration Ceremony for the Centenary of Anzac.

“It really gave me the hands-on experience and confidence to seek out more work experience.”

Alix says this confidence is already helping to get her foot in the industry door.

“I’ve just returned from Melbourne, where I assisted in delivering a multi-day conference with local Thirroul company, Alignment Event Solutions.”

Her advice to others wanting to build an event management career?

“Make sure you take every opportunity that’s offered to you.

“Sometimes it might be uninteresting or nerve wracking, but it can also be exciting and open so many new doors.

“Whether it’s work experience, potential employment or interactions with industry, just go for it.”

Enrolments are now open for Semester 2, 2016 at TAFE Illawarra. To explore courses on offer and enrol, visit www.tafeillawarra.edu.au or call 1300 766 123