: Seeking to reward young and talented people in Australian Tourism

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Regional tourism award seeks applications from rising stars under 30 years old in Australia’s tourism industry

2015 national award winner Megan Swords from Queensland and Carolyn Childs of (right click to download image)
2015 national award winner Megan Swords from Queensland and Carolyn Childs of
(right click to download image)

SYDNEY, August 24, 2016 — Young people seeking to get ahead in the tourism industry in Australia are being encouraged to enter the Australian Regional Tourism Network Young Tourism Professional Awards 2016.

Nominations are open until 31 August only. There will be eight finalists, one from each state as well as the option for representatives of national organizations with a passion for regional tourism. They will attend the ARTN annual convention in Roma, Queensland, 25-27 October. All will be awarded. One of them will become the national winner.

The aim of the awards is to further ARTN’s goals of building a sustainable tourism industry by recognising excellence in regional tourism, incentivising best practice, and encouraging young professionals to remain in the tourism industry.

“Around half the expenditure in Australia’s $107.1bn tourism industry is in regional areas,” said David Sheldon, Chair of ARTN. “The engagement of young people is vital to make sure we can continue to deliver to the rising expectations of visitors. Our partnership with enables us to showcase the amazing job young regional tourism professionals are doing.”

Nominees are considered as emerging leaders in Australian tourism. They must be under 30 and already contributing to tourism in local government, regional tourism organizations, state tourism bodies, private operators, or as a student or researcher. Prizes include full registration to attend the Australian Regional Tourism Convention, in Roma, Queensland, accommodation to travel to the convention sponsored by the state tourism body, 12 months membership of (worth $497), participation in a mentoring program sponsored by, and a certificate.

At the convention all applicants will make a presentation. will support them in developing it. Judges will pick one young person to be the winner based on that presentation, observation at the conference, and supporting arguments. The title is currently held by Megan Swords from Maranoa in Queensland.

The 2016 winner will receive mentoring from, a $2,000 bursary for professional development, and the chance to sit at the table as an ex-officio member of the ARTN Board.

Carolyn Childs, Co-Founder of said: “Over the three years we have been involved with the programme we have met some amazing young people and have been privileged to help support the next generation of leaders through the professional development and mentoring we provide. It’s also a major win for their organisation – providing both a great motivational tool and a major showcase for them.”

An introduction to the scope of the awards is available here. Full details and information on how to be nominated is available here.

The closing date for initial nominations is 31 August 2016.