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Study From Home graduate wins prestigious cruise industry awardPosted on 06/03/2019 by Jess O'Connor
A few weeks ago, we revealed that Shelley Williams – a Study From Home graduate and the director of Clevedon Travel – was up for a prestigious award at the CLIAs. We can now share the fantastic news that Shelley won the Rising Star NZ Award at a glitzy awards ceremony in Sydney in late February. Below, Shelley gives a personal account of the awards night, including how she felt the moment she realised she won.
The awards night was very glam and red carpet-like. The before-dinner drinks were sponsored by Ponant and served by women in burlesque outfits in counter-type outfits that they wore like dresses and would pick up and move around. There were 500 guests from CLIA, cruise lines and travel agencies from around Australia and New Zealand.
There were table plans up by the doors and I could see I was at table 12 – in the second row of tables. I think there were 52 tables! The Star venue in Pyrmont was super glamorous and set up very beautifully. There were booklets made up for the event listing all the nominees and congratulatory messages from sponsors, as well as the order of events. At my place setting was a finalist certificate for me. The sales managers for Carnival & Princess/P & O/Cunard for New Zealand were at my table (I was invited as a guest by their company), so it was great chatting to them (and getting to see a few advance photos of upcoming ship features).
The MC for the evening was Tim Campbell (he was on Home & Away & Dancing with the Stars). He started the night with a fantastic rendition of ‘Let Me Entertain You’ which was the theme of the night. We had our entrée served at the table & a few awards before Rising Star was announced.
I had no idea in advance I was going to win so it was a surprise when they said my name. It was up on the big screen and everything! I made my way to the stage quickly and accepted my award from the sponsor, Tony Smith of Francis Travel Marketing. Thankfully there were no speeches necessary, just a photo on stage. Then they whisked me away for photos and a little later came back to grab me to record a podcast for CLIA.
After dinner, we had The Boys in the Band play and I swear most of the 500 guests were up dancing – they were so good even I got up and danced (and I didn’t even dance at my own wedding). Then we had the ‘main’ awards for cruise consultant & agencies before a dessert buffet and another band that went until 1am – way past my bedtime.
Since the awards night, I’ve been contacted by quite a few cruise companies offering congratulations and help with marketing which is amazing and much appreciated.
I’d like to aim for a cruise consultant or cruise champion trophy next year, but they are super tough categories so I’ll just have to try my hardest and hope for the best!
Are you inspired by Shelley’s success? ITC Study From Home is enrolling now with courses starting in April. Get in touch today to find out how we can get your airline, travel and tourism career off to a flying start.Posted in News, Student Success |