Life Changing

Wednesday, March 02, 2016 3:39pm

A scholarship to ICHM transformed Nora Hyde’s life. Eight years on, the graduate is with the Salvation Army in Brisbane running a training program that is changing the lives of other young adults who are doing it tough.

Of the 10 residents at the Salvation Army’s Pindari Homeless Service who started Nora’s Certificate Three in Hospitality last semester, eight finished the program. Even more importantly, five are now in full-time jobs.

Nora is Catering Supervisor/Trainer at Pindari Services and runs the program, a partnership between the Salvation Army and the Quality Training and Hospitality College. With the first intake a success, Nora hopes to help more Salvation Army clients achieve the same job outcomes.

She says the students relate to her because she can say with hand on heart, ‘If I can do it, you can too’.

Nora was awarded a $50,000 scholarship to ICHM in 2007, under an initiative of the South Australian Government to give those in need the opportunity to study at ICHM and establish a career in hotel management.

After arriving in Australia from the Philippines in 1995, the then 37 year old went to TAFE as a mature-age student to study English, but moved on to further studies in hospitality.

A widow with three young children, Nora worked in a hotel to support her family while studying, earning a TAFE qualification for which she was given recognition at ICHM.  

After graduating, she worked with the Hilton Adelaide and established her own catering business. Before moving to Brisbane, she was a lecturer at the Adelaide Hospitality and Tourism School.

With Pindari, Nora supervises catering for up to 100 residents and runs the 13-week Certificate Three in Hospitality, a nationally recognised qualification. The program focuses on back-of-house operations, with a mixture of practical and classroom-based activities.  

‘It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to give people a chance, and watch them grow in confidence and build self-belief. The days are long, but it’s worth it because every time they see me their faces light up with a smile. They see hope’, says Nora.