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05.03.19 | On Course E-newsletter, ICHM News

Swiss Visit

ICHM’s ‘Swissness’ gained high praise from Patrick Wille, Honorary Consul of Switzerland, on campus with Bernadette Hunkeler Brown, Consul General of Switzerland. 

Patrick Wille and Sydney-based Bernadette Hunkeler Brown visited campus on 28 February, and were given a behind-the-scenes tour of ICHM’s state-of-the-art facilities.

While on campus the pair met with staff, in particular, Acting Principal Dr George Brown, and Program Directors Sarah van Maaraveen and Kellie Lumsden. They also spent one-on-one time with students Niels Sloos from Holland, Marco Taiana from Switzerland and Rachel Kwan from Hong Kong. 

Patrick Wille said he was impressed with the way ICHM interacts with industry, and the equal time and value placed on industry placement as academic study.

‘This is not a course leading just to a piece of paper; rather, it is a course designed to develop graduates who are professional and industry ready.

‘In my view this should be the focus for every tertiary institution’, he said.  

Principal Dr George Brown pointed out that ‘Swissness’ is one of ICHM’s eight graduate qualities: a concept that includes punctuality, the role of formality, rigorousness, professionalism, excellence, precision, respect for guests, linguistic ability and a global mindset.

‘When we look at the success of our graduates, both inside and outside of hotels, we most often see this ‘Swissness’ shining through’, he said. 

Since ICHM was formed in 1992 it has been accredited by the Swiss Hotel Association, in the early days badging it as the ‘Asia-Pacific Basin Swiss Hotel Association International College of Hotel Management’. 

Switzerland played a significant role in in the early days of 19th century European tourism, which can be seen in the works of famous British and German writers after visiting the Alps. But perhaps most significantly was the opening in 1893 of the famous Swiss Hotel Association hotel school, Ecole Hotelier de Lausanne, when the quality of ‘Swissness’ in hospitality education was born.   

‘Today ICHM can boast students from 95 countries, each has its own culture. However, ICHM is intent on remaining true to the concept of ‘Swissness’ and we are delighted to have played host to our Swiss Consulate guests today, reinforcing that bond’, said George. 

Picture from left: Neils Sloos, Dr George Brown, Patrick Wille, Bernadette Hunkeler Brown, Rachel Kwan, Sarah van Maareveen, Kellie Lumsden and Marco Taiana