A select group of students took up the opportunity of a lifetime this year when they accepted industry placements at the G20 in Brisbane, the most significantgathering of world leaders ever hosted by Australia.Their role: to act as go-betweens for delegates and their hotels, working alongside accommodation coordinators. Naturally, the cachet attached to rubbing shoulders with world leaders played no small part in their deliberations. Watch this space!
The six students on placement at the G20 will truly be walking the world stage. As host of this ninth heads of government forum, Australia has the opportunity to influence the global economic agenda and to strengthen engagement with the world's major economies.
Up to 4000 delegates, including 20 world leaders, and 3000 journalists are expected at the forum, being held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on 15-16 November 2014.
More than 7000 hotel rooms have been booked, and 11 hotels have been earmarked for leaders. They include the Stamford Plaza, Hilton Hotel and InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort.
Smita Maruti, the last student to join an original group of five, has just completed her second degree at ICHM. She says she imagines the skills she’ll get from her placement will stand her in good stead throughout her career.
‘The delegates and their representatives include some of them the most powerful people in the world, and the skills I’ll take away from dealing at this level will be invaluable and, importantly, transferrable to my next step in the industry’, she says.
Smita was scheduled to return home to Melbourne, but accepted a placement at the G20 saying, ‘If you get offered an experience like this you would be silly to turn it down’.
Her ambition is to work in an international hotel chain where she looks to gain exposure to the branding and marketing of hotels. Eventually her intention is to transfer internationally, preferably France.
As well as graduate Jaime Svensson (profiled in On Course Semester 2, 2013), ICHM’s links to the G20 include graduate Adam Henke, who was a senior G20 coordinator. Others hold management positions in Brisbane hotels, including Justin McConnell at the Emporium and Mark Gaynor at the Novotel.
The Group of Twenty (G20) countries make up 85% of the global economy and in 2014 will be working to address the global growth challenge for all countries.
JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong
Leung, Ka Ying (Krista)
Langham Place Hotel
Yeung, Hiu Lan (Rachel)
Residence G Hong Kong
Wu, Kin Yan (Nicole)
Ritz Carlton Jakarta
Yuk, Eun Kyung (E.K)
Grand Hyatt Macau
Leong, Wai Fong (Eric)
Mak, Wai U (Ashley)
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Gwee, Enyi (Josiah)
Sofitel So Bangkok
Bigler, Marc David
Crowne Plaza Liverpool
Hilton London Metropole
Marriott Hotels International
Four Points by Sheraton
Lam, Kwun Wing (Wing)
Le, Trang (Brooke)
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
Rydges Airport Resort & Hotel
Suk, Wonmin (Danny)
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (G20)
Daydream Island Resort & Spa
Tan, Bruce Ashley
Hamilton Island Resort
Stothard, Alexander (Alex)
Nguyen, Bao Tram (Jum)
One&Only Hayman Island
Abu Zarim, Harris
Phan, Nam Phuong Huynh
Sheraton Mirage Gold Coast
Poon, James (Yuk Ki)
Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas
Avendano Castano, Gonzalo
Rozo Losada, Maria
Zhang, Yi (Lily)
Cumberland Arms Hotel
Grand Hyatt Melbourne
Loh, Jun Ming (Matthias)
Mazlan, Danialhaziq (Danny)
Nguyen, Hong Trang
Yang, Nayun (Alyson)
Holiday Inn Melbourne on Flinders
Austria, Goldiluck (Gee)
Cheung, Lok Yan (Yannie)
Lau, Adam Ming Lap (Adam)
Vu, Tuyen Kim (Kim)
Tse, Long Suet (Suki)
Park Hyatt Melbourne
Butlin, Fernanda (Fern)
Lin, Li Wei (David)
Dampor, Elizza Belle
Yeung, Ho Yan (Nelly)
RACV City Club
Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne
Fotiades, Kira-Lee (Kira)
Putri, Putu Dina Raditya
Hyatt Regency Perth
Mok, Ping Shin Pema (Pema)
Tse, Yan Yin (Bonnie)
Where to start? This was Margarita Kaneta’s question when she looked for a qualification that would give her the knowledge and skills to achieve her ambition to set up a restaurant or bar.
After hunting online, she settled on ICHM because of its Swiss Hotel Association connections and its training model of 50% on campus and 50% in industry. She also liked the concept of work and travel at the same time, and her horizons broadened to an international career in hotels.
She graduated with the Bachelor of Business (Hospitality Management) in September this year and is considering a fourth year and the Bachelor of International Hotel Management (Swiss Hotel Association).
The 33 year old says it took some courage to study on campus alongside 18 year olds, and the ICHM degree program was intensive.
‘On campus we all faced the same challenges fundamentally and I now find I have friends based around Australia and overseas, from Taiwan, Vietnam and yes, even Russia, which provides an excellent international network’, she says.
Before Switzerland and the Badrutt’s Palace, Margarita’s placements had been in Adelaide—at the Stamford Plaza and Rendezvous Hotel.
She says most of the staff in Switzerland spoke at least five languages, but her Russian got over the line for a placement in Switzerland because it was the language of 90% of the guests at Badrutt’s Palace.
‘It’s probably the most expensive place on earth and I’ve never experienced anything like it as far as work goes. We worked seven days a week straight for a month over Christmas before the pressure eased and we got time in lieu’, she says.
Margarita is weighing up her options, to pursue business interests or the fun of working in a hotel. Time will tell.
With her heritage and experiences to date she can truly lay claim to international status.
She met her husband Adelaide oil and gas engineer John Watts while studying linguistics at Sakhalin State University. The couple lived in Malaysia for seven years before settling in Adelaide.
Sakhalin, where Margarita grew up, is a large Russian island in the North Pacific, off the east coast of Russia and just north of Japan.
Regency International House
End of Course, which precedes Graduation, is an informal in-house ceremony at which students are presented with their degree medals—the Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of International Hotel Management (Swiss Hotel Association). The presentations are followed by a student reply, which this semester was given by Indya Dwyer, Rhiannon Shepherd and Smita Maruti. The event closed with refreshments in the Common Room amid a general air of excitement about industry placements, which for Indya and Smita meant the G20 in Brisbane.
Stamford Plaza Adelaide
Course Commencement is the dress-up event on the ICHM calendar and the night for welcoming new and returning students and recognising academic excellence. The formalities include the awarding of Certificates of Merit, Certificates of Academic Achievement and ICHM’s highest academic honour, Dux of the Year. After the Welcome Address by Jordan Grant and Paige Cunniffe, students, staff and guests gathered in the foyer for a cocktail party and later at a local nightclub.
Hilton Adelaide Hotel
The 2014 Graduation Ceremony was ICHM’s 19th since start-up in 1993. The night celebrated the academic and industry success of graduating students. This year, 60 students from 22 different countries were awarded 64 degrees. Chief Executive Gerald Lipman welcomed guests, and Mr Bill Spurr, Chair, Education Adelaide, gave the address to graduands. Mrs Linda Parbs, Brand Manager for wine sponsor Peter Lehmann Wines, introduced the wines for the evening.
Dux of the Year awards followed the presentation of parchments for the Bachelor of International Hotel Management, Bachelor of Business (Hospitality Management) and Bachelor of International Hotel Management (Swiss Hotel Association).
At ICHM we have set out our eight graduate qualities, and one of them is, ‘a commitment to Swissness’. This is an interesting concept, and I would like to explore it a little here.
Since ICHM was formed in 1992 we have been linked to Swiss Hotel Association. In the early days we called ourselves the Asia Pacific Basin Swiss Hotel Association International College of Hotel Management. Quite a mouthful!
In areas beyond Hotel Management ‘Swissness’ has some relevance. Fine chocolates, watches, technology, beautiful ski mountains and alpine vistas all play a part in the definition.
While the French are famous for their wine, perfume and fashion, we do not talk about ‘Frenchness’. German technology is certainly global, but not ‘Germanness’. America is famous for its entrepreneurs, but there is not a word for that either.
There is no question that Switzerland played a role in the early days of 19th century European tourism. Famous British and German writers visited the alps and wrote about it. In 1893 the Swiss Hotel Association started its famous hotel school Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, and images of Swissness in hospitality education were born.
The fact that this little country with its multilingual workforce would welcome visitors from so many countries in their own language adds to this reputation. In the 21st century Russians, Chinese, Arabs and 100 other nationals are welcomed. Openness to outsiders is a key feature.
Around Asia there are many tourist destinations that are attractive because of their low cost and value-for-money features. Switzerland clearly does not compete at this end of the market. It appeals to luxury, with its highquality service and professionally trained staff. And if it costs more, the visitor would not be surprised.
Viewed from Silicon Valley, Switzerland is not particularly famous for its leading-edge technology— Google, Apple, Samsung and Sony are all based elsewhere. But think of Rolex, IWC Schaffhausen, Omega and Swatch and it is clear that luxury, quality and technology are indeed Swiss attributes.
The fact that the per-capita income in Switzerland is so high, and that it is a country famous for its banks
and insurance companies gives a certain allure. After all, who would not like a bank account with a large balance?
There is also something aspirational about Switzerland; James Bond was on location there and he and other film stars have all the trappings of success.
Of course there are the less glamorous aspects of Swissness. Smelly cows in barns, highways clogged with German and Italian freight, 26 cantons each with their separate rules, and the high cost of living. But most people think that the pluses of Swissness easily outweigh the minuses.
At ICHM we say that we are committed to Swissness, a concept that includes punctuality, the role of formality, rigorousness, professionalism, excellence, precision, respect for guests, linguistic ability and a global mindset.
We know that there is a role for low-cost airlines, budget hotels and fast food. We know that some of our graduates do exceptionally well in this sector of the market. We are not promoting Swissness to the exclusion of all other attributes.
Our students have come from close to 100 countries around the world. They all have their own cultures. Each family is different. Each student has their own personality. But we would hope that they know who we are and where a Swiss Hotel Association management school would aspire to take them.
When we look at the success of our graduates, sometimes in the hotel sector, sometimes outside of it, we so often see this Swissness shining though.