South Australia’s top tourism student

(L-R) Joanna Chudy with UniSA tourism lecturer Dr Sunny Lee BUSINESS
(L-R) Joanna Chudy with UniSA tourism lecturer Dr Sunny Lee

Tourism student Joanna Chudy is set for an exciting career in tourism marketing after being named South Australian Tourism Student of the Year in the recent 2014 SA Tourism Awards.

Joanna, who is studying a combined Bachelor of Tourism and Event Management and Bachelor of Business (Marketing) degree at UniSA, won one of 30 awards presented by the SA Tourism Industry Council at a black tie event attended by the who’s who of the State’s tourism industry.

The 20-year-old star on the rise says she was honoured to win the award.

“I wasn’t expecting to be chosen and I was delighted to receive it,” she says.

Joanna’s prize is to travel to Christchurch, New Zealand, as part of the Skål International Adelaide Student Exchange Program.

“The prize is a 10-day trip to New Zealand travelling through the Christchurch and Canterbury regions, where I will get to meet and work with travel and tourism operators throughout the regions,” she says.

“I am very excited about the trip and I think the practical experience will be invaluable.”

Joanna is particularly passionate about regional tourism destination marketing, having grown up in Coomandook, 120km south-east of Adelaide.

“While we don’t have any tourism in Coomandook, growing up in the Murraylands region showed me that tourism can hold a significant role in regional communities,” she says.

“My favourite tourism destination in SA would have to be the Flinders Ranges with its beautiful landscapes, walks and natural attractions.”

In addition to studying for a double degree, Joanna has participated in UniSA’s Global Experience program, works two jobs, and volunteers where possible.

“As well as studying full time, I work two part-time jobs in the hospitality industry,” she says.

“I have volunteered to help out with several events over the course of my degree, and was involved in UniSA Open Day this year.

“Earlier this year I had the fantastic opportunity to travel to Hong Kong for two weeks as part of an intensive study tour with the Business School. We did a range of industry visits as well as cultural and tourist activities, making it a great all-round global experience.

“I also backpacked in Europe for six months in 2012 on a gap year before I began university.

“I’ve enjoyed the Bachelor of Tourism and Event Management so far. I feel like it has been a good mixture of business, management, tourism and events. I think that the skills being developed in the program will definitely be applicable to a wide range of potential jobs upon completion.”

Lecturer in Tourism Management in the School of Management, Dr Sunny Lee, says it was great to have Joanna representing the University.

“This is the second consecutive year that one of our students has won the SA Tourism Student of the Year Award,” Dr Lee says.

“Joanna is an excellent student. I am proud we have such an outstanding student winning the award, showcasing the quality of both our program and students.”