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Team Angliss Wins Victorian Tourism Industry Council Award

Team Angliss won the coveted 2023 Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) Entrepreneurial Award with their innovative sensory light and water-based spectacle titled Aqualuminate.

The team - Gaurika Bhatia, Samal Agalwatta and Rose Fernando - have proposed that Aqualuminate be installed on the Birrarung Marr/Yarra River, along with existing winter activations like RISING, with the aim to drive increased visitation to the City of Melbourne and economic recovery.

Now in its sixth year, the Award supports and encourages new ideas and the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation among tertiary students. It also continues to inspire young people to think innovatively about the visitor economy, grow industry engagement opportunities and give them the opportunity to develop their ideas into viable business plans.

With the other finalists for 2023 being Holmesglen Institute and Melbourne Polytechnic, the competition saw all participants pitch their imaginative concepts, which were aligned with the Victorian State Government's Visitor Economy Recovery and Reform Plan, to a panel of industry judges from VTIC.

Quality Tourism Framework Program Manager at VTIC Siobhan Killury said, "The judges praised the students from William Angliss Institute for their inclusive outlook in creating an accessible experience, while also establishing a powerful connection to Melbourne/Naarm's water story and the Wurundjeri and Bunurong peoples. The group's visuals also stood out among the presentations and gained praise."

Bachelor of Tourism and Hospitality Management student Gaurika Bhatia, who has also completed the Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management, said that winning the competition was not easy and involved many 'all-nighters', however, their dedication and effort was certainly worthwhile.

"This win was truly exceptional! The path to success was marked by various obstacles, however, we managed to overcome them through team collaboration and problem-solving. We all had an overwhelming sense of pride and a profound feeling of relief, knowing that we achieved our goal.

"We felt a deep sense of honour for the opportunity we received, as well as the academic support from the Faculty of Higher Education at William Angliss Institute, especially from Tanya Harrowell and Lynn Richardson," said Gaurika

The idea for Aqualuminate was inspired by the ongoing water installation shows that act as a major tourism driver for the economies of Las Vegas and Dubai. "These shows play a vital role in the destination profile of these regions, which influence how tourists perceive a destination."

Aqualuminate would also create a sense of community and belonging for visitors to Melbourne," added Gaurika.

Supporting the three key experience pillars of 'Nature', 'Arts' and 'Culture plus Design', of the Visitor Economy Recovery and Reform Plan, Bachelor of Resort & Hotel Management (International Practice) student Rose Fernando said, "Creating an event that draws on creativity from artists to attracting families and children for a spectacular light and water show was also part of our aim."

Rose looks forward to a contributing to the tourism and hotel industry with a sustainability lens and becoming a leader in innovation and driving positive change.

Hospitality Operations Lecturer and Bachelor of Tourism and Hospitality Course Coordinator Tanya congratulated the Angliss team on their remarkable achievement in developing their idea. "They demonstrated unwavering determination by persistently meeting, yielding great results. On the day of the presentation, they showcased exceptional skills in collaboration and storytelling, leaving a lasting impression. I was filled with immense pride for all of them.

Bachelor of Tourism and Hospitality Management student Samal Agalawatta was also excited about the team's win. For those considering a career in tourism he suggests keeping an open mind. "It is a large industry with countless opportunities, constant innovation and an ever-changing environment," he explained.

Samal decided to study at our Melbourne campus after completing Certificates I and II plus the Diploma in Tourism and Hospitality Management, followed on by the Advanced Diploma in Tourism and Hospitality Management in Sri Lanka. "After coming to Australia, I realised that I love the hotel industry so I aim to blend these passions in the next phase of my career," said Samal.

Currently working at Le Meridien Melbourne, Gaurika aims to gain diverse experience in the industry and is keen to be a driver in ethical and sustainable tourism.

"A career in tourism can be exceptionally rewarding when approached with a genuine love and passion for the industry. It allows individuals to not only explore the world but also to contribute to the well-being of destinations and communities and make a positive impact on a global and local scale," she concluded.

William Angliss Institute is proud to be a corporate partner of VTIC, continuing to support the development the next generation of tourism professionals.

Kick start your career in tourism today by studying one of our Bachelor Degree Courses. Contact or call +613 8595 5334.

Published Friday 13 October 2023