Tourism students raise $23,000

How do you turn $130 into $23,000 in one semester? Get twenty-three highly motivated Tourism and Hospitality students from La Trobe University to organise and host a fundraising event for Cancer Council Victoria in ten weeks.

Tourism students


Tourism Venture Planning (TVP) is a third year elective offered through the School of Management. It gives students the rare opportunity to gain experience in organizing and facilitating an event, experience that goes a long way when applying for jobs in such a cutthroat industry.

Three groups consisting of up to nine students put on three spectacular events last October which attracted close to 500 people. The events supported Cancer Council Victoria, a non-profit organisation involved in cancer research and cancer support, prevention and advocacy.

Student and group leader, Kate Taylor, says the subject and event were rewarding experiences and the hard work of planning, organising and implementing the event paid off when her group raised over $7000.

‘I felt that the subject brought together all aspects of my tourism management degree. Our events required us to utilise practical skills that we had previously learnt such as accounting, marketing and management which we could put into use when organising our events in a practical environment,’ says Kate.

The subject is similar to on the job training and students had to count on resources like networking and organisation to be successful. Student Vanessa Mukunyadze says ‘unlike most university subjects, TVP enabled us to go beyond the academic side of things and actually take part in the 'real world' of the day to day business side of things.’

‘Having TVP on my resume has proven to be very beneficial as it shows potential employers my strengths and abilities,’ says Vanessa.

The subject outline required students to prepare a detailed operational plan using creativity to present profitable events. The funds raised last October were a record for the subject, which has been running for ten years says Jessica Derham, Course Coordinator and Associate Lecturer in the School of Management.

‘To have the opportunity to teach a subject, which I myself completed as a student in 2005 was an amazing experience. The hardworking students involved last year conducted themselves professionally, I have no doubts they will take a great deal from this experience, like I did,’ says Jessica.

Each student was presented with individual certificates of appreciation from both Cancer Council Victoria and Jessica at the end of the course. The students will have the chance to personally name the project to which their money will go towards, and be kept up to date with the research progress from Cancer Council.

‘The generous contribution from the Tourism and Hospitality students at La Trobe University will help us make a real difference to the many lives touched by cancer. Every dollar raised will help fund life-saving cancer research, prevention programs to help Victorians reduce their cancer risk, and support programs for people facing cancer,’ says Cancer Council Victoria.

Students Elissa Rontani and Fatme Dirani agreed that the subject was the highlight throughout their tertiary education and will enhance their skills for future careers.

‘By far, the most rewarding part was the end result. My main reason to stay in events is definitely that component of the whole organising process and seeing the whole event come together successfully,’ says Elissa.

The School of Management have commenced a new Events Management Degree this year, which will provide students with a deep understanding of the Events Industry and improve professional opportunities in such a competitive environment. As the Tourism Discipline has just received an above world standard ERA result of ‘4’, students will be taught by some of Australia’s leading researchers in the field.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Jessica Derham

Teaching Fellow, School of Management
T: 03 9479 3912 M: 0402 202 529 E:

Meghan Lodwick
La Trobe University Communications Officer
T: 03 9479 5353 M: 0418 495 941 E: