Events planning for a good cause

All semester long students from La Trobe University’s third-year Event Planning subject have been organising fundraising events for the Heidelberg School Artists Trail to raise money for Cancer Council Victoria and Gertrude Street Projection Festival to raise money for the Arts Access and the Fitzroy Learning Network. 

Team workDivided into six small groups, the undergraduates have been given an $850 budget to increase awareness of the events while learning how to work together and facilitate each project.

‘In total $2250 has been provided by the Gertrude Street Association and the four Councils that make up the Heidelberg School Artists Trail to support students in running a number of events and making the task more of a reality,’ says Jessica Derham, Associate Lecture, Department of Marketing, Tourism and Hospitality. 

‘In addition, La Trobe has also provided $2000. This has given students a reasonable budget, real clients and the opportunity to host their own events. The inspiration for this project is largely based on the success of students who undertook the subject in 2010 and raised $23,000 for Cancer Council Victoria which has set the bar for students this semester,’ she says.

Four of the groups are focussing on the Heidelberg School Artists Trail Festival and have been allocated a Council each from the 40km track that meanders through Melbourne’s northeast region to organise and promote the activities for charity.

The Banyule City Council planners will be put on Paint the Trail, a child friendly affair followed by a silent local art auction. The Shire of Yarra Ranges Council group is holding a treasure hunt marketed as the Amazing Charity Challenge while the Nillumbik Shire Council organisers have put together the Walter Withers Walk, sharing the history behind the well-known trail.

Bachelor of Marketing student Katarina Sim is the leader of the Manningham City Council group and has used social media and support from friends to get the Flashbacks Charity Ball event off and running.

‘I actually can’t believe what our group has accomplished so far. We have booked a band, an MC, set up a website and managed to garner sponsorship,’ says Katarina.

‘It’s been a great experience working professionally with the council and getting everything organised, I have learned to navigate through obstacles and more about the industry.’

The Gertrude Street Projection Festival is not until July but two groups of students have put together a clothing exchange to be held at Fitzroy bar The Workers Club, in order to raise money for the annual event.

Overall the students have found that dealing in these real life situation have been the most rewarding as having a client to organize events for has given them a strong sense of responsibility.

‘I’ve been thrown in the deep end, I didn’t realize how much hard work goes into event planning, but working with other students as a team has helped forge relationships and get through the ups and downs of the business,’ says Felicia Soria, Bachelor of Event Management and Nillumbik planner.


To attend these events or for more information:

Elements of Getrude - 13th of May 4pm -10.00pm 


Flashbacks ball - 19th of May 6.30 - 11.30pm


Walter Withers Walk Extravaganza - 20th of May 9am-2pm

CONTACT: Felicia Soria,   


Amazing Charity Challenge - 20th of May 11am -5.30pm



Paint the Trail - 27th of May 10am -3pm




For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Jessica Derham

Associate Lecturer, Department of Marketing, Tourism and Hospitality, La Trobe University

T:  03 9479 3912 M:  0402 202 529 E: 


Meghan Lodwick

La Trobe University Media and Communications Officer

T:  03 9479 5353 M:  0418 495 941 E: