TAFE students behind the scenes stars of Gold Coast Music Awards

Gold Coast Music Awards last month celebrated the Coast’s local, homegrown musical talent, but it was the behind the scenes work of another group of Gold Coast locals who really brought the evening to life.

TAFE Gold Coast supported the 2016 Gold Coast Music Awards by providing rockstar students to work behind the scenes during the preparation and running of the event, putting their TAFE education into professional practice.

The partnership with TAFE Gold Coast is a real win-win, said Gold Coast Music Awards organiser Samantha Morris among the hustle and bustle of preparation.

“We all know how hard it is to get real industry experience when you’re studying,” she said. “I mean, I remember spending two weeks removing staples from paperwork in a bank as part of my ‘work experience’,” Morris said.

“Not only are we working with TAFE Gold Coast to give their students hands-on experience, but the students are helping us run a first-class event for the local music scene, with very limited resources.”

Over 25 TAFE Gold Coast students were involved in event management, sound and lighting, screen and media, hospitality, beauty, hairdressing, business and technical production; giving them a taste of what working in the local music industry is all about.

And boy did these students work hard!

TAFE students were seen quaffing beards, helping to set up lighting and staging, serving food, and filming the event at Burleigh Brewing Co. in June.

Among the crowd enjoying Burleigh Brewing Co. beer and dancing along to Hanlon Brothers, hospitality students served up a feast of chicken wings, burgers, brownies and more, courtesy of Hard Rock Café.

The red-carpet ready station was a highlight for guests and finalists, with beauty students touching up makeup, creating stylish up-dos and helping guests get photo-ready for the big night.

Two special mini-guests, daughters of ABC Gold Coast’s Matt Webber, made their appearance on the red carpet for a family photo after having their gorgeous locks curled by TAFE students.

As well as providing hands-on support, TAFE Gold Coast came onboard as sponsor for Music Champion of the Year category which celebrates the amazing people working behind the scenes in the local music scene.

“It’s quite fitting. Clearly TAFE Gold Coast is itself beavering away behind the scenes, championing music, art and culture and helping their students do the same,” Samantha Morris said.

TAFE Queensland Gold Coast General Manager Jenny Dodd says the Awards give students the opportunity to put their skills and training into practice.

“TAFE Queensland Gold Coast takes pride in providing real life work experience to all our students and has invested into the training delivery of our programs to include greater involvement with local industry. This ensures students get a well-rounded education so that they are ahead of the rest upon graduation,” Ms Dodd said.

“Students worked closely with their relevant industry professionals to assist with the various duties required to pull the entire event together from pre-event production, to setting the equipment and facilities, as well as provide on the night support for the event management team, sound and lighting crew, hospitality staff and more.”

Terrene Poyner was one of the students helping out on the evening. Having just finished her Certificate ||| in Hospitality, she says it was a great night and she enjoyed working alongside other TAFE friends.

“I have worked in hospitality previously but this was different. [Hospitality] is definitely something I want to do in the future so the Awards were good because it was so busy and lively – a great atmosphere,” she said.

Terrene was part of the hospitality team who served up Hard Rock Café’s catering.

“I was running food. Basically the chef would make the food and bring it out and we would check it to make sure everything was good before running platters around to guests.”

And would she get involved with the Gold Coast Music Awards again?

“Definitely! I loved it and it was great experience for me.”

Not only do events like the Gold Coast Music Awards prove the exceptional musical talent produced locally, but they give local students the opportunity to get a foot in the door and experience what goes on behind the scenes of a first-class event.

“TAFE’s involvement definitely added a new dimension to the event,” Samantha said. “Plus, it was important to us to give students some hands on experience.”

“We’re really excited to grow our involvement with TAFE Gold Coast, particularly given that they’re the official partner for training volunteers at the Commonwealth Games.”

“It’s a really exciting time for education and events on the Gold Coast.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Fotoforce Photography


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