Success stories

The following success stories provide an insight into real people working in travel & tourism.

We have a selection of stories including the flexible worker, the intern, the trainee and the mature worker.

Read on to find out more about how these individuals' career paths have progressed.

Mature Age Worker

Jacqueline (Jackie) Maso, Business Travel Consultant, HRG Australia

After raising a family Jackie returned to the workforce for some years with a Software company in Logistics. The company moved to Melbourne and her position became redundant.

Jackie thought about what she would like to do and since she loved to travel, she decided to enroll at the AFTA travel college for a full time 6 month travel course which she passed successfully. After graduating she joined American Express Platinum for a short time where she received training in domestic travel bookings.

Jackie decided to try corporate travel and was employed by HRG Australia in the role of corporate domestic travel consultant.? During her time with HRG she has gained valuable experience and ongoing training in all aspects of domestic corporate travel, resulting in her now being trained as an international consultant.

Jackie has proven to be a reliable, hard-working and trusted employee.? She works in a team predominantly made up of younger employees and her maturity and work ethic forms an integral part of her working relationship with colleagues and clients alike.

Flexible Working Hours

Monica Godfrey, Travelscene American Express

After starting a family Monica gradually came back to work in the office on a part time basis and eventually full time into a Product Buying role. Unfortunately her full time position was made redundant only 6 months after it began. Monica was very fortunate however that she was relocated to the Marketing Department.

Whilst Monica was thrilled with her work situation, she was quite unhappy with her personal one. Her son was now 2 years old and she was spending very little time with him as she usually got home after 7pm - living in the Western Suburbs resulted in more than 3 hours commuting time per day.

Monica decided that it was important to be around for her son and did not want him growing up in the Western Suburbs but rather in Culburra Beach, a lovely coastal town 2.5 hours south of Sydney. Monica approached management with a proposal outlining why she believed that her role could be fulfilled via remote access (20 hours per week) without any disruption to the company - in fact she felt it could be more efficient.? Monica was delighted when her proposal was accepted.

Later that year Monica discovered she was pregnant with her second child, a welcome surprise. The working situation then became even more ideal as she suffered a lot of morning sickness with her pregnancies, and this time she did not have to take any time off work as she could simply fulfill her role during evenings / weekends and whenever she was not feeling ill ? making sure her work did not have to suffer. With the flexibility of the role she was able to return to work much quicker after the birth than If she was based in the office.

Monica is extremely grateful for the opportunity of working by remote access, as it provides her with work life balance. Monica works very hard to make sure that TSAX are happy with her work so that she can continue to work with flexibility that is win win for both parties.

Monica holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Management and Marketing.


Belinda Perry, Human Resources Administrator, HRG Australia

My name is Belinda Perry and I am 23, currently working as a Human Resources Administrator for HRG Australia.

In 2003, after completing high school, I started my journey and education with HRG in a Business Administration Traineeship.? My traineeship role was as a Receptionist for Head office and support to the Victorian Operations Manager.? This role gave me a great insight to the operational side of the business and allowed me to become familiar with the different business areas at HRG. After completion of my traineeship in 2004, HRG offered me a permanent position as Administrative Assistant.

After 12 months in this role and with the further knowledge that I had gained, HRG then gave me the opportunity (without any formal training in travel) to begin in a role as a Business Travel Consultant.? At this time HRG arranged for me to complete a Galileo course to learn the reservation system as well as a certificate in Australian Fares and Ticketing.? This gave me the knowledge to work as a consultant in both domestic and international travel.

In 2006 a new role of HR Administrator was announced, I was successful in my application for this position and transferred from consulting to HR in June 2006.? As I did not hold formal HR qualifications, HRG are currently supporting my study at Swinburne and I hope to receive my HR Diploma by the end of this year. I can say, I am doing exactly what I want to do and I love my job!

My role and responsibilities as HR Administrator have grown, as has my knowledge of HR over the last 18 months.? Because of my history as a former trainee I now manage two staff members who are completing traineeships with William Angliss Travel.? These staff have also been given the amazing opportunity of working and studying at the same time.? With the support of HRG we have implemented a trainee program that allows these staff members to spend time in various areas of the business such as travel consulting, finance, reception and even a bit of HR.? This allows them to gain a broad knowledge of the company and how each area impacts the other and ensures that at the end of their traineeship they have a true knowledge of which business area they may like to work with.

My traineeship and continued employment with HRG has given me the opportunity to not only expand my knowledge but expand myself as a person and I can only thank HRG for where I am today and the opportunities I have had over the last 4.5 years.


Jessica McClean, Tourism Australia

In 2004 Jessica McClean began her bachelor of Business in Tourism Management with Southern Cross University unsure if this was an industry that was right for her. Now, four years on, she is convinced there is no other business she would rather be in!

In the last year of her degree, Jessica was required to undertake an internship during final semester. To satisfy this essential component and be eligible to graduate, Jessica needed to complete a minimum of 20 weeks or 600 hours (whichever came last) working in the industry. With so many various companies and directions it was a daunting task to choose the right path. It was not until a representative from Tourism Australia (TA) came to the university and made a presentation detailing their internship program that Jessica found her place. After talking with the company representative and completing an application, she crossed her fingers and waited for good news.

After gaining an interview and then earning a place as an intern, Jessica began her internship with the company in August 2006. The next five months were filled with new experiences, rapid learning and great achievements. Luckily for Jessica, the TA program allowed her to work with two very different departments, International Media Relations and Trade Events. After having the opportunity to see numerous sides of the business. Jessica knew this was somewhere she wanted to stay. Fortunately, that is a dream that came true, and Jessica has now been a member of the Trade Events team at Tourism Australia for almost two years.

Career Changer

Danielle Brownie, Spencer Travel

My name is Danielle Brownie and I work at Spencer Travel as the Receptionist. The role is a part-time position working from Monday to Wednesday. I have been in the role for six months and I love working in the travel industry!

I am new to the travel industry as my past career/jobs have been in the Finance/Banking industry. My most recent job was working as a Secretary/PA to an Executive Director. It was a very busy and demanding role that I enjoyed but once I left to start a family, my priorities changed.

I have always had a passion for travel and I am very fortunate that over the years I have had the opportunity to travel to a variety of exciting destinations including Malawi, Zimbabwe, the Maldives and Vietnam.

When I decided to return to work after being a stay at home mum for a few years, I really wanted to work in an industry that I had an interest in. I was able to move into the industry due to my past work experience and I was very happy to be offered the position as Receptionist at Spencer Travel.

My role is a busy but varied one and obviously my main priority is managing the reception area and telephone system, but to also provide secretarial support to the travel consultants and management team. Just to mention a few new things I have learnt: chasing hotel commissions; using Tramada; updating data bases and updating the intranet. This, along with the general duties in the day to day running of the office, makes my day go by very quickly!

The Travel Industry is an exciting industry to be working in. I am learning more each day and love the balance between my work life and family life.

Career Changer - Business Owner

Sue Gorman, Travelscene American Express

In 2003 Sue Gorman took the opportunity to purchase Travelscene Kempsey where she has now been working for twenty-six years, a milestone by anyone's reckoning.

Sue is a successful owner and manager of her business, and also one of it’s busy travel consultants. Sue began her career in retail customer service by working for her mother in a fashion boutique. After moving to Sydney her passion for being a travel agent evolved after taking a job as a receptionist in a travel agency. Unlike today, there were no formal courses available at that time so Sue soaked up her knowledge on the job and by undertaking any industry training she could, including fares and ticketing.

Sue loved working in a business where she could help people achieve their holiday wishes so after moving back to Kempsey Sue started a family and started working in a her local travel agency – which she now owns.

Sue has had an interesting journey and distinguished career but she advises anyone seeking a career in travel today to ensure they research the type of role they are interested in and then seek appropriate training. Sue recommends a minimum of Certificate 3 in a suitable tourism course combined with work experience in a customer service role.

It was a happy accident which bought Sue to the travel industry and it has been a very interesting time on the path to being a business owner and employer. Sue is passionate about the travel industry and still remembers the fabulous snorkelling on her very first “educational” trip to Vanuatu. Some of the highlights over the years have been scaling the heights of Machu Picchu, travelling in Europe, particularly Italy, and the wonderful experiences in the heat of Manila in the Philippines. These are some of the pleasures Sue enjoys as a reward for many hours of hard work and dedication to her job.

As the owner/manager of her own business, Travelscene Kempsey, Sue controls the helm of one of only two businesses in Australia with 50 years continuous membership of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA).

Sue has proven herself through her continuing determination, commitment to her staff and her business, and most of all in her knowledge, service and genuine love of delivering travel solutions to her customers.

Sue is an excellent role model for anyone wanting to start a career in the travel industry. You need some luck, a desire to give great service to your clients and a willingness to keep learning, as things are always changing, particularly in the world of retail travel.