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TAFE NSW students keep Bluesfest in rhythm

TAFE NSW Casino, Wollongbar, Lismore and Ballina

TAFE NSW students keep Bluesfest in rhythm

TAFE NSW students from Casino, Wollongbar, Lismore and Ballina volunteered throughout Bluesfest to feed 800 staff and volunteers through the 169 musical performances across the festival last month in Byron Bay.

Diploma of Events students have been working in internships with Bluesfest since November 2018 providing support in administration, ticketing, booking and general office duties while students studying cookery, hospitality, tourism and events worked during the festival in a hospitality van within the volunteer’s headquarters.

Andrew Habner and Sarah Schoupp, Teachers for Tourism, Events, Cookery and Hospitality at TAFE NSW attended the festival to support students and mark them on their skills in festival activities.

Mr Habner explained students gain valuable experience at the event and have the opportunity to build industry connections which could lead to their career break upon graduation.

"TAFE NSW students develop the skills they need while studying, encounter opportunities they would not usually have had access to and work alongside industry insiders who have been in the business for years. TAFE NSW nurtures these industry connections so that we can offer students exclusive internships, opportunities and experiences."

Sarah Walden who studies a Certificate IV in Hospitality said she had a great time enjoying the music while serving staff and volunteers.

“Working at the festival helped me discover what I do and don’t enjoy and helped me make decisions about my career direction. I never would have had the chance to get experience at such an iconic festival if I wasn’t studying at TAFE NSW; it was really interesting to see how it all works.”

Annette Hartley is a mature aged student who hails from Casino. Annette studies a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery and is on track to graduate in December this year.

“I’ve never been to a music festival before and I would never have been able to go if it weren’t for studying at TAFE NSW. I got to see the behind-the-scenes running of the event, see how things work at an occasion that big.”

“The teachers at TAFE NSW are so supportive and patient and you can really see their years of experience.”

For more detail on TAFE NSW courses, face-to-face or online, visit or call 131 601.

Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Media Officer,