Fiona Archer always thought she was destined to be a teacher. And she was right. It just took her a while to get there. After being lured away from the classroom into a career in the hotel management and tourism industry, she is now back where she belongs, as a teacher of tourism.
“It’s weird how things have turned out,” laughed Fiona. “All through school I had planned to be a kindergarten teacher. Then in Year 10 after working at a motel, my manager suggested I go to hospitality college. The idea really appealed as I thought it might open up opportunities for travel. After discovering there was a very highly regarded hospitality college in Hobart I applied and was accepted. That was the first step on what has turned out to be an immensely rewarding career journey.”
Fiona went on to complete vocational education and training (VET) qualifications including an Associate Diploma of Hotel Management, a Diploma of Tourism and a three-year Hotel Management internship in Sydney at the Hotel Inter-Continental. At the end of her internship she was asked what area she would like to specialise in, and had the dawning realisation that area was in fact training. A chance meeting with the Manager of the local TAFE in 1997 sealed her fate.
“He asked me if I had considered teaching hospitality. That opened my eyes to the perfect pathway that would enable me to combine my two passions of Hospitality and Tourism and teach my skills and knowledge to others.”
Since then Fiona has completed a Bachelor of Adult and Vocational Education, numerous versions of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and a Master of Education. She has also attained the highest professional recognition, taking out the VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award at the 2012 Australian Training Awards. Fiona is now a teacher of Tourism and an Advanced Skills Teacher and Quality Manager for VET programs at Hellyer College in Tasmania.
As a member of the VET Alumni Fiona is keen to share her passion and enthusiasm for VET and continue to motivate and inspire others. “VET is real and authentic learning for a chosen industry career that opens so many doors,” said Fiona. “It gives students the perfect start to a journey which can lead to a dynamic career with ongoing opportunities for further education.”
Book a VET Alumni member
To invite Fiona to share her success story at your event please contact VETAlumni@education.gov.au.