Appetites more than satisfied during MSC hospitality field trip to Sydney

MOREE Secondary College hospitality students were left more than satisfied, thanks to a recent field trip to Sydney, where they gained greater insights – and appreciation – to the diverse industry.

The five-day excursion afforded the Year 11 and 12 students an opportunity to see first-hand the scale of the industry, and allowed them access to some of the State’s most significant hospitality facilities.

Hospitality teacher Jessi-Lee Stewart championed the trip as an opportunity for rural students to gain broader industry experience, and open their eyes to a new world of possibilities.

“It was amazing to see this cohort of students so engaged and inspired, we packed a lot into our five days to ensure a well-rounded sample of the whole industry,” Ms Stewart said.

Laura Adcock, Nic Sim, Andrew Amos, Charliez Dyball, Jorgie Forsyth and Alliyah Davison get up close and personal at The Sydney Fish Market.

From 6am starts at the Flemington Flower Market and Sydney Fish Market, to a behind-the-scenes look at the ANZ Stadium and Star Casino catering teams, Ms Stewart said students received a unique insight into each aspect of the industry.

“We were so fortunate to experience the whole process, from the producers’ fresh delivery at the market, to wholesaling to large establishments such as The Star through to food prep and front-of-house service,” Ms Stewart said.

“We have a thriving hospitality industry here in Moree, but it is not large so to see the infrastructure required for broad-scale hospitality, literally feeding thousands was phenomenal.”

Bartering for their own fruit and vegetable boxes at the Sydney Fruit Market, handling fresh fish and seafood at the Fish Markets and sampling edible flowers at the Sydney Flower Markets were just some of the highlights.

A tour of Sydney boutique favourite, The Old Clare Hotel, also proved popular.

“We were able to view the penthouse, right through to the underground staff quarters, which were not quite as glamorous,” Ms Stewart laughed.

“But we all learned to appreciate the time and quality invested in such a high-calibre establishment.”

At the other end of the scale, Ms Stewart admitted the group was in awe of the processes necessary at venues such as The Star and ANZ Stadium.

“From conveyor belts of plates to the food prep tricks of the trade, we learned that you need organisation and very specific processes to feed thousands, and feed them well,” she said.

A claim to fame appearing on Seven Sunrise, plus an unexpected encounter with the French President, Emmanuel Macron, where icing on the cake.

“Considering there were a number of students who had never visited Sydney before, the trip was an outstanding experience,” Ms Stewart said.

Charliez Dyball at the Sydney Fruit Market.

“The students were amazed at the variety of job opportunities in hospitality, many they had never realised – you almost see their minds ticking over with ideas.”

A visit to a milk bar-themed boutique café also revealed the creative element possible in the industry.

“I was so impressed by the students’ ideas for their own business plans, they were so inspired and coming up with some really fun themes for cafes and eateries,” Ms Stewart said.

With an element of the HSC hospitality exam focused on large corporate hospitality and processes, Ms Stewart is also confident the Moree Secondary College students will now be better-prepared for upcoming exams.

She believed the trip also encouraged different apprenticeship and job options that previously may not have been considered.  

“There are so many opportunities in hospitality, from front-of-house to back-of-house to business ownership – and you really don’t need a qualification.

“If you’re prepared to give it a go and are reliable, then there’s a job for everyone.

“Although I must admit, everyone was pretty keen to end up at the Old Clare Hotel, which has a role dedicated to designing personalised gifts for guest,” she laughed.

Year 12 student Taylor Woodgate was thrilled by the trip, and agreed that she had no idea how intense the industry could be.

“Working in those big establishments, every process has to be spot-on or there could easily be a disaster,” Ms Stewart said.

“Country kids don’t have access to big fancy casinos or front-of-house service, so it was an amazing experience and I feel it’s really given me a greater insight into the industry for my HSC,” Taylor said.

Words: Georgina Poole

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