Bond University Communications alumnus, Emma Cao, has won the Michael (Mick) Crawley Memorial Award for Young Achiever in Tourism at the 2013 Countrylink North Coast Tourism Awards, presented in front of a crowd of tourism industry professionals at Ballina last weekend [Saturday, August 17].
Emma completed her Bachelor of Communications at Bond in 2007, with a string of First in Class honours to her credit, as well as two Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) awards.
“I was attracted to Bond initially because of the small class sizes and the personal contact this facilitated with our lecturers,” said Emma.
“I was also able to complete my degree a full year ahead of my peers at other universities, thanks to Bond’s three-semesters-per-year schedule. This gave me a significant head-start in terms of my career and has since resulted in opportunities and promotions much sooner than I expected.”
As a Bond student, Emma undertook a 12-week internship with the Ray Group at Salt Village which led to the offer of a permanent part-time position as their Marketing and Communication Coordinator – a role she was able to manage while still studying a full subject load.
Immediately after finishing her degree, Emma was offered full-time employment as the Ray Group’s Marketing and Events Coordinator, achieving rapid promotion to Sales and Marketing Manager within two years.
In 2011, Emma joined the Tweed’s peak tourism and business promotional body, Destination Tweed Inc., as Tourism Marketing Coordinator and has recently been promoted to Marketing Manager.
“I was lucky enough to grow up on the Tweed, attending Kingscliff High School,” said Emma. “Studying at Bond meant that I could enjoy all the benefits of Australia’s leading private university while continuing to live and work in the region I love.
“Working for Destination Tweed is a real privilege because I get to promote the place that is my heart and soul. It really isn’t a job for me – it’s what I get to do every day because I love it.”
The 2013 Young Achiever in Tourism Award came as a complete surprise to the 26-year-old marketing whiz.
“I had no idea I’d made it through as one of the finalists until my name was read out on the night,” she said.
“It’s a wonderful honour and I feel very humbled to be singled out like this among all the dedicated people who work to promote tourism along the North Coast.
“I’m also very fortunate to work with such a dynamic team at Destination Tweed, representing our local industry of hard-working, creative and innovative operators all eager to collaborate for the benefit of our region. Winning the Young Achiever Award is just the icing on the cake.”