Outback role a new opportunity for TAFE SA graduate Kasuni

Feb 09, 2021

She’s well travelled and accustomed to big cities but TAFE SA International graduate Kasuni Fernando is thriving in the South Australian bush.

Kasuni, who studied TAFE SA’s new Bachelor of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management (099074G/CRS1400588), has been working in the Flinders Ranges for the past six months and the environment seems to suit her.

“I’m really enjoying the nature and wildlife in the Flinders Ranges. The scenery is calming and relaxing. It’s my first experience living in the outback and I think it’s the best time I’ve had in my four years in Australia,” she says.

She’s also enjoying success in the workplace. Initially employed to work on the front desk at the Wilpena Pound Resort, she has just won a new role as the manager of the front office and restaurant at Rawnsley Park Station.

“This managerial position has more responsibility and gives me the chance to challenge myself and put into practice the things I learnt while studying,” she says.

Kasuni, who is from Sri Lanka, began studying finance and accounting before making the switch to tourism and hospitality.

“My parents have a restaurant in Sri Lanka and they wanted me to do something different which is why I started accounting in Malaysia and then moved to Sydney, but I realised that hospitality is what makes me happy,” she says.

“From the time I was in Grade 2 I’ve been travelling with my family. I’ve been to 22 countries and I like exploring new things, new cultures.”

She started her hospitality studies in Melbourne and transferred to Adelaide when TAFE SA launched the Bachelor of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management.

Kasuni says her TAFE SA course combined with her previous experience working in her family’s hospitality business have prepared her well for her current role at Rawnsley Park Station.

The sheep station offers a range of accommodation styles including luxury eco villas, a restaurant and a variety of tourism experiences.

“The theory I learnt from TAFE SA helped me understand the processes very well and gave me a lot of confidence when I started working as I knew the importance of doing what I did and why things were done a certain way,” she says.

“While on the job I’ve learnt how important it is for all staff members to work together as a team and watch out for one another.”

Kasuni says the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted international tourism but hasn’t deterred domestic travellers from visiting the region.

“During the last few months, we have been very busy and at times at our full capacity. Summer is our low peak, but it’s been busy for us throughout,” she says.

Are you interested in studying Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management at TAFE SA? You may be eligible for a scholarship. Visit our International Scholarship page for further details and how to apply today.

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