Wazana Maza’s dreams of travelling the world led her all the way from Queensland to Melbourne Polytechnic to study tourism.
The skills she’s learned, particularly through practical experience like organising events helped to increase her confidence levels. Wazana hopes to work as a tour guide when she finishes studying.
Growing up in remote central Queensland, Melbourne Polytechnic student Wazana Maza had big dreams of travelling the world. Her brother, an indigenous tour guide at a dreamtime cultural centre, helped fuel her ambition. “He’s my inspiration. He’s done really well”. Now in her 2nd year studying the Advanced Diploma of Tourism course at Melbourne Polytechnic, 19-year-old Wazana is well on her way to making that dream a reality.
When she finishes the course later this year, Wazana hopes to either work as a tour guide, or get a job in a travel agency and eventually work as a scout, travelling to new tourist destinations on fact-finding missions. She says working in tourism suits her personality. “I get to be myself, show my personality and do something I love. I’ve always wanted to travel and learning the ins and outs of the industry has painted a picture for me.”
The course involves plenty of practical experience. Last year Wazana’s class organised a tour to the Mornington Peninsula for 60 students, taking in three sites, with guest speakers and fun activities. “We all had to do the commentary on the bus. It really helps to get your confidence up and it was fun.” Students also had to negotiate prices and discounts for the trip, and Wazana had the opportunity to lead a team. “It’s taught me how to be a good leader. This course has helped me to grow. It’s definitely brought me out of my shell a bit more.”
Through industry contacts at Melbourne Polytechnic, Wazana also had the opportunity to do volunteer work at Etihad stadium. Together with a team of volunteers, she helped to organise the halftime show for the Australia v New Zealand rugby union game last year. “We had to run out before the players and carry the flag. It was awesome, the best experience.”
When she moved to Reservoir a year ago, Wazana was staying with her brother and uncle and didn’t know anyone else in Melbourne. Connecting with Melbourne Polytechnic’s Koorie Services Centre, which supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and encourages them to reach their potential, has really helped her to settle into campus life.
“They were excellent. They hooked me up with tickets for public transport and they were very supportive. I received a study grant and I also got to meet other indigenous students. It’s been awesome.”
Advanced Diploma of Tourism