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Kate takes skills abroad for dream internship


Zuleika Henderson
11 June 2010
Tugun-based student Kate Hunter is packing her bags for Vanuatu as part of an internship project with Southern Cross University’s Research Centre for Tourism, Leisure and Work aimed at helping more women get into music.

The dream internship will see Kate putting the knowledge learned as part of her Bachelor of Business in Tourism Management course at Southern Cross University's Lismore campus into practice at the Fest’Napuan music festival in Vanuatu where she will help organise the Women in Music symposium.

Fest’Napuan, which will take place this year from October 21-23, is an annual free event which attracts more than 30,000 visitors and artists from across the world. The symposium will take place over two days as part of the festival and will feature well established business women from all industries as guest speakers, practical workshops for young women and academic workshops to discuss new research possibilities on the topic of women in the music industry.

Kate, who will stay in Vanuatu for one week initially, returning in October for around one month, said she was excited about spending time overseas.

“If I hadn’t done my degree I would never have had the opportunity to do something like this, and I am really looking forward to it,” said Kate.

“It will be a challenge, because running an event is something I have never done before, but it will allow me to put what I have learned into practice.

“I’ll also have the opportunity to do lots of networking and meet a lot of people, which will help me to decide what direction I would like to go in when I finish my studies at the end of this year.”

Southern Cross University’s Research Centre for Tourism, Leisure and Work is working on a number of projects to address the gender bias in the music industry and around the world, and has established the Australian branch of the new ‘Women in Music Committee’ featuring successful business people and experts in the music industry.

The formation of the committee has inspired the creation of a sister ‘Women in Music Committee’ in Vanuatu which has also initiated a local counterpart internship role to work with Kate in organising the symposium.

Director of the Centre Professor Kerry Brown welcomed Kate’s participation in the project.

“Kate will be a great ambassador for Southern Cross University in Vanuatu. Her studies through the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management have prepared her well to undertake this role, and she has shown herself to be resourceful and able to generate new ideas for the project,” said Professor Brown.

“The music industry in Melanesia is relatively male dominated and there is a gender imbalance within the music industry in general, so we hope to address that.

“During Fest’Napuan we hope that the ‘Women in Music Committees’ from Australia and Vanuatu can take advantage of so many talented women being in the same place by facilitating the formation of a ‘Pacific Women’s Music Alliance’ – a network to provide ongoing support for women in the music industry in all of the countries in the Pacific region.“

Photo: Kate Hunter (high resolution image available on request)