What’s currently averaging 29 degrees, dripping in gold and totally buzzing? It’s the Gold Coast right now. And if you work in events, sport or tourism – this is your time and place to shine.

For many talented and hard-working professionals, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) has been home for the past few days, weeks or months. While VU’s elite athletes are making us proud in the spotlight, our alumni behind the scenes are really running this show – touted as the biggest sporting event Australia will see this decade.

Andrew Flynn has a double degree in Exercise Science and Human Movement and Arts (Sports Admin). That and his love of sport, culture and events has led to his role as Deputy Venue Protocol Manager at the Games.

He’s hesitant to boast about celebs, but we forced some names out of him on this occasion. Andrew shares the incredible feedback the team is receiving:

“Being part of the Games Family Lounge has allowed me to provide a space for Australia’s most treasured athletes and celebrities to feel comfortable and welcome while they enjoy the Games. Hearing first hand from Dawn Fraser, Ian Thorpe and Gina Rinehart that these have been the best Games to be part of makes all the hard work worthwhile. It was also the first time I’ve spent an afternoon in the same room as a member of the British royal family!”

As for other career highs, Andrew makes the most of every opportunity, as his job takes him around the world.

"I was proud to be the youngest CEO of an ICC member country. It’s a truly great, and challenging experience. Running the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division Eight in Samoa was another incredible experience, as was travelling to India to be part of a global conference for an organisation out of Geneva to restructure and focus on its next 10 years of making positive global change.”

Practical experience like volunteering and uni placements helped Andrew to get where he is today.

“I spent my life volunteering for organisations, and made the most of my placements with VU, which led to great opportunities. As a boy from a small country town in Wonthaggi I have built my own network across Australia and the world.”

Jack Streefkerk’s double degree in Business (Event Management) and Sport and Recreation, has also taken him around the world. At the Games, Jack’s role is Deputy Venue Logistics Manager.

“My role at the Games allows me to be in the thick of everything at every venue. I am lucky enough to be spread across all venues and manage a team of 17 crew who distribute to venues that need assistance or to assist with problem-solving.”

Jack views his practical placements at uni as a great career kick-start to his career.

“While at VU I had placements at a local football club, fringe and music festivals and working overseas with a primary school as a swim coach. These placements were incredible and allowed me to learn and challenge myself, work as part of a team, and manage others.”

The Gold Coast Games are forecast to attract more than 670,000 visitors as well as 6,600 athletes and team officials from 70 member nations and territories. Over 15,000 volunteers have also been required to make GC2018 a memorable event.

To our alumni from degrees in Business, Arts, and Sport and from a range of TAFE programs, you are responsible for the smooth-running of the biggest sporting event Australia will see this decade.  We love your work, guys!

 

Writer: Jessica Jury

VU alumnus Andrew Flynn working at the 2018 Gold Coast Games.

Business alumnus and Deputy Venue Logistics Manager, Jack Streefkerk.

VU at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

  • Helen (Leni) Papdomanolakis, Fleet Operations Planner, Bachelor of Business (Event Management), 2011
  • Troy Fisher, Welcome Centre Coordinator, Diploma of Remedial Massage, 2013, Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management, 2016
  • Myles Benham, Venue Logistics Manager, Bachelor of Business (Management)/Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management, 2014
  • Georgia Blamey, Venue Operations Manager, Bachelor of Arts (Sports Administration)/Bachelor of Business (Event Management), 2007
  • Michael Falla, Site Venue Manager, Cert IV in Fitness, 2004; Bachelor of Exercise Science and Human Movement, 2008
  • Andrew Flynn, Deputy Venue Protocol Manager, Bachelor of Arts (Sports Admin)/Bachelor of Exercise Science and Human Movement
  • Matt Koleczko, Village Support Operations Manager, Cert II Sign Industry, 2003
  • Caitlin Yann, Netball Sport Operations Manager, Cert III in Sport and Recreation, 2012
  • Rebecca Yolland, Venue Operations Manager - Track Cycling, Bachelor of Arts (Recreation Management), 2004
  • Victoria Collins, Village Planning Manager, Bachelor of Arts (Sports Administration), 2004
  • Jason Robilliard, Assistant Venue General Manager, Graduate Diploma in Hospitality Management, 2000
  • Jack Streefkerk, Deputy Venue Logistics Manager, Bachelor of Business (Event Management)/Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management, 2015
  • John McLeod, Cluster Security Manager, Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety, 2012
  • Tim Glenane, Games Family Accreditation Coordinator, Bachelor of Business (Management)/Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management, 2012
  • Sharlene Boguslavsky, Corporate Hospitality Program Coordinator, Bachelor of Business, 2013
  • Mark Kenna, Venue Operations Manager, Bachelor of Arts (Sports Administration), 2003
  • Todd Woodbridge, Deputy Venue Logistics Manager, Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management, 2013
  • Jenny Southwell, Batonbearer's Lead, Queens Baton Relay, Bachelor of Arts (Sports Administration), 2003
  • Gina Smith, Venue Logistics Manager, Master of Sport Business, 2008
  • Janet Palmer, Games Time Visa Hub Manager, Graduate Certificate in Migration Law Practice, 2017
  • Simone Haugh, Spectator Experience Lead, Graduate Diploma in Sport Business, 2000
  • Ruth Retuta, Payroll Supervisor, Bachelor of Business (Management), 1994
  • Brandon Webber, Transport Planner, Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management, 2016