Well, it’s that time of year again, when we exchange our jeans for shorts, our comfort food for a good barbecue, and ‘Santa Baby’ gets stuck in our heads from now until Christmas. It’s been another fantastic year for Student Horizons, and while everyone’s looking forward to a bit of a break, we couldn’t be happier with what we’ve achieved this year.
Our groups have travelled all over the world, around destinations such as Europe, USA, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. We’ve provided experiences for life to students and teachers! They got to learn new things, forge new friendships and visit new places. It’s been our privilege to see these young people go out into the world and learn a bit about themselves in the process.
Student Horizons’ very own biennial international youth music festival, ASPIRE, was held on the Gold Coast this year. The festival attracted over 500 students and teachers from Australia and New Zealand. It was our pleasure to see so many talented young musicians coming together, not only to compete, but to connect over a shared passion for music.
2019 was our third year of partnership with Reds Rugby and Queensland Rugby Union. We are proud to sponsor two of their fantastic events supporting grassroots rugby: Student Horizons Ballymore Cup and Student Horizons All Schools 7s.
In 2019 we also formed a partnership with the Chief’s rugby franchise to enhance our rugby experience for teams travelling to New Zealand. We are very passionate about creating unique experiences for touring teams and we are thrilled the Chiefs Rugby Experience can add to that.
And while we’re on the subject of rugby, Student Horizons sent two schools to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan – St Joseph’s Nudgee College from Brisbane, Australia, and Feilding High School from Feilding, New Zealand. Both schools had a marvellous time getting immersed in the Japanese culture, not to mention witnessing some truly thrilling world-class rugby. An upset for New Zealand and Australia though it might have been, these Australian and Kiwi students were anything but!
Perhaps the most significant milestone of this year for the Student Horizons Australian office was a move to shiny new premises! With significant growth and several new staff members this year alone, it was time for Student Horizons Australia to say a fond farewell to the Petrie Terrace space, and move HQ to an office with a bit more room to grow.
Our new HQ in Brisbane’s CBD was warmed up with laughter and conversation at our Office Warming Party in November. We were delighted to invite clients, business associates and friends to our new office, show everyone around, and share some delicious food from around the world.
Among a few new additions to our team this year, we are delighted to welcome two new faces to the Student Horizons Executive Team: Paula Maxwell and Steven Caunce.
Paula has over 20 years’ experience in the travel & hospitality industries, helping people discover the world and experience the joy of travel. She spent 14 years at Flight Centre, and 10 years at Mantra Hospitality Group, leading teams with her expertise in sales and client relations. Paula believes that travel at a young age can be life changing; a belief that began with her own experience on a student exchange to New Caledonia from Rotorua Girls’ High. She is joining Student Horizons as the Product General Manager and the National Sales Manager for Australia.
With 20 years in sales and marketing under his belt, Steve is an expert in marketing strategy, client engagement, and relationship building. He is a passionate supporter of opportunities for young people, and in his previous role at Fuji Xerox, was instrumental in getting $1m worth of investment in the New Zealand’s education industry. His work on this project helped position Fuji Xerox as one of the primary grassroots supporters of NZ schools. He has also developed trusted partnerships at a senior level with many of New Zealand’s top secondary schools. Originally from the UK, Steve has travelled extensively and made New Zealand his home over 17 years ago. He is joining Student Horizons as the Marketing General Manager and the National Sales Manager for New Zealand.
We want to extend our thanks to each and every one of our clients for another successful year of touring, and we hope to work with you all again in 2019!
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season,
The team at Student Horizons