Port Macquarie student Arcadia Meldrum has her eyes set on a dream job at the Olympic Games after being crowned the Australian School-based Trainee of the Year for 2019.
The graduating Newman Senior Technical College collected the national accolade against six finalists at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on November 21.
Ms Meldrum began her events management traineeship as a 16 year-old with Rydges Port Macquarie during 2018 before continuing the program this year.
"I've been doing a lot of tourism and events with Rydges for my certificate three in tourism," she said.
"I think I like all of it and it's really hard to choose which part is my favourite. I like the planning part and putting something together that people will enjoy.
"No matter how hectic it gets you always know that it's worth it in the end just to see the results and see how happy people are of what you've created."
Ms Meldrum flourished during the 800 hour work placement as she juggled four days of school with a full day and some weekend work at Rydges.
She also managed to continue regular shifts with Roam Cafe in Flynns Beach and Inner Vision Surf n Skate.
"I began working pretty young and I don't find it difficult," she said.
"You get to do all different things and it's non-stop, I really enjoy that. I have the option to do a bit of everything and I don't like being bored.
"I think I'm very people orientated, I love talking to everyone and meeting new people. All the jobs I've done they are all people orientated and that's what motivates me the most."
Her determination resulted in winning the NSW Training Awards School-based Trainee of the Year as well as a meeting with Minister for Skills and Higher Education, Dr Geoff Lee.
"I think because my parents have always worked, I've watched them work and I've always known that if I work hard enough I'll get something out of it," said Ms Meldrum.
"Just plodding around and not having a job is not who I am as a person.
"I enjoy working and I'm very independent. I like to do my own thing and earn my own money, it comes naturally."
She graduates school this year with a Certificate III in Tourism and a Certificate II in Business.
The 17 year-old has plans to complete a teacher's assistant traineeship in sport, leisure and recreation at Newman during her gap year in 2020.
Her ultimate goal remains to work in events management at the next Olympic Games in 2020.
"I've always loved sport. Having the opportunity to give back to Newman and work there through sport is amazing," she said.
"Hopefully by finishing next year with a certificate in sport, leisure and recreation I will be able to cover my love of events and sport by going to the Olympics (for events management).
"I like the fact that the Olympics change people's lives. It's both of the things I love rolled into one."
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