Skal International Sydney Newsletter

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  From the President's Desk...

I hope you have all been keeping warm in this chilly winter weather. Speaking of chilly, directly after our fabulous combined Skal Clubs of Sydney luncheon in July, I headed off to New Zealand to visit with Skalleagues from Christchurch club. I attended their luncheon as a guest of Skal New Zealand International Councillor Peter Morrison and had a lovely time catching up with old friends and making new contacts “across the ditch”. It was a great opportunity to strengthen the relationship between our clubs and really is what Skal is all about.
Preparations are well under way for the 92nd Skal Australia National Assembly to be held on the Sunshine Coast from 4-5 September. Check out the website for more details. There are a number of Sydney Skalleagues attending to represent our club and I will be sure to update you after the event.
Just a heads up that as mentioned at the July luncheon, we have a very special event planned for our September meeting. Lock Wednesday 9th September in your diary now and take note that due to the nature of this event, we need your RSVPs well in advance.
And finally, I look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday at our August luncheon, where Vice President and Secretary Melinda Brown will demonstrate some of the features of the Skal International and Skal Sydney websites that help you to get more value out of your Skal membership. 

Until next month, Skal!

President Verniece Irvine. 

Skal Christchurch President Leighton Cameron with Skal Sydney President Verniece Irvine and Skal New Zealand International Councillor Peter Morrison. 

Skal Clubs of Sydney Joint Luncheon - July 2015

Hope everyone enjoyed our annual joint lunch at Aesop’s restaurant. We had a fantastic turnout with over 70 Skal members and guests. We had quite a few Skal members from other clubs in town, including Australian Noelene Evans from Skal Albany WA who led the Skal toast and Vicki Dunn who briefed attendees on the upcoming National Assembly.
Our guest speaker was Sydney Skal member Jayson Westbury, CEO of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents. Jayson covered many hot topics in the industry at the moment, including:
- Update on Bali and the current situation in regards to the volcanic eruption
- Global Survey of Travel Agents—looking to understand whether Travel Agents feel disadvantaged by airlines’ pricing on brand sites and if we have fair access to ancillaries. IATA conducted this survey to help travel agents vocalize their concerns.
- ATAS is self-regulatory and Australia is leading the world in this. Jayson feels we need to have home consultants and self-regulation allows for this.
- Developing our workforce – the industry has a lot of returning moms, returning dads and people in their 40s and 50s who want to get back to work. This is a massive opportunity for us to tap into this demographic.
As we value traditional at Skal, the event included a Skal fine session and the afternoon naturally ended with dancing and plate smashing. 

August Meeting - Wednesday 12th August - Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour

Join us on 12th August at the Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour for our monthly meeting and luncheon.

Speaker: Skal International Sydney Vice President/Secretary Melinda Brown
Melinda Brown

Melinda will give a demonstration of the capabilities of the Skal website including the worldwide membership database. This database gives members access to 17,000 travel and tourism colleagues in over 400 different locations around the world. Learn how to leverage your Skal membership to make contacts when visiting other cities.  Find out more about Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and how to connect with Skal International Sydney and fellow Skalleagues from all over the world.

Bring your mobile device or tablet and you can try it all out on the day (you will need to have wi-fi access). Members were recently sent an email from Skal International containing their username and password – if you wish to access the “members only” section of the website on the day, don’t forget to bring these details.

And those who wish to see a little bit of Sydney’s history can enjoy a drink at the 110 year old heritage listed Pumphouse Bar following the luncheon (at own expense).

Luncheon is $69 per person including 2 course lunch and drinks. 

See you there!

Book now for the August meeting!
76th Skal International World Congress - Torremolinos, Spain
28 October - 1 November 2015
Register now!

Washed by the Mediterranean Sea, the Costa del Sol extends along more than 150 kilometres of coastline in the province of Malaga, in the southern Iberian Peninsula. Its name, the “Coast of the Sun”, is not due to mere chance: with over 300 sunny days a year and a benevolent climate, this is a paradisaical place.

It is in this paradise that the 76th Skal International World Congress will be held. 

Registrations are open now. Visit for more information and to register. 

Travel Industry Club is offering great return airfares for the Congress
Etihad economy class from $1459 plus taxes
Air China economy class from $799 plus taxes
Premium economy and business class fares also available. 
For more information or to book call Travel Industry Club on 02 9700 8711.

Meet a Skal Sydney Member - 

Each month we will be looking to profile one of our Skal International Sydney members and find out a bit more about them and what makes them tick. If you would like to be involved, please contact Committee Member Tara Strickland on

Tanya Chesworth
Operations Manager
Service Skills Australia

How long have you been a Skal Member? 
Just over 1 year.
Which clubs have you been a member of?
Sydney is my first Skal club.
What’s the best thing about being a member of Skal? 
Meeting interesting people who can help me increase my knowledge of the industry.
Why are you a member? What is the benefit of Skal membership for you?
The networking opportunities that being a member can open for me.
What is the biggest challenge facing the travel and tourism industry right now?
Having the trained staff, with the right skills that are relevant for today’s workplaces.
What has been your favourite holiday destination so far? 
My honeymoon. We did a road trip from Sydney through Victoria wine country (Rutherglen), down the Great Ocean Road, up through Mount Gambier and finishing at Coonawarra (you can see the theme here right? – good wine and good company).
Where would you like to go next?
Would love to do a river cruise through Europe.
What is the best piece of advice someone has given you?
Take a deep breath, wait and then do.
What do you like about working at SSA?
Something different happens every day and we get to contribute to making our industry more professional through skills development.
What are the challenges?
There isn’t 2 of me. Sometimes I feel like I have to be 2 to place at once.
How do you relax outside of work?
Taking my puppy (Macca) for long walks  along the Nepean river.
What would you do if you weren't in the travel industry?
Probably go back to electrical industry.
What’s your favourite Skal moment?
The 2014 Christmas lunch – a great way to unwind after a long year with food wine and camaraderie. 
Copyright © 2015 Skal International Sydney, All rights reserved.

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Skal International Sydney
PO Box 3291
Putney, NSW 2112

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