Griffith grads named tourism leaders

Jackie Babbage (Riverlife), Sarah Gardiner (GBS) and Brooke Santurini (Gold Coast SUNS).

Two Griffith Business School alumni have been named Young Tourism Leaders by the Queensland Government.

Brooke Santurini, Brand and Marketing Manager at the Gold Coast SUNS and Jackie Babbage, Brand Manager at Riverlife were appointed by the Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Commonwealth Games Kate Jones.

The Young Tourism Leaders program aims to showcase the lifelong careers available to those entering the industry.

“I feel really honoured to be named a Young Tourism Leader,” said Ms Babbage.

“It’s a great industry and we need more enthusiastic, energetic young people to be part of it.”

The Leaders are part of a year-long program that involves speaking at secondary schools and other events, as well as sharing their own journey on social media with the aim of inspiring others.

Ms Babbage will be encouraging young people to take risks and be creative.

“There’s so many opportunities in tourism and, when you’re young, there’s less risk if you want to branch out and start your own business or do something you would just love to do.”

The Griffith University alumnus said she was a little bit surprised to be selected as part of the program, describing the calibre of her fellow leaders as very high.

Ms Babbage was also part of a recent Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management event aimed at the next generation of the tourism industry.

“I think that Queensland has an opportunity to really set a high standard in terms of delivering unique experiences,” she explained.

“Customers are really driving that trend at the moment and we’re in the perfect place in the world to do so.”