The NSW Government will provide Diploma of Event Management scholarships to 20 up-and-coming event managers across regional NSW through a partnership with peak events industry body Meetings & Events Australia (MEA).

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said it was great to see the talent from the Cootamundra electorate recognised among the recipients of the Event Management Scholarship Program.

“Our region is home to some incredible talent, and I’m delighted that Lucy Targett, Leah Sutherland and Jacqueline Collins are representing the talent pool in our region,” Ms Cooke said.

“This scholarship will not just support them individually with tuition but will ultimately benefit the Cootamundra electorate by providing homegrown event management expertise.”

Scholarship recipient Lucy Targett said it was an honour to receive the scholarship to study a Diploma of Event Management.

“Since I was young, I have loved organising events. I have a passion and excitement for bringing people together,” Ms Targett added.

“Since 2019 I have loved volunteering for the Harden Kite Festival and have enjoyed being able to help organise the event. I can’t wait to start the diploma so I can fully support this event and give back to regional NSW in other future events.”

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney and Minister for Trade and Industry Stuart Ayres said the scholarships would play an important role in stimulating new business event activity in regional communities.

“The business events sector presents a major opportunity for the visitor economy, particularly for regional NSW of regional NSW,” Mr Ayres said.

“We know that the best way forward is to help to create more jobs and these scholarships will do exactly that – giving people the tools and extra support needed to kick-start their careers.

“I congratulate the 20 scholarship recipients who are already making valuable contributions to their local communities and wish them every success as they begin their diploma studies and continue their journeys in the events sector.”

MEA Chief Executive Officer Peter McDonald said he was looking forward to welcoming the fourth intake of regional students at a time when creating skills is key to enhancing career opportunities in the regions.

“MEA’s Diploma of Event Management is an events industry built and delivered qualification. Our students gain an applied education by learning about sectors concepts in real-world, real-time contexts. That regional NSW events are increasingly benefiting from the strong skillsets gained by the growing number of scholarship program graduates is testament to its quality and success,” Mr McDonald said.

“MEA is delighted to partner with the NSW Government and Destination NSW once again to welcome a new cohort of scholarship recipients and looks forward to supporting their event management learning and career journeys.”

The 20 recipients were selected by a panel, which included representatives from the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, MEA and the six Destination Networks.