Shoalhaven Superheroes launched the inaugural Kidditch World Cup at a dinner powered by TAFE NSW students recently.
With dragon eggs, Hogwarts house chicken and Olivander wands on the menu the students set the scene for a night of fancy dress and Harry Potter-flavoured feasting and fun.
Shoalhaven Superheroes is a not-for-profit volunteer group aiming to raise $250,000 for a family facility or family retreat in the Shoalhaven.
Throughout the year the Shoalhaven Superheroes host pop culture events. So far $68,000 has been raised.
This year's Shoalhaven Superheroes Festival Launch Reception was held at Destiny's Restaurant at TAFE NSW Nowra. It is the group's fifth year of fun and fundraising.
With forecast jobs-growth in the hospitality industry linked to growing tourism over the next two years, it's the perfect time for TAFE NSW students to use events like this to gain experience.
Each year TAFE NSW Nowra Certificate III in Events and Commercial Cookery students help co-host the launch, however this is the first year TAFE NSW Diploma of Event Management students had taken on the role of managing the event.
TAFE NSW Nowra Events teacher Amanda Maynard said real clients, real budgets and real stakeholders meant the Diploma students gained real-world experience.
"Collaborations like these also give TAFE NSW students an opportunity to make important connections within their chosen industry," Mrs Maynard said.
"The students learn a lot and gain hands-on experience toward their career. The networks they make are important and in regional areas it's often about who you know, as much as what you know."
She said while the Diploma of Event Management students managed the launch reception, while Certificate III Events students provided staging support and assistance.
For Diploma of Event Management students Lily Oakes and Grace Ayscough working on the Shoalhaven Superheroes launch event had improved their confidence in people skills, time management and brining members of a community together.
"Meetings with sponsors and workshopping ideas with other members of the group has shown me I do have the skills to do this. Now I can walk into a job interview and say yes I have experience running events; I'm job ready," Ms Oakes said.
Ms Ayscough had been involved in supporting last year's launch as a Certificate III in Events student. Now as a Diploma student she played a pivotal role in bringing the night to fruition.
"I loved being able to plan an event from scratch and I enjoyed coming up with new ideas. It's nice to be learning skills at TAFE NSW while building such a fun function," she said.
Shoalhaven Superheroes Festival founder David Arakie enjoyed how the TAFE NSW students used their new-found skills to bring the event to life.
"This was a fun and successful night," Mr Arakie said.
"The students did a fantastic job and the event was sold out. We're hoping to involve TAFE NSW students in more events throughout the year."
See Shoalhaven Superheroes' full list of events at www.shoalhavensuperheroes.com.au.
A range of hospitality courses are available at TAFE NSW and online through TAFE Digital. Visit www.tafensw.edu.au.