UQ Chinese students Julie Wu, Jonnie Wang, Yolanda Li and Stephanie Tan
UQ Chinese students Julie Wu, Jonnie Wang, Yolanda Li and Stephanie Tan
2 December 2011

The huge growth in Chinese tourism to Australia is proving a boon not only to the economy, but also to Chinese UQ students, who are in demand as translators at a luxury island resort off Brisbane’s coast.

David James, manager of Tangalooma resort on Moreton Island, began hiring Chinese students from UQ 14 months ago, following a large expansion of the number of Chinese tourists visiting the island.

“Our Chinese market is growing very well for us as many of our clients see the resort as a ‘one of a kind’ destination," he said.

“We knew that to increase our levels of service to the Chinese market, we needed to employ Chinese speaking staff.

“We had worked with UQ for many years in the Marine studies field and had an excellent relationship with the University already.

We knew that UQ’s high standards meant that the students enrolled there would be very suitable for the roles we were looking to fill.”

Master of Chinese Translation and Interpretation (MACTI) student Julie Wu and Hospitality Management student Jun Wang are among five Chinese UQ students now working as translators at the resort.

Julie said she heard about the position from a classmate. Within 15 minutes she had sent James her resume, and two days later she was being interviewed.

She described the chance to work at Tangalooma as an “opportunity not every student encounters.”

“It’s great casual work that allows me to practice my English, sales techniques and my presentation skills. Not to mention the fact that I experience many of the island’s tours for free,” she said.

Jun Wang said that her main duty was to provide service to Chinese customers.

“Due to a culture and language gap, there are some barriers in communication – so I assist the local guide to lead the Chinese groups.”

Her experience on Tangalooma ties in well with her career aspirations.

“I find the hospitality industry very interesting and would like to work in it in the future. In my program lecturers have a strong industry background and there are opportunities for placements, which allow us to connect management theory and the real industry," she said.

Elspeth Muir, UQ International, 3346 7672, e.muir@uq.edu.au