skip to content

Commonwealth Games delivers TAFE student golden opportunity

Jayden Tom_Certificate III in HospitalityThe 2026 Commonwealth Games to be held in Victoria is four years away. Still, one Gordon student is already preparing for the once-in-a-lifetime event.

Jayden Tom, Certificate III in Hospitality student, was nominated by The Gordon to partake in the preparation of the closing ceremony of the recent Birmingham Games, where Australia was officially handed the baton. Jayden worked full-time behind the scenes for four weeks as an intern with David Atkins Enterprises to gain further hands-on experience in hospitality and event management.

“Working closely with the creative team manager and the stage manager has given me a good insight into event management, something I can see myself exploring. Some of my responsibilities involved preparing and maintaining the rehearsal facilities, managing and securing many of the props used and catering for staff and talent, including VIPs such as Baker Boy and Taylor Henderson,” said Jayden.

“As an intern, I was also responsible for overseeing the implementation of COVID safety and testing protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of those involved in the ceremony. I could tap into much of my catering training, particularly dietary requirements and OHS standards and procedures,” continued Jayden. 

Based in Melbourne, the work experience allowed Jayden to explore many of the city’s restaurants and cocktail bars. This piqued his interest in mixology and potentially inspired a future business venture.

“To work on this event was a life-changing experience that allowed me to further understand areas of the industry I may pursue. I was very glad to be a part of it, and getting TAFE institutions involved is a huge opportunity.”

Gordon hospitality teacher Andrew Percy didn’t hesitate to nominate Jayden for this position, “Jayden has an innate capacity for the theatre of hospitality and infectious enthusiasm for the industry. 

“The internship presented an opportunity that could build upon Jayden’s studies, providing him with valuable work experience to help further his educational and employment goals. His participation in the program will ensure he is well-placed for future job opportunities in the delivery of the Victorian Commonwealth Games.”