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A NorthTec student and a staff member are jetting off to Australia, after being invited to assist with an international rally in Queensland.
Student Richard Pawa, who is studying for a Bachelor in Applied Management, and Marketing Assistant, Pania Moulton, are on their way to the Sunshine Coast. They have been invited to be volunteer helpers at the third stage of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, after wowing organisers at the Whangarei stage of the rally earlier this year.
Richard is working as a media assistant and Pania is providing general assistance. Richard has helped out twice at the Whangarei rally, of which NorthTec is a sponsor, but this is his first trip to the Australian stage, while Pania has assisted in Whangarei for the past three years and is on her second trip to Queensland.
The Australian stage of the race, known as the International Rally of Queensland, takes place from 19 to 21 June at Imbil.
Richard, who is in the second year of his degree, was asked to step in at very short notice at the 2014 rally in Whangarei, after the nominated media assistant became sick. He took to the role so well, helping set up press conferences and getting quotes from drivers, that he was asked to return to this year’s event in April. He was subsequently chosen to go to Queensland.
Pania said: “Richard just blew the media team away because he was 100 per cent accurate in punctuation and grammar, and worked so quickly. They were really impressed, especially as he was thrown in to the job at the last minute.”
Richard, who is studying hard to complete his degree with a double major in accounting and project management, said he had really enjoyed the chance to work at the rally and is looking forward to the Sunshine Coast event.
Pania will assist the rally secretariat with a variety of tasks including selling tickets to the event, managing equipment, driving visitors around and running any errands required on the day. She said: “It’s a great experience, with it being an international event. The Australian stage of the rally is very different to the Whangarei stage, where everything is close by and the rally takes place on gravel roads. In Queensland the rally itself is based an hour and a half away from the headquarters, and takes place on clay roads through forests.”
Nearly all the helpers at different stages of the Asia Pacific International Rally are volunteers. At this year’s Whangarei stage, more than 40 NorthTec students were able to assist, with automotive students using NorthTec’s workshop to help prepare the rally vehicles, and hospitality students providing some of the catering.
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