The newest members of the Multicultural Business Ministerial Council have been announced and amongst the appointees is the Western Chances Young Ambassador.
The Council is an advisory body to the Victorian State Government and provides important input from the perspective of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) business communities.
Julia took time out of her busy schedule to talk about her exciting new appointment and her involvement with Western Chances as our Young Ambassador and one of our alumna.
Hi Julia. Congratulations on your appointment to the Multicultural Business Ministerial Council! First up, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your history with Western Chances?
I’m 22 years old and I am the owner and operator of JT. Production Management, an events and production business based in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
I’ve always had a passion for organising events and live performances. When I was 14 years old, I organised my first youth conference with the Australian Vietnamese Women’s Welfare Association. I then started volunteering for Maribyrnong City Council and developed a youth production team as part of their FreeZa program putting on multiple music and arts events for the community.
Despite being passionate about events, my family was financially disadvantaged which meant that I struggled to afford the most basic of schooling equipment such as textbooks or excursion fees.
I started working part time as soon as I could, but it was still not enough to alleviate my family’s burden.
When I was in year 10, my welfare teacher identified my financial struggle and nominated me for a Western Chances scholarship. This scholarship allowed me to focus on my studies and continue to pursue my passion and community engagement.
I continued to receive scholarships right through to the completion of university in 2013 where I graduated from the University of Melbourne Faculty of Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Production.
The support of Western Chances not only helped me financially, but their mentoring and opportunities to network were invaluable. Whilst I was at university, I was able to take part in Links work experience placements where I learnt about events and administration. I went from being someone who helped with the administration of their events, to slowly contributing to and coordinating their events. JT. Production Management now manages all of Western Chances events and I am proud to say that I owe a lot of my success to this organisation.
Why are you excited about joining the Ministerial Council?
There are so many reasons that I’m looking forward to being part of the Ministerial Council.
I’ll be able to contribute to the community and promote cultural diversity in our businesses and act as a voice for small business trades within the government’s busy agenda.
I’ll also be one of the youngest Vietnamese female members on the Council and I feel that I will provide a great representation for my culture and youth!
My business is based in the western suburbs and although we produce events all over Melbourne, I am always keen to promote what we have out west and I believe that this is a good opportunity to share the opinions, needs and ideas of western suburbs small businesses.
It will also be a fantastic networking opportunity for me.
What are you hoping to achieve while being on the Council?
I hope to take the opportunity while being part of the Council to promote the potential of western suburbs small businesses. I want to assist in voicing ideas and representing the Vietnamese business owners to share their success stories and encourage more collaboration between business operators.
Can you tell us a little bit about your business, JT. Production Management?
JT. Production Management is an events and production business based in Melbourne’s west. We specialise in the planning, creative development and execution of many events and live performances across Melbourne. Our goal is to assist our clients in maximising their event's impact. Our work covers a wide range of corporate events such as conferences, business luncheons, festivals and theatre productions. Some recent events include; Big West Festival, Tourism Fest in the West and Western Chances' Good Business Forum.
What did you study in order to have the expertise to set up your business?
I studied Bachelor of Production at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. This was an intensive three-year course that trained me in the ins and outs of managing theatre productions. Over my three years of study I continued to volunteer my time across a wide range of productions and with events companies and festivals, in order to gain experience and build up my professional network. From there, I slowly turned unpaid work to paid contracts whilst I was still studying. At the completion of my degree I had built up a few clients who trusted in my skills and capabilities. I decided to take the risk and start my own business. Western Chances assisted by mentoring me in things like creating a business plan, learning about the financials and continued to introduce me to various networks.
If you want to support fantastic young people and future business leaders like Julia, why not consider becoming a Big Dreams donor for as little as $10 a month?
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