Our Beginning
The Hotel School
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Our Beginning

Our Beginning

As we celebrate our 35th anniversary, we invite you to join us on a journey back to 1989, when The Hotel School was established by the Hotel Intercontinental Sydney. 

It was a response to a pressing need within the industry – a demand for a skilled workforce possessing both theoretical knowledge and practical experience. At that time, the options for hospitality training in NSW were limited. There was a need for an educational provider which integrated crucial on-the-job training demanded by the growing hotel industry. 

It was the visionary leadership of General Manager Stefan Bokaemper that recognised the potential for a dedicated professional hotel school to address the industry’s challenges. In January 1989, with great anticipation and excitement, The Hotel School welcomed its inaugural class of 77 students in Sydney. This marked the inception of a pioneering era in hospitality education. 

Under the guidance of a dynamic trio consisting of General Manager Stefan Bokaemper, Regional Director of Training Evelyn Aldridge, and Human Resources Manager Andrew Price, The Hotel School emerged as a trailblazer, effectively bridging the gap between academic learning and industry demands. Together, they laid the foundation for an institution that would not only educate but also inspire and empower generations of hospitality professionals. 

Situated within the iconic InterContinental Sydney, THS embodied a unique synergy, where classrooms were nestled amidst the very heartbeat of hospitality. This strategic placement not only provided students with a conducive learning environment but also immersed them into the essence of hotel operations. 

The curriculum, accredited by the City and Guilds of London Institute, focused on equipping students with practical skills and theoretical knowledge. Offering a one-year degree, students were able to specialise further into Food and Beverage, Front Office, or Cookery, allowing students to gain a deeper understanding in their chosen area of interest. 

What set THS apart was its innovative approach, blending classroom learning with hands-on experience, at the core of who we remain to be today. Adopting a structured rotation system, students engaged in a dynamic cycle of alternating between classroom learning and hotel placements every two weeks. This innovative approach not only bolstered students’ theoretical comprehension but also honed their practical skills, offering a comprehensive preparation for the demands of the industry. 

As the inaugural academic year came to a close, anticipation filled the air, with students eagerly awaiting their graduation ceremony held in the hotel’s ballroom. Distinguished guests, including the Minister of Tourism and the hotel’s General Manager, presented qualifications and celebrated the students’ dedication and achievements. 

Fast-forward to 2024, and The Hotel School stands as is an innovative, industry-focused partnership between the hotel, leisure, and hospitality sector and a public University in Australia: Mulpha and Southern Cross University. We have grown into a symbol of innovation and excellence, shaping the future by shaping students’ careers in the hospitality industry and beyond.   

Today, our students gain industry experience with global brands like IHG, Accor, and Marriott during their studies, reflecting the power of our ‘Study With Us, Work With Us Promise’. Our programs focus on the industry’s business aspects, offering students skills transferable to other industries in Australia and worldwide.  

Much like in 1989, our priority is to equip our students with the skills needed to thrive in dynamic positions that drive innovation and excellence in the industry.  

To learn today and lead tomorrow! 

Learn more about the history of The Hotel School. 

The Hotel School