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Val CookVal Cook
Alumni Ambassador, AIHS & BMIHMS (2006-2017)


Mr Cook was an integral part of the School since it began in 1991 and it is largely thanks to Mr Cook that we have such a comprehensive and close Alumni network. Sadly, Mr Cook passed away on August 26, 2017 but his passion for the School and the Alumni network is reflected in the interview below:

"From kitchen to computer in 20 years and in about 20 different office locations and many titles later, I write to you as the Australian International Hotel School and Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School Alumni Manager.

When I reflect on the past two decades, I am amazed at the journey AIHS and BMIHMS has experienced and undertaken, Diploma to Degree, Private Ownership to becoming a worldwide corporation and all in the company of you.

Likewise, my role has aged and changed over time from when I was first hired in 1991 as a Chef Lecturer. I have been promoted to Senior Lecturer, Head of all 3 years individually, acting Principal, Vice Principal with various tags, and now Alumni Ambassador—the best position!

Looking after both AIHS and BMIHMS Alumni is a great and very rewarding challenge which has slowly grown and improved. We still have missing information on graduates, and we are always looking to reconnect.

Now my life revolves around the magic of technology and staying in touch with you and your individual successes through this site. When I started with Michael Manners and Tim Millett in the 1990s, we did not have email, iphones, MSN, Facebook, or Twitter; the list goes on. However, nothing beats meeting you in person whether here at the schools in Australia or somewhere overseas—my favourite. As always, we look forward to your input on what we can do to improve our communication with you.”


Petra Braat
Digital Content Coordinator, Alumni

"I have worked at BMIHMS since 1998 (!) in a variety of roles, starting as Library Manager and then expanding this role to look after the School intranet when e-learning was still in its infancy. I moved on to lecturing in Academic, Support, e-Commerce, Communication, IT, Research and Project Management, and Management and Leadership, which not only gave me a great personal satisfaction and professional development but enabled me to really get to know the students and assist them with their studies in whatever way I could.

Returning to work after maternity leave I was fortunate enough to be offered a part-time role with Mr Cook, working on Alumni. It's been a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with my past students and to meet older grads and it's immensely satisfying to see how well all our graduates are doing. It is also very special to see so many new additions to the Alumni community and we also enjoy getting to know the current students and welcoming them into the BMIHMS network.

My role is much more behind-the-scenes than Mr Cook's - updating records, creating reports and putting together the newsletter - but between the two of us we have a very close connection with our Alumni community and I certainly enjoy everything that we do.

I hope to see graduates when you visit the campus or hear your news via email, Facebook etc."

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