Island makeover turns into student project

For many interior designers it is a dream to one day design spaces for a worldrenowned building, hotel or resort.

That dream became a reality for TAFE Queensland interior design students, thanks to a collaborative learning project with Lady Elliot Eco Resort an award winning, ecotourism icon on the Great Barrier Reef.

As part of their final assessment, the Coomera campus students worked in pairs to redesign the dining and bar area at the resort.

Sustainability, accessibility, recycling and history all played a major part in the brief from the Island management team as well as keeping to a budget.

For students Brittany Dain and Elizabeth Peacock that meant many hours were spent re-configuring the layout of the area to create a more spacious feel and ensure minimal environmental impact.

“Our design concept has a warm coastal colour pallet and is a real acknowledgement to the beautiful island surroundings by bringing the outdoors in, whilst paying attention to the environmental impact of every aspect of the design,” said Brittany.

“One of my favourite features is how we have opened up the east side of the building with big louvre windows and sliding doors; this means ample natural light will brighten the space and give opportunity for the stunning views to be seen.”

The 23-year-old said if the Lady Elliot Island team chose their concept they would be absolutely thrilled.

“This is the reason why we started the Diploma of Interior Design with TAFE Queensland, to be able to get that real-world hands on experience and bring our creative ideas to life. We would be extremely proud if any element from our concept was included in the final design,” she said.

TAFE Queensland General Manager on the Gold Coast, Karen Dickinson said she is delighted that this partnership has provided a work-experience opportunity for the students.

“TAFE Queensland is privileged that the Lady Elliott Eco Resort team have afforded our interior design students the opportunity to put their skills into practice and work on this real-world project,” she said.

“The resort’s focus on sustainability and renewable energy is to be commended and it is exciting to see how our students have tailored their designs to meet the brief.”

“Our students have done an amazing job and I certainly do not envy the Lady Elliot Eco Resort team as they review each design.”


The Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort management team are currently reviewing the students’ designs and are yet to determine if they will select just one design or elements from each to create their new dining and bar area.

For more information about TAFE Queensland’s interior design programs call 1300 308 233 or visit here.

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