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People's Choice Awards 2020



Category: Trainee of the Year

Renee Rizzardo

Renee RizzardoQualification: Certificate III in Customer Engagement
Trained by: Australian College of Commerce and Management Pty Ltd
Employed by: Busways Trust

“I’ve been working in customer service since I was 14. I like talking with people and solving their issues and concerns. I love the challenge of converting an upset customer into a satisfied one. I find it really fulfilling to know I’ve helped people get what they need or embrace a new perspective.”


Renee was introduced to the idea of working in transport through family who shared with her how much they enjoyed working in this essential industry. Before she started her traineeship at Busways, all of Renee’s customer service skills had been developed on the job. When the opportunity arose to undertake formal training and certification through the Australian College Of Commerce and Management, she jumped at the chance. She liked the idea of self-led online learning.

“In my daily work I get to collaborate with staff and customers from all walks of life,” says Renee. “I’m enjoying combining my existing skills with the new skills I’ve learnt. I’ve gained invaluable knowledge that helps me understand workplace cultures, customer psychology and personal organisation. I’ve discovered which behaviours contribute to effective team decision-making and how to ensure everyone has an equal voice. The biggest impact of my training has been understanding phone etiquette and why we should use certain words in certain situations.”

Renee RizzardoRenee was hired during peak travel season so it was a challenge to complete the course, keep up with the demands of her job and learn about the bus industry.

“I’ve undertaken business and teaching qualifications in the past and have never had this amount of support and freedom to complete modules at my own pace,” says Renee. “My supervisor checked in regularly and explained the required practical tasks with patience and kindness.”

When both Renee’s manager and workplace supervisor were on leave for a month, she had to step up and lead the customer service team.

“I took responsibility for managing the customer service inbox and assigning enquiries across the team,” says Renee. “I also helped three new team members to develop their knowledge. I couldn’t have done this without my training.”

“Renee is problem solver, effective communicator and quick thinker,” says Nivi Rajaram, Renee’s supervisor at Busways. “She quickly became up-to-date with current industry trends and was able to apply this knowledge in real-time work scenarios. She really breezed through her traineeship and new role at Busways.”

Outside of work, Renee was a grand finalist for Pinup Doll Australia, a national competition inspired by 1940s-1960s fashion. Participants speak to audiences of over 30,000 people at festivals and events while raising money for their charity. Awarded runner-up, Renee was a competition representative for the year.

“Going through so many jobs in a short period of time has been a journey of self-discovery. I feel as though I’ve finally found my place at Busways. My traineeship solidified my passion for serving people. I would love to engage in future studies to continue my learning.”