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‘Old Gold’ Graduate Story: Mallory Papantoniou (2016)

Mallory Papantoniou (2016) after completing a Diploma of Events Management at TAFE SA followed by a Bachelor of Business at Flinders University, is now working as a Wedding and Events Coordinator at Sunnybrae Estate.

“I work with a variety of different clients, but a large portion of my role is dedicated to working with brides and grooms for their very special wedding day. I am allocated multiple events at one time, which involves lots of project managing. I work with many of my clients for 6+ months in the lead up to their event to ensure a smooth running and perfect event every time.”

Mallory says her favourite part of her job is when the event day comes, and she gets to see her clients vision come to life.

She shares her role as the Functions Manager and Wedding Coordinator: “I kick off my event day with pre-event checks (making sure everything is perfectly in place), I greet the clients and their guests, and I am available for them if they need anything throughout the day or night. I finish off my event by farewelling my clients and help the team with pack-down after a successful event.”

“I find it so satisfying to witness my clients on their momentous day and to see all the effort we put into our events come to fruition. Seeing my client’s big smiles on the happiest day of their lives, and the realisation that I played a role in their special celebration is truly amazing and so rewarding to me.”

She continues “majority of my job is about building and maintaining relationships and I have been fortunate enough to build some very beautiful friendships with my clients.  Each event that I manage is different and I appreciate every opportunity I have been given in my career.”

“I have found that it is very common to I run into people I know. I love bumping into people when I am at work and there always seems to be one or two familiar Nazareth faces around! I have also had the honour of coordinating and managing the weddings of a few Nazareth Graduates, and that is so special to me.”

Mallory shares her role can be quite challenging and demanding. The pressure and stress from her role can take a toll, both physically and emotionally.

“It is important for me to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and that I take time for myself to unwind and recharge. Spending time with my loved ones is one way I like to do this.”

Mallory shares some of her highlights in her career journey so far, “I’m very proud to say that I have coordinated over 100 weddings and events in my 6 years of working in the events industry, and I have definitely had some ups and downs. My job can be very rewarding, and I have made some very fond memories doing what I do.”

“I have been privileged to work on a few major events such as the 2018 & 2019 Tour Down Under (in previous positions) and, more recently, I have been assigned 2nd in charge for The Adelady’s Longest Table at Sunnybrae Estate. Last year I also had the privilege of managing and running the Nazareth Year 11 Social.”

Mallory says when she was in high school, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do once she graduated.

“I was unsure with what I wanted to do, although the support I received at school was instrumental in helping me discover my strengths and talents. The encouragement and guidance from Nazareth staff helped me realise what I was good at and gave me the confidence to pursue my passions.”

“Thanks to the Nazareth staff, I was able to quickly realise what my strengths were, and I was often commended for my application, excellent organisation, time management and creativity.”

Mallory shares once she realised event and wedding planning was something she could pursue she asked for advice from her teachers, mentors and career counsellors.

“My teachers and mentors recognised my skills and abilities and provided me with opportunities to develop them further. Thanks to their support, I was able to grow and thrive both academically and personally, and I am grateful for the opportunities they gave me to develop my capabilities and the impact they had on my life which ignited my passions.”

Once Mallory realised her passions and strengths and a potential career path, she was excited and about life after school. Although she was also anxious for the unknown, the workload, not knowing what to expect with assignments, leaving friends and school.

“When starting TAFE I realised that there was really nothing to be afraid of, I made some great friends (who I now work with today) and quickly grew to love the undergraduate lifestyle.”

Mallory expresses her gratitude she has for Nazareth “I am so thankful to Nazareth for the way they prepared me and set me up for my future by giving us the opportunities they did which prepared me well for adult life.”

Advice Mallory shares with current Year 12 or future students is that “Year 12 is not the end and in fact, is only the start. Remember that a grade or score is just a number, and it doesn’t define your worth or determine your future. Focus on doing things that you enjoy and that make you happy and focus on developing your skills and talents in areas that you excel.”

She continues “pursue your passions and take risks, even if they may be scary. Step outside your comfort zone and become comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable. Remember that growth and learning comes from pushing yourself beyond your limits. Be open to opportunities and trust that you can handle whatever comes your way.”

What’s next for Mallory is to continue working in her current role, and an upcoming 6-week holiday which is booked for next year after the busy upcoming wedding season.

“I’m not taking life too seriously at the moment, after all, I do get married every weekend!”  


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