Twenty-one year old Cairns resident Dale Edmund is not just one of the welcoming faces at the award-winning Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park – she is also one of the dozens of Indigenous Australians who are forging careers in Queensland’s tourism industry thanks to an Australian-first initiative.
Queensland’s tourism industry has created an Australian-first network that supports employers who recognise the many benefits of employing Indigenous job seekers, paving the way for new employment opportunities.
The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) launched the Indigenous Employment Champions Network in 2009 and, despite the industry’s recent turmoil, has helped employers place more than 120 people into tourism jobs.
As the first program of its kind in Australia, the Champions Network provides employers with advice, resources and tools to help them recruit and upskill Indigenous Australians.
With the industry facing tough recruitment competition from the resources sector, the initiative has helped employers fill a range of positions, including tour guiding, hospitality and industry traineeships, by partnering with the indigenous community.
QTIC General Manager of Business Strategy Kim Harrington said the Champions Network had seen industry interest increase by over 30 per cent during the past three years, with 58 current enquiries from North Queensland tourism operators alone.
“Since 2009 the Queensland tourism industry has faced economic and natural crises. But the Champions Network tells an incredible story about genuine commitment by the industry to make a difference by not only creating jobs, but building careers within the tourism industry,” Ms Harrington said.
“By educating and supporting employers through the recruitment and training process and educating local communities on the career options, employers tap into a new source of willing workers while individuals launch careers.”
During the past five years, Dale has worked at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in a number of roles. Today she has responsibility for welcoming visitors to the tourist attraction and is learning Japanese to provide the best possible cultural experience for the large number of Japanese visitors.
For Dale, working at the centre gives her an opportunity to develop her skills and carve out a successful career industry.
“I would like to see and be part of, Indigenous people working consistently for the betterment of Indigenous people,” she said.
“Interacting with the customers and the opportunity to learn the Japanese language gets me out of bed every morning.”
The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) is the State’s peak body for tourism. QTIC is a not-for-profit membership organisation representing members' interests - both large and small.
QTIC has in excess of 3,000 regional members, operating in all sectors of the tourism industry.
QTIC would like to acknowledge the funding provided by the Queensland Government through the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
North Queensland’s Tourism Industry Champions Indigenous Employment
Source = The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC)