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Jobs aplenty for new Indigenous tourism graduates

David Prestipino -

A prominent Indigenous-focused tourism and hospitality organisation in Queensland continues to generate in-demand employees via its long-running training program.

The four latest graduates from the National Indigenous Training Academy (NITA) at Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre have already been hired at tourism and hospitality-based companies throughout Queensland.

The $20 million centre, along with Ayers Rock Resort in the Northern Territory, is owned by Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, which established the graduate program in 2011.

The world-class training facilities at the Mossman Gorge site provide First Nations trainees solid career prospects in tourism and hospitality, as well as retail and landscape gardening with more than 660 graduates since inception.

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia is owned by the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation, which aspired to run market-leading training and employment programs for young Indigenous Australians through its two acquisitions.

The NITA program sees graduates embedded at Mossman Gorge or another Voyages tourism operation and was the brainchild of Kuku Yalanji Elder, Roy Gibson, who first had the idea of creating a cultural hub on the site in 1992.

In partnership with William Angliss Institute and Far North Training Consultancy, NITA graduates receive nationally-recognised Level 3 certification traineeships in hospitality, tourism and retail, with many now working in Queensland and across Australia.

Voyages CEO, Matthew Cameron-Smith, said the company had always wanted to ensure NITA participants were provided with skills for life and he was immensely proud of this year's graduates.

"We can't wait to see what they achieve next," he said.

"More than 60 per cent of our Mossman workforce is Indigenous and it's our hope for these training programs to contribute to Indigenous training and employment nationwide."

Voyages is one of Australia's biggest Indigenous employers, with an ongoing commitment to empower and grow the Indigenous workforce across the country.

"The program has always been about creating career pathways and it is exciting to see so many of our graduates move into important roles ... sharing their passion and culture," Mr Cameron-Smith said.

One example was 2017 NITA trainee Marcellus Ah Kit, born in Alice Springs and raised five hours north in Tennant Creek.

"His first role at Ayers Rock Resort was at Desert Gardens hotel as a kitchen steward," Mr Cameron-Smith said.

"He now works at Tali Wiru – the intimate dunetop dining experience for just 20 people that the (Ayers Rock) resort offers ... with a focus on native ingredients.

For more information or to enrol, visit NITA here.

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