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Monday, July 15, 2024
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Indigenous Hospitality graduates boost workforce

A NEW contingent of Indigenous hospitality stars has been snapped up by Queensland tourism businesses after graduating the National Indigenous Training Academy’s (NITA) program at Voyage’s Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre.   

The 2024 NITA graduation celebrations took place at Hughie’s in Mossman on Saturday 8 June, with Douglas Shire Mayor Lisa Scomazzon, Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre GM Rachael Hodges, and MGCC trainees, graduates, and their families attending. 

Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre is a world-class ecotourism destination and gateway to the Daintree Rainforest.

Its Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk – a guided rainforest walk connecting visitors to local Kuku Yalanji culture – is a renowned “must do” for visitors to Tropical North Queensland.  

NITA graduates each completed a nationally accredited Certificate III in Hospitality, which included work placements at luxury resorts in Port Douglas, and Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre.

Many graduates have gone on to receive job offers from their placement companies, including Aaliyah Nandy at MGCC, Yavaleagh Paii at Ramada Resort, and Lindsay Callope at Niramya Villas and Spa, Port Douglas.  

The graduation follows the release of new Tourism Australia stats, which show a 22 per cent increase in domestic travellers choosing an Indigenous experience since 2019.  

NITA provides young Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders the opportunity to live, learn and earn in a real work environment while achieving market-leading hospitality and tourism qualifications at Voyages’ Mossman Gorge and Ayers Rock Resort (Uluru) sites.

Mossman Gorge’s Indigenous employment figures are now among the highest in the industry, at over 60%, with many NITA graduates among its staff.  

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia CEO Matt Cameron-Smith said the graduates have bright futures in tourism.

“We’re proud of what they have achieved on their NITA journey at Mossman Gorge,” he said.

“This year we’ll celebrate our 700th NITA graduate, testament to the strong demand for the program from trainees, employers and the wider industry – with all groups reaping the benefits of shared Indigenous culture, knowledge and skills.” 

Douglas Shire Mayor Lisa Scomazzon extended her congratulations to the graduates.

“Over the years, the program has provided a springboard for young Indigenous people to find jobs in tourism and hospitality and I am sure this will also be the case for the latest round of graduates.”,” she said.

“Regardless of whether they find work at a Port Douglas resort or with a tourism operator elsewhere, Council will always be proud their employment journey began with NITA at Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre.” 

For more information or to enrol visit NITA | National Indigenous Training Academy. 

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Job creation program for First Nations Queenslanders and Forecasting coral disease risks.

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