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Australian Convention Bureaux get ceNTred


The upcoming Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) staff conference will be held at Voyages Ayers Rock Resort with a theme of ‘Get CeNTred’, and is attracting over 80 convention bureau staff from around Australia.

The conference will be held from September 6-8 and has been developed by Tourism NT and the AACB.

Delegates will undertake a Corporate Social Responsibility activity showcasing Anangu secondary students at the main Nyangatjatjara College campus near the Resort. The group will have an introduction to the college, its values and teaching philosophy, and then undertake an activity assisting the college with maintenance tasks at the campus. The College offers secondary education to remote communities in the NT, including Mutitjulu, Docker River and Imanpa.


The conference will take place at Voyages Ayers Rock Resort.

Tourism NT CEO John Fitzgerald, said “A focus on Indigenous engagement was a priority for the conference given the cultural significance of this region.”

The delegates will also get the opportunity while visiting the Resort which was purchased by the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) in May 2011 to meet some of the Indigenous trainees currently working across the property. The trainees receive accredited training in hospitality and tourism through the National Indigenous Training Academy, which was established in Yulara by the ILC.

“The purchase of Voyages Ayers Rock Resort by the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC), and the subsequent development of the National Indigenous Training Academy at Yulara, are key initiatives linking the people of the region to the business events industry.”

As The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, Minister for Tourism, announced in November 2011, the National Indigenous Training Academy is supported by a $4.9M partnership between the Australian Government and the ILC. The innovative program is set to create 350 new jobs for Indigenous Australians at Ayers Rock Resort and in Australia’s tourism and hospitality industry. The longer term aim would be for Anangu students graduating from the Nyangatjatjara College to live and work at the Resort and receive training through the Academy, building up a local workforce in the industry.

Executive Director of the AACB, Andrew Hiebl, said that “In support of the Nyangatjatjara College, AACB is proud to offer its students with opportunities to attend conference sessions and gain understanding of their importance to the business events sector. The next intake of trainees to commence work at the Resort is scheduled for October 2012, which will be for local Anangu people the conference is perfectly timed to learn about the College and the Academy and its joint future ambitions.”

Graduates of the Academy are guaranteed a job at Ayers Rock Resort or another ILC business property or at one of the many hotels in the ACCOR hotel network across Australia if they choose. There are currently over 130 Indigenous staff including 75 trainees. Staff are employed and trained in a wide range of positions across the Resort. The Voyages Ayers Rock Resort aims to have 50% of the workforce recognised as Indigenous Australians by 2018.

The Academy will become a Centre of Indigenous Excellence in training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The focus is on excellence in training designed and delivered for Indigenous learners in a culturally rich, supportive and relevant learning environment. The Academy’s mission is to build brighter futures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by promoting high achievement, cultivating talent and creating opportunities.

Hiebl emphasised that “The Business Events sector is a well known and significant contributor to the Australian knowledge economy. Through the creation of the Uluru Meeting Place product by Voyages, the Business Events sector will have an opportunity to contribute to the education and employment goals of the Academy and College based at Yulara.”

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