The Northern Territory has endless opportunities for groups to learn about and immerse themselves in Australia’s Aboriginal cultures, while creating meaningful partnerships with local communities.
In the 2021 Hot Seat feature, as part of Spice Magazine‘s Autumn issue, Northern Territory Business Events showcased three CSR experiences perfect for corporate groups in the NT.
Drumming group provides positive engagement
Drum Atweme, a not-for-profit initiative managed by the Tangentyere Council in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, engages young Aboriginal people in an exciting and dynamic drumming and percussion performance group.
The key objective is to foster self-esteem and confidence amongst the participants, with a requirement that they regularly attend school and further their education. Profits raised assist to cover equipment, sports and education, provision of healthy food as well as actual performance and travel costs.
Since 2004, more than 400 young people have moved through the group’s ranks, together performing at hundreds of business and community events in the NT and interstate.
Business events staged in the NT regularly feature Drum Atweme to provide meaningful cultural interaction at conference opening and closing events and social program activities.
The group has performed at iconic Alice Springs off-site locations such as Simpson’s Gap, Alice Springs Telegraph Station, Alice Springs Desert Park, Araluen Arts Centre and Ooraminna Station Homestead.
Delegates are always delighted to join in and get involved by dancing and playing alongside the performers. Northern Territory Business Events includes Drum Atweme as a highlight of Alice Springs familiarisation programs, showcasing culture as well as the local CSR opportunities available.
“A Drum Atweme performance works so well for a business event because it provides invaluable insights into local culture, enables meaningful interaction and is fun for the performers and audience alike,” says Drum Atweme co-ordinator Peter Lowson.
The NT combines authentic culture, CSR and cuisine
The Karen Sheldon Group, based in Darwin, operates as an award-winning Northern Territory caterer and registered training organisation.
Karen Sheldon Catering delivers events at its premises, which are located at Parliament House in the CBD and at the TIO Stadium adjacent to Darwin Airport, as well as at a range of quirky and iconic off-site locations including the Buley Rockhole in Litchfield National Park, Fannie Bay Gaol, Hidden Valley Raceway and the Darwin Old Town Ruins.
The company is renowned for its commitment to Closing the Gap on Indigenous economic disadvantage by inspiring, training and mentoring Aboriginal job seekers, through a range of training programs including the Future Stars Indigenous Employment Program, which assists participants to gain sustainable long-term employment and a future career.
Other programs include a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery and Cultural Development Training, which seeks to build respect, support and understanding of the diversity of Aboriginal culture.
Business events clients can engage with Karen Sheldon Catering, from both a catering and training organisation perspective.
A conference held in Darwin by national bedding and furniture company Snooze highlighted how the Northern Territory is ‘different in every sense for business events’ by incorporating a cooking class into the conference program.
Staged at Darwin restaurant Pee Wee’s at the Point, delegates worked alongside Karen Sheldon Training apprentices to create special dishes, enabling engagement in an invaluable CSR activity.
Central Australia academy provides invaluable pathways
The National Indigenous Training Academy (NITA) located at Ayers Rock Resort is part of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia. NITA was established in 2011 to provide training programs for Indigenous Australians working or seeking to be employed in tourism and hospitality.
The academy’s key aim is “to change the lives of Indigenous Australians by providing market-leading training and employment programs and empowering a growing Indigenous workforce,” an objective especially relevant to the Northern Territory.
Working in partnership with education providers, the William Angliss Institute and Charles Darwin University, NITA has assisted over 500 young Indigenous Australians to obtain certificate qualifications for the hospitality, tourism, horticulture and retail sectors, as well as opening up potential employment opportunities with Ayers Rock Resort and other program partners.
“We’re exceptionally proud of all our students who have graduated over the years, but we’re particularly proud of the 2020 class who achieved a nationally recognised qualification in the most challenging year the tourism industry has ever encountered,” says Voyages CEO Matthew Cameron-Smith.
A bespoke engagement opportunity can enable business events participants to learn about NITA and the Voyages Indigenous Traineeship Program, and how it enhances the guest experience at Ayers Rock Resort. Currently 44 per cent of resort employees are Indigenous Australians, the highest level in two years.
Engagement with NITA is included as part of the annual Uluru Showcase, a partnership initiative between Voyages Ayers Rock Resort and Northern Territory Business Events, with famil participants never failing to be impressed by the excellent outcomes being achieved by the academy.
This article originally appeared in the Autumn issue of Spice Magazine.
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