This year’s NAIDOC theme of ‘Heal Country’ calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
Tourism offers strong and sustainable opportunities to achieve much under this theme and Queensland’s Year of Indigenous Tourism is giving industry and government a strong focus.
Quandamooka man and QTIC Deputy Chair, Cameron Costello said QTIC had increased the focus on First Nations tourism, and events like this help to bring everyone together to collaborate and bring about change for the future.
“QTIC is a leader in driving Indigenous tourism, starting out through employment and training and now broadened to a comprehensive strategic plan including the development of a peak body for First Nations tourism, led by First Nations people.
“There are many tourism businesses out there and all over Queensland who are keen to engage with traditional owners-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders- to develop a unique and authentic experience for people visiting Queensland.
“Now is the time to promote the collective vision that we have and I think we are on the cusp of something really fantastic and healing,” Mr Costello said.
Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford shares that ambition and encourages all Australians to embrace First Nations’ cultures.
“Queensland is enriched by the languages, cultures and diversity of First Nations peoples, and it is vital for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders to be at the heart of these tourism initiatives.
“As part of the reframed relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the Queensland Government is working with First Nations’ businesses, communities and individuals to create meaningful partnerships.
“I encourage more tourism operators to consider building partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned businesses to provide unique tourism and job opportunities”, Minister Crawford said.
Thought-provoking leaders took the stage at the QTIC NAIDOC Corporate Breakfast including John Paul Janke, Co-Chair of the National NAIDOC Committee, Co-Owner of Rork Projects and Co-Host of SBS/NITV’s ‘The Point’ show.
“I grew up in an era when we learned nothing about Indigenous history, culture or achievement. NAIDOC week is important because it acknowledges our history and celebrates our cultural survival.
“It is important to continue to build on the escalating demand for Indigenous tourism activities and in parallel with the significant growth of Indigenous Businesses/Owner Operators.
“There are opportunities for communities to explore great business ideas on country that empower the community,” said Mr Janke.
To wrap up a successful event QTIC Chief Executive Officer Daniel Gschwind commented, “Tourism has enormous potential to bringer greater understanding and appreciation of our Indigenous wealth to the community and to visitors. Indigenous culture and an Indigenous perspective on our land and history are unique assets that are still undervalued for tourism. Tourism can be an agent for Healing Country”.
The event was proudly supported by The Star Entertainment, Griffith University, Deadly Tickets, Fun Over Fifty and Australian Adventure Tourism Group.