Indigenous women celebrated at NAIDOC breakfast

“Because of her, we can!”

This year’s NAIDOC theme shone through brightly at this morning’s annual QTIC NAIDOC Corporate Breakfast.

“Because of her, we can!”

This year’s NAIDOC theme shone through brightly at this morning’s annual QTIC NAIDOC Corporate Breakfast.

Guests and invited speakers came together with the common bond of having women in their lives who have influenced or shaped them in a positive way.

Keynote speaker Acting Director General of Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Tammy Williams captured the attention of the room with her inspiring and goosebumps-raising story about the strong women who shaped her into the person she is today.

She paid tribute to her heritage; the sacrifice, dedication and leadership of her mother Lesley Williams; as well as the many other women who have played a mothering role in her life.

"Being a Koa woman & mother (Yonga) has influenced my whole life. It's influenced my career choice and the way I raise my family,” Ms Williams said.

“NAIDOC Week this year is about celebrating and honouring the successes of First Nations women and the successful partnerships with non-Indigenous women. And as a result, the positive outcomes that are improving life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

QTIC Indigenous Program Manager Rhonda Appo said the NAIDOC breakfast was a chance to acknowledge the very important role First People play in the tourism industry.

“I want people to be inspired,” she said.

“I want to showcase the fabulous stories community has to tell. And I want to show people that the tourism industry is a leader in supporting Indigenous employment and businesses.

“It’s also about recognising the value Indigenous people bring to a business and the richness that fosters for staff and customers.”

The QTIC Indigenous Employee Network, supported by The Star Entertainment Group, has a goal to reach 2020 new faces and 20 new Indigenous businesses in the tourism industry by 2020.

QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gshwind summed up the occasion nicely, “NAIDOC is about our shared goals and aspirations, and achievements of reconciliation and togetherness”.

The sold-out event saw almost 100 people from across the tourism industry gather to celebrate NAIDOC Week at the Treasury Hotel in Brisbane.

Indigenous artist and proud Kalkadoon woman Chern’ee Sutton wowed guests with her 9m x 1.83m artwork – "Caina Putut, Ilya, Wartanganha" in the Kalkadoon language means "Long ago, Today, Tomorrow" – that was commissioned as part of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Proud Mamu man Nathan Appo was MC for the morning, and proud Nunukul Yuggera man Shannon Ruska delivered the Welcome to Country.

Thanks to our generous event sponsors – Brisbane Airport Corporation, Griffith University and Aussie World – we were able to fund a Preston campbell Foundation scholarship to help one young Indigenous woman persue her tourism and hospitality career dreams.

SAVE THE DATE: The 8th annual QTIC Tourism Indigenous Employment Forum will take place on the Gold Coast on Wednesday 14 November 2018.

PHOTO: QTIC Indigenous Program Manager Rhonda Appo, Acting DG of DATSIP Tammy Williams and QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind.