Tourism Indigenous Employment Champions Network supported by The Star Entertainment Group

The QTIC Tourism Indigenous Employment Champions Network, supported by The Star Entertainment Group, aims to support tourism employers to recruit and retain Indigenous employees. The project is the first of its kind in Queensland and aims to increase operators’ awareness of how to encourage and maintain increased participation of Indigenous Australians within the mainstream tourism industry.

The Network is a group of volunteer tourism operators that have exhibited best practice in the recruitment and retention of Indigenous employment. Together with the Champions, QTIC have developed a range of resources for tourism operators, presented at numerous industry conferences, facilitated industry forums, provided tourism industry career path information to Indigenous students and job seekers, and identified Indigenous employment placements within the industry.

In 2015, QTIC entered into a partnership with The Star Entertainment Group to guarantee that the Network would continue through to June 2016. As part of its ‘creating jobs for Queenslanders’ focus, The Star Entertainment has provided funding to QTIC to help it maintain and expand its work to create and promote Indigenous employment opportunities. 

QTIC Tourism Indigenous Employment Champions supported by The Star Entertainment Group

The Champions have been selected based on their successful engagement of, and commitment to, Indigenous employees and/or partnerships.  The network of Champions represents a cross section of tourism industry sectors and organisations of all shapes and sizes.
The QTIC Tourism Indigenous Employment Champions Network contains the following members (current as at June 2017):

·         Al Mucci, Dreamworld, Gold Coast

·         Alan Smith, Outback Aussie Tours, Longreach

.         Alison Smith, The Star Entertainment Group

·         Amery Burleigh, Sofitel Gold Coast

·         Mount Isa Entertainment and Tourism Ventures

·         Anthony Corrie, Sarina Russo

·         Bryce Madgwick, Tjapukai Cultural Park

·         Cameron Costello, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation

.         Cheryl Thompson, Bacy Base Camp, Barcaldine

·         David Hudson, Didgeralia, Cairns

·         David Williams, GILIMBAA

·         David J Penney, Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort

·         Eddie and Shannon Ruska, Great Australian Experiences - Spirits of the Red Sand, Brisbane

·         Edmond Power, Accor Hotels

·         Emily Tanna, Compass Group Australia Pty Ltd

·         Geoff Hogg, The Star Entertainment Group·    

·         Jacob Cassady, Mungalla Station, Ingham  North Queensland

·         Joe Sproats, Platypus Wealth Institute and Dreamtime Learning, Ingham

.         Johnny Murison, Jarramali Enterprises, Gordonvale

·         Josh Hanley, Accor Hotels

·         Kim Dorward, Voyages

·         Leith Wiblen, The Star Entertainment Group, Gold Coast

.         Lloyd Mills, Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame

·         Margaret Grenfell, Straddie Camping, Brisbane

·         Marie Taylor, Reef Magic Cruises

·         Mark Greaves, Visit Queensland

·         Maryanne Jacques, Adventure North Australia and the Bama Way

·         Monique Harmer, Pullman Cairns International and Novotel Oasis Resort

·         Neil Mergard, 1770 Environmental Tours, 1770

·         Paul Morton, Novotel Surfers Paradise

·         Paul Victory, Sealink QLD & NT Pty Ltd

·         Penny Cleland, CaPTA Group, Cairns

·         Peter Lenoy, UMI Arts Ltd, Cairns

·         Philip Jerrard, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC)

·         Preston Campbell, Preston Campbell Foundation

·         Russell Boswell, Savannah Guides, North Queensland

.         Shirley Hollingsworth, Tjapukai Cultural Park

·         Sonya Jeffrey, Ingan Tours, North Queensland

·         Tarragh Cunningham, Queensland Art Gallery

·         Tom Howard, Brisbane Airport Corporation, Brisbane

·         Tracy Kearney, Prestige Services, Gold Coast

Read more about these Champions network members in the resource available below (scroll to bottom of page).

Join the QTIC Tourism Indigenous Employment Champions Network

QTIC is continually expanding the Network and is actively seeking businessess and support agencies who would like to join us in pro-actively supporting the employment of Indigenous people within the mainstream tourism industry.  Please call the Indigenous Program Manager on (07) 3236 1445 or email

Business Support Resources

QTIC has developed a range of resources to assist tourism operators in their endeavours to increase Indigenous employment within the tourism industry.

  • The Tourism Indigenous Employment Champions Network Case Studies provide a range of case studies on business' planning, recruiting, and managing Indigenous employees. The latest case study highlights the work of Kara Palou, Redbank High School and the small business venture with her hospitality students to create “Platters on Willow” Click here to view.
  • The Directory of Indigenous Services and Programs provides a useful contact list of available community contacts, Government funding programs, Indigenous awareness training providers, and voluntary Indigenous employee mentors throughout Queensland. 
  • The Employer's Guide to Indigenous Employment provides businesses with a strategy and informative tips on how to plan, recruit, appoint and retain Indigenous employees.
  • Videos available on the QTIC YouTube channel showcasing Indigenous School Based Traineeships including the video about Phyllis Mado or watch the video about Shannen Casters.  The Indigenous Employee network has developed in conjunction with TAFE Gold Coast a short video showing Indigenous Employees working in the tourism industry Click here to view .


Proudly supported by the Star Entertainment Group



Type Description SIGs Availability Datesort icon
2015 5th Annual QTIC Indigenous Employment Forum Public 5 Jan 2016
Newsletters - QTIC Tourism Indigenous Employment Champions Network Public 17 Sep 2015
Tourism Indigenous Employment Case Studies Public 15 Oct 2014
QTIC Tourism Employment Indigenous Champions Network Public 26 Mar 2014
QTIC Indigenous Employee Retention Strategy: A Guide to Building Your Business Through Mentoring Public 23 Aug 2013
Indigenous Employment Champions Network "Sharing the Stories" Public 10 Jul 2012
Indigenous Employment Network's Acknowledgement to Country Public 10 Jul 2012
Directory of Queensland Indigenous Services and Programs June 2013 Public 10 Jul 2012
Putting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment into Perspective Private 20 Jun 2012
Indigenous Women's Experiences of Work: Key Issues in Urban Queensland Private 20 Jun 2012
An Employer Toolkit to grow Aboriginal employment in your organisation Private 20 Jun 2012