Thursday, 4 October 2018

TAFE NSW has welcomed its first group of students to a new cultural tourism certificate course designed exclusively for Aboriginal students and operators across the region.

Northern Tablelands MP and Minister responsible for TAFE NSW Adam Marshall said the new course was a unique pilot being delivered currently at Armidale, Inverell and Glen Innes TAFE campuses

“It is a Certificate III course and customised to address the training needs of Aboriginal students and communities,” Mr Marshall said.

“Aboriginal students and business owners have a unique opportunity to build a thriving cultural tourism industry in northern NSW and beyond.

“Students will be equipped with the skills, knowledge and cultural protocols to begin their careers in tourism, lead their own groups and tours, or even establish new businesses in Aboriginal cultural tourism.

“It has been developed by TAFE NSW in consultation with local Aboriginal Lands Councils and cultural tourism operators to ensure the right practical focus for the course, which is being taught at Armidale, Inverell campuses and at the Glen Innes Connected Learning Centre.

“It is an example of how TAFE NSW is constantly innovating to meet the training and employment needs of communities and demonstrates the Government’s commitment to TAFE in country NSW.”

Tamworth cultural consultant Len Waters, who runs Aboriginal Cultural Tours in Northern NSW, was instrumental in the design of the course and identifying the most suitable units of study.

“Many of our community are not suited to or competitive in the local tourism labour market. This course will bring new opportunities to our people who want to showcase our culture and generate employment in a growing industry,” Mr Waters said.

“My own emphasis is to generate cultural tourism hubs throughout NSW and connect more students to employers and tourism operators.”

Armidale Local Aboriginal Council CEO Tom Briggs told Mr Marshall the Cultural Tourism course would help in provide expert advice and support to his Local Aboriginal Land Council members in the establishment phase of running their own Aboriginal tourism business.

“The Certificate III course in Cultural Tourism is timely as a number of our members are keen to build on their current knowledge, skills and Cultural protocols in developing and running their own Aboriginal tourism ventures across the Northern Tablelands,” Mr Briggs said.

“There are many spectacular tourism sites and traditional walking trails across the Northern Tablelands that we as Aboriginals want to explore and make available for our Members and the broader community.”

And another Armidale student Clive Ahoy has welcomed the course as a vital and valuable tool to help his career.

“I became a tour guide Discovery Ranger with NSW National Parks about 20 years ago,” Mr Ahoy said.

The Cultural Tourism course and Aboriginal Languages through TAFE will skill me up for tourism industry. I will be able to do tours with my own business.”

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