CoE Update | April 2023

Welcome to the latest Centre of Excellence Update

April has been a busy month for the industry with Easter, Anzac Day and school holidays.
The Centre of Excellence has been busy planning and finalising programs for May, June and beyond.

Wine & Spirit Education Trust

We are delighted that the three scheduled Wine & Spirit Education Trust level 2 and 3 courses have been fully subscribed with more than 50 frontline workers confirming their place on this internationally recognised course. The courses will be delivered in Nowra, Narooma and Merimbula in May and June.

Centre of Excellence Mentor Program

The Mentor program also closed this month and it too has been fully subscribed with 30 mentors and mentees about to embark on their six-month mentor journey.
The program will officially launch on 8 May 2023 with a webinar that will provide participants with valuable information on what to expect over the life of the program. Participants will have access to webinars and other resources such as Vital Tips and Tools to support them on their mentor journey.
This is an exciting and unique initiative that will benefit many to develop practical and leadership skills to prepare them for future career opportunities.

Centre of Excellence Champions

The Centre of Excellence launched its Champions program earlier this year and is delighted to announce the following industry operators have confirmed their support and will be listed on the website soon:

  • Sarah Ang, Mogo Zoo
  • Jacqui Smith, Wheelers, Merimbula

The role of the Champions is to provide the Centre of Excellence with feedback and support to deliver industry programs in their region.
A list of the Champions is listed though the Centre of Excellence website here.

Experience and Attraction Local Knowledge Famils

The Centre of Excellence delivered the Eurobodalla Experiences and Attractions local knowledge famil in early April. The participants of this famil were treated to a full day of connecting to exceptional experiences and attractions on offer in the Eurobodalla. The full day tour started with a short boat trip with Montague Island Adventures to the beautiful nature reserve Barunguba, Montague Island with its spectacular wildlife and magnificent views from the top of the lighthouse. Back on the mainland the group took a cycle ride around to Australia Rock with Southbound Escapes, lunch at Lynches and a briefing on what to expect at this year’s Oyster Festival.

In the afternoon, the spotlight was on adventure. The group visited Skydive Oz in Moruya with its impressive training facilities and Ocean Jet in Batemans Bay.  Broulee Surf School shared the range of “learn to surf” options they offered and Mogo Zoo, a family favourite, revealed what is new in the zoo.

“What an amazing day visiting so many fantastic local attractions. We are very lucky to have so many varied attractions in the region. To actually meet the operators and participate in the attraction is so valuable when recommending what to do in the area to our guests. Every single attraction was actually better than I was expecting and I already thought they would be amazing. I can’t wait to share all the knowledge with our guests and share on our FB page.“ – Teaghan Abbott, BIG4 Narooma Easts Holiday Park.

The Shoalhaven Experiences and Attractions Local Knowledge famil will be held on 2 May 2023. The famil will visit seven local attractions and experiences across the Shoalhaven that cater for the diverse range of visitors to the region.

Making a Difference

Each month the Centre of Excellence will shine the light on how its programs have impacted tourism and hospitality operators and workers in the three regions including how they have benefited from the training and experiences and how this knowledge has had positive impact on their business and careers.  If you have a story, please share with us.

Since September 2022 the Centre of Excellence has delivered five local knowledge famils across the three local government areas showcasing local produce and experiences and attractions. The purpose of these famils is to inform those working in tourism and hospitality of the local offerings to enable them to refer visitors to businesses so they have a memorable experience and spend more in the regions.

The Centre of Excellence has followed up with those that participated to learn about the impact the famils have had on the way they do business and how they have shared this new knowledge:

“We were in the last stages of opening a restaurant and have partnered with several local wineries and breweries to use their products in our restaurant.”
 – Gerald Poelzl, Farmgate Restaurant

The local area knowledge famil hosted by the South Coast Centre of Excellence has expanded my knowledge of the food and beverage offerings in the Bega Valley. After a kayak tour, many of my guests ask for recommendations for places to dine out or must-do food experiences in the region. Thanks to this knowledge, I can now confidently recommend oyster providers, restaurants, and breweries for my guests to experience while they are staying on the South Coast. It was beneficial to meet the owners, hear their inspiring backstories, learn about their plans for the future, and sample their offerings.
  – Jess Taunton, Navigate Expeditions

“Making suggestions to people staying at my B&B to visit the Shoalhaven wineries and breweries visited on the famil.” – Tim Johnston, Barefoot Springs B&B

“Utilizing products/services we came across to showcase the regions offerings on our social media platforms.” – Garry Sullivan, Beachcomber Holiday Park

“When guests have been booking properties, we always ask what they are coming to the area for and then provide suggestions on places to go and see or places to visit and try.”
– Cassandra Shimmen, Haven Retreats Pty Ltd

“So many of our guests ask us what else we recommend to do, see, taste, or try and now we’re so much more informed! Also, we’re partnering with some of the producers to use their products at our events, on our tours, and for gifts for VIPs. It’s awesome!”
– Travis Frenay, Valley Outdoors

What’s Coming Up in May

Destination Food – Lyndey Milan

Lyndey Milan OAM joins the list of celebrity chefs at the Autumn Celebration of Food and will be delivering a special presentation on the value of local produce and restaurants to attract visitors and grow the destinations appeal at the Growers at Worrigee Sports Club on Wednesday 10 May from 5pm.

Lyndey will be sharing her stories and passion for food particularly regional produce and will be joined by two local producers, Rosie Cupitt, Cupitt’s Estate and Terry Robinson, Old Salt Distillery who will talk about the importance of promoting the region as a food destination and more.
The presentation will be followed by drinks and canapes and we invite you to join Lyndey, Rosie and Terry and enjoy local produce at The Growers.
The Food Destination event is presented by the South Coast Centre of Excellence as part of the Autumn Celebration of Food.

To find out more information click here. To book your ticket, register here

Bega Valley Short Course

The Centre of Excellence, in collaboration with Training Service NSW, Workforce Australia – Local Jobs and the Eden Chamber of Commerce, is promoting a fully funded four-day short course commencing on 2 May 2023 in Eden.

This short course will cover skills that we highly sought after by operators as follows:

  • Use hygienic practices for food safety
  • Prepare and serve expresso coffee
  • Responsible service of alcohol

This course is a pilot program that was developed following consultation with local tourism and hospitality operators in Eden and respond to the skills shortages.
With recent changes to government allowances and access to fee free training the Centre of Excellence identified potential opportunities to upskill and attract new workers to the industry to address skills shortages. The course has been designed to attract the unemployed and mature age Eden residence who have the capacity to support the local industry through upskilling or gaining new skills.
If you would like to gain these skills, please click please click here to register for the course

What’s Coming Up in June & July

Tourism and Hospitality Experience Schools Day Programs

Following the success of the pilot program in Ulladulla in November 2022, the Centre of Excellence has scheduled Tourism and Hospitality Experience (T.H.E.) Schools Days in the Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley.

This program is designed to inspire high school student to consider a career in tourism and/or hospitality. The students will hear from local operators who have built rewarding careers that have taken them around the world. 
These events will also encourage and guide students to engage with the local industry by securing casual roles with local operators and public events to gain practical experience. This is a unique opportunity to learn about careers in the industry in a fun and interactive forum.

Other Skills Training and Education

900-82089 Statement of Attainment in CUSTOMER FIRST
The course aims to develop individuals, teams and communities of people who are determined to adopt a Customer First attitude that provides good service, boosts customer satisfaction, reduces complaints, and ensures repeat customers for your business or service!

Where: TAFE NSW Sussex Inlet Bowling Club
Duration: 2 x Tuesdays, 9.00am to 3.30pm. Timetables may be subject to change.
When: 2 and 9 May 2023

For further information, download the course flyer.

 . . .

Sustainability Skills Micro-credentials program

Destination NSW has partnered with EarthCheck to deliver free Sustainability Skills Micro-credentials for NSW visitor economy businesses.
The Sustainability Skills Micro-credentials are three online short courses designed to assist visitor economy businesses including accommodation, tours and attractions to increase their sustainability knowledge, deliver on consumer demand for sustainable experiences and provide practical solutions to implement in their business.

Expressions of Interest close 11:59pm on 19 May 2023. Places are limited. Successful applicants will be notified by email and provided with log-in details to commence the micro-credential courses.

Apply here

 . . .


Slow Food Berry to Jervis Bay is raising a glass to the winemakers of the Shoalhaven.  Our resident wine experts, Kate Khoury and Gaynor Sims, will guide members and guests through a tasting of our region’s top six drops in an evening of fine wine, delicious canapés and excellent conversation.

You will experience a range of varietals from four local vineyards, Coolangatta Estate, The Wine Hub, Two Figs Winery and Cambewarra Estate. Each wine – sparkling, semillon, viognier, rosé, syrah and chambourcin – will be served with a bite-sized hors d’oeuvre created to complement it. Download event flyer

When: Friday May 26, 2023, 5.30-7.30pm
Where: Berry Uniting Church Hall, 69 Albert St, Berry
Cost: Members $75    Non-members $85

Register here

 . . .

NSW First Program

Destination NSW delivers the NSW First Program to assist tourism businesses across the state to develop, promote and sell their tourism products.

It includes face to face workshops and online webcasts that offer ‘how-to’ insights on a range of topics for the tourism industry, with events regularly added to the calendar.

Find out more and view on demand webcasts on the Destination NSW website.

For assistance with the NSW First Program and to discuss your business’ needs, please contact the Industry Development Manager at your Destination Network:

For Shoalhaven operators:
Aaron Matis
Destination Sydney Surrounds South
[email protected]
For Eurobodalla & Bega Valley operators:
Jenny Robb
Destination Southern NSW
[email protected]
. . .

Business Connect

Looking for support in running your business? Find and book a Business Connect webinar or event from business experts. Develop your business skills and help your business achieve its potential. Visit the Business Connect website for further details.

We welcome any feedback on our programs the Centre of Excellence and any ideas that could be considered to develop and grow tourism and hospitality on the NSW South Coast.

Speak soon,
Robyn and Sam

Robyn Johnson
Manager Skills and Opportunities
[email protected]
Sam Tooley
Industry Partnerships Specialist
[email protected]
This Local Economic Recovery project is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and the New South Wales Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
Images: (1) Eurobodalla Local Knowledge Famil. (2) Destination Food event with Lyndey Milan OAM banner.
(3) Bega Valley Short Course banner.