CoE Update | March 2023

Welcome to the latest Centre of Excellence Update

In March the Centre of Excellence continues to deliver the 30+ programs and events scheduled for 2023 and will be launching a number of new programs designed to support tourism and hospitality in the Bega Valley, Eurobodalla and Shoalhaven regions.

Centre of Excellence Scholarship Program

The Centre of Excellence has partnered with TAFE NSW and launched the Centre of Excellence Scholarship Program that offers a fully funded Certificate III in Hospitality course that includes opportunities to participate in a number of the Centre of Excellence’s programs.

The Scholarship has received 34 applicants from across the three regions who will benefit from this initiative to increase their skills and formal qualifications. This has been a great initiative that will be revisited later in 2023.

Social Media for Tourism and Hospitality

The Centre of Excellence delivered three professional development sessions on Social Media for Tourism and Hospitality in the three regions in March.

Presented by Alana Hay from Milestone Creative Australia these sessions were attended by 100+ operators who gained insights and tips on the value of social media, what platforms to use, how to extend their social media reach and how to apply the data to promote their businesses.

Local Knowledge Famils

Over the next few weeks the Centre of Excellence will continue its program to increase local knowledge of the tourism product available in our own backyards by delivering three famils promoting experiences and attractions designed to suit a variety of visitor interests.

The first famil for 2023 was delivered yesterday, 29th March in the Bega Valley where participants visited the Potoroo Palace, Eden Visitors Centre, Eden Killer Whale Museum and experience Captain Sponge’s Magical Oyster Tour, Navigate Expeditions, Magic Mountain and finished the famil with a sneak peak behind the scenes tour of the South East Centre for Contemporary Art.

See below for details on up and coming the Local Knowledge Famils in the Eurobodalla and Shoalhaven.

Mentor Program

In March the Centre of Excellence also launched its Mentor Program. This is great opportunity for industry stalwarts to share their industry knowledge and experience to develop the future leaders in tourism and hospitality on the South Coast.

For those working in the industry the Mentor program will provide an opportunity to learn and develop career pathways with the support and encouragement of someone who has been there. The program will be presented on an online platform that provides valuable resources to assist participants to maximise their mentoring experience.

The Centre of Excellence will be conducting a webinar on Wednesday 5 April 2023 to provide more information on the program and answer any questions you may have. Register for this session here

Register to be a Mentor or Mentee of the program here

Bega Valley 4-day Short Course

The Centre of Excellence conducted a skills shortage survey of the tourism and hospitality operators in the Bega Valley to evaluate the needs of the community to assist it in scoping programs to support these businesses. 

With recent changes to government allowances and access to fee free training the Centre of Excellence has identified potential opportunities to upskill and attract new workers to the industry to address skills shortages.
From this survey the Centre of Excellence, in collaboration with Training Service NSW, Workforce Australia and the Eden Chamber of Commerce, is promoting a four-day short course commencing on Tuesday 2nd May 2023 to be held 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

Download this program flyer and enrolment form here

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:

  • Peter Caldwell, Longstocking Brewery, Pambula
  • Libby Cupitt, Cupitt’s Estate, Ulladulla
  • Belinda Dorsett, The Mossy Café, Mossy Point
  • Sonia Greig, South on Albany, Berry
  • Alison Hayes, The Garden Berry
  • Jacqui Wheeler, Wheeler’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar
  • Susan Gray, Dromedary Hotel, Tilba Tilba

The role of the Champions is to provide the Centre of Excellence with feedback and support to deliver industry programs in their region. A full list of the Champions will be available on the Centre of Excellence website shortly.

Food Tourism

The Centre of Excellence is delighted to be presenting Lyndey Milan OAM, home cook hero, TV Chef and presenter at a session on Food Tourism at 5 – 7.30pm on Wednesday, 10th May 2023 at the Worrigee Sports Club. The event is part of the Shoalhaven Food Network’s Autumn Celebration of Food calendar of events. Lyndey will share her knowledge on the value of food tourism particularly in regional NSW and will discuss with two local industry operators, Rosie Cupitt from Cupitt’s Estate and Terry Robinson from Old Salt Distillery who will share their stories on the importance of good food and beverages to attract visitors to the regions.

Lyndey will also host a “Lunch and Learn” event at Bangalay Luxury Villas and Dining at Shoalhaven Heads on Thursday 11th May 2023.

Further information and how to book to attend these events will be circulated shortly.

Making a Difference

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

Cupitt’s Estate story

At Cupitt’s, we take food and wine pairing seriously and feel it is our speciality. Our philosophy for winemaking is that we make wine that works well with food and is the same in the kitchen. We work carefully with our chefs to ensure the food pairs well with the wine we make. What was taught in the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Award 2 course (WSET) presented by the Centre of Excellence was that some dishes are hard to pair with wine. We knew this already, but it was rationalised in a way we could pass the training on and the criteria provided. We took this information and explained it to our team whilst eating food and drinking wine; they could understand better how we came up with our wine selections from this discussion. It helped provide that basic foundation.

An example is wine is hard to pair with chilli heat. Luckily, beer is fine, and we produce beer, but generally, we pair most dishes with wine as that is expected in a restaurant; but I want to say beer is also great to pair with food as an alternative to wine.

Our previous spring menu had a delicious entree ‘Prawn Conchiglie Pasta, Cupitt’s Rosie’s Rosé, Lemon & Chilli Butter, Mandarin – we match it perfectly with the Cupitt’s Estate 2021 Gewurztraminer. This wine is well-balanced, has high acidity and is aromatic. It is off-dry (a little sweet) and pairs wonderfully with spicy food. We showed the team other wines you may assume would work with the ingredients like prawn, and citrus, but they don’t because of the chilli component, it needed that little bit of sweetness. The servers can now explain this and get the customer to order the right beverage for their food choice and have the best possible dining experience.

The knowledge I gained by doing the WSET 2 course has given me a deeper appreciation of wine and of the acute difference in the varieties. I have been able to share this valuable experience and new found knowledge with the rest of team at Cupitt’s and we look forward to expanding our knowledge. I congratulate the Centre of Excellence for bringing this course to the Shoalhaven.

 – Libby Cupitt, Strategic Partnership Manager, Cupitt’s Estate

What’s Coming Up

In April

This famil held on 4 April takes in some of the leading attractions and experiences in Eurobodalla along with some new businesses including Montague Island for a tour of the island with National Parks, Region X plus an inspection of Ocean Jet at Batemans Bay, Mogo Wildlife Park to name a few.

Apply here to attend this famil

In May

The Shoalhaven Experiences and Attractions Local Knowledge famil will be held on 2 May 2023. Details on what you experience on this famil will be circulated shortly. Put this date in your diary.

Wine & Spirit Education Trust Award Courses 

The Centre of Excellence is offering three Wine & Spirit Trust (WSET) Award courses in May and June. Application to participate in these courses are open until 19 April 2023.

Wine & Spirit Education Trust Award Level 2 course
The WSET Award 2 course in wines provides an industry standard introduction to the main styles of wine available to front line staff involved in the service and sale of wine. There are two three-day courses available as follows:

Wine & Spirit Education Trust Award Level 3 course
The WSET 3 Award in wines is designed for wine service professionals seeking to delve deeper into the world of wines. This qualification provides a detailed understanding of grape growing and wine making. Participants will be able to describe the characteristics of the principal wines of the world and give information on the key factors influencing style, quality and price. This is a six-day course held over three two-day sessions as follows:

  • Narooma – Narooma Golf Club, 15 – 16 May 2023
  • Nowra – Worrigee Sports Club, 29 May – 30 May 2023
  • Merimbula – Club Sapphire, 26 -27 June 2023

More information and apply here to attend

Other Skills Training and Education

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.

In summary, a number of the Centre of Excellence programs have limited numbers, so we would encourage you to apply early so that you will not be disappointed.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on how the CoE can support you or your business, please send us an email.

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: (1,3,4,5) Bega Valley Local Knowledge Famil. (2) Shoalhaven Social Media development session.
(6) Cupitt’s Estate, image supplied.