CoE Update | November 2023

Welcome to the latest Centre of Excellence Update

The Centre of Excellence delivered the remaining two Indigenous Connections Famils and Cultural Events in the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla.
Indigenous tourism operators in the Shoalhaven commenced with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony delivered by Uncle Tom and Colin Moore from Hanging Rock Lookout overlooking the Shoalhaven River. Two groups set out on a full day to experience tour Indigenous tourism experiences including:
  • Bungalin – A great blend of modern science and ancient traditional knowledge provides an incredible insight for guests wanting to learn about bush tucker and also traditional uses of native plants. 
  • Gadhungal Marring – With a variety of walking tours and immersive activities including language and cultural workshops in Jervis Bay and the wider Shoalhaven area, Gadhungal Marring can tailor a tour or check to see what scheduled tours that have up coming through their website.  
  • Djiriba Waagura – After a smoking ceremony Matt Sims took the group on a guided tour along the cliff tops of Booderee National Park teaching the group how to make soap from the Golden Wattle and sharing traditional stories of the local bush, landscape and native animals.
  • Djungga Kultural Tours – Amazing opportunity for guests to gain knowledge from Bernie McLeod and his team within Booderee National Park. There are a variety of tours available along with deep dives into Indigenous Culture for multi day experiences. 
The day concluded with a cultural event at Bundanon Art Museum where guests were welcomed by Uncle Sonny Sims who shared his stories of a long and enduring friendship with Bundanon’s owner and one of Australia’s celebrated artist Arthur Boyd. The guests also experienced an Indigenous performance from Gadhunal Marring and were invited for a sneak peak of the Miwatj Yolŋu – Sunrise People exhibition.
The Eurobodalla Indigenous began with a Welcome to Country by Uncle Bunja and Roderick Slockee on the banks of the Moruya River and the day included:
  • Nar-Oo-Ma Aboriginal Cultural Tours – The group experienced Narooma through the eyes of its first inhabitants, the Walbunja people of the Yuin Nation from the water. The Nar-oom-Ma tour took the group out on the Wagonga Inlet where they learnt about hunting and gathering the region’s unique bush tucker, watch traditional Aboriginal dances and hear music as old as the land itself, spot wildlife and grow to understand the rich cultural heritage of the region that continues to be practiced today. 
  • Malleema Aboriginal Cultural Tours – Lynne Thomas led the group on an energetic walk along the Bellbrook Loop at Tilba sharing stories of the local cultural, the importance of their elders and the connection to country. A very special experience was learning the local language through song.
  • Minga Cultural Tours – Those on the this tour walked along the stunning Bingi Dreaming Track which is part of the Eurobodalla National Park. The tour was took a deep dive into First Nations agricultural practice, with an introductions to native food and medicine plants, plus bush tucker fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, leaves.
  • Muladha Gamara – Jordan Nye accompanied the group on Walbunja Country where they learnt about traditional bushfood, medicine, land management practices and methodologies. The group experienced a traditional smoking ceremony and dance ceremony.
The famil concluded with a Cultural event at the Eurobodalla Regoinal Botanic Gardens which provided a fitting background to a Indigenous performance.

Details on all of the Indigenous tourism products and how you can book these experiences will be available on CoE web page soon.
Customer Service Roadshow

The Centre of Excellence hosted a series of five workshops across the three LGAs presented by Samantha Cox who shared her extensive experience and expertise on how businesses benefit from great customer service.

More one hundred participants attended these workshops that covered:

  • the value of great customer service and how it impacts your business
  • how to avoid bad customer service and understanding the implications
  • how to take your team on the customer service journey
  • the importance of first impressions and why they count.
  • the tools to create a memorable first meeting and build loyalty from day one
  • how to engage and connect with your customers via social media 
The workshop was recorded and will be available on the Destination Sydney Surround South website in the coming weeks.

Good news!… the Centre of Excellence program has been extended to 31 March 2024. The program was due to conclude on 31 December 2023, however an extension has been approved to deliver a number of events and activities in February and March next year due to maximise engagement by the industry.

What’s Coming Up in February 2024

The Centre of Excellence is delivering a series of workshops on how tourism and hospitality operators can leverage technology to streamline their businesses.

The workshop will include the following topics:

  • Introduction to the Current Landscape: a brief overview of the challenges and opportunities faced by tourism and hospitality operators. 
  • The Power of Technology in Tourism: exploring how technology can be a game-changer for small and medium tourism businesses, with a focus on practical, cost-effective solutions.
  • Tech Solutions for Streamlining Operations: detailed insights into AI that can help streamline business operations, manage resources more effectively, and enhance efficiency.
  • Enhancing Customer Experience through Technology: strategies to improve customer engagement and satisfaction using AI looking at social media marketing, email marketing and online booking platforms.
  • Real-World Success Stories: sharing case studies or examples of local or similar businesses that have successfully integrated technology to overcome challenges and grow.
  • Interactive Session: an opportunity for attendees to discuss their specific challenges and explore tailored technological solutions.

Details on how to book to attend these workshops will be available shortly.

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.

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: (1-6) Shoalhaven Indigenous Connections Famil, (7-13) Eurobodalla Indigenous Connections Famil,
(14) Customer Service Roadshow – Nowra session.