CoE Update | October 2023

Welcome to the latest Centre of Excellence Update

October is Indigenous Business Month and the Centre of Excellence adopted its 2023 theme “To Gather Together” by delivering an Indigenous Connections famil and Cultural Event bringing together local tourism and hospitality operators in the Bega Valley to learn about local Indigenous culture and tourism products.
Jigamy Farm in Pambula hosted the famil attended by 24 local operators who were welcomed by Uncle BJ Cruse who shared his stories of the region that had been passed down from his ancestors. Many of the group then explored the waterways of Pambula Lake with Navigate Expeditions learning about Indigenous sites and knowledge of this ancient culture. This was the Expedition’s first tour with an Indigenous guide, Nathan Lygon, who shared his vast knowledge of the shellfish deposits and sacred sites on the lake.
The participants learned about the unique lifestyles and the significance of the connection to land and plants to the Indigenous culture with Alison Simpson and Kane Arvidson on a walking tour of Jigamy Farm. In the afternoon, Nathan took the group on a tour of the coastal end of the Bundian Way, the 365 kilometre ancient pathway that leads through a remarkable variety of bush landscapes, across plains and mountain ranges, between the NSW Sapphire Coast and Mount Kosciuszko.
Some members of the group tried their skills in basket weaving after a guided tour of the Eden Local Aboriginal Lands Council’s impressive display of artefacts including stringy bark canoes, boomerangs, stone tools and artwork depicting the land of the bogong moth (Snowy Mountains) and the sea.
Marcus Arvidson, CEO, Twofold Aboriginal Corporation gave an insightful presentation on the Jigamy Farm development, from land that was once strawberry fields to what will be an important Indigenous precinct in the Bega Valley to support its local community and offer experiences and haven to tourists and visitors to the region.

At the conclusion of the event the famil attendees were joined by additional guests who enjoyed a traditional Indigenous performance from the local Duurunu Miru dancers performing stories of the Dhawa/Thaua Country in the Yuin Nation.

“The Bega Velley Indigenous Famil provided Twofold Aboriginal Corporation with an opportunity to showcase some of the brilliant cultural experiences based on the Sapphire Coast. With renewed passion and direction, our visitors were able to sample some tourism opportunities through a unique cultural lens culminating in a celebration of Indigenous inspired foods sourced locally and supporting Indigenous enterprise.This was a great initiative of the South Coast Centre of Excellence, that has raised awareness of the Indigenous tourism offering in our region.” – Marcus Arvidson, CEO, Twofold Aboriginal Corporation.

The Centre of Excellence partnered with the Department of Regional NSW to deliver the famil and cultural event which is the first of a series of three Indigenous events to be delivered to raise awareness of Indigenous culture and tourism products on the NSW South Coast.
The second Indigenous Connections famil will be held today, 31st October in the Shoalhaven which will be showcased in the November Centre of Excellence newsletter.
Hospitality Short Skills Course

The Centre of Excellence coordinated the delivery of a Short Skills Course in Narooma to gain upskill needed those looking to work in hospitality. This four-day course was successfully delivered attended by 15 attended who gaining much needed skills to support the local businesses.

What’s Coming Up in November


Indigenous Connections Famil Eurobodalla

Wednesday, 15 November 2023

The Eurobodalla has a number of established tourism operators and products that participants on this famil will have the opportunity to experience.
This will be a full day famil that will start with a Welcome to Country performed by local Indigenous Elders before attendees board coaches to experience two local Indigenous tourism products. Each of the operators will share intimate knowledge of the local Indigenous culture through stories shared by local hosts and others throughout the day. 
The famil will conclude with an Indigenous Cultural Event at the Eurobodalla Regional Botanical Gardens where participants will participate in a Corroboree featuring many of the Eurobodalla’s Indigenous dancers.

If you wish to take part in this famil please click here. Applications close COB, 7th November 2023.

. . .

Customer Service Roadshow

The Centre of Excellence is presenting a series of five workshops across the three LGAs to ensure your customer service team has the skills and attitude to deliver outstanding customer service – every time.

The two hour workshop, presented by Samantha Cox, former PA to Sir Richard Branson will cover:

  • 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 an memorable first meeting and build loyalty from day one
  • How to engage and connect with your customers via social media 

And much more… The workshops will be following by networking events.

To register click on the individual links as follows:

. . .

TAFE NSW Hospitality Courses

The Centre of Excellence has partnered with TAFE NSW to offer a series of seven Hospitality courses to be held in November and December in the Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley.
These courses are designed to train Year 12 school leavers and anyone who would like to gain skills in hospitality. Please enrol through the published links for each of the courses.

    • Schools: Shoalhaven & Bomaderry High School
    • Dates: 6, 8, 9, 13 & 20 November
    • Time: 9am – 4pm 
      • 6th Nov – RSA
      • 8th Nov – RCG
      • 9th Nov – Food Hygiene
      • 13th & 20th Nov – Espresso Coffee
    • Enrol here
    • Schools: Bateman’s Bay High School
    • Dates: 10, 13, 14, 16 & 17 November 
    • Time: 9am – 4pm
      • 10th Nov – RSA (Batemans Bay)
      • 13th Nov – RCG (Batemans Bay)
      • 14th Nov – Food Hygiene (Batemans Bay)
      • 16th & 17th Nov – Espresso Coffee (Moruya)
    • Enrol here
    • Schools: Carroll College and Moruya High
    • Dates: 14, 15, 17, 22 & 23 November
    • Time: 9am – 4pm
      • 10th Nov – RSA
      • 13th Nov – RCG
      • 14th Nov – Food Hygiene
      • 16th & 17th Nov – Espresso Coffee
    • Enrol here
    • Dates: 14, 15, 16, 20 & 21 November 
    • Schools: Ulladulla High
    • Time: 9am – 4pm
      • 14th Nov – Food Hygiene
      • 15th Nov – RSA
      • 16th Nov – RCG
      • 20th & 21st Nov – Espresso Coffee
    • Enrol here
    • Schools: Ulladulla High & Novo Education
    • Dates: 21, 22, 23, 27 & 28 November 
    • Time: 9am – 4pm
      • 21st Nov – Food Hygiene
      • 22nd Nov – RSA
      • 23rd Nov – RCG
      • 27th & 28th Nov – Espresso Coffee
    • Enrolment link still to be confirmed
    • Schools: Carroll College and Moruya High
    • Dates: 27, 28, 29, 30 November and 1 December
    • Time: 9am – 4pm
      • 27th Nov – RSA
      • 28th Nov – RCG
      • 29th Nov – Food Hygiene
      • 30th Nov & 1st Dec – Espresso Coffee
    • Enrol here
    • School: Vincentia High School
    • Dates: 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 December
    • Time: 9am – 4pm
      • 4th Dec – RSA
      • 5th Dec – Food Hygiene
      • 6th Dec – RCG
      • 7th & 8th Dec – Espresso Coffee
    • Enrol here

Other Skills Training and Education

Destination NSW Inbound Strategy Workshop – Shoalhaven

Join Destination NSW for a free, full-day Inbound Strategy Workshop, designed to provide 
visitor economy businesses with the necessary steps to develop and sell export-ready products to international visitors via the inbound travel trade.

The Inbound Strategy Workshop will suit visitor economy businesses, including accommodation, tours and activities, and visitor attractions including wineries, distilleries, breweries and farm gates that:

  • Offer bookable experiences  
  • Have a presence in the domestic market, with at least one year of operational experience 
  • Are currently connected with or considering working with an online travel agent  
  • Are exploring opportunities in the international market. 

When: Thursday 23rd November, 10.00am – 4.00pm 
Where: Quest Nowra, 130 Kinghorne St, Nowra NSW
Registrations: Register now!

The workshop is part of the NSW First Program, delivered by Destination NSW to assist businesses to develop, promote and sell world-class visitor experiences. 

. . .

Tourism Local Navigator Pilot

The Disability Trust, partnering with Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) is running the Tourism Local Navigator Pilot across the Illawarra and South Coast region. The Tourism Local Navigator Pilot is designed to help small and medium sized (SME) tourism businesses to recruit, retain and progress employees and jobseekers with disability through:

  • Building your capability to recruit people with disability
  • Advice on how and where to seek support
  • Access to local networks to source employees

Download the program flyer for further information, including pilot outcomes and benefits to employers.

For additional details, please contact:
Michelle Carter
Tourism Navigator – The Disability Trust
E: [email protected]
P: 0492 351 749

A free service funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

. . .

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) Bega Valley Indigenous Connections Famil and Cultural Event.