CoE Update | September 2023

Welcome to the latest Centre of Excellence Update

The highlight in September was the delivery of the Shoalhaven Local Knowledge Famil. Thirty-six customer facing tourism and hospitality professionals toured the Shoalhaven starting at the Bearded Brewer in South Nowra for a masterclass in coffee and sampling locally brewed coffee. Next stop was Jim Wild’s Oysters to learn about the complexity of farming oysters and sampling Sydney Rock and Pacific oysters expertly opened by Sally, an Australian Oyster Shucking Champion. The group then travelled to Martin Ridge Farm near Conjola to sample the sustainably farmed pork and beef products, a perfect addition to any charcuterie plate.
Lunch was at Huskisson Hotel for a taste of locally distilled Gin produced by Jervis Bay Distilling Company. First stop after lunch was Jervis Bay Mussels where the group had a behind the scenes tour of one of the world’s most sustainable foods, all locally grown in the pristine waters in Jervis Bay. Next stop was a valuable lesson in the many benefits of seaweed has on your health and impact it has on the environment, PhycoHealth is an internationally recognised leader in the farming of seaweed – the most nutrient dense food on the planet, grown locally in the Shoalhaven.
The group travelled to Nowra Hill to Tara Distillery known for their handcrafted Gin, Vodka and Whiskey produced with local ingredients. The participants tasted a number of the products including the internationally awarded Pot Still Gin. 
The last stop of the famil was at the Old Salt Distillery, that produces a range of beverages including Liqueurs, and award-winning Vodka and Gin. Old Salt also offers bar and dining options in an open kitchen style and a casual and relaxed atmosphere.
For more information on any of these local producers, click here to view a snapshot of what they offer and where to find them in the Shoalhaven.

“It was wonderful to meet the owners of these amazing small businesses and hear about what they offer to visitors and locals in the Shoalhaven. Each of the businesses we visited were unique and offered somethings for us to share with our guests.” – famil attendee.
Industry Survey

Thank you to all that completed the Centre of Excellence Industry Survey. This information will assist with the development and delivery of programs in the months ahead.

What’s Coming Up in October

Indigenous Connections Famils

The Centre of Excellence has partnered with the Department of Regional NSW to present a series of three Indigenous Connections famils in the Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley in October and November.
These famils are designed to educate tourism and hospitality operators and workers on what Indigenous tourism product is available in their region, to enable them to share this knowledge with visitors who want to learn about the local Indigenous culture and have an authentic on country experience. 

Details of these famils and how to participate are as follows:

Indigenous Connections Famil – Bega Valley  |  Wednesday, 25 October 2023
This full day program begins with a Welcome to Country performed by the Twofold Aboriginal Corporation at Jigamy Farm.
The program will include a morning activity exploring Lake Pambula and waterways, learning about the Indigenous culture and visiting some of the best preserved middens on the southern coast of Australia. The afternoon activity will include a “Walking on Country” experience to learn about the significance of Aboriginal lands, plants and animals, rich history and local ancient traditions.

Participants will attend an information session on the future plans of Jigamy Farm hosted by Marcus Arvidson, CEO, Twofold Aboriginal Corporation.
The day will conclude with an Indigenous Cultural event with a Corroboree featuring performers including local dancers and Indigenous representatives sharing knowledge.

Attendance on this famil will be strictly limited. Please click here for more information and how to apply.


Indigenous Connections Famil – Shoalhaven  |  Tuesday, 31 October 2023 
The Shoalhaven has a range of Indigenous tourism and cultural experiences, and this famil will showcase four operators who have established tourism products.
This is a full day experience that will start with a Welcome to Country at the Nowra Showgrounds before attendees board coaches to travel across the region to experience local Indigenous tourism products. You will gain intimate knowledge of the local Indigenous culture through stories shared by local Indigenous tour hosts and others throughout the day. 
The famil will conclude with an Indigenous cultural event at Bundanon where participants will receive a sneak peak of the “Miwati Yolnu – Sunrise People Indigenous Art Exhibition followed by a Corroboree featuring many of the Shoalhaven’s performers including professional dancers, school troupes and representatives from the Local Aboriginal Land Councils sharing their knowledge. 

Attendance on this famil will be strictly limited. Please click here for more information and how to apply.

. . .

Short Skills Course

A Short Skills Course will be held in October in Narooma to gain knowledge and skills needed to work in the hospitality industry.

Local businesses in hospitality, entertainment and tourism are seeking skilled, certified and motivated workers. Café restaurants, clubs, hotels, parks, recreational facilities (just to name a few) offer both part-time casual jobs and permanent roles with solid career pathways.

This four-day course will include the following subject units:

  • SITXFSA001 – Use hygienic practices for food safety
  • SITHFAB005 – Prepare and serve espresso coffee
  • SITHF002 – (RSA) Responsible service of alcohol
  • SITHGAM022 – (RCG) Provide responsible conduct of gambling

When: 9.30am-2.30pm, 9th-13th October 2023, at Club Narooma.

For details on who is eligible to apply for this course, please contact Robyn Johnson: [email protected]

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 before attendees board coaches to experience two local Indigenous tourism products. Attendees will gain intimate knowledge of the local Indigenous culture through stories shared by local indigenous tour hosts and others throughout the day. 

The famil will conclude with an Indigenous cultural event at the Eurobodalla Regional Botanical Gardens where attendees will participate in a Corroboree featuring many of the Eurobodalla’s Indigenous performers including professional dancers, school troupes and representatives from the Local Aboriginal Land Councils sharing their knowledge. 

Attendance on this famil will be strictly limited. Please click here for more information and how to apply.


Customer Service Roadshow

The Centre of Excellence is presenting a workshop to ensure your customer service team has the skills and attitude to deliver outstanding customer service – every time.

The Roadshow will commence on 20th November and will travel from the Bega Valley to the Shoalhaven. Details on the dates, time and venues will be shared shortly.

Other Skills Training and Education

Destination Sydney Surrounds South | Industry Development Programs

Are you a business operating or located in the Shoalhaven LGA and looking to improve your presence online, or target business events and corporate markets for your business – the upcoming DSSS industry development programs might be for you!

Face-to-Face Fundamentals workshops
Navigate the tourism landscape and shine a spotlight on your business!
Join DSSS at one of their Face-to-Face Fundamentals sessions as part of NSW Small Business Month where they’ll explore the benefits of having an Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) listing, why you need to be online bookable, and how to maximise your marketing efforts on a shoestring budget.
Participating businesses must be located in the DSSS region to attend (this includes the LGAs of Shoalhaven, Kiama, Shellharbour, Wollongong and Wingecarribee).

Contact Aaron, DSSS Industry Development Manager for further details. Key dates: These events are proudly funded by the NSW Government.

Business Events industry development program
DSSS is pleased to be partnering with Mayvin Global to deliver a new industry development program for venues and suppliers interested in building their business events and conferencing capabilities. Program dates:
  • Register now: Business Events ready Lunch & Learn session – online Thursday 19th October, 12.30-2pm | more details and register here (all welcome!)
  • Details coming soon: Deep dive workshops for proposal writing, site visits and much more! – coming in November 2023
Access useful industry resources on targeting and securing business events and conferences, for your venue or business on the DSSS Business Events page.

For more information about support to attract business events and conferences on the South Coast, please contact Tash McQueen, DSSS Business & Partnership Specialist.

. . .

CIC Working for Community

We know employers are flooded with youth resume, and often finding someone is easy but keeping them is another thing.
The Shoalhaven Community Investment Committee, would like to understand what employers need to retain young staff. Please come along on the 2nd October to Mission Australia 56-58 Junction Street Nowra, 10-11.30am to share with us how our Community group can best support employers and youth.
Morning tea will be provided.

If you are unable to make it on the day but want to provide feedback please email Brooke from Mission Australia: [email protected]

. . .

Tourism Local Navigator Pilot

The Disability Trust, alongside the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, has commenced the Tourism Local Navigator Pilot. Their Tourism Navigators engage with businesses to enhance workplace accessibility. Their goal is for people living with disability to have opportunities for open employment, work experience, and training in this high demand sector.

If you would like to learn more about this program and how your business can participate please contact:
Isabelle Gadaleta – Tourism Navigator
E: [email protected]
Ph: 0419 424 962
*program is funded by the 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: (1-3) Shoalhaven Local Producers Famil; and (4) Indigenous Connections Famils promotional image.