Centre of Excellence

About the Project

An industry-led project, the South Coast Centre of Excellence (CoE) will create a pipeline of skilled workers by promoting career pathways in hospitality and tourism to encourage staff attraction and retention, whilst providing lasting careers for residents including young and Indigenous workers.

Working closely with Destination Southern NSW, the CoE will aid the economic recovery of bushfire-impacted local government areas of Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley by addressing workforce shortages; elevating visitor experiences; and supporting product diversification, to drive increased tourism yield (visitor spend), reduce seasonality and support resilient local businesses.

The CoE will support a ‘career’ pathway into the sector, rather than simply creating ‘jobs’, and address current perceptions that hospitality and tourism has limited long-term career opportunities. To ensure cost-effective delivery, the CoE will avoid duplication in its service delivery by leveraging existing networks and training programs. Two highly qualified and experienced officers have been engaged, they are responsible for identifying opportunities and coordinating the program services and delivery.

The period of the pilot program has been extended from the initial two years by an additional six months to conclude on 31 January 2024. Success of the project during this timeframe will contribute to the long-term sustainability of the CoE.

Project Updates

CoE Update | November 2023

CoE Update | October 2023

CoE Update | September 2023

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Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Project Videos  |  Local Knowledge Famil Highlights

Throughout the program duration, the Centre of Excellence is hosting various local knowledge industry famils in the Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla, and Bega Valley, to showcase the exceptional and diverse range of product and services available to visitors.

The aim of the famils is to increase the knowledge of local tourism and hospitality staff who are customer facing, on the unique local offerings so that they can recommend with confidence what is available for visitors to experience, adding value to their stay and supporting local tourism products and services.

Highlight features from these famils are included here with longer operator showcases available on Vimeo here or by clicking the button below: 

Shoalhaven famil – May 2023

Experiences & Attractions

Eurobodalla famil – April 2023

Experiences & Attractions

Bega Valley famil – March 2023

Experiences & Attractions

Local Knowledge Famils | Operator Fact Sheets

Shoalhaven –
Wineries and Breweries

View & download

Shoalhaven –
Local Producers

View & download

Bega Valley –
Local Produce

View & download

Eurobodalla –
Experiences & Attractions

View & download

Eurobodalla – Food and
Beverage Producers

View & download

Project Partners

Champions Program

The Centre of Excellence is pleased to introduce a new program that recognises leaders in the tourism and hospitality industry on the NSW South Coast – known as the Champions Program.

The role of the Champion is to provide the Centre of Excellence with feedback and support to deliver industry programs in their region and to provide advice on what programs and support would benefit their local business community. The Centre of Excellence appreciates their contribution to support the delivery the 2023 program of events and activities to attract a pipeline of new recruits, sustain and develop the current workforce and support the local tourism and hospitality businesses.

Expert Steering Committee

The project is overseen by a Committee of highly skilled industry experts:

Deanna Varga

Committee Member

Fiona Hatcher

Committee Member

Jen Downes

Committee Member

Karen Dempster

Committee Member

Michelle Bishop

Committee Member

Rachel Kent

Committee Member

Sandra Gray

Committee Member

Project Team

Robyn Johnson

Manager Skills and Opportunities

0418 777 722

Sam Tooley

Industry Partnerships Specialist

0499 093 467

Funding Acknowledgement

This Local Economic Recovery project is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and the New South Wales Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Image credit: Destination NSW