CONNECTING WITH CULTURE: Country is the classroom for these previous participants in a TAFE NSW cultural tourism course.
Locals will be offered the practical skills and experience to tap into the booming field of cultural tourism as part of a unique course being offered at TAFE NSW Glen Innes from July.
The Certificate III in Tourism, specialising in Cultural Tourism, comes amid surging interest in cultural tourism experiences, with 1.4 million international visitors to Australia participating in an Indigenous tourism experience in 2019 – up 54 per cent on 2010 numbers.
The course has run successfully in other parts of the region and is now being offered at TAFE NSW Glen Innes.
TAFE NSW cultural tourism teacher Karen Bliss-Cook said the course had the dual benefit of creating job opportunities for graduates and providing them with deeper insights into their own culture.
The course runs one day a week for 12 months and is largely delivered On Country, incorporating Aboriginal pedagogies and local Aboriginal Elders to help guide students through the cultural elements.
Units include culture and heritage; flora, fauna and landscape; customer service skills, policies and procedures, reservation processes and tourism industry product knowledge.
“The course is tailored specially for each community: it has community involvement and support and is based on local stories and people,” Ms Bliss-Cook said.
“There’s so much growth in the industry and we’ve seen a number of successful outcomes and opportunities along with empowerment for students as they gain skills and connect with culture On Country”
Proud Kunja man James Sheather graduated from the course in Inverell in 2019 and said it was a life-altering experience for many of the participants.
“The main focus for me was getting some of these young fellas back out on country, help them with their mental health, learn stories from their Elders and reconnect them to their culture,” Mr Sheather said.
“For many, it was the first time they’d been out on the country where their grandparents were born.
“It also gave them employability skills on the tourism area and they can take that away with them and start their own businesses.”
To explore the range of courses available at TAFE NSW and via TAFE Digital, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601 for more information.
Media contact: Dan Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0477 722 428