Aboriginal ‘showcase’ scheme

Mr Brough told an indigenous business conference in Sydney that such a scheme could employ Aborigines from remote and regional communities, which had an excess of fit and able underemployed workers.

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The minister said he was meeting with Tourism Training Australia consultant Bill Galvin to explore the idea.

Mr Brough said one scheme he had in mind was to have Aborigines from remote communities working at the reception of hotels such as Sydney’s Hilton.

“We will take young people, who are selected because they want to see a change in their own lives, want an opportunity, who may not have the educational qualifications yet, from those regional communities,” Mr Brough said.

“We will put them front-of-house in five-star hotels throughout Australia. There will be a lot of challenges with that, but it does two things.

“It provides opportunity for those people. It also provides an opportunity for Australia to showcase our first Australians, and that is exactly what tourists come here to see.

“When they turn up to our major tourist attractions they don’t see many of our first Australians. We can open up opportunities both ways,” he said.

The minister said he wanted to expand a program started by Queensland Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson that sent people away from remote communities to work interstate.

Mr Brough said those workers were given a one-way fare to work on farms where they were mentored and taught skills.

Mr Brough said he was searching for opportunities to expand that program in the agriculture and tourism industries.