Impact Publications : MICEBTN-71
Page 38 • MICEBTN - August-September 2018 WESTERN AUSTRALIA Recharge + Explore Treat yourself to an enriching stay at The Westin Perth and experience a new level of sophistication in our spacious guestrooms and be amongst the first to enjoy the signature Westin experience in the heart of Perth. For a limited time enjoy overnight accommodation, breakfast for two in Garum by Guy Grossi and more from $285 per night. To book your stay visit westinperth.com or call +61 8 6559 1888 The Westin Perth 480 Hay Street, Perth, Western Australia 6000 ©2018 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, Westin and their logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc., or its affiliates. For full terms and conditions, visit westinperth.com Northam out to create the ultimate Aboriginal experience for visitors IN the past decade, the Aborigi- nal communities which settled Western Australia have not only reclaimed their rights, they also have been generous in sharing their heritage as a cultural expe- rience for visitors – and in some cases also have provided adven- ture and given culinary pleasure. Working with the region’s Nyoongar people, the Shire of Northam now has created the newly-opened Bilya Koort Boodja Centre for Nyoongar Culture and Environmental Knowledge www.bilyakoortboodja.com It hopes this facility will be the cornerstone for evolution of Northam as one of Australia’s pre- mier destinations for ‘the ultimate Aboriginal cultural experience’. For those not familiar with Northam, it is a pleasant country town and shire east-north-east of Perth in the Avon Valley, about an hour’s drive from the city. It is sited at the junction of the Avon and Mortlock Rivers. Shire chief executive Jason Whiteaker says of Bilya Koort Boodja: “We see this facility as a cornerstone attraction for the re- gion, a must see for people travel- ling into the area and a draw card for visitors from the metropolitan area.” Engagement with the local Aboriginal community was an important focus of the council to ensure that they had the opportunity to drive the stories told in the interpretive centre, Whiteaker explains. “This project provides an op- portunity to better-reflect the Aboriginal culture in the region and will encour- age an understanding of how to better-develop our local environment.” Whiteaker says all stakeholders were so determined to get the interactive technology up to opti- mum performance that the cen- tre’s planned opening was delayed by weeks to undertake further work. They’re happy with the result and feedback from early visitors as well as interested local residents has been overwhelmingly positive. Earlier, the City of Perth www.perth.wa .gov.au extended its support for the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council following a successful pi- lot operation last year. This helped four Aboriginal enterprises de- velop as fully-accredited tourism businesses. “The pilot gave a great insight into the Aboriginal tourism sector, including issues and needs which allows for future planning and workforce development within the City of Perth,” said the city’s chief executive, Martin Mileham. “The businesses have now in- creased their operational capacity and service levels to deliver quali- ty, export-ready Aboriginal tourism services and products.” WAITOC www.waitoc.com has established a partnership with In- digenous Business Australia www. iba.gov.au to launch a business support program aiming to foster growth and expansion of a range of authentic Aboriginal cultural tourism experiences throughout Western Australia. “This exciting new venture will increase business capacity, skills and sustainability through target- ed support , creating more choice and diversity for visitors seeking an opportunity to interact with the world’s oldest living culture,” said Doc Reynolds, WAITOC’s chairper- son. Northam is sited at the junction of the Avon andi Mortlock Rivers.