Australia’s largest hotel group, Accor Hotels has announced various celebrations at its hotels across Australia during the Australian Indigenous week, National Reconciliation Week (NRW), from May 27 to June 3.
During the week, Accor will also reflect on the success to date of its Indigenous Employment Parity partnership with the Australian Federal Government.
Simon McGrath, Chief Operating Officer for Accor reveals, “Since we launched our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2011, Accor has grown its Indigenous workforce to beyond 300 employees nationally.
“Following Accor’s Employment Parity partnership with the Federal Government (signed in mid-December 2014) we have placed an additional 70 new Indigenous employees across the country, which is a great foundation towards achieving our target of providing 660 new opportunities by 2018.”
During NRW, Simon McGrath will be hosting a breakfast at Pullman Sydney Hyde Park with key industry stakeholders and community partners. The event will be MC’d by accomplished Indigenous TV presenter Mayrah Sonter, and will bring focus on how we can make a brighter future for Indigenous Australians.
Jack Manning-Bancroft, founder and CEO of AIME – a dynamic educational program proven to support Indigenous students – will provide his insights into creating Indigenous success for young Australians.
On aligning with Accor for NRW, Jack said, “Often in life you come across two types of groups – people who talk a big game and people who walk the talk. Before it was popular, Accor was investing in Indigenous recruitment, employment and training. It’s an organisation committed to wanting to build a better Australia and together through our partnership, we are making that a reality for thousands and thousands of Indigenous lives every single day.”
As Accor enters its fifth year of its partnership with NRW, hotels and their employees around Australia will be ‘Changing it Up’ – the theme of this year’s NRW – and working with their local communities to bring about awareness and engagement with Australia’s rich Indigenous history and culture.
Events and activities will be held at various hotels around Australia and include the following:
• Novotel Northbeach Wollongong will be hosting approximately 100 students and teachers from local schools for a morning tea where they will hear the National Anthem sung in Dharawal and watch traditional Indigenous dances from a local Indigenous group. Indigenous artist, Zachary Bennett-Brook will be the guest speaker on the day and will have his artwork on display for the students to take in.
• Accor’s Perth hotels will once again be hosting their annual NRW Footy Match at Langley Park (27th May). Accor staff and community partners from AIME, the Wirrapanda Foundation and Belmont City College will play in the friendly AFL match and enjoy a post-match Indigenous inspired BBQ, while football legend David Wirrapanda will be on hand to kick off proceedings.
• Mercure and Ibis Brisbane hotels will be hosting a Laneway Luncheon, where each of the hotel’s head chefs will prepare an Indigenous inspired menu dish for all hotel staff to enjoy. There will be a Welcome to Country ceremony with traditional dances and a didgeridoo player entertaining the crowd, while traditional artwork will be on display.
• In Tropical North Queensland, five hotels – Mercure Cairns Harbourside, Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, Pullman Cairns International, Cairns Harbour Lights, Pullman Palm Cove – teamed up to host a lunchtime National Reconciliation Week event (May 27) at Fogarty Park on the Esplanade. Attended by Regional Cairns Mayor, Bob Manning OAM, hotel volunteers and General Managers, the event titled ‘Sea of Hands’ was open to the public, and saw Accor staff work together to form a huge Accor Bernache symbol with their hands as a sign of unity.